flowery felty bowl
This bowl has been made from un-dyed native British wool using a wet felting method to create a seamless structure. I added a touch of green Merino to the base of the bowl to create a mossy effect, and decorated the edge with needle felted flowers in lovely soft… details »
Twists Earrings from Bale & Twine
Hand twisted elegance. Fine silver with Hand Formed sterling silver wires. Dangle to approx. 1.25 inches in length.Beautifully presented in our complimentary handcrafted rose gift box. details »
Pontos the flannel monster
This cuddly, flannel fellow is one of my son’s favorite designs and just right for snuggling. He also makes a perfect naptime pillow.All of the flannel monsters are handmade from new materials and have securely stitched felt details. details »
My oldest daughter refuses to eat beans. As a matter of fact, she can pick through a bowl of chili eating everything but the beans with incredible accuracy and persistence. Ask her to clean her room and it “takes too long, Mom”, but she will sit for hours picking the beans from any dish without blinking an eye.
The rest of us, on the other hand, adore the musical fruit. Entire meals can, and often are, be based around beans — of one variety or many, we’re not picky. Black, dark and light red kidney, great northern, navy, white, and yes, even lima. Soups, stews, salads, pasta dishes; the options are endless.
And why not? They’re not only essentially a super food — packed with protein, fiber and nutrients galore — they’re easily grown and even easier to store. Whether canned, frozen or dried beans keep well for months and lend themselves equally as nicely to both hearty winter and light, yet filling summer fare making them prime candidates as a year-round local eating staple.
My favorite for meals is the black bean (chick peas, for obvious reasons — hummus! — win out for snacks.) Tossed with onion, sundried tomatoes, roasted corn, a generous handful of fresh chopped cilantro, a pinch of ground pepper and the juice of a freshly squeezed lime — or three, we love limes — they’re always a hit. Served warm next to fish tacos or cold as a mid-summer lunch all their own after a night spent marinating in the fridge, it’s versatile to boot.
What are your favorites? What beans must I try this year and in what inventive ways should I prepare them? Share with me your tips, tricks and recipes — my oldest daughter will not appreciate your kindness, but the rest of us sure will, and who knows her taste buds just might come around someday.
A recent tweet on Urbanite Jewelry‘s Twitter feed reads: “Time to catch up on tour de tea…I’m behind like a mo fo! Life is crazy busy right now!” For Krista Leben, jewelry designer/event organizer/business owner/world traveler, “crazy busy” is an understatement. In the time that I have known Krista, she has never had just one thing on the go, and yet always seems to find the time to get everything done with style and grace. Keeping up with so many projects and still managing to make time for herself must be no easy feat, so you know that if anything gets added to Krista’s already-packed schedule, it must be very important.
Lovely repurposed vintage teacup bracelets by Stay Gold Mary Rose.
That is exactly the case with Krista’s “Tour de Tea”. A passionate foodie, Krista is on a personal quest to sample the 70 varieties and flavours of tea in her collection. To that end, she is drinking one per day and blogging about it. As she can’t share the taste experience with us, she provides dreamy Polaroid-style photos of each tea with a brief description of each. It’s almost as good as being there to taste for ourselves.
As I write this, Krista has sampled and logged 58 teas from her collection. Her favourites so far have been a stand-out Swedish tea called Soderblanding (a complex blend of black tea with floral, citrus and vanilla notes), which Krista picked up on a trip to Stockholm, and the Raspberry Ginger Zinger green tea from Edmonton’s Steeps. They haven’t all been winners, though; an intriguing blend from My Tea Mix turned out to be better in theory than in practice. With ingredients like Chinese Wolfberry, ginsing blossoms and rock sugar, it turned out to be more of a treat for the eyes than the tastebuds.
Upcycled vintage teacup pendant light by Mostaza Seed. Such a bright idea!
I asked Krista about her preferred method for brewing tea and she was gracious enough to share these tips with us:
Don’t Use Boiling Water: While this seems totally counter-intuitive, it’s actually bad to steep your tea in boiling water because it can burn the tea. Boil your water, then take it off the stove (or out of the microwave) and let it sit for a minute or two. Then add the tea to it after it’s cooled. You’ll have sweeter, more flavorful tea that’s less likely to get bitter.
Don’t Over-Steep Your Tea: Most tea only needs a few minutes to steep in water. If you’re brewing your tea more than 5 minutes, you’re likely to end up with bitter tea. Different types of tea need less steeping, too. In general, white tea needs the least amount of time to steep, with green tea needing a bit more and black tea needing the most. But even black tea doesn’t typically need more than 5 minutes, so don’t leave your tea in the water too long!
Do Use Loose Leaf!: While the quality of bagged tea has improved greatly in the past couple of years, the flavor and complexity of loose leaf tea can’t be beat. Loose leaf tea is more expensive than tea bags, but is still super affordable and is easy to prepare. Just buy yourself a tea ball or spoon from a kitchen store, put about a teaspoon per cup (250 ml/8 oz) in the ball/spoon and brew just like you would a tea bag!
Keep your tea hot to the bottom of the pot with this modern wool felt tea cozy by Argyle Street.
Krista also mentioned that it’s important to be aware of the shelf-life of your tea. Just like herbs, it’s best to buy your teas in smaller quantities, store them in airtight containers and, for maximum flavour, use them as soon as possible. While drinking “expired” tea won’t be harmful to you, it will taste stale and lack some of its original flavour profile, as Krista found out with some of the older teas in her stash.
One-of-a-kind vintage teacup ring holder by W.Ho Made It.
You can keep up with Krista’s “Tour de Tea” on her blog and via her Twitter feed. To see her stunning line of handmade jewelry online, visit the Urbanite shop. I am personally looking forward to the day when I can venture out to Ottawa to meet my dear friend in the flesh. Over a pot of tea, of course.
“York, England” earrings by Urbanite Jewelry.
AimeezArtz: I live in Cloverdale, Canada with my husband and my little Jack Russel, Mini. I have been creating mosaics, big and small for seven years. My work has been in shops as close as Langley, BC and as far as New Mexico.
Every mosaic is different, that’s why I’m drawn to this medium. I never get tired of the beauty and complexity and I’m always trying quirky new things to bring light and movement into an ancient art form.
Mia Joie Boutique: To quote Lord Byron, every bride should “walk in beauty… and tender light.” These shoe accessories are designed to take any simple bridal shoe and make it extraordinary. The t-straps have a small clear elastic loop that the second toe slips into, and they stay quite securely and comfortably in place by tying them around the ankles.