Damn It, Why Did I Have Cereal This Morning? or…

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How I Learned To Love Coconut Milk Even More.

Before the events of this post, I already loved coconut milk and keep several cans in the house at all times. Big cans, for when I’m making rice (it’s soooo good) or little cans, to toss into a smoothie. By the way, the little cans are Cool Runnings brand, because apparently my kitchen needs a bobsled team.

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I’m back!

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So last night, as we finished off our dinner, my wonderful wife, De, states that one year for Christmas, I should compile a book of my recipes to give as gifts. I scoffed and asked her who would want copies of my weird recipes and she began naming people. I still think she’s nuts, but I was also looking for a way to preserve my tried and true recipes with notes about what I did differently, so I wandered back to this blog. I decided to make it public and share it on facebook and google+ in case any of you crazy people really do want my recipes, but overall this is primarily to record what I’ve made and how we’ve liked it. Other posts may pop up now and then, but I’m going to try to be laid back about it and not make myself stick to a schedule, which is what killed this blog the first time around.

A note: Most of my recipes are not my own, I just find a recipe similar to what I’m looking for and then tweak it a little. I have a whole list of food issues, so it’s rare for me to find a recipe I can use verbatim. For instance, I can’t have dairy. Let me rephrase that. I shouldn’t have dairy, but cheese is the love of my life. Not to mention that “real” cheese is cheaper than the vegan stuff I prefer to use in my cooking.

We are also on a tight, tight budget so we can afford to go see my family for Christmas, YAY. So you’ll see a lot of financial corners being cut as well. I’ve become one of those crunchy granola lesbians. I make my own dishwasher soap and laundry soap and kombucha and I firmly believe in the healing powers of homoeopathic remedies over pills. I am off all of my medication and I feel better than ever, but that’s another post for another day.

A little about me, since things have changed since I started this blog. I have been married for five years now to the best wife a gal could ask for. Seriously, De is amazing and supportive and wonderful. We have three cats, Bella, Pekoe, and Earlie…Pekoe is orange and Earlie is grey and I seriously love tea, y’all. We also have a little red foot tortoise named Da Hong Pao (another type of tea), but we just call her Pao. She’s nuts.

I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS for short. I’m working on getting an official diagnosis, but doctors either can’t figure out what’s wrong with me or they want to stuff me with a bunch of pills to see which ones take. After my last set of meds screwed me up worse than the disease, I’m taking a break for now and trying out more natural remedies, like the kombucha and apple cider vinegar for my heartburn, instead of Prevacid. But what CFS essentially means is that some days I’m able to get out of bed and go about my normal routine just fine, but other days I literally cannot get out of bed. We live near the Toronto Zoo and while I love the Zoo with all my heart, we have to plan carefully because after a day at the Zoo, I have to spend the next 2-3 days in bed, recovering. I am absurdly lucky in that my wife is able to support both of us so I don’t have to work and can take care of myself at home and conserve my energy for the things that truly matter.

So that’s a little bit about me and this blog and my life. It’s not just about tea any more.

Madagascar Vanilla Matcha from Red Leaf Teas!

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So now that I’ve caved into a growing adoration of matcha, I gave myself permission to cave to the siren’s call of Red Leaf Teas. My wife already adores them for their Earls, and Tea Equals Bliss on Steepster has nothing but good things to say about their matchas, so it was an easy next step to take. And the Madagascar Vanilla Matcha was an absolute must for me.

Anyway, on to the matcha. I’m in love, y’all. My wife asked how it was, and I could only put the mug down long enough to say “Oh my gawd….” Geez, I’m starting to sound like a Paula Dean special. There was no butter added to this tea, y’all, I promise. You all know how much I love vanilla, it’s my chocolate, to be perfectly honest. Especially French Vanilla….mmm. Anyway, this has a creaminess that reminds me of a good French Vanilla, but without being overwhelmingly sweet like some French Vanilla teas can be. The greenness of the matcha isn’t lost in the flavoring, it’s a very nice balance. It doesn’t taste artificial, it just tastes delicious and creamy and smooth and everything I ever wanted in a vanilla matcha. This is definitely one I plan to stock up on, once I’ve tried all of the ones I want to try! Next on my to buy list is cinnamon, and I’m already dreaming about mixing the cinnamon with the vanilla and drifting off into a delicious, delicious sunset! While full of excess energy, of course! Oooh, and mint for homemade, dairy-free Shamrock shakes! Mmmm….I see a lot of possibilities with this little beauty. Anywhere you need touch of creaminess, this matcha is there! Oh man, remember the blueberry pie I made with Vanilla Oolong? It would be out of this world with this matcha. And make it healthy! Well…healthy-ish.

This matcha inspires me to bake and blend my own flavors and just go crazy with matcha. I used to only drink matcha occasionally, but I think this particular tea might lead me down the road of “My Morning Matcha”. There are too many possiblities! Blueberries and Cream matcha, Shamrock Shakes, Dreamscicle matcha…do you see where I’m going with this? And the baking ideas are just as endless. Matcha butter cookies….oh hey, y’all! Lookie there, there is butter in this review. Dang.  I guess I am Paula Dean. I promise I will never deep fry matcha.

Just a quick little update

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So! Last week, I got a job. My first job since the move to Canada, yay! My first job in two years, yay! But I’m hitting the ground running, so to speak. I started on Thursday, and so far I’ve worked 28 hours. This coming week I’ve got 45 hours, including a 10.5 hour day (today) and a 11.5 hour day (tomorrow). Combine this with either 30 minutes of transit each way, or an hour of transit each way (I’m working two different locations) and the fact that I haven’t worked in two years, and I just don’t have the time or the energy to experiment with cooking for the next week or two. Eventually my schedule will even out a bit and I’ll be mostly part time, but right now I’m taking a break from (trying to have) regular updates. I’ll update when I can.

The good news is, it’s a job I really enjoy, and the long bus rides will give me  chance to write up my posts so all I have to do when I get home is type them up. The other good news is the job is just around the corner from a DavidsTea (well, one location), so because DavidsTea is awesome like that, I’ll get a discount. Just what I need, an excuse to buy more tea, right?

Also, if you live near a DavidsTea and haven’t tried their new Mom’s Apple Pie yet, run to your nearest location and try it. You’ll thank me for it. It is truly amazing. I’m thinking of making a caramel apple pie with it, or something as simple as oatmeal cookies…or both!