Ginger Apps and Mains

Ginger is our ingredient of the season. You can find our archive of ginger recipes here.

Um, it’s Valentine’s Day. The heart balloons, roses, and piles of chocolate in the grocery store warned you this was coming. And now it’s here.

Our plans for the evening? Prepare and eat at a delicious f-ing meal. Because that’s what love is.

We hope your plans are just as awesome. And if you’re looking to add a bit of fiery spice to your evening, here are four dishes from our archives with a delicious touch of ginger.

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Chicken with Preserved Lemons

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Vegetarian Spring Rolls

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Pumpkin Curry

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Moroccan Spiced Shepherd’s Pie

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Put a Heart on It.

Still looking for a last minute DIY gift? We have a variety of ideas here.

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we wanted to share this simple embroidered pillow as a bit of DIY inspiration. While this isn’t made from the softest of materials (more info below), it’s meant to add a punch of color and design rather than as a place to lay your head.

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I made this pillow at least four years ago, and it’s still going strong! Through multiple moves and many moments being sat upon, it’s holding up well. And fortunately, it has remained an enjoyable bit of decor. Seeing that big red heart makes me smile.

The combination of materials for decorative pillow cover and the embroidering adds a textural element that can make a room feel richer and more creative than if all upholstery in a room uses the same fabrics.

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As I mentioned, this is a DIY inspiration post. We aren’t giving you step-by-step photographs and instructions because I made this pillow with bits of material and reused items in my craft room.

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Materials

*The face of my pillow is made from an old burlap coffee sack with the heart embroidered using red acrylic roving. Those blue stripes that you see on the front were on the coffee sack. If you don’t have access to a coffee roaster (that’s where I get my sacks), then you can easily substitute a burlap; look for a tighter weave if you don’t want to see the pillow insert between the burlap fibers.

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  • Option – before you start the embroidery, cut your burlap to the size of your pillow (making sure to leave at least an extra inch of length in both directions for hemming), and if you’d like, you could sew along each edge to stop the burlap from fraying while you sew.
  • Cross-stitch a heart onto the burlap material being used for your pillow face. You can follow the pattern below or customize a heart to the size you want. Cross stitching is as simple as sewing little x’s on your fabric to match the red squares in the heart below. A quick tip to make your cross-stitching look more pro is to always keep the over and under stitches of your x’s consistent. For example, if you sew the line that goes from the upper left to the lower right first (it’s on the bottom), and the other line of the x second (it’s on the top), then you should use that pattern for all of the other x’s in your design.

 

heart_patternIf you don’t want to go through the effort of making a pillow. I think it would also be super cute to cross stitch a little red heart onto a piece of aida cloth (the typical cross-stitch fabric) using embroidery floss. Then you can hang it on the wall framed with the embroidery hoop. Super simple, but super cute.

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Three Delicious Foodie Gifts for your Valentine

Hey lovers! On Tuesday we thought we had the best gift idea ever : alcohol, but what if you or your honey are participating in Sober October February? Good news, we have gift ideas for you too! Now if you’re also cutting sugar this month, you may need to wait until tomorrow’s posts for gift ideas 🙂 Until then.. nom, nom, nom…

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These homemade marshmallows are pretty perfect for topping off a cup of hot co + candy cane vodka. Just sayin’. Also, if you thought you weren’t too big on marshmallows because that’s where I was, try these and tell me they’re not completely different and way more delicious and flavorful than Puffs.

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Nutella, we’re all a fan, but why make your own? Unfortunately, the main ingredients for Nutella are sugar and palm oil. PALM OIL IS TERRIBLE FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. Sorry, it had to be said yelled. So make your own!

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I still can’t get over the simplicity of this chocolate cake with buttercream icing. It’s the perfect way to make pretty much any cake one that is infused with love. Our middle sister Kristin, used to make this heart cake, which looks so damn adorable, but it took so much time and effort to achieve. Take it easy this year and top your cake with rose petals.

 

That’s that y’all. Whip up something special for yourself or your loves!

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Tea for Two

Just popping in to share some of our favorite tea accessories with you. Most are perfect for a pair of tea drinkin’ fools. XO

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If your valentine loves tea, start by simply buying them their favorite blend (or the luxury blend that’s a splurge) and give it to them in a beautiful storage tin.

We love this electric kettle for our tea, coffee, and hot chocolate needs. There are a variety of cute designs out there, but if you know a tea aficionado, get them one with temperature control.

Thinking about flowers for Valentine’s Day? This poppy drink cover puts a smile on Katie’s face every time she uses it.

These Numi organic blossoming tea sets with a glass steeper pot make the sweetest gift too.

For someone who loves lose-leaf tea, an infuser is always useful. Win them over with this pixelated heart infuser.

Valentine’s Day = chocolate + tea. AMIRITE? We’re excited about these matcha dark chocolate bars from a company that’s working hard to produce chocolate with high ethical and environmental standards.

Can’t find a tea-flavored chocolate bar in your market? Try infusing their cup of hot cocoa with tea.

Serve your sweet their tea (or infused cocoa) on these beautiful marble coasters or this marble tray.

How about something for their apartment? A simple tea print for the wall? Or you can go for the absurd 

There are so many great mugs out there, we had to do a little round-up:

  • Have a Star Wars sweetheart? Why not tell them “yoda one for me“?
  • Katie’s one for understated love. You too? Get a “Meh” mug.
  • And she’s totally over hearing that moms love their kids “to the moon and back” (sorry if you’re one of them!). So this mug made her chuckle.
  • If you want to get all the adults chuckling, pick up this Animates mug.
  • Or if you want to keep it PG and stylish, grab a Haand cloudware mug.

Tea on the go is our favorite. How nice is it to open a steaming jar in the middle of a meeting or class? Pick up some biodegradable Tea filter bags, fill up your ball jar and throw an American made Holdster leather jar holder on it and you’re good to go.

 

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Floral Lip Balm

This is just one in a series of essential oil posts. Read this post if you’d like a basic primer on essentials, and this one for more information about carrier oils. Oh, and if you’d like more ideas for your Valentine, look here.

I have to admit, it wasn’t my idea to create a floral-scented lip balm, as I often shy away from flowery smells in favor of something spicy. Our sister Kristin suggested it, and then I smelled the rose essential oil, and well, now I’m hooked. And what perfect timing, because this is yet another way (in addition to our rose tea, cake, and jam) to give someone flowers for Valentine’s Day without actually buying the bouquet.

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Since this is the first lip balm recipe that we’re sharing on the blog, it’s a little long-winded as I provide some general information about both the ingredients and tools needed to make lip balm at home.

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Chocolate Cake with Buttercream and Rose Petals

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Hey Valentines!  We’re republishing an old favorite today: Chocolate Cake with Buttercream Icing and Rose Petals.  The Schu family loves this simple chocolate cake recipe. Spend a year of birthdays with us and you’re bound to have it at least a few times.  Fancy it up with some buttercream icing and the addition of dried rose petals and you have the prettiest Valentine’s Day (or any damn day) dessert.  If cupid shot you with an arrow and you’re in need of more Valentine’s Day DIYs – check out our side bar for more. Continue reading

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Rose Tea

Tea is our ingredient of the season this winter. We’re using that as an excuse to sit down more often and relax over a cuppa’. If you’re looking for another way to spice up your black tea, check out our masala chai. Click here for our archive of Valentine DIYs.

Hey there, thinking about surprising your Valentine with breakfast in bed and a side of tea? No? How about just surprising him/her with an afternoon cup of tea? Either way, we have an idea for making that Valentine’s Day cup extra special ~ add some dried rose petals.

liveseasoned_winter2015_rosetea1-1024x768 copyDoesn’t that look beautiful? Think about letting your sweetheart add the dried tea and petals to the boiled water themselves, that way they can see the delicate pink petals before they go in the kettle and lose their color. #itsthelittlethings

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The rose petals will add a light floral aroma and flavor to any variety of tea. I prefer a black base, but this would also go well with the lighter flavor of a white tea.

All rose petals are edible, but not all are created/tended equally; be sure to purchase dried rose petals that were grown and processed without any pesticides or additional chemicals.

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So simple, but so sweet for your special someone on Valentine’s Day.

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Homemade Nutella

 Nuts are our ingredient of the season. You can visit our full archive of nut posts here.

When we picked nuts as our ingredient of the season, I was excited because I knew it would encourage me to try some new recipes, and this homemade nutella is the perfect example. We are a nutella-loving household, but I had never thought to make my own until now.

liveseasoned_spring2015_nutella2-1024x834 copyIf you aren’t familiar with Nutella, it’s a chocolate and hazelnut-based spread from Italy. The original recipes consisted of mostly chocolate and hazelnut, but unfortunately the main ingredients for the modern recipe are sugar and palm oil. And that’s why this is a treat worth making at home, because as you’ll see, this recipe has a solid base of hazelnuts and chocolate. Of course, it also means that making this batch will cost more than picking up a jar from your local market, particularly if you buy quality hazelnuts and choclate, but I think you’ll discover that it’s worth the price. Additionally, jars of homemade nutella make great gifts from the kitchen {in fact, if only I had thought about it sooner, this would have been the perfect treat for Easter baskets!}.

Homemade Nutella

Homemade Nutella

Ingredients

  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 12 ounces milk chocolate
  • 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Toast the hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in a 350F oven. Be sure to stir them every few minutes, and they will be done when they just start to brown and their skins blister (may take anywhere from 7-10 minutes).
  2. Once done, immediately pour the nuts onto a clean kitchen towel and rub vigorously to remove the skins. It's ok if some skins remain stuck to the nuts. Let them cool completely before using.
  3. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler (we like to use a pyrex measuring cup in a pot of simmering water).
  4. In a food processor, finely grind the hazelnuts until they begin to form a paste. Add the oil, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and vanilla, and continue processing until the mixture is as smooth as possible. Add the melted chocolate and blend well.
  5. If there are any chunks of hazelnuts, strain them out. The nutella will be thin and runny until it cools. It will keep on the counter for up to two weeks (if it lasts that long!).
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It’s common to spread nutella on toast, but that doesn’t interest me. I prefer it with a banana or on a scoop of vanilla ice cream. How do you eat your nutella? Straight from the spoon?

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Banana Valentine!

We are all about balance around these parts . Sarah’s balance goes something like this: wake up at 4:00am to catch a sunrise from the summit of a mountain then spend the next 24 hours sleeping. Me? I’m always trying to strike a balance between showing my guys I love them by making fussy treats and then leaving a few oh-so-simple surprises around the house that have just as much meaning. Today we’re sharing the latter. A simple surprise that will put a smile on anyone’s face.

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You’ve probably seen this trick before, but we wanted to remind you of it again, especially if you woke up today realizing that you still don’t have anything for your Valentine. Don’t stress, just pick up a banana and follow these tips.

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Rosehip Jam

While roses and treats are synonymous with Valentine’s Day, we wanted to turn that tradition on its head by suggesting you make a sweet rosehip jam instead! Plus, you can get around those thorny environmental and social impacts by skipping the bouquet this year. And, if you’re about to tune out because we’re suggesting making a jam, hang in there because this jam contains only two (2!) ingredients and doesn’t require any cooking. It’s that easy, folks. liveseasoned_w2015_rosehipjam4-1024x954 copy

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