Monday, September 29, 2014

Little Red Vignette

Even though fall is my favorite season for decorating, I tend to keep it simple and just add a few vignettes around the house to get that fall feeling. I love all the pumpkins, deep rusts and golds of the season, but I'm not ready to add those things yet to my decor. I knew I wanted to add red for early fall, so I found some small fall dishes and added them to my basket. A simple white bowl and some faux apples completed my display.

I love the pop of color that red adds and the addition of the apples for early fall creates a sweet vignette. I also like the high profile of this white bowl and the simple ribbed design. 

These are all thrifted finds that I've collected over time, so I just spent a few minutes creating a few looks for this little corner. 

I couldn't find the small plates I wanted for fall, so I added these bowls with a small saucer. I love the leaf border and design on these small  dishes.   

I found some vintage napkins edged with embroidery awhile back and wasn't sure what to do with them, but I found that they worked just fine with my display. The lace hankie added to the basket lid  makes a pretty addition as well.  I enjoy tweaking and making subtle changes to my vignettes. 

I also added a vintage apron to my spool rack. I'm always looking for old style aprons, which can be hard to find in my price range, but this one looked just right for fall or anytime of the year. It also continues the apple theme with the apples, pears and grapes. I really like the contrast of red and gold this time of year too. 

I'll be adding some fall flowers to my wall basket, but for now I like the look of combining late summer and early fall decor and creating a simple uncluttered look. 

I also think lavender looks pretty anytime of year, so I'm keeping it out for now until I put together a display with some dried wheat and fall flowers. I don't need elaborate displays to remind me of fall. I'm quite content with these little changes. 

Continuing with my little red vignette theme for those of us who remember the 80's song by Prince, I have a Little Red Corvette for you, driver included. 

Now that's my kind of car! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teatime with Chai tea latte

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Labor day weekend. I wanted to share my petite rose dishes again before I put them away for the summer. I also wanted to try some chai tea, I'm basically a coffee drinker, but with fall approaching I'm always looking for other hot beverages to try. 

 If you're not familiar with chai tea, here's a little background on it.

Chai tea is a flavored tea beverage made by brewing black tea with a mixture of aromatic Indian spices and herbs. Originating in India, the beverage has gained worldwide popularity, becoming a feature in many coffee and tea houses. It is traditionally simmered with green cardamom pods, (aromatic seeds of a plant  in the ginger family) cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, ground ginger and black peppercorn mixed with black tea. 

Milk and sweetener are also added. Retail versions include tea bags for infusion,  instant powdered mixtures and concentrates.    

I've never cared for traditional  hot tea with sweetener, I love it iced, but with the addition of milk and other spices I wanted to make my own version of chai. I bought a milk frother recently for my cafe lattes, so I decided to use it to make a chai tea latte as well. 

Here is a basic recipe I found for two to four servings. 

Chai Tea Latte Ingredients
2 cups water
2 black tea bags
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cardamon
1 clove
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups low-fat milk
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Boil water and put in both tea bags. Let steep for one minute and toss bags.
2. Add ginger, cardamom, and clove and stir in.
3. Heat sugar and milk together separately until sugar has dissolved, and pour half a cup into each mug.
4. Remove clove from tea, stir in cinnamon, and pour half a cup into each mug of milk mixture.
If you have an espresso machine you can add steamed or foamy milk on top instead of mixing it with the sugar in step 3. Just add the sugar into the tea mixture after step two instead. Add a light dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg on top and enjoy!

I changed the recipe a bit because I didn't have any cloves or cardamom. I added cinnamon and ginger to my simmered tea. I didn't take any pictures of the steps, but I wanted to share the frothing process. Since I am experimenting with the flavors, I only used 1 cup of milk with the sugar and added a little vanilla flavoring. I heated it for about 90 seconds in the microwave and frothed the milk with my aerolatte. 

This isn't a recommendation for the aerolatte, it just happens to be the one I bought recently at Bed Bath & Beyond. It does froth the milk really well, I had foamy milk in less than 30 seconds, but the switch that turns it on is rather hard to move at times. It is also battery operated and sometimes it doesn't seem that powerful, but so far it froths great as you can see. 

It also has a nice holder for storage. The frother adds a pretty foamy top and I sprinkled on some cinnamon.  

I made some blueberry muffins from a mix, I added fresh blueberries though, and created a simple teatime tablescape. 

A closer look at my sugar bowl. I love the soft rose pattern on this china. The thrift store where I bought my dishes had the entire set, but I bought them at different times since I didn't know how I was going to use them. I also have other china in storage so I decided not to purchase the dinner plates or bowls. 

 I didn't buy the sugar bowl on my first visit so I went back and fortunately it was still there. I also found this pretty white ceramic holder that I used for my extra napkins. To see an earlier post of this china with my canning jar rack visit here. 

A simple white table setting always brightens up a room. 

My version of chai tea came out fairly well. It needed more spices, but it was a decent cup of tea. I did love all the milk and frothy foam, so I will try again with other flavorings. There are many ways to prepare chai, so experiment and find the kind you like best. I thought I might try some with a hint of orange and cloves, also pumpkin spiced tea and  cafe lattes with spices sound really good for fall.  Thanks for stopping by!