Day: December 18, 2018

Eat for your Eyes

Its citrus season, and there’s good news for fans: loading up on oranges may preserve your eyesight. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating at least one orange a day was associated with a 60% lower risk of macular degeneration. Researchers suspect phytonutrients called flavanoids may offer protection – plus, “Oranges contain vitamin C, which helps regenerate cells and supports blood vessels in the eyes that deliver nutrients they need to stay healthy.

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Bath Bombs

Banish aches and colds with bath bombs infused with ginger, rosemary, and eucalyptus.

There’s nothing like a hot bath when you’re feeling run down or under the weather. These bath bombs are designed to heal achy flus and sniffly colds with ginger powder to increase circulation, while rosemary and eucalyptus essential oils open the respiratory passage and sooth sore muscles.

I have a passion for holistic living and I’m a super-avid DIYer.

Bath Bombs

Makes 4

Dry Ingredients:

8 oz. Baking soda

4 oz. Cornstarch

4 oz. Citric acid

4 oz. Sea salt

1 tsp. Ground ginger

Wet ingredients:

4 tsp. Witch Hazel distilled

4 tsp. Avocado oil

40 drops eucalyptus essential oil

40 drops rosemary essential oil

6 drops liquid food coloring of your choice

Equipment:

1 digital scale

1 large glass bowl

1 glass measuring cup

1 whisk

1 pair of disposable gloves

4 bath bomb molds

1 roll parchment or waxed paper

1. To a large glass bowl add all dry ingredients, measuring with a digital scale as needed. Whisk throughly.

2. To a glass measuring cup, add all wet ingredients; whisk to combine.

3. Add all wet ingredients to dry, pouring slowly. Use gloved hands to mix together throughly.

4. Fill each half of bath bomb molds completely.

5. Press each half together tightly. Carefully remove one half of the mold and gently place on parchment or waxed paper. Remove the remaining mold half and leave to dry overnight.

6. Once completely dry, store bath bombs in a airtight container until ready to use.

Tip: you can also use silicone muffin trays as molds.

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Chocolate and Mandarin Orange Scones

Makes 16

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 cup dried mandarin oranges, chopped

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate morsels

3 large eggs, divided

1/2 cup vanilla yogurt

Garnish: fresh orange zest curls

  • Preheat oven 375Ā°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender or 2 forks, cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in dried oranges and chocolate chips.
  • In a small bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; add eggs and yogurt, gently stirring to combine.
  • Turn out dough on lightly floured surface, and gently knead until a smooth dough forms. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to a 3/4 inch thickness. Using a 2 1/4-inch fluted round cutter, cut 16 scones from dough. Place scones on a prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake until wooden pick inserted comes out clean, approximately 15 minutes.
  • Garnish with orange zest curls, if desired. Serve warm.

Reccomend Condiments

  • Devonshire cream
  • Orange-Cranberry Marmalade

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Teatime Etiquette Skills

Many people look at etiquette as a list of rules. This attitude presumes failure and puts undue pressure on the diner. Success is more likely when we think of etiquette as a set of skills that can be used in myriad situations while allowing the diner the ability to relax and enjoy the company of fellow guests.

Here is a list of tools you can use to ensure good manners in most teatime scenarios.

1. Entering a room. Enter the room with confidence while being aware of all that is around you. Leave negative feelings, such as feeling rushed or too busy, at the door. Pay attention to the well being of your fellow guests. When in a foreign setting, use your peripheral vision to see how other diners are behaving and take your cues from their comportment.

2. Being seated. In formal settings, pull the chair towards you and enter from the right. Place large purses underneath your chair or small purses in your chair and not on the table. Nothing, including cellphones should be placed on the table. You can prepare ahead for success by not bringing any of those items into the dining room. When you leave the table, exit from the right as well.

3. Napkins. Place your napkin in your lap as soon as you are seated. If you leave the table during the tea meal, place the napkin on your chair and not on the table. The napkin goes back on the table when the meal is finished.

4. Drink your tea like a expert. Add milk or sugar to your teacup after tasting the tea. Most specialty teas can be enjoyed without any additions. Milk is not added to green tea, oolong tea, or fruit infusions which contain citric acid. After using your teaspoon, place it at the top of the saucer, not the table.

5. Finger foods. Small finger foods maybe eaten without utensils. If the portion will require more than three bites, use you knife and fork to cut into small portions. Pace your meal and try not to finish before the host.

6. Be a good neighbor. Be aware of the level of noise generated by many guests. Large groups often dominate the room with their excited chatter or laughter. That exuberance is fine in a private setting, but it can be annoying to fellow diners in a public setting.

Etiquette training has given me the confidence I’ve needed to enjoy tea comfortably in settings around the world. I never enter a new dining situation without my well-honed set of etiquette tools. My advice to you is dont leave home without them!

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