No, I don't mean the Big C. My absolute favorite time of year is — fall!
Every year when autumn hits here in New England, my senses come to life. Crisp, clear air; leaves to crunch through; snuggly scarves; cozy lit windows on dark, chill nights; there are so many little daily luxuries to savor.
And this year I'm adding another one, which will also help in my goal of better self-care: DIY chai spice tub tea! Continue Reading
We're getting to that time of year where two different things are happening: parties are picking up, and the cold weather is forcing us to spend more time indoors. So… basically the perfect combination for some cozy aromatherapy! The fall season has so many distinct smells associated with it – like crisp winds, earthy leaves, fresh rain – and one of the most recognizable scent combinations is that of mulling spices. Whether you have a dinner party coming up, or simply want to flood your home with the scents of the season, this quick fall simmer pot is sure to do the trick. Continue Reading
Welcome to the first installment of Get Nested, my fall series with Curbly. I find myself entertaining much more during the fall and winter seasons, and wanted to offer some helpful tips and recipes to you to help make your entertaining season as seamless as possible.
Aromatic mulling spices make your home smell amazing and give it a warm and welcomeing feel. To make your own, add a teaspoon of cinnamon, cloves, and/or nutmeg to a pot of water. Continue Reading
Admit it. You don’t know what to do with some of those spices that came with your cool new spice rack, do you? Don’t feel bad. I don’t either. Which is why having an encyclopedia of spices at our fingertips is imperative. And we can thank the epicentre for it. It includes all the staples, like marjoram, basil and rosemary, but it also has those odd ones too (aka: the ones we don’t know what to do with), such as calamus, galangal and zedoary. Continue Reading
Growing up, my best friend’s house had a built-in recess for an ironing board…and it hardly got used for anything but junk mail and a standard hiding place for Easter eggs. This technique from Instructables can be used to create a great spice rack, or any sort of built-in storage in older homes.
I’m charmed by this Spicelab bar from PurposeDesign, featured in the Etsy Storque. Sure, it’s not the only of its kind, but its construction is inspiring for DIY attempt, or not overpriced if you just wanna purchase one.
Hug Salt & Pepper Shakers by MINT NYC (available through Delight.com for $24.50) is the most charming salt & pepper shaker set I’ve seen in a very long time. When not sifting spices from their eyes, they tuck together in a very compact–and compassionate–way, reminding us that if salt and pepper can get along, so can we.
Curry Powder Though there is a tree called Curry Leaf that’s native to India, curry almost always refers to any number of spice blends used in Indian and Southeastern Asian cooking. There’s no standard blend, but most include cardamom, cumin, nutmeg, fennel, fenugreek, and dried chiles. Turmeric is used to give yellow curries their color, and paprika for red curries, and a combination of both for orange-colored curries. Unless your quite accustomed to curry powders, it would be best to buy mild or sweet curry powders that contain no salt, and add heat and salt as you please.
Spices are the dried seeds, fruits, or berries of plants and vegetables. [Dried herbs are the dried leaves, stems, or flowers of plants-and are rediculously inferior to their fresh counterparts.] So, throw away your 30-year-old rusty jar of nutmeg, and embrace the flavors of the world. There’s good reason the explorers of the late Middle Ages traveled the world, and started wars, for this stuff.
A word about whole spices: Buying whole spices, then toasting, and grinding or grating is preferable to purchasing pre-ground spices. Continue Reading