Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quiet Time In American Fork Canyon

Today I went up American Fork Canyon to get some peace and quiet.  The peace ended with a frantic mom yelling for her son to get out of the canyon road, but it was really nice up until then. :)  Do you remember when you were a kid and the days seemed to never end?  Well today is one of those days.  These days don't come often enough!  
While I was laying in my hammock eating homemade truffle popcorn with Dorothy, I wrote this in my journal.  

"As I'm laying in my hammock secured to two trees, I can feel the mountain breeze gently pull the stress out of me.  
I'm swaying back and forth feeling the tension release with every swing.
Off in the distance, birds are dancing in the tree tops.  The river is gracefully dancing.  The leaves are singing a song to me.
Makes me think of the quote by John Muir: "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  For natures peace will...."
A little boy just ran into the road and a frantic mom is screaming and running after him.  She let him go on his own for about ten minutes and when she went to look for him she found him playing in the road.  She is yelling at him while he slowly walks behind her with his head hung low.

I am super distracted now so I'm going to tat."

Take some time to relax in nature.  There's nothing quite like it! 
What a perfect day.  Once I got home from the canyon, Matt and I had veggie burgers with spicy sweet potato fries and sweet sun tea. 
We ate out on the back patio.  What a beautiful evening!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How To Brew Sweet Mint Sun Tea

I love sweet sun tea.  It's a perfect refreshing drink in the summer and is so easy to make.  
You will need: 
Glass container for brewing tea
6 cups filtered water
3 tea bags (black tea)
3-4 stems of fresh mint
1/2 cup simple syrup
Lemon for garnishing your cup
Gather stems of fresh mint leaves.  You can get mint at the grocery store also or opt out of the mint.
Washed and pull off the broken leaves.
Fill up the glass container with fresh filtered water, and add the mint and tea bags.  Set outside for the remainder of the day.   Make sure it gets a lot of sunlight.  
This is what it looks like after nine hours of brewing in the sun.  
Bring the tea inside.  Take out all but one mint stem and all the tea bags. 
Make the simple syrup.  
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
Cook on medium high heat for about 3 minutes or until the sugar is dissolved.  Stir continuously to prevent burning.  
Add the simple syrup. 
Add lemon slices and ice to your drinking glass.
 If you add the lemon to the brewing tea, it will make the tea bitter.
Pour the sun tea and enjoy!
If you want your tea to be stronger, put it in the fridge over night and skip the ice.  I couldn't wait to drink it, so I had to add the ice. 
The tea turned out perfect, and is not bitter.
Have fun and enjoy! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Easy Cinnamon Coconut Popcorn

Fall is in the air and with fall I love to make popcorn.  It's such a comfort food for me.  This is my new popcorn recipe I came up with today.  I can't stop eating it! :)
You will need:
1/2 cup kernels popped.  I use my air popper.  
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut flakes
Add everything but the popcorn kernels to a small pan.  cook on medium heat until the mixture is well combined and melted.  
Drizzle over the popcorn and mix well.  
Let it cool down for a couple of minutes and then devour.  

Friday, August 1, 2014

How To Create A Tea Party For Kids

After going to Victoria to have High Tea with my aunt, I have been craving a tea party.  My eight year-old neighbor is always looking for something fun to do, so I invited her over for a tea party.
  She was really excited, but pulled a face when she asked if we were going to have tea.  The second she said that, I thought, Oooh MaryJane's Mint Julip ChillOver. 
You will need:
1 teaspoon MaryJanes ChillOver powder
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup Sugar
2 drops Peppermint extract
Bring the water, lemon juice, and sugar to a boil.  Make sure the sugar is melted and keep stirring.  
 Bring the stove down to medium heat and add the ChillOver powder (ChillOver powder sets up like gelatin but is cruelty free).  Let this cook for about three minutes.   
  Take off the heat, stir in two drops peppermint essential oil.  
Pour into cute tea cups and let chill for about two hours.
 Garnish with a peppermint leaf.  Josie didn't want to eat the leaf, but thought it was really pretty. :) 
I found this recipe in 
"MaryJane's Ideabook-lifebook-cookbook" 
on page 108.  
For the food I made cute PB&Js, sliced fruit, chocolate chips and baked wheat thins.  
You probably know how to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but I made these ones extra special for cute Josie.  I spread on peanut butter with homemade strawberry jam mixed with lemon curd.  It was a delicious mix.    
 Use a cookie cutter to shape your sandwich.  
 Put it on a cute tea plate.  I garnished with grapes.  
 Not sure if you can tell, but this one is a dress. 
Josie had so much fun!  
This adorable eight year-old loved the Mint Julep in place of tea, devoured the pb&j, mangos, and chocolate chips.  :)