Friday, April 27, 2012

Nettle Chai tea

The weather here in Seattle, turned back to cold and rainy this week. Someone gave me some Marion berries to add to my berry patch, but I haven't wanted to go out in the weather and dig....... hang in there babies! The cool weather is making me crave warm teas again. This is a tea based on a recipe I found on Pinterest for a Kashmiri style chai, and I tweaked it a bit because I'm doing an elimination diet without caffeine, and also because I drink nettle tea everyday anyway.

Nettle Chai Tea

about 2 tbsp. dried stinging nettle
3 cloves, ground, or a good pinch, pre-ground
3 to 4 cardamon pods, ground
1 tsp. stevia leaf, or your fave sweetener
pinch of saffron
2 walnuts broken up (optional)

Simmer the nettle, cloves, stevia and cardamon in about 2 cups of water for about 5 minutes after simmer starts. Strain into cup in which saffron has been placed. Let steep for a few minutes. For a touch of the exotic add the walnut and/ or some milk. (I use almond milk as I'm dairy-free)

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Forage Spring Rolls

I haven't posted much the last month; it's been nice out, so I've been out. Now it's cold and rainy again, so a little more posting is getting done. I think I put my seedlings out a bit early, but that's a whole other tangent.....

Today I'm posting my recipe for Forage Spring Rolls for the Wild Things roundup for April, which was "flowers".

Spring rolls are wonderful because you can make them with whatever is on hand or in season. Some other possible additions from foraging are: wild ramps/garlic, assorted edible flowers of all kinds, sauteed mushrooms, blanched dock leaves, fish and game, edible weeds of all types, really anything edible can be sliced, chopped or shredded and put inside a spring roll. Although they can be eaten at any time of the year, these were truly a bite of Spring!

This was what I had in mine:

For the flowers, I used maple flowers and dandelions. If you catch the maple flowers just after they open they are quite sweet! I pulled the yellow petals out of the dandelion flowers as the green base can be bitter. 

for 1 spring roll:

2 spring roll wrapper- found in Asian grocery stores. 
blanched nettles, about 1 cup
1/4 cup simmered shrimp
1 sprig mint leaves, pulled off stem
edible flowers
several dandelion leaves, washed
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1 grated carrot

for the dipping sauce:

3 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tbsp. gluten-free (for me) soy sauce
1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil

To soften the spring roll papers, use a pan at least as big as the papers. Simmer enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Dip the papers in the water for a few seconds and they soften right up. I usually do one at a time so they're easier to manage. I arrange the first one on a plate; spread all my ingredients in a vertical line in the middle of it, and roll it up the best I can, then soften the second paper and wrap it around the first to give it a little more hold together. Spring rolls always dump a bit of the ingredients as you eat them; I just throw those bits into the sauce at the end. Finger food is supposed to be messy. It's best to squeeze most of the water out of the nettles before adding them to the wrapper, so it won't be drippy. I could just drink this sauce without and food, it's so yum!

Another easy way to use foraged flowers is to add them to a couple eggs to make an omelet, which I've done with both the maple flowers and the dandelions, simple and delish.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It's pay it forward time for April. This month I've chosen Bonita patterns. I love her blog; it's full of ideas and find and info and of course links to buying her patterns. I bought her crocodile booties for babies pattern to make for a pregnant friend. They're going to be such a cute giftie!

I am thrilled with the positive response I’m receiving since I launched these booties’ pattern. Sweet!
(via Crocodile Stitch Booties (Baby Sizes) | Bonita Patterns)

Go here to see my original post on the pay it forward idea.