Sunday, February 9, 2014

Masala chai

tea, beverage, masala chai, Indian, recipe, linmakingthings

I love warming up with a hot cup of tea every morning and every time I come out of the cold. Tea is one of those popular beverages that you can find anywhere you go. From China to Morocco to Britain, almost every country on the globe will have its own culture of tea-drinking and special brews. One of the countries I've been admiring from afar for its tea is India, which is second only to China for producing and consuming the most amount of tea in the world. India has a unique tea drinking culture where its tea, or chai in Hindi, is brewed with varying mixes of spices, or masala. There are no hard and fast rule to making masala chai, as there are a multitude of ways to customize your own spice combination. I started off with this masala combination from Manjula's Kitchen and, as usual, tweaked it to fit my pallet.

tea, beverage, masala chai, Indian, recipe, linmakingthings

This recipe will make a spice mix for 10-12 cups of masala chai. You can brew your tea in milk only or a combination of milk and water, which is how I like mine. You can also sweeten it and spice it up to your liking. You can also brew your tea a little longer than 5-6 minutes to get a stronger flavour of the spices. Be careful not to let your tea boil over; once milk has reached its critical boiling point, it can bubble up within seconds boil over. Trust me, you do not want your kitchen smelling like burnt milk!

tea, beverage, masala chai, Indian, recipe, linmakingthings

I grounded my spices in a food processor and then used a pastel and mortar to crush any remaining spices that were still whole. A pastel and mortar is probably more suitable for single-serve spices but if you're making a small batch as I did, go for the food processor or a spice grinder if you have it.

Check out the super easy recipe after the jump.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Tea towel pillow case

tea towel, pillow case, DIY, tutorial, sewing, linmakingthings, repurpose

It's starting to look as though I've developed an obsession with tea towels, doesn't it? Well, I can't help it! They come in such fun colours and motifs, they're sturdy and their edges are all neatly hemmed. And when they go on clearance at Ikea, tea towels are impossible to resist! They also beat buying yards of fabric only to end up with bits and pieces that I can't really use for anything.

I've been wanting to give my throw pillow a makeover, so when I got these tea towels, I just played around and wrapped one around my pillow. Et voila! I discovered that I can make a pillow case out of this tea towel with just three lines of stitches and a button. It took me less than 30 minutes to make this pillow case. How easy is that?

tea towel, pillow case, DIY, tutorial, sewing, linmakingthings, repurpose

This project is perfect for beginners since you only have to sew a few lines of straight stitches and you don't have to worry about measuring, cutting patterns, serging frayed edges or attaching zippers. It's also completely doable without a sewing machine. Do note, though, that this project requires a tea towel with a built-in loop and it makes a 12"x18" pillow case for a standard throw pillow.

Read on after the jump for the full picture tutorial.