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What better to put into a blue ceramic mug than tea! (granted, the original blue ceramic mug was shattered a couple of years ago, but now I have these lovely bird mugs from Ikea:)

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Things are still all over the map, job-wise. I’ve had a few interviews, and I feel like I’ve bombed every last one of them. I’ve never had so much trouble finding a job, and it’s been dragging me down for a while now. But I keep promising myself I’m not going to let the blog die.

So in addition to talking about knitting and cooking and everything else going on in my life, I’ve decided to introduce a small segment called the Tea Diaries πŸ™‚ I’m kind of a tea addict (in a really BIG way). Some days, I’ll drink 3-4 cups (mostly herbal).

Today, I’ve had a cup of Long Life Oolong from David’s Tea, and a cup of Afternoon in Paris tea from Madame Flavour. The Long Life Oolong is so perfectly delicate with a juicy taste of peaches and apricots with a soft undertone of almond. David’s Tea is pretty much my go-to for all my favorite teas, but I had never tried this one. I bought it on a whim during a sale, and I will definitely be buying it again when this is gone! The Afternoon in Paris is a black tea blend with a surprisingly mellow flavor. It’s got rose petals and vanilla in it, but neither of those flavors is overpowering or even dominant in any way. It didn’t get bitter the way black tea often does when over-steeped, and the combination of scents and flavors is almost undefinable. Not sweet, but without any hint of bitterness; not cloying, which is unusual in anything with rose petals. The Madame Flavour teas were sent to me by the lovely Emma, who is the driving force behind The Gamer Widows. (she also sent me a gorgeous project bag!)

In other news, it’s Pesach this week, and last Friday, Rob and I had some friends over to share in our first night Seder. I made brisket for the first time, and apparently, I’m allowed to do it again πŸ˜‰ I used this recipe for Red Wine Braised Brisket. The only change I made was to add a parsnip to the vegetables. It was DELICIOUS! If only my side-dishes had been as successful! I tried to make a Broccoli and Potato Kugel – first, the potatoes turned black, so it looked like something dug up from a landfill, and then we had to cook it for more than twice the recommended cooking time because it made way more than the recipe said it should (and I followed it almost exactly – just used fresh broccoli instead of frozen). I can’t honestly recommend this recipe, because it was pretty gross, and I think that between the seven of us, only one portion was consumed.

Of course, I had to make the Apple-Horseradish Conserve from Food in Jars that I make every year. I can now report that this makes the best peanut butter & jam wraps I’ve ever had! (brought some leftovers home with me!). I bought such a large piece of horseradish root that I also ended up making THREE jars of deliciously eye-watering prepared horseradish πŸ™‚ The Smoky Roasted Sweet PotatoesΒ from Budget Bytes made another appearance as well, and now I know why they disappeared so fast last year. They are DELICIOUS!

I also tried a new vegetable side dish – Beet, Carrot and Fennel salad. I should have known that any recipe on Martha Stewart’s site would be needlessly complicated, and it was. Don’t get me wrong, I love Martha Stewart, but I swear, her site would list ingredients for boiling water. First, the vegetable proportions were way off, and this ended up making enough salad for about 30 people. Second, adding the toasted fennel seeds to the dressing really made the fennel flavor overpowering, and I firmly believe that it’s fennel’s delicate flavor when served fresh that is the best part of this versatile vegetable. So next time, I’d add a bit more citrus to the dressing, reduce the amounts on the beets and carrots, and omit the toasted fennel seeds (and I’d make it just for me, because holy awesome salad! and not everybody at the table was a beet fan).

For dessert, we had this fantastic Flourless Chocolate Torte with Macerated Strawberries. SO GOOD. Bit sweet if you cut the pieces too big, but it was delicious and rich and … mmmm. I may make that at my parents’ house this weekend! (I’ll definitely be making the Brisket for them some time soon!)

So what did you make this year for your Easter or Passover celebrations? Do you have any favorite teas you’d like to tell the world about?

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