Chamomile flowers for tea

This year I decided to put more effort in my part of the garden and sowed a few different easy to grow plants in a mini greenhouse in early March. One of the plants that survived is the chamomile. I am pleased that I was able to harvest these beautiful and fragrant small flowers. I pick the flowers before the full heat of the noon sun. Since I only have one pot, I harvested several times allowing more blooms to grow. I used a 2-step drying process since I don’t have much room, a small harvest and pick the flowers at different times.

Step 1: Paper napkins secured on both ends to hold the fresh chamomile blooms.

Step 2: I transfer the dried flowers after a couple of weeks to a paper bag.This will allow the blooms to dry more. I reuse the paper napkin for the next batch of blooms to dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I may only have enough for a cup or two of chamomile tea but it is nice to know that it came from my garden, and that is good in my books!

 

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How to make a Modular Origami Star

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Start off with a square paper. The size depends on how big you want your star to be. If you choose a heavier stock, it will be more difficult to fold and crease the paper. The result will also be bulky. The paper I used in these samples are origami paper, regular printer paper (20 lb. stock) and a stationery paper (a little heavier than 20 lb. stock).

Step by Step

  • Step 1 : Start with a square paper; Step 2: Make two creases by folding the paper horizontally and verticallystep-1-2
  • Step 3: Fold each corner into the centre – it will form a smaller square
  • Step 4: Fold one of the sides into the centre making a triangle – Make sure the
    tip is well creased. This will be the point of the star and will be visible. Do the same on the other side.step-3-4-5
  • Step 5: Turn over the paper Make a crease that aligns where the folded part.

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  • Step 6: Fold the middle of the paper

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  • Repeat with the other

Assembly

  • Step 1: Line up two modules and inner the point of the module into the “pocket” of another module

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  • Step 2: Repeat until you can close to make a circle.

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Here are samples of different size star

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Here’s how I used the smallest star. I made cubes of graduated size using a discarded file folder. Here’s the link to the cube template.

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Waffle Birthday Cake

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Here’s a different twist on a traditional layered birthday cake, I made it using 4 round Belgian waffles. It’s kid-friendly to assemble! For this one, I chose a special Belgian Waffle recipe that is tasty just on its own. I added maple syrup in-between layers to keep the waffles moist. To finish off I iced the “cake” with chocolate ganache and decorated with mini candy-coated chocolate bits.

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Here’s all the layers of waffles after brushing  maple syrup in between layers and adding ganache on the cake sides.

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Here’s a picture of the waffle cake of what was left from a birthday party.

Tips

  1. The trick to making light waffles is to add whipped egg whites to incorporate air into the batter.
  2. Freeze the waffles ahead to save time. Adding the maple syrup to a thawed waffle will help keep the moistness of the waffles.
  3. Use a serrated knife or bread knife to slice the cake.

Ganache Recipe

  • ½ cups heavy cream
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chopped chocolate (or 50-60% cocoa)
  1. Scald the cream.
  2. Take off heat.
  3. Add chocolate. Let it sit for 2 minutes.
  4. Mix. until well blended.

For frosting cake: Leave at room temperature overnight

For truffle: Leave in refrigerator overnight.

Ice cake: Use in liquid form.

Quick Easy and Healthy Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry muffinIt’s blueberry season! No matter what time of year, this quick and easy blueberry muffins are a great snack or breakfast on-the-go alternative. You can make these blurry muffins using fresh or frozen blueberries. Super simple to make with only one bowl and a 2-cup measuring cup to use and no electric mixer required! What could be simpler?

Blueberry Muffin Recipe

Mix together in one bowl all the dry ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (you can use white sugar if you don’t have any brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (prefer Himalayan pink salt for added minerals)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder

Mix together in a 2-cup glass measuring cup:

  • 1 egg, beaten (crack the egg into the cup and beat with a fork)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (grape seed oil)
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (Tip: coat the measuring spoon with oil before measuring molasses and the molasses will easily slide off)
  • Milk – pour enough milk to the 1 1/2 cup mark on the measuring cup
  1.  Pour the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until just blended (do not over mix).
  2. Fold in 1 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries.
  3. Use an ice cream scooper to spoon into silicon muffin cups or liners.

YieldTray of blueberry muffin: Approximately 16 regular size muffins

 Substitutions for a healthier muffin:

  • white flour = whole wheat, oat flour, flax seed
  • white sugar = molasses for added nutrition, reduce sugar by 1/4 cup
  • Himalayan salt = for adding more minerals

Moist muffin with plump blueberries. These muffins have a great texture with minimal mixing of the batter. It can easily be frozen after baking. It’s great with a little dab of butter while still hot or pair it with a slice of cheddar cheese for a satisfying snack.Blueberry muffin halves