Wednesday, December 19, 2012

diy pomegranate tea

I have fond memories of eating pomegranates as a kid. I would stuff handfuls in my mouth and savor each seed as it popped with juice. As I got older my mom would give me a mug full of Korean Pomegranate tea on cold winter nights. When I say "tea" I mean that in a very loose way because there are no tea leaves. It's basically preserved pomegranate syrup added to hot water. Pomegranate juice as we all know is a good source of antioxidants and in Asian cultures it is said to be very good for women in particular. Usually what the means is that it's good for women's reproductive organs or it makes you pretty haha.

This would be a great thing to have in the fridge during the cold winter months and it would also be a great gift to give.  And it just so happens that I'll be giving one batch to my boss for Christmas. If this sounds good but too much work you can also find commercially made jars of this stuff in Korean markets.  ;P

Korean Pomegranate Tea
- a sterlized and completely dried airtight vessel, I used a Slom jar from Ikea with a rubber gasket (sold separately)
- pomegranate seeds (one whole pomegranate seemed to be enough for one Slom jar)
- white sugar
- honey (optional)
- vodka (optional)

**warning: pomegranate juice will stain your clothes so be careful!
1. Sterilize your container with hot water and dry completely. Wash your rubber gasket too.
2. With clean hands open up the pomegranate and carefully release the seeds with your fingers into a clean bowl. Don't use any seeds that are brown and squishy.
3. Cover the bottom of your vessel with sugar and add a layer or seeds. Drizzle the seeds with honey if using and cover completely with a layer of sugar. Repeat until you reach the top.
4. If using vodka, carefully pour vodka until it covers the top layer. Close and refrigerate.

Essentially we are preserving the pomegranate juice with sugar and the enemy is mold. Should you find mold in your jar it means it's time to toss the batch. With time the seeds with break down and release their juice and mix with the sugar. The tiny pits in each seed will fall to the bottom and that's just fine because they're not for eating.

We want to reach the point of making a syrup with the juice and sugars. At that point we make the tea by adding this syrup to hot water. The amount of syrup is definitely to taste (I usually add about 3-4 Tablespoons) but you always want to use a clean dry spoon to retrieve the syrup so that the rest of the batch isn't contaminated. This tea is meant to be enjoyed as a winter treat (think Asian Hot Toddy) and can also be used medicinally especially if your batch has vodka. I would drink this when I had a sore throat or cough and it would give relief. If a hot drink is not your cup of tea (see what I did there?!) then this syrup would be a great addition to a winter cocktail, sparking water, or even to make your own flavored champagne.

Monday, December 17, 2012

what i'm working on : uncommon, update

Here's an update on a previous post. During my hiatus the hubby and I changed phone services so I got an iPhone. I must say I do miss my BlackBerry's physical keyboard. It fit the hand so well and was easy to type. But still, on to the dark side I have come. One good thing was that I was finally able to order one of the iPhone cases that I had designed for Uncommon for myself. I got the iPhone 5 Deflector case with my Woodland Friends design. I think if I could do it over I would have gotten the Black Bezel Deflector case to match the black bezel around the camera area. But whatever.

Another fun update on my cases is that four of them have been picked up by Apple Europe! The four below are sold on Apple Europe websites and I assume in stores as well. If you live by an Apple store in Europe check for me! I'm really excited about it and I hope they sell well.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

roasted chicken

I've been trying to cook more at home lately and one easy recipe was roasted chicken from Ina Garten, here. I didn't have the fresh thyme, lemon, or fennel on hand so I added a little dried Italian seasoning instead of the thyme and I brined the bird in beer a couple hours before cooking. Even with no lemon or fresh thyme it still came out tasty and buttering the bird on and under the skin didn't hurt either. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

rain drops keep falling on my head


I had never experienced hard water until I moved to IL and when we moved into our current apt the shower head was so clogged that it resembled a leaky faucet more than anything. It was getting difficult to shower and annoying as hell so I knew something had to be done. I wanted to try to clean the shower head using products as natural as possible and after doing some research online I decided to try a few methods.

Method #1: So one method I found suggested that I pour a mixture of white vinegar and water in a plastic bag and then tie that bag around the shower head while submerging it for at least an hour. Result: Fail, 2% clear. I guess maybe "Fail" isn't an accurate description. This method helped as much as a 10 year old can "help" you with your taxes ... maybe a little but not much. Tying the bag around the shower head while keeping it submerged was actually really difficult because of air bubbles and gravity pulled the bag down little by little.

Method #2: I figured the degree of hard water built up on this bad boy needed full strength, 100% white vinegar with no dilution.  So the next method I tried I unscrewed the shower head, tapped out any debris from the back end (by the way, YUCK!, see picture below), put the shower head in a tall cup, poured baking soda inside the back end of the head, poured enough white vinegar (slowly) to submerge it, and let it set for a couple of hours. Result: A little better, 50% clear. It still wasn't the free flowing shower head that I knew it could be.

Method #3: Last thing I did was to repeat the baking soda +100% (non-diluted) white vinegar method but this time I let it sit submerged over night, 8+ hours. Result: 98% clear! There were only a few holes that were still slightly dribbling water so I used a safety pin to poke through the last remaining clogged holes and after that I was golden!

After proudly announcing that I had successfully unclogged the shower head to my sweet hubby he then immediately suggested we get a brand new shower head with a hose so we could wash the dog in the tub. Bastard.

Friday, December 7, 2012

pantone color of the year : emerald

First of all, yes, I'm still alive. Second of all, it's been a while! I think I lost my blog mojo during fall when the hubby and I were apt hunting, moving, unpacking, quitting old jobs and getting new jobs, swapping out the car, adopting the in-law's dog, etc etc. A lot has happened in a short period of time but I think the dust has begun to settle and I'm getting used to my new life schedule and now I feel better about posting again. 

Ok, onto other frivolous matters like the new Pantone color of the year for 2013, Emerald! Green is my favorite color (even my engagement ring is green) and I'm very excited about 2013. I picked out some pieces on Polyvore for a little Emerald inspiration.  Even though Pantone's Emerald might remind you of cooler seasons like winter different lighter tones can be drawn from it for the perfect spring or summer pop of color. If you're wondering what 2012's color of the year was, click here.

Oh! And I've been forced to join the dark side ... I have an iPhone now (RIP BlackBerry, how I miss your wonderful keyboard). If you're on Instagram search for me under, MIXANDMATCHY. 

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