Mmmondays: Kitchen Sink Chai

There's nothing better than a hot cup of tea on a cold winter day. And if you've seen the news lately about New England, we've had plenty of cold and FLIPPIN' SNOWY winter days here! (Anyone else ready for spring or is it just me?) So this week's Mmmonday post is about my super special Kitchen Sink Chai.

For you newbies, chai is pronouced with a long "i" like pie. Speaking of pie, a piece would go great with this chai! Anyway, I first learned how to make chai from a coworker about 15 years ago. I also learned chai just means tea in many parts of the world, so you may not get anything like this tea if you order chai elswhere (unless they have Starbucks there). The chai I am referring to originates in India and my version is made with spices, sweetener and soy milk.

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Kitchen Sink Chai
8 oz soymilk or other non dairy milk (because dairy milk is for baby cows)
1 tea bag of your choice or 1 tablespoon of loose tea (black tea works great, I used a loose organic rooibos tea in mine)
3-5 cloves
1/4 teaspoon of cardamom seeds
1 piece of star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon of minced ginger
1-2 teaspoons of maple syrup or other sweetener (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally.

Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and let tea simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Pour tea through a very fine mesh strainer into your favorite mug. (or Mr. Pony's favorite Dr. Who Tardis mug if yours is dirty)

Enjoy on its own or with these Nutty Oatmeal Cookies or even a piece of pie!

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updated 2 months ago

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Mmmondays: Get Lucky with Black Eyed Peas

Mmmondays Get Lucky with Black Eyed Peas
No, not THE Black Eyed Peas silly.

A tasty southern legend has it that eating black eyed peas and greens on the first day of the year brings good luck. So, we've been scouring the interwebs for some yummy dishes to share with y'all. Here are a few we may be trying out ourselves this New Year's Day. (Corn bread isn't part of the tradition but it should be because it's crazy delicious!)

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Fabulous Vegan Black-Eyed Peas, Greens and Cornbread
recipe available on Well Vegan



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Black Eyed Pea Curry With Collards & Potatoes
recipe available on Post Punk Kitchen



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Black-eyed Pea Chili with Quinoa and Corn
recipe available on FatFree Vegan Kitchen



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Black-Eyed Pea Vegan Burgers
recipe available on Chow



And last but not least, dessert!

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Vegan Black-Eyed Pea Coconut Rice Pudding
recipe available on Girl Cooks World


Now, go get cookin' and have a very happy and lucky New Year!
xo, the Ponies




updated 5 months ago

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Getting to Know: Deirdre 'Little Darling' Franklin

We're excited to introduce a new regular feature called "Getting to Know" on the Two Trick Pony blog. We'll be interviewing shop owners, customers, fellow creatives and anyone else we find fascinating!

Our first guest is Deirdre 'Little Darling' Franklin who we first learned about on Episode 244 of the Our Hen House podcast. Deirdre is the founder of Pinups for Pitbulls, a non profit whose mission is to educate people about the history, temperament, and plight of the pit bull-type dog. Deirdre and her husband Jeff recently opened a storefront to support their animal advocacy work. The shop is called Darlings and is located at 69-A Biltmore Avenue in Asheville, North Carolina. Let's learn more about Deirdre and Darlings...


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Jeff and Deirdre (owners of Darlings and also run Pinups for Pitbulls) with their two dogs, Zoe and Baxter Bean. Image by Celeste Giuliano Photography for Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc.

Let's start with the basic 411, tell us about Darlings. When will you open for business, where are you located, what will you be selling?

Darlings officially opened on Black Friday in downtown Asheville, NC. We are an eclectic boutique that features items from our non profit Pinups for Pitbulls, Inc. as well as Pin-Up clothing, guys clothes, baby gear, vegan handbags and wallets, letterpress and screen printed cards from amazing companies like yours, books, jewelry, and handmade items.

Give us a snapshot of a typical day getting Darlings off the ground.
A typical day includes taking care of our pups, then filling our doggie water bowl for dog guests in our store. We like to sweep the leaves out in front of the walkway (which feels very zen), thank the universe for allowing us to seek our dreams, and then we get to work filling Pinups for Pitbulls and Up the Pups orders!

Do you play music in the shop? If so, what are some of your current favorite tunes?
We love music and we both come from a punk and hardcore background. We play anything from Lucero to Morrissey, Neko Case to Nouvelle Vague, and even fun sugar pop like Lily Allen.

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If you could have one celebrity, historical figure or other well known person come into your shop, who would it be and why?
Celebrity/Historical Figure: We would love for Anthony Bourdain to come to our store. I am vegan and my husband is working on a vegan cookbook for "meat eaters" (he is still an omnivore). We're convinced that he'd love our work with dogs and would love our dietary theories. We also appreciate his musical background and think he'd have a great platform to get the word out about what we do.

Tell us about any mentors that helped you along the way to becoming a business owner. (Could be a teacher, family member, business savvy canine, imaginary friend, etc.)
Our friend Brook Timm from Rudy's Round Up (Chicago) gave us a lot of great pointers when we were looking for vendors in line with our mission. We are forever grateful to her for her assistance; that's how we found you! Carla Lou is the late four-legged founder of Pinups for Pitbulls and inspired me to start Pinups for Pitbulls a decade ago. Without her, none of this would be happening.

Are you active on social media? If so, where can folks find you?
We are active on social media!

Instagram:
@darlingsasheville
@pinupsforpitbullsinc
@upthepups

Facebook:
Facebook.com/darlingsasheville
Facebook.com/pinupsforpitbulls

Twitter:
@darlingsasheville
@pinups4pitbulls


Tell us about any furry, feathery or scaly companions in your life.

Baxter Bean is our pit bull mix. He's approximately 9 years old and was my "foster failure" when he was only 6 months old. He survived a serious chemical burn (or fire) that runs from his neck to the base of his hips and simply stole my heart.
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Zoe Z. is our Harrier mix. She's 14 and is one of the sassiest little bear faced dogs on earth.

You just stepped into a time machine, when and where do you go?

I would go back to the late 1800s and nip dog fighting in the bud before it could ever become something of interest.
I might also snag a few great dresses and pieces of furniture afterwards.

Anything else you'd like to share? Now is your chance, don't be shy!
I just had a book published that is in stores and on our website. I have begun a book signing tour and would love for people to visit the Pinups for Pitbulls site to see if there are any signings in their region. Click here to check out the book.






updated 6 months ago

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How to Rock a Trade Show

How to Rock a Trade Show
We were honored to be included in Aeolidia's super helpful round up of tips for selling at trade shows and craft fairs. The advice from seasoned exhibitors like A.Favorite Design, Sycamore Street Press, I Heart Guts and others is great for newbies just getting started and even old pros looking for some new tricks. Head on over to Aeolidia's blog for the full post and tell 'em the Ponies sent you!

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images of A.Favorite Design, Sycamore Street Press and I Heart Guts via Aeolidia


updated 6 months ago

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Thought of the Day | 11.18.14

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The Privilege of a lifetime is being who you are. — Joseph Campbell

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Mmmondays! Nutty Oatmeal Cookies

Nutty Oatmeal Cookies
Mmmondays is back! After a long hiatus, we thought we’d open up the doors to the Pony kitchen and share a recent favorite recipe. This one is especially awesome because of how versatile it is. Don’t like raisins? Use cranberries or any other dried fruit instead, or better yet double up on the chocolate chips! Don’t like bananas? That’s just crazy, who doesn’t like bananas? You can use applesauce instead if you must. (Actually Mr. Pony prefers them that way.)

Without further ado, here’s the recipe:

Nutty Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups rolled oats - we use the regular kind rather than quick oats
3/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup of flour or almond meal - we use whatever is one hand, usually whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts - we like walnuts and pecans
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking sheets.

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, flour, nuts, coconut and cinnamon. Add raisins and stir, making sure they don’t clump together.

In a medium bowl (or high speed blender), combine canola oil, mashed banana and vanilla extract. Add mixture to dry ingredients and stir.

Form into balls and flatten with a fork on the prepared cookie sheet.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Try not to eat them all at once!

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Thought of the Day | 11.13.14

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Thought of the Day | 11.12.14

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Top Shop: The Artisan Center

Since 1977, The Artisan Center in Denver has been offering its customers funky and unique gifts from home decor to baby clothes to fabulous American-made jewelry. Whether you are looking for sweet things for the little ones (creative animal mittens!) or the perfect pillow, this eclectic Top Shop is just what the Ponies ordered! Check ‘em out on Facebook where they seem to always be celebrating a special occasion!

Top Shop The Artisan Center

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Thought of the Day | 11.11.14

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Thought of the Day | 11.10.14

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Thought of the Day | 11.9.14

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Thought of the Day | 11.8.14

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Thought of the Day | 11.7.14

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