Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teavana Cast Iron Tea Set: Elephants and green tea

After months of research and one failed attempt I finally found my ideal tea set, Teavana's Elephant Cast Iron Teapot and Hobnail tea cups. "The Elephant is a symbol of the strength of the mind in Buddhism teachings, as well as astuteness, strength and stature, wisdom, patience, courage and luck."

Teavana Elephant Cast Iron Tea Set

My review: * * * * * (5/5 stars). The elephants remind my husband and I of Tanzania, the country where we met. The detailing of the family of elephants and mix of red/black color is very well done. The pot is heavy as cast iron is supposed to be, plus I wanted something that would lasts years without breaking. The pot keeps tea hot for at least 1 hour. The steel mesh does not go all the way to the bottom of the pot so if I need to make less than 30-40 oz I use disposable tea filters. The hobnail design on the tea cups makes them much easier to hold/grip than the others I tried out. 

Teapot Product description : Enameled on the inside for years of use, preventing rust and oxidization, and is equipped with a stainless steel mesh infuser for use with loose-leaf tea, the ideal way to brew. 40oz (1.2L) capacity. Made in Japan
Tea cup product description: These cast iron cups feature a traditional Japanese hobnail design, which symbolizes strength, and is painted on the outside and enameled on the inside with a 3-ounce capacity. Made in Japan. 

Beautiful but full of lead
What I've learned from this whole saga is to be extremely wary of products containing lead - I tried to go the exotic traveler's route at first. I purchased a tea set in a local market in Akka, Israel for about $30. One seller warned me that the cheaper products contain lead. We ignored him, assuming he was trying to get us to buy his more expensive ceramics. However when we returned to NYC the lead test was positive (we used 3M-LeadCheck Swabs). Guess we'll be using the beautiful ceramics as decoration only :(

Teavana has multiple locations (http://www.teavana.com/retail), but I visited their store on Lexington and East 87th.
1291 Lexington Ave.
New York, 10028

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ziggy Marley: I'm a Runner

I am loving Runner's World piece on Ziggy Marley - "I'm more satisfied with natural highs. And running satisfies me in that aspect."....Click the video below to watch

If you haven't heard his music before, check out my favorite two Ziggy Marley songs:
Beach in Hawaii
Love is my religion 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Brooklyn hero: some happy news for your week

I have an obsession/interest with trying to be informed. I read my favorite news source The Economist every week. I browse Foreign Policy's Morning Brief daily. I laugh through The Daily Show (although with US politics it's more of a cry/laugh). Unfortunately the way the world is all this information can weigh on one's soul. So I love it when I come across a happy making story.

This week's happy story is about Stephen St. Bernard, a Brooklyn resident who caught a falling girl and saved her life. He even suffered a torn tendon in his shoulder from the event. I personally love how he thanked God that he was able to catch her.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

An anniversary of Yin and Yang

Wedding in Central Park
July 17, 2010 in Central Park surrounded by our loved ones and beautiful weeping willows overlooking the water, my husband and I were married "in the heaven of Thy mercy". Blessed "that from the union of these two seas of love a wave of tenderness may surge". I’m so grateful that I found the love of my life in 2007 in a small town in the beautiful Tanzania. Together we are Yin and Yang. In fact, once people get to know us this is often what they say. And not just because we’re a biracial couple ;)

“At its heart are the two poles of existence, which are opposite but complementary. The light, white Yang moving up blends into the dark, black Yin moving down. Yin and Yang are dependent opposing forces that flow in a natural cycle, always seeking balance. Though they are opposing, they are not in opposition to one another. As part of the Tao, they are merely two aspects of a single reality. Each contains the seed of the other, which is why we see a black spot of Yin in the white Yang and vice versa. They do not merely replace each other but actually become each other through the constant flow of the universe."
~ Aaron Hoopes, Zen Yoga: A Path to Enlightenment though Breathing, Movement and Meditation

Friday, July 6, 2012

Veggie BBQ

Clockwise starting top right: Marinated portobellos, bean salad, grilled corn
The hubbie, dog and I traveled to Westchester to spend the Fourth of July with my family. We had a great time enjoying the fresh air, eating BBQ food that we made, sitting by the pool, playing with my nephews and watching our dog run around the backyard high on life.

Here's the recipe for the delicious marinated BBQ portobello mushrooms I made:

Busu enjoying Westchester life
-1 sweet onion
- balsamic vinegar (glaze or dressing is better because it's thicker)
-Gorgonzola cheese
-1 garlic head
- 5-8 portobello mushrooms

- Pre-heat oven to 400*F
- Cut off the top of the garlic head, wrap in foil with olive oil and bake for 20-30 mins until roasted
-Saute cut onions in a pan
- Add garlic, vinegar and cheese to the onions - - Simmer all ingredients until cheese melts
- Remove from heat and pour over mushrooms
- Marinate mushrooms overnight in the fridge