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Archive for the ‘recipe’ Category

I’ve been missing in action for almost two weeks now – I know it’s a shame and travesty. My excuse?  The hubby and I took a wonderful vacation to Cancun.  It was quite invigorating to spend one-on-one time with my better half without the distraction of school, work, friends and family.  Sorry friends and family!  For the first time in ages, we vacationed without computers and most of the time kept our cell phones and Blackberry’s locked in the hotel safe. In today’s society, it isn’t often that we “unplug” ourselves from the hustle and bustle and simply relax.  After the trip, I found myself not only rested and peaceful, but happier with myself and life than I have been in some time.  Now that the holidays have passed and it is time to celebrate the New Year, I have decided upon my New Year’s Resolutions…

1. Relinquish those things that attempt to steal my peace of mind.

2. Sharing God’s agape (unconditional) love with those around me.

3. Practice the art of picking my battles wisely in every relationship.

4. Seek every opportunity for self-preservation and restoration – strengthening my relationship with God through prayer and increasing my yoga practice.

5. Finding joy in life’s simple pleasures – drinking an abundance of tea, laughing uncontrollably, dancing in the wind, writing to my heart’s content, and the joy of finding a great sale at Macy’s! :-)

To start the New Year with a bang, first share your New Year’s resolutions. Then we can toast over one of the following tea cocktails…

2010, here i come!1. The Crimson Sparkler (The Voice of Tea)

  • 2 cups sugar, plus a pinch for garnish
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon crimson punch
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet vermouth
  • 6 oz sparkling wine, chilled
  • 1 blood orange, sliced into wheels

Bring water to a boil, then add sugar, stirring until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add tea, steeping for 10 minutes. Strain and allow to cool to room temperature.

While cooling, cut the blood orange and sprinkle orange wheels with a pinch of sugar.  Add 1 tablespoon tea syrup and the sweet vermouth to the sparkling wine, garnish with sugared blood orange wheel.

2. Amaretto Tea Recipe (Drinks Mixer)

  • 6 oz hot tea
  • 2 oz amaretto almond liqueur
  • 1 1/2 oz chilled whipped cream

Pour hot tea into a pousse cafe glass, using a spoon in glass to prevent cracking. Add amaretto, but do not stir. Top with chilled whipped cream and serve.

3. Ginger Tea (About.com)

  • 1 oz Hennessy VSOP Cognac
  • 2 oz fresh brewed green tea (chilled)
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup (or splenda)
  • 3 mint leaves
  • 3 pieces ginger
  • extra mint leaf for garnish

In a mixing glass, add ginger, mint and simple syrup and muddle. Pour the Cognac and fresh tea over top and muddle a little more.  Strain into an ice filled glass and garnish with a mint leaf. For those of you like me, who had no idea what “muddle” means… to muddle is to combine ingredients in the bottom of a glass by pressing them with a muddler before adding the liquid ingredients. Y-e-a-a-h right, so what is a muddler?  Again, for those of you who don’t know, it is a long pestle often shaped like a baseball bat and commonly made of wood.

With that settled… select a cocktail – shake or stir – share your resolutions – and toast!  Happy New Year!

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Today in Ohio it is a cloudy cold day with the threat of rain. While sitting snug as a bug at home in my cozy sweats, I can’t help thinking about comfort food. Which for me usually equates to something hot and sweet in the winter and cold and sweet in the summer. If you are not familiar with the term “comfort food”, I define it as food that a person is instantly drawn to when feeling strong emotions – positive or negative. Wikipedia defines “comfort food” as familiar, simple foods that are usually home-cooked or eaten at informal restaurants. They are foods that are often emotionally significant to a person or group of people and are sometimes related to pleasant associations of childhood. Either way, I think you get the picture.

Never a stranger to multi-tasking, I find myself engrossed in blogging, tweeting, watching the Bengals’ game while simultaneously thinking about and searching allrecipes.com for comfort food.  I was excited to discover the following recipe for Indian Chai Hot Chocolate, as it appeals to my winter comfort food craving – hot and sweet to taste while easy to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • chai tea**
  • 1 (.55 ounce) package instant hot chocolate mix

Directions

  1. Mix water and milk together
  2. Bring to a boil (either microwave or stove top)
  3. Pour liquid over chai tea and steep according to tea directions and strain
  4. Stir in the hot chocolate mix

** There are many chai options. Some of my favorite chai teas that I would use in this recipe are: Black Vanilla Chai from Dragonwater Tea, Original Masala Chai from Yogic Chai, or Indian Spice from Harney and Sons Fine Teas.  If you are not a loose tea drinker or prefer the convenience of a tea bag, feel free to substitute for this recipe.

I hope you enjoy creating and drinking this winter treat. Please return to share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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180px-mint-leaves-2007It’s Friday and I am looking forward to another great weekend! In celebration of the weekend, I thought I would share a new recipe I found. In the event you don’t have time for happy hour at the local bar/pub, you can enjoy it at home! Pull out for martini shaker and favorite martini glasses and have yourself a Peach-Mint Green Tea Mocktail.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cold water
  • 5 green tea bags or comparable amount of loose tea
  • 1 12-ounce can peach nectar
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, slightly crushed
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Ice cubes
  • Splash of vodka*

Directions:

  1. Bring water just to boiling in a large saucepan.
  2. Remove from heat and add tea.
  3. Steep, covered, for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove and discard tea.
  5. Stir in nectar and sugar.
  6. Add Mint.
  7. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.
  8. Strain tea mixture and serve over ice.
  9. For the adventurer in you… add a splash of vodka*

Servings: 5

Whether you use the vodka or not, please stop by and share your Peach-Mint Green Tea Mocktail experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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250px-rooibosUnfortunately, I cannot take credit for creating this tea recipe – Spiced Rooibos Punch. My sole contribution can be narrowed down to surfing the net and finding this tea recipe on Culinary Teas. In lieu of a lengthy dissertation, I’ll skip right to the recipe:  

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 cinnamon whole sticks
  • 6 quarts cold water
  • 5 teaspoons Rooibos (or 5 Rooibos teabags)*
  • juice of 6 oranges**
  • juice of 3 lemons**
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 3 cups sugar or alternative sweetener, approximate

 *The Rooibos can be placed in a teaball (metal or plastic infuser) or use teabags so you do not have to strain it out after brewing. 

** If you do not have fresh, juicy oranges and lemons, use frozen lemon juice (defrosted) and a not-from-concentrate orange juice in a carton.

Putting It All Together:

Place the spices in a cheesecloth or tea-infusion bag, and the Rooibos into a separate bag if using loose. Add both to the water and bring to a boil. Let stand five minutes, then remove the two bags and discard. Stir in the three fruit juices, then the sugar or other sweetener, adjusting to taste. Can be served hot or chilled.

Yields: 35 cups of punch 

Next time you serve afternoon tea or just want to make a new beverage for your family, be sure to create a batch of Spiced Rooibos Punch. If you have have already whipped up some Spiced Rooibos Punch, stop by and share your experience.

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Perhaps I am addicted to twittering. The jury is still out on that topic. The problem is that I have met so many nice tea people that I keep returning to chat with them. Add to the fact that I love to learn and my twitter tea peeps (love the twitter slang) always post tidbits of information that I would have never found without them, heightens the experience.

I’m sure you are wondering, “what does twitter have to do with hot toddys?” Well, I’ll tell you. A few days ago, we began discussing the therapeutic power of the fabled hot toddy. One of my twitter tea peeps wasn’t feeling well and someone recommended a hot toddy. That discussion moved into how to make an “authentic” hot toddy – to add tea or not to add tea was one of the questions. Which led to someone sending me a recipe.

The infamous recipe:

  • 3/4 cup of tea
  • 2 shots of bourbon
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 slice of lemon

Instructions: Steep tea then add honey and stir. Combine bourbon and lemon slice, stir and enjoy.

Last night, I prepared a hot toddy for my husband using the recipe above using Zhi’s Ginger Peach Oolong, Gentleman’s Jack and 1/4 tsp lemon. In addition, I prepared a hot toddy for myself using a modified version of the recipe above. For lightweight drinkers like myself here is a modified hot toddy recipe:

  • 3/4 cup tea 
  • 1 shot of bourbon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp lemon

Again, I used Zhi’s Ginger Peach Oolong and Gentleman’s Jack. The end result… both the hubby and I were out like a light never to wake until this morning. Oh yeah… my husband is expecting another hot toddy tonight. I’ll just have a cup of tea.

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You may remember a previous tea review from me detailing my experience with Dragonwater’s Honeybush Vanilla. Upon brewing and tasting, not only did I fall in love with this tea, my husband (the non hot tea drinker) also really enjoyed it.

So I thought, perhaps I should make a big pitcher of Iced Honeybush Vanilla Tea. On Sunday, after preparing a big dinner, I set out to make a batch. Let me tell you… the family loved it! Iced Honeybush Vanilla is absolutely delicious. It is officially our iced tea drink for Summer 2008.

Ingredients:

8 cups of water (64 ounces)

10 tsp loose Honeybush Vanilla tea

1/4 + 1/3 cups of sugar (more or less to taste)

Preparation Instructions:

  1. Bring water to a rolling boil
  2. Add the Honeybush Vanilla (I used two large tea balls – feel free to use your traditional brewing technique)
  3. Steep for 12 minutes
  4. Remove/strain loose tea
  5. Stir and pour into serving picture
  6. While hot add sugar and stir
  7. Place in refrigerator or freezer until cold (I don’t like to add ice cubes for fear of diluting the flavor)

If you are a fan of southern iced tea, you’ll love Iced Honeybush Vanilla Tea. You get the comforts of down home with a special twist… the unexpected taste of vanilla. With its rich red color, I could not have asked for a more refreshing tea drink. If you decide to try this recipe for Iced Honeybush Vanilla Tea let me know.  Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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