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.
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 (.55 ounce) package instant hot chocolate mix
Mix water and milk together
Bring to a boil (either microwave or stove top)
Pour liquid over chai tea and steep according to tea directions and strain
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!
It’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.
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
Splash of vodka*
Bring water just to boiling in a large saucepan.
Remove from heat and add tea.
Steep, covered, for 5 minutes.
Remove and discard tea.
Stir in nectar and sugar.
Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.
Strain tea mixture and serve over ice.
For the adventurer in you… add a splash of vodka*
Whether you use the vodka or not, please stop by and share your Peach-Mint Green Tea Mocktail experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!
Unfortunately, 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:
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.
Who is attending this year’s World Tea Expo? If no one else will there, Tea Escapade will! But of course, that is a misnomer, because everyone who is anyone in the tea industry will be attending this year’s World Tea Expo from May 2 – May 4, 2009. The World Tea Expo is the fastest growing, all encompassing Tea Event of the year.
One of the newest events going on at the Expo is the first Top Tea Cocktail Contest. For all of you chefs and bartenders in the making who also have an obsession for tea, here is your opportunity to get discovered. Check out the World Tea Expo website for more information. Included below is a section of the Rules and Regulations to get you started…
World Tea Expo is proud to introduce the first-ever Top Tea Cocktail competition. We are very excited and looking forward to discovering the many fun and creative ways that tea can be integrated with cocktails!
Deadline to Submit Recipes: March 16, 2009
Online Voting Opens: March 9, 2009
Online Voting Closes: March 23, 2009
Top Tea Cocktail Finalists Announced: April 7, 2009
Top Tea Cocktail Competition: May 3, 2009 3:00 PM
The Top Tea Cocktail competition will be held live at the 2009 World Tea Expo.
Top Tea Cocktail Winner
The 2009 Top Tea Cocktail and its creator will be featured in the June 2009 issue Food & Beverage Magazine, a national publication providing authoritative, comprehensive coverage of the food, beverage and hospitality industries with a circulation of over 45,000.
The 2009 Top Tea Cocktail and its creator will also be featured in Imbibe Magazine, a national publication dedicated to “liquid culture” featuring the best drink recipes, reviews, destinations and profiles—everything you need to know about the fascinating people, places, flavors and cultures surrounding the realm of drinks.
Additionally, the winning recipe will be published in Cynthia Gold’s book Culinary Tea, being published in 2010 by Running Press/Perseus Books.
Exhibitors and Registered Attendees of the 2009 World Tea Expo are eligible to enter their recipes into the competition.
Tea Cocktail Recipes
All entries must contain camellia sinensis (tea), meaning that “tea” is a main ingredient in the cocktail. Ie. Tea cannot be used as a garnish.
Recipes must include all ingredients and corresponding measurements.
Recipes must be applicable in the marketplace, meaning recipes must be able to be realistically prepared and served in a foodservice establishment (tea room, restaurant, bar, etc.).
World Tea Expo reserves the right to publish finalist recipes in their entirety. By entering the Top Tea Cocktail competition, you are authorizing the publishing of your recipe.
How to Enter
There is no cost to enter and the competition is open to all Exhibitors and Registered Attendees of the 2009 World Tea Expo.
Please be prepared to submit the following information online for your entry:
Your Contact Information
Tea Cocktail Name
30-word Tea Cocktail Description (To be published online for voting)
Type of Tea Used in your recipe
Tea Cocktail Recipe including all ingredients and corresponding measurements
Your Headshot or Company Logo High resolution required; Size under 500 KB
Your Bio or Company Description; 150-word limit
Entrants can submit their Top Tea Cocktail entries online by clicking here.”
Too bad I cannot enter my rendition of the Hot Toddy! Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s too original. Perhaps I can whip something up during the next few days and enter the contest myself. If you decide to enter the 2009 World Tea Expo – Top Tea Cocktail Contest, stop by and let me know, maybe I’ll vote for you! Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!
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.
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.
8 cups of water (64 ounces)
10 tsp loose Honeybush Vanilla tea
1/4 + 1/3 cups of sugar (more or less to taste)
Bring water to a rolling boil
Add the Honeybush Vanilla (I used two large tea balls – feel free to use your traditional brewing technique)
Steep for 12 minutes
Remove/strain loose tea
Stir and pour into serving picture
While hot add sugar and stir
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!