zaterdag 31 januari 2009

Green tea Weight Loss

Today I would like to draw your attention to a very cheap book on the benefits of Green Tea.

A green tea assisted diet can cure obesity.
Green tea diet’s catechin polyphenols can delay the reaction of gastric and pancreatic
lipases in the body. These enzymes are the ones responsible for storing calories into fats
in the body. By delaying these enzymes, green tea diets can therefore lessen fat
concentration and prevent obesity in people.
A truly remarkable beverage, green tea diet is used to improve the body’s health in many
ways. Further studies were made on the benefits of green tea diets. The latest ones were
able to prove that green tea diet can effectively protect the skin from damage due to
ultraviolet light radiation. Green tea diet is also widely recognized as a substance that can protect against many different cancers such as stomach cancer, ovarian cancer, cancer of
the colon, oral cancer, prostate cancer, and breast and cervical cancers. Stay healthy and lose weight at the same time!

vrijdag 30 januari 2009

Thatched Roof Scones

Submitted by: Phyllis A. England

This was a hit with my 5 testers. They are pleasing to both the eye and the taste buds.

3 Cups of All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut Butter
1 Large Egg
2 Cups of Heavy Cream
1 Cup Chai tea
3 Tablespoons milk
Enough Sugar to sprinkle tops lightly.

Sift first 4 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Using impeccably clean hands or rubber catering gloves, rub the Peanut Butter into the flour mixture.
Next, make an indentation in the flour.
In a sparate bowl, blend the Egg and Cream with a wisk or a fork.
Pour this into the flour mixture.
Beat with a fork until totally blended.
Carefully fold in the Chai tea using a fork until completly blended.
Cut wax paper to cover a large cookie sheet or large cutting board.
Lightly flour the paper and turn mixture onto it.
Pat out and lightly flour top.
Cover with another sheet of wax paper and roll to about 1/2'.
With a 2' or 2 1/2' cookie cutter or a small glass dipped in flour, cut out rounds and place 1' apart on one or two pan sprayed cookie sheets.
Brush tops with milk and sprinkle very lightly with sugar.
Bake 20 to 30 mins or until very lightly browned on top.
Cool on rack and serve warm or room temperature with Butter, Devonshire Cream, Lemon Curd and Marmalade.

donderdag 29 januari 2009

Chocolate Spearmint Rice Pudding

The best of both worlds - chocolate and mint in a classic dessert dish
3/4 C Uncooked short grain rice (long grain is Ok too)
1 1/4 C Brewed Spearmint Tea
1 1/2 C Whole Milk
1/3 C White Sugar
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 T Butter
3 T Unsweetened Cocoa
Brew 2 cups (16 oz) of spearmint tea, double strength. Reserve 3/4 Cup.
In a saucepan, add tea and rice, bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, combine 1 1/2 C cooked rice (the entire amount of what you made), milk, sugar, vanilla, butter and cocoa.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20-30 minutes.
You may wish to add additional tea as the mixture thickens, for extra creaminess.

Let cool before serving

dinsdag 27 januari 2009

Gunpowder Baked Beans

Beans are a welcome, healthy addition to any BBQ. Economical and easy to prepare.
1 Tablespoon Gunpower tea seeped in 2 cups boiling water/
1 Lb dry Great northern beans
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 lb salt pork, diced
1/4 cup brown sugar
Rinse beans well.
Cover with cold water and soak overnight.
In the morning drain beans and put in crockpot.
Add all other ingredients including the strained Gunpower tea.
Add enough water to cover.
Cook on low all day.
Stir well before serving.

Lady Lavender and the Poison tea

Lord Neville Pekoe

Lord Neville Pekoe

"You are quite sure?"

"Would that I were not."

"Well... poo. This certainly changes everything." Lady Lavender Pekoe chewed absently on the tip of her carefully manicured fingernail. "The plan wasn't to kill Lord Neville, right? At least not right away. We're both clear on that?"

"I don't know that we necessarily had a plan, per se. 'Something with arsenic,' I believe, was as far as you got."

"How droll, Sebastian, this preemptive blame-pinning you've started. 'As far as you got.' Do be sure to mark that down in your appointment book: 'Today, I was crafty.'"

"Now, Monica-"

"Now nothing. You think you can make wild declarations of love to me - in my home - nay, in my and my husband's home-"

"But Monica, it was you who sedu-"

"-and then just sort of off-the-cuffly pin his poisoning on me? Do don't be stupid, Sebastian. With so few other charms to recommend you, don't be a spendthrift with your wits."

"Monica, I must insist-"

"Of course you must. It's what I fell in love with, your devil-may-care insisting. 'I insist, Monica, I must kiss you!' 'Monica, I insist that you accept this-" somewhat gaudy '-necklace.' 'Monica, I insist we must poison your husband's tea if we are ever to go about our lives being happy.'"

"I never insisted we poison Lord Neville's tea!"

"Really? How clumsy of me to have written so in my diary. And how even more clumsy of me to have lost it." Lady Lavender Pekoe traced the pattern of the mother-of-pearl inlay on the tea table that separated her from Sebastian. "How most clumsy of all, indeed, if someone who shouldn't should happen to find that diary."

The ticking of the clock on the mantle kept the room from being truly silent. Monica kept her gaze leveled on Sebastian. He reached in his pocket, pulled out a silver and turquoise cigarette case, and fished a lighter from the pocket of his waistcoat. "I have a diary, too, you know," he said.

"Of course you do. And where is this first-time-I've-ever-heard-of-it diary?"

"Don't worry about it, Monica. But I have one. And maybe I wrote in mine that at 9:27AM on Tuesday I espied the lovely and treacherous Lady Monica Lavender Pekoe adding drops of what appeared to be arsenic to Lord Lavender Pekoe's morning tea."

"You didn't."

"Can you be sure?"

"'Treacherous'? Sebastian, flattered though I am, if I believed for a moment that you even knew how to spell 'treacherous,' I might find myself feeling a modicum of soulful despair right at this moment. However, you can't even read the instructions on a pack of matches without furrowing your brow and moving your lips. You'll understand if I don't believe you and this mystery journal. Now. Are you absolutely positive he's dead?"

"To the best of my ability."

"Sebastian, you have no abilities. You felt his pulse? You did that mirror thing under his nose? I've seen Lord Neville sleeping and it had often given me hope of an early widowhood."

"For one thing, Monica, I do so have abilities, so I'll thank you very much for taking back that untrue sentiment. The boys at the club tell me all the time that I make a brilliant whiskey sour, and just the other day a stranger complimented me on my spats."

"Do try to make your second point germane to the death of my husband."

"Well, as far as that goes - he's an awfully unnatural color and he doesn't blink."

"He never does."


"When he sleeps? He never blinks, though his eyes are open. It's most unnerving."

"Well, this looks more dead than unnerving."

"It couldn't be both? You don't think there should be something unnerving about a dead man in his bed? A man who has met his untimely end through murder and poison?"

"You confuse me sometimes with your muddled talking, Monica."

"Just... go in there a second time and really check to make sure that he's dead. I have to change the next step of our plan, now, since I wasn't planning on Lord Neville dying of poisoning."

"Then remind me again why we poisoned him?"

"The arsenic would weaken his heart and his constitution."

"So you did have a plan, all along!"

"Of course I had a plan all along you idiot. After several months of this, you were to take Lord Neville grouse hunting where something dreadfully frightening would happen. Lord Neville, then, would die of a heart attack or, as the police like to call it, natural causes. Then, I'm free and so is all of Lord Neville's money."

"You mean we're free, right?"

"Whatever. Just go and check on him. And see if Williams has any tea brewed."

Left alone, Lady Lavender Pekoe began to plot in earnest. Clearly something would have to be done with Mr. Sebastian Grey as well. She wasn't even sure why she had involved him in the first place, though he was incredibly good looking. Still, the world was full of attractive men and she, as the beautiful widow of a murdered millionaire would have no trouble at all in society. The rub, of course, was how to pin it on Sebastian without him having a chance to say anything.

Speaking of Sebastian, he was gone longer than Lady Lavender Pekoe was expecting. She was about to get up from her chair and look for him when he appeared in the doorway, holding the tea try with some cakes, biscuits, and two tea cups.

"Did you travel to China for the tea and the tea service?"

"I couldn't find Williams anywhere. Lemon?"

"Yes please. He's no doubt in the port cellar, supplementing his income. And Lord Neville?"

"I doubt he's with Williams, Monica."

"I know that. I mean is he really and truly dead?"

"I'd like to see something deader."


"Figure of speech."

"I don't like it."

"Anyway, he's dead all right. Cake?"

"No, thank you. This tea is dreadful. Did you brew it?"


"No? But I thought you said that Williams was nowhere to be found."

"He wasn't."

"Then where did you get the tea?"

"It was waiting there for me in the kitchen."

"It tastes like Early Grey mixed with... burnt almonds? Sebastian, how can you get tea wrong? It's only a short step away from water. How do you remember to breathe in and out, moment to moment?"

"Maybe if you added more sugar?"

Williams listened to the bickering from outside the door, a bottle marked 'arsenic' in one hand, the other holding back a malicious grin from his face. The forged will from Lord Lavender Pekoe, denouncing his wife as a philanderer and leaving everything to his "faithful servant, Williams," waited for him in his carrying case downstairs with the rest of his luggage. With Lord Lavender Pekoe out of the way, he'd only have to wait for the poisoned tea to take effect. Carefully placed notes would guide the police to poor, handsome, stupid Mr. Sebastian Grey's double murder/suicide. Williams's carefully laid plans would lead him to a quiet house by the seaside, where he would have to make tea for no one but himself.

zondag 25 januari 2009

Tea and the Guillotine - part 3

However, popularity among the upper classes may have been the kiss of death for tea in France. In 1789, a screaming mob, enraged by a noble class that did nothing but levy crippling taxes and make war, attacked the notorious Bastille prison.
By the time the violence stopped, the king and queen had lost their heads and so had a goodly number of counts, dukes, and the like. Tea, a symbol of royalty, went the way of royalty.

Tea's story was not over in France, however. Only 50 years after the Revolution, an Anglomania swept the country. Everything English was all the fashion and it again became stylish to take tea, often in the evening after dinner and accompanied by small pastries.

It was around this time that the famous French tea importer, Mariage Frères, began to expand its business. Jean-François Mariage had been running an import firm featuring teas, spices and colonial goods in Lille, a city to the north of Paris, since the late 1700s.
He trained his four sons—Louis, Aimé, Charles, and Auguste—in the family business. Aimé's sons, Henri and Edouard Mariage, in turn took up the family trade.

On June 1, 1854, they founded the Mariage Frères (Mariage Brothers) tea company in Paris, today the oldest in France. Mariage Frères quickly demonstrated what has become its trademark—interesting blends.
In 1860, the company came out with "Chocolat des Mandarins," a tea/chocolate blend touted as a healthy way to consume chocolate, which was considered difficult to digest.
Today the Mariage Frères catalogue lists 213 blends among its selection of more than 500 teas. Also available are tea-flavored cookies, tea candy, tea-scented candles, and tea jellies, a French invention now found in shops from Kyoto to New York.

And it's only a beginning. Tea is growing more and more popular in France, especially in Paris. Three "tea drinkers' clubs" meet regularly to drink and talk about tea. French tea aficionados can study their passion at the "Université du Thé" (University of Tea) and the "Ecole du Thé" (School of Tea).
Nearly 145 tearooms do excellent business in Paris and more open every year. Four-star chefs even use tea as an ingredient in appetizers, main courses, and desserts. French drinkers of tea pride themselves on their diverse tastes, from English-style blends to Japanese greens to Chinese whites. They practice what they call the "French art of tea," which simply consists of quality ingredients, careful preparation, and elegant presentation. Removing the leaves from the pot immediately after the tea is infused is especially considered the first principle of French tea preparation. A marked interest for teas grown on specific estates is another hallmark of the French approach to tea. Sound familiar? You're right.
The French are bringing to tea the same seriousness they have always devoted to wine. In short, tea may finally have recovered from the French Revolution and be rightfully taking its place in France!

zaterdag 24 januari 2009

Ceylon Sonata Cocoa Fudge

Submitted by: Pamela

Make the tea, Ceylon Sonata with 1 cup of water, 1 1/2 T. Ceylon Sonata Loose Leaf Tea, this makes a strong tea for your fudge.

First Step Ingredients
3 Cups Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Milk
3/4 Cup Ceylon Sonata Tea, brewed strong
3/4 Cup Cocoa, sifted
pinch salt.

Second Step Ingredients:
1/4 Cup Butter, cubed (1/2 cube) (Do not use margarine, it has water in it)
1 1/2 Tbsp Real Vanilla
1/2 Cup Walmuts
1/2 Cup Milk Chocolate Chips
1 Cup Mini Marshmallows

Get all of your ingredients out and measured in small containers to be handy when making candy.
Efficiency is the best way.
You will need a 9 X 9 Glass pan lined with parchment paper to pour fudge into when done.

First Step: Put the ingredients for the first step into a large pan (2 gallon size) and beat them with a whisk till smooth.
Cook on Medium heat until it reaches soft ball stage, 234°.
Remove from heat and sit on the counter with a pad under it.
Stir in imediately after taking off heat, the second step ingredients, one at a time, stirring each one till mixed thoroughly.
Beat the mixture vigorously until it thickens.
As soon as that starts to happen, immediately put mixture into your pan quickly.
It sets very fast and you could have a big ball of fudge on your hands.
Smooth out fudge in your 9 X 9 pan and sprinkle with a few chopped walnuts.
ENYOY after it cools....

vrijdag 23 januari 2009

Tea and the Guillotine - part 2

French doctors got excited about tea because they saw it as a possible medicine.
As early as 1648, a Monsieur Morisset published a treatise claiming that tea was mentally stimulating. (However, when he brought it before the faculty of medicine at the University of Paris some ardent defenders of another medicinal plant, sage, had the treatise burned!)
In 1657, the scientist Jonquet praised tea as the "divine herb."
In 1685, Philippe Sylvestre Dufour published the Traités Nouveaux et Curieux du Café, du Thé et du Chocolat (New and Curious Treatises on Coffee, Tea and Chocolate), one of the first books in French to address tea. It extolled the leaf for its ability to cure headaches and aid digestion, and it even offered prescriptions.

On August 3, 1700, the French ship Amphitrite returned from China with silk, porcelain and, of course, tea. In the years that followed, the number of these ships was to increase tenfold.

Tea had many fervent supporters in Paris and in Versailles, where the Sun King held court. As well as Mazarin, the royal minister Chancellor Séguier, the playwright Racine, and the writer Madame de Genlis all drank tea. In 1714, the princess of Palatine remarked that Chinese tea was as fashionable in Paris as chocolate was in Spain.

woensdag 21 januari 2009

Rooibos Cranberry Scones

Submitted by: Christina Adcock-Azbill

Delightful cranberries surrounded by a golden Rooibos infused dough. Perfect for a fall day and with a warm cup of tea.

2 1/2 teaspoons Rooibos tea
2/3 cup milk (lowfat and soy-ok)
1 egg
3 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter softened (margarine-ok)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup sugar (may be adjusted for taste)

Begin by heating milk to boil.
Remove milk from heat, place teabagged Rooibos in the milk.
Steep for 7 minutes.
The milk will turn a lovely pumpkiny orangey red.
As the tea steeps, begin preheating the oven to 375 F.
While waiting for the oven and tea, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in to a mixing bowl.
Cut in the softened butter into the flour mixture. Continue to blend until the butter in corporated and no large chunks remain. It will look kind of like crumbs.
Pour in the cranberries and toss to coat in the flour/butter mixture.
Stir in the sugar.
By now the tea should be steeped and ready to go.
You will need to mix the egg in with the milk tea.
I have found that you will most likey need to temper the egg before fully mixing with the milk tea.
Stir the milk into the dry ingredients.
When the dough begins to incorporate, turn out on a floured surface and knead 5-7 times to finish incorporation.
Pat the doughball into a approximate 10 inch circle.
Cut into 8 or 16 pieces, place on baking sheet, and bake for approximately 20-25 mintues (or until golden brown).
Devour wildly with tea!

maandag 19 januari 2009

Tea and the Guillotine - part 1

Along with the heads of Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette, another casualty of the French Revolution was tea.

Yes, really. It's a little known fact, but after its introduction to Europe in the 17th century tea was tremendously popular in France. It first arrived in Paris in 1636 (22 years before it appeared in England!) and quickly became popular among the aristocracy. Cardinal Mazarin, the most powerful man in France under Louis XIV (great-great-great grandfather of the unfortunate Louis XVI), took tea regularly. Actually, he started drinking it because he thought it would help his gout, but it's a safe bet he continued because he enjoyed the taste!

The Sun King himself, as Louis XIV was known, became a tea drinker in 1665. He thought it would help his gout, too, and also had been told that the Chinese and Japanese never suffered from heart problems.

Tea was so popular in Paris that Madame de Sévigné, who chronicled the doings of the Sun King and his cronies in a famous series of gossipy letters to her daughter, often found herself mentioning tea. "Saw the Princesse de Tarente [de Sévigné wrote]... who takes 12 cups of tea every day... which, she says, cures all her ills. She assured me that Monsieur de Landgrave drank 40 cups every morning. 'But Madame, perhaps it is really only 30 or so.' 'No, 40. He was dying, and it brought him back to life before our eyes.'

Madame de Sévigné also reported that it was a Frenchwoman, the Marquise de la Sablière, who initiated the fashion of adding milk to tea. "Madame de la Sablière took her tea with milk, as she told me the other day, because it was to her taste." (By the way, the English delighted in this "French touch" and immediately adopted it.)

zondag 18 januari 2009

Chamomile Pannkakstårta

Submitted by: Myles Schaller

A Swedish recipe, this is a cake made of stacked crepe pancakes - with the TeaChef addition of chamomile syrup.


For Pancakes:
5 eggs
2.5 cups milk
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2.1 cups flour
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter (and a little extra)
1 cup whipped cream
a little water

looseleaf chamomile tea
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Optional for Decoration & Taste:
any sort of fruit, raisins, jam, or whatever you care to use (I used strawberries and dark chocolate) - and of course chamomile flowers!

Combine the eggs, 2 Tbsp. sugar, salt, and half the milk.
Mix in flour until it is smooth and without clumps.
Add the rest of the milk with a little water and stir thoroughly.
Melt the butter and stir it in.
Preheat a skillet to medium heat and melt a little butter in it (enough to cover the skillet's surface fairly well).
Ladle in enough of the batter to thinly cover the skillet, and tilt/rotate the skillet to make sure the batter is evenly spread across the surface.
Slide a knife (or rubber spatula if you don't want to scratch the pan) under the crepe and around the edges frequently to prevent it from sticking.
When the bottom of the pancake is a nice light brown colour, flip the pancake.
All this really requires is careful manipulation with the knife, but if you're brave, you can try standing back and flinging it into the air with the skillet and catching it on the other side - but make extra batter to use up if it's your first time :)
When the other side is cooked (because it was not cooked on butter, it will look different from the first side, but it should be obvious when it's done), move it to a plate and butter the skillet again, and continue to make crepes.
If the temperature gets too hot (because depending on the size of the skillet and amount of batter you've made you might be doing this for quite a while), turn down when necessary.
Stack the finished pancakes on top of each other on the plate.
When you're out of batter, or when you've had enough, you can stop.
Let the pancakes cool while you make the syrup.

Brew a very strong cup of chamomile tea. It's best to err on the side of too strong, as the chamomile flavour is subtle.
Combine the tea and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from heat and let cool.

While the syrup is cooling, whip the cream by fork or electric mixer.

Take out the pancakes, whipped cream, chamomile syrup, and assorted decorations out to a table to make things easier.
Take out an empty plate which will hold the end result.
Put a pancake onto this plate and slather with whipped cream.
Stack another pancake on top of this one and pour chamomile syrup onto it.
Continue alternating in this way until you run out of pancakes.
If your stack begins to lean (or if you want to make a Leaning Tower of Pancakes, as I did), shove in a strawberry, piece of fruit, or whatever you're using every few pancakes for structural support and tastiness.
Slather the final pancake with whipped cream and arrange your decorations on top, brushing the chamomile flowers onto it to cover it with a nice gold powder.

zaterdag 17 januari 2009

How afternoon tea was invented - part 3

So why did the switch in timing happen? During the 18th century, dinner was served at a gradually later and later time and by the early 1800s, the normal time was between 7.00 and 8.30 pm and an extra meal called luncheon had been created to fill the midday gap. But since this new meal was very light, the long afternoon with no refreshment at all left people feeling rather hungry. The story says that it was Anna Maria, the 7th Duchess of Bedford of Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire, who had the idea of asking her maid to bring all the tea making equipment to her private boudoir at 5 o'clock so that the Duchess could enjoy a cup of tea with a slice or two of bread and butter. Anna Maria found this afternoon tea such a perfect refreshment that she soon started inviting her friends to join her in her room for this new social event. And it really was more of a social event than a meal. Ladies did not go to afternoon tea gatherings to eat but to meet their friends, catch up on gossip, chat about the latest fashions and scandals, be seen in the right places among the right people and, in passing, to drink tea and nibble daintily on a small finger of bread and butter or a little sweet biscuit.

Once the trend had been set, all of fashionable society started to hold tea parties to suit almost any occasion - drawing room teas for groups of 10 or 20 visitors, small intimate teas for 3 or 4 friends, tea in the garden, 'at home' teas, tea receptions for up to 200 people, tennis teas, croquet teas, and picnic teas. The growing middle classes imitated the rich and found that tea was a very economical way of entertaining several friends without having to spend too much money. Pots of tea and a few small tea-time treats such as crustless sandwiches, hot buttered toast and scones, little pastries, and a cake or two were all that were required and expected.

And the tradition has lasted until now. Afternoon Tea is still the ideal way to entertain neighbors, friends, and even business acquaintances. It still creates the same elegant, refined, calm atmosphere that was enjoyed by the English during those previous 350 years of tea drinking.

vrijdag 16 januari 2009

Hampstead white tea

A little over-indulgence this Christmas?

Helping your body recover from the onslaught of the festive season has never tasted so good. Purify and rejuvenate your body with Hampstead Tea's Delicious White tea.

What's all the fuss?

For this delicate brew only tiny new leaves and buds are carefully handpicked, on our partner tea estate in Darjeeling and then naturally dried in the sun. Less processing means greater antioxidant power. Known for its anti ageing benefits, white tea is believed to aid the immune system and help lower cholesterol.

donderdag 15 januari 2009

Apple Muffins with Dragonwell Glaze

Submitted by: Caroline Nystrom

A delicious winter treat!

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 egg 1 cup milk
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
1 1/2 cup peeled, chopped apples
Strongly brewed Dragonwell Tea
Confectioners sugar

Cream together sugar and butter.
Add egg and beat well.
Stir in milk.
In another bowl combine flour, salt, baking powder, and spices.
Add egg mixture to flour mixture, and blend just until moistened.
Batter will be lumpy.
Add apples to batter and blend carefully.
Fill well-greased muffin tin.
Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 mminutes, until golden brown.
Makes 1 dozen muffins.

Thin 4 tablespoons of confectioners sugar with the Dragonwell Tea to the desired consistency. Spoon glaze over the muffins and enjoy!

woensdag 14 januari 2009

Fat-Free Irish Breakfast Kugel

Submitted by: Katherine Prioli

A fat-free noodle kugel flavored with Irish Breakfast tea. This is excellent as either a breakfast or a dessert dish and is good both hot and cold. Credit for the original recipe (upon which this is based) goes to Bette Koffler and Regina Kindman.

Kugel ingredients:
12 oz. yolk-free wide egg noodles (uncooked)
¾ cup sugar
12 oz. unsweetened applesauce
1 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup crushed pineapple with juice (no added sugar)
¾ cup cherry-flavored craisins
10.5 oz egg substitute
2¼ cup skim milk
12 oz. fat-free plain yogurt
5 tsp. Irish Breakfast tea leaves

Topping ingredients:
¾ cup Special K
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
2¼ tsp. brown sugar

Warm the milk slightly in a saucepan; do not scald.
Keeping the milk on a very low flame, add the tea leaves.
Stir constantly for five minutes.
This will produce an overly strong brew.
Remove the milk from the heat; strain out and discard the tea leaves.
Place the milk in a mixing bowl.
Stir in the sugar, applesauce, vanilla extract, pineapple, craisins, egg substitute, and yogurt.
Place the noodles in a very large mixing bowl.
Pour milk mixture over the noodles and stir to evenly coat.
Pour this mixture into an 11” x 7” baking dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least four hours.
Prior to baking, preheat the oven to 300º.
Prepare the topping as follows: coarsely crush the cereal and mix together with cinnamon and brown sugar.
Sprinkle this mixture over the kugel.
Bake in a 300º oven for two hours.

Serves 12.

dinsdag 13 januari 2009

Tea with Jane Austen

Among Jane Austen's many attractions for the modern reader are the comfortable domestic details that furnish her novels, and what could be more comforting than tea? Tea was not just a beverage in Austen's time, but a key ingredient in social ritual, and her letters and novels are full of references to its buying, preparing, serving, and drinking. In this book, readers will find not only plenty of tea-related Austen quotes, but a well-researched history of Austen-era tea drinking at different times of day and in different settings. Recipes taken from contemporary cookbooks for old-fashioned delicacies such as orange jelly and syllabub are accompanied by modern adaptations. Austen purists may cringe at the emphasis on cozy charm, but there's definitely something appealing about settling down with a nice cup of Earl Grey, a Bath cake, and a copy of Pride and Prejudice.

Order the book from Amazon by clicking here:

"Tea, a social history, and author Jane Austen--Kim Wilson's delicious little book will instruct and amuse fans of any or all three...Highly recommended." Tea: A Magazine

I was utterly charmed by the collection of so much information about tea in Jane Austen’s day. -- Bobbie Gay, JASNA News, Spring 2005

Kim Wilson has assembled a collection of anecdotes, quotations, verses and recipes, charmingly illustrated with engravings and line drawings. -- Jane Austen's Regency World, January, 2005

Ms. WIlson has an engaging sense of humor that shows itself continuously, but not uproariously. -- AustenBlog,, March, 2005

maandag 12 januari 2009

How afternoon tea was invented - part 2

So when did all this tea drinking go on?

The beverage was offered to visitors to the house at almost any time of day (and the house would have been an elegant and expensive town house or a country mansion), but the most important time for tea was after the main meal of the day.

In the mid-17th century, dinner was served at any time between 11 am and 12 noon and was a rich, heavy, alcoholic meal that lasted for anything up to 3 or 4 hours. Once all the food had been devoured, the men liked to stay at the table in the dining room and smoke, chat, and drink more wine, ale, brandy or port. (It was not uncommon for men to drink so much in those days that they ended up under the table in a drunken stupor!)

So the ladies were expected to withdraw to a smaller closet or boudoir to talk more quietly, sew, brew tea, and generally behave in a more elegant way than their menfolk. When, at about 5 or 6 pm, the men eventually decided that they had had enough of their smoking, drinking, and loud conversation, they would join the ladies for tea in the drawing room or closet. Sometimes they also played cards or listened to some form of musical entertainment until a light supper was served and the guests then departed.

So, right from the earliest days of tea drinking in England in the second half of the 17th century, certain patterns developed which eventually influenced the ritual of afternoon tea in the early 19th and on into the 20th.

Taking tea was always associated with elegant rooms set well away from the kitchen, with fine porcelain tea wares, silver spoons, sugar nippers, and kettles, with beautiful tables carved by craftsmen, and with the elegant manners of society ladies - as it was through the Victorian period and still is today.

The brewing of the liquor was always the responsibility of the lady of the house (or gentleman if he lived alone), sometimes with the help of the eldest daughter, and was carried out in the room where the tea was to be served. Today of course we brew our tea in the kitchen but it is still the duty of the hostess to pour and serve it. Usually, the only food to be served to accompany the tea was very thin slices of bread and butter. That has developed, of course, into a more elaborate menu but bread, toast, muffins, tea-cakes, crumpets and other bread-like foods are still a very important part of a traditional tea. And, the most important time of day for drinking tea was in the late afternoon - in the early days at the end of the main meal, but (as we all now know) in the 19th century and today between lunch and dinner.

zondag 11 januari 2009

HoneyBush Biscuits

Submitted by: Michelle Fischer

Prep Time: 20-30 min
Serving Size: 4-6

2 cup flour
4.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter or olive oil spread
1/3 very strong brew honeybush tea
1/3 buttermilk plus 2 tbsp

Preheat oven 400
Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
In medium bowl, cut up butter into small pieces.
Gradually mix in tea & buttermilk, careful not to over mix it, you want a flaky type biscuit.
Add dry ingredients slowly.
Stir constant.
If dough has pulled together into one soft ball then it's perfect.
If not add a tad bit more liquid to form that soft dough ball.
Gently knead on a well floured board or counter.
Roll out with fingertips to about 1/2 inch thickness.
Cut into round shapes with cutter or be creative and cut out different shapes.
Place on ungreased baking pan or sheet.
Optional: sprinkle top of biscuit prior to baking with some honeybush tea crumbs from brewing.
Bake approx 12-15 mins depending on your oven until the top is slightly golden.
Serve warm and enjoy with your favorite tea!

zaterdag 10 januari 2009

How afternoon tea was invented - part 1

The English ceremony of Afternoon Tea dates back to the 1840s but rather than being 'invented', it actually evolved out of the rituals and routines that had surrounded tea drinking in Britain before that time.

The English started drinking tea in the late 1650s and as both the brewed beverage and the dry loose leaves were extremely expensive, it immediately became the drink of the royal family and the aristocracy. Wealthy gentlemen drank their tea in London's coffee houses and upper class ladies bought very small amounts of loose leaf tea and drank the brew at home with their friends and family.

The ships that carried the tea from China and Japan to Europe also brought in, as part of their cargo, porcelain tea pots, tea bowls and neat little jars for storing the tea. Like the new exotic drink, these attracted the attention of the rich who bought some for their own use at home. They were stored, not in the kitchens or dining room cupboards, but on shelves in the lady's private closet - a small room near or next to her bedchamber where she received visitors and offered them some refreshment. From the 1660s, that refreshment was usually tea.

Because the tea itself was so expensive, the servants were not allowed to handle the precious leaves and the lady of the house kept it in the little Chinese jars in her closet alongside the tea bowls and pots. When she wanted to serve tea to her friends, a servant would arrange the furniture, set all the tea brewing equipment on a small table and bring in a kettle of boiling water. Then the lady herself warmed the pot, took the little cap of her tea jar, measured the correct amount into the pot and poured on the boiling water. When the tea had brewed, she poured it into the little translucent, handleless, Chinese bowls and served them to her guests.

donderdag 8 januari 2009

Minty Salsa

This sweet, fragrant salsa is a great complement to broiled fish, baked chicken, or even served with chips and assorted raw vegetables.

Prep Time: 15 minutes prep time, 30 minutes refrigeration.
Serving Size: 4-6
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. finely diced red onion
1 1/2 cups cubed pineapple (canned works well, please drain canned pineapple well)
2 tablespoons dried spearmint tea leaves
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped finely
2 spring onions, snipped into small pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice of one large lime, or two small limes
Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, mix together the garlic, onion, pineapple, spearmint tea leaves, fresh mint, and spring onions, with the olive oil and lime juice.
Season to taste.
Refigerate for 30 minutes, or longer.
Serve over broiled fish or chicken, or with chips and raw vegetables.

woensdag 7 januari 2009

Tea Music

Today I came across some beautiful music, the perfect companion for a nice cuppa.

dinsdag 6 januari 2009

Nutty Glazed Sweet Potatoes

Submitted by: Somer Wilson

The warm nutty flavor of the tea compliments this fall favorite.

Prep Time: Prep time: approx 45 minutes
Cook time: approx 5 minutes
Serving Size: about 6

5-7 medium sweet potatoes
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Li Zi Nutcracker tea brewed as stong as possible
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Brew tea and set aside. Keep leaves.
Place sweet potatoes in a pan with enough water that they are covered.
Add used Li Zi Nutcracker leaves and boil for 20 minutes or until thoroughly tender.
Drain off water and tea leaves.
Once cool enough to touch, pull skins off sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes.
Heat brown sugar, butter cinnamon, salt and Li Zi Nutcracker tea in a large skillet over medium heat.
Stir constantly until mixture begins to boil.
Add sweet potatoes to skillet and stir gently until glazed.
Serve hot.

maandag 5 januari 2009

Green Tea Classic Lemon Poppy Seed Loaf

Submitted by: Kellie Sanborn

This is a green-tea infused take on a classic favorite. Lemon and tea are a classic pair, so when deciding how to incorporate Green tea into a cooking or baking recipe, my thoughts quickly turned to this old favorite. The water is simply replaced by cold brewed Green tea which subtly imparts its mellow flavor on this citrusy treat. If you have a mortar and pestle, you can increase the green tea flavor by pulverizing the tea and adding the powder to the batter.

Prep Time: 15-20 mins. prep, 55 minutes bake time
Serving Size: 12
2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 large egg
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 1/4 cup cold green tea
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of one large lemon

1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl.
In a smaller bowl, whisk egg and stir in cooking oil water, and lemon juice and zest.
Add this mixture to the dry mixture and mix until moistened (don't worry if it is a little lumpy--you don't want to overmix it because it will make the bread tough).
Pour batter into well-greased loaf pan and spread evenly.
Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the crack at the top comes clean when removed.
While the bread bakes, mix sugar and lemon juice for the syrup and microwave until warm.
Stir until sugar is dissolved.
When bread is ready, poke holes completely through the loaf with a skewer, about 1' apart and pour the syrup over the bread while it is still hot.
Allow the bread to rest 20 minutes before removing it and placing it on cooling rack.