Try Some Chai!

I love Chai Tea!

Recipe: Authentic Chai        In Devesh and Tara's Spice Pantry kitchen tour, Devesh shared two recipes: one for an Indian breakfast called Poha, or flattened rice, and another for authentic Chai - that strongly spiced, milky tea we love.:

The warming spices mixed with a nice black tea just make my day better. I used to think it was just my Winter drink, but I find myself returning to it over and over. On rainy days, on stressful days and just because I want to. I can do that now that I am an adult!  And so can you.

One of the things I love most about this tea is that I don’t need to add any type of honey or Agave, it just tastes sweet to me.

This particular one comes from San Francisco Herb Company. My local herb and tea shop carries their brand.

Teas – Loose Black, Green, White, & Herbal 120

Chai Tea Blend – 1 Lb
$9.40

Description CHAI TEA 1-lb
Latin name Camellia sinensis
Origin Blended in the USA
Uses Tea
Pkg Size Net Wt: 16oz (454g)
Volume approx 7 cups
Comments Chai Tea is a flavorful mixture of black teas and spices, and is both warming and revitalizing. Influenced by tea making methods in India where tea leaves and spice powders are simmered with whole milk. I am dairy free so I use Almond milk.
Note Steep two teaspoons of chai to one cup of boiling water for five minutes. Strain, add hot milk, and sweeten to taste.
Ingredients Black teas, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, pepper

Since it is made with these amazing spices, it is also great to bake with!

How to make home made chai tea from scratch! We are going to do this one. Heck we try to do all of them at once on Pinterest. lol Anyways, the pin leads you back to The Hatchi Cooks with a step by step visual guide and several different flavor of chai recipes! Good luck and let me know how it tastes in case you beat us to it!:

Here is a really nice recipe I found:

Chai Spiced Pumpkin Bars

Makes 9 large or 16 small squares

For the crust:
1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (certified gluten-free if necessary)
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup pitted dates, chopped — plus a few more if needed

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/3 cup maple syrup or coconut nectar (or to taste)
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon cardamom
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons coconut flour

Line an 8″x8″ baking pan with parchment paper so you can lift the bars out for cutting.

To prepare the crust, place the oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add 2/3 cup dates and process until well combined and sticky. The mixture may look crumbly, but it should hold together when pinched between your fingers. If necessary, add more dates to get the right consistency.

Press the dough firmly and evenly into the baking pan. Place the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling, combine the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, salt, and spices in a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the coconut flour and blend until well combined. Adjust sweetener if desired.

Remove the pan from the freezer and pour the filling on top, spreading it out evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

Lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper edges. Use a chef’s knife to cut the bars, wiping the knife clean between cuts. Serve chilled.

Gluten-free and Vegan! Enjoy!

 

Meet & Greet! Pizza Party

How do you like your pizza? All the sinful variations over at Niki’s Meet & Greet this weekend. Indulge

The Richness of a Simple Life

Welcome to the party! Excuse the mess, this weekend snuck up on me! So have a seat and make yourself cozy. This weekend we’re having a pizza party, so let me know what your favorite kind of pizza and drink in the comments and we’ll place our order! 😉

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Hashtags as Head Gear! A Tale…

It has been an eventful week. One week ago today I had a 3 year old and a 5 year old delivered to me for 5 days. No big deal, it’s happened before. Only this time my lovely little Corbin got sick on Day 2 and the monsoon season kicked in and no one was going outside. I spent 13 straight hours holding my baby while he tried to swallow and breathe and telling him baby aspirin was Pez candy and Pedialyte was orange tea.  I slept in a crib.   I had my feet thrown up on as I was sitting on the toilet!

  I watched Frozen 6 times!

All I can say is Thank Goodness he came with an older sister! What a great help she was and willing to just go  with the flow. Thank you Miss Charli Ava!

Feeling better!

Poor baby was so plugged up he kept calling the Sick Tray the Sex Trade! Or maybe he was delirious!

As soon as they were safely back with their parents, I slept like the dead!  So kudos to you moms and dads doing the job every day and doing it well. My goal was just to return them alive. And I never once considered selling them to the Gypsies or driving them past the state mental hospital ( yes my mother did that!) just so they could see what happens to bad children. They were returned in their original condition! Yeah Me!

So now school is out here. I have become that person in your neighborhood that yells at your children for stepping foot on my lawn, yelling and screaming at each other in the street and just generally bothering the heck out of me and all the other folks who work from home. What happened to year round school? Wasn’t that a thing not too long ago? It may be a long summer.

School’s Out for Summer! Awesome Things to Do with Your Kids… – <a href="http://DressMeDaddy.com" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">DressMeDaddy.com</a>EVERY SUMMER!  I think ya I'm so not going to survive this again!

Continuing on with this tale, today I went to Walmart. This is where I started to see hashtags over everyone’s head. #smoker, #onatkins, #single, #stalker, #wtf.  You get the idea. I did actually go inside the store but almost immediately saw a guy who I am trying hard to avoid so I quickly ducked back out of the store and left the shopping to OU Boy.

Funny Pictures Of The Day – 34 Pics  Grandma in a Walmart Shopping Cart "Stay Classy People Of Walmart" - Funny Pictures at Walmart

I tucked myself away in a corner of the entrance and just people watched. I saw a man with a vest, but no shirt.  I saw a woman with red pants, a purple shirt, a white winter cap and a cigarette hanging out of her mouth trying to figure out where to put her cigarette before entering. I saw a woman with a T-shirt that said “Blow Me”.  That’s when I thought maybe some of us should come with a hashtag over our head, just  to explain what’s going on.

What would yours say?  Mine today would have to be #Don’t even look at me today because I have had about 3 gallons of crazy in a 2 gallon bucket now move along.

Inquisitive Sippers Want To Know

Lately I’ve run into the same questions about tea and/or tea products, so we shall try to give some answers for those of you that really want to try tea, you just aren’t sure if you are doing it correctly.

First let me say if you are loving the way you do tea, then keep on doing it. For those of you who asked to have your questions answered, here we go!

How many servings are in an ounce of tea?
Typically, one ounce will make 10-15 6-ounce cups of tea, depending on how strong you like it.
The volume of an ounce of dry tea leaves can vary quite a bit, though. Some teas are light and fluffy, while others are dense. The photo below shows one ounce of various teas in comparison with a quarter. (Tea names clockwise from upper left are: Egyptian Chamomile, Imperial Silver Needles, Earl Grey White Tip and Temple of Heaven Gunpowder.)

tea comparison   In comparison to a quarter in size.

How big is a teacup? A tea cup is considered to be 6 fluid ounces, like a coffee cup. So when we say to use 1 tsp. of leaves per cup, if your cup is 8 ounces, you may need to use a bit more leaves to get a full strength cup.Tea and chocolate truffles. Just need some flurries, a chill in the air, a big sweater, and a good book.

How much tea do I use to make a pot?
Depends on your pot. To measure your pot, fill it almost full with water (leave enough room for an infuser with tea leaves in it) and pour the contents into a large measuring cup. Divide the number of ounces by 6. This will tell you how many cups your pot holds. Use one teaspoon of leaves per cup. Some like to throw in an extra teaspoon “for the pot.” Try it both ways and see what you think. It’s personal preference. Note: some teas are very dense, like Gunpowder Green, while some are very light and fluffy, like Imperial Silver Needles. The proper amount to use per cup will vary from tea to tea and with your own taste.

Part of my ever-growing collection of pretty vintage teapots.. also available to hire.

What do I put the tea leaves in when I brew it?
You may use an infuser, such as a tea ball or brew basket, to hold the leaves or put them loose in the pot, then pour through a strainer.

100pc Hot Stainless Steel Tea Pot Infuser Sphere Mesh Tea Strainer Ball free shipping. DESCRIPTION: Material:Food Grade 304 Stainless Steel. Weight:15G. Color:As the picture. Package:Opp Bag.:

How long do I steep (or brew) the tea?
This can vary significantly from tea to tea, but there are rules of thumb. In general a black tea needs to brew 3-5 minutes for best flavor. They will often get bitter if you let them brew more than 6 or 7 minutes. Green teas often need only 1 minute, but 2-3 minutes is not unusual. Oolongs typically need 2-3 minutes. Herbals need 5-10 minutes, and they generally don’t get bitter, so you can let them brew as long as you like. In general, finely cut teas, whether black, green, or herbal, require shorter brewing times than large leaf teas.

Everything about this makes me happy: the polka dots, the teapot tea infuser the matching spoon and the heart shaped cookie:

Can I microwave my tea?
I wish you wouldn’t. But I know that a lot of otherwise good people use their microwave either to boil the water or to reheat their tea, and that may be OK if you can’t taste any difference and if you know when the water is done (or if you have no choice of equipment). Don’t over boil it or it will taste flat. Don’t under-heat it or you won’t get the full flavor of your tea. If you find yourself reheating your tea all the time, then you need a tea cozy to keep your tea hot. It will taste much better than reheated. (Or just toss it and make a fresh cup. Tea is very affordable.) If you are drinking green, oolong, or white teas, please use a tea kettle instead so you can see when the water is ready (steaming, not boiling). Please, please, don’t put your tea leaves in the microwave!! The freshly boiled water should be poured over the leaves for a proper infusion instead of putting it all together and then heating it. If you’re going to all the trouble to buy good tea, why treat it so cruelly?

I hope that answers some questions for you.

The Tea Planter’s Daughter (The India Tea Series Book 1) by Janet MacLeod Trotter

From India to Britain, from 1904 to 1920, comes the story of the Bellhaven girls. When we first meet them, their half Indian mother has died. Their English father is so distraught with grief that the family Tea Garden is going under quickly and Jock Bellhaven has retreated to his alcohol and opium induced stupor, leaving his eldest daughter, Clarissa, to handle the house and her younger sister, Olive, a young, frail girl who seems a bit whiny at times. The Bellhaven and Robson rivalry may or may not be what it seems to be, but Clarissa is determined to do everything in her power to hold on to their home and tea.

However, when Jock dies suddenly, the girls are forced to sell their home and leave India to travel to England where their cousin Jared and his wife own a pub.

From the mountains of Assam to the industrial streets of Newcastle, is a big change for the girls and they learn quickly that they will have to work harder than the ever dreamed, just to survive. But Clarissa is determined to see her dreams come true. And she will do whatever it takes to protect Olive and secure their future. But with death and war looming in the near future, will they survive?

This is the first book in a Trilogy. The other two books are The Teal Planter’s Bride and Girl from the Tea Garden.

There was quite a bit of detail about the tea trade in the early 1900’s. And not all of it was pretty. The conditions were brutal and some owners were cruel. We see how the war affected Britain, as well as the tea trade.

I read this because of the title obviously, and I am really glad I did. This is a story of courage and hope. Of family and sacrifice. Of love and faith.I enjoyed it very much.

About the Author

Janet MacLeod Trotter is the author of numerous bestselling and acclaimed novels, including The Hungry Hills, which was nominated for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and The Tea Planter’s Daughter, which was nominated for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Novel of the Year Award. Much informed by her own experiences, Macleod Trotter was raised in the north-east of England by Scottish parents and travelled in India as a young woman. She recently discovered diaries and letters belonging to her grandparents, who married in Lahore and lived and worked in the Punjab for nearly thirty years, which served as her inspiration for the India Tea Series. She now divides her time between Northumberland and the Isle of Skye. Find out more about the author and her novels at http://www.janetmacleodtrotter.com.

I received a free copy of this book through Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing. This version will be available in June of 2016.

It was a dark and stormy night….

stormyweather

It’s tornado season in Oklahoma. It’s been raining for days. It’s gloomy and wet and when I looked back in my journal, it was the exact same weather as last year on this date.

The  first day was all right. The second day, I either had/have a cold, or as I kept telling OU Boy, Ague, which he looked up immediately on his phone and informed me I do not have malaria. So I watched Game of Thrones episodes and then watched Sky1’s The Five (Harlan Coben’s The Five) more than once because it was an amazing show with a killer ending!

acold                       thefive

In between blowing my nose and whining, I watched old television shows on whatever channel those come on, I wasn’t getting up to find the remote so I have no idea what channel it was. But I can tell you one thing, those Western shows have the cleanest cowboys and saloon girls I have ever seen. Good teeth too! Then there was a show called CHIPS, I think and wherever they are I think they only have motorcycle cops.

acold1 acold2

So here we are on Day 3 and it’s still raining and Nyquil is not doing the job it promised. I have been drinking tea non-stop and today I am seriously thinking of pouring straight up whiskey in that cup! At the moment I am torn between wanting someone to baby me and wanting to shoot the  next person that drives by. Instead I think I will watch my favorite rainy day movie, The Secret of Roan Inish. If you haven’t seen it, you should.

roaninish

So thank you all for listening to me whine and pout. What do you do when you are  just feeling miserable? Any secret recipes for vanquishing this cold/ague thing?

 

Much Love

P

The Republic of Tea

The Republic of Tea is a privately owned American company that blends and markets organic and exotic teas from around the world. Started  in 1992, in California, and has it’s major production factory in Nashville, Illinois, near St. Louis.

In its marketing and labeling of tea The Republic of Tea company designates its employees as “ministers”, customers as “citizens” and retail outlets as “embassies”.

It was one of the first companies to offer varieties such as rooibos red tea,white tea, and a seed oil to American consumers.

The original owners even wrote a book detailing their journey.

They are also members in The Ethical Tea Partnership and they develop products to promote and help quite a few wonderful organizations.

They offer over 300 types of teas and it’s always easy to tell a Republic of Tea product because they come in such beautiful tins.

republicoftea1republicoftea2

They even have a selection of Downton Abbey teas! There are Holiday teas, and just good solid regular every day Black, White and blended Teas.

When I can buy a great tea and support an ethical, and supportive company, it’s a good thing!

They also have their own Blog and a large Social Media presence, so check them out and support their efforts to help the planet and provide us with delicious teas!

republicoftea5  Image result for cup of tea

Follow them on Twitter, Facebook and their website: http://www.republicoftea.com where you can find Teas, Recipes for cooking with tea, news about new teas and so much more.

 

High Tea versus Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea, which is also referred to as low tea, includes a light meal typically eaten around 4:00 p.m. Traditionally, the tea and food are served on a lounge (or low) table, which is where it gets its name.

Loose tea is brewed and served in a teapot with milk and sugar. The tea is usually accompanied by a variety of sandwiches that may include cucumber, egg and cress, tuna, ham, and/or smoked salmon.

Scones (with butter, clotted cream and jam), cakes and pastries are typically served, as well.

While afternoon tea used to be an everyday event in certain cultures, in current times it is more likely to be a treat in a hotel, café, or tea shop. Although, some individuals still have a cup of tea and slice of cake or chocolate at tea time. Accordingly, many hotels now market and promote afternoon teas.

Afternoon tea featuring scones with clotted cream and jam, center, and a Victoria sponge at left to complement the tea in a fine china cup. Credit: J. M. Hunter

High Tea

As an early evening meal with tea served typically eaten between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m., this tea serves as a substitute for both afternoon tea and the more substantial evening meal.

The term comes from the meal being eaten at the “high” or main dining table, instead of the smaller lounge or low table.

Cold meats, eggs and/or fish, cakes and sandwiches are integral to the meal. Though in a family setting, it is less formal and may include small sandwiches, cookies, pastry, and fruit.

High Tea in Heerhugowaard? Dat doet u natuurlijk bij 'De Mediaan'

High tea is often associated with northern areas of England, where it is called “meat tea,” and Scotland, where it is simply called “tea.” “Tea” meant the same thing in Australia and New Zealand. This could cause misunderstandings when guests were invited to (afternoon) tea but turned up several hours late, expecting a more substantial meal.

A glance at the table will quickly show which type of tea is being served. Even the china is different. Afternoon tea uses fine china cups and saucers, usually filled with fine tea, while high tea uses mugs and a large brown teapot, usually filled with a stronger brew of tea.

HIGH TEA CAKE STAND HIRE PERTH | Hi Tea

Strictly speaking, afternoon tea fills the gap between lunch and dinner, but it’s rarely vital to one’s survival. High tea, on the other hand, is a necessary meal, eaten when typically artisan workers return. Nowadays the divisions are blurred, with food such as scones and sponge cakes appearing at both meals. The very adaptability of tea has caused this confusion, but whatever we call the meal, it is one that we  believe we would be much poorer without.

Growing up with Scottish Grandparents, we had Morning Tea at 11 a.m. and Afternoon Tea at around 3 p.m. or so. The workers would come in from the fields or we would take it to them. Either way it was wonderful! My Grandmother had special cups and saucers for all of us children and tiny cubes of sugar. In the afternoon teas, there would be sandwiches that were a bit more substantial than the treats we had for just a regular tea time.

blogtea1

It can be as simple or as fancy as you like, but it’s always a Time Out. Time to sit and sip and chat and just be in the moment. Give yourself the gift of Tea Time every day, you will never regret it!

Happy Sunday!blog2Photo courtesy of Pinterest

And Now Another Tale

Due to an old ACL injury to my knee and a Jones fracture a couple of months ago, I haven’t been doing my daily 5 miles in a while. Luckily it didn’t take me as long to get over the Jones fracture as it took Kevin Durant. For those of you who don’t know who that is, get out from under your rock…it’s Spring already!

So, yesterday, being that we had no tornadoes, OU Boy and I thought we would get back out on the road and try out the legs. Now for a couple of years I have had the same route. I’m comfortable with it and I know all of the dogs and where all the potholes are located. But I came up with the bright idea of incorporating going to the Library and running. Killing two birds as they say. The local library is about a mile and three quarters and we thought it would be a good distance to begin pounding the pavement again.

Image result for runner chased by pit bull  Image result for jogging in neighborhood

The only problem was I didn’t really know the neighborhood streets and where the potholes and dogs were in this new territory. About half way to the Library, a pit bull started barking and running the fence. I was feeling pretty confident that the dog was contained inside the fence until I looked back and he was sailing over the top of said fence. At which point I turned into a banshee. OU Boy is telling me to just keep going but I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t run from a pit bull or is that a bear? Finally the dog turned around and jumped back over the fence and I had to endure the icy stare of my running partner all the way to the Library.

Image result for del city, oklahoma library  

This library is in a complex that has a park, walking trails, pool and  Fire Department. It really is a lovely place and when we came out I just wanted to look around a bit. I am standing on the side of the building looking around when this hideous odor hit me. I mean it was gag a maggot bad. I must have had an awful look on my face because OU Boy asks “What’s wrong?” Where upon I said ” Oh my God, I smell awful! I mean I don’t think I have ever smelled anything this bad and it’s me!” To my credit, I rarely sweat and never just out right stink! In my head I’m wondering if anyone in the library noticed and I’m just wanting to shrivel up and die right there! I looked up and OU Boy is laughing his ass off and pointing behind me. At two dumpsters.  Yeah, it wasn’t me. But just to  be sure I made him smell me. He was not amused.

So far it’s been a fairly traumatic day for me and on the way home, I may have dawdled a little bit and got called a lookey-lou, which I don’t even know how to spell, much less define. So all the way back I’m trying to get a definition and hearing the words, piddling, lollygagging, blah,blah,blah. I’m pretty sure he would have left me if it hadn’t been for the pit bull still lying in wait.

Needless to stay I will stay on my regular route from now on where the dogs and the dog catcher know me and don’t accuse me of crimes I don’t even understand!

First Flush Tea Updates

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The 2016 harvest has begun! Which means First Flush tea is on it’s way!

firstflushone

Ready to harvest!

firstflushtwo

First tastes of the First Flush…and then

firstflushthree

Ta-Da!

I really love this company and their no pesticides and great Eco-friendly practices and their commitment to great tea grown right here in the USA.

Best of luck to y’all!  Can’t wait to get mine!