Tea Talk – Earl Grey

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Welcome to Tea Talk! A series? Maybe! A filler post because school is boggin’ me down? That may be a bit more accurate…

First, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the Earl of Grey. The 2nd Earl of Grey to be exact.

The 2nd Earl of Grey is not to be confused with the 1st or 3rd, but was the Prime Minister of England in the 1830’s, abolished slavery in the British Empire in 1833, reformed England’s electoral system, AND just so happened have my favourite tea of all time named after him. Seems like a pretty cool guy if you ask me. (I’ve just finished studying for a History test…did you notice?)

I did a bit of research to see just exactly why my favourite tea was named after Earl of Grey numero dos, but everyone seems to have a different opinion on the matter…oh, the internet. Misleading citizens every day…

Now if you know me, we ain’t gonna dwell on the history of the matter. Let’s talk about more important things…like the tea itself!

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Earl Grey tea is a black tea, infused with oil extracted from the skin of the bergamont orange, so it has a very unique flavour.  BUT, you cant just go out and buy just any old brand of Earl Grey. If you want a truly delicious and fully flavoured tea, make sure the label reads ‘bergamont oil’, not ‘bergamont flavouring’. My personal favourite is the Ridgeway’s Organic with just a dash of milk. I grew up drinking this tea, and it is definitely the best I have ever sipped!

Not only does it taste good, but Earl Grey is full of antioxidants and immunity boosting properties to make you feel amaazzzzinngg!!!!

This tea is perfect as a morning awakener, or an after noon pick me up. Earl Grey is fantastic with these Whole Wheat Poppyseed Cookies or Chocolate Chai Biscotti as well. Yum…

Anywho, that brings us to the end of Tea Talk! Thanks for tuning in, and I’ll see you with a new recipe soon! In the meantime, the Earl is waiting…

Historical Source: https://www.gov.uk/government/history/past-prime-ministers/charles-grey-2nd-earl-grey

Health Source: http://www.livestrong.com/article/97747-health-benefits-earl-grey-tea/

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Blueberry, Apple and Cinnamon Coffee Cake

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I was making scrambled eggs the other morning, and in between the pan and the egg carton was my usual morning cup of tea. I’d already drank almost all of it, so what happens next did not bother me too much.

So there I was, cracking my egg, when somehow half of the egg, (including the yolk) fell into my mug of tea! I don’t even know. Like..what? I guess that egg just really wanted to be with that tea. I understand you know, being in that cold fridge all night, it probably just wanted to be warm. I would too if I had to spend my life inside a fridge. Naturally, I just fished out the yolk, rinsed it off and threw it into the pan to join the white. I didn’t drink the rest of my tea though, because salmonella just really isn’t my thing.

If you’re wondering what in the name of a llama does this have to do with coffee-cake, then let me tell you, there is a connection. Sort of. Coffee cake is somewhat of a breakfast item, eggs are a breakfast item, and tea and coffee cake make a great pairing! Shabamallama. Or it has absolutely no connection whatsoever and i just wanted to tell you a story. I’ll leave that for you to mull over.

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Anywho, this delicious breakfast, snack, afternoon tea delight, midnight snack or whenever else you’re feeling peckish, is awesome. It does involves like, 5 different bowls or something crazy like that, but it is so worth it! ‘Cause after a bite of this coffee cake, the symphony of cinnamon, apple and blueberry will make you either want to jump for joy or just shove the entire piece into your mouth. If it’s warm though…that’s a whole nother story.

BLUEBERRY, APPLE AND CINNAMON COFFEE CAKE

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch of both ground nutmeg and ground cloves
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 medium apples, peeled and cored, and cut into thin slices.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease/flour a 9 by 9 inch square baking tin.

In an itty bitty bowl mix together sugar and cinnamon, set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add in eggs one at a time and beat until well blended. Mix in vanilla.

In a medium bowl mix together flours, baking powder, spices and salt.

In another bowl mix together sour cream and baking soda. (The baking soda will foam up the sour cream)

Alternately add the sour cream mixture and flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture until well blended.

Stir in blueberries, pour half mixture into pan and pour half cinnamon/sugar mixture on top. Follow with the rest of the mixture, arrange your apple slices on top and sprinkle with the rest of the cinnamon sugar.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Enjoy warm for optimal comfort 🙂

Homemade Cold Remedy Tea

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I’ve got a cold. That token, expected cold I always get at the beginning of September. The anticipated ‘back to the routine’ head-cold. The one where my nose leaks like a faucet with stripped knobs and my head feels fuzzy, but not in the ‘oh, this sweater feels AMAZING’ sort of fuzzy. I’m thinking more along the lines of the, ‘dust under the bed’, fuzzy. GOOD TIMES.

I think, like me, mother nature also has some fuzz going on in her brain at the moment. From inside the house, it looks like Fall is a coming. The leaves are turning and starting to drop from the trees, and the days are getting shorter. The late night light of summer that we are all so used to is quickly fading away. But immediately after stepping out the door, you get hit with a wall of 34 degrees Celsius heat. Is it just me, or does something not seem right here? Hopefully the Weather Man has properly predicted the rain and cooling temperatures of the weekend, because they would be greatly appreciated on my end.

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I know I’m not the only one who could benefit from getting rid of the extra ‘fuzz’ in my head at the moment. So I’ve come for you today with a hot drink recipe. A drink specially formulated to get rid of the dust in your brain, eliminate that leaky faucet and soothe that scratchy throat!

This is actually a concoction of my Mom’s, but I think we all need to give her a round of slow clapping for this one, because it’s magical and unlike Buckley’s, it tastes great AND works! Who woulda thought?!

As we all ease back into the routine, we need to remember to take a moment and sip a hot drink…even if it has to be a medicinal one.

Homemade Cold Remedy Tea

  • freshly squeezed juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated using a small grater
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • honey to taste

Stir together the lemon juice, garlic and 1 cup of boiling water. Squeeze the juice out of your grated ginger into your cup, and get rid of the pulp. (I recommend composting!) Stir in as much honey as you like. ( I use 1 tsp)

Get well!

Baked Citrus Beet Chips

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IT’S SNACK TIME!!

I love snacks. Snacks are the best. Healthy snacks are better.

I love vegetables. Peppers are the best. Beets are better. Especially because when you peel them they turn your hands pink. And let me ask, WHO doesn’t like pink hands for the rest of the day. Nobody? Just me? Oh, alright then…

You’re probably thinking,”Emma, I like potato chips.”

Well, let me tell you something. Even if you like dem’ potato chips, these beet chips are better. When they came out of the oven I had one of those, “It’s humanly impossible to leave these on the tray”, moments. One of those, “It would be a shame if I waited for these to cool before I devour ALL of them”, moments. Lucky for you, I didn’t give in…or there would be a serious lack of photographs of the finished product.

I don’t really like kale chips, because when you eat them, it’s like a really dry leaf is crunching into a zillion little pieces. Inside your mouth. Mmmm…leaves… That is why these beet chips are fantastic. They’ve got that classic crunch of a potato chip, but with the benefits of no excess oil and fats…and it’s colourful! That is what matters.

If you have a mandolin, I recommend using it to slice these. That way all your beets will cook at the same rate. I sliced by hand, and ended up having to take a few out before the others finished cooking to prevent them from burning.

First we peel out beets.

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Then we brush on some olive oil and freshly squeezed orange juice. Then we get cracking with a bit of salt and pepper.

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Then into the oven we go until lightened in colour.

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Then we devour…after waiting a few minutes for them to harden up. I know it’s tough, probably tougher than running a marathon…possibly.

BAKED CITRUS BEET CHIPS

  • 2 medium sized beets, peeled and sliced
  • the juice from half a small orange
  • 1-2 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place beets on a baking tray.

Lightly brush with olive oil, followed by orange juice. (Be generous with the OJ. It’s fantastic)

Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, checking after 25 minutes to see how they are doing. (Mine took 40, sliced by hand) When the beets are lightened in colour, they are ready to take out. Let cool on the baking tray for a few minutes before thoroughly enjoying them.

Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies

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A few days ago I was freakin out. Not just a little bit of freak out, a lot of freak out. Why the freaking out you may ask? My Mom diagnosed me with a not so serious case of buyers remorse. Although it seemed like the end of the world at the time… Don’t worry though, it’s all good now. NO more remorse is happening here my friends.

The buyers remorse happened about 2 hours after purchasing my second child. (That being my Macbook Pro WITH the fantabulous retina display. Or as I like to call it, ‘Augusts Paycheque’. I think I’ll name it Paycheque. Seems fairly fitting if you ask me.)

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Annnyywhooo, I’ve wanted a Macbook Pro for like…ever, but let me tell you, they ain’t cheap! (Cue tears and short lived freak out moment.) Immediately after arriving home, I had a moment where I was like, “I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT A P.C!! (A Windows computer that is.) THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I COULD HAVE SPENT THAT MONEY ON! LIKE EDUCATION!! BECAUSE OF THIS COMPUTER I WONT BE ABLE TO AFFORD TO GO TO SCHOOL AND THEN I’LL DIE A MISERABLE EDUCATIONLESS BEING!” (Sorry for the caps lock.) It was a very,very,very short felt statement.

After a good nights sleep, I woke up staring at my shiny silver Paycheque and I was happy! The remorse was no more…se…teehee.

The best part about Paycheque is the way he makes my photos look. He makes them all spiffy and stuff. No but really, I sometimes can’t believe I actually took the photos. And yes, Paycheque has been gendersised…and yes, that is a real word…possibly. And yes, I name and place a gender on inanimate objects. I’ll introduce you to my camera another day 😉 (My first child.)

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I’m feeling good! And you know what also makes me feel good? These cookies. These Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies. They began as a humble chocolate cookie, then I threw in some espresso to deepen the flavour and some white chocolate chunks because I was feelin’ extra fine.

So if you want to feel extra fine, these cookies are definitely for you.

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Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies-makes 1 1/2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp espresso powder, dissolved in 1 tb of boiling water
  • 1 free range egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped white chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter until lightened in colour, about 2 minutes. Add in sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add in espresso powder and beat for about a minute. Taste the batter at this point. You just gotta. Beat in the egg until well incorporated and then add the vanilla.

Stir in the white chocolate and drop by heaping tablespoons onto your cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.

Bake for 8-9 minutes, cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Enjoy! You sure will.

Tip time! : Place cookie dough in fridge between baking so it doesn’t soften up too much