Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Middle East

and you'll find the peace of the Lord.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Village Tea Co.'s Strawberry Passion White Tea

So... I'm obsessed. I had just returned from our tea expo adventures in Vegas to a room full of people watching Laker game #5 and I was more interested in what was in my bag than what was on the screen. I mean, come on, it was like Halloween for a tea lover; open up your bag and say treat!

This was the first tea I tried the next morning. I knew I should have been reading and writing but I could not help it. I reached in and grabbed

Village Tea's
Strawberry Passion White Tea.

Like most white teas (and teas in general), the smell is more fragrant and strong than the actual tea so if you ever come to sniffing around a sample, don't set your standards too high. It's light and satisfying, with soft, fruity undertones and
delivers the characteristics of what every loose leaf should deliver: Fresh, crisp, and clean.
It's a Chinese Bai Mu Dan, also known as White Peony.

Oh oh oh! Let's not forget! These people are geniuses! Product wise, they have excellent tea as mentioned above that is wrapped up in little sacks (how friggin cute is that!). Most importantly, they make it easier for the loose leaf newb to enjoy a fine cup of tea. It comes with tea sachets (made out of 100% unbleached cotton). Even if you are familiar with loose leaf, you don't have to buy sachets (tea bags you fill yourself with loose leaf tea) because they come with.

I must admit, I have become somewhat of a snob. I always say, once you go loose, you can't go back...and that's all that I mean by that. I tried a tea bag the other day, to give it the benefit of the doubt (plus it was organic) but I couldn't do it. I will make an official apology for the tea that went down the drain and for the money and resources I wasted. In all seriousness, it just is not the same. Everyone should go loose!

For preparation, add 1 tbs. of tea per 8 oz. of water. I do about 2 overflowing tbs. for this ceramic to-go cup (white tea takes up more space so you need a little more tea than you would black).

Boil water, and let it cool down (approx. 150-180 degrees). Steep 2-3 minutes, longer if you want it stronger but it may become over steeped.

more to come...more to come

Monday, June 14, 2010

A La Vegan Tea Expo!

Dear Sirs and Madams,

This weekend was in my mind for about two years now. I did not have the opportunity to go last year but made sure that I could go this year. I met some amazing individuals who spoke my language: sustainable products with the willingness to put their best efforts in providing fair trade/ free trade practices along with organic options (or whole lines) for a healthier earth, a healthier you.

So I've decided to ease into this slowly. I would usually just post away but I want to savor each piece as I search for additional information on the companies I fell in love with. I am ever so lucky to work for a gluten-free market AND a tea shop that will hopefully start carrying some of these products. For now, I highly recommend these lovely products as they will be coming to a local market near you! Okay...enough of the fine print... LET's SIP and EAT.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Baby Cakes

Well hot and heavy, pumpkin pie, chocolate candy, trees and rice, ain't nothin' please me more than you... I love surprises ...especially ones which involve food. My darling ran to the grocery store to make these treats possible (recently also made me vegan strawberry coconut ice cream GAWK...delicious!!! I shall post that recipe soon).

I've been craving donuts for a while now...and I always mention them to people as they visit San Francisco to see if I can possibly enjoy one when they return, but alas, the task is a little daunting. So here was the reconciliation for that, and one which I thoroughly enjoyed. They were supposed to be donuts, but we are not in possession of a donut pan, so we made mini muffin cakes instead.

Let's give praise where praise is due...

I used a banana instead of egg replacer. Also, blending/mixing SHOOT...drawing a blank (runs to the fridge...) FLAXSEED MEAL! in your blender with water, the recipe is on the bag for most, but I believe it is 1 tbs. of flaxseed with 3 tbs. of water... it works wonders. For icing toppings, we used fresh coffee grounds, coconut flakes, and sprinkles of course.
Home is wherever I am with you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

C to the 5th Power

Okay so here is a recipe that a lovely lady I know passed along to me. She was ever so kind and baked up a batch, informing me that I could indulge. God bless her soul because they were moist and soft and I had not had anything like them in a while. For some reason, I haven’t quite mastered cookies and until this recipe, I haven't made many because of my fear. I’ve made several obscure recipes that people question the absence of dairy or eggs…but cookies…why can’t I make cookies?! And here it was…I added coconut flakes, craisins, and chocolate chips… just to forewarn you, the recipe does seem dry, but they will spread. I called them C to the Fifth Power because they are Chocolate Chip-Coconut-Craisin Cookies… hence the 5. Improvise! Use what you like...I know that's a no-no in baking, but there are variations to this recipe...have fun with it!

1 ½ cups of flour

1 tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of salt (course is my fav)

1/3 cup of canola oil

1 1/3 cup of unrefined sugar (you can do half white half brown)

1 mashed banana (ripe is best)

1 ½ tbs vanilla

2 tbs soy/rice/almond milk (either one works fine)

2 ½ cups quick oats (or regular oatmeal )

1 cup of chocolate chips (dark chocolate ones from Trader Joes are yummy!)

1 cup of craisins (or dried cranberries)

½ cup of coconut flakes (you can add what you would like/have on hand)

Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl…flour, baking soda, and salt. Cream the sugar with the oil, then add banana and vanilla. Slowly stir the wet ingredients into the dry bowl. Add in the oatmeal, chocolate chips, and any other ingredients that satisfy your cookie needs. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet (I lined it with parchment paper) bake 9-15 minutes or until they look golden brown (oven temperatures vary and so do hot spots!).

VIOLA!! Enjoy with a tall glass of almond milk!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Oh Crepe!

So here was the beginning to a beautiful Thanksgiving inspired lunch. We made crepes thanks to a handy dandy application on my love's iphone... and now I've saved it in my "notes" section in my phone.

Simple Crepes: (this is for savory)

1/2 Cup Soy/Almond/choice of milk
2/3 Cup of Water
1/4 Cup of Earth Balance Butter (they have a soy-free version now!)
1 Cup of Flour
Pinch of Salt

For the Sweet version, omit the salt...unless you want it for contrast and add
2 tbs Vanilla Extract

and if necessary, you may add more water (2 tbs) to thin out your batter.

Crepes are best when you have chilled the before you pour some on your hot non-stick pan, prep your fillings and let.the batter.chill! Once it has, make sure it spreads evenly. Just like pancakes, you might have to wait till the third one to reach perfection. I'm sure this has to do with oil to pan to heat ratio.

Okay...for the savory...we stuffed them with simply salt and peppered potatoes and a hint of basil...mmm! and had lovely stuffing on the side with home-made gravy to sauce it up.

Tip of the day: when garnishing plates, try to incorporate an ingredient that is related to your dish. For example, mine is garnished with basil. It would be silly to garnish with cilantro since there is no cilantro in my dish. This is a common exercise with mint on deserts...if there isn't any in the dish, don't decorate with it silly!

For the sweet, I had a banana with chocolate like your typical sweet crepe (fruit filling with nutella... I used a non-dairy version of a dark chocolate spread from World Market).


J'aime la nourriture! I LOVE food... and lately...more and more... here is the start to an adventure... maybe due to procrastination but mostly infatuation with creation. Especially when I feel like I'm about to feel low, I turn on the oven and cook up a storm!