Friday, December 30, 2011

Healthy Recipes-Orange Matcha Ice Cream (eggless, sugarless, saltless and really easy)!!

Have you ever tried Turkish Ice cream? No? That's the only thing everybody needs to try before the end of the world! I'm not kidding! Turkish Ice cream is hand made, chewy, with light coffee flavors, the BEST ever!! The vendor will even further impress you with their final friendly and fun trick, like shown in this video from

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Healthy recipes-Fruit bowl for New Year Eve dinner

I had too much meat stuff from the holidays. Desperately look for something new, light and yum yum. Then I read the article about Kate Middleton on How's Kate Middleton related to food? well, I'm sure she drinks tea! That's only partial reason. Did you notice the hat she was wearing for the Royal's Christmas day? The hat!! Ah Ha! The recipe was inspired by Kate Middleton's hat!!

Tea 101-How to care for teapots

Of course everybody knows how to use teapot!! It's no brainer! That's why no teapot comes with any instruction;)) But wait, do not be surprised if grandma uses it to water flowers! It works!

Stainless steel teapots are more of modern invention. Most of teapots we use today are made from clay, glass, China, or pottery. I love all of them.

Recipes-Sweet Potato Coconut Snow Balls

Christmas was over!! Can you believe it? Too short!!! Do you feel the say way?

Holidays are always about food and families, regardless of which country you are from. Christmas is not a typical Chinese holiday but it becomes more popular in China! Who will reject a nice gift and a great meal?;)) I wont!! The more, the merrier!!!

Well I bet you have a lot of leftovers, except if your guests were hungry horses;)) Most of times, moms always prepare tons of yum yum foods for holidays. The results are they need to figure out ways to "digest" those leftovers, without wasting any!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Recipe-Santa Hat Brownie

Christmas without Santa is not a Christmas, right? This year Santa left the hat in the kitchen while sliding down the chimney!!!:))

Inspired by Santa's hat brownie by Daisy's World, I quickly made this one!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas recipes-Easy Dumplings

Do you know what today is? In Chinese calendar, it's called Dong Zhi (冬至 in Chinese, one of the 24 Solar Terms for weather),meaning today is the day that has the longest night and shortest day time in this year! In Northern China, people normally eat dumplings or Wonton!!

Here's the story from Wikipedia: In northern China, people typically eat dumplings on Dongzhi. It is said to have originated from Zhang Zhongjing in the Han Dynasty. On one cold winter day, he saw the poor suffering from chilblains on their ears. Feeling sympathetic, he ordered his apprentices to make dumplings with lamb and other ingredients, and distribute them among the poor to keep them warm, to keep their ears from getting chilblains. Since the dumplings were shaped like ears, Zhang named the dish "qùhán jiāoěr tāng" (祛寒嬌耳湯) or dumpling soup that expels the cold. From that time on, it has been a tradition to eat dumplings on the day of Dongzhi.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Recipes-Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats

I bought few boxes of snack bars at Costco and put them in my car, office and kitchen. But nothing can beat the freshly made bars!!!

I have some Puffed Millet and Rice from an event. We had few friends brought their kids to an event and I made some snack bars. Kids LOVED them!!!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Tuesday- Half Dog Half man

I used to have a super friendly and adorable dog-golden retriever who died few years ago. I cooked a lot of meat even though I don't eat that much. I normally let the dog eat the meat and I eat the veggie. Every time while I was cooking, my dog would jump around and could not stop barking. He knew he would have a yumm meal for sure!

Can you imagine a dog eat food like a human?;)) This video shows you how it looks like!!;)) Super cute!!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas recipe-Mango Drumsticks with Red Wine

I mentioned I made Mango Red Wine Chicken Drumsticks for the Non profit Potluck lunch last week. Was too busy then when I prepared the dish and forgot to take pictures. I still have little bit  Mango jam from last batch, and half bottle of red wine from Argentina I bought at Costco. It's a no-brainer to just make Mango drumsticks with Red Wine again!

Friday, December 16, 2011

TGIF-holiday gift guide;))

Image credit

Are you struggling with what to buy and should you buy that gift for the holidays? This chart may give you some ideas as if you should buy that gift, considering the current economic situation!

Image credit
Hope you shopping this weekend is as relaxing as this cute polar bear!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Alcoholic drinks recipes-Light Alcoholic Sin City Green Tea Punch (Stevia)

I made my first Lightly Alcoholic Blooming Tea Punch and everyone loved it!!! This drink is inspired by a recipe from "The Ultimate Guide to Pitcher Drinks" by Sharon Tyler Herbst.  I always love orange juice, my top beverage whenever I go to restaurant!! Not tea? you may ask. Nah...I do not drink any tea served in restaurant;)) Kinda picky;)) I went to Mitsuwa few weeks ago and bought few bottles of Sake. Today I finally figure out ways to use them!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tea 101-Tea blend

Today is my headache day;((( Whether migrain or cold, I am having my ginger tea for a whole day!! Feel a little bit better, but it will take few days to recover!
I met a lady who came from India. I do not even have to ask if she drinks tea because all Indians drink tea;))) agree? but she told me she creates her own version of custom tea blands-grows her own herbs and blend with tea leaves. That's so fascinating to me!! She lives in Minnesoda and grows herbs in her backyard. Imagine using all fresh ingredients to brew your own customized cuppa!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Food with Tea-Whole Wheat Banana Olive Oil Cake (tea cake recipe)

I had a potluck Lunch with my non-profit org team to celebrate Christmas yesterday!! I brought this Whole Wheat Banana Olive Oil Cake as a dessert was the star of the whole event!!!!

I "borrow" this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. The original recipe was "Blood Orange Olive Oil Cake". I do not have any Blood Orang at hands, except bananas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Potluck with non profit folks for Christmas

I have been supporting Young Science Achievers Program for years. Today we few mentors met together and had a wonderful Holiday Potluck Lunch together. It was a small group and we had a great conversation!! We talked about many interesting things, such as kids at school, kids on Facebook, new style TV, cell phone, privacy (do we have any left?)), social networking (which keeps everyone busy, huh?;)), cloud (yeah! heard of it? always cloudy!), and the next big thing, etc...Do I sound very geek?;))) I was a nerdy, only at today's lunch;)))

Friday, December 9, 2011

TGIF-invisible dogs-Can you see them?;))

I love all science experiences, expecially something like this;)) Is that in your town? I think it's just so much fun to watch people's reactions;)))

Today is my B day!! Yeah!! that's right! I'm the B day queen today!!! and I have a DATE tonight-dance with Mr. Santa!!!;)))

Have a wonderful weekend tea lovers!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tea Lifestyle: Tea Cosy-Tea and knitting

I found knitting is very soothing and relaxing! It brings my memory back (Am I getting olde?), the time I spent with my family. My two grandmas and mom were super good at knitting.

In Chinese tradition, skills like knitting, sewing and cooking were so important that women could not find a man if they could not knit, or cook well.

When I was young, I loved knitting very much. It became an "addiction". Knitted many wool pants for my family in Winter breaks after school!! I also designed few sweaters-all hand made!!

I love everything hand-made. Went to Michaels the other day and could not help buy some yarns! I also bought few craft books which include knitting instructions. Hopefully I can find some tea cosy knitting pattern.

I know I do not have much time knitting these days and it's cheaper to buy a one! I always wanted a hand made tea cosy which perfectly fits my teapots and is colorful as well. Believe or not, I just could not find it!!

And...knitting goes perfectly well with tea!! I spent the whole afternoon knitting and had 4 cups of green tea!!! a lot of bath room runs;)) ha!

Got half way through. Will show off once done!!

Do you knit? show me your stuff;))

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tea Lifestyle-Recipe: Cranberry Chicken (drumsticks recipe)

My neighbor asked me one day, Jane, do you ever make dishes? hahahaha!! I made so many breads, Banana Yogurt bread, Gingerbread, Pumpkin bread, etc, in the past few weeks and never shared any dishes with her!!! My neighbor Jill is a sweetheart.

I am not a vegetarian, but I do not eat meat as much as other people do. I remember when I was very young, we only could afford meat in holidays. And that was the least favorite time for me! I only started eating chicken more after I moved to the US.

One time I was invited to a friend's house for Christmas and his sister made such a fabuslous Cranberry chicken thigh dish that I could die for, seriouly!!! Remember, I am very picky when it turns to meat.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tea lifeystyle-Stevia Recipe: Gingerbread men made with fresh ginger (Christmas recipe)

Have you ever tried Gingerbread Man (must from New York, with a scarf;))made with real fresh ginger zest?!!! a MUST HAVE!!!

Before I proceed, let's see the short history of Gingerbread (from wikipedia):

Gingerbread dates back to the 15th century, and figural biscuit-making was practiced in the 16th century.[1] The first documented instance of figure-shaped gingerbread biscuits appearing was in the court of Elizabeth I of England. She had the gingerbread figures made and presented in the likeness of some of her important guests.[

Friday, December 2, 2011

TGIF-a FUN video: Watch out! Granny hits the car;))

I drove to New York last night for a dinner and got home around mid night. Guess what? I hit the traffic!!! can you believe it? Love New York, but the traffic scares me away sometimes.

Be careful when you drive to shopping malls in holidays, especially Granny;)))

Remember today is the last day for Cyber Monday Giveway

Have a wonderful shopping weekend!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Will you name yourself after tea?;)))

I think I'm qualified as a tea lover, but still my name is not tea;(( If you could, what tea name would you choose as your nick name?;))

I just found a designer on the web. Guess what? This person's name is Tea Petrovic. Tea designed few shoes, really stunning. What you think tea lovers?

If the tea bags are designed like this, will you buy and drink them?;))

Don't forget to check the "Cyber Monday Giveway", which is due by Dec. 2nd, this Friday.

Pictures from Dezeen

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tea Lifestyle-Recipes-Whole Wheat Blueberry Green tea pancake with Cranberry Jam

Still digesting holiday stuff?;))) It's a big bird, isn't it!!! I had too much desserts, too much Turkey and too much stuffing!! I felt I was stuffed as well;(((

Really wanted something simple, light, savory, for breakfast this morning. The other day I made another batch of Cranberry Jam using different recipe. I will post it later. Here's the recipe for Earl Gray Cranberry Jam I made few weeks ago, in case you have not tried.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday Giveaway!!!

 I hope everybody enjoyed the gobble boggle day;))

Today's giveaway is our CompleteTeapot Juliet set $150

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!!! gobble gobble gobble!!!;)))

If you hear "gobble gobble" at your Thanksgiving table, the bird is not cooked, hon;))
This is what happend before Thanksgiving (Where's the Thanksgiving Turkey)

This is what happened during Thanksgiving (wall paper)


This is what happened after thanksgiving:

Photo from MSNBC

Funny quotes from Huffington Post
Johnny Carson: "Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then discover once a year is way too often."
George Carlin: "We're having something a little different this year for Thanksgiving. Instead of a turkey, we're having a swan. You get more stuffing."

Happy Thanksgiving, tea lovers!! What's your favorite tea in Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tea Lifestyle-Stevia recipes-Whole Wheat Banana Yogurt Bread

I have been baking a lot of breads recently. why? Urrrrr.... I bought too much flour!!;)))) Urrrr... I also love breads, any kind!! Anybody has a better anwer?;))))

I told one of my friends yesterday that I stopped adding any sugar to the Lightly Alcoholic Blooming Tea Punch. She said, that's great because everything we eat and drink now contains sugar!!! That's right!! And it adds up over time.

So I finally tested the banana bread recipe. I brought some with me when I went to the Toastmasters' meeting last week!! Guess what? Everybody asked me the recipe!!! Hahaahahaha!!

In the beginning, everybody was a little bit hesitated because people are health caucious nowadays!!

When I told them I did not add any sugar, they then rushed to the table for a bite!;))

Amanda said, your bread is so soft, full of moisture and tastes soo good. Many breads use a lot of butter to keep the bread moist. Did you add a lot?

I said, Actually I normally cut the butter volume in almost all my recipe. Same with my Banana bread.  For this one, I replaced sour cream with Fat Free Yogurt!!

Ah ha!! that's my secrete ingredient!!!Listen, nothing wrong with sour cream, but I love fat free yogurt because it offers me a lot of calcium.

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart and made my own version;)) Hey, nothing can beat the customized bread, right?!!!

Benefits: rich in calcium and fiber, low fat, low cholestrol...and nice aroma!! When I was baking, the aroma from my overn filled out the whole room!!!

Tea pairing: The bread  tastes lightly sweet, soft, full of moisture, delicate aroma. Great to pair with Green or Herbal tea


Ingredient A:
¾  cup whole wheat four
¾ cup all purposes flour
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp stevia
¼ tsp freshly ground clove
½ cup chopped pecan

Ingredient B:
2/3 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Greek fat free yogurt
2 ripe banana
2 egg white
2 tbsp butter (room temperature)


1.        Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the loaf pan 9"x5"with oil and flour.
2.     Mix ingredients A
3.     Mix ingredients B-I used hand blender to help mix everything evenly and smoothly
4.     Pour ingredient B into Ingredient A and mix evenly
5.     Bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean

Friday, November 18, 2011

TGIF-Female Character flowchart might help you on Black Friday?

Female Character Flowchart from overthinkingit

It's....complicated my dear....I'll leave it to you to decide this weekend;)))

Does it reflect some of you? I...will tell you about mine privately;)))

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tea Lifestyle-Stevia Recipes-Whole Wheat Gingerbread

I used to shop at local bakeries, but found most of the stuff I bought are way too sweet for me. Many bakeries use food colorings and that bothers me a lot!

I'm a super picky shopper and eater;(( My foods have to taste not only good, look pretty, but also provides enough health reasons!! That's one of major reasons I decided to bake for myself-healthy, light, FRESH and BALANCED nutrition. I control what I eat and what ingredients to use. I like "She controls"!;))

My neighbor, Jill, told me that her boyfriend is in chemotherapy. She is so stressed out that she looks like a paper doll!!;((( The other day I made few breads and granola and shared most of them with her. Jill knocked my door almost every 5 minutes, trying to tell me she loved everything! HA!! I promised her I will make more...

I try to use Ginger more often in my cooking in case I forget to drink ginger tea! Flu season, babe! I need to be extra careful!

This morning I decided to make a Gingerbread. I found a recipe at All Recipes. The original recipe is actually Pumpkin Gingerbread, but since I do not have pumpkin any more, I simply just make a simple version of Whole wheat Gingerbread...

Honestly I made it twice. The first time, Jill said it tasted great, but would be better if I added little bit more sweetness and cinnamon. And we both did not like the all spices in the recipe...I then made a revision, we go, Yum Yum!!

Benefits: Lowe calories, Low cholestrol, fresh ingredients...that's GOOD enough!!
No sugar added-Less calories
Less oil used-Less calories and Cholestrol
Only use egg white-less cholestrol
Fresh ginger zest (juicy!!) and fresh ground clove (the aroma is so strong that I have hard time to clean my grinder!): I use fresh ingredients as much as possible

Food pairing: good with green tea and black tea. Also tastes great with Jam. I tried it with the Mango jam I made....goody goody!!

Ingredients: it makes 1 loaf (9x5 inch)

1-1/4 cups of all purpose flour (I always use unbleached)
1-1/4 cups of whole wheat flour
4 tbsp stevia
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground clove
Cranberry raisins and pecan (optional)

4 egg white
4 oz olive oil (or veggie oil)
*3 tbsp freshly grated ginger (or you can use 1 tbsp ginger powder, as in the original recipe)
1/2 cup of vanila soy milk (I used organic one bought from costco, light aroma)


1. Preheat oven 350F. Lightly greese and flour 1 9x5 inch loaf pan
2. Mix all ingredients B
3. Mix ingredients A and pour the mixture of ingredients B into A.
4. Bake until toothpick comes out clean, roughly 45 minutes (i used)

*Clean ginger and peal off the skin. Use a fine grater to get both ginger juice and ginger zest.
*Almost all gingerbread recipes, such as the cookbok "Joy of Cooking" recommend using ground ginger, instead of fresh ginger because fresh ginger has too much juice and hard to control the moisture of the bread. I did test few times and this one came out great!!

PS. I shared many of my foods with my neighbors;))) they loved it!!! As long as they continue to say "Jane is a good cook", I will continue to share my foods with them;)))) hahahaha!!

Happy Tuesday-a Fun video:Order Chinese food in NYC, Conan O'Brien might deliver it to you!!;)))

I'm a big fan of Conan O'Brien's show!!! He recently shoot this short video where he was the Chinese takeout delivery guy!!!

It's so funny when he delivered the food to a lady in an appartment building: she refused to take it;)))

If Conan delivered your food, how would you react to him?;))) hahaha...

Happy Tuesday tea lovers!!

Tea 101-"tea bag is tea bag, your body can not tell the difference" huh? (part 1)

photo from

I have many friends who drink tea daily but do not care much if tea bags or loose leaf tea. Like a commercial says: sugar are sugar, your body can not tell the difference!

Really? Your mouth, nose and brain can!!!!!;))) and your body can as well!!

 Tea bags have a bad reputation in the senese the tea in tea bags is not good quality! Don't you agree?;)) If you drink tea, do you use tea bags vs loose leaf teas? Will you tell your friends you use tea bags instead of loose leaf tea?;))

Actually when tea bags (found a patented tea bag design in 1903 -click here) were invented, I believe they were used to hold loose leaf teas, not tea dust or CTC tea. There's a reason for that: tea was originally exported from China and all Chinese teas were whole leaf tea. Even when tea plantations were established in mid 19th centuries in India, all teas drunk around the world were loose leaf teas at that time.

Tea 101-"tea bag is tea bag, your body can not tell the difference" huh? (part 2)
Tea 101-How to care for teapots
Tea Lifestyle: 5 cool ways to use your teapots-party favors (part 5)
Part 4: Tea lifestyle-5 cool ways to use your teapots-Home decor

 The CTC (crush, tear, & curl) tea was invented roughly in 1930s, far later than the time tea bags were invented.

Photo from

Based on the patent I found online, US Patent 723287, dated Mar 24th, 1903, this patent was filed in 1901. It's called Tea leaf Holders, not tea bags.

So Tea bags were not invented to hold "tea dust", at least not in the beginning!

PS. You probably can find tons of "records" saying "in 1908 when Thomas Sullivan invented tea bags in New York, sending tea to clients in silk bags, which they began to mistakenly steep without opening."

photo from fashionlover

Thomas Sullivan definitely was a very successful and brilliant business man regardless in that his story was well carried on by generations!!! Now it's by search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing ( bing bing bing;))), sounds like the sound of metal;))

Do you use tea bags or loose leaf tea to make your cuppa each day?;))

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Happy Tuesday!! a FUN Video to dust off the negative Chi

My friend forwarded me this video-Sneezing baby panda..soo funny and adorable!!! Could not believe the little baby Panda has so much Chi!!!!

Panda, or Giant Panda, belongs to "Bear" family. We all know panda eats bamboo, but actually they ate meat instead of bamboo, long long long time ago, before you and I exist;))

He sneezed. Debris. Movement. Okay, now at this point, I'm disgusted. And I'm grossed out by it. And at first, I'm thinking 'I'm going to go off on this guy'. And then I decided, 'Wait a second, Dane. Don't do that. Take the high road. Try to be polite'. So I turn to him and this is what I said. I looked at him and I went: 'Uh, God bless you'. Which you know, is God bless you, but it kinda sounded like 'Cover your f**king mouth'. Yeah, incognito. I say 'God bless you' by the way when someone sneezes. I don't say 'Bless you'. I don't say that because... I am not the lord. I can't do that. I'm just a messenger for big guns upstairs, you know what I'm saying? And I never go with 'Gesundheit'. I don't even know who says that. If I say 'Gesundheit', I feel like I'm honoring Hitler. Like I should be like 'Gesundheit!'. I end up on the History Channel 'cause a guy sneezed. 'God bless you'. This is what the guy comes back with. Here's where it starts to get out of control. The guy looks at me and very condescendingly goes: 'Uh, yeah. I'm an atheist'. What a jerk, right? I'm trying to be polite. I don't know you're an atheist. And even if I did, what am I supposed to say when an atheist sneezes? 'Uh, yeah, when you die, nothing happens'.       

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tea Lifestyle-Recipes-Coconut Honey Roasted sweet potatoes

Sweet potato was one of my favorite snack foods when I was young! But it was not native to the area where I grew up. I remember I always had to take a big bag of roasted soy beans in exchange for a cup of dried sweet potato chips, very chewy and sweet! I treasured it so much that I only ate few a week. Later, we had street vendors selling roasted sweet potatos in winter. The sweet smell could go for miles and I simply could not get away from it!!

Sweet potato is rich in Vitamine A, Vitamine C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, fiber,  Low fat.

I am a big fan of Ellie Kieger's cookbooks and this recipe is adapted from her book: So Easy

Food Pairing:
Pair perfectly with green tea!!

2 pound Sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp shredded Coconut (without moisture), unsweetened
Lemon juice (i used 2 lemons)
1/2 tsp salt (optional, i did not add it)


1. clean sweet potatoes. Slice in roughly 1/4 inch thick.
2. Mix Olive oil, honey, coconut in a small bowl. Squeeze Lemon juice and mix well with the mixture.
3. coat the sliced sweet potatoes with the mixture well and place them on a backing sheet one by one.
4. Preheat oven 350 F. Bake for about 30 minutes. Flip once in between.

Alternatively, you can mix olive oil, honey and lemon juice, without Coconut. Then after backing, top the sweet potatoes with shredded coconut. I love the smell of coconut, sooo sweet!!!

Yum yum my dear friends!!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

TGIF-a FUN photo: Who is this?;)

Happy Friday!!!

Who is This
by Rabindranah Tagore

 I came out alone on my way to my tryst.
But who is this that follows me in the silent dark?

I move aside to avoid his presence but I escape him not.

He makes the dust rise from the earth with his swagger;
he adds his loud voice to every word that I utter.

He is my own little self, my lord, he knows no shame;
but I am ashamed to come to thy door in his company

Photo by

Tea culture-treasure hunting: Jenny Lind teapot 1795

I love go to local thrift shops to hunt for treasures!!! You never know what you find and that's what happend to me few times.

Teapot is not a big collection item and only tea lovers treasure them more. Look what I got last weekend? Jenny Lind teapot!!!! Could not believe it!

I do not know who ever used this teapot. But what's interesting is that most of Jenny Lind's tea sets use the almost identical or very similar design!!! Beautiful red color!!!

Do you collect any teapots?

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