Monday, October 31, 2011

First Snow in 2011!!!




















I love snow, even though I have to clean my car every few hours;((( Good reason to do some exerciess!! ha!

Quickly captured few shots yesterday! My poor flowers are frozen;((( I have been taking care of my plants in the last 5 months and they just started blossoming....
















Let it snow
Let it snow
Laughing all the way!!


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween Weekend!

















Happie Hallololololoween Tea lovers!!! hope you have a wonderful, while windy, happy, while scary Halloween teakend!!!
























Photos by Paw Prints Charming





Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tea Lifestyle-Recipes-Natural Apple Cuppa with Cinnamon




Apple is not just a fruit any more! It's a company that brings changes to hi-tech, entertaining, publishing, telecommuting industries and more.

I create this recipe in memory of Steve Jobs, the man who loved apples.


The first computer I ever used was called Apple II (never heard of it? then you are too young;))should be "antique" now). It was a black screen and I had to type in some commands to do calculations. It was a very cool experience.

The second time was when I moved to the US. Apple computers were very popular on campus (probably still are) and I used Mac desktop for all my computer science classes.

Right now many people own an iphone. But do you know a fun story about the first iphone? When the first iphone was released, many media were so excited about the new product-stylish design, touch and bigger screen, etc. but soon people found you can do many things with this beautiful device, but there's one thing you can not do: you can not make a call with this phone!!;)))) Apple added the phone function immediately.  Now you can make a call with your iphone now!

This recipe is simple, tasty, natural and keeps everything original. Mr. Jobs loved simple design and was a vegeterian. He went to India when he was young. Indian foods are flavorful and normally come with deep aroma from spices.

Benefits
Apple, a once forbidden fruit, is  rich in antioxidant (both from tea and apple) and minirals. It's said "An apple a day keeps the doctor away"!!

This recipe uses everything natural, great aroma from cinnamon and apple. Low calories, no cholestrol, no sugar added. It helps weight control as well. Best of all-YOU can do it because it's easy!!

And...not much cleanning to do, yal!! After done, just eat the apple;)))

Ingredients:
  • Two apples (or you can use one if only one person, wouldn't you want to share this wonderful tea with ya friends?;))
  • 1 tbsp Black tea (or green if you prefer)-recommend using whole leaves. If not, use 1 teaspoon of black tea
  • 8 oz boiling water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

















Instructions:
1. pour 8 oz of boiling water into your cup then add 1 tbsp of black tea. Brew for about 3-4 minutes. I always prefer my tea light.

2. Make an Apple cuppa-use smaller spoon to mark a circle on the top of an apple then take all the apple flesh out. It should leave enough space to hold your tea

3. Pour the hot black tea into your apple cuppa. Use 1 cinnamon stick to stir a little bit to get some aroma.


















That's it!! Yum Yum!!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tea Lifestyle-recipes-Whole wheat Matcha faces inspired by funny cat pictures;))
















My friend's daughter was very upset because her dog died yesterday!!!;(( so sad! The puppy was trying to jump up on the bed, but failed. He was just 4 years old! The doctor said it was due to heart failure;(( I wish the little puppy found a home and friends in heaven!

I was trying to cheering her up and made this recipe!

This recipe was inspired by these two pictures I found on Flickr!! ;)) They belong to Mdf1281



Benefits: It makes you and your stomache huppie;)) A happy ending all the time!! Low fat, full of fiber, delicate aroma, sour and sweet taste!

Ingredients:
A.
1-1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
½  cups all purpose flour
½ tsp light salt
2-1/2 tbsp baking powder
2-1/2 tbsp stevia extract














B.
1/3 cups butter
1 cup of vanilla soya milk (i use organic vanilla soya milk bought from costco)
1 tsp lemon juice (or half lemon)
Lemon zest 















C.
Grapes
Matcha-roughly 2-3 tsp

1.       Mix A evenly
2.       Add B into A and make a dough. Sprinkle a little bit all purpose flour so that you can roll it.
3.       Preheat the oven 450F
4.       Roll the dough to a square shape, roughly ½ inches thick, and cut into 2” by 2" square shape roughly 36 pieces. That's the skin.
5.       Use the skin to wrap the grape and make it a ball like shape
6.       Put in oven for about 12-15 minutes
7.       Matcha paste-mix matcha with very little water to make a thick match paste, more looks like paint.
8.       12 minutes later, take the whole wheat balls out and paint them with matcha paste!!

Have fun my dear tea friends!! Happy every day!!!;)



Friday, October 21, 2011

Tea Lifestyle: Non-sugar Recipes: Earl Gray Cranberry Jam

I love love seasonal foods which offer the best nutrition!! Nothing can compare the foods from the right season-fresh, flavorful, natural, the BEST! Did you notice veggie from green house does not taste the same as the ones grown in Summer!


I bought a bag of cranberries from Costco. After cleanning and throwing out the bad ones, I have two pounds left;-((( This is the benefit of cooking at home-you have the best quality and freshest ingredients. And the result? Your foods taste the best!!;))


I like  Heidi's 101 cookbooks, but normally make my own. I'm very hesitated to eat high calory foods, so I'd like my foods the healthiest one!! I replace sugar with Stevia in cooking. 

Benefits: low calories, no extra sugar added. Cranberry is ranked the top of 277 commonly consumed foods by USDA, in terms of ORAC score (Oxigen Radica Absorbtion Capacity). 

Ingredients:

2 lb Cranberries
1-1/2 cups of Stevia (you can use slightly more if you have a sweet tooth)
1 tsp Tequila
1 tsp kahlua
1/2 cup strong earl Gray
1 ripe peach



Instructions:
1. clean cranberries and get rid of the bad ones. you can let it drained for a whole night. I use paper towl to dry it.

2. Put it in food processor-Liquefy for 30 seconds or longer. I prefer my jam creamy. It's also easier to cook.

3. Boil hot water to brew Earl Grey-3 tbsp Earl Grey with 1 cup of water. Brew 5 minutes.

4. Peel the skin of peach and use the back of spoon to mash it.

5. Mix well all the ingredients-Earl Gray tea, cranberries, liquors, stevia, peach all together in a non-stick pot. Put it on stove until boil then simmer until the jam becomes thick and creamy. Need to stir often to avoid getting burned at the bottom. 


That's it!! you can use this delicious Earl Grey Cranberry jam for many things-dipping sauces, cook fishes (I did last night and it was de-li-cious!), meat, BBQ (Oh yeah!), salads dressings, etc!!!





Wanna try it? Invite me to your party;)))

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tea 101-The mystery of Iced Tea

I remember I read an article posted on The Tea Association of USA-Iced Tea: The Distinctively American Beverage by Steven Smith and Steven Wright. This is not the first time I read articles which referred Richard Blechynden as the person who "invented" iced tea.

While others might say, like another article 1904 St. Louis Worlds Fair by Lyndon N. Irwin, that iced tea was invented earlier than 1904.



I have never had real evidence until I bought an old old cook book-The Century Cook Book by Mary Ronald. I love yard sales and enjoy the smell from old items. One time I stopped by at a yard sale in Livingston and bought over hundreds dollars worth of old books @ $1 each!! I struggled to find a space for these treasure!!
The other day I was thinking to find out how people in early 20 centuries brew their tea then I found this "Iced tea" session in my book!! The one I have was published in 1904, 2nd edition. It was copyrighted in 1895. That means before 1895 or earlier, iced tea was not too new for Americans.

 


While I contined my research, I found another interesting book online-The Kentuky Housewife by Mrs. Lettic Bryan, which was published in 1839!! There's no really iced tea recipe, but it included some thing like "Iced Orange juice", "Iced Cherry Juice"

"Iced Cherry Juice:
Beat the white of 6 eggs to a stiff froth, mix them well with a quart of thick cherry juice, and three quarters of a pound of powdered loaf sugar, still it until sugar is dissolved and freeze it. "

 
 This means before 1839, people already knew how to make iced beverages!!!

People, like Russian, or Inuit, who live in cold weather learned how to store food in iced or snow houses. I know Russians used to make iced beer in old days.

Who first started iced tea then? To me, it's a mystery!

Do you know any?




Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tea 101-Things you may not know about tea (part 1)

When I was very young, one of my best friends' father bought some "bubble candy" after a trip to Europe. "You can use it to make bubbles", she then showed me a big big bubble on her face...it was soo pretty, pink bubble, pink skirt, with a pink ribbon on her hair! A group of boys always followed behind her every time she did the bubbles! She used to use her precious "bubble candy" in exchange for the best meals in the whole town!!

Never knew the "bubble candy" is used to fresh one's mouth until I moved to the US. Always thought it was a toy!! And it's called gum, not "bubble candy".

What did our ancestors chrew to fresh their mouth after having onion? I know Chinese used to chew tea leaves to remove bad odors from their mouth. That's what I learned from my grandpa.

Why, you may wonder?

Tea leaves can obsorb any smells and moisture in the air. That's why we need to store teas in a well-sealed jar and consume it quickly. One thing gum does not have, but tea HAS is fluorine, a natural component of tea. It helps prevent cavity.

You can actually put some tea leaves in your refrige as an odor remover! try it!!

One time I told a sale rep that tea can obsorb odors. He then said, Jane, can I put tea leaves in my shoes? Of course you can!! but do not drink it afterwards!! Remember that!! It would be euhhh.....

Put some tea leaves in your shose today and see what happens!! let me know how it goes;))

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tea Lifestyle: recipes-whole wheat strawberry green tea pancake!!!

I always wake up with an empty stomach every morning! And my breakfast normally is a meal;))) One time I read an article-"how to lose weight while sleeping"! That's why-sleeping well is a good exercise!!;)) I probably "jog" a lot in my dream;))

Today I decide to try Whole wheat strawberry green tea pancake!!! One time I had few strawberries in my refridge, but did not know what I could use them for. I added them to my pancake...it was sooo delicious!!! The aroma from strawberry always makes my mouth watering! It also add rich flavor and juicy to the pancake.





Benefits-low calories, low cholesterol, rich in fiber, proteins, antioxidant, vitamins, and minerals, enough energy to keep your morning going, very healthy, tastes not too sweet.

Ingredients:












A.
½ cup all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
2 egg whites
¼ cup pan roasted Oat meal flakes
2-½ teaspoon corn starch
1/2teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
5  strawberries
1 cup of Green tea (1 table spoon of green tea brewed with 8 oz water)

B.      Honey (few drizzles)
C.      Yogurt (fat free)
D.      Multiple strawberries for display
E.    Green matcha paste (optional)

Instructions:














1.       5 strawberries in blender, 2-3 quick “Stir”. Just in small pieces, not liquid.
2.       Mix everything from A together until smooth
3.       It generates roughly 4 medium sized pancakes.
Add some plain yogurt between the two pancakes, additional strawberries on top, and pour some honey






Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Tea Lifestyle: Recipes- Chinese Cheese Burger without cheese paired with Pu Erh Tea

I am always amazed about foods from all over the world in that you can always find similar foods in different region.

Even though I am not a big meat eater, I do try to get some proteins to keep balanced. And I tend to use as little oil as possible in all my cooking, as I am a big believer of balancing in life.



My lunch today? Chinese cheese burger without cheese (you can add cheese  if you like, de-li-ci-ous!!), or 肉夹馍 in Chinese.

Chinese styled burger has over thousands years history. In Qin Dynasty, people had a tradition of making "cold meat" (the style of meat they can store in winter time, normally very salty), using over 20 spices or herbs to marinade the meat then cook over a long time so that when you eat, the meat could almost melt in your mouth, but it does not taste too greesy.

In Western part of China, people used to call it 馍夹肉, but it sounds like "there's no meat between the two pieces of bread. So people changed it to is 肉夹馍, filled with meat between the two breads

Chinese Burger-肉夹馍, paired with Pu Er Tea

1 cup flour (3 bread)
1 tbsp yeast
¾ tsp baking powder
Slightly more than 1/3 cup warm water
Chicken meat (2 drumstick) sliced in thin roughly 2 inches long piece.
¼  Onion
Some fresh cilantro chopped in small pieces
¼ tsp grounded cumin
¼ tsp Paprika
1 tbsp soy sauce
Half lemon
1 tbsp olive oil,
Pinch of salt
Instructions:
Bread:
Dissolve the yeast in warm water (body temp). Mix flour, baking powder, and water together. Put in warm place for 1 hr until the dough become double sizes. Divide the dough into 3 pieces evenly, make it a ½ inches thick round bread.

Heat the pan and put the 3 breads in the pan. Flip them accassionally to get both sides cooked.  Until you see both sides have little gold or brown color, you know it's done.

Chicken:
Chop the onion into small pieces. Heat the pan, add 1 tbsp olive oil, stir fry onion until soft, little brown, add chicken, stir for another 3-4 minutes, squeeze the lemon, add soy sauce, salt, Paprika, cumin . Stir for another 2 minutes or until fully cooked.
Mix the cooked chicken with cilantro. slice the bread horizontally into 2 pieces so that you can stuff it with chicken mixture.

Brew some Pu Erh Tea then you are ready!!


Hmmmm...Yum Yum!!! Pu Erh tea helps digest the chicken and leave your mouth full of tea aroma;)). The mix of tea (bitter, naturally aromatic), chicken (juicy and flavorful) and bread (sweet) makes it a delight and fulfilled lunch and leaves you enough energy for the rest of the day!!!

I was sooo hugary when I was preparing the bread that i forgot to disolve the yeast;))) hahahahaha... it turned out not too bad, but I saw strange yeast on the surface of the bread even after cooked;)))




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