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

Ingredients:




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)


Directions:

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, and...here 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)

A:
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)

B:
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)











Directions:

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 fashionlover.com

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 ip.com


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!!

Ingredients:
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)
















Directions:

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?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Post your kids' pictures on facebook? a BAD idea!!










I recently read an article that a mom posted few pictures of her son in her facebook album. Her son got kidnapped few weeks later!! Scaaaaary, isn't it?

The police asked the kidnapper, John, how he found the kid? John said he saw the pictures on Facebook. He then found the school (from pictures) the kid goes to and spotted the him.  John tried to get acquainted with the kid first. One time, the mom was late to pick up her son at school and found he was gone shortly!

Many people post their family pictures online, especially children's pictures.  That's really a NO-NO!!

photo by Geekosystem

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Happy Tuesday-Funny video: Father Daughter Dance Medley

It's so fortunate to have a father who is dedicated to dancing with his daughter;)) haha! What a great father!!;)) He is very cute and a great dancer as well!!

Greatest Father Daughter Dance Medley Ever!   on Youtube


Happy Tuesday!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Tea Lifestyle-Stevia recipes-Pumpkin bread No.1









I had no internet and phone for a few days because of the snow storm;(( Can you imagine how bad it was? I had to drive to the closest Fedex office everyday to check my emails.

Today I decided to give myself a treat, a real treat I always wanted!! I cooked some pumkins last night and had some left-overs. So I decided to make a Pumpkin Bread this morning. While baking the bread, a technician from Verizon, Joe, came in to fix the internet issue.

Joe could not resist the smell of the bread and started asking me questions. HAHAGIGIGAGA!! He was cute;))

Joe-Smells really good.
Me-Pumpkin bread
Joe-It smells like Pumpkin bread. He smiles
Me-I use stevia instead of sugar and all fresh ingredients for my cooking.
Joe-Used to eat a lot of sweet foods. That's why I'm fat (I do not think he is fat). Lost 50 lbs and was a pre-diabete. Used to go to McDonalds or Donkin Donuts 5 times a day because of my working schedules. Now my wife prepares meals for me at home.
Me-Well, this might be the perfect bread for you. No sugar added and I used some Whole Wheat in my bread. It tastes delicate. Try this Earl Gray Cranberry Jam I made (I was trying to sell my jam to Joe;))) with the bread.
Joe-It tastes really great with the Jam!

I was soo flattered that I decided to ask him to take half of the pumpkin bread home after done;)) He happily did it;)))

Benefits:
Low calories, Low Chalestrol, low fat, low salt, no sugar added. It tastes lightly sweet, delicate, smooth, subtle....and...yum yum!!

Traditional Chinese Medicine believes Pumpkin is good for the "Chi" in your body. It is rich in Vitamine A, and minerals such as Phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, calcium, etc

Pumpkin is good for eyes and skin. Pumpkin seeds can help prevent kidney stones (Phosphorus) and prostate cancer.

But avoid overeating it or eat it when you are taking Chinese medicine.

I got this recipe on All Recipes, but made few changes so that it not only tastes good, but also healthy healthy!











Ingredients (it makes roughly 1 loaf of bread) 

1/2 cup freshly cooked pumpkin puree
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup stevia (or adjusted per your preference)
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat flour
1/3 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp light salt
1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 tsp ground nutmeg
1/3 tsp ground cloves


Directions:

1. Steam 1/2 Pumpkin* until cooked. Roughly 15 minutes. Then spoon the flesh out in a bowl. Mash it with a spoon. (I let the pumpkin cool down and mashed it with my hands. I love to touch my food and it's fun!!)
2. Preheat the over to 350 F. Greese and flour the 9x5 inch loaf pan.
3. Mix the Pumpkin puree, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, , eggs, stevia, and olive oil. Add all flour in and mix well.
4. Bake for 1 hour until a toothpick inserted in center come out clean.

Food Paring:

You can eat the pumpkin bread with green tea, or herbal tea. It's great for afternoon tea. 

Tips:

1. *I used Butter Pumpkin, smaller in size and taste very smooth! When you steam pumkin, do it with skin. Afer the cooked pumpkin cool down, use spoon to get the flesh out. This is the laziest way to eat pumpkin without spending half hour to peal off the skin;)))

2. Pumpkin seeds-I do not like to waste any thing. I clean the pumpkin seeds and put it in a heated pan (no oil added) until cooked. The seeds are the perfect snack food. You can eat them with their shell!!! Good way to exercise your facial muscle, your draw;)))) HA!



Thursday, November 3, 2011

Japanese foods on your menu?-a report from Mitsuwa



Japanese Luxy Lunch Box

Drove to Mitsuwa today because they are having a special event. Few Japanese chefs flew in to cook for the American folks here in NJ!! I love everything freshly made!! Who doesn't?;))

It was really crowded at the supermarket!!! It took me 20 minutes to find a parking spot!! Anyway, it was worth the time waiting. I bought few things here:



Jumbo Kintsuba Green Tea


Jumbo Kintsuba Chestnut

Meat Croquette

Everything is delicious. I am a big DIY person;)). Occassionally go out to search for fun foods! The two Jumbo Kintsuba are mainly made with red beans which is traditional Japanese dessert type of food. The Meat Croquette is made with onion, beef and pork. The most delicious one is the Luxy lunch box-different kinds of fish eggs (I can not really tell), crab meat, crab eggs, Japaness style pickle and rice. The rice under tastes a little bit fruity. They might add some juice while cooking it.

Also bought some ice cream-triple bowl: green tea, vanilla and chocolate!!!

I could not wait to get home to taste my yum food!! But had to wait cause I really wanted to take pictures of them before they are gone!!

Drank tons of green tea after the meal... This is the laziest way to stay healthy;)))

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