Fall Sangria

I personally am not a wine drinker so when people bring wine to our house I try to find ways to use it. Since we just moved into our new home this year it seems to have increased the alcohol we have ten fold!

My husbands grandmother brought this wine over so we drank some last night but on this seasonal Sunday it was calling for some apples, and fruit plus wine means SANGRIA!

I decided to use my Apple Cider blend, 1:1 ratio with this dark red wine blend. I steeped 4 tsp of my Apple Cider tea with 6 ounces of water to ensure a strong flavor to match the deep taste of this wine.

Since it is fall our desSert for the family last night was apple crisp with some apples canned from last year. We try to waste as little as possible so to enhance the apple flavor I used 1 ounce of the remaining liquid from the apples, reduced, to top off this sangria. I love the added sweetness and pop of apple with the syrup so you can use Torani Apple or your favorite syrup.

This is a sangria so fruit is a must, apple slices are mandatory! Something really fun for this, and to counter the deep wine flavor for those like me, is to add a rim of cinnamon and sugar to your glass. I mixed 1:1 ratio of fine sugar and cinnamon, dipped the rim of the glass in water, then dipped the glass in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

I put the cinnamon sugar on the rim of my mason jars first, then added some ice and apples, then the wine, tea (cooled) and apple syrup. I recommend not using a straw if you rim your glass because when you drink from the glass you get that amazing sweetness followed by the sangria!

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Ingredients:

6 ounces of wine

6 ounces boiling water

4 tsp. Apple Cider loose leaf tea

1 ounce apple syrup

apple slices

ice

cinnamon and sugar

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Hibiscus Cookies

No tea you ask?!? This was inspired by my tea however I was at my parents house and settled for what was available. You can really use any tea or herb you wish or have! No eggs, well I thought there was but upon cracking I realized all were hard boiled.  Good for lunch, but not my cookies so this became an eggless cookie Bahaha. They also became GIANT because her scoop is huge but that is ok 🤗

I enjoyed these with some tea in a wine glass. We haven’t had sun in over a week so I’m feeling a little gloomy so these were a good pick me up!

It is a tiny wine glass, but not that tiny…THE COOKIES ARE JUST THAT GIANT!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup shortening

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp. lemon curd

 

2 cups AP flour

8-10 grams of hibiscus flower (or use any tea/herb you want!)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp. cornstarch

 

Can I just say I did not realize how large my KitchenAid was until I used my moms Artisan. I used to have the same one as her but was lucky enough to get my Professional 600 for X-mas and it is amazing. I do miss how quiet the Artisan is but so happy I have a larger bowl now! They even make a mini mixer now!!! I couldn’t imagine a smaller mixer, but I don’t live in a tiny house or apartment so I am sure someone who does will appreciate it more than me.

 

After cracking a hard boiled egg…I placed the butter, shortening and sugars into the mixer and mixed until completely incorporated. While that was going I used a coffee grinder to grind the hibiscus leaves into an almost powder. Yes I own a herb grinder but again I was at my moms so no go on that one but you can use whatever works. I say you can use any tea or herb because you can. I envisioned my Apple Cider Tea as an amazing cookie this way! Just substitute the lemon curd for a something that matches the cookie, say apple sauce for an apple tea.

Combine all of the dry ingredients in a spate bowl, including the ground hibiscus (as much as you can get out of your grinder). Add vanilla and lemon curd to the sugar, butter, and shortening. Mix until just combined. Slowly add in the dry ingredients. I broke mine up into 3 separate parts, mixing in each until completely combined.

Yes these are quite large so they took 17 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to allow these to sit for a  few minutes once out of the oven. I recommend that for any cookie so it doesn’t fall apart when transferred.

Oo’ Peppermint Patty TeaLatte

 

Another crazy simple but delicious drink recipe. Fall is just around the corner and this is the perfect way to prepare!

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8 ounces of steeped Oo’ Peppermint

2 ounces of steamed milk

a drizzle of chocolate

 

First steep the Oo’ Peppermint blend, either with the recommended 1 1/2 teaspoons or with double that amount to really let the peppermint pop.

I have upgraded my frothing methods and love my simple, handy dandy frother!!!  So worth $6! I warmed my milk, then frothed until it doubled to 4 ounces. Drizzle your cup with chocolate, add tea, and top with milk. I love using a clear mug because this is just too pretty not to show off!

So easy but also very impressive. Have your friends over and top this bad boy with some chocolate shaving, they will think they have just walked into an amazing cafe!

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HAPPY LABOR DAY

Use code LABORDAY for 10% off any order, only good 9/5/2016

Berry Mojito Lime Soda 


This concoction is super easy!!!

Easy peasy lime squeezey 😉

This is super refreshing and necessary for a lime lover on a hot day. 

Ingredients:

4 ounces steeped Berry Mojito (double strength)

2 ounces club soda 

1 ounce lime juice

I combined the lime juice and club soda, added ice to the tea then poured the lime and soda over the tea. Add a kookie straw and hello refreshing summer fun! 

Link: TEA 

A tea inspired sponge cake

Why no name? We’ll because this was truly a mashup of many things!

An earl grey sponge cake

A cherry preserve

A chocolate tart and lemon/ginger caramel crumble

All topped with a chocolate drizzle

ALL IN 1 CAKE!!!
So what would you call it?!?
I decided to make a chocolate and caramel tart late one night and due to my rushing it just wasn’t hitting the spot so instead the next day I made the sponge cake and topped it with a mix of the night before! I am never one to throw away or waste food.
Tart ingredients:

  • 1 cup, plus 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar 
  • 1/4 cup powdered cocoa 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, diced and very cold
  • 2 egg yolks 

Caramel ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream, steep with lemon and ginger tea and strained.  

Cake ingredients:

  • 3 cups of flour 
  • 1/3 cup of cornstarch 
  • 3 cups of sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of club soda
  • Earl grey extract 

Don’t forget your cherry preserve and chocolate drizzle!

Holy ingredients right…

Now what?!!?

First steep the heavy cream with the lemon and ginger tea. I used 3 tsp. of tea for my cream and it was the perfect pairing with the chocolate tart. Warm the cream to just before boiling, add tea leaves, and let sit for a half hour off of the heat.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the tart ensure you are starting with cold butter. I recommend cutting the butter into cubes and freezing it for a few minutes. Combine the flour, sugar and cocoa powder for the tart in a food processer and pulse until combined. Add the cold butter and pulse until a course sand texture forms. Add 1 egg yolk at a time, and pulse until a ball starts to form. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper and press the tart mixture onto the paper until 1/2 thick. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool.

Reduce oven temperature to 315 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next make the caramel. Combine sugar and butter in a saucepan and heat over low until melted and the mixture turns amber. Take off the heat and slowly add the lemon and ginger cream while stirring. Let cool.

Now time for cake! Cream together butter and sugar for the cake. Slowly add the eggs, 1 at a time, ensure to scrap the bowl to combine all ingredients. You don’t want any clumps! Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt in 3 different batches. Keep on low while mixing, and do not overdo it. Once just combined add the club soda and earl grey extract. I don’t even know if you can buy earl grey extract so if you wish to make your own like me combine 3 grams of earl grey leaves with strong vodka and let sit for 30 days. I used these bottles. They are the perfect size to experiment with any extract you wish to make!

Tart and caramel should be cooled down by this point. Crumble up tart and mix in caramel sauce.

Place half the cake batter in the cake pan, place cherry preserves in the pan and swirl into the cake. I didn’t do this and wish I did! I think it needed just a bit more cherry pop. Add the remaining cake batter and repeat with the cherry preserves and swirl in. Top with the tart crumble.Bak at 315 degrees for 90 minutes.

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Let cool for at least 1o minutes before taking the cake out of the pan. Drizzle chocolate over cake AND DONE! I may not be a fan of the look of this cake but the slice is just too pretty! So many layers of flavor and they all pair so well together.

ENJOY!

 

 

Tea Root Beer Float

Why so serious? That is a question I have all of the time. I love tea, a good quality, no artificial ingredient blend. However, I do not think it always has to be taken to the extremes of sophistication. I love a good tea party, or even just some hot tea with the hubby or by myself! A tea party aside, my favorite part of tea is the versatility it offers.

Caffeine, caffeine free, fruity, floral, earthy, sweet, have it your way! Over the last year I have found some amazing combinations besides just tea, honey, sugar and milk.

Soda is not something I drink every day, or even every week, or probably even once a month. When I do indulge it is normally a root beer or cream soda, but I forget how sweet soda is. That led me to think of my Sassy Cherry blend. Sarsaparilla, the vine of a “root beer” tree, is the main ingredient in this blend to ensure the full robust flavor of root beer.

SO why not create an actual root beer float. Calories be damned for this recipe, but you will find less in a tea root beer float as the tea is calorie free vs. soda being not so much!

13880260_594604127409818_1291669347676659495_nIngredients:

3 tsp. of Sassy Cherry blend

6 ounces of boiling water

2 ounces club soda

Your choice of vanilla ice cream

 

Steep your tea and let cool a bit. I put mine in the fridge to cool down. I choose to use a gelato for this, as it was on sale and sales are for me! I try to not buy a large thing of ice cream anyway because lets be honest, I will eat it all. I used Tahitian Vanilla Bean by Talenti, and it is simply divine. It also goes with my goal of not adding anything artificial to this drink. Simple and quality ingredients.

I used my smaller scooper to add a few dollops of the gelato to the bottom of my mason jar. Top your ice cream with the steeped tea, and top with the club soda. It is so refreshing, and not unbearably sweet by any means. Creamy and delish!

 

 

Oo’ Peppermint Ice Cream

To turn or not to turn?!?  Ice cream that is…

Well this recipe can be done either way, and is just as delicious no matter what route you take.

13912851_595098780693686_631337721101234500_nIt was insanely hot here in Maryland for the last part of July, but this is Maryland and you never know what Mother Nature will bring. I probably wouldn’t have cared a bit when the temperature hit 100, however I was lucky enough to pick that day to complete my big move! That week inspired me to create something extra cool and to replenish all those calories I burned off.

I found a simple recipe for no churn ice cream with 3 ingredients. Oh man 3 ingredients is just a little to easy for me, hehe. SO, I went to my trusty tea. I started with my Harlow Chai, then a few days later tried my Oo’ Peppermint. Both were amazing, however for this post I will focus on my Oo’ Peppermint.

 

Ingredients:

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

1 1/4 cup whipping cream

Vanilla

6 tbsp. powdered sugar

1/3 cup sugar

3 tsp. Oo’ Peppermint

8 oz. water

 

Instructions:

Steep the whipping cream with 3 tsp. of Oo’ Peppermint overnight in the refrigerator.

After at least 12 hours of steeping, strain the whipping cream from the tea leaves. The Oo’ Peppermint leaves will then be steeped with 8 ounces of water, boiling. Allow to water and leaves to steep at least 5 minutes. Strain the leaves from the water and combine tea with 1/3 cup of sugar in a sauce pan. Place on the stove top and bring to a boil. Reduce to tea and sugar to simmer and allow to reduce in half, to 4 ounces. Allow mixture to cool while completing the next steps.

Whip steeped 1 and 1/4 cup of whipping cream until peaks form, and slowly add in 6 tbsp. powdered sugar and a splash of vanilla. I rarely ever measure my vanilla which is probably frowned upon! Fold in the can of sweetened condensed milk. Place back in fridge to cool for 30 minutes.

If you wish to not churn your ice cream you can complete the ice cream by putting the ice cream in the freezer to at least 6 hours. I placed half of my ice cream in a container and swirled in half of the sugar and tea mixture (a simple syrup in the end), then the other half of the ice cream and rest of the tea swirled in again. I love my glass Pyrex with plastic lids. They are perfect for ensuring no freezer burn.

Now if you wish to turn your ice cream IMG_7513I recommend at least 20 minutes of churning time. I have a slight lean towards my Kitchen Aid gadgets, however I have never used another mixer or ice cream machine so I can’t comment on any other ones to use. This particular ice cream mixer is an attachment for any Kitchen Aid mixer and just needs to sit in the freezer for at least 16 hours before using. Start the mixer up, and add your ice cream base, give it 20 minutes and you have an amazing airy ice cream ready to be frozen. Once churned complete the same process of layering your ice cream base and the tea mixture swirled in. Freeze for at least  hours.

This was so refreshing I couldn’t even believe it! The creamy vanilla base pairs amazingly well with the cool zing of the peppermint. If you wish to add a little more decadence try a few swirl of chocolate. It is glorious SO GO NOW AND MAKE YOUR OWN!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh my, What a Year!

I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT HAS BEEN 4 MONTHS SINCE MY LAST POST!

 

My oh my, where does time fly?

It surely has been a crazy, and fast year but well worth everything so far. We are officially moved into our new home, and hoping not to move for AT LEAST 10 years to come. I hate moving, how about you?!?

My husband just happened to be working in South Carolina for the past month, so I was lucky enough to move on my own (with family and friends of course). The good thing about moving on your own…losing 6 lbs! I don’t see that staying off, but hey life happens and I love my food hehe.

I finally took the step of getting my logo, YAAAYYYY! I love it so much. I of course went right to Etsy to find the perfect shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/FreshLavenderDesigns

What do you think of my new logo?!? harlowfinal copyI played with my labels a bit after my logo was complete and love my labels more now than ever. My goal in the next few months is to ensure I work on my blog, and not only keep up my ideas on Instagram and Facebook. I have not completely left all of you so find my social media to see more of my ideas from the past few months.

Facebook

 

I have also been lucky enough to have amazing reviews on a few other awesome blogs! Find my reviews at:

SororiTea Sisters

CuppaGeek

Below are some of my concoctions and goodies that you may have missed out on:

 

   

I have been having so much fun with tea this year, and I wish for everyone to join in on the fun!

 

 

Tea Mimosa

Morning, afternoon, well whenever you want, drink some tea! That is what I love about tea. I love myself some coffee like most of us, however, tea has so many platforms and combinations.

IMG_5959_2I recently fell in love with brunch, wishing I could brunch all the time, and influenced my hubby to do a Sunday brunch the other week. Hoping to make a “thing” of it! This tea mimosa is perfect for brunch.

Not going to lie though, it was not the idea of brunch that made me think of tea in a mimosa. It was this dang cold I have had for over two weeks. Citrus is so good for colds, therefore as much as I can get the better.

I personally don’t drink that often, and this particular mimosa for me had no champagne in it, but that doesn’t mea YOU can’t put some in! This drink is so simple you will wonder why you never added tea to your bridal, brunch, or “just because” mimosa.

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Citrus Zing and Orange Juice
I started off with my Citrus Zing tea, steeping 1 tsp. in 4 oz. of boiling water. Steep tea for 3-5 minutes to ensure you get all of the flavor out of the loose leaf.

Again I love my hand dandy mason/ball jars! I swear they are useful for everything, from measuring, organizing, keeping things from drying out (in my case it was a face mask), to their main purpose of canning!

I measured out 4 oz. of orange juice to go with my tea, and if you are adding champagne or another sparkling liquid, you want to add 4 oz. of your choice liquid.

You want to keep all of your liquids equal parts. I made this just for myself but if you want to make it in larger batches just multiply 4 oz. of each liquid by the amount of people you want to serve. So 6 people equals 24 oz. of each liquid.

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Now, POUR away. It was so yummy. Don’t forget your fancy glasses as well!

1 serving

Ingredients:

4 oz. boiling water

1 tsp. Citrus Zing Loose Leaf Tea

4 oz. orange juice

4 oz. Champagne (optional)

 

Etsy Listing: https://www.etsy.com/listing/267147164/citrus-zing-loose-leaf-tea

  

Apple Cider “TeaLatte”

A what now? An apple cider tea made into a latte of course!

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I started with my Apple Cider Tea for the base of the latte. Steep 5 oz. of boiling water with 3-4 tsp. of the apple cider tea loose leaf blend. Yes, this is twice the amount I recommend for 8 oz. of tea but you want a very concentrated amount of tea for the flavor to stand out in the latte. Just smell the amazing scent of fall in this cup of tea!

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While your tea is steeping feel free to start the next step. “Steam” some milk, or your choice of creamy goodness. It can be regular milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or even half and half. It is your tea so as I recommend with everything, make it how YOU want it! Now I said “steam” because I don’t have a handy dandy steamer contraption, but one day I will! If you are like me then just go for a simple method of grabbing a mason jar.

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I love these jars because they do all your measuring as well, no need to dirty more than necessary. Poor in about 50 ml, just under 2 oz. of milk, or your different choice.

Close the jar, tightly, and shake, shake, shake! I mean it, shake it ’til you make it.

Your milk will foam, and should double in size. I would give it 30-60 seconds. It may vary depending on the type of milk you choose. Once doubled in size from original 50 ml, slowly warm the milk up in the microwave. I warmed mine for 25 seconds, and then another 10 seconds to get my perfect temperature.

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Now the easy part! Just pour your steeped and strained tea into a mug, top with the milk and foam. I topped mine with a little dash of cinnamon sugar. I think it makes it so pretty while giving it an added punch of flavor. NOW ENJOY!

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https://www.etsy.com/listing/265125437/apple-cider-tea-loose-leaf

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Ingredients:

3-4 tsp. Apple Cider Tea

5 oz. water, boiling

50 ml. milk, almost 2 oz.

cinnamon sugar to top the latte

Instructions:

Steep Apple Cider Tea in boiling water for 5 minutes. Steam and warm milk. Pour milk over strained tea, and top with cinnamon and sugar. ENJOY LIFE!