Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Peach Fuzz Tea


I've been craving peaches lately, and I think it has something to do with the fact that the season for fresh local produce and fruit will be coming to a close soon. The temperatures dipped below 100 degrees recently, which means that Autumn is just around the corner! The State Fair opens this month and football season is upon us, so surely all of these signs point to cooler fall weather. While I'm waiting for that to happen, I may as well enjoy the last of the summer delights. With that, I bring you my Peach Fuzz Tea:

2 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
3 Lipton Island Mango & Peach White Tea bags
1 Can Jumex Peach Nectar (found in juice section of grocery store)
Peach Slices



Bring water and sugar to a boil. Remove from heat. Add tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Add peach nectar and stir. Pour over ice-filled glasses. Garnish with peach slices.

Serves 2.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Piña ChaiLada


Last night, we got together with the neighbors to do our seasonal progressive dinner. We each take turns doing either appetizers, dinner and desserts and rotate among our three houses, starting at around 7 PM and ending around midnight. It is a good way to catch up on the neighborhood gossip and sample everyone's good cooking. By the end of the night, we all regret not having worn elastic pants because we've stuffed ourselves silly.

For this progressive dinner, the assigned food theme of the evening was Pineapple. We all whipped up a variety of pineapple concoctions ranging from grilled pineapple to pineapple pie.

With this theme in mind, I worked on tweaking a tea recipe I had tried a month or so back, which had never made it to this blog until now. I adjusted a few ingredients and asked my neighbors to sample it. They gave it their seal of approval, so I'm finally able to post this nice, refreshing summery beverage recipe here today:

Piña ChaiLada

1 cup water
2 Coconut Chai tea sachets ("Zhena's Gypsy Tea" brand)
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 cup Pineapple Juice
1/2 cup Cream of Coconut (Either "Coco Re'al" or "Coco Lopez" Brand)
Pineapple Slices for garnish
Ice (I prefer crushed ice for easy blending)



Boil water; add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add tea bags and allow tea to steep for 4-5 minutes. Fill Blender with ice. Pour tea mixture, pineapple juice and cream of coconut into blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and add pineapple to garnish. If you want more pineapple flavor, you can also add chopped pineapple before blending.

Serves 2.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rosemary's Raspberry Earl


Rosemary, if you're reading this post, this one's for you. I'm raising this glass to you as I'm typing. You could probably use a caffeine pick-me-up as you're working those long shifts at the hospital and going to nursing school at the same time. I don't know how you do it! Thanks for introducing me to this awesome tea. I love it so much, I'm naming this recipe after you.

I have always loved the floral fragrance of Earl Grey tea, but by itself, the floral taste is almost too strong for me. This raspberry/Earl mixture is the perfect blend. I usually mix my flavored teas with black tea (Lipton!) to give them a different flavor and to stretch a buck or two, so that is what I did with this batch. Lemon juice adds a nice punch to the flavor.


2 cups water
2 Raspberry Earl tea sachets
2 small bags of Lipton black tea
Juice from half of a small lemon
Rasberries for garnish
Sweetener of choice

Allow tea bags to steep in hot water for 4-5 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice into the tea mixture. Add sweetener of choice. Fill glass with ice and rasberries, pour in the tea and enjoy.

Serves 2.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Piña Colada Cake


I love coconut; I pine for pineapple-upside-down cake and I can't get enough of tres leches cake. One day, the wheels in my brain started turning and I thought about how great it could be to combine these 3 concepts into one cake; And so it was born: Piña Colada Cake!

I started with a base cake recipe from Paula Deen's book, The Lady & Sons Just Desserts. It is her recipe for Cream Cheese Pound Cake. You can't go wrong with a recipe from Paula Deen. She is the queen of all things southern and sweet!

Cake Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. coconut extract
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder

Filling/Topping ingredients:
1 can sliced pineapple
1 small can crushed pineapple
1 15-ounce can Coco Lopez cream of coconut
1 14-ounce can Sweetened condensed milk
4 cups heavy whipping cream (3 cups of this will go into whipped topping for top of cake)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
5 Tbsp. Sugar (for whipped topping)
1 tsp. coconut flavoring (to be used in whipped topping)

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch baking pans. Using a mixer, cream together butter, cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs two at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and coconut flavorings. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder. Add half of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat well. Add remainder of flour mixture and beat for a couple more minutes.

2. Add several slices of pineapple to the bottom of one of the prepared baking pans (Grease and flour pans well; otherwise, the pineapple may stick to the bottom). Pour batter into pans.

3. Bake for 1.5 hours (start checking an hour into the baking process in case your oven bakes hotter). Check with a toothpick inserted in center; if it comes out clean, your cake is done.

4. Allow cake layers to cool.

5. Invert both layers onto separate cake plates. (Be sure the plate you're putting it on has slightly sloping sides to allow milk mixture to soak into the bottom of the cake and not run off the sides of the plate.) The layer with pineapple slices will serve as the bottom layer of the cake.

6. Mix together these ingredients:
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk, 1 cup of heavy cream and half of the can of cream of coconut. Mix well. You will use this mixture of yummy, liquid-y goodness to pour over the cake.

7. Poke holes with a bamboo skewer into the bottom cake layer. Take out your frustrations as needed until there are plenty of holes. The more holes you make, the better your mixture will soak in. Begin slowly pouring half of the milk mixture over the cake, allowing it to soak in.

8. Add a layer of crushed pineapple and a handful of shredded coconut over the top. Reserve more pineapple and coconut for the top layer of the cake.

9. Put 2nd cake layer on top of the first layer. Poke more holes and pour the last part of milk mixture over the top. Don't worry if it runs over the sides. You can clean it off the plate later if needed. Add remainder of pineapple / coconut to the top.

10. Make whipped cream:
I think that regular cake frosting would be over the top--too heavy and sweet; it is better to make a subtle, light topping for this cake. To make whipped cream, start out with a cold bowl and beaters. Add 3 cups of heavy whipping cream to the bowl and start whipping. Your mixture will start to thicken and you can begin adding sugar, 1 spoonful at a time. Add coconut flavoring last. Whip into soft peaks. Don't whip too long or you'll end up with butter!

11. Spread whipped cream onto cake.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Honey Ginger Green Tea


I was thumbing through the latest issue of Southern Living magazine and stumbled upon this recipe. I'm not much of a hot tea drinker, so, of course, I decided to make it on ice. I love lemon in my tea and I thought the ginger would add an interesting flavor. Sure enough, the peppery bite of the ginger was an interesting component in an otherwise ordinary tea beverage. It would be quite soothing as a hot beverage as well.

1 green tea bag (I used Twinings)
1 one-inch piece of ginger root
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. honey
1 cup boiling water


Peel the ginger and grate it with a box grater. Squeeze the juice from the grated ginger. Discard the solids after you've squeezed out the juice.
Boil water and steep the green tea bag for 3 minutes. Add the ginger juice, lemon juice and honey to the green tea. Stir well and serve over ice. Garnish with lemon.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

MojiTEA... or MoTEAto

This time of year, I'm dreaming of sunny days, and a warm Caribbean breeze. Since summertime is several months away, and because I'm nowhere close to the Caribbean, I can at least pretend by making a frosty beverage with a Latin flavor. This is my version of the traditional Cuban beverage, the Mojito.


1/2 cup water
1 mint tea bag
8-10 chopped mint leaves
1/4 Cup fresh squeezed lime juice
sugar or sweetener to taste


Boil water and allow mint tea to steep for 3-4 minutes. If you're using sugar, add the sugar to the hot tea to dissolve.
Fill a 16 oz. glass with ice, then pour tea and lime juice into the glass. Add mint leaves. Stir well. You can add more water if the lime flavor is too strong. I LOVE lime, so I left mine alone.

Sunday, January 31, 2010



Valentine's Day is just around the corner and I have brewed a special tea that should please any tea-loving Valentine. It's got a hint of strawberries and cherries and is a festive shade of red.

1/2 Cup sugar
1 Black tea bag (I used Luzianne)
4 Celestial Seasonings Tropic of Strawberry tea bags
1 Cup of cherry juice
Strawberries for garnish

Strawberry Tea Ingredients

Bring 16 oz. of water and 1/2 cup of sugar to boil. Remove from heat and add tea bags. Allow tea to steep for 5 minutes. Pour into a 2 qt. pitcher. Add Cherry juice and add water to bring to 2 quart level.

Serve over ice and garnish with a strawberry. I cut my strawberries in the shape of hearts and notched the bottom of the berries with a knife to fit on the rim of the glasses.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I have a new Nephew!

Our new Nephew was born yesterday, which makes him a NEW YEAR BABY! In anticipation of this, I have been working on a quilt for him to cuddle with and slobber on. :-) It is now finished (short of stitching his name and birth date). We are excited and I am anxious for his Mom to see it, so am hoping to get it shipped off in the next few days.


It is full of happy, bright colors.

Little turtles, frogs and duckies:

The backing fabric is a soft, striped flannel:

I hope he will enjoy it.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Spice up your New Year!


After a long blog break, I'm back with a new recipe, perfect for cold nights at home. It's a modified version of my Mom's Russian Tea recipe. I didn't have all of the ingredients for that recipe on hand and I didn't want to make a huge batch of tea (hers makes enough for a small army), and since this is the New Year, I don't need that much sweet tea hanging around my house; am trying to lose some of the holiday weight I picked up! This recipe makes a fairly small batch - enough for 3 or 4 people, and is perfect served hot or iced.

3 Cups Water
3 Family Size Tea Bags (I used Luzianne)
2 Cups Pineapple/Orange Juice Blend
1/4 Cup Sugar
10 Whole Cloves
1/8 tsp. Cinnamon Extract (not sure why I had this on hand, but that's what I used since I didn't have any cinnamon sticks).


Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil on stovetop. When tea starts boiling, immediately remove from heat.

Serve hot or over ice.
Garnish with cinnamon sticks or orange slices.