Pairing Tea + Ice Cream!

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Do you know one of my favorite things is about summer? Eating ice cream! Dearies, I know, I’m a teacup and I should really have a one-track mind. But I admit I’ve developed a taste for the creamy, sweet, icy stuff. Last night I had a revelation- I was steeping a lovely Earl grey tea for Kat, and she decided to scoop up a dish of chocolate ice cream while I was steeping. It suddenly occurred to me- why can’t we pair teas with our ice cream? There is something so comforting about luscious ice cream and warm soothing tea. Here are a few irresistible combinations we came up with. It was certainly fun doing all of this tasty research!

Matcha + Vanilla ice cream: If you’ve ever had a matcha latte, you know that matcha and milk are a perfect combination. Add in fragrant vanilla and it’s even more heavenly. The creamy sweet flavor balances out the vegetal slightly bitter matcha. This tea can pack an energy punch, so you may want to try this pairing earlier in the day. It’s never too early for ice cream, right Dearies?

HEB

Ginger peach tea + mango ice cream: For a double dose of fruity goodness, try pairing mango ice cream with another fruity tea. Kat loves to pair the ice cream with HEB My Cup of Comfort Ginger Peach Black Tea. This black tea has a soft, sweet peach flavor. The peach isn’t too overpowering and combines perfectly with the black tea. One of Kat’s closest friends loves this tea, and recently served it with spicy ginger cookies. Kat loved the combination of spicy ginger and sweet mango so much that she started dunking the cookies in the tea! Her friend was so delighted that she insisted on giving her the rest of the box of tea to take home. Kat actually likes to pull this tea out when she wants a bit of soothing relaxation. The warm peach flavor is like a cozy fuzzy blanket. The ginger is tingly on the palate, and compliments the smooth peach. In the summer Kat likes to drink this tea iced. It’s quite juicy and refreshing. She adds a bit of fresh ginger to the iced tea to enhance the spicy flavor. The peach flavor in this tea harmonizes with the decadent mango ice cream pairing.

Sencha + strawberry ice cream: I just love a good, grassy sencha tea. It’s fresh, light, and quite energizing. The vegetal freshness pairs well with sweet, slightly tart strawberries. Of course, the ice cream is creamy and sweet, which makes a pleasant contrast to the sencha. Dearies, sometimes you want your pairings to compliment but also contrast each other a bit. It brings a more interesting flavor experience.

Masala chai + coconut ice cream: Recently Kat had a coconut chai tea at a local café and was floored by the flavor combinations. This pairing creates a symphony of flavors, sweet, spicy, and fragrant. The coconut will make you feel like you’re on a tropical island, especially combined with those warming chai spices. This is one of my most favorite flavor pairings!

Don’t forget about pairing iced tea with your frozen treats! You can cool down any of these teas if the idea of a warm tea and cold dessert doesn’t appeal to you.

Black iced tea + lemon sorbet: If you do decide to go with iced, our favorite is an earthy, bold black iced tea with sweet and tangy lemon sorbet. It will feel as if you’re drinking a lemon tea slushie! Hmm, that could be a fun summer recipe to work on!

I love the idea of cold teas and ice cream, but Dearies I’d suggest you try the teas warm at least once. Kat just loves the cold ice cream and warm tea! The warmth also changes the flavors a bit, and you’ll find new tasting notes you didn’t detect before.

Next time you find yourself scooping up a bowl of ice cream, think about what tea you’d like to try with it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the combination. Isn’t it fun to experiment with tea and food pairings?

Green Tea Vinaigrette For Summer Salads

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As the weather gets warmer, all Kat wants to make is huge salads. The other day she came back from the farmer’s market with bags bursting with delicious fresh veggies. She loves to cook with fresh vegetables but often just likes to make an enormous salad for dinner. Her favorite are filled with leafy greens like kale and arugula. She’ll include some hearty additions such as hardboiled eggs, sliced ham, baked tofu, and even steak. The finishing touch to her salads is always the dressing. Kat love making dressing from scratch.

I started wondering how I could help create a new dressing for her summer salads. It dawned on me that I could include tea! After much thought and experimentation, I’ve come up with delicious green tea vinaigrette to add to all your salads this summer. It’s light but extremely flavorful.

Tippy’s Green Tea Vinaigrette

2 Tablespoons lightly flavored oil, we like grapeseed

1 tablespoon Rice vinegar

1 Green tea bag steeped in 1/4 cup water for 5 minutes and cooled.

1-2 teaspoons honey (if desired)

2 teaspoons diced shallot (optional)

2 teaspoons lime

Salt and pepper to taste

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To create the dressing, combine the rice vinegar and tea. You can then whisk in the oil until it’s well combined. Add the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Sometimes when Kat and I are pressed for time or if the bowls are all in the dish washer, we combine all the ingredients in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and shake away until everything is combined. That’s it! It’s super simple and delicious.

Kat always likes to start slowly when dressing her salad. She’ll use just a few teaspoons of dressing and mix everything gently. She’ll taste and see if more is needed. Especially in summer, it’s nice to have a salad that isn’t super soggy.

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You can even use this recipe as a template. Try out other types of tea, add a different vinegar, maybe a different sweetener. You could even try adding a little bit of Dijon mustard. Get creative and you’ll have salads that everyone will be sure to devour. The dressing could also be used on boiled potatoes as a spin on German potato salad.

I just love creating these recipes for all of you, it’s so much fun to cook with tea! Happy steeping and eating, my dear friends!

Southern Breeze Sweet Tea

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When the temperatures start to climb, Kat’s favorite beverage is iced tea. She brews it up in all sorts of ways, and dozens of flavors. But her most favorite way to enjoy it is strong, sweet southern style tea. On hot sticky days, nothing cools her off more than a glass of sweet tea.

 Kat’s grandpa used to brew his own sweet tea using a big old pitcher. Grandpa’s tea always had the perfect flavor- the balance of brisk black tea and sweetener. He would never reveal his recipe, it was his pride and joy. Kat could never get it just right on her own no matter how many times she tried. Recently she was browsing sweet tea products online and came across Southern Breeze Sweet Tea on Amazon. The reviews were excellent, and she was quite intrigued. She ordered a box of the ‘original’ tea, and steeped up a pitcher.

Kat was so impressed with the flavor. It has brisk, earthy black tea with just the right balance of sweetness. Sure, it wasn’t her grandpa’s tea, but it hit the spot more than any other she’s tried to make herself. She loves that this tea is super simple to make, and doesn’t have any cane sugar. The tea is blended with splenda, so it’s sweet and refreshing without any calories or sugar. One sip of this tea and Kat was transported to her Grandpa’s porch; sitting in a rocking chair, sipping sweet tea to keep cool. She could even hear the birds and cicadas in the background.

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Preparing the tea is quite simple. Boil 2 quarts of water, add 2 teabags to a large pitcher, and pour in the hot water, steep for 3 minutes. Remove the teabags and pop in the fridge until nice and cool. Kat adds plenty of ice, and lemon, lime, berries, whatever she’s feeling like. It’s delicious on its own, or as a blank canvas for whatever flavors you want to add.

 Kat’s tried the classic original flavor, and also love the peach tea, which is a nice blend of fruit flavor, sweetness, and tea. She loves the peach flavor for backyard BBQs and lazy picnics in the sun. She also keeps the raspberry flavor in her pantry. It’s a little tangy, a little sweet, and perfect on its own or even in an iced tea cocktail. She’s planning on bringing it in a cooler for a fun day of boating. She also wants to pick up the lemon flavor- sweet lemon tea sounds absolutely refreshing! Perfect for those summer getaways to the beach and the lake.

 Even though I’m a teacup, I still do love helping Kat brew up icy cold sweet tea. I also don’t mind getting a little bit of a rest in the summer months. Teacups need vacations too, dearies! So, are you intrigued to try Southern Breeze? If you do give it a try, I’d love to hear what you think! I hope you like it as much as Kat does!

Tea on the 4th of July

Independence day! When all thoughts turn to fireworks, family gatherings, and… hot dogs!

While I would never come between an American and their hot dogs, there are some additions to make it a celebration of the sweet taste of Libertea!

Let’s start with some fun for the little ones. Some Summer Skewers are an easy and yummy treat that are as fun to put together as they are to eat.  Raspberries, blueberries, mini marshmallows and wooden skewers are all you need.

As found on Family Circle

As found on Family Circle

Instead of your average, run-of-the-mill biscuits, try some raspberry almond scones. We love this recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod. Kat can never eat just one!

Raspberry scones

As found on TwoPeasAndTheirPod.com

Is there any better summer sandwich than a BLT? Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to bring some Star-Spangled fun to the table.

As found on Made2Style.com

As found on Made2Style.com

When it comes to 4th of July gatherings, it’s almost always hot-hot-hot, so this is the perfect time to brew some iced tea options (we have lots of ideas here), or try out an iced tea cocktail (you might love some of these).

And, finally, if you truly must have your hot dogs, here’s a way to take them to a whole new level!

As found on HandmadeInTheHeartland

As found on HandmadeInTheHeartland

This year, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” may take on a deeper meaning for you or your loved ones. Take this holiday to enjoy and celebrate together!