Adding Ginger To Your Tea

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This time of year Kat likes warming flavors to soothe and comfort. I’ve written about warming teas before, but I thought I should focus on one of her most favorite flavors: ginger. Dearies, do you enjoy ginger in your tea? If you’ve never had ginger tea before, it’s a must! It’s a zingy, versatile flavor that goes well with both green and black tea. It’s also lovely with rooibos and tulsi!

You can really take just about any tea and add some ginger flavor either with fresh or dried ginger. Kat loves fresh ginger and always has some in the kitchen. If you have some time, her favorite thing to do is peel and slice a 1-inch piece, and boil it in a saucepan with a cup of water for 5-10 minutes. You can leave the ginger steeping in the water as long as you like, especially if you like it super spicy. She then will add in a teaspoon or two of loose tea, steep, and then strain. Or she’ll strain the ginger water into a mug with a patiently waiting teabag. Add in a dash of honey and/or lemon, and you’re good to go! A deliciously warming cup of tea.

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There are times when we run out of fresh ginger, or just need our ginger tea fix as quickly as possible. On these occasions Kat reaches for HyVee ginger tea. Kat just loves this tea and always has a box in the cupboard. It’s quite convenient and steeps up the most delicious, spicy cup of tea. It is herbal so it has no added tea, just pure ginger goodness! Kat drinks this tea in the evening, uses it as a base for masala chai, and even adds it to baked goods. It gives a ginger zip to anything you add it to.

As I mentioned, ginger is an important component of masala chai. It’s one of our favorite beverages to make this time of year! Check out my previous post for recipes and ideas. Stay tuned, I’ve also got a masala chai hot chocolate recipe coming soon!

So Dearies, while the leaves start to swirl and the temps drop, reach for some ginger tea! It’s just lovely this time of year.

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Red Teas for Valentine’s Day!

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Dearies, Kat is getting ready for Valentine’s day by drinking endless cups of teas with a vibrant red color. She loves the festive hue and delicious flavors. She went to the store and looked for teas with berries, pomegranate, and hibiscus in the ingredients. She knew these would help to create the color she was looking for and have a lovely flavor.

Kat was successful at her local HyVee store. She found just what she was looking for in the tea aisle! She found two teas in particular that fit her criteria:

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Hy-Vee Acai Pomegranate Blueberry: The pomegranate in this tea gives the brew a beautiful red hue. The blueberry darkens it a bit, and it’s a lovely shade for Valentine’s day. The berries and fruit are mellowed by the green tea giving it a subtle grassy flavor. It’s uplifting and calming at the same time. Kat’s going to have a citrus theme to start her meal, and pairing the berry sweetness in the tea with a tart blood orange salad appetizer should work quite nicely. I just love citrus during the cold winter months. It not only keeps the sniffles away, but it’s refreshing and light amongst all of the heavy winter foods we usually have.

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Hy-Vee Raspberry Hibiscus: Kat loves hibiscus teas for the flavor and color. She first noticed this tea because of the cheerful bright box. Then she saw it had the perfect Valentines’ day ingredients!  Hibiscus and dried raspberries add a juicy, tart flavor to this tea. Chicory, orange and lemongrass round out the flavor, giving it a note of earthiness and citrus. Kat is planning on pairing this tea with a caramelized grapefruit dessert, the perfect way to end her Valentines’ day meal. This is an herbal tea, so it’s a good choice to round out an evening.

She’s serving her tea from glass cups, so everyone can enjoy the rich red color.  Other ‘red’ teas you can serve to your valentines are rooibos teas. Rooibos on its own isn’t a red color, but it’s referred to as ‘African red tea’. You can find rooibos blends with berries, and other ingredients that will impart that beautiful red color. Since rooibos isn’t from the camellia sinensis tea leaf, it has no caffeine and can be enjoyed any time of day. It’s also perfect for valentine tea parties with your little ones.

Dearies, I hope you have a fun Valentine ’s Day filled with sweetness and love!

DIY Tea Ice Cream!

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Dearies, it may be cold and grey outside, but Kat and I have a trick to make it feel like the middle of the summer. We make ice cream, sorbets, and granitas! When the weather is at its worst, we fire up a little creativity to warm our souls. What’s the best way to obliterate the winter blues? Have an ice cream party! We like to add tea to our frozen treats, of course!

To create just the right atmosphere, Kat likes to serve the ice cream in vintage tea cups! I think serving the iced treats this way makes the tea flavor taste even stronger. If you have little vintage teaspoons, all the better!

Kat’s loves going out for sushi not just for the fresh fish, but because of the green tea ice cream she orders at the end. She looks forward to it during the entire meal. When her mom gave her an ice-cream maker for a birthday present, the first recipe she tried was this one for green tea ice cream. It turned out so well that she served it at her next dinner party to rave reviews. No reason to only have green tea ice cream in a restaurant!

If you’re interested in giving a sorbet a try, Kat loves making this one that has both Jasmine and earl grey tea for a refreshing combination. The coconut juice gives it an added extra summery feel. One bit and you’ll feel that summer sun and hear the wind rustling through the palm trees.

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To really conjure up images of summer, try your hand at a tea granita. These are easier to make since they do not require an ice-cream maker. It’s super simple to make with just a few simple ingredients and a bit of time. This recipe is a good one to use as a guide. You can use any tea you’d like, and Kat loves to experiment with different flavors. Granitas as super refreshing and perfect for anyone that can’t have dairy. Kat has recently been using HyVee Honey Orange Chamomile tea in her granitas. This tea has refreshing orange citrus flavor that is sweetened with honey and rounded out by the gentle floral chamomile flavor. It’s a sweet and juicy reminder that summer is just around the corner. The citrus flavor enhances that warm-weather feeling. Kat first tried this tea while traveling for work. She was staying in a hotel and decided to visit the grocery store around the corner. She was looking for a caffeine free tea to enjoy after a long day, and this tea grabbed her interest. She liked the idea of an orange flavored tea. She enjoyed sipping this tea as she relaxed after a long day of meetings and networking. She brought this tea home with her and drinks it all year round.

For something a little different, try a tea affogato. An affogato is an Italian dessert usually made with coffee. Last week Kat was enjoying a cozy Italian dinner with a friend that ordered an affogato for dessert. When Kat noticed it was simply espresso poured over ice cream, she knew she had to try it with tea. She recreated the dish at home by brewing up an Earl Grey tea extra strong and pouring it over vanilla ice cream. The citrusy black tea with sweet vanilla ice cream was such a delicious combination! I have to say I was skeptical at first dearies, but I was amazed at how tasty just a few simple ingredients can be.

What do you think, dearies? As the weather starts to get even colder, think about cheering yourself up with tea-flavored ice creams. You’ll be amazed at how well they create the feeling of summer even when the snow is falling outside. If you create any unique tea recipes, I’d love to hear about them!

 

The Joys of Ginger

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Ginger is just the perfect spice for the holidays. It’s zing and warmth adds flavor to beverages and baked goods. You’ll find it in cookies, cakes, pies and cocktails. Of course, I thin the best form to enjoy ginger is in tea! Ginger tea is not only flavorful, but it tames the tummy after too many holiday treats. It even helps to soothe your throat if you’re feeling a bit rundown after all the holiday shopping and festivities.

When Kat wants an immediate cup of ginger tea, she reaches for HyVee Ginger Herbal Tea. This tea is perfect for an afternoon or evening relaxing cup, since it is completely caffeine free. She always has a box on hand during the holidays. The zippy ginger flavor feels more festive with the additional peppermint, cinnamon, and fennel notes in the tea. There is even a sweet floral hint of chamomile that helps with relaxation. The flavors make her think of sitting in warm slippers on a snowy night.

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Kat often carries this tea in her purse while she’s doing her holiday shopping. Taking a break with this tea helps melt away the stress from the bustling crowds. Kat first had this tea when she visited an old college friend. They spent hours catching up, reliving precious college memories, and sipping this warming tea. Kat always thinks of her friend when she brews up this tea. She often shares this tea with friends when they are feeling a bit under the weather. Adding a drop of honey to the tea makes a soothing brew for achy bones and sore throats. A squeeze of lemon also helps ease sniffles. Making a warm cup of comforting tea to a friend who is not feeling her best is an act of holiday kindness. The tea feels like a warm, loving hug.

Making a pot of fresh ginger tea is a lovely accompaniment to those adorable gingerbread cookies at your holiday gatherings. Pairing the tea with rich dark chocolate is also a flavorful snack to add to your holiday table. Ginger pairs with creamy desserts, and would be an interesting complement to a cheese plate. It also works well as a palate cleanser. Kat sometimes serves little cups of ginger tea after dinner, but before dessert. It gets the palate ready for those sweet bites.

Be sure to add some ginger tea to your holidays this year! What do you think you’ll pair it with?