Tippy’s Sweet Matcha Butter Cookies

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My lovelies, we’ve discussed springtime picnics and afternoon teas, and I thought I should give a recipe that you can use for both, or even just for snacking on your own. Have you ever made green tea cookies? Kat and I have an recipe for a buttery, tender cookie that have pleasing sweetness and a powerful matcha punch.

These cookies are perfect for any gathering, or could be enjoyed on your own with your favorite cup of tea. Dunk them in your favorite green tea for a super delicious experience.

These cookies only require a few ingredients, and are super simple to make!

Tippy’s Sweet Matcha Butter Cookies

For the cookies:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 3/4 tsp culinary grade matcha

1 stick of unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar (confectioner’s sugar)

For the topping:

1/2 tsp matcha

1/4 cup granulated sugar

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, salt and matcha and give it a mix to make sure everything is well combined. Set aside. For the topping, in a small bowl mix together the 1/2 tsp matcha and granulated sugar.

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In an electric mixer cream the butter and powdered sugar until it’s light and fluffy. It will be much lighter than you started, a few minutes on medium/high.

Switch the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. Be careful not to have the mixer on a high setting or you’ll have a cloud of matcha flour in your face!

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When everything is combined, you’ll have a deep green dough. Remove this dough and shape into a log that’s about 10 inches long. Wrap in plastic and put in the fridge for 30 minutes. This step is important to make sure you have well-formed cookies!

While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. When the dough is ready, slice into cookies about 1/4 inch thick and spread them out on a lightly greased baking sheet (or you can line the cookie sheet with parchment paper if you have it).

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Bake cookies for about 15 minutes (may need a few more minutes depending on how thickly you sliced them) until they just start to get a bit brown and firm. While the cookies are still hot, spring with the sugar/matcha mixture. Transfer to a rack and allow to cool completely, if you can wait that long to taste them!

Enjoy with your favorite green tea! Kat likes to serve these cookies with Citrus Green Tea from Private Selection. This is a beautiful blend of light, vegetal green tea with a delicate orange flavor. The green tea of course blends well with the cookies, and the orange flavor breaks up the green tea sweetness and refreshes the palate. I just love this combination! Kat always has this tea available in the warmer months for a refreshing yet light iced tea. It’s perfect for picnics and BBQs.

I do hope you enjoy my special cookie recipe! Be sure to check back for more recipes coming soon!

Host a St. Patrick’s Day Tea!

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I’ve been perusing the kitchen calendar and noticed that St. Patrick’s Day will soon be here! I love thinking about everything becoming a vibrant green. It reminds me that spring is on the way! It’s hard to truly believe as we are covered in snow right now. But it’ll happen! So many people see St. Patrick’s Day as a reason to drink green beer. But I see it as a reason to have green tea!

Kat thought it would be fun to have a festive St. Patrick’s Day tea for her friends so I did a little searching for a few appropriate recipes for the day.

I thought it would be fun to start with mini matcha fruit smoothies. A display of little teacups or glasses lined up with the frothy vibrant green matcha would be a festive way to start. This vanilla matcha smoothie recipe fits perfectly. A light and delicate flavor with the bright green color we’re looking for.

For the scones, you can’t go wrong with Irish soda bread scones! I adore this recipe, and can’t wait to let Kat’s friends slather them with clotted cream.

For the tea sandwiches a cucumber and cream cheese is always good, and leave the skin on the cucumbers for a pop of color. My favorite sandwich idea is a cross between a NY deli sandwich and a St. Patrick’s Day staple- corned beef tea sandwiches! We’re going to make them double-decker style with savory corned beef, spicy deli mustard and pumpernickel bread. Make sure to cut them into bite-sized pieces!

Don’t forget to serve the teas, dearies! We’re going to serve a fresh grassy Japanese Sencha with the scones, and then an Irish breakfast tea with the sandwiches and dessert. Strong and delicious it pairs with the creamy cucumber sandwiches and the savory corned beef. Kat is going to serve Wegman’s Irish Breakfast Tea. Kat loves a hearty breakfast tea and picked it up at her local Wegmans years ago and always kept a box in her cupboard. She loves the malty, robust tea on mornings that she needs an extra jolt of sunshine.  It is strong but not bitter, and super smooth.

Kat’s going to close out the meal with matcha butter cookies. Delicious sweet, buttery and green, of course!

Spring is almost here! Do you have any fun St. Patrick’s Day plans? I do hope they involve some tea!

The Tea Trends of 2015

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Dearies as you know, I’m a technically savvy teacup. I may be a bit of an antique, but I know how to get around the internet! One of my favorite things to do is read about emerging trends. I like to keep up with this ever-changing world of tea! Since the new year has begun, I was curious to see what the tea trends were for 2015 and what’s still hot for the new year. Here’s what this old teacup discovered:

Interesting blends: It appears that interesting tea blends using more than just black tea have become quite popular. Natural fruit flavors and pure herbal teas have proven to be very popular. I’ve noticed turmeric making a frequent appearance, especially during cold and flu season. Turmeric is very earth on its own, and Kat has done some research on just the right recipe to balance the flavor with a bit of sweetness. Here’s how she’s currently making her turmeric tea:

1 cup milk (of any type) or water

2 tsps of dried turmeric

1 tsp of dried ginger

Lemon and honey to taste

Dash of black pepper (optional)

Simmer the spices with the water or milk until everything is incorporated. Kat also likes to add the honey in while the brew is very hot. Drink and enjoy!

Matcha is still a popular trend: It seems like the world has gone crazy for matcha this year! If you look at social media it appears that everyone is drinking, baking, and cooking with it. I’ve heard Kat’s friends talk about how they are perfecting their matcha whisking skills in order to have the perfectly frothy morning bowl of the energizing tea. Kat has been to ‘Matcha Meditation’ classes where they’ve discussed how to be mindful when preparing and drinking your tea. She’s had cups of matcha and matcha lattes in many different cafes. This is definitely a trend that I can get behind. Matcha is tasty, energizing, and so versatile!

Tea Cocktails: Cocktails infused with tea has been very popular this year as well, and the trend looks as if it will continue. I’ve read endless articles suggesting tea cocktail combinations. I’ve even posted a few of my own (remember this?)! There are now tea mixers on the market that you can purchase so you don’t even need to steep your tea yourself. You simply add the pre-made mixer to your spirit of choice. Kat has been to a few bars in the area that have created their own tea infused cocktail creations. She was delighted to see tea on the cocktail menu!

What other tea trends have you noticed popping up? It’s definitely going to be an exciting year for tea!

Tea Around The World Pt. 2

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Dearies, you may remember my Tea Around the World post from a few weeks back. Well, there was so much to cover, that I must add part 2! As you know I’ve travelled extensively with Char and a bit with Kat, and tea was consumed almost everywhere we went. Here are a few more of my favorite tea traditions we’ve experienced:

 Japan- The Japanese tea ceremony is a beautiful experience. It focuses on preparing and serving tea with a pure heart. Each piece of teaware has significance, and everything is treated with the utmost respect. Movements are fluid and artistic, just like a choreographed dance performance. The ceremony is called chanoyu, which translates to ‘hot water for tea’. It sounds like a simple event, but it’s complex and takes years of study to master. The ceremony is an interaction between the host, guests, and the teaware. Matcha powder is expertly prepared in a chawan (tea bowl) using a chasen (matcha whisk) and an array of significant teaware. I urge you to experience a Japanese tea ceremony if you are able to. It is a special, meditative experience. Aside from the tea ceremony, tea is ubiquitous in Japan and is enjoyed daily. Green tea is consumed everywhere. You can learn more about Japanese green tea in my previous post here.

 United Kingdom- I’m sure most of you know that teatime in the UK is an important part of the culture. Tea is used to wake up, soothe, calm down, and socialize. In the UK tea is almost always the answer to any situation. Kat has a British friend that ‘puts the kettle on’ all throughout the day. In the UK, black tea is most popular, and is often consumed with milk. Of course, there is the famous afternoon tea that is a fancy affair- finger sandwiches, scones, pastry and cakes are consumed along with a fancy pot of tea. But for most ordinary British folks, tea is consumed daily by the mugful, with water boiled in an electric kettle. A buttery, crisp biscuit often is enjoyed with the tea. Dunking is optional! Kat prefers her tea without milk, but when she’s watching one of her favorite British shows, tea with a spot of milk is just the right thing.

 Turkey- Oh, how I loved having tea in Turkey! The super-strong black tea served in pretty curved glasses. I like how each glass always has a porcelain saucer. I just wouldn’t feel right without my saucer! Tea is an important social element in Turkey. Similar to Morocco or even the UK, tea is offered to guests as soon as they arrive. It is also consumed over business transactions, and is sold from street stalls (like in parts of India). Most towns in Turkey have a tea house, and it’s the place to go to socialize and learn about town current events. Turks prepare tea similarly to the Russian style. They use a double teapot similar to a samovar. Water is boiled in the lower large pot and loose leaf tea is steeped in the smaller top pot. The tea can be sipped nice and strong from the small pot, or diluted with a little water from the larger pot. As I mentioned, I adore the curved tulip-shaped glasses that are used all throughout Turkey. They are small, but the perfect size for the strong tea. I love admiring the beautiful reddish hue of the tea through the glass. Oh, when the sun shines through that glass of tea, there just isn’t a color more beautiful. Sugar is often added to Turkish tea, but no milk.

 Tibet- Tea is considered a nourishing drink in Tibet, and is consumed multiple times a day. In fact, yak butter tea is the national drink of Tibet. Traditionally the tea leaves are in brick form (which could have been be pu-erh or black tea). The leaves are are crushed, soaked and then boiled for a few hours. Then yak butter and milk, plus salt are added and actually churned together until it is thoroughly mixed. A more modern version of the tea preparation is steeped loose leaf tea mixed in a blender with the other ingredients. I must admit that Tibetan tea is an acquired taste. To my porcelain palate it tasted a bit greasy, funky, and very salty. We learned that the Tibetan custom is to offer guests a bowl of tea, and refill it after each and every sip. The guest would have an endless bowl right until the time they were to leave. When it was time to get going, the guest is expected to finish the entire bowl before leaving. Kat seemed to enjoy it, and slurped down quite a bit of it. I was happy to just take tiny sips of mine. I suppose I was not the most gracious guest. But as a teacup, no one seemed to be offended by my behavior!

 Dearies have you enjoyed tea in any of these regions? I’d love to hear your travel stories and learn of tea in places I haven’t visited yet.

There’s More To Tea Than Lipton

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The other day Kat told me an interesting story. She was at a grocery store that was sampling iced teas and she decided to give them a try. There was a black, a green, and a white tea to taste. Kat was sipping on the green tea when a young woman approached the table and asked for a ‘regular’ tea, ‘you know, like Lipton’. Kat decided to strike up a conversation with the woman, because before aunt Char opened up the world of tea to her, she only knew teabags from that very brand.

She first explained to the woman that the ‘regular’ tea she’s come to know is actually black tea. Kat explain a little bit about how all tea comes from the same plant, camellia sinensis, but depending on location, processing, and plant variety the tea can taste quite different. They sampled the teas at the store and Kat explained a bit more about how the differ.

After tasting the black tea, the woman asked Kat what ‘orange pekoe’ is, since she has seen it mentioned on the tea box she has at home. She was confused, since she didn’t taste any orange flavor in the tea. Kat explained that orange pekoe actually has nothing at all to do with the flavor of the tea. It’s part of the grading system for the leaf size. The term originates all the way back to the Dutch East India Company when they were importing teas from Indian to Britain. The exact origin of the word isn’t known, but it has nothing to do with flavor. It just means it is the top tea leaf right before the new bud. The entire leaf grading system is a bit more involved, and you can read a little bit about it here. Dearies, I think I need to write about this in an upcoming post, don’t you?

After their tea conversation, Kat guided her new friend to the tea aisle in the grocery store and showed her how many different varieties there were to choose from. Loose leaf and bagged tea, there were black teas, flavored, green, oolong, and white teas to choose from. There was even a matcha to try. Kat encouraged the woman to keep an open mind, and pick up a few new teas to take home. There is much more than one type of bagged tea to try, and the quality can be far better than what she was used to.

Dearies, do you have friends that have only had one type of tea, from one brand? Kat likes to hold regular tea parties, and even has an office tea tasting once a month or so. She loves showing her friends there is a wide world of tea out there!

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She urged her new friend to also seek out grocery stores that cater to different cultures. There is an Indian grocery store not far from where they were, and she suggested a visit. Kat picked up a surprisingly delicious powdered Masala Chai from Tea India there recently and the sweet, spicy flavor has been perfect for afternoon winter warm-ups. Kat was so surprised at how well the blend of ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves works harmoniously in a powdered mix. She reaches for it every weekend after a chilly day of exploring the outdoors or even after a long day of errands. If you’d like to try this tea for yourself, you can visit the Tea India website here.

You can travel the globe with a cup of tea! There is far more to tea than Lipton, indeed. If you’re just starting  your tea journey, keep an open mind! Try all the teas you can. Start with your local grocery stores and see what they’ve got. If you have a tea shop in town, be sure to sample as much as possible and become friendly with the staff. Even if you’re not fond of a tea, don’t give up on that type just yet. Try a few different brands and varieties before you totally rule it out. Most importantly, enjoy your tea journey!

 

New Year’s Eve Tea Cocktails!

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Dearies, what are your New Years Eve plans? Whether you have a quiet night at home or a big soiree with all of your friends, you can still create special celebratory moments that feel personal and meaningful. Kat’s going to have a small group of friends over, and she’s planning on serving a few select tea cocktails along with some decadent nibbles.

On New Years Eve, it’s important to bring out the bubbly! Use champagne, sparkling wine, or sparkling cider to add your bubbles. With a bit of sparkly fizz, you’ll create a classic convivial spirit to your evening.

For a bright, jasmine scented drink, add a bit of jasmine tea to your bubbly cocktail. A great way to add strong tea flavor to your drink is to infuse vodka with tea. Vodka is a very neutral flavor on its own, and works very well as a base for your tea.

To make jasmine tea infused vodka:

Use a clean bottle with a stopper at the top. A bottle that holds most of a 750ml bottle of vodka will work perfectly.

Add about 6 teabags to the bottle, shake gently and let it infuse for a few hours, or even overnight. Try not to let it sit more than 12 hours, the brew can get a bit bitter.

Once your jasmine vodka is ready, add about 2 tablespoons to a champagne flute or coupe, and top off with your bubbly of choice. A dash of elderflower liquor would make a lovely nuanced addition, but isn’t necessary.

If Jasmine tea isn’t to your liking, you can use any kind of tea you wish. The options are endless.

Adding a bit of Darjeeling, the ‘champagne of teas’ to your drink will create a cocktail fit for royalty. Kat is eager to try this Darjeeling gimlet for an old-fashioned twist to her New Year’s Eve. It’ll give a classic ‘Great Gatsby’ air to your soiree. It’s especially fun if you have a 1920s theme to your party.

Or for another classic cocktail with a tea twist, how about a matcha gimlet? Your matcha-loving friends are going to adore it!

Whatever your drink choice, I hope you all have a fun, festive New Year’s Eve! What drinks are you planning on serving?

Behind The Leaf: Japanese Green Teas

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Many moons ago I visited Tokyo with Char. I still remember the hustle and bustle of the busy city. When I think of Tokyo I still smell of bowls of ramen, freshly sliced sushi, and endless cups of green tea. The Japanese drink a large amount of tea, and they are very serious about it. Various types of green tea can be found in restaurants, shops, and homes. Of course there is also the meditative tea ceremony that features a mindful preparation of matcha.

Char shared her love of Japanese green teas with Kat, and she has quite a few varieties in her cabinet. Here are a few types of Japanese green teas that Kat and I enjoy at home:

Let’s start off with sencha, the most popular tea in Japan. It is widely consumed and produced. In fact, more than 80% of the green tea processed in Japan is sencha! Once young tea leaves are picked, they are steamed to prevent further oxidation which keeps the leaves bright green and retains their vegetal yet sweet flavor. The leaves are then dried and rolled into a needle shape. Sencha has a wide variety of grades based on when and where it was picked, so the taste may vary. Sencha that has stems, stalks and twigs mixed in is called kukicha. This is a vegetal and nutty tasting tea. Green tea that is combined with roasted brown rice is called genmaicha. The rice kernels occasionally pop and look like popcorn! The roasted rice gives a pleasant smooth roasty, nutty flavor to the sencha. I personally love the look and taste of this tea.

Bancha is made from older leaves and stems picked in the late summer or fall. The leaves are a lower grade than sencha, and picked later in the year. It is processed in the same way as sencha, but it is a lower leaf grade. Then there is Hojicha, where the leaves are roasted for a few minutes and quickly cooled. This is a mild tea with less caffeine. Kat loves hojicha after dinner. The nutty, toasty, smooth flavor is very soothing and since it is lower in caffeine she doesn’t mind drinking it after dinner.

Gyokuro is a very interesting Japanese green tea. It is a very high grade of tea and can get quite expensive. This tea is different from sencha mostly because of how it is grown. The leaves are shaded for about 21 days prior to harvest. The shading reduces the rate of photosynthesis in the leaves which greatly changes the flavor of the tea. The result is a broth-like savory tea unlike anything else I’ve ever tried. It is delicious and surprising. A must try if you’ve never had it before.

The first teas consumed in Japan were actually powdered teas. Most of you are probably familiar with Matcha, which is very popular these days. It is high quality green tea ground into a fine powder. It is also used for the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. There are various grades of matcha which determines the price. Culinary grade is a bit cheaper, and it is good for baking and cooking. The ceremonial grade matcha is is much more expensive, because the quality is high enough to be used in a tea ceremony. To learn more about the quality of your matcha, have a look at this article from The Daily Tea.

When you are brewing a Japanese green tea, you must pay careful attention to the water temperature. Follow the directions you are given on the package. These teas are quite delicate and water that is too hot can essentially cook the tea, making it bitter and unpleasant. This is a main reason why so many people think they don’t like green tea! They aren’t preparing it properly. If treated the right way, these teas are delicate and nuanced.

What do you think? There are even more types Japanese green tea, I cover a few of the basics. So I urge you to get out there and taste, learn, and enjoy! What are your favorite Japanese green teas?

Unique Wake Me Up Teas

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Dearies, Kat is in Brazil right now, and she just sent me a postcard! I was so excited to get it. The historic sights! The gorgeous beaches! But the first thing she mentioned was tea! Actually, it was that she found a new kind of ‘tea’ to drink there. It’s called Yerba Mate, which is a naturally caffeinated herbal tea. Have you tried it? Kat wrote that she’s seen it in the states before, but never thought to try it. She said it is a great addition to her morning tea routine because it wakes you right up without giving you jitters.

Mate is made from the leaves of the South American holly tree, and it is traditionally sipped from a gourd with a metal straw called a bombilla that has a strainer in it. She was very excited to find a new kind of tea that has a unique taste and caffeine to wake her up. The flavor is a bit bitter and astringent but also vegetal. She said she added some sugar to it, even though most people in Brazil drink it straight. I decided to do a little research on mate myself, and found this interesting story about it.

I also discovered there are a more non-traditional teas that are perfect to wake up with. Here’s what I found for any time you need a bit of help to shrug off that sleepy feeling:

Guayusa: This is the Amazonian cousin to yerba mate that is found in Argentina and Ecuador. The flavor is supposed to be smoother than mate and a bit fruity. It can be more difficult to find than yerba mate, but look for it in the tea section of your health food store. You’ll be surprised to see it sitting on she shelf near the mate. I’m going to tell Kat to give it a try as soon as she gets home.

Yaupon: This caffeine-rich plant is grown right here in the southern United States! Similar to the teas above, it is also a species of the holly tree. It has a very interesting history and was used by Native Americans as far back as a thousand years ago. There has been a recent resurgence in processing and selling the tea, and a quick internet search will produce quite a few vendors. I love the idea of trying a tea made with a leaf native to the United States.

Matcha: We’ve discussed matcha quite often, and it’s perfect as an early morning tea. The vegetal, sweet green powder feels magical to me. It wakes you up, gives you focus, and keeps you going for quite a long time. If you are too sleepy to sift and whisk the matcha in the traditional way, you can also blend it, or even put the tea and water in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake it up. There is no excuse not to enjoy your matcha in the morning!

 Would you swap out your black breakfast tea blend for one of these? There is room for a large selection to choose from. Pick the wake-me-up tea based on what you’re craving. If I know Kat, she certainly won’t abandon her beloved breakfast tea altogether. And why should she? These days her morning tea of choice is an English breakfast black tea blend from Private Selection. This is a beautiful dark amber brew that is bold, malty and refreshing. She likes to add a touch of milk to enhance the sweet, brisk flavor. Kat’s cousin Tracey brought this tea over when she was staying for a long weekend. Tracey always brings this tea with her while she travels because it’s a perfect morning blend that’s easy to pack. The bags are individually wrapped, so she can add a few to her overnight bag and not worry about them getting ripped or crumpled. Kat loves a good strong breakfast tea, and she immediately added this one to her stash.

 I’m excited to learn all about Kat’s adventures in Brazil, and hear more about her experience with yerba mate. In the meantime, I’ll be waiting in the kitchen with this new list of eye-opening teas. Do you enjoy an early morning tea that I haven’t mentioned? I’d love to read about it in the comments.

Teas for Halloween!

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Boo! Dearies, Halloween is fast approaching. It’s time to get out the creepy decorations and stock up on candy. Are you going have a Halloween party? Kat adores Halloween and this year she’s planning on throwing a Halloween tea party for all of her friends. She already has most of the decorations, and even found a skeletal companion to sit on my saucer. I don’t mind the company, but he’s not much of a conversationalist.

We’ve been discussing the party over our tea, and here are some of the fun tea-infused ideas Kat is going to use:

She’s going to make a ‘Witches Brew’ tea by serving cups of rooibos steeped with vanilla and cinnamon with apple pieces floating on top. She’ll add a few gummy worms for a slithering surprise! It will help set the mood at her party.

Kat is getting creepy-creative with another party drink, this one iced with a bit of fizz. Mix 3 parts tea with 1 part cranberry juice and 2 parts club soda for a bloody, bubbly beverage. Kat will be using one of her favorite teas for this potion, this HEB My Cup of Bliss Hibiscus Ginger Orange. She’s been drinking this tea ever since her next door neighbor served it to her when she first moved in. Kat enjoyed getting to know her, and delighted in soothing sips of this herbal tea. The tart hibiscus and orange flavors danced on her palate. But it was the surprising zing of ginger that had her sit up and take notice. She was also drawn to the deep red color of the brew. Her neighbor sent her home with a few teabags and she’s bought many boxes home from the grocery store since then. The deep red color of the brew is perfect as a bloody base for many Halloween drinks. Kat is glad it is herbal, so even the children at the party can enjoy it.

Kat brought home dozens of little gummy spiders to add to her ice cubes for a skin-crawling surprise. Simply pour water into an ice cube tray and add a gummy spider to each compartment. Freeze for at least 4 hours and you have a creepy addition to your iced tea potion! I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction when they see these floating in their drink!

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Kat came up with one other fun, creative drink for the party. She just couldn’t stop at two! For a slimy, limey punch, add a 2-liter bottle of ginger ale, four cups of chilled green tea, and ½ a gallon container of lime sherbet to a punchbowl. Add in some peeled grapes for a slippery eyeball effect! For an icy addition- fill a washed, disposable latex glove with water, tie or seal and freeze for at least 4 hours. You’ll get an amazingly macabre hand to float in the punch bowl!

For a tea-infused addition to her Halloween treats, Kat is adding matcha to vanilla cookie frosting. It gives a ghastly green look to her witch and monster cookies! Just add a few teaspoons to your icing recipe until you get the desired color. It’s easy and creepy!

Kat loves to get lost in her daydreams and was thinking of giving out teabags to the trick-or-treaters. I had to convince her that as delicious as tea is, the children will be expecting candy! Even this old teacup knows that! Happy Halloween dearies, and I hope you have a fun tea-filled time!

Teas for Breakfast

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Mornings are my favorite. The sun shines through the kitchen windows and the birds start singing their stories to the world. Most mornings I see Kat stumble into the kitchen bleary-eyed and reaching for the kettle, just like Char used to do many years before. That’s when it’s my time to shine! Without me, Kat wouldn’t have anything to drink her breakfast teas in. I have a very important job to do, and I look forward to it every morning.

In the early hours Kat likes a tea that is bold and strong. This usually means a British or Irish Breakfast blend. I’ve discussed a little bit about these robust blends previously, they are a morning staple in our kitchen. After a few sips the world has more vibrancy and Kat starts to look more like herself. The strength of the tea wakes her up, and the flavors calm her mind and get her ready to start the day. We will often debate about how to prepare the tea- do you add sweetener or milk? Kat likes to add a splash of milk to her morning tea, but I prefer mine straight up.

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Some mornings call for a little something extra. That’s when Kat reaches for a flavored blend that still has the black tea strength, and pairs well with her morning oatmeal or pastry. She often chooses HEB Harmony Tea, which is a black tea with cranberry and blood orange flavors. A lovely combination of citrus and sweet, she tells me the juicy flavors give her an extra lift on gray mornings. It tastes sunny and bright, like a cloudless sky.

A few of Kat’s friends have started drinking matcha in the morning. It’s a wonderful way to get a sweet and vegetal cup of energy that will keep you going for hours. If you are looking for something more convenient and quick, try this matcha and green tea blend from Fresh and Easy. A friend introduced her to it as a simple way to prepare green tea on the go, and she reaches for it whenever she’s looking for a matcha fix. It will give you a peaceful meditative moment before starting your day.

Whichever you choose, tea is always a good way to wake up. Dearies, what teas do you reach for in the morning? Do you add anything or drink it straight?