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Posts from the ‘Drinks’ Category

Chai Latté, Iced Tea And An Amazing Tea Find

Samplers

I love tea, hot, iced, spiced, black, herbal, blended, you name it I love it. There are hundreds if not thousands of varieties and trying to pick tea especially if you are unfamiliar with it can be intimidating. Full disclosure the tea that I used in this post was provided to me at no cost by Adagio Tea Company, I only received the products, there was no monetary compensation at all, I don’t do that, and honestly there are very few companies that I will even accept products from, I only write posts for products I believe to be good or that peak my interest and my opinion is my own. When I was contacted by Adagio I jumped at the chance after seeing their beautiful website and extensive selection of tea. In the summer I drink iced tea all the time, pretty much every day. Included in my box was two different teas that you can cold brew there is a pre measured sachet which you place in a jar with 32 oz of fresh water and refrigerate overnight. I made white peach iced tea and honestly the aroma of peaches is just beautiful, the tea is smooth made from white tea and with every sip it’s like biting into a fresh ripe juicy peach. Delicious and refreshing and so simple to make.

Now for the Chai, first let me say it has been hot out and as a general rule I only drink iced coffee or tea when it’s this hot, even my morning cup of coffee has ice in it. I saw that there is a short window this week where the temps are lower, in the mid 70’s and a cup of hot tea will be fine especially at night when it is getting down in the low 60’s.  Adagio has this really cool feature where you can create your own blend of tea it arrives in a tin which you customize with a photo or logo. I created a chai tea that is of my own design and geared to my taste, no cloves, I seriously dislike cloves and don’t even have any in my spice cabinet. See below the teas and spices that I chose.

Look at this adorable tin that I customized with my logo.  During the holidays I make gift baskets and plan on adding this to my baskets, how nice would it be to receive a custom tea blend. I love it,  it’s a brilliant idea.

Suzanne’s custom Chai blend

I brewed the chai in tea sachets when making one cup it’s easy to just spoon some into the paper packet, fold it over and brew right in the cup.

Chai Latté

For one cup (approx 8 oz)

2  tsp chai blend

1/2 cup whole milk or half and half (I mix whole milk and half and half)

organic sugar or honey (sweeten to your taste) I used a scant tbs

Brew the tea by placing the tea in your teapot or in a sachet directly in your mug or cup, heat the milk and sugar until almost scalding, the sugar should have dissolved. I like a 50/50 ratio of tea and milk but make it to suit your personal taste and make the tea as strong as you like adjusting the amount of tea and brewing time. Last year I got this cool portable milk frother, which made this even better.

Review: Well I have to admit I am pretty smitten with Adagio tea, it’s delicious full bodied tea and their site is easy to use and has so many cool features. There is all manner of tea paraphernalia, pots, accessories and of course an extensive assortment of delicious tea. A big thank you to the good people of Adagio for sending me this lovely gift.

Murder At The Bijou- Teagan’s Book Launch

This is an exciting day I am so pleased to bring you the launch of Teagan’s book”Murder at the Bijou”.  Teagan is one of my absolute favorite writers, her books and serials are amazing, I’ve already ordered my copy hope you all head over and get yours too!! To celebrate the launch of Teagan’s book I wanted to post this on the day of the monumental total solar eclipse. It will be a partial eclipse in Brooklyn but everyone is geared up for it. As a prelude to this book read this snipett from Teagan that I posted along with a recipe for Mac and Cheese. I do love our collaborations and look forward to many many more. Congratulations Teagan, your writing brings happiness to so many and I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of your new book. I also posted a sort of recipe for tea at the end of this post to celebrate the eclipse. Hope you all have a great day and head over to grab your copy of Teagan’s book.

Announcing the Launch of
Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

Introducing the second “three things” serial, in novel form Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I

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Yes, that’s the cover.  (I love making covers!)  I kept it similar to the one for the first serial, The Three Things Serial Story, but with different 1920s photos.

For those of you who are not familiar with my blog serials…

Ages ago I developed a writing exercise.  I asked friends to give me three completely random things.  Then I would write until I had mentioned all the things.  I brought that exercise to my blog (Teagan’s Books), but I had the readers send me their things.  I let the random things drive every detail of a serial story, setting, plot, and characters.  That resulted in The Three Things Serial Story, which gave birth to this culinary mystery.  However, this time the “things” are food related — or ingredients.

About the Book

As with the first serial, Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is a spontaneously written, pantser story.  I wrote by the seat of my pants and let the “ingredients” readers sent each week drive a new serial story.  This is the “bookized” version of that serial.

This time the Jazz Age setting is Savannah, Georgia where our flapper, Pip, is “sentenced” to live with her grandmother and learn to cook.  Pip gets caught up in a layered mystery that includes bootleggers, G-men, and the varied challenges of being a young woman in changing times.  She meets new friends, including some animal characters.

If you have not read The Three Things Serial Story, be warned.  This adventure contains a bit of a spoiler, but does not go into detail about it.

Murder at the Bijou — Three Ingredients I is available through and Amazon and Create Space.  If you don’t have a Kindle, Amazon also offers a free app that will let you read Kindle books on your computer or other device.  The purchase links are below.  But first, here’s a snippet.

Blue Lucille Ball Stage Door Trailer

In my imagination, a young Lucille Ball would play Pip.

Excerpt

Rutabaga Limbo

Either I woke up feeling horribly nauseated, or the queasiness woke me.  I’m not sure which.  I opened my eyes to complete darkness.  There was no light, no sound.  The way my stomach tossed reminded me of a small boat on the ocean.  It was as if I sailed in a lightless limbo.

Oh… that was a bad train of thought to have with an unsettled belly.

Think of something else!  Anything else, I told myself.

I stood unsteadily.  The sound of a cricket came to me.  Good.  The utter silence had been very disturbing.  I became aware of the cool moist earth beneath my palms.

Where the Sam Hill was I?

I sat back on my heels, focusing all my senses.  My eyes might as well have been closed — it was that dark.  Bare ground was beneath me.  The air had a musty odor.  A sickly sweet scent clung to my bobbed hair.

The cricket’s chirping was the only sound.  Still sitting, I turned.  My eyes widened and strained, trying to see in that heavy darkness.  When I looked up I was rewarded with the sight of a thin line of pink light.

The faint glow allowed me to see vague outlines a few feet away.  I stumbled over something and stooped down to let my hands figure out what it was.  I felt a burlap bag and round lumps.  Rutabagas?  I felt around and found another bag.  That one felt like potatoes.  I moved closer to the wall and a tall shape.  Yes, a ladder, my questing hands confirmed for my still foggy brain.

Gazing up at the line of pinkish light I realized I was in a root cellar. 

But how did I get there?

***

Purchase Links

Amazon USA

Paperback:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-4

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=la_B00HHDXHVM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806322&sr=1-3

Amazon UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

And https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Bijou-Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/dp/1974544273/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1502806519&sr=1-2&keywords=murder+at+the+bijou

Amazon Japan https://www.amazon.co.jp/Murder-Bijou-Three-Ingredients-English-ebook/dp/B074S5ZK7L/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1502806623&sr=8-1&keywords=teagan+geneviene

Author Bio

Visual for Teagan_2017 Chris

Image by Chris Graham

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, a southerner by birth, was “enchanted” by the desert southwest of the USA when she moved there.  Now a resident of a major east coast city, she longs to return to those enchanting lands.

Teagan had always devoured fantasy novels of every type.  Then one day there was no new book readily at hand for reading — so she decided to write one.  And she hasn’t stopped writing since.

Her work is colored by her experiences in both the southern states and the southwest.  Teagan most often writes in the fantasy genre, but she also writes 1920s stories and Steampunk.  Her blog “Teagan’s Books” contains serial stories written according to “things” from viewers.

You can also visit me at:

Amazon:    https://www.amazon.com/Teagan-Riordain-Geneviene/e/B00HHDXHVM
Twitter:     https://twitter.com/teagangeneviene
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TeagansBooks
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/teagangeneviene/
YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoM-z7_iH5t2_7aNpy3vG-Q
LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/teagangeneviene

Here is a non recipe really for some tea I like to call Sun and Moon Tea. You all have heard of sun tea I’m sure. Putting some tea in a glass jar and setting it outside in the sun, well I decided with all the amazing energy and as a prelude to the eclipse I put the jars out in the morning and kept them out all night as well soaking in the sun rays and moon’s energy.

Sun and Moon Tea

Use equal parts, chamomile, rose hips, red clover and fresh mint. Pour fresh spring or filtered water in the jar put the lid on and let it sit all day and overnight.

 

A Green Smoothie-Fiesta Friday Healthy Recipe Challenge

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Every Friday Angie, you all know Angie right, hosts the virtual party Fiesta Friday.  We all link our recipes on her site and you can bring whatever you want,  well this is a little different, she gave all of us that participate in Fiesta Friday a challenge. She listed two ingredients, leafy greens and pineapple and asked us to make something using them. This recipe has never posted on the blog before only a photo. I found this on Williams Sonoma website and searching it’s no longer there but luckily I had posted it on Instagram,  I put my own spin on it, adding some different ingredients and it turned out great, it’s delicious and healthful and uses both leafy greens and pineapple. I am so glad that Angie gave us this challenge because this smoothie hadn’t been on my radar and I am happy to have rediscovered it because it’s delicious, easy to make, nutritious and such a pretty color green.  There will most likely be dozens of green smoothies and they will be very similar but thats ok, here is mine and I love it. You can use whatever leafy green you like. I actually mixed kale and spinach. You get great results when you freeze your pineapple and banana, the smoothie is cold and thick and creamy. Oh I also should add that there are GREAT prizes for the winners of this challenge, yes first, second and third place winners will be chosen by a panel of judges. How exciting is this! You can submit as many recipes as you like. Hope you all enter.

A Healthy Green Smoothie

adapted from a recipe on Williams-Sonoma

makes 2 generous portions

1 cup cleaned baby spinach

1 cup kale, leaves only and tender stems – discard the tough ones

1/2 ripe avocado

1 cup frozen cubed nicely ripe pineapple

1 ripe banana cut into chunks and frozen

1-1 1/2 cups coconut water (freeze your coconut water in ice cube trays for a colder creamier smoothie) start with one cup and add more if you like a thinner smoothie

1/2 cup full fat coconut milk or 1/4 cup of the coconut cream scooped off the top of cold canned coconut milk

1 tsp fresh ginger grated or finely chopped

1 tbs fresh mint leaves chopped (or just throw in a few mint leaves)

juice of half a lemon

1 tsp matcha powder (optional)

Put all of the ingredients into your blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Enjoy immediately.

 

 

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Coconut Lime Slushy Happy 4th Of July

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This is one of my favorite summer drinks, I posted it a few years ago and decided to resurrect it for the 4th of July Holiday as part of my frozen treat series.  This drink is reminiscent of a pina colada but it’s not one exactly. I make it with more lime than pineapple and use unsweetened coconut milk and lime simple syrup so that I can control the sweetness. Rather than use crushed ice which I feel waters the drink down,  I freeze the coconut lime mixture in an ice cube tray. The cubes are solid but easy to break up in the blender. You can add as much rum as you like or make it virgin, it’s equally as delicious. One other cool thing about this drink is that because the drink base is frozen into cubes you can make 1 or more and leave the rest in the freezer for use later on. Remove the cubes place in freezer bag and store in the freezer. I love making multiple batches so I always have some of the cubes on hand. I double and triple this recipe so I always have some of the drink base on hand. It’s so easy to make and very convenient to have on hand.

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This recipe won a whole foods recipe contest, as a matter of fact it was the last contest sponsored by Whole Foods. I miss them, it was a lot of fun.  I am celebrating the 4th of July, Independance Day with my good friends at a backyard BBQ! Have a wonderful Day Everyone.

Coconut Lime Slushy

Lime Simple Syrup:

1 Lime peel removed (Use the peeled lime for the drink base)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water
In saucepan add sugar and water, bring to a boil let boil for approximately 2 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved take off heat, add lime peel. Cover and let sit until cool. Remove the lime peel. Store in jar in refrigerator. You can easily double this to make more simple syrup.

Remove all the pith

Remove all the pith

The Drink Base:

1 13.5 oz can unsweetened coconut milk

1 Lime peeled and all of the pith removed and quartered (Use the lime you used for the simple syrup)

4-6 tablespoons lime simple syrup (Make it as sweet as you like)

2 -3 ounces Pineapple juice (unsweetened) Start with two and if you need a little more liquid to break up cubes in blender add another ounce.

1 ounce Rum (Add more if you like it stronger)

To your food processor add the quartered lime and coconut milk. Process until lime is pulverized. Strain into measuring cup. Add 4-6 tbs of the lime simple syrup. (Adjust the sweetness to suite your taste. Pour into ice cube tray and freeze.
When the coconut lime is frozen, remove from ice cube tray, place in blender,  add pineapple juice and rum and blend until the cubes are broken up and it’s a slushy consistency. Pour and serve. Garnish with lime and pineapple.

Creamy thick and ice cold

Creamy thick and ice cold

Image from Google

Image from Google Happy 4th of July

Boozy Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Pops

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I am dedicating the next few posts to frozen treats, ice cream. sorbet and popsicles.  These popsicles are so simple to make and sort of nutritionally sound because they contain very little sugar and if you omit the booze it’s like a frozen breakfast popsicle. A few posts back I told you I made a rhubarb cordial, I used it in the Pavlova and now in these popsicles. They are so easy to make, all you need is a popsicle mold and a few ingredients, no cooking required. You don’t need to use any alcohol in your pops, honestly there is so little in this it’s almost not there,  but for a family friendly popsicle simply omit. I didn’t really use a recipe for this, eyeballed and the measurements below are approximate, it just happens that it made pretty much the right amount to fill the molds. I added and tasted so bear in mind that this is not exact.

I just got a great popsicle mold made my onyx, it’s stainless steel, freezes quickly and the popsicles come out like a dream. I am very happy with it because it also has a feature that ensures the stick remains in place and can be inserted when you first place it in the freezer, genius.

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I’ve got my ice packs and insulated carrier ready because I’m bringing these beauties to Fiesta Friday #126. This is a holiday weekend and Angie’s co hosts are all of us. It is up to us to vote on our favorite recipes.

Strawberry Rhubarb Yogurt Popsicles

Makes 8

measurements are approximate

Strawberries

2 cups strawberries cleaned and sliced

2 tbs sugar (use if you like and sweeten to taste)

1/4 cup rhubarb cordial

Yogurt

2 cups whole milk greek yogurt (approximately 14 oz)

sugar to taste

2 tbs rhubarb cordial

1 tsp vanilla

Mash the macerated strawberries with a fork. Mix the yogurt with the sugar, rhubarb cordial and vanilla. The cordial thins the very thick greek yogurt slightly, if using greek yogurt you will want to thin it a bit with either the cordial or a liquor, water, milk or cream or fruit juice, your choice. Layer the strawberries first, then the yogurt and end with the yogurt. Place in freezer and enjoy in 4+ hours. See how easy this is.

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The Garden, Pretty In Pink A DIY Rhubarb Cordial And A Smoothie

This post is just for fun, nothing earth shattering but I have to say I am so proud that my tomato plant is doing so well, as is my basil, the zucchini is questionable but it’s living. As I have mentioned before I am not a gardener, I am pretty much the opposite, I dislike working in the backyard in dirt, I don’t like the heat or the sun beating down on me so working in my garden except on cool overcast days is out of the question. It’s torture watering in the blazing hot sun for me. Now that I got that out of my system, I am so happy that my tomatoes are doing so well. I even have cute little tomatoes. This morning I staked them because they are getting so tall. I can’t wait until they ripen,  I am just hoping the squirrels don’t abscond with the fruit of the vine. If anyone has suggestions for some sort of protective device that will keep the pesky rodents out let me know and I will buy it forthwith.

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My zucchini is a disaster waiting to happen I’m afraid. I planned on planting it in the ground but never got around to it and it has been somewhat comfy in the large pot don’t know what will happen and the jury is out as to whether or not I actually get a squash.

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The leaves are drying and I am not sure whether or not thats supposed to happen, I think I need to do some research, but no sooner than one leaf dries new ones pop up.

My basil which I figured would never grow and looked awful is huge now. Even my Thai basil came back from the dead, I named it Lazarus.

Big basil

Big basil

This rose bush I bought at the supermarket to put in my air bnb room for a Valentines Day guest. This summer it was planted in a pot outside and has tripled in size and has multiple blooms.

Grocery store rose bush

Grocery store rose bush

When Nando passed a kind and thoughtful neighbor brought me a red geranium which didn’t last the winter so now it is a ritual for me to plant a red geranium to honor my sweet Nando and Izzy. Maybe I will try bringing it in this winter and see if it survives.

Izzy and Nando's geranium

Izzy and Nando’s geranium need to dead head that wilted stem.

Almost a month ago I got almost 2 pounds of rhubarb in a CSA box, I decided to try this Rhubarb Cordial that I saw eon’s ago on Food 52, I thought that it would be a great addition to summer cocktails. All you need is rhubarb, sugar and vodka, put into a clean glass jar, give it a good stir and aside from shaking it periodically to make sure the sugar dissolves it’s something you can make and forget about until the sitting time is up.  I am short on patience and couldn’t wait to try it so I strained and bottled it about a week early. It is really delicious and I plan on making some cocktails and also incorporating in some dessert recipes which will be posted once I figure out what I will make. My bartending skills are about equal to my gardening skills, pretty much non existent but I will try to come up with something nice and refreshing.

rhubarb cordial

rhubarb cordial

In the photo you can see in the corner a sweet little pink cake stand and some peaches which are from frog hollow farm, all from the Food52 shop. I feel like I am esconced in pink kind of like George Costanza was in velvet (If you watched Seinfeld you may get it).

I can’t forget Fiesta Friday #124 and this ice cold rhubarb cordial will be a great addition to the festivities. This weeks party is going to be great Angie’s co hosts are Lindy @ Love in the Kitchen and Liz @ spades, spatulas & spoons.  Along with the cordial I will bring some club soda and a few bottles of prosecco some strawberries and peaches!!

Since I was thinking pink I had some farm fresh strawberries I needed to use and some buttermilk so I made a smoothie, summer is a great time for smoothies, light, refreshing, healthful and delicious. I like to use coconut water in smoothies an easy and convenient way to store your coconut water is to pour it in ice cube trays and freeze, once frozen simply remove the cubes and store in zip lock bags and you have  coconut water ice cubes whenever you need them.  I added a little bit of stevia to the drink because it was a bit sour, the strawberries were not super sweet.

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

strawberry buttermilk smoothie

I quickly wanted to mention what fun I have on the new Food52 app, #notrecipe or #norecipe the app is free in the app store and is available for iphone and iPad. It’s the way so many of us cook and it’s a wonderful platform for homecooks to hone their creativity in the kitchen without the confines of a recipe. I have submitted photo’s of a number of dishes, here are a few. Top left to right, zoodles in garlic and oil with shrimp and scallops in butter/garlic/parsley sauce) Seared scallops with a persillade (thanks Mimi) individual skillet with micro potato, avocado, kale, tomato and sunnyside up egg with gruyere, smoothie with kale, avocado, pineapple, banana, coconut water, ginger no added sugar.

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I would be remiss if I didn’t wish all the Dad’s a Happy Fathers Day, I hope you have a wonderful day today!!

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Persian Cantaloupe Drink- Ab Talebi For Dessert

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I used to make this drink years ago but have not made for such a long time. It’s really delicious and refreshing and chock full of vitamins and minerals. I think I have mentioned before my love of Persian Food and I  follow several blogs  that have wonderful Persian recipes Fae, Azita and one I discovered recently through Instagram is  Ahu Eats, Ahu knows a thing or two about Iranian or Persian food and I love perusing her blog, her photographs are amazing and the food is too. When I saw this drink on her site I knew I needed to make it again, I used to often serve it as dessert with ice cream, it’s wonderfully cool and refreshing in the heat of the summer . There really is no recipe required, all you need is ripe canaloupe, ice and sugar or honey. You put it in the blender and voila a cantaloupe smoothie.

I am bringing this cool and refreshing dessert/drink to Fiesta Friday #121.   I hope everyone enjoys. It’s exciting that we will all be celebrating Memorial Day with Angie and her wonderful co hosts are all of us, yep we all get a chance to vote on the features for this party.

Happy Memorial Day to Everyone!!

Persian Cantaloupe Drink- Ab Talebi

One cantaloupe makes approx two or three 8 oz glasses (depending on size)

1 cantaloupe flesh removed and cut in pieces

1 cup crushed or cubed ice

1-2 tbs sugar (optional) depending on the sweetness of the melon and to taste

Place everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and garnish with a sprig of mint.

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Guest Post And 4 Year Blogging Anniversary

Four years ago today I hit the publish button and posted my first blog post. It was scary and exciting and honestly I had no idea what would come of it.  I am so thrilled to still be blogging and very happy to have met all of you amazing and wonderful people and I want to thank you for reading my posts, offering your kindness and support and inspiring me. This post on the anniversary of hitting that publish button is a slight departure from my usual food posts, oh. there is still food involved but I  wanted to do something a little different, a bit daring and fun.

I am honored that Teagan Riordan Geneviene has agreed to do a guest post today.  I also want to thank my friend at Hocuspocus13 for agreeing to help me with this post, she created a recipe for a very special tea  (I made it and its delicious, I read about the flowers/herbs and they are incredibly good for you as well)  I think it’s the perfect addition to our meal in the tea room. Thank you, and now I am handing it over to Teagan….

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Hello everyone.  I’m happy to meet you!

From my first visit to A Pug in the Kitchen, it has ranked at the top of my list of favorite blogs.  Interesting commentary, photos, easy to follow instructions, and delicious food — I was hooked.  So when Suzanne asked me to do a guest post there was no way I was saying no.  Even better, it became more of a collaboration than a guest spot.atonement-video-cover-copy

After my regular, real world job, I’m an author of fantasy fiction.  My blog is called Teagan’s Books.  My current novel in progress is actually book-2 in an urban fantasy series that began with “Atonement, Tennessee.”  The title is the name of my fictional town where supernaturals secretly live among the residents of this seemingly quaint town.  (Book-2 will be called Atonement in Bloom.) I told Suzanne about a few different settings in the series that would involve food.  She picked a locale that was new for book-2, Adelle’s Attic Tearoom.

What I’m sharing with you is more of a snippet than a story.  It’s a scene with two minor characters in the novel.  I think it’s fun to get to know the characters who only play a small role.  I hope you enjoy it.

Adelle’s Teapot — Features from Atonement TN

Copyright © 2015 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

1924 Good housekeeping 2 girls tea

The inventory notes Annie recorded were part of an ancient list, passed down through the Metatron clan.  For the most part, the older theitem, the more power it held.  The kind of power varied widely.

The Mirror of Truth and Justice Most Poetic could show one’s true self.  The mirror could be playful, cryptic, devilishly mischievous, or brutally honest.  It almost seemed to have a mind of its own.  In age and in power, that mirror ranked about mid-way on the inventory list.  Annie shuddered to think of the havoc she had known the mirror to wreak.

She kept many of the items hidden in plain sight in her antique shop.  It had been easy enough to steer Ralda Lawton away from a special quilt.  Ralda, the new owner of the Sunhold estate, did not need that star design quilt, but someone else would.  However, the brass Bed of Dreams was meant for her.  The bed wasn’t strong in power, but it was effective.

ad 5 Oclock TeaAnnie looked down at the ancient list.  Something glowed through several layers of paper.  She knew the glow came from the script identifying a very old item.  The glowing writing meant an item awakened.  Her hands shook as she leafed through the pages to the very beginning of the catalogued inventory.

The teapot.  Annie took a shuddering breath.  It was simple and unassuming looking, but the teapot was the oldest item listed in Annie’s inventory notes.  It was also arguably the most powerful.  Because of its unique properties the teapot had always been kept separate from the other items.  Adelle, Annie’s sister was the teapot’s custodian.  It was safely tucked away in the attic of the Victorian house that was Adelle’s tearoom and home.

A brew had not been made from that teapot in living memory.  But what else could awaken the pot but the alchemy of water, heat, and the right combination of herbs, flowers, and leaves?

“No Adelle,” Annie muttered as she put away the ancient ledger.1937 Look Shirley Temple Santa tea

Annie ran out of her shop, the door banging shut behind her.  Her platinum hair shone in the moonlight.  She skidded around the corner and ran down the town square.  Annie stumbled to a stop.  She gazed at the night sky in open mouthed astonishment.

Above Adelle’s tearoom the sky shimmered in a golden aura.  When Annie looked farther up into the sky, she saw an even more astonishing sight.  The entire town of Atonement rested unaware beneath five columns of light pillars.  The columns of light pulsed through the clouds.

“Adelle,” Annie gasped.  “What have you done?”

With a hand to her chest, Annie continued toward her sister’s home.  She fell going up the front porch stairs.  As she righted herself, Annie saw that the front door stood open.  Then she realized that every door and window in the Victorian house was wide open.

“My God, Annie!  Are you all right?” Adelle exclaimed as she helped her sister to her feet and guided her inside.

Annie allowed her sister to guide her, gasping for breath and shaking with fright, to the kitchen table.  There Adelle poured a cup of tea.  Annie turned horrified eyes from the teacup to her sister.

1940s Home Notes Girl tea party“Oh don’t be silly,” Adelle chastised.  “It’s not from that teapot.”

Annie took a sip of the tea her sister pressed upon her.  She took a bite of cake or scone or some baked treat that would ordinarily have been delicious.  However it might as well have been cardboard in her mouth.  Without even realizing what she was doing Annie crumbled the rest between her fingers never looking at it.  She stared blindly out the kitchen window into the darkness, too stunned to process the thousand thoughts in her mind.

“Why in heaven’s name would you let the teapot awaken?” Annie finally asked.

“It couldn’t be helped.  I needed to talk to our grandfather,” Adelle replied.

“That wouldn’t be difficult for you,” Annie said.  “Why would you use the teapot for that?”

Her sister’s mouth curved to that self-satisfied, cat-with-a-bowl-of-cream smile that Annie knew all too well.

“Which grandfather,” Annie asked, closing her eyes and bracing herself for the answer she already knew was coming.

Adelle pursed her lips then made a reluctant, sardonic grimace.  “The one quite a few times removed.  Maybe a few hundred times.”1905 Sunday Mag Tea Woman steam kiss

Annie groaned and dropped her head to the kitchen table, her pale hair falling to cover her face.  Forehead against the polished wood, she rocked her head side to side.  Finally she looked up at her raven haired sister.

“Tell me this is not happening,” Annie pleaded hoarsely.

“It really couldn’t be helped, Annie.  I had to consult Enoch,” Adelle said apologetically.

“What could possibly be that important?” Annie demanded.

The sardonic twist left Adelle’s mouth.  She looked into her sister’s eyes, coldly serious.

“Cailleach Bheur,” Adelle said.  “Beira the Crone.”

***

As you can see, my odd little imaginary town has its quirks.  I hope you enjoyed this little visit to Atonement, Tennessee.

Hugs,

Teagan

 

Dazzle Tea

Dazzle Tea

DAZZLE TEA- Recipe by Hocuspocus13
2 parts red clover blossoms
2 parts rose hips
1 part chamomile flowers
1 part peppermint leaves

tea by these leaves
herbs and water it weaves
a brew so warm
it would awake a storm
teapot time to be reborn

tea time

tea time in Atonement at Adelle’s Attic Tea Room

 

A Gift, A Giving Community, Announcing A Holiday Giveaway And A Hot Cup Of Chai

From Sonal-Simply Vegetarian 777

From Sonal-Simply Vegetarian 777

I follow many blogs, I love them all and try my best to read and comment or at least like every one or as close as I can get to acknowledging them. One blog I love and follow is Sonal’s beautiful Simply Vegetarian777, chock full of delicious recipes and gorgeous photography it is one of those blogs that takes your breath away. Sonal also happens to be one of the sweetest and kindest individuals you will ever know and although we have never met in person I feel like we are close friends albeit virtual, she has touched my life and my kitchen with her generosity. This is the second batch of spices she has sent me, thank you my friend. I saw this recipe on her site a few weeks back and immediately commented how I had to make it it just sounds incredible. It’s an Indian breakfast dish called Bread Poha. Now I am challenged in the spicing department, I notoriously underspice and have become befuddled when faced with a recipe that uses many different spices in one dish. Sonal knowing me and seeing my plight sent me pre measured spice packets, everything the spicing challenged will need to put together a scrumptious meal and I must add that she included detailed instructions. Sonal, market these please I will be your first customer.

I was the lucky recipient previously of some of her genius spice blends and made this Kofta Korma which literally knocked my socks off, I followed her basic recipe for Korma adapting it to use meat.

How wonderful is our community of bloggers, most of us have never met each other, we visit and comment on each others blogs and become online friends and if we are lucky we get to meet each other. We lift each other up and encourage and in the case of dear Sonal, without asking or expecting anything she sends me the spice packets, but not just spices everything I need for pilaf incuding the rice and dal with the spices. I will be making dishes from each item she sent me and posting it here. The first will be the bread poho, it uses day (s) old bread which I don’t have so I am letting a baguette sit for a few days.

In the spirit of giving I wanted to announce that the last week of November there will be a giveaway which I am very excited about. It’s wonderful I won’t say what it is (surprises are fun) but I am sure you will all love it and it will be my gift to you, or at least one (or two) of you.

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Chai Tea

Sonal-Simply Vegetarian 777

1 cup water

3 tbs milk (I used half and half)

a good pinch of Sonal’s Chai Spice (it was about 1/2 tsp)

Black tea (either tea bag or loose tea

Sweetener of your choice

Bring the water, milk and spice to a rolling boil, add the tea and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Strain into a cup and enjoy!! Sweeten if you like. I added a spoonful of honey to mine.

As I type this I am enjoying a hot cup of chai and it’s absolutely delicious, the spices are perfection.  I usually use a prepared chai tea but have to say making it this way with the spice mix produces a superior cup of chai. There is nothing like a hot cup of Chai to warm you on a cold day.  Thank you Sonal!!

Classic Nicoise-An American/French Pairing For #Wine PW

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We are in the throes of summer and July is the month that at least for me is the quintessential summer month, it’s also the month that America celebrates it’s Independance on July 4th and the French celebrate Bastille day on July 14th. What better way to mark both holidays than with an American/ French food and wine pairing.  Michelle@Rockin Red Blog invited me to participate,  I was thrilled but a little scared, I’ve done plenty of posts utilizing the expertise of the wine experts but have never actually done this myself. There can be any number of combinations, American food French wine, American food and wine etc…..  I chose a classic French dish that is light and IMHO perfect summer fare, Salade Nicoise, and I thought it would be fun to pair with both an American and French wine.

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Salade Nicoise is a delicious combination of assorted vegetables, olives,  hard boiled eggs and tuna or anchovies, the salad is dressed with a vinaigrette and I will serve with a fresh baguette and wine of course.  Really no recipe is needed but I will give you the breakdown of what my salad consists of:
Salad Nicoise

3 thick tuna steaks

1/2 lb haricot vert with only the stem end removed

4 hard boiled eggs

2 beets roasted

1/2 lb small new potatoes cleaned and roasted

cherry tomatoes

olives- nicoise olives preferably or kalamaata works also

young french radishes

Preparation:

Coat the potatoes in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. At the same time roast the beets, clean well, drizzle with olive oil add a sprig of thyme and wrap in foil. Roast for 30-40 minutes. Clean and trim the haricot vert, place a saucepan filled with water on high heat to boil, add a tbs of salt to the water. When it comes to a rolling boil add the green beans and boil for 8 minutes. Immediately drain and place in an ice bath to stop the cooking process and the beans will retain their lovely green color. Make the hard boiled eggs. Clean the radishes and tomatoes. Prepare the tuna last, mind you all of this can be done ahead of time and assembled the day you are going to serve the salad.

Vinaigrette

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tbs white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dijon mustard

scant tsp of honey

Place everything in a lidded jar and shake to combine.

Assembly:

Heat fry pan with a little olive oil on Medium high heat (make sure it’s sizzling hot). Season the tuna steaks with salt and pepper (be generous with the pepper) Sear the tuna 3-4 minutes on each side (depending on thickness mine were about 1 1/2 inches thick) and immediately remove from the fry pan. Let sit 10 minutes and slice.

Arrange the vegetables and egg artistially on a platter, add the tuna slices and serve the vinaigrette on the side.

The wine:

reisling

reisling

American Wine- Finger Lakes region of New York State

Dr Konstantin Frank – 2013 Dry Reisling,

Rose champagne

Rose champagne

French Wine- NV Montaudon Grande Rosé Champagne – Reims, France

50% Chardonnay, 35% pinot noir, 15% pinot noir (red)

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Why I chose these wines:

I love wine and enjoy with my food but I am not a professional at wine pairings. I thought about what I was serving and what I would like to have with it, both the dry Reisling and Rosé Champagne came to mind. I did a little research and found that my instincts were pretty good. I thought the Reisling, especially this particular one from upstate New York is clean, crisp, and it would be a great match with the tuna.

When considering the Rosé Champagne one usually thinks in terms of desserts or something sweet but Rosé and specifically Rosé Champagne is excellent with many and varied savory dishes from  grilled meats to a Nicoise Salade. The Champagne also has a lively acidity and I felt that would be important when considering what to pair with this dish.

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The Pairing

Both wines were amazing and they were the perfect compliment to the salad. I first tasted the Reisling which is nicely dry, just the slightest hint of sweetness almost undetectable. It is a very distinct wine that was delicious with the meal. It’s very well balanced in both acidity and mineral content.

The Rosé Champagne is I think one of the best I have had. It’s a delicate champagne, a gorgeous deep pink, effervescant, crisp, fruity, slightly sweet and beautifully balanced. It went so well with the salad. I served ice cold.  This Champagne would be fantastic with anything including dessert.

If I had to pick one that was my favorite (and thats a tough one) I would have to say the Rosé Champagne wins my vote. I already ordered 2 more bottles.

It was an honor to be invited to participate in this with so many great bloggers most of whom are experts and really know their stuff when it comes to the intricacies of wine. Please check out their posts by clicking on the links below:

A Day in the Life on the Farm: “An American Feast for #WinePW”
Confessions of a Culinary Diva: “Provence Style Pan Roasted Chicken with Rose”
Cooking Chat: “Gruyere Cheeseburgers with a Bordeaux”
Culinary Adventures with Camilla: “Tapenade-Topped Sablefish + Cave de Saint-Roch-les-Vignes Côtes de Provence Rosé”
Curious Cuisiniere: “Cherry Clafoutis paired with a Cremant Rosé”
Dracaena Wines: “Discovering the Truth About Bastille Day with #WinePW”
ENOFYLZ Wine Blog: “Independence Day at Ridge Vineyards Zins and Blends #winePW”
Food Wine Click: “All American Menu: Farmer & Winery Friends”
Grape Experiences: “Wine and Dine: Les Vignes de Bila-Haut Blanc Cotes du Roussillon and Salade Niçoise”
Pull That Cork: “Domaine de Bila-Haut and Cobb Salad for #winePW”
Rockin Red Blog: “Celebrating America & France with July #WinePW”
Tasting Pour: “Steak with Mushroom Cognac Sauce, Patriotic Potatoes, and Bell Wine Cellars Cab Sauv #winepw”
Vino Travels: The Alchemy of Hunt Country Vineyards Paired with Braised Beef Short Ribs
Please join us this morning at 10 am CST on Twitter for a fun and lively discussion on our American and French food and wine pairings at #WinePW. Also, join us Saturday, August 15 as we explore Portugal, a land of delicious food and outstanding wines!