Irish Breakfast Raspberry Muffins

Irish Breakfast raspberry muffins are easy to make and a fun change to the usual morning meal. We used raspberries in this recipe because we happen to have a lot in the house currently, but you can incorporate any summer fruit or berry, just cut it into small pieces.

Irish Breakfast Raspberry Muffins – Ingredients

1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons of Irish Breakfast tea
2 cups of Whole Wheat Baking Flour or All Purpose Flour
1 cup of Old Fashion Rolled Oats (No instant Oatmeal, it will not set up correctly)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of raspberries cut in half
2 eggs 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/3 cup of agave nectar

 

Irish Breakfast Raspberry Muffins – Steps

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line your muffin pan with muffin liners or spray with oil so you can easily remove the muffins after baking.
  2. Put the milk in a pan on the stove top with the tea and bring the milk up to just a simmer. You are looking for steam and small bubbles around the edges. Stir the tea leaves into the milk and periodically stir to make sure the milk does not burn to the bottom of the pan. This will only take about 5-7 minutes. Remove the milk from the heat and allow to sit with the tea still in it for at least 10 minutes.
  3. While the tea is steeping, mix together in a bowl the flour, oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  4. Cut the raspberries in half and mix them into the dry ingredients. You want them coated in flour. Do not skip cutting down whatever fruit you chose to use, if the fruit pieces are bigger than 1/3 of an inch you will likely have problems with big holes and your muffins falling apart as the fruit shrinks in cooking.
  5. Mix in a separate bowl the oil, agave nectar, vanilla extract, and eggs.
  6. Strain the milk to remove the tea leaves and once cool mix into the liquids in step 4. The milk is cool enough if you can comfortably put your finger in it.
  7. Add the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix until everything is incorporated and there are no dry ingredients.
  8. Fill the muffin tin to about 2/3 of the way up the sides and bake for 14-16 minutes. Test with a toothpick (which should come out clean) before removing. Makes 12 regular sized muffins.

**If you want an even more intense tea taste, replace a tablespoon of the flour with a tablespoon of tea leaves. Crush the tea leaves into a powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

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Tea Ice Cream Floats – A Cool Summer Time Treat

Ice Cream Floats Made From Tea

Delicious Tea Ice Cream Float

Tea ice cream floats are a fun way to drink tea when it is really hot out or you are in the mood for an ice cream float but without the soda. Below we used Ginger Honeybush, as this was for dessert after dinner and we did not want caffeine that late in the day. The recipe below is scaled for 4 people but is easy to scale down or up. There is also no requirement that you freshly brew the tea, if you have iced tea in the refrigerator, feel free to try with that.

Tea Ice Cream Floats – Ingredients

4 tablespoons Ginger Honeybush tea
4 teaspoons of Agave Nectar
2 1/4 Cups Boiling Water
Seltzer Water (Should be cold)
Vanilla Ice Cream (You can use any ice cream. We happen to like Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream)
4 Large Glasses
4 Spoons

Tea Ice Cream Floats – Steps

  1. Take your 4 glasses and put 1 teaspoon of Agave Nectar into each glass. Bring your 2 1/4 cups of water up to a boil.
  2. Steep the 4 tablespoons of Ginger Honeybush in the water for 5 minutes.
  3. Strain off the tea and pour 1/2 cup into each glass and stir (yes the tea is hot). Pour in selzter water until half-way up the glass and stir.
  4. Scoop in vanilla ice cream and then pour in additional seltzer water to the desired level. Serve and enjoy!

This is a fun way to do ice cream floats without soda. The seltzer water still gives you the crunchy ice cream effect that you get with soda.

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3 Unusual Tea and Food Pairings

Brie with Matcha Infused Sencha

Matcha Infused Sencha and Brie

Tea has been consumed with food for centuries, so it seems rather funny to talk about tea and food pairings. However, as high quality tea becomes more widely available there are many opportunities to look at what you want to eat with your prized tea to enhance its flavor and give you new experiences. We bet there are certain foods you wouldn’t think to have a cup of tea with. So here are 3 unusual tea and food pairings you might want to try.

  1. Brie and Matcha Infused Sencha – Yes, France meets Japan. Given that Brie is typically paired with a Chardonnay or fruity light red wine, Matcha Infused Sencha was a shock. This grassy tea compliments the Brie and enhances its flavor without losing its own. The two together create a lite nutty flavor that is smooth and creamy.
  2. Tomato, Basil & Garlic Pasta with 2nd Flush Darjeeling – Pairing this fragrant, yet strong, tea with a tomato sauce makes for lovely combination. The crisp Darjeeling cuts the acidity of the sauce while enhancing the basil with other herbal notes. Darjeeling is surprisingly versatile, so pair it with your favorite tomato sauce and pasta combination. It also stands up to your favorite spicy dishes.
  3. Roasted Nuts & White Peony Tea – The next time you reach for your favorite roasted nut for a snack, grab a cup of white tea to go with it. The combination of the salty nut and floral white make a third flavor together that is like cream. This is especially true with pistachios, cashews, and almonds.

Pairing tea with meals is similar to pairing wine with meals. Lighter teas with lighter foods and stronger teas with stronger foods. However, don’t allow that guidance to stop you from experimenting. The complex flavors in teas make them very versatile and fun to play with. So bring out your favorite tea and pair it with some of your favorite foods you wouldn’t consider. You will be amazed at what you find.

 

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Tea Infused Foam: Fun with Cocktails and Mocktails

What is tea infused foam? Great question! It is a fun way to play with your cocktails and a good excuse to have your own whipped cream dispenser. Below we will give you a few tips and tricks on making your own and even point out the recipes that can be done with a standard kitchen whisk.

History of Foamy Cocktails

So the foam in cocktails is traditionally made with egg whites. Eggs have been added to beverages since the Middle Ages. Keep in mind that alcohol was common beverage since the technology and knowledge of how to make most water safe to drink was not available. The modern day version of egg cocktails came in the late 1800’s and all of them involve shaking the cocktail. Modern technology, in the form of the modern day whipped cream dispenser, allow us to bypass shaking and to substitute the egg.

Tea Infused Foam Recipes

Lighter Foam

1 tsp of Egg Replacer

1 tablespoon of water

16 oz of Cold Tea (Your favorite flavor)

Stir together the egg replacer and water and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the tea and the egg replacer to the whipped cream dispenser and shake hard for about 30 seconds before adding the gas canister to the dispenser. Shake again for a few more seconds after the canister has emptied into the dispenser. It is ready to use on your favorite beverage. We love adding Chocolate Mint foam to iced Earl Grey. If you would like to use egg, it is just egg white from 1 egg instead of the egg replacer and water in this recipe.

Note:  Egg replacer will not foam without the dispenser, so there is no point in trying a whisk on this recipe.

Stiff Foam

1 tsp Guar Gum

16oz of Cold Tea

Whisk together the guar gum and cold tea until the guar gum is dissolved and a foamy gel is formed. The gel will be heavy and sink into the drink if not added to the whipped cream dispenser. So while it can be spooned directly onto the drink, it may work better and be even more foamy if put it in the whipped cream dispenser for application.

Enjoy using the foam as a way to change up your ice team or favorite foamy cocktail.

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Southern Afternoon Tea: An American Tradition

Sweet Tea // Ice Tea

Popular throughout the American south, Sweet Tea can be a great way to beat the summer heat. Photo by liz west (Flickr) – CC BY 2.0 – https://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/641462022/

With iced tea season on hand, it is time to look at another American twist to tea, the southern afternoon tea. If you haven’t guessed already, the main beverage of the southern afternoon tea is iced tea. So let’s take a look at its origins and then what to serve to make your southern afternoon tea truly American.

Southern Afternoon Tea – History

Afternoon teas in the US mimic British teas during the 1700’s. However, as the ice box and refrigeration developed in the US, so did iced tea. Keep in mind, a high temperature in London is the upper 60’s for the summer. In most of the southern US it is a good 20 degrees warmer, so ice became very popular very quickly in our country. Sweet iced tea, with black tea as the base, first appeared in the 1870’s. Before that, it was green tea that served as the base to iced tea. In the wealthy plantations the tea was served over ice with sugar and a slice of lemon. Periodically herbs like mint or basil were added as garnish.

Southern Afternoon Tea – What to Serve

A southern tea needs American food, luckily there is no shortage of historic recipes to draw from when crafting your menu. Much like the British, the southern tea includes both sweet and savory items. The big difference is the use of ingredients and foods that reflect what was available in the early to mid-1800’s in the United States. Of course you can update this with your favorite family recipes.

  • Southern Tea Cake – This soft cake like cookie is the simple combination of sugar, flour, eggs, milk, butter,and pearlash (an early form of leavening agent, like yeast). Today’s version includes vanilla, baking powder and salt. These versatile cakes can be eaten plain or used much like the British scone.
  • Apple Tansey – This calls for a true cast iron skillet to get right. First published in 1742 in Williamsburg, VA, this treat is highlighted in the Complete Housewife, which was originally published in England but was reworked by William Parks for American tastes. This recipe calls for Pipin Apples (Granny Smith seem to be a favored alternative), butter, eggs, cream, sugar and nutmeg. The goal is to fry the apples in butter and then add the eggs and cream and have it brown on one side and then flip (or cook under a broiler) to brown the other. Think of it like a sweet apple frittata.
  • Ambrosia Salad

    Ambrosia Salad – Photo by Flickr User Steven Depolo (CC BY 2.0)

    Ambrosia Salad – This fruit salad appeared in the 1860’s as the railroad connected the southern citrus fields with the northern Eastern cities. As California opened up, coconut was commonly delivered into San Francisco and made its way east for those who could afford it. Ambrosia salad was originally a layered salad of shredded coconut, sugar and citrus. It has since had pecans and marshmallows added to it.

  • Biscuits with Ham – Pigs were a big staple in all early American homes. They provided both protein and fat for cooking other foods that could be cured with salt for long term storage.

So the next time you are thinking about afternoon tea, try the American version!

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