Monday, October 24, 2011

Kitchen Organising, Tea, Tea, and More Tea

I took the liberty of doing a bit of cleaning up and organising in my kitchen. It had been bothering me for sometime, but I finally got it done.

The tupperware got sorted into "We use this" and "We never use this" and we are hoping to offload it onto someone who will appreciate it.

The pantry got organised: canned food, sauces, grains, baking, and spaghetti.

Finally, I moved all my tea onto three shelves.   Yes, three shelves.

Not pictured: the lower shelf with the Timothy's gift box teas.

I have bagged tea, loose tea, old tea, new tea. One tea, two tea, red tea, blue tea.

Loose teas:

2 blossoming teas
1 Chinese Green Tea (the packaging is all in Chinese so I can't give anymore detail than that)
Full Monty Mango
White Swiss Truffle
Sencha Kyoto Cherry Rose
Organic Jade Green
Pumpkin Spice

Spring Morning
Organic Raspberry Leaf
Ice Age
Masala Chai

Davids Tea:
Midsummer Night's Dream
Bear Trap
Organic Detox

Boxed Tea:
Fireside Orange Spice
Orange Pekoe
Orange Pekoe with Strawberry
Two kinds of Peppermint
Apple Cinnamon
Sisters Blend Green
Tetley Earl Grey
Bengal Spice
Bedtime Tea
Apple Mango
Caramel Orange
Ginseng Lemon

Timothy's Tea:
Green (x 2)
English Breakfast
Earl Grey
Lemon Blueberry
Timothy's Private Blend
Organic Pomegranate White

And I think that's it.  Ramona Flowers, eat your heart out.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Today's tea: Spring Morning

One of the first loose teas I ever bought.  I've been slightly obsessed with loose teas for a little over a year, now, and don't regret it at all.

My favourite places to buy loose tea are Teaopia and David's Tea.  This particular tea is from Teaopia.

The steeped product is a clear, golden colour. There isn't a whole lot of residue left in the cup. (I use a mesh teaball or my super high end tea travel mug to make my tea)

I steep my green tea for three minutes to ensure it's strong enough.  This particular flavour is sweet and strong and aromatic.  There are whimsical little bits of fruit and such in the tea which helps give it the strong berryish smell.  Sadly, I'm at the end of my tea tin so I can't steep any fruit pieces, but the entire tin, even without the fruit pieces, smells amazing.

Because green tea has caffeine, I make sure to drink it early in the day because caffeine does funky things to me.

Anyway. Spring Morning. Super good. Try it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's only natural I made this

Well, last weekend was Thanksgiving and there were very few leftovers... only turkey, really, and not a whole hell of a lot of it.  We had a full second Thanksgiving dinner with our neighbours across the street and to ensure we had enough food, I made more baby fingerling potatoes and boiled and pan fried a batch of chedder broccoli perogies.

And so, with full bellies, we slept well, but in the morning I found myself with a turkey carcass and a logical idea.

What else could I do? I boiled the bitch and made a fantastic soup.



1 Thanskgiving turkey carcass with meat still on it
8 (I think I used around 8) litres of water. (I filled half my huge soup pot with water)
salt, pepper, dried sage, thyme (to taste)
1 cube chicken stock
1 cube veggie stock
1 turnip, peeled and quartered
2 small onions, peeled and quarters
2 stalks celery broken in half

Soup content

1 cup long grain and wild rice mixture (uncooked)
1/2 cup barley
1 quart baby fingerling potatoes (or as much as you want in the soup) cut into medallions
2 carrots, chopped
1 large stalk celery, chopped
Any other veggies, really. Just chop them up and throw them in. Green beans, cauliflower, peas, corn, zucchini, whatever you fancy. The more you add, the healthier it gets. Aim for solid, firm veggies that would hold up well in a soup.


Throw all the stock ingredients into the pot and bring it to a boil.  Lower the heat to medium and allow it to simmer for three hours.
Remove everything except the stock and add the rice and barley for 45 minutes
Add the potato medallions and all your other veggies
Strip the meat off of the turkey carcass, being careful not to strip off any bones, and add it to the soup.
Allow to simmer for another hour
Taste the broth, and taste a bit of  salt or other spices if you feel it's too bland.

Enjoy a nice hot bowl of thanksgiving turkey and wild rice soup.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The final Thanksgiving thread for 2011

I think that I've tortured my readers enough. This will be the last post with food from Thanksgiving.

Menu was simple. Turkey. Fingerling potatoes. Heritage carrots. Corn on the cob. Pie. I even made caramel drizzle for on the pie. We're having it all again tomorrow!

Here are some pictures of all the food!

Prepped Potatoes

Most households prefer mashed potatoes with Thanksgiving dinner but we prefer baby fingerling potatoes.


Baby fingerling potatoes
2 onions, quartered
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 spring rosemary (I might add another)
several small sprigs thyme
2 stalks celery, quartered
olive oil
salt and pepper

Throw everything in a roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper (a pinch of each) and toss to combine.

Roast at 435 for 30 minutes. The potatoes are done when you can easily pierce a large potato with a knife.

A spectrum of carrots

Yes, they are all carrots.


Thanksgiving is today and what better way to spend the day before Thanksgiving than by baking pies?

I made some dough from scratch -- a deep dish pate brisee dough, and then made a deep dish apple pie which was flambeed in brandy. When it was finished, I cut pieces of dough out with the cookie cutter and glazed it all in egg yolk.  Sadly, the braid around the border of the crust fell off because I was stupid and didn't glaze before placing. Herp derp. At least it still looks nice.

After the pie was done I had dinner to make. There were three adults and only three tiny pork tenderloins.  I decided the best course of action was to use the rest of my pie dough and made three pork pot pies. It was actually super easy.


Pie dough

3 small pork tenderloin medallions, chopped into tiny pieces
A sprig of fresh thyme and a sprig of fresh chopped rosemary
1 clove of garlic
1 egg, beaten

1 egg yolk
2 tbsp water
salt and pepper - a pinch of each

Make the dough an hour earlier and cut circles about four inches bigger than the pie plate you're using. I used creme brulee dishes.
Cut a second circle of dough per creme brulee dish about an inch around the actual size and place to the side.
Centre the dough on the creme brulee dish and trim the edges
Combine the filling in a bowl and spoon the filling into each bowl.
Mix the egg yolk with the water and brush the rim of the dough
Place the smaller circles of dough over top of the creme brulee dishes and pinch until sealed
Brush the tops of the pies with the egg/water mixture
Poke a small hole in the middle of each pie to allow heat to escape
Put in the oven for 35 mins  at 350 degrees.

It wasn't perfect but it was still tasty. I'll try to make it a bit saucier next time and will post how it goes.  Still, the pastry was flaky and delicious and the meat was seasoned perfectly. A perfect dinner with mashed potatoes and garlic sauteed carrots and broccoli.