January 27, 2017

Time for Tea...

When the weather is teasing us a bit, deciding to be cold and then colder, a definite antidote is a good cup of tea.  The British have known this for 100's of years, and endless reruns of Downton Abbey have only further engraved it upon my mind.  I don't know what's taken me so long, but I have finally discovered the joy of tea!  So, it's rather convenient, I suppose, that we are now carrying the amazing line, Tea Forté.  (If you've ever treated yourself to lunch at Neiman Marcus, this is the tea you would have been served.)  The ubiquitous "tea bag" has been replaced with the rather impressive triangle shaped tea infuser with a signature little leaf attached to the string.  However, this isn't just a case of putting lipstick on a pig--this is some seriously flavorful tea.  

I'm currently  working my way through the Tea Tasting Assortment Collection, which they describe as: "The perfect introduction to the Tea Forté experience. Beautifully packaged and always appreciated, this curated tea collections are a most welcome presentation of the world’s most extraordinary teas."

Truly, I've enjoyed every one of them so far.  I have a Keurig coffee brewing system the I generally use to have a cup of coffee while I wait for my real coffee to brew each morning.  But, if you don't put in one of the little pods, it makes hot water for the perfect quick cup of tea just as easily!
The other fun thing I've been learning about are loose teas.  Tea Forté makes the perfect packet of loose tea that you put into a little brew basket that steeps the perfect cup.  It really couldn't be easier!  

The "Warming Joy" collection is a limited edition grouping of teas that are particularly good in the colder months.  Just tear open a packet, pop it into the little mesh basket, add hot water and there you go!  Really tasty, aromatic, bone warming, life giving tea!  
For those of you battling the late-winter doldrums, desperate to feel the warmth of the sun, try some of this tea--the Brits are really on to something!

January 10, 2017

S is for SOUR...

Now that January has a firm grip on us, and the winds come howling up from the north, it's a good time of year to have few friends over for an afternoon visit, a cup of tea, and a spot of cake.  Here's one that we're looking forward to trying very soon.

Gather the Goods:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 (12.5-ounce) jar Stonewall Kitchen Sour Cherry Jam
Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk until lumps from the flour are eliminated and the ingredients are uniformly mixed.
Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or a hand mixer can be used). Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla. Mix on low speed until uniform. Scrape down sides as needed.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low until the dough comes together into a ball. Do not over mix.
Form the dough into a round flat disc. Wrap in plastic wrap, or wax paper, and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form pan. Grate the dough using the large holes on a hand grater. Place half of the grated dough into the bottom of the prepared pan, pat down gently. Spread the jam evenly over the dough. Top with remaining grated dough. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Remove from oven and cool on a rack. Run a knife around the edge of the pan. Remove the spring form rim and slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. Dust with confectioner’s sugar. Cut into wedges and serve.

As much as I love a tipple, this is a tea kind of cake.  Serve slightly warm from the oven with a good black tea on a chilly late-afternoon for maximum pleasure....

And, how very handy, the Sour Cherry Jam is available in our Pantry Department CLICK HERE for details...

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