Tag Archive | tea

In My Madeira Kitchen

So, you all know that I had a fantastic time in Madeira. It goes without saying that I brought a few goodies home. Thanks to Celia from Fig jam and Lime cordial for gathering us all together.

In My Kitchen…

… Are three small bottles of rum. I thinking that they might be good in this year’s Christmas cake.

I also brought home three bottles of Poncha! Poncha is a traditional alcoholic drink of Madeira; made with sugar cane juice, honey, sugar, lemon rind and with other fruit juices.

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In My Kitchen…

… Stands a bottle of Madeira, suprise suprise! I tried the sweet version, the medium sweet version and the dry version but I came home with a bottle of medium dry. I think I’ll be baking with it…

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In My Kitchen…

… Sits a jar of homemade passionfruit and banana jam, which was bought from a little market in Funchal.

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In My Kitchen…

… Is a piece of honey cake. Madeira Sugar Cane Honey Cake is the oldest and most traditional pastry cake in Madeira. The influences include spices from the East Indies and even influences from Britain, given its strong resemblance to English traditional Christmas cake.

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In My Kitchen…

… Stands a rather beautiful bottle of Portuguese olive oil!

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In My Kitchen…

… Sits this stunning teapot that Dr Doolittle bought me. In the middle of Funchal, up a side street was this cute little tea shop!

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Melissa xx

Advent Calendar Day 11: Early Christmas Presents!

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I’m a lucky girl! This week I’ve received three lovely gifts in the post.

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If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter you will have seen that Elaine from Foodbod sent me some fabulous spice blends from the UK. Creole, Peri Peri, Ras el hanout and Moroccan. I can’t wait to use them!

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Celia from Fig Jam and Lime Cordial sent me some sourdough starter all the way from Australia. Her seven year old starter Priscilla has been sent all over the world. I’m naming my pack Saoirse (sear-sha) an Irish name for freedom and liberty.

Celia has loads of sourdough recipes on her blog, but I’ll be starting with her
basic sourdough tutorial, I’ll keep you posted!

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I’ve never had mail from Australia, aren’t the stamps beautiful?

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My final present this week was from Kingfisher Tea. Since 2005, this Irish family business has been “providing refreshing flavours of whole leaf teas and the relaxing fragrances of fruits, spices, flowers and herbs”. Based in County Wexford, the company has been awarded “Best in Ireland” designation from Bridgestone Guides and was awarded gold stars from the Guild of Fine Foods in 2009, 2011 and 2012.

Five delicious flavours arrived: Rosey Lee Fruit Tea, Moroccan Mint Tea, Irish Breakfast, Darjeeling Earl Grey Tea and Japan Sencha Green Tea.

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Everyone that reads my blog knows how much I love my tea and I’m extremely excited to be trying these out. All of the teas have excellent labels on the back, which list their ingredents AND more importantly how best to brew a cup!

Thank you so much to @foodbodfood,  @CeliaFigJam and @Kingfisherteas! Please check out the links I’ve posted above or their Twitter accounts and say hi….

Melissa xx

Tea Addict….

It’s Friday the 13th, it’s Fiesta Friday and I’m back home at The Glen House after a glorious holiday!

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No makeup, dodgy hair, great tan!

Where were we, you ask? Magical Marrakech! I’ll tell you more next week…..

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Tea by moon light

For now I’d like to share my new favourite breakfast drink, mid-morning drink, after-a-swim drink, after-dinner drink, before-bed drink…. Mint tea!

It’s no secret that I love tea (I wrote a post about chai tea a few months back), so to indulge in a sweet, refreshing version whilst on holiday was delightful.

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Chinese gunpowder green tea is preferred for making Moroccan tea. The “gunpowder” refers to the compression of the dried tea leaves into tiny pellets; seemingly, the more compact, the better the quality.

Added to this, is a generous quantity of fresh spearmint leaves. While fresh spearmint is the most popular choice for mint tea, smaller quantities of dried peppermint leaves may also be used.

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Spearmint

Moroccan mint tea is famously sweet!

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Tasty!

When we were served tea, it was poured from an arm’s length above each glass which gave it a nice foamy head and helped cool it slightly. Dr Doolittle got very good at this trick!

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Pouring tea

It goes without saying, that having bought a teapot and glasses as souvenirs that we’d be making mint tea at The Glen House! However, our fresh leaves are of the garden mint variety, so I’ll have to look into purchasing some spearmint.

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Keepsakes

Delicious…..

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Garden mint

I’ll be bringing a pot to Angie’s place for the novice gardener fiesta friday party.

Melissa xx

Driven to drinking (tea)!

I had a major panic attack just over two weeks ago. It’s never happened before, and I hope and pray it never happens again. It was a terrifying experience. I’m still exhausted from it, but the oddest thing about it is all the tea drinking!

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In the immediate aftermath I had sweet, sugary tea thrust into my hand…. Noooo!!! Thankfully, tea was soon swapped for proper medical attention.

However in the days after, safely tucked up inside The Glen House “resting” (and when I wasn’t very hungry), I drank gallons of tea. Bog standard old-fashioned tea. Proper tea and milk tea, none of the new age modern fancy stuff!

So from Irish builders tea I’ve turned a corner and gone back to the much healthier Masala Chai tea.

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This Indian inspired teas has wonderful Ayurvedic healing properties:
Ginger quickly warms up the whole body and has antibacterial and antiviral effects. Cloves are an analgesic relieving pain.

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Cardamom helps warm you up. It is beneficial for digestion, respiratory problems and prevents muscle cramps, relieving inflammation.

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Cinnamon is naturally sweet and is beneficial particularly for flues and colds. It also regulates blood sugar level and blood pressure and helps alleviate digestive problems.

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These ingredients are a rough guide for my version of Masala Chai… Everyone makes it differently… you need to make it to YOUR taste:
1 mug of water
as much (soya) milk as you like in your tea
2 black peppercorns
2 green cardamom  pods, lightly crushed
4 cloves
small piece cinnamon  stick
1 tsp fresh ginger , peeled and roughly sliced
1 tsp loose black tea
sugar (to taste)

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Grind the spices, put into pan with the cinnamon stick and boiling water. Add the tea and let it ‘steep’, but don’t let it continue to boil! Leave it for a couple of minutes. Then add in the milk so that it warms in with the tea, but once again don’t let it boil, just simmer away. Strain the tea, pour into mug, discarding the spices and sweeten to taste.

Or you could use an emergency Masala chai tea bag!

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So the moral of this story…

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Melissa xx