Category Archives: tea

Make Time!

sugarsLovely thoughts flutter through your mind to hand craft  all of your gifts this year. Just imagine it, Christmas music playing in the background, an area set aside for all your crafting gear (and not having to clear the dining room table for a meal!) …yes, it is nice to dream. Then there is the calendar flipping its days so fast it could make your head spin.  Time is the rare commodity as holiday activities run away with it all. 

Here are a few links to DIY gifts that look like you worked on for days but will take only  a matter of hours from start to wrapping.

Give joy!

 

http://www.pinterest.com/gardenersue/make-joy/

http://creativegardener.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/last-minute-gift-ideas-herbal-scented-sugars/

http://creativegardener.wordpress.com/category/recipes/

 


Seasons!

Green Friday at Urban Garden Company


Last Minute Gift Ideas: Herbal Scented Sugars

For the sweet tooth on your list, create a mini selection of herb-infused sugars.

Wrap up in a gift box and include a recipe book or cards sharing how to use them!

Use peppermint or spearmint leaves, rose-scented geranium (Pelargonium),  lavender buds,  rose petals, lemon verbena leaves, vanilla beans or ginger. All the following recipes become more flavorful as the fragrance infuses into the sugar. Use decorative glass jars that seal tight.

Herb leaf or flower petal sugar

Alternate a layer of sugar and the chosen herb until the jar is full. Allow to sit a few days before use to allow the flavor to infuse through the sugar.

Vanilla Sugar

3 cups sugar and 2 vanilla beans

Directions: Place sugar in a bowl. Using a sharp knife, cut vanilla beans in half,  lengthwise. Scrape seeds from the pod into the sugar. Mix vanilla seeds and sugar to evenly distribute the seeds throughout the sugar. Strain sugar mixture through a fine mesh or cheesecloth into an airtight container. Halve vanilla pods crosswise, and submerge them in sugar.

 Lemon Sugar

3 or 4 small lemons and 2 cups sugar

Directions: Use the zest (the skin) from the lemons. Scrape as much of the white, bitter pith off as possible. Add zest to a food processor and grind with 1 cup of sugar until thoroughly mixed.

Transfer the mix to a medium bowl. Add remaining cup sugar, and toss until evenly mixed. Allow to dry before placing in a glass jar, by spreading the sugar mix on a cookie sheet at room temperature for about an hour or until dry.

Ginger Sugar

In a food processor, whirl together one cup of sugar with a few chunks of candied/crystallized ginger.

Ideas for use:

-Rim the glass of a cocktail with lemon-infused sugar by running a fresh-cut lemon slice around the rim and dipping it in the sugar mix.

-Rose geranium sugar and other herbal sugars are perfect to sweeten tea or to sprinkle on the top of shortbread or scones.

-Use peppermint infused sugar in coffee, tea or hot toddy’s

-Sprinkle vanilla and ginger infused sugar on warm gingersnaps,  fresh from the oven (see my favorite gingersnap recipe)


Last minute gift Idea: Wrap up Tea Time

Wrap up Tea Time


Purchase pre-packaged or make your own blends if you have dried herbs harvested from the summer garden.

Create a unique card to hold tea bags. Try this easy one sheet (scrapbook paper 12 x 12) folded accordion card,

how-to’s are here:

http://scrapbooking.about.com/od/3dembellishments/ss/onesheetminibook.htm

Gift Package with a tea cup, shortbread cookies, a jar of honey, and a personal sentiment,  plus inspirations that slow the pace and relax with a cup of tea,  like a good book.

 

 

 

 

Create unique blends to give

Herbal Tea Recipe Blends:
Experiment with flavors you like, try not to add more than three ingredients at a time.
Sweet, Minty and Soothing
1 cup dried lavender buds
1 cup dried spearmint
½ cup dried German chamomile blossoms
A Tangy Touch Of Citrus
1 cup dried pineapple sage
1 cup rosehips, lightly crushed
½ cup dried lemon balm 
A Floral Blend
½ cup rose petals
½ cup lavender buds
1 cup lemon verbena

Herbs Mixed With Indian or China Teas:

Create flavorful blends from purchased bulk teas. Mix a single herb with bulk tea such as Darjeeling, green or Earl Gray to create unique blends.  The homegrown herb will enhance the tea with flavor and fragrance. Begin by mixing the tea 4 parts to 1 part of dried herb.


Combinations to try:

English lavender buds with Earl Gray

Spearmint with green tea

Bee balm with Darjeeling

Package hand-blended loose teas in small glassine bags.Seal and label with the flavor and instructions on how to brew.To use: 1 teaspoon of loose herbs per cup of hot water.

Copy this tea label or make your own. This beautiful frame was found at http://www.graphicsfairy.blogspot.com


Recycle!

This is a post from my former blog that is timely considering it is a chilly day and the tea kettle is whistling!

A blustery day and tea…

It seems a blustery, cold fall day sends us a signal to go inside for a hot cup of tea. One of my favorite ways to use herbs fresh or dried is to blend them with different types of black or Chinese teas.

These types of tea that are typically purchased and are really just the many ways Camellia sinensis (the true tea plant) is harvested, dried and preserved. Purchase them loose and handblend flavorful teas with your own herbs from the garden. Flowers harvested for teas include German chamomile, lavender, calendula, roses. Leaves include lemon verbena, mints, bee balm, sage, rosemary.

How to blend your own teas:

Harvest herbs from the garden and dry them. Store in glass jars. These will be like your own buffet of flavors to add to ordinary teas.

Mix a single herb with purchased tea such as Darjeeling, green or Earl Gray to create flavored blends:

Combinations to try:

Lavender buds with Earl Gray

Mint leaves with green tea

Bee balm leaves and Darjeeling

Rose petals and irish breakfast

Chamomile flowers and white tea.

To use: measure approximately 1 teaspoon of loose herb per cup of hot tea. Adjust to taste


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