Tea Infused Mulled Wine

I’ll admit that I’m not a wine drinker. I’ve tried to like it but I don’t usually find it tasty, especially red wine. Most of my drink recipes are made with whiskey which is what I prefer. However, I know that many of you like wine and I’ve always wanted to try making mulled wine so here we go!

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After looking at a lot of recipes, I realized most of the ingredients added are just to spice it up a bit. I don’t know much about wine but I do know that I don’t want to waste a really good wine by cooking different ingredients into it. I went to the store and bought a cheap bottle because I would be enhancing the flavor. Feel free to use whatever wine you like best for this recipe!

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I also noticed that most of the recipes have some sort of citrus in them. What I chose to do was to use lemon and then a citrus herbal tea. I used Tangerine Ginger from Rishi Tea that came in my Sipsby box. This tea has hibiscus flowers, orange peel, ginger root, citrus oils, licorice root and schizandra berries! Yum yum yum!

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I chose to use tea sachets for ease but If you want to use loose leaf, you have to strain the mixture anyway! I wanted to note that this could probably taste good with many teas but I chose an herbal tea because of the high heat. The wine is already potent and I think putting something like black tea in it might run you the risk of getting a bitter flavor.

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A few notes about making this recipe. I like to use honey and because of that I added the wine and honey in the pan first and let them mix a little bit. The heat should be on low the entire time. After I added all the other ingredients (except tea bags) I kept it on low with the lid on and just let it simmer. I didn’t really time it, I did it my aroma. Making this wine is delicious but it also makes your house smell so good!!!

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Once I felt that the aroma was strong I took off the lid and saw that the mixture was bubbling a little and everything was a bit darker. The cranberries had softened etc. This is when measured the heat of the mixture. My tea bags have the temperature set to 200F and so I made sure the wine was around that temperature then added in the teabags for 5 minutes. If your tea has a lower temperature, let the mixture cool a bit!

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Take out your tea bags, strain and serve in mugs! This amount of ingredients was enough for 2 large mugs and a little more. At a party, it would be best to use smaller mugs and this batch could stretch a bit farther. I also garnishes with fresh cranberries, lemon peel and cinnamon!

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Enjoy! Do you have a favorite mulled wine recipe?

Apple Cider Donuts!

I’ve had trouble finding apple cider donuts this year! Maybe I’m not looking in the right places. I did go to a fall festival which definitely had them but I couldn’t be bothered to wait in the long line. I’ve made matcha donuts, pu’er donuts and apple cider before on my blog so I thought I would give these a shot!.

I based my recipe off this one which is what I think you should follow! I did make some changes which I will note below.

The weather has NOT been cooperating with me so I haven’t been able to get any good photos but will update this post when I do!

Infusing tea into the Apple Cider is very simple. If you buy apple cider, make sure to follow the recipe for the apple cider donuts and boil it down a bit. You could then, while it is hot, fill a tea bag with your desired tea and let it steep for a few minutes. When choosing a tea, do not choose a delicate tea because it will get bitter. Go for a tea that can handle hot temperatures like black tea or rooibos. I used a Lavender spice tea that has rooibos in it for my apple cider.

I’ve also linked a recipe I used for apple cider infused with tea above if you want to make it from scratch! Even if you just boil apples then infuse the tea for a few minutes, it still tastes great! I made my apple cider from scratch for these donuts and it turned out well!

The substitutions I made in the Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe are as follows!

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) apple cider ——> I made my own tea infused apple cider

  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar —-> I used 1 cup dark brown sugar instead of 1/2 brown, 1/2 white. I also used brown sugar for the coating.

  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk, at room temperature* ——-> I used Oat Milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract——> I didn’t have this so I didn’t use it and they turned out fine!

Even though these donuts are baked, with the melted butter they almost taste fried!

Enjoy!

Roasted Eggplant with Genmaicha Sauce

Fall is here and I always crave squash and eggplant! I try my best to go to the local farmer’s market every weekend or every other weekend to support Maryland Farmers! I happened to pick up 3 nubia eggplants!

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My original plan was to make khoresh bademjan which is an Iranian eggplant stew but when I got my Sipsby box and saw that there was genmaicha in it, an idea started brewing! Genmaicha is a Japanes green tea that also had puffed rice in it. This genmaicha is from Yannoko tea and is their organic variation which includes bancha as the green tea.

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I love rice so the very first time I tried gemaicha I was in love! Genmaicha is definitely a tea that pairs well with savory food as it has the grassy green tea flavor as well as some roasted notes due to the rice. I decided to try a sauce using genmaicha to top the eggplants with!

In my recipe you’ll see that I said to let the eggplants “sweat".” When we prepare eggplants for the khoresh I mentioned above, you peel and slice the eggplants then salt them. After a little bit, you’ll see beads of liquid on them hence the “sweat"! This helps rid the eggplants of some of the bitterness. You are welcomed to fry the eggplants instead of baking but I love to bake them. With a little olive oil, S + P, they get browned and a bit crispy on the edges!

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The baking time really depends on your preference and also how thick you sliced your eggplants. I wanted to give a little advice when slicing. Sometimes slicing thin can help things cook quicker, but with eggplant in the oven I’ve noticed that if they are sliced too thin you really lose most of the eggplant.

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When doing this sauce I think it’s best to have all your ingredients prepared before you start so that you can focus on the sauce itself. When you brew the genmaicha tea, make sure to follow brewing instructions on the package. For reference, brewing temperature is 176F and steep for 30-60 seconds. You can do multiple infusions.

One other brewing note is about strength. In my other recipes I sometimes brew the tea on the longer side so that it is more potent in the dish since many times it is being cooked. Be cautious of applying that to genmaicha. I find genmaicha to be pretty delicate and you wouldn’t want the tea to be bitter and then transfer that taste to your meal!

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The genmaicha helps cook the spinacha bit more and once it’s reduced use as much boursin as you’d like to thicken it. I could definitely use more cheese but was trying to keep this a semi helathy recipe :D I did want to note that I used boursin because I had some, it’s creamy texture and the fact that it is already flavored with garlic and herb which I think went well with everything else. You could definitely experiment with other cheeses but be careful of using one that is too strong as it will likely overpower any notes of the genmaicha.

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I thought this sauce turned out well and it paired well with the eggplant! The sauce definitely has an earthy taste which is thanks to the genmaicha!

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A fancy but easy meal for a day when you have time to make yourself a nice meal or use at a party!

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Golden Tips Tea Topping + Pumpkin Pasta

Pumpkin + tea pasta whaaaaaattt?

I found a package of pumpkin pasta at marshalls and HAD to make a recipe with it!

I’ve already made pesto with tulsi tea before and wanted to try something else! I also try to use up whatever I have in my house at the moment and I pulled out some eggplant from the farmer’s market.

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Eggplant is prominent in stews in Iranian cuisine and stews remind me of fall and winter so I thought it was the perfect addition to the sauce/topping I was making. I was sent the golden tips tea from Upton Tea to try and make a recipe with!

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The golden tips tea is a black tea but it has such a lovely, sweet and light taste to it that I thought it could go well in the sauce/topping!

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One tip I have for prepping the eggplants, salt them! When we prepare eggplants for the stews I mentioned earlier, we peel them and salt them. When they “sweat” it helps get some of the bitterness out of them!

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Feel free to mess around with proportions of tea but this is what worked for me to be able to get it to reduce and become thicker!

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Pomegranate Green Tea

Fall is coming and while most people are screaming for pumpkins ( l do love pumpkins), I’m over here like woooohooooo anar season! Anar is the farsi word for pomegranate! I grew up eating this delicious fruit and when I was in High School/College it started becoming more popular in the United States particularly for it’s health benefits. More popular = available more places so it’s a win win for me!

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I got this gunpowder green tea from Bare Leaves Tea Co in my Sipsby box and wanted to create a simple drink with it! I was thinking of fall flavors and decided to try it with pomegranate!

I decided to cold brew the tea. If you’ve never done this before it’s really simple! There are a bunch of ways you can do it but I like to take the leaves and run some warm water over them just to wake them up a bit. Then I place them in a container with water and let it sit overnight in the fridge! These leaves were probably steeping for about 12 hours. You can then drain and use!

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The drink is mostly made up of the cold brew tea, you should fill most of your glass with the cold brew and just top it off with the pomegranate.

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The pomegranate that is being added in is a syrup I made. If you want to make a large amount of syrup you’ll need to use more pomegranates but I combined the seeds of one pomegranate with 1/2 cup water and touch of honey. I let the mixture boil until the water was fragrant and had boiled down a bunch. Let the syrup cool before adding it into your tea!

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I took a few pomegranate seeds and placed them in the cup for decor and a little surprise at the bottom of the glass!

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I also left a few leaves in my cup for fun! I hope you enjoy it!

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Acorn Squash Scones w/ Black Tea Infused Butter

Yes, you read that right! I decided to use some of the acorn squash I made in a recipe because I have all the fall vibes over here! Also, acorn squash is one of my favorites and although I usually just bake it and eat it, I wanted to try it in a different form.

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This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of cooked acorn squash. You can cook it however you’d like but I always like to bake it. I will usually place the whole acorn squash in a hot oven until it’s a bit easier to cut but this isn’t necessary. I also season it minimally because i’ts so flavorful and because it’s going into the scones. I used a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Depending on the size of your acorn squash, one half will probably be around how much you need for 1/2 cup.

Something important about the butter: Make sure you give yourself time for it to freeze it! Once the tea is infused in the butter, strain it and let it sit to make sure as much butter as possible strains out. You can put it in the fridge but if you put it in the freezer it will congeal quicker.

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The scone batter was a bit difficult to deal with due to the acorn squash so the easiest thing to do would be to make dollops of it on the pan. I decided to try to cut a shape with a cookie cutter I had and add a stem to make it look like a leaf…it was a fail :0

I note in the recipe to freeze them first but it’s not needed. If you do freeze them, you can easily bake some now and keep the rest in the freezer and they will be easier to handle.

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These didn’t change shape much while baking so I was a bit worried but they actually turned out quick delicious! They’re hardy and great for having with tea!

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I did want to share an easy glaze you could make but I will say that these scones don’t need it! I think you can make the glaze and have it in case but make sure to try the scones themselves too!

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So in the scones I used the organic assam black tea by Mana organics to infuse the butter. In the glaze I used a kenyan black tea with lemon by Ajiri Tea. All you have to do is brew the tea enough to get 1-2 tablespoons. To the tea continue to add sifted powdered sugar until you get your preferred pouring texture!

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Because of the acorn squash the scones are somewhat sweet but also border on savory. The squash is really represented well in the scone but some people might like it a bit sweeter. The glaze would come in well for that.

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The tea I used for the glaze has a lemon flavor which complimented the other flavors well!

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Rooibos & Blood Orange Mocktail

It’s not technically fall, but I’ve been feeling the fall vibes with the cooler weather so I decided to start making it FALL in the kitchen hehe.

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When I received this rooibos + honeybush tea from tea pigs in my sipsby box, I knew I had to make a drink with it! The flavors of this tea are perfect for fall and after brainstorming a bunch I decided to keep it simple!

This recipe is as simple as brewing the rooibos and then cutting the garnish which is of course optional!

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You can either brew the rooibos hot and let it cool down or cold brew it! If you brew it hot, make sure you give yourself time to let it cool down. Brewing hot, use boiling water and brew for 5-7 minutes to make sure it’s strong. If you are using tea bags I would use 1-2 depending on how strong you want the tea flavor and 2-3 tablespoons loose leaf. If you want to cold brew, run a bit of warm water over the tea, then place it in a container with water (not hot) and place it in the fridge over night. The next day you can make the drink immediately!

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Tea Infused Halva

Halva is a dessert mostly comprised of flour and sugar. I've halva in different forms varying in color and solidity. The type of halva I'm used to having is darker colored and more like a spread consistency versus something more solid. 

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Iranian sweets have always intimidated me but when I looked up the recipe for halva, it seemed simple enough! I even got some tips from my dad who is a great cook and has made halva a lot. He reminded me that when you don't mix the halva well it doesn't turn out well and gets lumps in it. He said my arm will probably get tired mixing it, this is important to remember!

Of all the teas in my sipsby box I knew that the grimdark tea by Dryad tea would be the best one! Halva doesn't have a super complicated taste so I thought it would really spice it up to include the grimdark. The grimdark tea has black tea, oolong, clove, rosebuds and roasted mate. I felt like these flavors would give the halva a great punch!

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I mention saffron water in my recipe. This isn't something you buy at the store ( I think). I make this "water" by placing a few threads of saffron in a cup and fill an inch or two hot water over the threads, let it sit for a while and the water will change color. Do this to add in the saffron water for the recipe. If you don't know what to do with the leftover saffron, add it to rice or any veggie or meat marinade or sauce :) 

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When you brew the tea and dissolve the brown sugar in the tea make sure it's hot. If the sugar doesn't dissolve you can heat the tea on the stove until it does. When you melt the butter in the pan and add in the flour, it will turn a light brown color. Make sure that your flour is sifted before hand and mix, mix, mix to make sure there are lumps! 

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Now off the heat you still have to mix like there's no tomorrow for the additions of the liquid. My halva ended up getting a little darker brown and was very buttery! 

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Above is what it looked like before it went in the fridge. You can definitely eat it like this and maybe even use it as a sweet dip! 

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I prefer the slightly thicker consistency once it's put in the fridge. Mine was very soft because I think there was a lot of butter in it. You can definitely just eat a bite of this with a spoon or even spread it on bread! I think if you wanted the halva to be thicker you could probably add a tiny bit more flour but I haven't tested this myself to be sure. 

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The tea really gave the halva a unique flavor, it's one of the comments my dad made when he tried it! I think choosing a tea with spice like a chai would also be delicious! If you want to make this recipe without tea, instead of 1/2 cup brewed tea, just boil the sugar in the same amount of water. 

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Tearamisu!

Ok, so I guess I'm late the game but holy cow how have I never made tiramisu before??? Or should I say TEAramisu !

I've always loved the taste of tiramisu and thought that I could easily switch out the coffee for tea but never knew how easy it was to make!

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From looking at recipes online, it seems like everyone has a slightly different way of making the cream but the way I made it is super simple and takes pretty much no time!

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I bought a brand of Lady Fingers on amazon that worked well for me. I will say that one of the most important parts of the recipe for me was to make sure the tea you use for dunking is cool otherwise the lady fingers will crumble so fast. 

A note about the tea you choose: choose something you like. This may be obvious but the flavor is pretty obvious in the dessert so don't pick something you dont like. I would also suggest not picking a super blended tea because there may be too many conflicting  flavors. I used the Nepal Kanchanjangha Noir black tea from Nepal Tea that came in my sips by box. 

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If you were wondering why I chose to make these tearamisu sweets in glasses it's because I made them for my sister and her husband for their wedding anniversary! They recently had a sweet babe who takes up a lot of their time and I wanted to make sure they had something special to enjoy on their special day!

One thing I learned in the layering process is that I used wayyy too much cream on the bottom so I wasn't left with much for the top and as you can see below some of the lady finger mixed with the cream. Luckily you get to cover it up !

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I broke the lady fingers in half to fit the glass but if you use something larger or place it in a regular serving dish you wont have to do this. 

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For the top I  used a combination of cocoa powder and cinnamon! I think you can definitely experiment in this area and top it with other things! I already have plans to make a matcha one! 

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Don't let the glasses fool you, there is plenty of marscapone cream and ladyfingers to go around in that glass!

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This is seriously such a simple, quick and delicious dessert to make for any occassion!

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Black Tea Infused Bourbon Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm constantly trying recipes by one of my favorite food bloggers, A cozy kitchen. I LOVE cookies and I LOVE bourbon so when I saw her recipe for bourbon chocolate chip and pecan cookies I knew I had to try it and had to find a way to incorporate tea into it!

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One of the easiest ways I've found to incorporate tea into cookie recipes is if they have butter or milk in them! This recipe calls for melted butter (yasss!) so when you melt it for the recipe, you can just throw some tea in it to infuse the butter and strain it before using it in the recipe. For this recipe I used some black tea from Heirloom Tea Company that came in my Sips by box :)

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There are a few glorious things about this recipe. First, it combines some of my favorite things including bourbon, chocolate chips and pecans! I used bittersweet chocolate chips and it's such a great bite of flavor with the nuts. 

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Second, I didn't mention this in the recipe but you'll see some salt flakes in my photos and also on the original recipe linked above. The salt flakes were something in the original recipe and I baked these cookies twice using the flakes and not using the flakes. If you are the type of person who like sea salt + sweets, USE THE FLAKES! SO GOOD!

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Finally, I want to give credit to A Cozy Kitchen for solving the cookie crisis. The cookie crisis (to me at least) is always wanting cookies but never wanted to bake one or two dozen. In her post she talks about her process which is making this batch, cooking what she wants and freezing the rest. She scoops the dough and places them in the freezer and anytime you want one or maybe two cookies you can just pull that many balls of dough out and enjoy! This was an amazing hack but also super dangerous for a cookie monster like me. Enjoy!

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