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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Tea Infused Facial Ice Cubes

I want to start this out by saying that I'm not certified in any way to give beauty type advice! I see things and I like to give them a try and I'll share my experiments with yall :) 

I've always enjoyed cooling pads on my face but then I saw that facial icing is a thing, I wanted to give it a try! 

I got this lovely herbal tea in my Sipsby box and knew it would be a perfect base! This Herbal Infusion called Golden Joy by Flower Girl Apothecarie has chamomile, Lemon Balm and rosehips.

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A little run down of the ingredients: 

  • Chamomile is said to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. 
  • Lemon Balm is said to help calm, heal, sooth and tighten skin.
  • Rose Hips are said to aid in the regeneration of skin. 

I also decided to add a few other ingredients. Manuka honey is also supposed to have great skin benefits like helping with inflammation and healing skin. I often just smear manuka honey on red areas of my face and it's very helpful!

Lavender is something that I like to include mostly for the lovely aroma but it again, has great anti-inflammatory properties as well!

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There was already rose hips in the tea but I decided to crush up some rose petals to add them as well to have some physical rose in the cubes. This way, it adds a bit of texture :) 

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I've done this before and really liked the larger ice cubes so I make the mixture in one container, freeze it then break up the bigger block into smaller ones. 

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When I use these, they melt fast so it's great to hold the ice in a napkin or cloth. The cold really helps cool your face and wakes you up so I enjoy using these in the morning. 

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I've read that facial icing not only can help with inflammation and skin tightening but can also possibly help decrease the size of your pores which is awesome! 

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Jasmine Cake

One of my favorite bloggers recently did a lemon cake with these gorgeous flowers on top. This cake came to mind when I got my new Sipsby box and was debating on what to make. I haven't made a cake in a while and I've been craving it!

I decided jasmine was the tea I needed to make the cake with because of it's lovely aroma but also was stuck on what kind of cake to make. I didn't want to make a cake with any powerful flavors that would overpower the jasmine. I looked up the lemon cake I mentioned earlier and saw that there were some easy substitutions I could do to make this jasmine cake work! You can check out her original recipe here (and all her other delicious recipes!) 

I was really excited about this recipe because Jasmine is such a delicate flavor and I think it would go well in the cake and the aroma would just be a lovely addition to it as well. I brewed the jasmine a little longer than suggested so that the flavor and aroma would be more potent in the cake since there will only be two tablespoons of it. 

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I was also excited to add the crushed jasmine in because this is a fun way to add some texture. You should make sure that the leaves are thoroughly crushed so that it's almost like powder! 

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The cakes ended up being very fluffy and delicious! I made two different shapes because I let a family member borrow one of my cake pans so I only had these two. It turned out well! 

You may have noticed that I didn't include a frosting recipe in this post and here's why. If you look at the original recipe linked above she uses an elderberry buttercream type frosting. I thought it would be good with the jasmine and it wasn't bad but it wasn't quite right. I would suggest creating a light flavored buttercream like maybe honey flavored to go with the jasmine cake.  

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This cake + tea was SO GOOD. Such a wonderful combination to have after dinner as a little treat!. 

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Tea Affogato!

I'll be honest, until recently I didn't know what affogato was :D I have been seeing it more and more as the weather had gotten hotter and finally looked it up. I thought, this can be done with tea and of course tea affogato was also a thing that people do so I wanted to give it a spin. 

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Tea taste tests are fun because you can compare different flavors all next to each other. I decided to take the jasmine pearls, almond chai and sweet matcha from my sipsby box and pour them over one type of ice cream. 

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It had been a long time since I made homemade ice cream and wanted to give it another try. You will see the recipe for cardamom ice cream at the bottom of this post and yay for people who don't eat dairy, it's made with cashew milk!

I chose the main flavor of the ice cream to be cardamom because for me, although cardamom has a strong taste it is more or less a neutral ice cream that I think would pair well with any of these teas. I the amount of cardamom I used in my recipe was a lot and the ice cream was very fragrant and lovely! 

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A note about this ice cream. It's not a super creamy ice cream because it doesn't have cream. It's soft but also has more of an icy type texture. If you are able to find something like coconut cream or if you don't mind dairy any cream will work, adding cream to this recipe will make it more similar to ice cream you buy from the store. 

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Despite the ice cream not being super creamy it's delicious and lower calorie and it worked great for affogato! I was originally concerned that because it wasn't creamy that when I poured the hot tea in it, it would totally melt but that wasn't the case. Yay!

In terms of the flavor pairings, here is how I ranked them: 

  1. Almond chai
  2. Matcha
  3. Jasmine

The almond chai was my favorite because the nutty flavors of the chai paired so well with the cardamom. The chai was powerful enough to meet the flavor of the cardamom and it was definitely the one I finished first! The two flavors blended very well. 

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The matcha used is called "sweet matcha" and is sweetened with fruit. The ice cream itself isn't super sweet so this combo definitely gives you the sweetest outcome :) 

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The jasmine was 3rd but don't get it wrong, it was still yummy! The reason why this wasn't the top of my list is because generally the aroma of jasmine is so strong it isn't a favorite tea. I have started to enjoy jasmine a lot more but the aroma of the jasmine and the cardamom was too much for me. I will say that the jasmine tea is the combo where you could really taste the full flavor of the jasmine tea once mixed. The other two were a little more lost in the ice cream. 

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