Matcha Waffles

I have a lot of matcha recipes planned for this summer! Mostly because summer is kind of go, go, go and matcha powder makes everything so easy!

I don’t generally eat a lot of starchy carbs except for rice but one of my all time favorite things is waffles!!! I remember back in high school, I requested that my birthday dinner be at eggspectations because they serve waffles all day and night - chocolate chip, of course.

Please note, This post and the photos within it contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a commission at no extra charge to you.

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I was browsing waffle recipes and saw this one that was simply blended and used oats. I based my recipe off of this one! I don’t have a large blender but a small ninja smoothie blender. What I did was split all the ingredients into two batches like shown above and placed my matcha powder in one of them so I get two waffles of each! Feel free to use matcha for all your waffles!

My batter felt a little thick even for waffles so I added a little bit more cashew milk (the milk I used) for each batch. I have one of those waffle irons that flips and has a timer. I put a range of time on my recipe because people like their waffles differently. I cooked mine for about 4 minutes and that made a softer waffle with a touch of crisp. If you like crispy, I would go for 5-6 minutes. Here is the waffle maker I have, we got it a few years ago at Christmas time :) p.s. Christmas is almost here. Yes, I’m linking my fav countdown for you!!!

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The top waffle is the matcha one and at first you may not see the green due to the golden crust but just bust these babies open and you will reveal that beautiful green! I really like the way the matcha and oats compliment each other in this recipe. I chose not to use any additional sweetener, but note that because a banana is used, these aren’t totally savory. There is a hint of sweet.

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If you don’t know which matcha to use, I suggest Midori by Matchaeologist. It is a great quality matcha for culinary purposes!

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Top these waffles with whatever treats you like! I usually love to either have just butter or some butter and fruit on my waffles!

Do you have a favorite waffle topping?!

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Tea Infused Kringle Hearts

Hello!

Small Announcement: I’ve missed you all! I have to admit some sad circumstances have stopped my blogging for most of December and all of January. In December, my stepdad passed away suddenly and it affected me more than I could ever have imagined. I wanted to keep going everyday which I did to a certain point but creating recipes and blogging is such an involved process and I wasn’t up for it. I appreciate your patience during my little break and I’m back in time for the holiday of love!

I have mixed feeling about valentine’s day but I always try to be positive about it AND it’s an excuse to bake and cook things with hearts!

Have you ever tried Kringle?? I bought one from trader joe’s around the holidays and OMG SO GOOD! After I bought that one I couldn’t find them again :( I found out that you can order them online but they are a little pricey.

I was sure I could find a recipe on the internet, and I did! I used this recipe for these kringle hearts and will let you know the changes I made and how I added tea!

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For those of you know kringle, you’re probably thinking that this isn’t the right shape! Well, you’re correct. I actually created the kringle then used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut these out. It was messy but worth it for valentines day! The heart shape doesn’t change the taste in anyway :D

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You can find the recipe I followed here !

If I am following a recipe and want to infuse tea into it, I will look for either a liquid portion to infuse or butter! In the past I have tried to use tea in place of the warm water for the yeast and for whatever reason they have always failed! This may have nothing to do with tea but to be safe I used the milk in this recipe.

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The recipe calls for warm milk and so I heated the milk a bit and put 2 tablespoons of tea in the milk. I let it steep for until fragrant and when the milk was warm and not hot then I strained it and included it in the recipe.

Two notes about this, use more milk for the infusion that the recipe calls for and measure the final amount added to the recipe. You will lose some milk when you heat it and strain it. You can add less or more tea depending on how strong you want the tea flavor!

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This recipe will not give you the thin kringle that you’re probably used to but it is still delicious. The filling is very sweet and is most of the flavor for this recipe. The topping which is a simple glaze makes this a great sweet treat!

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A note about choosing a tea for this recipe. I would suggest choosing a black tea and if you are choosing a blended black to tea remember that the flavor you choose will be subtle in the bread part of this so make sure it is a blend you like!

For example, the tea I used in the blend was Amaretto Spice from The Jasmine Pearl Tea. This tea is a blend of black tea, cinnamon and amaretto flavoring. This combo was ideal because you have the extra cinnamon and almond flavor from the amaretto but nothing too overwhelming!

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These turned out really delicious and although they aren’t exactly like the original Kringle they have that lovely flavor!

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You can definitely create the shapes listed in the recipe but I will say that although the cookie cutter shape was a bit difficult to cut out since I did it after it was baked, it was nice to just give out heart shaped pieces!

I didn’t decide to do the hearts until after it was baked but I think you could probably cut them out before baking and have it turn out well too!

Jasmine Sangria

FruTEA. 

Summer time means lots of fun drinks and although I'm not the biggest fan of wine, I knew it would be good to make a sangria with this jasmine tea from Just Tea. That came in my sipsby box.  

I love that this tea combines the purple tea and jasmine with cornflower blossoms. The cornflower blossoms make the tea so beautiful! 

In my recipe I talk about choosing 3 fruits. I chose peach and blueberry and then cherries for the garnish. I also later threw in a bunch of cherries as well. Soaking the fruit in the ginger liqueur gives the sangria more depth in it's taste. I chose the ginger liqueur because I thought that ginger and fruit are a delicious pair and ginger is also a versatile flavor when it comes to making cocktails. 

I took a trip down memory lane when I chose vinho verde for the wine. As I've discussed I'm not much of a wine drinker but I do enjoy bubbly drinks. Vinho Verde is definitely bubbly. In college, my roommate and bestie introduced it to me and I fell in love. Sometimes we would make excuses to stay in instead of going out and share a bottle while watching movies. I have such wonderful memories of vinho verde and that's why it had to be what went in the sangria!

In my directions I talk about putting in the fruit first but in this photo that's not what you see. This was just a lesson learned after making the sangria. The order of the fruit doesn't matter too much but it's better to put the majority of the fruit into the pitcher when it's empty so that you avoid lots of splashing!

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After the entire bottle of wine is poured into the pitcher, you can top it off with a little extra ginger liqueur for taste if you'd like or perhaps add a drop or two to each glass you pour. 

If you want some guidance on choosing fruit, I would say that of the 3 that I used the peaches were the best. They soaked up the flavor so well and it was easier to fish out the pieces to enjoy. The blueberries were also good and cherries as well but If I created this again I would probably substitute the cherries with raspberries!

What fruits would you choose?!

Bliss Tub Tea

Blissful Relaxation.

In my latest Sips by box I received some Bliss Tea from Higher Tea. This blend includes St. John's wort and Zhen Mei Green Tea. 

St. John's Wort is known to have benefits such as treating depression, reducing inflammation and anxiety! Those sound like the perfect ingredients for a bath - I was sold!

I decided to add in some epsom salts and lavender to help your skin feel smooth and the aroma from the lavender is so wonderful! 

One of the perks of the Sips by box is that it comes with these bags to have your tea on the go but they are also perfect to make the tub tea!

It's important to use a bag with a drawstring or some sort of closure to reduce the mess in the bathtub!

I filled my bags about 3/4 of the way full. Leave enough space so that the tea can infuse the bath water. 

These make a great gift for any bath loving friends or family! 

Would you try these in your tub?! 

Brewing Puerh Tea.

Puerh.

Puerh is another tea that I was so intimidated by. After reading different brewing methods I was extremely overwhelmed and thought that I may have found a tea that was too "complex" to get it right. I was SO wrong! 

Puerh comes in many forms but I'll only discuss a few. As you can see in the photo above, the pureh comes in a round candy like shape. Puerh is often condensed into either a cake (larger shape), a brick or a Tuo Cha which is like the shape of the one pictured above. 

Puerh is fermented and the one I'm trying for this post is from Zhi Tea. It's called sticky rice puerh. This puerh is from trees in Yunnan, China that are a thousand years old! This particular puerh has another special compenent which is an herb called Nuo Mi Xiang (Rice scent herb). The fragrance, especially to a rice lover like myself, is powerful and makes it more appealing. It kind of reminded me when I tried genmaicha for the first time.  

I brewed this puerh in my gaiwan 3 different ways. Because this was my first time brewing this tea, I only used part of it. Lesson learned. I should have used the whole thing since I like dark tea. I also poured the leftovers from each brew into a glass that I would then sample as my 4th tea. 

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Tea wash: As discussed in my post about using the gaiwan for the first time, you need to "wake up" the tea. Pour the hot water into your pot or gaiwan for a few seconds and pour it out. 

1st brew - 10 seconds: Most fragrant. Perhaps because it was the first and "freshest" brew but it certainly smelled the best. The fragrance of the "rice" really traveled up to keep my nose company as I sipped. 

2nd brew - 15 seconds: Surprisingly, even though I brewed the leaves longer for this round the result was the sweetest. This also may have to do with me not putting all of the tea to brew. 

3rd brew - 30 seconds: After 30 seconds, I could really taste the boldness of the puerh. It wasn't quite bitter yet but it was strong and dark. I will opt for this type of brew in the future. Although it wasn't as fragrant, I loved the taste the best.

Combination brew:  I thought it might be interested to try the leftovers of each brew mixed up. In reality, this was just an experiment and the tea for this was diluted and weak. Where as each individual brew discussed above has it's own unique flavor, this one was all over the place. 

I'm glad that I have now documented this puerh session because honestly, it's difficult to enjoy the ritual, take pictures and write notes. I filmed my session as well, you can check it out on my instagram! 

Puerh is said to have some incredible benefits such as detoxifying and lowering cholesterol. It also has a very unique taste and I'm excited to try different ones. It seems that because this tea is coming from ancient teas, each cake or brick will be different. 

My lessons + tips from my first experience:

  • Do not over brew

  • If using a larger cake or brick, break off the tea gently

  • If using a smaller "cake" use the whole thing if you want a bolder flavor

  • Give yourself time and quiet to enjoy the brewing process

  • Remember to pour out any extra tea from your pot or gaiwan if doing multiple brews so that the tea in the pot or gaiwan isn't continuously brewing

  • Don't over complicate and enjoy!

Last Minute Gift Idea: Tea Leaf Chocolate Bark!

Tis the season for tea. 

Have you ever made or received chocolate bark for the holidays? It's quite possibly one of the simplest and most delicious sweets. The past week I've been debating different gift ideas for the last few people on my list and then I saw a video of someone making chocolate bark. Oh my gosh, it was so simple. It's literally melted chocolate and whatever other ingredients you want!

I first tried a "smores" bard that was a layer of chocolate, a layer of marshmallow fluff, another layer of chocolate then topped with graham crushed graham crackers. Spoiler alert, it was FANTASTIC! I've been thinking about a recipe for my last installment of For Tea's Sake blends I was sent and due to the ingredients (pieces of banana and cocoa!) I wanted to do something with chocolate. 

The result: Tea bark! This is a really simple recipe but it's unique and perfect for any tea lover on your list! 

You will need: 

1) 24 ounces semi sweet chocolate. I used mini chocolate chips because I think theyre easier to melt. You can alternatively use some semi sweet and some bittersweet !

2) Triple Banana Split tea blend from For Tea's Sake.

3) Baking sheet

4) Parchment paper

5) Christmas sprinkles (optional) 

6) Double Boiler 

Step 1: Crush up the tea blend. This will make it a bit more palpable on top of the chocolate. The image below shows the tea crushed by hand. You could also use a food processor. 

Step 2: Melt the chocolate in a double boiler and then spread onto the parchment paper covered baking pan. You don't need an actual double boiler to melt the chocolate. I used a rounded pot filled with boiling water and a flat pan that fit on top of that. 

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Step 3: Sprinkle crushed tea on top of the chocolate while it is still hot. Use sprinkles here as well if you are adding them. I wanted to give the chocolate a little bit of a Christmas feel with these white dots...almost like snow! 

Step 4: Place the pan in the fridge for 2 hours or until chocolate is set. 

Step 5: Break apart the chocolate with a knife or your hands. If you reach under the chocolate you should be able to free it from the parchment paper easily and break it up!

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Step 6: ENJOY! or if you're making this as a gift, pack it up in a sweets box and keep cool until delviery. 

Have you ever made tea bark? What is your favorite bark recipe?!