A very nice review of our Blackberry Cobbler tea! Thank you SororiTEA Sisters! You can order the Blackberry Cobbler with 20% off your first order by putting "GeekyTeas20" in the notes.
The Etsy shop I started a couple of weeks ago has been updated and new tea blends added. Most blends are geekily (It's totally a word. I just made it up.) named as a reference to some of my favorite things like Doctor Who, Alice in Wonderland, or books.
I am hoping to add a few more blends like strawberry grapefruit and an apple/cinnamon/chestnut? Any suggestions on names would be greatly appreciated!
Check out the shop here!
File this one under: Other things to do with fresh fruit
This is a super simple idea that makes a truly wonderful hot day treat. I also love to put them in water bottle to take to work with me.
All you need to do is clean and wash your fresh herbs and the fresh fruit add them to an ice cube tray and fill with water. Carefully put in freezer and like magic, you have infused flavored iced cubes.
Some of my favorite combinations:
Raspberry and Mint
Strawberry and Basil
Blueberry and Mint
Strawberry and Grapefruit
I grow a lot of fruit and flowers. I love my roses and lavender but I love mixing all of them into tea even more!
A great way to preserve nature's bounty of fruit and flowers is to dry them and mix them with your favorite blends of tea. I am particularly partial to Strawberry Grapefruit green tea and Lavender Vanilla Earl Grey. I also use some of my herbs from the garden to add a bit more to the flavors like fresh mint or basil. I know the basil sounds weird but basil Strawberry is amazing!
For the first time, I am trying something and setting up a shop on Etsy! This is new to me, so be kind. :)
This is one of my favorite sauces of all time. It is perfect over crème brulee, chocolate cake, cheesecake, or even ice cream. It is decadent and rich. If you preserve it in the small sauce jars, then you can have some on hand whenever the need arises! Alternatively, if you have previously frozen berries, then you can use them in this recipe for a quick sauce.
What you will need:
- 4 cups of raspberries or 2-10oz boxes of frozen raspberries
- 1 small jar of seedless raspberry jam (12-14 oz, you can use homemade or store bought)
- 1/4 Cup Orange Liquor
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 Cup pom, cran-raspberry, or raspberry juice
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Very fine metal strainer - if you want to add in extra step of removing seeds. (I highly recommend you do this as it really does make the sauce that much better.)
1. Add raspberries to large sauce pan over medium heat. Smash, smoosh, and pulverize the berries as they heat.
2. Add in the rest of the ingredients to the pan in the order listed.
3. Bring to a boil and stir frequently to get the jam to melt, sugar to dissolve, and alcohol to evaporate.
4. Cook until significant amount of water has evaporated about 5 minutes. It should have a sauce like consistency.
5.* Added step but really does make it better, I promise: Pour contents of the pan into a glass measuring cup. Put strainer into a large glass or mason jar. Carefully pour the sauce into the strainer a little at a time. You will want to use a spoon to stir it around in the strainer to get the sauce out but keep the seeds in. [This is tedious, I know, but I promise the sauce will taste better and be much better on desserts!] Repeat until all of the sauce has been strained, so no seeds remain. Scrape/rinse out the pan to remove any left over seeds. Pour your now strained sauce back into the pan. Reheat sauce to a boil.
6. Then laddle into sterilized jars (I recommend the 4 or 8 oz size jars) and follow directions for preservation of high acid jam in water bath.
This sauce is rich, sweet and decadent! It is a great tart pairing with most desserts. It will gussy up any store bought or box product and everyone will think you are a genius in the kitchen! :)
- I love it over a basic New York cheesecake (even a fancying up a store-bought frozen one!).
- Pour a puddle on a plate and serve with a slice of chocolate cake
- Serve warm poured over vanilla or chocolate ice cream
What other ideas will you serve it with?
A quick and easy way to preserve all the tastiness of fresh fruit is with a vacuum sealer! This works great for grapes, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and sliced peeled bananas.
I divide up my fresh fruit and seal them into little pouches of various sizes: 4oz, 8oz, 16oz. Then I toss them in the freezer. That way I don't have to make all my sauces and jams right away. I have them saved for another day when I have more time and energy (or just a clean kitchen with space to work in!).
- See Raspberry Orange Sauce or Raspberry Jalapeno Jam
- Make infused raspberry and mint water
- use grapes or berries as ice cubes in ice tea or sweet white wine
- Cut the grapes in half and they are great teething snacks for babies (be careful on size for choking hazard!)
- Blend into yogurt or ice cream for smoothies and shakes
- Blend with white wine (or coconut rum, vodka, etc.) and fruit flavored sorbet for an adult smoothie
This is one of my favorite jams to make. It has an unexpected heat, which makes it perfect over cream cheese served with crackers, on a steak sandwich, or glazed onto roasting chicken!
You will need:
- 4 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries
- 2-3 medium sized green jalapenos (if you really like spice substitute 1 small habanero pepper - warning it is very hot!). Always use latex/prep gloves or wrap hands in plastic wrap and do not touch your eyes, face, etc. while cutting and seeding peppers!
- 4 cups white sugar
- 1/4 C lemon juice (optional)
As you can see, I don't use any pectin in my jams. You can, I won't judge. I just hate having to buy it and I never seem to have it in stock when I need it, so I gave up and just follow the Spoon Test for consistency/texture.
1. Remove tops of jalapenos, and cut in half. Remove seeds from half of jalapenos then dice super fine. (If you want the spice level to be more mild, remove more seeds) [Other option: use a spice grinder to puree the jalapenos]
2. Heat oven to 250 degrees. Pour sugar into a glass 8x8 pan. Add jalapenos on top of the sugar. Spread out in a layer. Cook in oven for 20 mins.
3. Use a large stainless steel or enamel sauce pan, pour in raspberries (and lemon juice if using) to the pan. Bring to a full boil over high heat, smooshing the berries with a fork as they heat.
4. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. If you are using frozen raspberries, you may need to boil for slightly longer due to the high water content.
6. Add warmed sugar and jalapeno mixture, return to a boil, and boil about 5 minutes give or take until it passes the Spoon Test. [Spoon Test: Dip a cool, metal spoon into the mixture. Move spoon away from the stove and turn horizontally. The consistency should be gel like. It is done when it coats the spoon and the drips are thick and run together.]
7. Ladle into sterilized mason jars. (I use the half-pint (8 oz) size jars. Half a pint is 1 cup, so it is a perfect portion for serving or basting with.)
8. Follow directions for high acid preserve in a water bath.
- Serve over a block of cream or goat cheese with wheat crackers
- Use as a glaze over barbequed or rotisserie chicken
- Use as a topping on sandwiches like steak sandwich with goat cheese and arugula on a toasted hoagie roll.
- Spicy Breakfast Toast: Toasted English muffin with cream cheese and jam on it