Tag Archives: tea

Friday Faves

This week’s Friday Faves revolves around two of my most favorite things in all the world: goat cheese and tea.

It would be hard for me to choose a favorite type of cheese, but goat cheese would definitely be up at the top. If I’m out to dinner and something has goat cheese on it, there is a safe bet I am ordering it. We usually always have goat cheese in our fridge, and last week, La Bonne Vie goat cheese was on sale at Kroger, so I bought two.

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Specifically, those little cheese boxes are what I got. It’s a more spreadable form of goat cheese rather than a crumbly version, and let me just say it is excellent. I’ve been spreading it on whole wheat Wasa crackers as an afternoon snack. Mmmmm.

Usually I am eating these crackers and cheese alongside a cup of tea. My tea obsession has gotten out of control lately and I blame it all on my new little French press.

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It is so much easier to make loose leaf tea now. Yes, using a tea ball isn’t exactly complicated, but I just find this so much more enjoyable. I’ve even been opening up tea bags to drop in the tea so I can still use this. I might have a problem. But that’s OK.

My two favorites to brew up are the Maharaja Chai Oolong from Teavana and the Brioche tea from American Tea Room.  If you are not a fan of spicy teas, than the Maharaja might not be for you, but cut with a little almond milk, it is so good. And the Brioche tea tastes like a delicious almond croissant. You cannot beat that.

If you are as tea obsessed as I am, I suggest invested in this YouCopia Tea Stand. I had like 8 or so boxes of tea bags just roaming around our pantry and this has consolidated them all in to one, compact corner. And to answer a question I’m sure some of you (or none of you) might be wondering, I currently have 19 different teas in my house. My OCD is making me want to run out and get another so it will be a nice, round 20…

 

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Friday Faves

Surprise, surprise — guess who is sick again? Well, I guess technically it is the same illness I had back at the start of the year, it’s just migrated from my sinuses to my lungs. Oh happy day. But all is well. I’m on a zpac (which is apparently a miracle based on what people have told me) so I should be back in fighting shape any day now.

But this illness has kept me from doing a lot of cooking. I am pretty much eating soup for every meal, but I’ve had some really delicious soups. And when you are eating as much soup as I am, variety is key. I’ve had chicken noodle, carrot and ginger, tomato, black bean, egg drop. Eric brought me home some egg drop soup from a local Chinese place last night and it was like a healing elixir.

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This isn’t the exact soup I had (thanks for the stand in, Google images) but I feel as if it accurately conveys the golden, salty deliciousness that is egg drop soup. It should also come as no surprise that I’m guzzling tea by the gallon. My favorites have been Vanilla Bean Tea from the Mighty Leaf and White Peach and Ginger Tea from Trader Joe’s.

Prior to my all soup diet, I was obsessed with eating salads, mainly because I was obsessed with making my own salad dressings. Sunday night I made a kale salad with a homemade caesar vinaigrette (I combined white wine vinegar, garlic olive oil, a little dijon mustard, a pinch of parmesan cheese and a little salt and pepper)  and it was excellent. I think I’m going to do a post next week on all the salad dressings I’ve created lately.

I’ve been really loving food blogs lately. That’s really not a new thing, but there are a few specific ones that I can’t get enough of. The Kitchn is an awesome site filled with fun articles, recipes and tips. The chicken and rice soup I made last week was inspired by a post I saw on there. I’ve also really loved Pinch of Yum. They post so many interesting and creative recipes that I cannot wait to try. Go ahead and add them to your blog roll — just trust me.

Friday Five is now Friday Faves

Three days in to the new year and I’m already changing stuff up here on Kitchen Casual. It’s not a huge change, just changing the Friday feature from Friday Five to Friday Faves. It gives me more flexibility in terms of the amount of what I write about. I  found myself struggling sometimes to come up with five things and I want to make sure the things I share are things I actually am enjoying, not just things I am thinking up to take up space.

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First, I have to talk about how Santa was very good to me. I got a few of the products I’ve talked about on here and they have seen a lot of use in the past week. My mother-in-law got me the tea kettle I wanted. It’s is actually quite amazing how brewing tea at the proper temperature can make a huge difference in how the tea tastes. Tea nerds unite! I’ve been getting a lot of use out of it the past few days because I am battling a nasty head cold. Hot tea, I love you. I also got two really awesome knifes. The above one is a J.A. Henckels chef’s knife made of German steel. It cuts like a dream. I just want to chop all the things. I also got a small ceramic knife that is great. I feel like I need to invest in more ceramic knives now.

UPDATE: I can’t believe I forgot to talk about my mezzaluna! I also got one for Christmas and it is pretty amazing. Yes, you can just use a knife, but I shredded a whole bunch of kale super fast with it the other day. We are now best friends.

We were out of town for past of last week so we haven’t cooked too much. We made this slow cooker Greek chicken on Sunday and ate it for a few days in warm pitas with tomatoes, cucumbers and homemade tzatziki. It was delicious. We also made lobster risotto on New Year’s Day.

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It was my first time cooking lobster at home. We bought some tails from Costco (seriously, they have a great seafood selection) and boiled them. I used my recipe for baked risotto and top it with the chopped lobster. A little delicious indulgence to start the new year.

I should get back to more cooking in the new few weeks. Like most people in the world, I’m trying to eat better after the gluttonous holidays, so you might see some healthy-type dishes on here. But I’ll hopefully make them as tasty as possible!

Friday Five: Peppermint Edition

Just as fall is filled with pumpkin goodies, holiday time is filled with all things peppermint. I love peppermint. Who doesn’t? So I devote this week’s Friday Five to my favorite peppermint treats.

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1) Trader Joe’s Minty Mallows: For a few years now, these have been my favorite holiday treat. As soon as they hit the shelves, I am bringing home multiple boxes. The combination of the minty marshmallow and the rich dark chocolate is addictive. They also make a good topper on a cup of hot cocoa.

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2) Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Covered Peppermint JoJos: As with pumpkin stuff, TJ’s is the best for peppermint things. These cookies are Eric’s favorite and man, they are so, so delicious. The perfect combination of cookie and filling and chocolate and minty pieces.

3) Peppermint Hot Cocoa: I love hot cocoa during the winter, but peppermint hot chocolate around the holidays is the best. I don’t buy prepackage peppermint cocoa — I just use a candy cane as a stir in regular hot chocolate and it gives just the right amount of minty flavor. Mmmm.

4) Peppermint Bark: Chocolate with flecks of peppermint candy? Sign me up. I love the homemade version, but this year we’ve stocked up on quite a bit of the Ghirardelli kind. I prefer the milk chocolate kind while Eric is all about the dark chocolate.

5) White Christmas Tea: This is a bit more subtle peppermint than the others (and the only one without chocolate I noticed). Stash’s White Christmas Tea is a blend of peppermint, white tea and ginger and it is fabulous. It’s great after a meal or right before bed. It has really been adding to my festive holiday mood as of late.

What treats do you like having around the holidays?