Monday, February 8, 2010

Behold the Beauty that is Blooming Tea !

Every year it is the same thing, teddy bears, chocolates, flowers ...BORING !!!!!!

Put a little thought into your gift this year. You dont have to spend a lot of money to make your lady/man happy. Let them know you have a mind of your own and dont follow the drones.....drones are lame....dont be lame...
Although they are somewhat new to people in the United States, the practice of hand crafting leaves into "blooming teas" is an age-old Chinese art form that dates back centuries.( Remember Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette )
Carefully created by skilled artisans in China these teas are a breath of fresh air , not only are they beautiful but they are a wonderful way to sit back, relax and appreciate the little things in your girlfriend..wink.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thinking Outside The Cup # 3 , Iron Goddess Shrimp

This is a recipe that a friend put me onto, he uses Sencha but I seem to really enjoy the slightly roasted flavor that the Iron Goddess of Mercy lends to the shrimp.

Iron Goddess Shrimp

2 Tbp Iron Goddess of Mercy Oolong
1 cup spring water
1 dozen fresh , large shrimp
1 bunch of spring greens, washed and dried
1 tsp lemon zest for garnish
1 Tbp chopped chives for garnish

- Steep tea in spring water for 15-20 minutes.
- Pour gently into skillet and heat gently over low heat. Poach shrimp in heated tea for about 3 to 5 minutes, until shrimp turns pink: drain.
- Arrange greens on platter. Scatter shrimp over greens and garnish with lemon zest and chopped chives.
Option: May drizzle a light vinaigrette if desired. Serve with steamed rice.

Tea Can Do What ?

Tea is a completely recyclable plant. Don't pour that leftover tea down the kitchen sink or throw those used leaves into the garbage can Recycle Them !
Tea is great as a deodorant because it absorbs odors , is full of nitrogen that feeds your garden plants and wards of those pesky insects.

- Is great for cleaning washable surfaces, such as air mattresses, yoga mats and counter tops.
- mix your dry used tea leaves into the cat litter to help diffuse the odor and help deter fleas for both cats and dogs during those hot summer months.
- place your dry used tea leaves in a bowl and place around the house, it will freshen the area. I a couple of days place them on a baking sheet in the sun for about 1- 2 hours and you can do the same thing again.
- place your dry used tea leaves in a bowl in the fridge to absorb unpleasant odors, after about 2-3 days, sprinkle those same leaves around your indoor and outdoor plants.
- after cutting garlic, fish or onions , rub your hands with wet tea leaves to rid your hands of the odor and also the pan in which you cooked.

- throw your used leaves onto the top layer of soil in you plants and let them naturally rot to release nitrogen which is great for the plant with out using any harsh chemicals .. AND its free !

- Moths. put your dry tea lives into a muslin bag and place them in your closet or dresser to keep moths away from your wool clothing.
- Mosquitos. place your dry used leaves into a fore proof vessel or right into a camp fire to keep the mosquitos away... and it is pleasant smelling as well.

- sprinkle dry green tea leaves onto your carpet and rugs, rub in gently, brush off then vacuum. It will clean and deodorize.