Are you one of the ones who haven’t started yet? Or are you one of the ones who finished months ago? Well…despite my best efforts to get things together and get ahead of the game, I’m still not finished my holiday shopping 🙁 But the truth is, I’ve been working on holiday gift ideas for my favourite tea people for months – so check out our selections. Click on our CATALOGUE to see more.
I’m dying to tell you about my trip to the Distillery. Now understand that I lived in Germany for five years, so Christmas markets are sacred to me, I have been to the real thing. I was a little skeptical when I heard that the Distillery had put up one, as I’ve been to others in the city that have sadly been disappointing. Yes, I know, the Distillery Christmas Market isn’t new, but I put off going until this past weekend. If you haven’t been – get yourself over there quick. Anyone who hasn’t quite accepted the fact that the holidays are fully upon us, just needs a dose of the Market. Grab a cup of mulled wine and wander the stalls, listen to the carolers and send me some pictures!
My buddy Oscar Wilde and I – Distillery Christmas Market. Yes…he’s wearing a sweater! Don’t judge him…it was cold!!
Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and the weekend is going to give us lots of sun… so… what to do? What to do? What to do?
The nicer places for brunch will be packed, and you are racking your brain trying to figure out how to celebrate…
Well, why not a tea party in her honour? Set up a place setting in your backyard or porch or living room, and nibble on some tea-infused goodies.
So… ‘like this idea but you don’t have much time? Let us help you! Here are some tea-inspired menu ideas to get your tea party with mom going!
Chipotle-Lapsang Chicken Sandwich
The trick to preparing this sandwich within your limited time-frame is buying one of those pre-made rotisserie chickens from your favourite grocery store. Some stores carry these in two or three different flavours; pick up the classic-style.
2 tsp. Tea Emporium’s Chipotle-Lapsang spice rub
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 green onion, minced
1/4 cup pre-grated carrot shreds, finely minced
3 tsps. mayonnaise (I like to use lemon-aise for a lower-calorie version)
salt and pepper to taste
bread (sourdough is a good choice, or any whole-grain alternative)
butter lettuce or frisse lettuce
Combine all the wet ingredients together first, then add in the chipotle-lapsang spice. Fold in the chopped vegetables and the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Adjust flavours; sometimes I like to add a squeeze of lime to round out the sweet-spicy of the chicken salad mixture.
Spread the chicken salad on slices of toasted bread. Top with lettuce of your choice. Remove the crusts and halve OR quarter sandwiches for the tea tray.
Jasmine-cured Salmon bites with Lemony Creme-Fraiche
This takes about 48 hours to be completed, so give yourself Friday and Saturday for this, depending on how thick your salmon is. Make sure you lay the salmon flat on a shallow container; moisture will be extracted during the curing process and it will pool around your plate. After all, we don’t want any of those juices dripping all over your refrigerator.
5 tbsps. Imperial Jasmine, ground
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 side of wild salmon, skin left on
Lavash crackers (or any cracker brand of your choice)
salt and pepper to taste
cucumber slivers (optional)
Lay salmon flat on your platter, skin side down. Mix the ground jasmine tea, sugar, and salt together before coating the surface of the salmon meat with this mixture. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and leave in fridge for 48 hours. Check after 24 hours to check the curing process; sometimes, it can take less than 48 hours to completely cure the salmon. We want a silky consistency; over-curing it will result in a tough, jerky-like texture to your salmon.
Slice the salmon in delicate ribbons and lay them over your crackers. Just before serving, finely mince fresh dill and capers over your creme-fraiche. Grate in some lemon zest, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the creme-fresh mixture, and spoon over the jasmine-cured salmon. Garnish with a tiny sprig of fresh dill and/or cucumber slivers.
Serve with that very same Imperial Jasmine tea you used to cure this salmon!
Rooibos Seven-Spice Cucumber and Watercress sandwich
Combine softened cream cheese with the sriracha sauce, spices, salt and pepper, and grated lime. Spread over bread of choice, on both sides. Lay on the cucumbers and sprouts. Slice off crusts. Quarter or halve.
We all know baking takes time, so unless you *do* have that time, I suggest buying a small selection of scones and treats (french macarons, anyone?) from your favourite bakery. Some tea-infused jam, like our Apricot Ginger and Lemon Darjeeling Marmalade, or Blueberry Kombucha Limejam will go wonderfully with scones. Don’t forget the butter!