Black Tea Blondies

Where’s the hottest place you’ve ever spent a summer? For me, it’s Arizona. I recently moved here and just experienced my first 118-degree day. Yep, that’s hot enough to cook an egg on the sidewalk, and way too hot to turn on the oven. During this same record-hot week, I received samples of the most…

Ginger-Herb Drinking Vinegar (aka Switchel)

“Why the heck would I want to drink vinegar?” you ask. “Because when you steep it with herbs, honey, and fresh ginger it’s super delish!” I answer. “Oh, and it’s good for your gut, packed with electrolytes, and makes for a not-boring, non-alcoholic refresher for the non-drinkers in your life,” I add. Convinced yet? A…

Strawberry Earl Grey Mini Pies

Friends invited us for a socially-distanced pandemic porch dinner for four and I stressed about what to contribute. I never want to show up to dinner empty handed, but what’s safe to share these days? Enter the mini pie. One for each person and no touching of shared serving dishes or utensils required. Plus, they’re…

Easy Vegan Matcha Ice Cream

I developed this recipe for a tea company awhile back using just matcha green tea powder, heavy cream, and sweetened condensed milk. I recently pulled the recipe out of the archives to see if I could whip up a dairy-free, vegan version with some coconut milk products I had in the pantry. Good news! It…

Ginger Detox Latte

Anyone else trying to cut back on booze in 2021? One of my strategies to drink less this year is to replace cocktails with either refreshing mocktails before dinner or comforting herbal tea drinks after dinner. I’ve started making this ginger tea latte as a post-meal digestif of sorts. You can make it a couple…

Little Nut Tarts

One of my favorite holiday treats is pecan tarts. My mom used to make dozens of them every Christmas season. She made them in mini muffin tins—which is mighty dangerous, since it’s so easy to keep popping the tiny sugary treats into your mouth, one by one, until you’ve lost count of how many you’ve…

Slow Cooker Chai-Ginger Apple Butter

If you’ve peeked at my cooking with tea recipes lately you’ll notice I’m a bit lazy. I’m all about minimal work for maximum flavor. Enter this slow cooker apple butter. Apples, crystallized ginger, sugar, and a bold spice mix transform overnight in the slow cooker, emerging in the morning as the perfect fall spread for…

Sunset-tea-ni Cocktail

Next to morning tea, sunset cocktail hour is my favorite time of day. Especially when the cocktail I’m sipping is infused with tea. This summer, in our mountain cabin rental, Dan and I curated a small liquor cabinet with bitters, orange liqueur, vermouth, and a rotating spirits list of vodka, rum, gin, or whiskey. (When…

Orange Rooibos Pudding

I’m always on the lookout for easiest-ever dessert recipes. The kind that have very few ingredients and don’t take a lot of effort to whip up but still look and taste impressive. This is one of those recipes. This genius pudding from Food52 consists of just three ingredients: half-and-half, sugar, and cornstarch. Then you can…

Matcha Blackberry Muffin Cakes

The ease of a muffin and the beauty of a cake? I’m in! Plus, these handheld treats are perfect for pandemic times; everyone gets their own, with no sharing of utensils and serving dishes necessary. You essentially mix and bake these mini cakes like muffins, then turn them over and glaze them upside down to…

Banana Sesame Streusel Muffins

I still can’t believe I got to intern at America’s Test Kitchen. This was a dream opportunity to experience what it’s like to work in the most renowned professional test kitchen on the planet. While most of the ATK internship involves assisting test cooks and supporting the kitchen operations team (lots of mise en place,…

Chamomile Grits with Blueberry Compote

I confess, I did some panic grocery buying when this pandemic first started. When the grocery isles were low on rice, beans, and pasta, I randomly stocked up on bags of grits hoping to stretch them out into many meals. Being full-time nomads with no home, Dan and I were camping in Arizona when things…

Cacao Coconut Overnight Oats

I was introduced to cacao tea several years back at the World Tea Expo, an annual trade show where tea companies unveil their latest offerings and tea geeks like me get drunk on tea. At the time, the chocolate company debuting cacao as tea explained that the locals on their South American cacao farm would…

Earl Grey Plum Torte

Being somewhat of a tea snob, I’m almost embarrassed to admit my favorite tea is one of the most common—Earl Grey. I find this deliciously flavored tea both nostalgic and comforting. It’s also of the easiest teas to cook with, because you really notice the flavor it imparts into a dish. What is that famous…

Almond Pu-erh Protein Shake

I’m always surprised by the kitchen sophistication of my 14-year-old niece. When we hang out, she often brings a long list of homemade cooking projects she wants to accomplish. Our latest hang-out session included crepes, walnut bread, cardamom buns, granola, seed crackers, and four-bean chili. All of which we tackled over two days. This simple…