Hey folks I am back. Definitely been an off time for me. Got hit with the flu of the season and was down for three weeks. Drank a lot of tea to help hydrate me.
Now as the title says I drank a ton of green tea. While it is a tasty drink all on its own, it can get boring day after day right? Well if you remember back in the fall I made a bunch of pumpkin seeds. My daughter kept telling me she wanted them and wanted them and that she would eat them but of course in the normal teenage way she promptly onto something else she wanted.
Well last week I was trying decide to try mixing new flavors with my green tea mix. Back in the spring I had picked up cassia buds and of course I had my lovely homemade salty pumpkin seeds.
Now when making thing blend you will need two tea balls. Why two? Makes the flavors richer of course.
What I did is fill a pot with water. Not a tea pot but just a normal medium sauce pan. Fill it with water turn it on to boil. Fill one tea ball with your green tea leaves and add to the water. Then place two pinches of pumpkin seeds and two pinches of cassia buds in the second ball. Toss it in and bring the water to a hard boil. I boil my tea for ten minutes.
Yes that is a long time but I like a full flavored tea. Yes certain tea lovers would be gasping at how I make my tea but it is all to taste right?
Once your tea is boiled/steeped you will want your teapot. Now i like tea to be sweeter than the normal so I add about 3/4 c sugar to the pot before pouring in the blend. Stir till the sugar is dissolved and drink. The aroma of this blend is a sweet and spicy mix with the cassia buds giving that hint of cinnamon that makes a heart warming tea.
When I made this the first time my daughter loved it. She and her friends as my first taste testers and they tell me if I need to tweak things.
Now remember when you make your own blends that getting your spices and tea bulk really is the way to go. Its cost is certainly less than buying the powdery boxed/bagged teas.
Hint: When buying from a bulk store look in their discount rack. While it isn’t tip top fresh we are talking dried teas and herbs and with a little imagination you can have an amazing mix for pennies on the dollar.
Okay this is late. The holidays are over but if you like dark cakes you should enjoy this. Now I found it a bit bitter myself but when you put some yummy whipped cream on it it is wonderful. My daughter ate half the cake by herself!
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter
1 c molasses
2 1.2 c flour
1 /2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon ground
1 t ginger, ground
1/2 t cloves, ground
1/2 t salt
1 c HOT water
Mix the dry in one bowl and the moist in another, then combine, mixing till smooth. Pour into a 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 350 for one hour. When you test with a knife it should pull out clean. Let cool, slice and serve with whipped cream.
This cake cooks up nice and thick. You will find it rises to a nice two inches or so.
Okay Halloween was Tuesday and maybe I should have posted then but well as you can imagine I was busy.
Now pumpkin is the best part of Halloween for me, well other than the fun candy and costumes that is. I picked up a nice medium sized pumpkin this year. Not too big and not too small. While we didn’t carve it up for a jack o lantern I did use it for as much food type stuff I could.
Of course I have made up the traditional pumpkin seeds which my daughter claimed before they even got out of the oven. This year I decided to see what I could do both with the skin of the pumpkin and the ewie goey stringy gut of the pumpkin.
The skin can be turned into a dried chip like treat pretty simply. All you need to do is put it in your oven at the lowest temp it can reach. When I looked up the process they recommended lightly brushing them with oil and then dusting them with salt and paprika. So that is what I did.
You put them in the oven over night and in the morning you will have a crispy set of peels that can be used for a snack, a garnish or even mixed into your next batch of yummy tea!
Now the strings. Most of us just dump them in the trash and I really have thought it was a waste for the longest time. Well if you take the strings, after you remove the seeds of course, place them in your crock pot and cover them with water. Set your crock pot to the lower setting and let it simmer for the day. Once it has just pop it into your blender and buzz it till it is smooth. You will have a lovely pumpkin stock that you can use for almost as many uses as your basic chicken stock.
This late in the month of October we are all thinking of Halloween and jack-o-lanterns. We carve them up, toss out the insides and put candles in them to make our front porches look spooky. Now while this is a fun and wonderful part of the holiday personally I have always thought it was a waste.
The pumpkin is filled with SEEDS. Those wonderful little white losenges of goodness that we end up throwing away. You don’t have to you know? Actually almost everything from a pumpkin is good to eat. I have in previous years roasted the pumpkin flesh, pureed it and used it in cookies, muffins, soups and of course pies. I have made pumpkin seeds and let me tell you while they are tasty in so many things I had trouble the first few batches I did. Following internet recipes left me with burned husks that were not edible even to the squirrels and chipmunks that live in my yard.
So here is what I did finally to get it right and now when I make them the local kids EAT them all before I can do anything else!
homemade pumpkin seeds
fresh pumpkin seeds
1/2 c margarine or butter, melted
When making your jack o lantern be sure to save out your seeds.
Place them into a colander/strainer and rinse with warm water to work off the pumpkin strings. When they are clean, pat dry with a paper towel. Next coat the pumpkin seeds with the melted butter and pour onto a cookie sheet, spreading evenly. Cover in salt to taste. Then roast at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Let cool and place in an airtight container.
Now keep an eye on them, you might need more or less time depending on your oven.
For those of you who have been wondering where I went over the past few weeks well I have been working on turning my novels, collections and illustrated stories into sellable books. I have turned a lot of my work into paperbacks hoping that I will get some more attention.
If you are interested you can find my paperbacks of the following books on Amazon.
As Lisa Williamson
Fall Into Nightmares
Death Walks Through
Distance Means Little to Love
Echoes of Elder Times
Where Angels No Longer Tread
Generations of Love
Guardians of the Gate City
Love Loss and Lonelines
Magic and Nightmares
Mythos of Love
Quick Flashes of Fiction
Reflections in Drabble
To Save Face or Family
As LA Mason
If I could Fly
Yes I have others I haven’t yet turned into paperbacks but I am taking a break because it can be very frustrating to do this. I am still working on the various illustrated stories I have been posting. I need to remove my handwritten words and type them in to be easier to read. I have also discovered that the multiple tales I have need more work to be considered finished. Hopefully the children’s and young adult stories will catch an audience.
For those of you who have read my work, I do thank you. While very few of you have gone on to review them at least a handful of you have tried out my various stories.
I will get back to publishing on my various blogs the items that they are for. Expect new tales, new reviews, new photos, new recipes and so much more when possible.
Just sorting through all my recipes to see what I have and have not posted folks. Between getting a new children’s book out, putting together a paperback copy, photo runs,kit builds, digital and pencil art projects, family visiting, inspections coming up and new games I am playing to review and earn money I just have not had time.
I will hopefully be back on the ball by next week but with school soon starting for the year I will be getting my daughter ready and setting up sales on her way too quickly out grown clothing…be patient. There will be new and yummy or interesting bits coming soon.
As you readers have seen better I have done a blog on rendering down pork fat. Well after a little research I realized that you can do the same with left over chicken parts. Everything from the skin to the white fat that is trimmed off the chicken when you buy prepared breasts.
Since we buy the cheapest parts you can find generally I have a lot of little bits of meat etc left on the bones. I toss the skin, the fat and the bones into my crockpot to cook off the meat. After straining the meat and bones out of the sauce/soupy parts you can just pour it into a clean, recycled jar, let cool and then place in your frig for use with stir fries and simmered dishes. It works great as a base for sauces too.