Woodland Hills, High Tea Cottage

High Tea Cottage Stacked plate

What a wonderful little spot in the San Fernando Valley.  The High Tea Cottage is located one block south of Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hill.  The staff is friendly and don’t be surprised if they engage in conversation with.

Crystal and Julia at High Tea Cottage

Look out for special days like Downton Abbey Teacher or Customer Appreciation day which prices are slashed in half.  I was fortunate to visit on a Good Friday customer appreciation day.

Tea cup

We started with tea and delight fruit salad.  Then we enjoyed our tea sandwiches and scones and enjoyed our fruit filled Belgian chocolate cups.

Address: 21938 Costanso St, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

 

Baltimore: Tea by Julia Faye

Going to tearooms is hard work, but somebody’s has to do it, and by George I take my job seriously. So, when I looked online and found a little tea spot located in a historic property called Stone Mansion, I was very intrigued. There happened to be a Christmas tea coming up—all the more intriguing. So I come upon the property of this quaint little spot and I’m greeted by Julia Faye Briggs, owner of the Tea by Julia Faye. She is friendly like your Auntie Julia who’s always trying to make sure your comfortable at her home. As she bustles around getting things ready for the Christmas tea,  I’m making myself comfortable amongst the various Victorian pieces, checking out the beautiful tea pots and other paraphenalia. Yes, this is going to be a good visit. READ MORE

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Honey Melon Cucumber Iced Tea

Lipton tea and several Coffee house have put a spin on a classic favorite of Iced tea by thinly slicing cucumbers and adding a few other ingredients to the mix.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 Lipton® Iced Tea Brew Family Size Tea Bags
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 small cucumber (about 6 inches), thinly sliced
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cantaloupe
  • 2 cups thinly sliced honeydew melon

 

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Healthy Drinks

We all know that the healthiest drink for our bodies is water. Water makes 70% of our bodies; it cushions our joints, and transports oxygen and nutrients to cells in our bodies. Water encourages bowel movement and helps to defend against blood clots. Everyone should have eight 8 ounce glasses of water every day, especially if you’re an active person. Even though water is the healthiest thing you can put in your body, there are many beneficial drinks that you might want to try. READ MORE

North America Tea Punch Recipe

Fresh fruit gives your punch punch! http://samovarlife.com/

 ATTN: DIE HARD iced tea fans:

Try this 1839 Tea Punch Recipe from The 1839 cookbook, The Kentucky Housewife, by Mrs. Lettice Bryanon: 

Tea Punch

Make a pint and a half of very strong tea in the usual manner; strain it, and pour it boiling (hot) on one pound and a quarter of loaf sugar. (That’s 2 1/2 cups white sugar) Add half a pint of rich sweet cream, and then stir in gradually a bottle of claret or of champaign (sic). You may heat it to the boiling point, and serve it so, or you may send it round entirely cold, in glass cups.

Or just try this contemporary recipe from http://allrecipes.com/:

Tea Punch

Ingredients    

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup strong brewed black tea
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 4 cups pineapple juice
  • 4 cups prepared lemonade
  • 1 (2 liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

Directions

  1. In a pitcher, combine sugar and tea. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in orange juice, pineapple juice and lemonade. Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours.
  2. Just before serving, pour chilled juice mixture into a punch bowl and stir in ginger ale.

 

Citrus Tea Punch                            A Taste of Home

Behind the Scenes of a Garden Party with Chef Jay

THE CHALLENGE: All Chefs have egos but MCCN Editor Crystal Johnson asked Chef Jay Bonilla of MCCN’s En La Cocina Para Mi Amor to put aside his ego to go where no chef really wants to go…work with food prepared by other people for… a Garden Party event.   He beautified donated items such as finger sandwiches(cucumber sandwiches), cupcakes, teacakes, fruit and Quiche for a Garden Party.  The former executive chef of D’Cache Restaurant in Toluca Lake, CA is a marvel.  Make no mistake he found a way to leave his mark with vinaigrette for the apple walnut based salad which left a buzz among the 70 women served and taste for more of what Chef Jay has to offer.

PART TWO: Teach inexperienced young adult males and teen volunteers the art of presentation and serving.

*Chef Jay talks with MCCN Editor while serving.

Look for up coming interview with Chef Jay about the challenge. 

India’s Tea Time

indian chai, indian tea, masala chai, indian drinks

Masala chai is an integral part of India's tea time.

Did you think tea time was only popular in England? Well think again! Tea is a popular social event in India. And why wouldn’t it be? India is the world’s largest producer, exporter and consumer of tea. The Indian Tea Time menu is a high tea (a fairly substantial meal) but in today’s world it can be made into a dinner and an excellent menu for entertaining. What’s on the menu? See for yourself!

 

 

 

 

Indian Tea Time Menu

Chutney/Cucumber Sandwiches-Thin slices of tomato and cucumber with a spread of cilantro-mint-ginger chutney on sliced bread.

Bhel-Phuri (Mix 2 boiled and mashed Potatoes , 1 finely chopped cucumber, 2 finely cut tomatoes and 1 minced onion with a pack of Bhel Mix (crispy rice, sev or chickpea noodles). Pour 3 to 4 table spoons of raisin chutney and 1 to 2 tablespoons of mint chutney to the above mixture. Mix well. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve. – a meal in itself.)

Masala Chai –  (tea infused with spices, fresh ginger and served with milk and sugar).

Gujarati Farsan or Namkeen – Crispy spicy snack made of rice, chickpea dough and nuts.

Kheer – Indian rice pudding

Have your own Indian tea time by making your own Masala Chai! Here’s a basic recipe for your drinking pleasure:

Basic Recipe

Ingredients

Water by 2/3 cup per person

Milk (whole or skim) by 2/3 cup per person

1½ cups Dried tea leaves (or tea powder) 1.5 tsp. for first person and then 1 tsp. per person. More than 5 persons reduce per person tea to 3/4 tsp. Brooke Bond Red label, Mamri, or Taj Mahal Black tea [do not use green tea) For gourmet chai use Assam Tea Leaves. These variety of Teas may be ordered from http://www.indianfoodsco.com. Sugar to taste.

Methods

1. Boil the water in a saucepan.

2. Add the tea spices by a pinch per person or whole spices as explained above. More if you want it more robust in spices. Experiment for personal taste.

3. Add the tea leaves.

4. When the concoction starts boiling, Add milk.

5. Boil for about a minute.

6. Strain the tea into the cups.

7. Remove strainer add sweetener as per taste and stir the tea well.

Spices for the tea above per cup or per person

Add a 1/4 inch piece of ginger, crushed with a mallet

1 cardamom pod, crushed in a mortar

1/4 inch cinnamon stick

2 whole black peppers – crushed in a mortar

1 small pinch of fennel

1 strand of saffron

1 pinch of ginger powder

1 Clove

1 pinch of dried mint

Photo and information resources: SBS Feast and Indian Food Co.

Russia meets Baltimore for the 36th Annual Russian Festival

From the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow to the Winter Canal in St. Petersburg, there is so much to see and appreciate in Russia. This weekend the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church is providing a taste of the country’s flavor with the Russian Festival. Now in its 36th year, the festival located in the Fells Point area of Baltimore, not only celebrates the rich history and culture of its parish, but  festival-goers are also invited to sample and enjoy lots of food,  plus live entertainment and souvenirs imported from Russia.

Now about that food…the delicacies range from desserts like Vishnovaya Babka  and Shokoladnaya (cherry bread and chocolate bread) to traditional Russian dishes like salad iz kapusty and blinchky (cabbage salad and stuffed crepes). Sound hearty enough? For the more dainty crowd, there is also an authentic Russian Tea Room with an antique samovar (metal urn for making tea).

The three-day festival ends on Sunday, October 18th with a power-packed itinerary including the Lyman Ukrainian Dance Group, live music from Balkanto, and The Beltway Balalaikas Ensemble. For more information about the Russian Festival go to the following website: Russian Festival.

Festival takes place at 1723 East Fairmount Avenue in the Fells Point area of Baltimore

Festival takes place at 1723 East Fairmount Avenue in the Fells Point area of Baltimore