Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake

So the last Monday of the month our book club meets to discuss the book we have been reading. I used to have Mondays off and we would go out after the other book club members got off, but my job changed and we now meet after I get off at 5. Typically we just have light snacks, but as this Monday I didn’t have to work due to the quarantine, I decided I would do a little tea party.

The book we had just finished reading wasThe Secret Adversary, and the two main characters go to tea a few times at Lyons Tea Cafe. The book is set in 1921, and I tried to find a menu of the time but couldn’t.

I did find one from 1913 which did included pommes pont neuf and a few other things. I had decided what to make when my coworker gave me a whole box of Meyer’s Lemons.

That’s not good.

We had been talking about the lemons as I shared I wanted to try making lemon curd, as I have more free time, but I thought she was just going to give me one or two, not a box full.

Uh oh

So instead of what sweets I planned to make, we were doing a lemon theme.

So we had egg salad sandwiches, ham and cheese sandwiches, french fries (pommes pont neuf), Scottish Oat scones, lemon curd, lemon crinkle cookies, and meyer lemon poppyseed cake. And we all had a wonderful time talking about our book, snacking, and drinking tea.

After all:

I had planned to share each recipe with you, starting with the scones, but then Marnie Cannon on instagram asked about the cake recipe, so instead we will be starting with that. But I will still share the others throughout the month. If any interest you, I encourage you to try them out.

This recipe comes from Browned Butter Blondie.

Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Butter at Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup + 1 Tbsp of Sugar
  • 3 Large Eggs at Room Temperature
  • 1.5 Tbsps of Lemon Zest
  • 2 Tbsps of Lemon Juice
  • 1.5 Tsp of Vanilla
  • 1.5 Cups + 2 Tbsp of Flour
  • 1/2 Tsp of Salt
  • 1/4 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/4 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1.5 Tbsp of Poppyseeds
  • 1/2 Cup of Plain Greek Yogurt at Room Temperature

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Confectioner’s Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
  • 3-4 Tbsps of Whole Milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat the ovem to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spray a 9 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  4. Use an electric mixer to beat the sugar and butter together.
  5. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each egg.
  6. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  7. With the mixer on low add some of the flour mixture, and mix.
  8. Then add the yogurt and mix. Repeat alternating between flour mixture and yogurt.
  9. Remove from mixer and mix in poppyseeds, but just until they are incorporated. Do not overmix.
  10. Pour batter into pan and cook for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  11. Remove from oven and cool for 10 mins.
  12. While cake is cooling, whisk confectioner’s sugar and milk together.
  13. While cake is warm, spoon the glaze over the top.
  14. Sprinkle with poppyseeds if desired.

This was extremely delicious! If you like lemon and lemon cake I suggest you try it out for yourself.

For more recipes, go to Irish Soda Bread

For more desserts, go to Crispy, Chewy, Matcha Green Tea Cookies

For more tea parties, go to Literary Tea Parties

Irish Soda Bread

So every year I do a post on 17 or 7 Irish heroes in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day, and each post I mention how I will be making Irish Soda Bread.

It is so good-and I usually spend the rest of the week eating the bread for breakfast with my tea.

So this year I decided it is time for me to actually share the recipe I use, borrowed from my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.comso you can make your own for the holiday.

Ingredients:

  • Shortening
  • 2.5 Cups of All-Purpose Flour, plus extra for later
  • 2 Tablespoons of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Butter
  • About 1 Cup of Buttermilk
  • Additional Butter, Softened

Directions:

  1. Heat Oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease cookie sheet with shortening.
  3. Mix flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  4. Cut in 3 tablespoons of butter, using a pastry blender or crisscrossing two knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs.
  5. Stir in just enough buttermilk so dough leaves the side of the bowl.
  6. Place dough on a lightly floured surface, gently roll the dough to coat.
  7. Knead 1 to 2 mins, or until smooth.
  8. Shape into a round loaf, about 6.5 inches in diameter.
  9. Place on the cookie sheet. Cut an X shape about 1/2 inch deep through loaf with floured knife.
  10. Bake 35-45 mins or until golden brown.
  11. Remove from cookie sheet.
  12. Brush with additional softened butter.
  13. Cool completely, about 30 mins, before cutting.

It was delicious! I ended up making two (gotta use up that buttermilk) one for me and one for my Sunday School class. I wasn’t sure the kids would like the bread, but they surprised me and ate almost the whole entire thing.

Or in this case, bread

One thing that I find fascinating is that the the “X” you cut into the bread traditionally was supposed to represent a cross. With the cross on the bread, and bread representing the body of Christ- Irish Soda Bread always makes me think of communion and The Last Supper. Maybe I should make it for Good Friday this year as well?

Well if you make it for Saint Patrick’s Day or just to eat, for yourself or others-I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! 🙂 I can’t stop eating it.

And an early-Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

For more bread recipes, go to Slow-Cooker Bread

For more recipes, go to Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

Iced Blackberry Infused Earl Grey Tea

So I was on Pinterest and I spotted this recipe, and you all know how much I love Earl Grey tea.

I was so excited to make it as it sounded really good. So without further ado, let’s get right into this (by the way this recipe originally comes from ONE armed MAMA). 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Pint of Blackberries (~2 Cups)
  • 1/2 Cup of Granulated Sugar (or any other alternative sweetener)
  • 8 Bags of Earl Grey Tea (4 Tablespoons Loose Leaf Tea)
  • 1/2 Cup of Cream or any dairy substitute

Directions:

  1. Bring 5 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, place berries in a large bowl with sugar.
  3. Crush the berries into a thick jam-like liquid.
  4. Sprinkle in tea or add tea bags.
  5. Pour hot water over the fruit and tea and steep for 5 mins.
  6. Place 5 cups of ice in a large pitcher and strain berry infused concentrate over ice.
  7. The ice will immediately melt, diluting the concentrate and cooling the tea,
  8. Serve in a tall glass with ice, and drizzle in a tablespoon, or more, of cream.

So I eagerly drank it…but this was horrible.

I don’t know what happened, but I ended up dropping it all down the drain. What a waste of blackberries.

It was so awful!

I will not be making this ever again.

For more recipes, go to Skinny Chai Tea Latte

For more tea posts, go to Blueberry Matcha Smoothie

Skinny Chai Tea Latte

It is winter and cold and what better thing to do than to have some chai tea?

Especially if you have won a giveaway that has a box of tea, including chai tea.

Yes, I’ll be reviewing this at a later date, but for now I have this recipe to tide you over. This recipe comes from a book we added at the library, Lose Weight By Eating: Detox Week by Audrey Johns. I was flipping through the book, processing it, when this recipe caught my eye and I had to make it.

“Oh, the irony…I’m typing this at a coffeehouse. I’m just trying to be honest here, because though I don’t often visit coffeehouses, I do once in a while when I need a quiet space to work. I made this recipe earlier today, then figured, “What the heck, let’s make sure it is as good as Starbucks,” so I headed on over to my local spot and ordered-you guessed it-a chai tea latte. So here I am, drinking my second chai tea latte of the day and typing up my recipe, which I think tastes exactly the same.

I whisk the milk by hand, and it’s very easy. It only takes a minute and you’re done (and by the way I’ve had two wrist surgeries in my whisking hand, so I assure you anyone can handle this mild activity).”

Ingredients:

  • 3 Chai Tea Bags, with the Paper Tags Cut Off
  • 2 Cups of Unsweetened Almond Milk or Milk of your choice
  • 2 Tablespoons of Pure Maple Syrup (optional)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat 2 cups of water.
  2. One heated, remove from heat and steep 3 bags of chai tea for five minutes.
  3. In a small saucepan heat the milk over medium-low heat. As soon as the milk is simmering, whisk it.
  4. Pour the tea into two cups and and add sugar, maple syrup, or other sweetener.
  5. Top with frothy milk.
  6. Sprinkle on some pumpkin pie spice (if using).
  7. Congratulations, you just saved yourself $5.04.

I thought it was really good, but I had way more milk than tea. I don’t think the author planned for how it grows when heated and whisked. I had to make additional cups of tea to use it up-but otherwise, it was delicious!

For more tea posts, go to Blueberry Matcha Smoothie

For more recipes, go to Crispy, Chewy, Matcha Green Tea Cookies

Crispy, Chewy, Matcha Green Tea Cookies

So today I had originally planned to review Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe the movie, but unfortunately bad Jane Austen films scare me too much.

Just, kidding. I just haven’t had a chance yet. So then I decided that I would review YULETIDE audiobook, but the review isn’t completed and I need it to be as good as the audiobook. Nothing subpar!

As I haven’t finished that, I decided to instead share the Matcha cookies I mad last night as a Christmas gift to a few people.

So this recipe comes from Kirbe’s Cravings.

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup of Butter (Softened)
  • 1.5 Cups of White Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract (I ran out, so substituted with Maple Syrup)
  • 2.5 Tsp Matcha Green Tea Powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. In a small bowl stir together flour, matcha powder, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
  4. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  5. Gradually blend the dry ingredients into the wet.
  6. Roll dough into balls about one inch in diameter and flatten slightly to create round discs. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand for two minutes before removing from wire racks.

These cookies were so gooood!!! I tried a few and then kept eating them.

Thank goodness that they were for other people or I don’t think I could have stopped myself.

No, stop! Alright.

For more recipes, go to Matcha Green Tea Blast Smoothie

For more Matcha Green Tea recipes, go to Green Tea Frappuccino

For more cookies, go to Basic Shortbread

Green Tea Frappuccino

So I know some of you are thinking…uh didn’t you say you were going to resume reviewing Rational Creatures?

You are all 100% right. However, this weekend I left the hot three digit heat to visit my friend in cool, comfortable degree weather-San Jose.

I was hoping to have the next installment of Rational Creatures ready but it’s isn’t and I don’t want to post a lackluster review for a book that I have been enjoying. So instead I thought I would pause and share a yummy tea recipe that will help you beat this summer (it’s not fall in California until October) heat.

This recipe comes from my sister blog, MysteriousEatsand is a way to make a homemade Green Tea Frappuccino which stars one of my favorite teas:

So I mentioned in Matcha, Matcha, Matcha that my niece and I would go on these faux-around the world trips. One day she wanted to go to Japan so I planned a trip around town and then we ended the day with the tea ceremony. As I had leftover Matcha and I love the Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino-it was a no brainer to use my sister blog’s recipe and make my own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Ice Cubes (Less than 10)
  • 1 Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Vanilla or Vanilla Extract
  • Xanthan Gum (Optional)
  • Whipped Cream (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pulse and blend on high until thorough.
  3. Add whipped cream if you want.

greenteafrap

It’s absolutely delicious!

For more tea posts, go to I Won the Regency Marketplace Giveaway

For more Mysterious Eats recipes, go to Cheese Round

For more recipes, go to Matcha, Matcha, Matcha

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Rational Creatures: Elizabeth & Charlotte

Matcha, Matcha, Matcha

“Well all I hear all day long is how great Matcha is or how wonderful Matcha is, Matcha, Matcha, Matcha!

So Matcha tea is amazing, if you have been following me on Instagram, you know how much I love it.

For me I have always loved the Green Tea Frappucinos at Starbucks, but I didn’t know there was any Matcha in it.

Oh?

No, my obsession started with a book.

I know, don’t they all.

I picked this particular book up at the library, The Tea Ceremony by Seno Tanaka. It was a fascinating book that went over the history of the tea ceremony, along with discussing Matcha tea, it being the one used in the ceremony (no wonder it is so expensive).

Wow!

One part of the book really stuck in my mind, and that was when they described this one…I guess for lack of a better word, tea party, that had a ton of people and they had to keep getting new dishes and used over 200 of them. Wow, that’s a real tea party.

Wow!

Anyways, I know a lot of people like it because it is supposed to help you loose weight, help keep your brain & heart healthy, gives you healthy energy, stop bad breath, burn calories, build your immune system, help with memory, bring relaxation, help your skin, lower cholesterol, detox, etc. I just like it because it tastes good.

So I had been drinking Matcha for years with the green tea frappucino, but I didn’t start buying my own Matcha until three years ago. My niece used to come every year for the Summer, and on Mondays, my day off, we would go on trips around the world.

Let’s go!

Of course, we didn’t really go around the world. We would travel around the bi-county area recreating famous places/landmarks. She would pick a country, I would do the research on it, and then plan out the day. We would then travel and have the different places “stamp” her passport I printed off.

She wanted to go to Japan, so I planned out our trip. First we made Chocolate Oat Crackles; then we headed to the oldest building in our Gold Rush built town-a Japanese Market (no longer open though), saw the Buddhist Temple Gardens (lucky as they hardly are ever open), the local art gallery (supposed to be the Mori Art Museum), the pet store to pet cats and the cafe next door (supposed to be the Japanese Cat Cafes), Imperial Park, a Cat Bento Box, and ending with the tea ceremony.

Now I live in a small town, so it took some doing to try and hunt down some Matcha. I could have ordered it online, but she wanted to do it the next day, and she was visiting for the summer so I was going to make it happen! I finally tracked down a tiny, and I mean tiny, container for $15 at the health store. The things we do for the ones we love.

We did the ceremony, with what we had (I of course didn’t have the proper tools). But after that, we had Matcha left over, so she and I made our own Green Tea Frappucinos (I’ll post the recipe later) and lattes.

I know some people think Matcha is coarse or gross, but I love it. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend it.

So here is a recipe to make your own Matcha Latte hot or cold:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tsp of Matcha Powder
  • 2 Tsps of Sugar
  • 3 Tbsps of Warm Water
  • 2 Cups of Milk (Hot or Cold)

Directions:

  1. Put the Matcha powder, sugar, and water in a cup or mug
  2. Whisk together to ensure no lumps (use a matcha whisk or electric stirrer. (My dad was given one and it just somehow ended up in my home.)
  3. If doing hot, warm the milk and pour into the mug. If doing cold, just pour in the mug.
  4. Use the whisk or electric stirrer to combine everything until it is a light green color.

For more Tea posts, go to I Won the Regency Marketplace Giveaway

For more recipes, go to Cheese Round

For more on Matcha tea, go to Tea Chocolate