Monday, January 11, 2016

T Stands For Green Tea


Today begins with

what I will call "Craft Tea."  This is green tea I bought several years ago.  I got a box of 100 green tea bags for $1.00 (USD).  I cannot reiterate this enough.  This is craft tea, so keep your tea vessel in your craft area, not your cooking area.  I plan to use it in art and dyeing some book pages. 

Green tea has tannins, which are a type of polyphenol, a fancy word for substances naturally produced by plants.   A strong antioxidant, tannins are found in large quantities in green tea. Antioxidants protect your cells from toxins in the environment.  Green tea is among the teas with the highest amount of tannins.  The tannins in green tea help boost immunity and provide protection from many harmful toxins.  The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that drinking green tea can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer.  Tannins in green tea bind to iron, something useful in crafts, but not in the human body, especially anyone prone to anemia.

For those of you who follow my blog on a daily basis and not just on T day, this will be useful information when I create crafts from this tea later in the week.
 more : http://www.ehow.com/about_5084474_polyphenols.html. A strong antioxidant, tannins are found in large quantities in green tea. Antioxidants protect your cells from toxins in the environment

Again, this is NOT a cooking blog, but I made some gingerbread muffins Saturday, in an attempt to stay warm now that daytime temps have dipped well below freezing.

This was a really simple recipe, and clean-up was a snap.  Combine 1 egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, 1/4 cup (one stick) melted butter and 1 cup water.  I used the 1/2 cup measuring cup to wash the sugar and molasses out as I added the water.  Mix these ingredients well. In a large bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  When thoroughly stirred, add the molasses mixture. Beat until everything is well mixed.  Line your muffin pan with paper baking cups.  My pan holds 12 muffins.  

EDIT: Dianne is correct in her comment and I typed the information wrong about the butter.  This is from the original recipe: 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature   
Thanks for catching my faux pas, Dianne.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 375 F (gas mark 5, 190 C) or until a tester inserted in the center of your middle muffin comes out clean.  Although the recipe called for using an ice cream scoop, I used my stirring spoon and added the mixture until it was nearly full.  My muffin batter was quite thick, and I wondered if I had done something wrong. 

On the contrary, the recipe yielded moist muffins with extra keeping power.  I took four to Sally and kept eight for myself.  I ate two as soon as they were cool enough to handle.  Little piggy here!  The next two were consumed early Sunday morning and the next two late Sunday night.  These are the final two.  Wish I had saved them all and photographed them as I was making the batch, but I wasn't thinking about that, since my fingers were cold then and have been ever since the heat electricity was out in my neighborhood for nearly a day.

As an aside, for those of you who do not live in the U.S., many single dwelling homes, especially those in the midwest and central states, have central heating and air conditioning, like mine.  When the electricity is off, the electric starter, which controls the pilot light on the heater, keeps the heat from turning on.  So the adage "freezing in the dark" certainly applies to many who experience power outages in the U.S in the winter.  As another aside, I don't know about other cities in the U.S., but in my city, neither the electric nor (natural) gas company (where many get their heat) can turn off your service in the winter.

This started out as "Craft Tea" and turned into a diatribe on cooking and home heating.  However, I'm sure your T post will be far more interesting, so please link any post below that involves some form of drink.   That drink could be made from art, sketched, digital, hybrid, or traditional.  It can be a time when you were out and about, or a drink you had at home.  It could be in the form of a book you read, a postcard you received, scrapbook page you created, or a movie you watched.   It doesn't matter as long as you can, in some way, tie it back to a drink.  After linking your post below, Bleubeard (Squiggles seems to be hiding), the T gang, and I will be by to visit and enjoy whatever you choose to share.  And remember, as Bleubeard would say, your photos may be taken any time, not just on Tuesday.



28 thoughtful remarks:

Corrine at corrinegilman.com said...

I do wish I like green tea, but I do not. So I will have to content myself with eating lots of those veg that reduce your risks. What will you be dying later this week? We will see I am sure. xox

johanna said...

i like green tea, but i sure LOVE Muffins:)

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Wish I was there to share the gingerbread muffins--they have my mouth watering! I have some craft instant coffee in the closet that Dennis "donated" to me after he let it sit too long. Looking forward to seeing what you do with your craft tea!

Halle said...

Those muffins sound awesome! I love ginger. Looking forward to the Tea projects throughout the week.

My name is Erika. said...

I love green tea. You muffins look delicious too, and you had me laughing when you wrote about eating them. I like your eating style! Got to enjoy them while they are fresh, right?

Linda Kunsman said...

Oh I can just smell that heavenly warming scent of those gingerbread muffins! Thanks so much for sharing your recipe-must give it a go:) And yes, the cold winter air does have people doing more baking and cooking comfort foods doesn't it? We have central air and heating too and have experienced the same troubles as you have. Glad it wasn't longer than a day for you!
As for your clever craft tea-well, I don't often use real tea for dying only because I have so many other art supplies that do the same thing.
Thanks for sharing your lovely muffins and a happy T day!

Pamela Gerard said...

Yes -- I agree with what's bee said -- i like tea but love muffins too -- and I can almost smell them. I know everyone thinks we are wimps in San Francisco compared to the cold in other places but it has been really cold (for us) here and i would hate to think of my heater not turning on. Stay warm and cozy!

~*~Patty S said...

Oh what a great first photo with the nice closeup of the tea bags.
I have tried green tea but just do not enjoy drinking it...so the idea of using it as dye appeals to me ;-)
Your muffins sound like a really sweet treat and look so tempting.
Lovely photos with sunlight streaming in.
Happy T Day E
oxo

Valerie-Jael said...

Hi Elizabeth, I love the look of those muffins, yummy! I don't drink much green tea, but I do love ginger tea, as well as my coffee. Stay warm, have a great week, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I don't like green tea as well - I would love to taste the muffins Elizabeth!
Happy T-Day my friend!
oxo
Susi

Janet said...

The muffins look delicious and the recipe seems easy. Thanks for sharing it.
I grew up in the Midwest and we had power outages in the winter. No heat, as you mentioned, and since my mom had an electric stove, no cooking either.

voodoo vixen said...

I have tried to like green tea... it just doesn't taste nice enough to exchange my lovely normal tea for... but perhaps I will try it again and see if my taste buds will adjust.
Love the look of those muffins... yummmm, shame I am on a diet and will have to pass! Sorry you have been so cold, do you have any back up heating supplies for these times? My house would get cold pretty fast without electricity so I have a gas canister fire in the garage that I can go and fetch in with a gas stove thingy so I can warm up soup.... hoping I won't need to resort to this but its handy to have 'in case'!!

Aiyana Kalyna said...

Do I relate to the lovely Winters & power outages. I am in the next state over from you. I am sorry your power went out. It was just freezing this weekend. I am really glad your ok. I have the electric starter on my heater too.

When it's cold I make a lot of muffins too. I wonder if it's a regional thing to make muffins to stay warm. Your muffins look so good.

Dianne said...

wow...electricity off already?! calls for lots of candles in my book. the muffins sound yummy!...but isn't a stick of butter 1/2 cup? you listed 1/4 cup? might try this recipe if you can clarify...though I will probably substitute applesauce for some of the butter. they sound wonderful. a cup of tea with a muffin is one of my winter treats! and...with your healthy green tea dye, that means your art work lowers cholesterol, right!? lol. love the post. stay warm! hugs from cold Ohio... ♥

~*~Patty S said...

you know E I would have sent you a note about 12 January being the first National Hot Tea Day but I came upon the info on FB in the wee hours last night just by chance...so I tagged it along on the end of my already photo heavy T post for today...just because :-)
oxo

Janet said...

Elizabeth, thank you for the invite to link up here. This is my first time but I'll be back again.

Rita said...

The muffins sound and look delicious! I should drink more tea...or drink some at least occasionally instead of seldom. I am such a coffee person. :) Happy T-Day!

pearshapedcrafting said...

I had to drink green tea once - we had a Japanese student on an exchange visit to the school where I taught and she did a Tea ceremony - I had to set an example but I only sipped enough to pretend I was enjoying it!! She was such a lovely girl and the children adored her! Your muffins look most delicious - Thank you for the recipe -I have tried two versions of your French Toast recipe - yummy!! Hugs, Chrisx

Ariel said...

Your muffins look yummy. It reminds me it has b een ages since I have baked anything. I hope to come back and see what you create in the coming days.
Hugs
Susan

pearshapedcrafting said...

Just popped back to say - a tip for keeping warm that someone once told me - and it works - cut up old socks and pop the tops around your wrists and also over the bottom of your trousers (if you wear them) or around your ankles - something to do with pulse points!! Hugs Cx

Kelly Deal said...

I love green tea for drinking and for crafting. As for the muffins, my stomach is rumbling just looking at them!

Caterina Giglio said...

Well happy T day! and I was just going to make myself a cuppa of green tea!! looks great and your muffies look so yummy! I particularly love to t dye with Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon tea, then everything smells so heavenly!! x

Sandra Cox said...

This was a great post, but they all are:)
I've finally found some decaf green that I mix with my decaf black. I've also read that green tea burns stomach fat, whether true or not, I have no idea.

Meggymay said...

A great post to read today , it is good to know how different countries cope with the cold and power needs. If we have a power cut everything goes off, as most appliances cooker, boilers etc] rely on electricity for the ignitions.
Yvonne xx

JillGA said...

Looks wonderful! Keep warm, Elizabeth. The weather people say that it is going to be a fairly long and harsh winter this year... :-(

Happy T-Day!

jinxxxygirl said...

HI Elizabeth!!!! I'm afraid i'm a little late to the party!! I cannot wait to see what you make with the Tea this week.. i'll be watching!!! Hugs! deb

Krisha said...

Just popped in to say Happy T-day....no I didn't post this week....a lot on my mind. Today was the results of an ultra sound, all is ok...for now.....just something to keep an eye on..... so my spirits are much higher tonight.
Thanks for all the comments you left me.

Carol said...

Those muffins look super yummy . I didn't join in this week...no real reason ..just taking so lazy days away from the computer and reading :)