Pumpkin Chai Sausage with Lapsang Souchong rice

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I’m back! The new job is still kicking my butt, but I’m back, sorta. Essentially I made this tonight and didn’t want to lose the recipe, so I’m sharing it here. It is soooooo good. It started here, I actually made this recipe last week, but the apples and spices turned it into a sweet/savory mix we didn’t particularly care for. So I tried it again tonight, taking out the apples and the spices and adding a kick of chili powder.

It is so, so good. I’m not a fan of onions, I might use onion powder next time instead of fresh onion, but I’ll leave that decision up to you. So here we go:
1 package of sausage (I used Original Grill-Em’s)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped carrots
3 cups already cooked long-grain rice (I cooked the rice in Lapsang Souchong Star from DavidsTea)
1/2 T Chili Powder
1 cup Pumpkin Chai or chicken stock or water
2 cloves garlic chopped finely

So, put 1/3 of the liquid (Pumpkin Chai, in my case) in a skillet and let it start to warm up. Slice your sausages as thin or as thick as you like them and put them in the skillet, cooking and stirring until they are browned and cooked. Add them to the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot, including the rest of the cup of liquid. Let cook on low for 5-6 hours and there you have it! Tasty, tasty sausage and rice!

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Hot Todd-Tea!

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Okay, okay, this is a bit of a lame post, but very relevant to my current interests. I’m desperately trying to fight  off a cold, and I usually make my hot toddies with whiskey, lemon, and honey. Well, this usually results in a very painful shot that does eventually soothe my throat, but it also makes me slightly nauseated and kinda drunk. Cutting it with tea helps cut down on that whiskey burn and makes it last longer and soothe more. Although I do wish I had thought to sweeten the tea a bit with sugar, as I usually take sugar in my tea. Next time! I made mine with Nepal Black from, you guessed it, DavidsTea. Any black or green tea will do, my next toddy  will be with Buttered Rum! I might also try one with their cold remedy teas like Bravissimo (a personal favorite) or Gail’s Cold Remedy. And then I’ll either be feeling better or passed out drunk >.<.

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Just a quick little update

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So! Last week, I got a job. My first job since the move to Canada, yay! My first job in two years, yay! But I’m hitting the ground running, so to speak. I started on Thursday, and so far I’ve worked 28 hours. This coming week I’ve got 45 hours, including a 10.5 hour day (today) and a 11.5 hour day (tomorrow). Combine this with either 30 minutes of transit each way, or an hour of transit each way (I’m working two different locations) and the fact that I haven’t worked in two years, and I just don’t have the time or the energy to experiment with cooking for the next week or two. Eventually my schedule will even out a bit and I’ll be mostly part time, but right now I’m taking a break from (trying to have) regular updates. I’ll update when I can.

The good news is, it’s a job I really enjoy, and the long bus rides will give me  chance to write up my posts so all I have to do when I get home is type them up. The other good news is the job is just around the corner from a DavidsTea (well, one location), so because DavidsTea is awesome like that, I’ll get a discount. Just what I need, an excuse to buy more tea, right?

Also, if you live near a DavidsTea and haven’t tried their new Mom’s Apple Pie yet, run to your nearest location and try it. You’ll thank me for it. It is truly amazing. I’m thinking of making a caramel apple pie with it, or something as simple as oatmeal cookies…or both!

Pumpkin Chai Butternut Squash Soup

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So I’ve been planning this one for a while. As soon as I found a recipe for butternut squash soup, I had to try it with Pumpkin Chai. I *had* to. And with Pumpkin Chai coming back into stores just a few days ago, now seemed the perfect time to try it. It was cruel, leaving this in the crockpot for 8 hours…gah! The house smelled like everything I love about fall. Apples, squash, and warm cinnamon spices. Yum. So much yum. I shared half of this with my mother in law…I kinda regret that now. Ha!

I made mine with my homemade chicken stock, but next time I’ll use veggie so the sister in law can have some. Next time I also won’t dump a bunch of the tea leaves into the crockpot…they did not blend well. Ah well, you experiment, and you learn!

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Cherry Potion Upside-Down Cake

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Oh man, this turned out tasty. It was also a very good test of how much the tea flavor comes out when used in something like this, as I was unable to find maraschino cherries at my corner store. It was delicious! And fitting! The day after I made this, we saw “The Help”. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake was very popular in that era (1960s), and even gets a mention in the movie! So it felt very fitting that I made this cake the day before, and I even wore my polka-dot apron.

And it’s quick! If you make the butter ahead, it takes about 20 minutes to get this cake in the oven. And the butter…oh yes, I made tea butter. Well, tea margarine. A note: for all of my recipes, butter and margarine can be used interchangeably. We’re on a diet, we just can’t afford real butter! But if you were to make tea butter for something that needs solid butter (for creaming and such), you would want to use butter, not margarine, because the latter doesn’t resolidify so well.

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Zing Me eggrolls

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I have to admit, the tea I use for this recipe is no longer carried by DavidsTea. Sad. But any tea with ginger will work, Zing me is a mix of black tea, ginger, peach, and apricot. A good friend of mine believes Geisha Plum, a plum green tea would work as well, but I’ll leave that testing to him, I’m not a fan of greens. DavidsTea does make a ginger Pu-erh I might try when my tin of Zing Me runs out.

I babble. My mother has made eggrolls as a treat for as long as I can remember. They are a lot of work, but the payoff is so worth it. My wife loves eggrolls, but we just can’t stomach the idea of greasy, deep-fried, sodium-filled takeout. So I set out to make my own. It took a lot of trial and error, but here they are: my favorite eggroll recipe. The jumping off point is here. As always, t=teaspoon and T=Tablespoon

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