Rooibos Royal Milk Tea

I kept steaming up the lens.

Yes, yes, I know, I could’ve called it Royal Milk Rooibos but then it’d sound as if I’d made something called Royal Milk. Yeah, tisane, red tea is a tisane…hah! You know, Dear Reader, I’m almost certain I made this years and years ago with tea bags. Here I am, more experienced and in possession of loose tea. I honestly bought the loose tea for the composters, but they had a fine filter that didn’t taste of metal and honeybush, which I could’ve used, but I wanted the more intense rooibos, so I’m having the occasional cup of loose tea and this popped into my head. If you want a better breakdown of milk tea hit up the link (Original here) I’m just trying it out as a one off, I take my tea plain, hence the lack of any sweetener recommendations below. I didn’t even make any cookies to have with it, mostly because they’re work and I’m lazy.

Tea for tw…er, one.

You can naturally use any tea here, but the reason rooibos works is that it’s more like black tea than herb teas. If you’ve never gone through the trio of rooibos, red, green and honeybush, there is a wild, but I didn’t find much difference between that and red, then you really should consider giving them a try. The reason I drink it is that it was a replacement for caffeinated teas and teas laden with sugar and milk, usually taken to eat an entire pack of biscuits because of the intense pain I mistook for hunger back in the fat-days, over time I’ve grown to love the taste. Now, the milky tea drinkers are the aberrations in my mind. I don’t do well with too much caffeine so I stick to these teas.

This is simply a milky cup of tea, instead of adding milk cold you heat it gently, the tea is also brewed very strong. You’d be surprised when using loose tea how even the mildest of tea can be brewed to strongly. I may, just may, have brewed an intense cup of honeybush and almost choked on the taste. Honeybush seems artificial, Dear Reader, there’s an intense aroma and a mild taste, too mild for something with this much milk, but worth mentioning to any red tea neophytes. Loose tea has this grand feel to it, as if you were somehow elevated by drinking your leaf steepings with bit floating in it. I like the fact I can adjust the taste of the teas, that’s not a bad trade off for the messiness loose tea entails. The worms, still slowly doing something, probably, will reap the rewards. All things go back to the soil, Dear Reader, I’m just trying to make the best use of them that I can.

Ingredients

180ml Water
120ml Milk or Dairy Free Alternative
8g Loose Rooibos

Method

1. Add Water to a pot and bring to a boil, add the Rooibos and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 2 minutes.

2. Add Milk to the pot and slowly bring to boil. Once a boil has been reach remove from heat and strain into mug.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Original can be found here.

Hello and welcome to every single food blog at this time of year. It was bound to happen eventually, dear reader, at some point I was going to have squash puree leftover and it was going to be made into a frothy concoction. Now my favourite pumpkin is of course: Generic Orange Squash Flesh. Seriously, the difference between a random butternut and a pumpkin isn’t that great unless it an extremely sweet pumpkin and even if it is just use more sweetener. No shops sell pumpkin puree here, but they do sell squash, often cheap, and once you add it all together it doesn’t really stand out that much. I’m running the recipe down a bit, aren’t I? No harm intended. It’s a pretty decent way to use up some squash. I like the fact that the squash gives it a real rich, thickness. I only have an ordinary blender so it was slightly gritty. Though it did froth up really well. I tweaked this a bit with the milk, if I added cold milk to hot coffee I’d have lukewarm at best. I didn’t want to dump it all in a saucepan, I’m still tired and that’d mean more cleaning up. Microwave to the rescue. So, this is my first Pumpkin Spice Latte, I could mock the ubiquity of pumpkin spice products, but I won’t. People like what they like. It’s nice in that there’s nothing messy going into it, I can imagine that commercial ones would feature more than the basic ingredients. So, a nice hot drink, warming spices and a handy way to use up puree that’s left over from making bread.

I’m one month post-surgery this Thursday. I’m standing almost completely straight, there’s still swelling, nothing severe thankfully, and numbness, but it’s doing well. It’ll be a long road, but this is the last major hurdle. There’s no pain, dear reader, not like there was. No pull, no muscle strain, no self-hatred. I’m getting sleepy even writing this, I get bursts of tiredness, but that’s to be expected. Your old pal Jack is doing just fine, so have no fear. I forget if I mentioned it, but the Crab Apple jelly has new photos. I made a rosemary version and it was amazing with turkey. I’ve heard it’s great over ice-cream too. If you’re looking for more pumpkin spice recipes remember I’ve used it a lot and there’s a tag devoted to it. See you later, dear reader.

Ingredients

120ml Freshly Brewed Coffee
120ml Milk or Dairy Free Alternative
1 Tbsp Pumpkin or Orange Fleshed Squash Puree
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1/4 Tsp Pumpkin Spice

Method

1. Heat the Milk in a microwave or saucepan until warm.

2. Add the Hot Coffee, Puree, Maple Syrup, Pumpkin Spice and Milk to a Blender and process until frothy.

Nut Butter Milk

 photo WP_20170316_001_e_zpsbad2tklx.jpg“Your hands are clean? Right?!” Define clean. (Original here)

I predicted blue skies for this evening, then it started to rain and I still trudged outside, unmindful of the sudden shower and due to some concatenation of the celestial bodies and the firmament of the heavens combined with pure fluke, the sun, as Annie should’ve said, has come out today. So, not to shock you, dearest reader, I have been in the garden, but I still pulled myself away, or rather ran out of compost, and have made a delicious glass of watered blended nuts. Hmm? Oh, I’m supposed to pour forth rapturous eloquence on the wonders of…liquefied nut butter. Nah, you’re too smart for that and I’m much too jaded to put up a farce. How do I keep getting views? Seriously. Okay, blended nut milk, yeah. It tastes, well, like wet almond butter, a bit richer thanĀ  the usual nut milk thanks to the added bulk of the nut and the extra fat. I’m not exactly dairy free, by which I mean I’m not at all, but I do limit my dairy and happily support those who are whenever I can. So, I can only speak for myself here, I imagine this would be useful if you were stuck without an alternative to dairy milk. You will be getting more with a glass of this as opposed to strained pulp water so you might have to watch your intake. I have no idea, you’re intelligent enough to figure out if drinking large quantities of nut butters in water, any nut butter will do really, is for you, so go to it if you’d like. Now, I do say that I hope this doesn’t sound disparaging towards those who are dairy free, it’s just I can’t stand the grandiose grandstanding that every recipe like this seeks. It’s helpful, but simple to a fault. I’m just sharing because it might be helpful. So, like I say: Dairy free is okay by me. It’s tough you know? I mean have you ever tried to milk an almond? There goes my readership. Heh.

The weather has been wonderful and thanks to the more even heating of the greenhouse I already have seedlings starting. They’ll need to be thinned later, but for now I can happily poke my head into the greenhouse and marvel at the little seeds that seek to become plants. This is just the start, there’ll be these rushes of activity followed by periods of patient waiting, then a flurry of action, again and again. Good times. That’s it for today, I’ll see you again. Take care.

 photo WP_20170316_002_e_zpsjb5fbj5c.jpgCabbage and both broccoli.

 photo Mams 69th Birthday_e_zps4kxdq3vy.jpgI’m so glad to see you gladioli.

Ingredients

120ml Water
1 Tbsp Natural Nut Butter of Choice

Method

1. Blend everything together until smooth. Sweeten if desired.

 

Who Goes With Jack?

 photo WP_20160625_002_e_zpsdvpewzau.jpgYeats is spinning in his grave. As are all the other Author’s whose works I’ve raided for post titles.

I feel I should start with some welcoming burst of queries after your well-being, but I don’t care, just joking dearest of all readers, it’s just not me. Of course I do care, why I’d have you over for a duck dinner, you bring the duck. You know by now that when Jack appears the garden is usually not far behind, mostly likely it’s being dragged to and fro on my boots. We have our first squash harvest, it’s a round zucchini. I was given it as a seedling, but I don’t know what variety. Story of my garden right there. This is what we in the know, as in I know how to Google, call a Summer Squash. You cut them immature and small and that’s it really. I only have one so far. It was bland and tasteless. Hmmmm? I should sell you on it more? But what of truth, morally bankrupt reader?! It’s a zuke, they’re bland and dull, you can tell I’m a Winter Squash fellow. Nothing beats a matured, thick flesh squash. Still waste not want not. It was used in a quick smoothie.

 photo WP_20160625_004_e_zpsrzjnac38.jpg1 Banana, 1 Peeled Medium Sized Apple, 100g Zucchini, with skin on or not, a dash of maple syrup to taste and water as needed.

See? I ate it. It tasted of banana mostly, but then again that’s true of most smoothies. I harvested more strawberries and two cabbages. I don’t eat cabbage myself, but my Mother loves it. These two were blanched and frozen so we’ll see how they fare. I’d hate to waste anything I grew, but that’s what the compost bin is for. No waste that way. I took up my second to last beetroot, unless the others grow too, that I don’t know what I’ll do with. Another smoothie perhaps.

 photo WP_20160625_003_e_zpsonxdep9x.jpgOnly the hearts were used, but: compost!

I think I’ll go to ten squash at most next year. Unless I get a huge container, in which case I’ll grow a pair of larger squash. Like crown Prince or Hubbard. Not that it’s a given they’d grow, but Jack can dream of larger squash. I think there are a lot of squash with fruit set, some are swelling and other’s look good. It’s getting colder here so that means the un-pollinated fruit hangs around longer and gives you false hope. Sadly most of my basil is dead or dying. They don’t tolerate cold at all. Well, except the Cinnamon and Dark Opal, fingers crossed they may survive in colder weather. Luck, luck is a huge part of all of this. Not much else to share. Just a few photos, most of which you’ve seen the earlier stages of, but this is a work in progress. Me and Mother Nature working together, most times at least. Talk to you all soon.

 photo WP_20160625_008_e_zpsqlsdtonx.jpgI like the Lavender coloured one. Giant Swiss is a real misnomer. Giant my….er…compost.

 photo WP_20160625_009_e_zpsludceqth.jpgThese kinda look angry.

 photo WP_20160625_006_e_zpseaqzwecx.jpgThe tall one is my favourite. Keep reaching for your dreams, you’re an annual you’ll be gone soon.

 photo WP_20160625_007_e_zpsp87xf1yq.jpgCarrots, Turnips and Bok Choi. All need thinning out. Next fine day, I swear!

 photo WP_20160625_005_e_zpsvxqkbcdf.jpgMy sunflower’ s head is starting to droop. Which is good…I think.

 photo WP_20160625_010_e_zpsvnbjhgyt.jpgThe painted sage isn’t far from blooming.

A Tale of Two Beetroots

 photo WP_20160620_001_e_zpscpjyccns.jpgI forgot to shake the dirt off.

 photo WP_20160620_022_e_zpsl1uwllih.jpgI come with my own watermark.

I grew a thing! I’m kind of giddy. I harvested the first beetroot and later realised that the second was ready too. I kept them small as I’ve heard that the larger they get the tougher they are. You can eat the leaves when fresh, but I opted to compost them. The compost is great, there’s never a loss that can’t be salvaged slightly. I roasted the first and used it in a smoothie. The second I may use in bread or muffins, something baked, just because. I’m not a huge fan of beetroot, but I grew it and can eat it so I have to try it out.

 photo WP_20160620_024_e_zpsqzbiibag.jpgAlways add a banana.

 photo WP_20160620_025_e_zps8ijpsigy.jpgIt gets a lovely colour from the roasted beetroot.

I used about a half cup of roasted beetroot, eight strawberries, one medium banana with a splash of maple syrup. I grew the strawberries too. I freeze them after picking to keep them as tasty as possible. It tasted fine. Like I say, not a big fan of beetroot. They were really easy to grow, even when they were transplanted twice it didn’t do them much harm. They also don’t take up much space so you could grow quite a few. I was just screwing around and only planted five. Maybe I’ll do more next year, I do have a few in a pot just starting, but with the change in weather they may not do too well. Lots of strawberries left so keep an eye out for new recipes.

 photo WP_20160620_015_e_zpsyeu5budt.jpgMy fragoo set fruit! They’re viable. Yay! I was ready to kill them.

 photo WP_20160620_005_e_zpsjt57xlgm.jpgThis one was on the lower part of the barrel. They’re small and tart, but with the right weather they may be plentiful. Probably better for jam.

 photo WP_20160620_013_e_zpsyowak8kl.jpgNasturtiums in bloom.

 photo WP_20160620_010_e_zpsqwpu3dts.jpgMizuna in bloom. Heh. I let it go wild.

 photo WP_20160620_006_e_zpst4jbmkkh.jpgThe Lobelia did really well. It’s everywhere.

So as you can see the garden survived that heavy deluge of rain and wasn’t beaten too badly by the gale-force winds. Everything is doing well, I’ve had a lot of losses, but you just let them go and instead celebrate the successes, which are fairly numerous. Not that Jack is tooting his own horn, but still: Toot toot.

 photo WP_20160620_011_e_zpsjowwasdi.jpgStill alive. Come on sunflowers!

 photo WP_20160620_030_e_zps687scryy.jpgCalifornian Poppies (The tall thingies) and Viola. These seem to have hit their stride and really started to grow.

 photo WP_20160620_029_e_zps393n96ae.jpgThe head are forming. I can’t wait to see the flowers.

 photo WP_20160620_026_e_zpsjn61lbvx.jpgEven though I made so many mistakes, the baskets are really growing well.

 photo WP_20160620_027_e_zpsu6f8yk7n.jpgPerennial too so no need to restart.

 photo WP_20160620_009_e_zpsmmxsdo4n.jpgLavender needs re-potting when the flowers fall off. It’s crooked as it’s been growing on a crooked stump. Two years old, just about.

 photo WP_20160620_012_e_zpsjlswo5lt.jpgLook! I grew it from seed. I’m special! Shush.

 photo WP_20160620_028_e_zpsyl9jyv4e.jpgMy leftover flowers found the front garden to be really rich in nutrients, maybe I could grow squash here next year.

 photo WP_20160620_031_e_zpslnskgice.jpgLook at them! They’re huge! Wow…yeah, they’re mine but I’m still shocked.

Okay, gather round dear readers, Jack has a story to tell, an anecdote to deliver, a spiel to….what? I’m bulking it out as it’s rather short. You can’t exactly see it but from the rightmost squash, that’d depend on your orientation, right? Ummm, you see that squash by the greenhouse? Yeah. Third up from that.The big ‘un. So I walk out in the rain, I’m not that bright, just determined dearest reader, and the poor squash is on its side, not broken, just crooked. It’s been weak all along, so instead of staking it as I’ve done before, I left it to grow crooked. No harm, right? Growth is growth. So I walk out today and it’s upright and solid. One night! That’s all it took. That’s pretty interesting, at least I think so.

 photo WP_20160620_017_e_zps1w5lbpnl.jpgVine squashes are a pain in the backside!

 photo WP_20160620_018_e_zpstibv8vag.jpgI think we have a golden nugget set.

 photo WP_20160620_019_e_zpsjjhtsfs2.jpgWhat may still be a courgette. Note the coffee cup lid. It keeps it dry and out of the dirt.

 photo WP_20160620_007_e_zpswfuvc0ri.jpgHarlequins, the biggest one looks really good. Here’s hoping. Sorry about the photo, it was hard to take without damaging the plant.

 photo WP_20160620_014_e_zpsmucaljsh.jpgI have ten, more over there, yellow strawberry seedlings. No idea what I’ll do with them. These were separated from the plant I posted before.

 photo WP_20160620_016_e_zpskulhh3pt.jpgCarrots, Bok choi and turnips (Snowball) that need thinning out…later.

So that’s it from Jack’s garden. The tomatoes are going wild. When I get the greenhouse sorted then I’ll sort them out. You can bury them sideways and deeper than before as the stem will put out new roots. If I go missing chances I’m lost in between tomato plants. Or hidden behind squash. No, don’t look for me, just think of me fondly and keep my plants watered. Until later.

Wish You Were Mizuna

 photo WP_20160528_059_e_zpstcab85of.jpgA title that makes no sense? You must be new here.

Oh-ho, heh heh heh. Four hehs and a smoothie to boot. Yup, a quick post with a new recipe. I’ve been meeting with success and endless despair, I, er, mean bad luck, thankfully the former being greater. One dead squash, a bolted broccoli plant, peas starting to bloom and a cauliflower head starting. It’s all go, by which I mean I wandered about for a while and then made a smoothie. My life is rather exciting I admit, please try to contain your jealousy dear reader, green isn’t your colour. Though it works really well in this smoothie.

 photo WP_20160528_060_e_zps0yo4mp4x.jpgCheck out the smoothie page for more.

 photo WP_20160528_061_e_zpswa1rwwp1.jpgNot as disgusting as I imagined.

So what is celiac dise…wait, wrong post. What is mizuna? Or Japanese Mustard. Whatever you want to call it, it’s green, isn’t it? Yeah, I have no idea it’s just a plant I grew from some seeds. You can Google it to get an idea, it’s like rocket or mustard, full of good and today it made a smoothie that mostly tasted of strawberries. I can’t eat kale or spinach, but even with histamine intolerance you can still eat your greens. I seem to be okay with it so far, but time will tell. I don’t eat smoothies as I eat enough everyday already, but I like to try new things and the plant was just sitting there, so why not? I made a double batch, but the recipe below is for one serving. I’m totally not explaining the title either, so nyeh! To, Jack!

Strawberry Mizuna

1/2 Cup Packed Mizuna Leaves
100ml Water, More as Needed
85g (About 2) Frozen Strawberries
1 Small Frozen Banana

 photo WP_20160528_051_e_zps9qxqjqkf.jpg“It’s a song title: Wish you were here” Jack! No! How dare me.

The bees were busy so I think my broad beans might be beginning to form. The peas are also starting to bloom. The broad beans are still growing and flowering, they seem really easy, but time will tell as with all things. I can’t eat either so they’ll be no recipes sadly. Still they’re enjoyable to watch and they’ll be gifted to other people. Okay that’s it, just a bit of fun to break things up. See you soon.

 photo WP_20160528_050_e_zps7a4dnann.jpg“Your Last Diary: The Score” *Punches self*

 photo WP_20160528_053_e_zpsfxbtjjq8.jpg

Nutella Hot Chocolate

How did I never upload this? I don’t do chocolate these days, been a year or more now, but I’ll toss this up regardless. It’s part of something bigger I have planned, stay tuned for that.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp Nutella
125ml Milk

Method

1. Combine Nutella and Milk in Plastic Jug.

2. Microwave on high heat for 2 minutes.

3. Whisk until Nutella has melted into the Milk.

Teas

Turmeric and Ginger Tea (Single Serving) (From: Here)

Ingredients

240ml Water
1/4 Tsp Ground Turmeric
1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger
Milk and Honey to Taste

Method

1. Bring Water to the boil in a small saucepan, then add Turmeric and Ginger and stir to combine. Reduce to a simmer and boil for ten minutes.

2. Add Honey to a cup and strain tea using a fine mesh sieve, add Milk and stir to combine everything.


Cold Brewed Tea/Coffee (Single Serving)

Ingredients

1 Teabag (Or equivalent in loose Tea) per 250ml Water or 2 Dessert Spoons Ground Coffee

1. Place Teabags and Water in a jar and close the lid. Place in the fridge and leave for 12 hours. (Strain with Cheesecloth if using Ground Coffee)


Chai Tea Latte (Single Serving)

Ingredients

240ml Low Fat Milk or 120ml Full Fat Milk and 120ml Water
1 Tsp Black Tea or Rooibos Tea
1/2 Tbsp Sugar or to Taste
1/2 Tsp Chai Masala

Method

1. Add everything to a pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 5 minutes.

2. Strain using a fine mesh sieve into a cup and top with Frothed Milk if desired.


Basil Tea (Single Serving) (From: How to Brew Fresh Basil Tea)

Ingredients

240ml Boiling Water
2 Tbsp Fresh Basil, Chopped (More for a Stronger Tea)
Honey or Sugar if Desired

Method

1. Add Water and Basil to Teapot or Cup and let sit for 7-10 minutes.

2. When time is up, strain Tea into cup and add Sweeteners if using.

Smoothies

Smoothies: Just blend together unless otherwise stated.

Strawberry Mizuna (Adapted slightly from: Annluann)

1/2 Cup Packed Mizuna Leaves
100ml Water, More as Needed
85g (About 2) Frozen Strawberries
1 Small Frozen Banana

Cilantro (Adapted slightly from: Cilantro Smoothie)

240ml Water
1 Banana, Fresh or Frozen
1/2 Cup Cilantro
Juice of 1/2 Lime
1/2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
Honey/Maple Syrup to Sweeten
Pinch of Sea Salt

Optional:

1/2 Cup Mango, Chopped
1-2 Tbsp Hemp Seed


Banana Cream Pie Small Serving (Tweaked From: Healthy Banana Cream Pie Smoothie)

1 Large Banana, Frozen
50g Greek Yoghurt
125ml Water/Almond Milk (Less if a thicker Smoothie is desired)
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Nutmeg


Broccoli

75g Blanched Broccoli, Fresh or Frozen
150ml Water or Milk (Optional: Add 1 Tbsp Hemp if using Water)
1 Banana
Dash Maple Syrup


Spiced Butternut Squash

100g Butternut Squash
1 Banana, Frozen or Fresh
120ml Water (Optional: With 1 Tbsp Hempseed or replace with other Milk)
1/8 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Dash: Ginger, Nutmeg, Allspice, Cloves and Vanilla Extract


Sweet Potato

75g Sweet Potato
1 Banana, Frozen or Fresh
120ml Water
1 Tbsp Natural Peanut Butter
Dash Maple Syrup
Pinch of Cinnamon


Frozen Banana and Blueberry

1 Banana, Chopped and Frozen
50g/1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries
200ml of Milk, More if Needed
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
Optional: Add 5 Large Basil Leaves


Kale and Banana Smoothie

1 Ripe Banana
120ml Water
40g Kale
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup


Chocolate Avocado

15g Flaxseed/Chia Seed (Stir in after blending)
1 Ripe Banana
125g Plain Yoghurt
100ml Milk
1 Cold, Ripe Avocado
2 Tbsp Sweet Freedom or Sugar
2 Tbsp Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder