#ADAGIOTEA | The Zodiac Series: LIBRA

Okay, I don’t really know how to explain the relationship I am currently growing with this tea, but I feel… You know how people say that when they find “the one” that they just know. Like someone will ask a married woman, oh when did you know that he was the one for you?.. and they say.. oh i just knew. That is exactly how I feel about this tea. I know, it’s ridiculous. But it just gets me. I knew it from the moment I opened up my package, and found this little tin box staring back at me. And get this! The picture on the tin, is a girl.. with pink hair.. in pigtails. How. Did. They. Know?! *shifty eyes*

Seriously, let’s get down to business. The tea I am talking about is this one right here. It’s LIBRA from The Zodiac Series, by Adagio Tea. The Libra tea is a black tea backed by chocolate and strawberries, with a hint of rose and cream. Steep at 212° for 5 minutes is what they recommend on their website, however it can be hard to adjust for the temperature depending on where you are making your tea (like at the lake!). I just keep an eye on it, and it usually takes about 4 minutes for my preferred flavor.

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The smell of this tea is quite honestly one of the best. I can be having the worst day.. come home, smell this tea, and it’s like my whole body just relaxes. They should think about making a body spray in that scent blend. I want to bathe in it. Oh wait.. maybe I should try that! – Stay tuned lol.

The first time I made this tea, it wasn’t even half way done steeping and I was already sold. It’s romantic. It’s kittenish. And it’s the perfect dessert tea. Yes, I know, we all love and want dessert every single day, but that’s not good for anyone. Now, it doesn’t matter! This tea is so perfect for after dinner that you won’t miss out. I really enjoy the strawberries and cream feel it has, and the rose with the cocoa nibs are a good addition to balance it out. It’s sweet, but not too sweet. It’s rich, but not too rich. Yet, light. I prefer to drink it straight up – some people like to add cream and sugar (or honey) to it. I have also heard that this tea makes a killer latte. Have not tried it yet. Imagine it would be amazing. I will get back to you on that.

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The price point on this tea I find not too bad either. A 4oz tin is $9, while a 16oz refill bag will getcha for $29. I should also mention that Libra is a part of their Zodiac Elements: Air package, which also include Aquarius, and Gemini.

This tea has easily made it into my regular rotation. It has become one of my most favorite go-to’s. I had just found out about Adagio Teas recently, yes I live under a rock, but if this is just one of the first ones I have tried, I can not wait to taste more!

I also wanted to include the description of the tea straight from their website:
A balanced blend of black tea and sweet strawberries, chocolate and creme will appeal to Libra’s sense of harmonious beauty. Libras have mastered the art of diplomacy, and enjoy bringing people together over a cup of tea. Rose petals and cocoa nibs are stylish details in a blend that will complete Libra’s sophisticated tea collection.

Since I love this tea, and refuse to share it with anyone, you should head over to Adagio dot com and get some for yourself! I would love to know what you think after you try it, so make sure you let me know!

 

Disclaimer: I am not getting paid money to write this, I just really do love this tea so much. Also, I most certainly scooped up every last bit of the tea from the photos, and put it back in the tin. No tea was harmed in the making of this post. (Except the serving that I added to my mug!)

 

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ADAGIO.COM

“AH-DA-GEE-OH” – Say it with me now.. AHHH-DAAA-GIO.. and get used to saying it because after you get you some of what they are offering… you’ll never look back. I know I haven’t! Okay, let’s get serious.. I am talking about ADAGIO TEAS. If you haven’t heard of them, now you have. They recently reached out to me and I am so happy that they did. I don’t know if I live under a rock or something, but how I did not know of them sooner is well beyond me. I received my package of choices I had made and upon arrival I was impressed. I must say that when I pulled out the Libra tea – and it had a picture of a girl with pink pigtails on the front – I knew it was meant to be. I mean, it’s basically like looking in the mirror! 😉

I have spent the past few weeks putting these teas through all my tests! Drank them hot, drank them cold, incorporated them into recipes, smeared them on my face and used them as a mask, and I even have a tea party planned so I can share them because they are too good not to.

Over the next couple of weeks I will let you in on what I have been up to and more about why I have fallen in love with this company, so stay tuned! It’s way to much to fill you in on all at once… but in the mean time.. head to http://www.adagio.com and take a little peak! And!..Let them know I sent you 😉

 

 

 

Stuffed Burgers

Let’s chat about stuffed burgers, shall we? I am a huge fan of burgers – especially if they are a REAL burger.. made with REAL meat.. and by a REAL person’s REAL hands..Elk, beef, bison (well ok, nothing beats bison).. are prob my top 3 for what to make a burger from. And it’s not just because I have an avid hunter for a father who fills my freezer with delicious meat all year round. I know, I am spoiled. You can hate me later. And then, after you make these burgers, you will unhate me. It will all work out in the end.
I have heard these burgers called lots of names, from Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis, (also spelt correctly “JuIcy Lucy” by the 5-8 Club down the street from Matt’s Bar in Minneapolis), to Juicy Nookie, to Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein).. but let’s just be honest, they are all a stuffed burger.  And while I have tried the Jucy Lucy at both the 5-8 Club, and Matt’s bar and both were GREAT! (Even President Obama had a Juicy Lucy at Matt’s Bar in 2014!).. Sometimes I just can’t drive for 8 hours and cross a country border just for a burger, so during those times, I make them at home! I have yet to find a local fav – so if anyone knows of a good one in Winnipeg, get at me!
For your patties:
  • Meat – Beef, Bison, Elk – whatever makes your stomach smile.
  • One Egg – or two if you are making a big batch!
  • Bread crumbs|oatmeal|crackers|chips – something to hold it together – I like “original” Potato Chips – These aren’t meant to be healthy – They are meant to be DEEEEEELICIOUS!
Stuffing options:
  • Cheese (any kind that you prefer – cheddar, old, feta, blue, mozza)
  • Jalapeños
  • Prosciutto
  • Bacon
Roll out your patties fairly thin, but not so that they have holes! – Once they are prepared, lay one patty down, then place the stuffing on top and in the middle. Place another patty on top of that.. Put a plate over the patties and press down, then go around the edges and make sure that they are pinched together the whole way around so that the stuffing is sealed in! Get those babies on the BBQ or even just cook in a pan on the stove top (If you are doing that you may want to put a tbsp of water and toss a lid on for a couple min to give it a good steam – You want to make sure it is cooked through so that you know your cheese in the middle is all melted and gooey.. (unless your American and like it pink in the middle – not my thing, but it’s not my burger, it’s yours, so who cares what I think!)
This is a great burger to make when you’re having people over for a BBQ! Your guests will think they are getting a regular burger, until they take a bite!
**Please do make sure you warn them before they bite into it though, you don’t want them to get burned by the melty cheese – I learned this one the hard way! 😉
Top these beauts with all of the regular burger toppings that you all love so much – try my Delicious Peppercorn Mayo  (my fav!!),  raw or caramelized onions, bacon, cheese (yes, more cheese), fried egg, coleslaw, tomato, lettuce, pickles, banana peppers, jalapenos, condiments – really the options are endless, and it really is a personal preference!
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Baked Sour Cream Chicken

Alright, I am not going to start off lying to your face. This one is not the healthiest option, but it does taste delicious, and its super easy to make! Once in a while, you just have to chuck it in the f*ck it bucket, and eat whatever you want! One of our patients brought this recipe in to me after finding out about my love for three things.. 1. mushroom soup 2. sour cream 3. dry onion soup mix. And lo and behold – she walked in to her next appointment with this recipe in hand and brought a smile to my face. It sounds like it would taste not very good when you read it, and even I will admit I had my doubts. But! After trying this, I had to share it with you!

Baked Sour Cream Chicken

What you need:

1 – 3lb Chicken Fryer(or if you prefer legs or thighs, you can use that too)
1-10 oz. can Cream of Mushroom Soup (I use regular, not anything like fat free, or reduced salt as i find they really just don’t taste the same!)
1 pkg Dry Onion Soup Mix
1 Cup Sour Cream

Cut the chicken into serving pieces. Mix the 2 soups, and the sour cream. Place chicken into baking dish and pour the soup/sour cream mixture over the chicken. Bake at 350 for 1-1.5 hours. (If baking in a glass casserole, bake at 325 covered.) The sauce will become lightly browned. Serve with veggies or salad!

 

 

 

 

 

MONDAY

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Photo Cred: Ryan McGuire

Sip your coffee, take a giant deep breath, and buckle up! A new week is upon us! Is it just me, or do the weekends go by way to quickly? I am imagining you nodding along with me, because you would have to be a crazy person to not wish the weekends were longer. Honestly, is it really asking too much to just have one more day tacked on there? Who do we need to talk to about that?! 😉 Just when I finally get relaxed, I realize it’s Sunday evening and the next morning the alarm is set.. boo!

I hope you all had a wonderful, productive weekend. Ours was busy busy, but great! Lots of family time which I always love.

This weekend, we gave my Brother-In-Law his Christmas gift, of a Rib Dinner! I know that sounds like a funny Christmas gift, but it’s what he asked for! I must say, it’s quite a compliment to my cooking that each year, instead of a random item, or gift card.. he puts my cooking on his list! The past couple of years he asked for Slow Cooker Meals, which is helpful to them throughout the year.. I did about 10-15 meals for them.. got them all prepped into freezer bags so that on their busy days, dinner didn’t have to be a thought.. they could just remove from the freezer, pop into a slow cooker and be done with it. This year he surprised me! His list read “come to my house and cook a rib dinner.” Done! Without tooting my own horn tooooo much, I can tell you that the dinner was great! I love a good BBQ dinner, so this was right up my alley. I will share my menu and recipes with you in a separate post, or this could go on all day! It was a close call when we arrived to their house and I slipped on the ice, carrying the box with dinner in it, and everything flew in the air.. a classic movie slip moment.. thankfully, I had saran-wrapped everything so tightly that it survived! Phewf! I was almost in tears, thinking of walking in the door, and telling him that his Christmas gift was currently all over their front yard!

On Sunday, we went to see The National Geographic Live: Spinosaurus. The show was pretty cool, a little less exciting than I was expecting, but very informative, and interesting to say the least! Dinosaurs are so cool. #NerdAlert

So what will this week bring for me? I have a few posts to share with you, along with a few recipes so I am looking forward to doing that, as well as possibly some veerrrry exciting news! (Just waiting to get the final word so trying to not get ahead of myself!) And, I will also fill you in on what was on the menu at our BBQ dinner so you can plan on of your own!

Your week is a blank canvas! Now top up your coffee, and let the adventures begin!

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Photo Cred: Carli Jeen @ Unsplash.com

 

 

 

Ooey Gooey Vanilla Cinnamon Buns

“These are the best cinnamon buns I have ever had!” – My Brother-in-Law

I normally don’t like to toot my own horn in the kitchen.. okay who are we kidding here, of course I do! Who doesn’t?! Who doesn’t love creating something only to have people tell you it is absolutely delicious?! I know I do, and if you don’t love having people tell you the things you create make their tummy’s happy then maybe you’ve gone a little bit mad. Also, these work as great “please don’t be angry at me anymore” gifts! Who can deny a sorry when it’s smothered in a scrumtious vanilla cream cheese icing? No one. So, just whip up some of these and you’ll be smooth sailing! Please note:*I do not take any responsibility for those who are not in the clear after trying this approach!*

These cinnamon buns are ooey and gooey and seriously something to phone home about. It makes me smile just thinking about them. They are not very hard to make, which makes them great for beginner bakers. There are a few steps to bringing them together with the dough, filling, and icing, but none of the steps are complicated so you should all make out just fine 🙂 Don’t get overwhelmed. They are worth it!!

Now, I am going to admit that I do not take credit for the original recipe.. That can be found here..however, I am a huge vanilla freak.. so naturally, I took the original recipe and added a vanilla touch anywhere I could everywhere! While the original recipe is sooo delicious on it’s own, the added vanilla makes me want to eat the entire pan.. and then pick all the crumbs.. and then lick out the icing bowl.. but not necessarily in that order!

Alright, hooligans! The recipe is below!

Vanilla Cinnamon Buns – Makes about 12 buns (depending on the size you make!)

Ingredients:

Dough: 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
1 Cup Warm Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Margarine (you can use butter if you prefer)
1 Tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla
4 Cups Flour

Filling: 1 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
3 TBSP Cinnamon – A little extra doesn’t hurt anything!
1 Tsp Vanilla
1/3 Cup Margarine – Plus a little extra to spread on dough once rolled

Cream Cheese Icing: (I find that each time I make this icing I may add a little more of one thing or another depending on my tastebuds that day, and how I am feeling, so feel free to play!)
6 TBSP Margarine
1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/4 Cup Cream Cheese
1 Tsp Vanilla
Pinch of Sea Salt (or kosher, or whatever kind of salt is your thing!)

What You Do With It All:

For the Dough:  In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer add; sugar, butter, salt, eggs, vanilla, & flour. Mix well. Now is a good time to change to your dough hook. Then, add the milk/yeast mixture and mix until well incorporated. Place the dough in oiled bowl, cover, & let rise abour 1 hour. (Or until dough has about doubled in size)

Then, roll dough out on a lightly floured surface, approx 16 x 12 inches, and about 1/4 inch thick. Preheat oven to 350F.

For the Filling: Combine the butter, brown sugar, vanilla, margarine, & cinnamon in a bowl. Spread a thin layer of margarine (so the layer is almost see-thru) over the rolled out dough, and then spread the mixture evenly all over.

And then: Working from the long edge, roll down to the bottom edge. At this point, you cut the log into 12 even slices. I prefer to cut the log in half, then cut each half in half, and again.. to ensure that the buns are even, but feel free to cut them in whichever order works for you! I like to have a 1 1/2 inch slice, but if you are doing bigger or smaller just remember to adjust your baking time accordingly. Place on a greased baking sheet (or two) and cover with a hot damp towel. Let them rise again about 20 min, or until doubled in size. Bake 20 min @ 350F – or until light golden brown (depending on how big of buns you are making!) Watch closely, so they don’t burn! You are so close to enjoying these delicious little gems, you don’t want to ruin them now!

Icing: Mix all ingredients & beat until fluffy!

To Finish: When the buns are all done, let them cool for a few minutes (or as long as you can wait, which for me is usually about 30 seconds!), then, spread icing all over the tops, & enjoy!!