Posts tagged black
A little while ago I was sent a lovely parcel of tea from Tea India so I could try out their black tea and their Cardamom tea, both of which I really enjoyed. The other day I received a very similar looking parcel from them, this time suggesting that I tried some baking with tea.
I know people use tea in lots of cooking but I have never done so. Earlier in the week I made some Spicy Black Tea Cookies which are described as “oaty cookies packed full of taste that evoke the aroma of an Indian spice market”. Ok, so I’ve never been to an Indian spice market but I have an idea in my head of what it might smell like, and I like the idea!
- 2 Tea India Black tea india (leaves only)
- 125g butter
- 100g soft brown sugar
- 70g self raising flour
- 120g oats
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1.5 tsp mixed spice
- Cream the butter and soft brown sugar
- Add the oats, flour, Tea India Black tea leaves and spices, and mix until well combined.
- Roll the dough into a log shape 5cm in diameter. Wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for 5 minutes.
- To bake, remove from the fridge, unwrap and slice into 12 even sized pieces. Place on two baking trays lined with baking paper.
- Bake at 160 degrees for 15-20 minutes (mine took 20) or until the edges are golden brown.
- Allow to cool on the baking tray before serving warm.
These cookies smelt amazing when they were just dough, when they were baking in the oven, when they were cooling, and and when I was eating them! They do have an Indian spicy flavour to them, but it’s not so much that they overpower a nice cup of tea. They are seriously good cookies.
Thanks once again Tea India for making this blogger smile.
Just one question… is it ok to dunk tea cookies in your tea?!
Oh, and if you like the idea of trying Tea India tea if you go on their facebook page before 6th June (be quick!) and get some for free with their You & I with a cup of Chai campaign. Let me know if you try it.
PS – I’ll let you know what I think of the Masala Chai another time!
You all know that I cannot resist a nice cup of tea. I am a) British and b) brought up in the Salvation Army – tea was inevitably going to be a very important part of my life! But one thing I have never been able to do is enjoy herbal or fruit tea. I simply can’t drink it. Smells amazing. Tastes horrible.
…sounds like these teas are exactly what I’ve been looking for! Traditional black tea that you serve with milk, with a hint of redbush, peppermint, green tea, or echinacea. You get the benefits of drinking herbal, with just a hint of flavour in amongst the Everyday tea. Sounded intriguing. And as Twinings even sent me a mug with which to test the tea out, I put the kettle on immediately!
The Everyday Tea by Twinings is designed to put a smile on your face. It is a bright and refreshing blend of fine tea leaves from around the world, great for any time of the day. It is a tea I buy regularly because I enjoy it, although normally in the decaffeinated version – it is the best decaf black tea blend I have found so far (and I drink a lot of it!).
The three “with a little extra” Everyday Tea blends I received were the Peppermint Blend, Echinacea Blend, and Green Tea Blend. Each has the same full bodied rich and vibrant flavour of Twinings standard Everyday Tea but with the benefits associated with the additions on top. All three had slightly different flavours, but the blends were subtle and not overpowering at all. You can’t really smell the added extras until the tea is brewing, and you can then taste them in the background. All work very well as combinations; they are a great alternative to “ordinary” black tea.
Apart from tasting really lovely there are also added benefits by using these three different ingredients inside a teabag. Peppermint is associated with digestion, echinacea with your body’s defences and immune system, and green tea is said to have healing properties. Twinings saw the addition of these things to their classic tea as something of a tea challenge, to help those of us who really can’t stand herbal teas to benefit from these things too. I think they succeeded. Assuming there is enough of the relevant ingredient to help my insides, then Twinings have done a great thing here.
And if you’re wondering – all the teas look the same when brewed… tea with milk coloured!
Of the three I have found the peppermint blend to be the most satisfying, I am genuinely enjoying drinking that particular tea. It has a fresh and clean taste; the peppermint is there in the background giving the tea a palette cleansing and refreshing after taste. It is perfect for drinking in the afternoon as a bit of a pick-me-up. The echinacea has the least extra flavouring in my opinion, and the green tea has a background note that I recognise from trying (and trying) to like proper green tea. They are all nice, and I would recommend that anyone who is like me and always prefers tea with milk over anything else gives them a try – you don’t even have to be that brave because they’re just like normal tea.
EDITED TO ADD - Discussing the Everyday Tea Peppermint Blend with a colleague we decided one excellent thing about these teas was that you can still dunk a biscuit your mug! Traditional herbal teas like peppermint tea are simply no good for dunking your digestive… but these Everyday blends work perfectly. Get drinking and dunking!
Docks are designed to allow you to sync and charge your phone while it is sat upright on your desk or bedside table. This one (showing off my very dusty iPhone!) is from Mobile Fun.
The dock is good for charging and syncing your phone with your computer, as well as plugging into the mains to charge quicker. It comes with a fairly short lighting to USB cable (also black – it’s long enough to go from the floor to my desk) which is useful, but not the USB mains adapter. The dock is small and actually looks great in glossy black – it has a non-slip base and has a good weight to it.
I’m impressed with how sturdy my phone is when sat in the dock. I worry about things like this being unstable or a bit precarious, and as a result breaking either the lightning connector or connection inside my phone. But this is very solid and my phone clips on very positively and doesn’t wobble around at all. Good.
I’ve now got this sat on my desk at work – my phone can charge and I can see the screen, there’s also no chance it’ll get accidentally swiped off my desk or lost under a pile of papers (not that I ever have massive piles of papers on my desk – if I can’t see the table there’s a good chance I’m stressed!). I can’t decide whether it’s most useful there or at the computer at home, I might need to buy another one. Thankfully they are a lower price than the official Apple ones at £21.95.
You can get a range of iPhone 5 docks from Mobile Fun.
On hearing that I would be spending a week in Finland where the average daytime temperature at this time of year is -14, Damart kindly sent me a set of thermals to try out. I dutifully packed them in my suitcase hoping that a) the forecast was incorrect and b) Damart had sent me a decent product.
The set I tested is a long sleeved top with scoop neck and some full length traditional leggings. They both are considered “soft touch” thermals, which Damart give a rating of 2 (out of 5) on their scale of warmth.
It was suggested that I included a photograph on here of me modelling the thermals. Er… sorry… way to self conscious for that! You will just have to believe me when I say my usual size fitted me very well – skin tight without being restrictive – and they have a feminine look to them.
Both the top and the leggings are made from soft material which has been finished well. They are nice to have next to your skin because the material is lovely – I didn’t experience any static with these which I know is a common problem with base layers.
The top has lovely satiny-feel edging which sits nicely at your wrists and neck, and the leggings are elasticated at the waist and ankles. The top’s scoop neck, although it looks nice, isn’t really something you want on thermals you’re going to wear for activities like skiing or walking as you want warmth right up to your neck, but it does make the top useful for more casual wear under dresses or tops with different neck styles. The leggings have a traditional knitted pattern (like those white socks we all used to wear to school) which left lovely indentations on my legs especially where my ski socks and boots were squishing them onto my skin – this took a little while to disappear but wasn’t sore or painful. Both the top and leggings are very stretchy so you get a good fit.
Given that the packaging for both rates these thermals no where near the minus 16 degrees celcius I tested them in (we had colder days, but I didn’t wear these on those days), I would say these are well worth their “thermal” title. Combined with my other ski wear they did the trick – comfortable to wear, fitted well, and helped to keep me warm.
Back home in snowy Great Britain I would say these are ideal for the cold days we’re getting at the moment. I would be more than happy to wear the top under a dress in the office, and the leggings under some trousers (I can’t pull off this style of leggings with a dress, not flattering for the shape of my legs). In fact I’m going to be sat in Lincoln Cathedral later, I think I will definitely have these hidden underneath my chosen outfit.
If I was going to a Christmas party this year, then I would want some awesome shoes to wear.
It is fair to say I would almost certainly start my outfit by picking my shoes first. It’s very rare that I’d go out and choose a dress and then get some shoes to go with it. Although I have done that once, I found a fabulous dress for my brother-in-law’s wedding and then had to hunt out the perfect green suede court shoes.
Anyway, the lack of a proper Christmas party this year wasn’t going to stop me window shopping for suitable footwear… here are my picks.
The first thing I looked for was a pair of silver sparkly court shoes. They would go with pretty much anything don’t you think? These ones from Buffalo will definitely make your feet stand out – you shall go to the ball!
Wearing a little black dress to your Christmas party? Then definitely don’t wear black shoes. Oh no, wear something bright and punchy that’ll bring some pop to your outfit – like these fantastic green courts by Fericelli. You’d tower above everyone and they’d work with nude or covered legs.
Maybe you’re doing office to party with no time to change? How about these amazing orange shoe boots to take you from day to night.
Can’t do heels? Don’t feel left out, you can still be Cinderella in these sparkly slipper flats (or buy these as your second pair and keep them in your bag ready to change once you’re feet are complaining that you’re dancing too much!).
They might be mainly black, but the detail on these Ed Hardy courts mean they are firmly on my wish list. The colourful flowers would poke out from underneath wide bottomed trousers really nicely.
And of course if it’s your dress that makes you stand out from the crowd, patent black court shoes are your friend! Patent is definitely one of my favourite things at the moment, and this classic shape will go with anything at all.
What are you wearing on your feet to your Christmas party?
One thing I love about moving closer and closer towards winter is that I can wrap up warm in lots of cosy layers. That, of course, includes my head and my hands – I love cosy beanie hats and warm gloves.
I don’t have quite as many pairs of gloves as I have shoes (by a long way!), but I do think a lady needs a good choice of gloves. You need something for every eventuality – think smart, casual, skiing, running, different colours, different designs. The idea behind Zalando is to give us a nice selection to choose from…
Always wear a plain black winter coat? Most of us do. Then don’t wear black gloves! How about these lovely suede green ones by Pieces? Or maybe you prefer a dark coloured smart glove with some coloured accents? Then how about these leather Maya gloves with yellow and red colouring – they are better than just plain leather.
These are cute double layered gloves by Esprit – they come apart so you have a standard woollen pair of gloves and a fingerless pair which double up to keep your hands really toasty warm. Looking at them it appears that they are touch screen compatible too so you don’t have to take them off to use your iPhone or iPad, bonus.
The great thing about fingerless gloves is that you can wear them in the office and still type away successfully on the keyboard. I admit I wear a pair more often than not at this time of year, I hate having cold hands. I normally go for something like this…
…but I like the idea of these glove “tubes” by Cinque; they are more fashionable and will cover up my wrists and main part of my hand, leaving my fingers free. The yellow is lovely too, very autumnal.
For running and other sports then my glove of choice is still these eGloves that I received to review a over a year ago now. I really rate them with their thin comfortable material, metallic finger tips and grippy palms. They work as glove liners too for really cold days on the ski slopes.
But when the weather is really cold I reckon what we all need is mittens! I haven’t had a pair since I was a kid but I think I need to put that right this year. I bet these ones by UGG are so very warm and cosy, but I’ll probably end up going for something much more sensible (and cheaper!) but still excellent quality like these The North Face cable knit mittens. OR… I might have to knit my own like these featured on Style and then Some – yes?!