Pinkie’s Up!

11 Reasons + Ways to Make Tea Your Summer Fix

Collaboration Between Tearrific + Antheia Floral + FloralandBows

I live for those tiny moments when you take the first sip of freshly steeped tea and you get that warm tingly feeling inside. Tea is one of those delicious beverages that can quench your thirst at any given time of the day, while being adapted in fun different ways to match the weather or circumstance. There is also always a flavour that conveniently goes perfectly with each season. Ahem, pumpkin chai!

Truth be told, it’s a rare thing to see me without a cup of tea in my hand, especially when I am writing. A bold Earl Grey or English Breakfast has the magical power to relax me after a long day and get the creative juices flowing. Needless to say, I have a charcoal teeth-whitener that I use on a regular basis!

Tearrific Hibiscus Lemonade
Tearrific Hibiscus Lemonade

However, with it being summer and the hottest Calgary has been in years, drinking a cup of steaming hot tea may not be everyone’s idea of refreshing, but an iced tea on the other hand is a whole different story.

Since it’s officially patio season, having a pitcher of iced tea on hand at all times is essentially a must, for more reasons than one. Aside from the fact that it is truly scrumptious, tea actually has a variety of health benefits that you can reap the results from in just one cup. Talk about a win win!

I partnered with Tearrific, a loose-leaf tea blender and café, along with Antheia Floral, a local florist, to come up with 11 reasons why you need to hop on the tea bandwagon and to get you inspired when making this refreshing hot weather elixir this summer!

Sencha Green Tearrific
Tearrific Sencha Green
  1. It’s a delicious alternative to water!

Canada’s food guide recommends that we drink approximately 1.5 liters of water in a regular day and even more when it’s hot out. Now I don’t know about you, but with my busy lifestyle and love of coffee, and other beverages, that is a lot of water to consume in one 24-hour period. However, since tea is essentially free of sugar, fat and calories, having a cup or two a day can help you hit that target, while quenching your thirst and keeping you hydrated in the heat of summer!

Tearrific Summer Daze
Tearrific Summer Daze
  1. Can be a natural and herbal remedy

Aside from providing a ton antioxidants, which is no secret, the individual ingredients that tea is made up of contains various vitamins that are crucial in our daily consumption. Certain teas can also act as a natural, drug free remedy to specific conditions or can at least help reduce symptoms. However, it does not replace the need for prescribed medication.

  • Hibiscus: contains a high level of Vitamin C, which works to boost your immune system and lower blood pressure in those people with an elevated one.
  • Licorice: has been known to help reduce the symptoms of Vertigo
  • Ginger: provides relief to a nauseous stomach – hello hangover cure!
  • Chamomile: has been known to also help with an upset stomach, while also successfully treating different sleep disorders.
  • Green + White Tea: both tea’s contain a ton of antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in your body.
  1. I HEART Tea

It’s a common belief that drinking specifically, black teas can help keep your ticker in a well-maintained condition. Some studies even go as far to say that it helps reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes. Now I am no scientist, so don’t quote me on this, but hey if drinking a cup or two of tea will allow me to continue to go on awesome adventures then I will gladly cooperate!

Tearrific Sencha Green
Tearrific Sencha Green
  1. 0 Calorie Cocktail Mix

What I would like to know is where was this info back when I was in University? Imagine all of the pizza’s I could have consumed instead! Samantha from Tearrific recommends mixing Gin and Earl Grey together, for a delicious energy booster to get the night started. You can also try mixing a fruity tea with prosecco or sparkling wine for a fun and refreshing summertime cocktail.

If you enjoy a good ol’ Pimms Cup, then I recommend trying the ‘Summer Daze’ tea from Tearrific, as it has been compared to this classic English beverage on more than one occasion. Make this tea iced and add some Pimms for an instant replicate of the original beverage, without the hassle of preparing a ton of ingredients. OR have it sans alcohol for a mocktail that still has the flavour of the real deal!

Tearrific Blueberry Burst
Tearrific Blueberry Burst
  1. Homemade Iced Tea

As I have mentioned, having a batch of cold-brewed tea is an excellent idea to have on hand for when we are in the midst of heat-wave and in need of a thirst quencher. But how does one go about making it? Trust me it’s easy, if I can do it so can you!

  • Add 4 heaping teaspoons of tea in 1L of water
  • You can use an empty mason jar or empty container you have lying around the house
  • Refrigerate over night and strain the tea leaves in the morning – if you are not in a rush to drink it.
  • If you plan on consuming the day you make the tea steep it in hot water and then pour it over ice when you go to serve the tea – this can also make a stronger tea if that is how you like it.
  • ENJOY!
hibiscus2
Tearrific Hibiscus Lemonade
  1. Sweet as can BEE

If you do require a bit of sweetener in your tea, honey would probably be your healthiest option, as it is both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, making it good for your stomach and tasty to consume. My honey of choice is a local honey brand called “Drizzle” that you can get at the cutest shop in Bridgeland, Greater Goods, or various other locations throughout the city!

  1. Picky Tea Drinker?

Are you looking looking for a tea that is high in health benefits, but also has a bit of a caffeine kick for those early mornings? An Oolong tea is the perfect solution! It’s a great choice for people who don’t particularly enjoy the taste of black or green tea, as it’s in the middle on the flavour and oxidization scale.

Tearrific Orchard Oolong
Tearrific Orchard Oolong
  1. Kick that coffee addiction!

We all love coffee, but it’s also not always the healthiest option, especially if we are drinking 3 or 4 cups a day – guilty as charged! If you’re trying to reduce your caffeine intake, there are a variety of herbal decaffeinated teas out there that are bound to quench your thirst. From spicy to nutty flavours, herbal teas are deemed one of the most flavourful so you will be replacing your cup of joe for something equally if not more tasty.

  1. Tea Baking

At Tearrific, they sell Brown Butter Oatmeal cookie sandwiches with Chai tea infused Buttecream – YUM! Tea is a great no calorie additive that is super simple to bake with and will give your baked goods the most scrumptious aroma. Head over to the Tearrific blog for some tips on baking with tea!

Tearrific Summer Daze
Tearrific Summer Daze
  1. Tea-o-licious Popcicles

On a hot summer day, there is nothing better than treating yourself to an iced cold popsicle! I am licking my lips for one of these as I write this article to be honest! To make them, brew a cold batch of your favourite tea and pour it into popsicle molds and freeze – EASY! If you want to add more flavour or mix it up you can always add slices of fruit, mint or other fun ingredients to your pops.

  1. The more tea you drink the healthier you will be – Truth!

There have been various studies that show drinking tea can help reduce the risk of getting dementia, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and other terrible diseases. It also helps to increase your overall health, as it is contributes to your body’s daily nutrient and vitamin consumption, while also keeping you hydrated! Now that is definitely a good reason to start drinking tea if you don’t already!

Tearrific Orchard Oolong
Tearrific Orchard Oolong

Tearrific: is a local tea blending company, formally known as the “Tea Wagon” and now located in Granary Road.

Antheia Floral: is a local florist that specializes in ethically sourced flowers. Be sure to check her out if you ave any floral needs, she makes the PRETTIEST bouquets!

Tea’s featured in this post:

ENJOY your ice tea endeavours this summer. Feel free to tag me, Antheia or Tearrific in any of your pretty recreations and inspirations on social media!

XO Kristy

Add A Zest Of Flavour To Your Spring Party

When life gives you lemons – make cupcakes!

photo-1454944338482-a69bb95894afCupcakes are so fun and one of my favorite things to bake! I love experimenting with different cakes and icings and also finding new ways to decorate and present them, depending on the occasion. They are incredibly versatile, as they are a great way to sweeten up any event or even satisfy your daily sweet tooth indulgence.

Many people can tell you, I probably have enough recipe books to fill an entire library and I continue to covet them! One of my favorites is a cupcake cookbook from the Primrose Bakery in London, England. Its pages are full of a variety of delicious cupcakes, perfect for any season, celebration, life event or just everyday occasion. Why I love this recipe book, over others, is their focus on the different ways to style and assemble simple, yet delicious recipes, rather than complicating the matter  with hard-to-find ingredients and troublesome process.

FullSizeRender-51

Primrose Bakery was started by Martha Swift and Lisa Thomas in 2004 in Primrose Hill, Northern London! It was their goal to create treats that suit the interest of every type of person regardless of their age, gender and background, for every type of occasion, whether it is for an extravagant party or a simple everyday celebration. They strive to create sweet treats that “look different and taste different – it’s about food that smells delicious and that you want to eat.” Since their humble beginnings on Primrose Hill they have now expanded into 3 different bakery locations around London and have provided their treats for designers at Fashion Week, Elton John’s 60th Birthday Party, the Brits Music Awards and more!

This beautiful bakery is definitely on my list of places to visit when I go to London this summer!

One recipe that I tried a few weeks ago for my family’s Easter Dinner celebration, that was a huge hit, was Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting – the key: freshly squeezed lemon and lots of it! I think I tripled the amount of lemon that I put in both the cake and in the frosting. Excessive I know, but they had such a sweet pungent zing that it was well worth the extra squeeze.

thumb_IMG_9703_1024Check out the recipe here:

Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter – room temperature

1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup self-rising flour

¾ + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1/3 cup milk

2 (more like 5!) tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon

1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl, until mixture is pale and smooth.
  3. Add eggs to the mixture, one at a time allowing for some time in between each egg.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flours together.
  5. In a separate bowl mix the milk, lemon juice and sour cream together.
  6. Alternating between the flour and the milk add both to the creamed mixture, 1/3 of each mixture at a time.
  7. If the mixture begins to curdle, simply add a spoonful of flour and beat well.
  8. Spoon the mixture into muffin pan, lined with cupcake liners – fill them approx. 2/3 full.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden brown.
  10. Remove from oven and let completely cool before icing.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter

2-3 (or 5-6) tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon

4 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Beat the butter, half of your lemon juice and half the confectioners sugar in a large mixing bowl, until smooth.
  2. Gradually add the rest of the lemon juice and confectioners sugar.
  3. Continue adding confectioners sugar until it is your desired consistency for icing – the extra lemon juice will cause the icing to be more liquid than it is supposed to, so the extra sugar will make up for this.
  4. DECORATE!

Enjoy!thumb_IMG_9693_1024

xoxo Kristy

Note: both recipes and background research is from the cookbook “Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery.” Learn more about the adorable Primrose Bakery here!