Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Earl Grey and Honey Cake

Now that the summer heat is starting to subside a bit, I've had a craving to start baking again. Since I'm a big tea drinker, as my blog title suggests, I decided to make a tea based cake! I found a recipe for earl grey and honey cake, which sounds quite delicious since earl grey is one of my favorite black teas.

This cake was a no brainer because all I needed to buy to make it was earl grey tea. I know, I was surprised that I didn't have any myself, but I tend to go through black tea quickly. There is a double dose of earl grey tea in the batter, both steeping tea bags in butter and milk as well as adding the tea leaves directly into the dry ingredients. The aroma when the tea was steeping made me very excited for the final result.

The cake didn't rise quite as much as I expected that it would in the oven, but it looked great in the end. After taking the cake out of the pan, I brushed on the syrupy earl grey glaze to keep it moist and it looked beautiful.

I would definitely recommend making the cake if you love earl grey since the flavor is strong, but delicious. What will you be baking this summer as it eases into fall? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Summer Tastes and Travel

Wow, what a busy summer it has been so far! Shortly after my last post, I went home to NC for about a week to see my parents and my new baby sister, Miia. I had a great time being able to really take it easy and spend quality time with my family, but I wish it would have lasted longer. 

A few weeks after going home, I went to Chicago for work and had a great time exploring the city, eating obscene amounts of delicious food and enjoying some great local beer. I highly recommend checking out Goose Island Brewery and trying a flight of your favorite beers. They have over 40 beers you can choose from and really helpful bartenders to help you decide, which is how I found my perfect flight to enjoy. 

My awesome beer flight at Goose Island

One of the best restaurants I went to was The Purple Pig, a Mediterranean tapas restaurant with simple but delicious dishes. I had charred cauliflower with toasted breadcrumbs, cornichons and parsley and a pea salad with bacon and mint. Both dishes tasted so fresh and were a perfect blend of flavors. I highly recommend going there if you're in Chicago - just be aware of the long wait!

Finally, Matt and I went to Dallas to visit my college friend Laura for a long weekend. Despite the triple digit weather, we had a great time, eating more great food and even more local beer! My favorite bar was definitely Truck Yard, an outdoor beer garden that has an eclectic feel with food trucks that change every day. The food was delicious, getting to try dishes from each of the options, and enjoying some local beer.

We spent a day in Fort Worth and of course, we found beer! I tried a Texas flight at The Flying Saucer, which of course reminded me of being back in NC. We went to the Stockyards and saw the cattle drive, checked out some western stores, and had another beer.

Our last meal in Dallas was at Smoke for brunch. We had so much food, more than we could possibly eat, but it was all very delicious. We had ribs and brisket, which both melted in our mouth, cheese grits and fries. I would have eaten everything if I could, but unfortunately my stomach ran out of room. And of course, one final Dallas beer before we had to leave!

Whew, now I'm getting back on track with cooking - there will be some new recipes I've tried out coming soon! I hope you're all having a great summer full of food and great travel!