Organic Peppermint Amour Herbal Review (from David’s Tea)

Peppermint amour does not weigh much which makes quite affordable. Peppermint is quite unique. It opens up the sinuses and give you a nice warm fuzzy feeling. When I get tiered of drinking tea or want something refreshing to cheer me up I reach for the peppermint. I always have peppermint leafs in my tea cabinet.

Steeping

The recommended steep time is 30–60 seconds. I steep for 30 to 45 seconds. I find that steeping more than this makes it too strong and make the flavour bitter.

Personal Score: 4.5/5
Would buy again? Yes

Vanilla Orchid Oolong Review (from David’s Tea)

I’ve only tried two oolong so far but I think I’m liking it. At the time of writing I’m quite a newb to tea. Oolong seems to have a very pleasant and soothing taste. It’s very light with little bitterness. I have to say it’s mostly enjoyable when it’s still hot.

Steeping

The same leafs can be steeped multiple times. I steeped for about 4 minutes. I might need to think about new ways to steep. I’ve read about the Gong Fu method with Yixing Teapots here and here.

Personal Score: 3/5
Would buy again? Maybe. I will explore other oolongs before making a decision.

Red Velvet Cake Black Tea Review (from David’s Tea)

At first the name, smell and fancy garnishes threw me off. Once steeped it didn’t taste nearly as to what I was expecting. The after taste funnily tastes like eating a cake without frosting.

Steeping

Steeped 5 minutes. Subsequent steeps do not result in the same taste even after steeping for a long time. I would say leafs can only be used for one steep.

Personal Score: 2/5
Would buy again? Maybe. It’s more of a treat tea. I wouldn’t drink it regularly.

Coq au Vin (cooking cost + review + recipe)

For New Year’s Eve 2012–2013 I cooked a Coq au Vin. This traditional French cuisine recipe was great! My guests enjoyed it and asked for more. I’ll repeat this recipe sometime soon.

The recipe is quite simple. Here’s what I did:

  • Season chicken (salt + pepper) then massage with all purpose flour.
  • Tap excess flour from chicken and sear in a large pot to give it color (about a minute a side). Once chicken has a nice sear (not cooked just a nice color) remove it and set aside.
  • Use the same pot to sear vegetables (about 3 minutes).
  • Add 3/4 of a bottle of wine to the vegetables. Bring to a boil then down to a simmer for 10–15 minutes.
  • Add chicken then add broth until 3/4 of the chicken is covered. Add some thyme and bay leafs.
  • Cover and let simmer for 1–1.5 hours. Remove bay leafs when done.
  • Optionally add chopped parsley as a garnish.

Technique Notes

  • Searing: Medium/high heat + grape seed oil (or extra virgin olive oil).
  • Do not overcrowd the pot when searing. Cook in batches if required.

Would cook again?

Yes

Notes for next time

Mushrooms could of been used. I simmered for 1 hour and 10 minutes. I could of left it for another 30 minutes at a lower heat. It seemed that people liked the thighs more than the drumstick so maybe I could repeat with just the thighs.

Cost

Description Cost
Total (4 portion at two chicken piece each) $28.50
Total per Person $7.13
Carrots (used 1/2 but kept all in total) $1.99
Celery (1/4 used but kept all in total) $2.49
Pearl Onions (about 20) $2.99
Pre-made Chicken Stock: Knorr Chicken Stock Bouillon ($3.49 for 4 but used one) $0.87
Garlic ($0.43 but only used half) $0.21
4 Chicken Thighs $4.98
4 Chicken Drumstick ($7.03 for 8 but only used half) $3.52
Wine: Jacob’s Creek Shiraz Cabernet ($11.25 includes $0.20 deposit. Only used 3/4 of the bottle for recipe but wine needs so be finished so I included in total) $11.45

Coffee Pu’erh Review (from David’s Tea)

The flavour is very subtle and smooth. After swallowing a tiny bitter taste appears and the throat becomes dry. It makes you want to take another sip to relive yourself from the dryness.

Summary

A good taste but I prefer a stronger flavoured tea. The dry month is creates is a bit annoying.

Personal Score: 2/5
Would buy again? Nop. Flavour too subtle and I don’t like the dry aftertaste.

Tea Reviews

I stopped drinking coffee a while back (post about that to come). Now that I drink more tea I want to remember which tea I liked and which tea I didn’t. The tea reviews are based solely on my personal preferences. It does not mean that the tea is a low/high quality.

David’s Tea

Tazo

  • Calm Herbal (review to come)
  • Awake Black Tea (review to come)
  • China Green Tips Green Tea (review to come)
  • Refresh Herbal (review to come)
  • Earl Grey Black Tea (review to come)
  • Organic Chai Black Tea (review to come)
  • Passion Herbal (review to come)
  • Zen Green Tea (review to come)

Cooking Goals

This is a sticky post to list down some of my cooking goals. I will update once in a while.

  • Create a fresh chicken noodle soup with home made stock (that kind you put chicken bones in and let simmer for hours) [Done! — Update to come]
  • Create a completely fresh pizza
    • I’ve made fresh pizzas in the past (make the dough and sauce)
    • This time I want to make fresh/homemade mozzarella. Anything else I can create as a fresh topping?
  • Use (or make) cottage cheese to make baked potatoes (I think I saw this on eathealthy.com)
  • Make custard (for some sort of desert)
  • Chocolate » Tiramisu and Truffle
  • Research classic dishes such as Coq au Vin: French…

Recipes

Some recipes I’ve done or want to do.

Deserts

  • Panna Cotta (Vanilla/orange or this) [Done]
  • Crème Brulée [Done]
  • Tuile cookie garnishes (to do)
  • Cassis Panna Cotta (to do)