Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Entering the World of Blogging

Desiring to write a blog, I attended a blogging class at the Community College shortly before the holidays.  Writing, tea, cooking, and tablescaping are  great pleasures of mine, and  well-suited topics for my entry into the blogging world.   

As with anything new [and especially pertaining to computers], I went to class with a bit of apprehension.  The inspiring presence of an 86 year old classmate helped affirm, "I can do this!"  [Raising my teacup in tribute to you, Mary!]

Knowing the class was five hours long, supper was in the making before I left home with the aid of my crock pot and a new chili recipe I tweaked for the annual chili cook-off at church.

Two ingredients set this chili apart from other recipes - pumpkin and Lapsang Souchong black tea.
Pumpkin/Turkey Chili
1 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. ground turkey
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 each, red, yellow, and orange sweet pepper,  diced
1 [14.5 oz.] can petite diced tomatoes [including juice]
1 [15 oz.] can 100% pure pumpkin [not pumpkin pie mix]
2 [15.5 oz.] cans white kidney beans [Cannellini]
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup brewed Lapsang Souchong Tea
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of Allspice
grated cheddar cheese

Heat oil in Dutch oven and add turkey, onion, garlic, and sweet peppers.  Simmer until turkey is browned and vegetables are tender.   Transfer to crock pot and add tomatoes, pumpkin, chicken broth, tea, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper.  Mix well and cook on low 4-5 hours.   An hour before done add cinnamon, allspice and kidney beans that have been rinsed and drained.  If chili needs thinning add more broth.

Top individual bowls of chili with grated cheese before serving. 

Lapsang Souchong tea gives the chili a subtle smoky flavor when used in moderation.

Savory Cornmeal Madeleines accompany this chili perfectly.  A California tea friend inspired me to make them.

Savory Cornmeal Madeleines
1/3 cup butter
1 small onion, finely diced 
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/2 cup grated smoked Gruyere Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in heavy saucepan and sauté onion until tender but not brown.  Set aside.
In bowl stir together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and sage.
In a separate bowl whisk egg and milk until blended.   Add to dry ingredients along with butter/onion mixture, corn and grated cheese.  Stir just until blended.

Brush soft butter into Madeleine cavities and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Shake out excess.  Do not skip this step even when using non-stick pans.  These morsels are notorious for sticking!

Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.  Remove from oven and let rest 1-2 minutes.   Invert pan and lightly tap on counter to release Madeleines. 

These are best eaten right from the oven, but they do keep in a covered container for 1-2 days.  Reheat in microwave before serving.  Or freeze and reheat in oven 2-3 minutes until warmed through. 

Yield:  Approximately 4 dozen

Harney & Sons Cranberry Autumn black tea was my choice for this meal.  Harney teas are among my favorites. 

Yummy, healthy and easy.  My kind of meal!


  1. So happy to see you've joined the world of tea blogging, Phyllis! And what wonderful recipes you've just treated us to—can't wait to try them! Congratulations on your new venture!

  2. Welcome to blogging, Phyllis! I have been anxiously awaiting! I love the look and logo!

  3. Congratulations, Phyllis! I've been eagerly awaiting being able to bookmark your blog. It will be fun to share your wonderful love of all things tea.
    martha e

  4. Love your pumpkin teapot, and the recipes look wonderful!

  5. Welcome to the world of blogging. You will love it. I have this corn bread recipe and this tea, now I just need to make some chili. Sounds yummy!

  6. My very best wishes on your new venture, dear Phyllis.
    Remembering our conversation during our trip to London when you said you wanted to share your love of tea with as many people as you could. This seems to be the perfect way to do just that. Lifting my cup to you!!! Congratulations!!!

    Mary Jane

  7. Welcome to the blogging world - your recipes are great. Come see mine at http://teafortoday.blogspot.com

  8. Thank you everyone for your warm welcome and kind words.

  9. Welcome to the blogosphere, Phyllis. I can't wait to read everything you will be sharing with us. Your photographs are stunning, and I've 'Pinned' this post on Pinterest!

  10. Best wishes on your blogging adventure Phyllis! I'm joining Denise, and plan on pinning the madeleines recipe on Pinterest! I love madeleines... but need more than one pan! And I'm happy to add a link to your blog on the blog roll on Rosemary's Sampler. Have fun posting!

  11. Hi Phyllis, Welcome to the world of blogging! I know you will enjoy it and meet lots of nice people!
    Blessings, Beth


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