Gourmet teas are a treat any time of the day. As any tea drinker knows, although there are several factors to consider in brewing tea, timing is important in order to optimize the flavor. Most gourmet teas will come with suggested steeping times, use these as a guide. After your first cup, to adjust strength you can adjust the time up or down.

Yesterday, I found the perfect timer I can use for brewing tea. Appropriately named Perfect Tea Timer, this timer is actually 3 timers in one. Three sand dials measure 3, 4 and 5 minutes allowing you to steep your tea perfectly every time.

Perfect Tea Timer

The color of the sand is also a general guide for steeping time for teas should you lose the directions that came with your teas. A general rule is 3 minutes for green tea (green sand), 5 minutes for white tea (white sand) and 4 minutes for black teas (reddish sand).

This timer for tea makes a great gift for any tea drinker or yourself.  A simple yet practical gift for tea drinkers, it is also a perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

Art of Tea


Spring cleaning time is almost here and I already got a head start by cleaning out my kitchen cabinets. Over the past few months I somehow had managed to collect a large assortment of plastic containers. Leftover takeout food, dinners given by friends and family during recent illness have resulted in far too many containers. In addition to the challenge of opening a cabinet without an avalanche of plastic, there’s a bigger problem, many of the containers are not BPA free. Sometime ago, after learning of the possible connection between cancers and the use of BPA in plastic, I made the decision to switch to BPA free water bottles. Food storage containers present an even greater risk as they often go into the microwave for reheating.

Go Green Premium BPA Free Storage 9pc Set w/lids

BPA is bisphenol-a, a chemical used in plastic. Over time BPA leaks out of the plastic and contaminates the food and drink.  Whenever you heat food in a plastic container or put it in the dishwasher additional BPA leaks out.  When you eat or drink the food or beverage in the container, you also consume the chemical.  There has been some research that BPA can cause cancer. Since I have seen enough cancer, this is not a risk I am willing to take. BPA free storage containers was an easy decision.

The problems with BPA also include  more risks to children; in addition to increased incidence of cancer, it has been associated with conditions such as behavioral problems and precocious puberty. Since this research is still new and not as advanced there may be even more risks. I definitely do not want to subject my children to any more risks.

Rather than taking chances, I threw out all the containers containing BPA, I will only use BPA free plastic containers. Making the switch to BPA free food storage containers is an easy one.  Not only do I feel it is a healthier choice, my cabinets are a lot neater. Of course I still have far too many coffee cups, see Coffee Memories, but that will never change.

 BPA Free Kitchen Storage Containers


Treat Yourself to Matcha Tea

Matcha tea is a premium green tea. There are a couple of major differences between matcha tea and other green teas. First the tea leaves used in making matcha are grown in the shade by blocking the bushes from sunlight. Then, instead of whole or broken tea leaves, the tea leaf is dried and then […]

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Kabuki Green Tea, a Pleasant Surprise

Chilly fall days are perfect for sampling new teas. Today I brewed a pot of Kabuki Green Tea from Japan which is a green tea with cherry blossoms. I brewed this green tea using a glass teapot and an infuser. The water was just under boiling (175 degrees F) and I allowed the first pot of tea to steep for two […]

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How to Make Applesauce

Remember all those apples I bought? Well, still have some left so here’s another recipe using apples, as a main ingredient.  It would be impossible to have all those apples and not make applesauce. Fresh homemade applesauce is delicious. It is perfect as a healthy snack or as a side with pork chops or chicken. I […]

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Slow Cooker Barbecue Spare Ribs

I confess that I love my slow cooker,  I use it at least once a week. The best part is that clean up is easy and you don’t have to watch over the food. Throw ingredients in the crock pot, turn it on and come back when it’s done. Whether it’s a whole complete meal in […]

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How to Make Baked Apples

I went to the supermarket and they had apples on sale. Originally planning to make apple pie or apple crumble, I bought two bags. When my children got home from school and saw the apples, they asked for baked apples. They are very easy to make and I was happy to do it. The children […]

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Recipe for Warm Spiced Apple Cider

Here in New York, most of the leaves have fallen off the trees but there always seems to be more to rake up. After an hour or two out in the cold air raking and sweeping a warm beverage is a great way to warm up. If you are tired of coffee, tea or hot […]

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Caesar Dip Recipe for Raw Vegetables

Thanks to some good sales at the supermarket and some coupons about ready to expire, I had several bottles of Caesar salad dressing in my cabinet. Last night I made up a batch of Caesar Dip and served it with dinner. It was a big hit with my children and my husband. I made up another […]

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Summer is for Shish Kabobs

Shish kabobs are easy to make, taste great and mean very little clean up which is a big plus during the summer. I just finished getting my shish kabobs ready so that later all I have to do is fire up the barbecue.  This is a very simple recipe for shish kabobs that everyone loves […]

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