Saturday, January 31, 2009

HOMEMADE APPLESAUCE

I think this recipe is from an old magazine but I am not sure.

6 large Granny Smith and/or McIntosh apples
1/2 cup apple cider or juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
dash of nutmeg

Peel and core apples; cut into chunks. In a 3-quart saucepan combine the apple chunks and the cider or juice. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until the apple chunks are very tender. Stir in the sugar and the cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook 2 minutes longer. Mash while still in the pot or cool then puree in a food processor. Cool; store in clean jars. Refrigerate for up to two weeks. Add 1/4 cup old fashion red hot cinnamon candy drops, if desired when you simmer the apples.

Yield: 4 cups

CHEESY CHICKEN MACARONI CASSEROLE

This recipe is from an old cookbook from the folks at Kraft Foods.

1/2 cup elbow macaroni
1 pkg (10-oz) frozen peas and carrots
2 tbsps butter or margarine
2 tbsps all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp dried basil, crushed
1 1/3 cups milk
1 1/2 cups cubed pasteurized process cheese spread (6 oz)
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken (or turkey)
3/4 cup soft bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1 tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Cook macaroni according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, place frozen peas and carrots in a colander. Rinse with running water to separate. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt the 2 tablespoons butter and stir in the flour and basil. Add the milk. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the cheese spread until it is all melted. Stir in the macaroni, peas and carrots, and chicken. Turn into a casserole dish that has been greased. Combine the bread crumbs, almonds, and 1 tablespoon butter; sprinkle over the macaroni mixture. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 6

Friday, January 30, 2009

MEAT POLL RESULTS

I guess we aren't much into seafood! Our meat poll showed that 40% of us cook beef most often, another 40% cook poultry most often, 20% cook pork most often and no one voted seafood.

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL BAR

This recipe is from an old church cookbook from Iowa.

50 caramels
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 stick oleo
1 pkg German chocolate cake mix
6 oz chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a double boiler, melt 1/3 cup milk and the caramels. Set aside. Mix together 1/3 cup milk, melted oleo, and the cake mix. Pour 1/2 of this cake batter into a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan that has been greased. Bake in 325 degree oven for 6 minutes. Remove from oven and pour the package of chocolate chips over the batter. Cover chips with the caramel mixture and add remaining cake batter. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 30 minutes before cutting. Nuts may be added to the chips layer, if desired.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

HEARTY HAMBURGER SOUP

1 tbsp butter
2 lbs ground beef
2 quarts boiling water
2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced celery
2 cups tomatoes
1 cup corn
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups shredded cabbage
2 onions, diced
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup rice

Melt butter in a skillet and add ground beef. Brown the beef, drain and pour into a large saucepan or a dutch oven. Add the water and bring to a boil. Add the vegetables and rice then the seasonings. Simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours to cook the vegetables and allow the flavors to mesh.

APPLE FILLED OATMEAL COOKIES

This recipe is from an old community cookbook.

1 cup finely chopped apples
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsps water
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
2 cups oatmeal

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine apples, raisins, pecans, granulated sugar, and water. Cook and stir this mixture until thick and apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Cream the brown sugar with the butter then beat in the eggs. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and cloves. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the creamed mixture. Stir in the oatmeal. Set aside 3/4 cup of the dough. Drop by teaspoon onto cookie sheets. Make a small depression in each cookie and add a small amount of the apple mixture to the depressed spot. Top apple mixture with a small amount of the reserved dough. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes at 375 degrees until cookies are lightly browned.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

HAMBURGER-ONION HASH

1 lb lean ground beef
2 medium or 1 large yellow onions, sliced
1 medium white onion, sliced
1 can (16-oz) diced tomatoes
1 to 2 tsps chili powder, according to taste
1/2 cup uncooked regular rice
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, cook meat, onions, and bell pepper until meat is browned. Drain off excess fat. Stir in the tomatoes, rice, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish. Cover and bake for 45 to 1 hour until cooked through and rice is tender.

AF MACARONI SALAD

I call this recipe my Air Force Macaroni Salad since the recipe was given to me by a lady who worked in a restaurant in New Mexico when I first went there as a young Air Force wife in the 1960s.

2 cups cooked macaroni
1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese
1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
3 tbsps finely chopped onion
1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
1/4 cup chopped sweet pickle (or sweet pickle relish)
1/4 tsp salt

Mix all the ingredients together. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours before serving.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

BUTTERMILK BROWNIES WITH FROSTING

This recipe is from an old church group cookbook from a Midwestern state.

1 stick oleo
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small heavy-duty saucepan, blend together the oleo, water, cocoa, and oil. Bring to a boil, stir until oleo is melted and ingredients are blended. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, salt and soda. Pour the boiled mixture over the flour mixture and stir to blend. Stir in the vanilla, buttermilk, and eggs. Stir until the mixture is well blended. Pour into a greased 17 x 11-inch baking pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until done. Frost with the following Chocolate Buttermilk Frosting.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK FROSTING

1 stick oleo
1/2 cup cocoa
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 lb powdered sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla

In a small saucepan bring the oleo, cocoa, and buttermilk to a boil. Remove from the heat and beat in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and nuts. Pour over the brownies while they are still warm.

FROZEN CUCUMBER SALAD

This recipe has been in my family for as long as I can remember.

7 cups cucumbers
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1 tbsp celery seed
2 cups sugar
1 cup diced onion
1 tbsp salt
1 cup white vinegar

Wash cucumbers and slice but do not peel. Slice into a large bowl and add the onion and bell pepper; mix together well. Add the celery seed, sugar, salt and vinegar to the cucumber mixture. Mix all these ingredients together well. Store in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for 5 days. Stir the mixture daily with a large wooden or plastic spoon. After 5 days put into freezer containers and freeze.

Monday, January 26, 2009

MINI-MORSEL MUFFINS

This recipe is from my old hometown newspaper when I was a kid growing up in Southern Indiana.

2 cups all-purpose flour
6-ounces semisweet chocolate mini-morsels
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
6 tbsps butter, melted
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, mini-morsels, nuts, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, blend the milk, melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients into the flour mixture. Stir together just until the flour mixture is moistened (it is okay if the batter is lumpy). Spoon the mixture into 12 greased muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

BEEF AND PORK SAUSAGE BALLS

This recipe is from an old Iowa church cookbook.

3/4 cup finely crushed soda crackers
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb pork sausage
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sage or Italian seasoning
dash of black pepper

Combine cracker crumbs, egg, and milk in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the cracker mixture; mix well. Shape mixture into 1-inch balls. Place in a shallow pan. Bake in a moderate oven for 20 minutes.

Sauce:

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 soup can of milk

Mix the soup and milk together using a wire whisk or fork. Pour mixture over the meatballs and return to the oven for another 25 minutes or until done.

COCONUT PINEAPPLE SQUARES

This recipe is from an old midwestern state cookbook.

1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups flour
1 cup drained crushed pineapple
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix the 1/2 cup of butter and the 1/4 cup of sugar together with a pastry blender or two knives. Add the flour and mix till crumbs are formed. Then mix thoroughly with hands until dough is soft. Press evenly into a 9-inch square baking pan going about 1/2-inch up the sides of the pan. Prick with a fork. Bake for 15 minutes are 350 degrees. Remove from the oven. Spread the pineapple evenly over the crust. Add the 1/2 cup of sugar to the egg which has been beaten. Stir the sugar and egg together until blended. Fold in the melted butter and the coconut. Spread this mixture over the pineapple. Return to the oven and bake 20 minutes longer, until coconut is lightly browned. When cool, cut into 9 squares.

Friday, January 23, 2009

SHIRLEY'S BAVARIAN BEEF STEW

This is an old Iowa recipe.

2 lbs beef stew meat, cubed
2 medium onions, sliced
3 tbsps shortening
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsps salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tsps caraway seed
1/4 cup vinegar
1 medium head red cabbage, cut into wedges
1/2 cup ginger snaps
1/2 cup warm water

Heat the shortening in a pressure cooker; brown the beef and onions. Add the 1 1/2 cups water, salt, salt, pepper, bay leaf, and caraway seeds. Cover and cook at 10 pounds pressure for 15 minutes. Cool and add vinegar and place cabbage wedges on top of the meat. Cover and cook at 15 pounds pressure for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, soak the ginger snaps in the warm water. Remove the cabbage and meat to a heated platter. Add ginger snaps to the liquid and bring to a boil, stirring to make a smooth gravy.

RAISIN FILLED COOKIES

This recipe is from an old church cookbook from the Midwest.

1 cup shortening
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda
4 cups flour (or enough to make a soft dough)

Filling:

2 cups raisins, ground
1 level tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
1 cup hot water
1 cup sugar
2 tbsps flour or cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine shortening, sour cream, eggs, vanilla, sugar, salt, baking powder, and soda. Combine the mixture well. Gradually add enough of the flour to make a soft dough. Roll the dough thin and cut out with a biscuit cutter or a glass. Place the filling atop one cookie and cover with another one. Using a fork or your fingers, press down the edges to seal. Bake 6 minutes on the bottom oven rack then move to top rack for 6 minutes. Makes about 4 dozen cookies, depending on size.

MOM WILBURN'S CHOCOLATE MERINGUE PIE

This recipe was from the mother of the Country Music Duo and Grand Old Opry stars, "The Wilburn Brothers". She said it was the pie she baked most often when they were boys growing up in Missouri.

1 cup sugar
4 tbsps cocoa, level
4 tbsps flour, level
Yolks of 3 large eggs, save whites for meringue
1/4 stick butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups sweet milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 9" pie shell, baked

Combine the sugar, cocoa, flour, and 1/4 cup of the milk; mix well. Add the egg yolks and remaining milk, butter and vanilla. Cook in a double boiler until thick. Pour into the baked pie shell. Cover with the meringue topping listed below.

For the Meringue Topping:

3 large egg whites
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 tbsps sugar

Beat the egg whites until stiff. Add the vanilla and 1/2 tablespoon of the sugar. Continue to beat. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar. Pile the meringue on the pie, spreading all the way to the crust to seal the edges. Bake in a 300 degree oven until the meringue is browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.

CONTEST

Dear Blog Followers,

A reader has extended an invitation for us to visit www.chocolate-candy-mall.com and enter a Valentine contest. I checked this out and some great prizes are offered. It is a neat site and I recommed you check it out. I know many of you have lots of Valentine ideas to offer.

Linda

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

ROAST WILD DUCK

This recipe is from an old Iowa cookbook.

2 wild ducks, about 2 lb each
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 small apples
2 small onions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

The ducks should be plucked of the feathers but not skinned.

Sprinkle the cavaties of the ducks with the salt, pepper, and rosemary. Place an apple and an onion inside the cavity of each duck. (You may have to cut them to get them to fit inside the cavity.) Place the ducks, breast side up, on a rack in an open roasting pan. Roast 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the ducks are tender when pierced with a fork between the leg and the body. Juices should run clear as with poultry. Remove the apples and onions and discard.

Serves 4

DATE STICKS

This old recipe is from past church dinners in Iowa.

1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup finely chopped nuts
1 cup dates, cut into small pieces
granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all the ingredients together in a medium bowl; mix well. Spread in a greased jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet with sides. Bake in a 350 degree for about 30 minutes. When cool, cut into bars and roll them in sugar.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

SIMPLE HAMBURGER HOT DISH

This recipe is from a very old community cookbook.

1 pkg (8-oz) egg noodles
2 lbs ground beef
2 cans cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1 med onion
8 slices cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cook noodles in salted boiling water, drain and rinse. Brown ground beef and onion together, season with salt and pepper. Mix noodles, meat, and soup together and put in a 9x13 lightly greased baking pan or dish. Lay the cheese over the top. Cover the pan with foil and bake 30 minutes at 300 degrees or until the cheese melts and the casserole is bubbly.

Serves 8 to 10.

Friday, January 16, 2009

SHIRLEY'S ASPARAGUS CASSEROLE

This is from an old church community cookbook.

2 cans asparagus
2 tbsps milk
3/4 box cheese crackers or saltines
3 hard boiled eggs
1 or 2 pieces pimento, chopped
2 small cans English peas
2 cans mushroom soup
1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Heat mushroom soup and milk together in a medium saucepan. Crumble crackers into melted butter and mix well. Using half of each layer asparagus, sliced eggs, peas, soup mixture, sprinkle with pimento. Repeat with remaining items. Top with crackers. Bake at 325 degrees until browned and bubbly.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

LIVER COUNTRY STYLE

This recipe is from the community where I attended high school in the 1960s.

6 slices bacon, cut in pieces
1 lb beef liver, sliced thin
flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups milk
1/4 cup buttered bread crumbs
2 cups sliced onions
3 tbsps butter

Fry bacon until crisp; remove from pan and drain. Dredge liver in flour and brown in the bacon fat; remove from pan and set aside. Add 2 tablespoons four, salt and pepper to drippings, stirring until smooth. Gradually add milk; cook until thick and smooth. In a small skillet with 3 tablespoons butter, saute onions for 5 minutes. In a buttered casserole dish place alternate layers of liver, bacon, onions, and gravy. Top with the buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

BAKING FREQUENCY POLL RESULTS

Based on our latest poll results, most of us are bakers. We asked the question "How Often Do You Bake?" Here are your results: 35% of you either bake daily or several times a week, 24% of you bake weekly while the same percentage bakes monthly. Only 17% say you seldom bake. Based on these results, we will continue to add several baking recipes weekly. Thanks for your participation in our poll.

Friday, January 9, 2009

SERVED HOT POTATO SALAD

6 to 8 boiled or baked potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
1 cup mayonnaise
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp prepared mustard
salt and pepper to taste
3 to 4 bacon strips and drippings

In a large bowl, gently mix together the potatoes, cheese, mayonnaise, onion, mustard, salt and pepper. Partially fry the bacon strips (do not fry crisp). Pour bacon drippings into the potato mixture. Put mixture into a lightly greased baking dish. Crumble bacon over the top of the mixture. Bake 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot.

Note: This can be made ahead, refrigerated and then baked before serving.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

APPETIZER CHEESECAKE

This recipe is from the mother of children I went to school with in the 1950s.

2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup green pepper
1/2 cup celery
1/4 cup olives
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsps lemon juice
5 drops hot pepper sauce
1 cup cracker crumbs

Finely chop the green pepper, celery, and olives and mix with the sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice and hot pepper sauce. Line a 4-cup bowl with clear plastic wrap. Spread 1/2 cup of the sour cream mixture in the bottom of the bowl. Layer with half of the cracker crumbs, then 1 cup of the sour cream mixture, 1/2 cup of the crumbs, then the remaining sour cream mixture. Cover and chill for 24 hours. Unmold onto a serving platter; remove the plastic wrap. Top with the remaining cracker crumbs. Serve with fresh vegetables and assorted crackers.

FYI

In case you wonder where you come in on grocery spending, here are the results of our latest poll. Our poll asked visitors how much they planned to spend on groceries per week during the month of January. 60% planned to spend $75.00 or more per week. 40% planned to spend $50.00 or less.

Thanks to all of you who participated in the poll.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

SPICED BLUEBERRY CAKE

This recipe is from an old Iowa community cookbook.

1 cup shortening or butter (add 1 tsp salt if you use shortening).
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups blueberries (use whole can of blueberries, juice and all)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream butter and add sugar gradually creaming until fluffy. Beat the eggs well and blend into the sugar mixture. Add buttermilk and stir mixture well. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and the spices together; beat into the creamy mixture. Gently fold in the blueberries until well mixed in. Pour batter into a greased 9x13-inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done.

Good with your favorite chocolate frosting.

Stays moist for a long time.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

AMISH BREAKFAST CASSEROLE

This is a recipe from an Amish lady from Northern Indiana who is now deceased.

8 slices of bread, cubed
1 lb bulk pork sausage, fried, crumbled, and drained
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1 lb of grated cheese
1/2 tsp salt

Put bread in the bottom of a casserole dish. In a seperate bowl, beat eggs and add milk, onion, salt and mustard. Sprinkle sausage and cheese over the bread. Slice butter over the cheese and pour the egg mixture over all. Bake in a medium heat oven (325 degrees) for about 45 minutes.

1980s Cheese Spread

This recipe was torn from a magazine page. It was dated 1982. It was in a Kraft Foods advertisement.

2 pkgs (8-oz each) Philadelphia Brand Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup Miracle Whip Salad Dressing
1/3 cup Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese
10 crisply cooked bacon slices, crumbled
1/4 cup green onion slices
Nabisco Triscut Wafters

Combine the cream cheese and salad dressing; mix until well blended. Add remaining ingredients, except Tricuts, and mix well. Chill. Serve with the Triscut Wafers.

Variation: Substitute 1/2 cup finely chopped han, 1/4 cup chopped green pepper, and 1/4 cup onion for the bacon and green onion.

Note: The KRAFT products are listed because this was a KRAFT ad. Any brands may be used and you may serve with your favorite snack crackers. In my opinion, this is also good when used to stuff celery for a relish tray or appetizer platter.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

PHIL'S MEXACALI CASSEROLE

This recipe is from an old Southern Indiana Fire Department cookbook.

1 lb ground beef
3/4 cup chopped green peppers and jalapeno peppers* mixed
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 can (17 oz) cream-style corn
1 can (16 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4 oz) mushroom pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp chili powder
8 oz pkg noodles, cooked according to pkg directions and drained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown the ground beef in a large skillet with the peppers and onion. When beef is browned, drain the fat. Stir in the remaining ingredients; mix together well. Turn into a buttered 2 1/2-quart casserole dish. Cover and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

*When working with jalapeno peppers, it is a good idea to wear gloves. Do not touch hands to eyes when handling hot peppers. Remove the seeds unless you want your dish to be really hot. The heat is mostly in the seeds.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

TEA, TEA, OR TEA?

TEA IS ONE OF THE MOST WIDELY CONSUMED BEVERAGES IN THE WORLD!

Staying hydrated and drinking plenty of liquids is important to our overall health. Tea is a great beverage choice as it basically has no carbs, protein or fat. It is tasty, is a natural source of amino acid and antioxidant catechins. It is available in several forms and is tasty both as a hot drink or iced. Note that we are talking about true tea here. Herbal teas usually contain no actual tea leaves but infusions of fruit and/or herbs. Therefore, this article is not about herbal teas.

True tea comes from the Camellia Sinensis evergreen plant commonly known as the tea bush. The tea bush grows mainly in tropical and sub-tropical climates. This plant or tree prefers acidic soil and requires an annual rainfall of at least fifty inches. Camellia Sinensis plants can grow into trees but are usually kept cropped to about waist height to make cultivation easier. Only the leaves from the top 1-2 inches are picked. Many of the top-quality teas, such as darjeeling, are picked from plants grown at elevations of about 5,000 feet. This causes the plants to grow slower thus acquiring a better flavor.

There are four basic types of true tea common to us today. They are black, green, white and oolong. Each is unique but they all come from the same source. The difference occurs in the processing. Briefly, here is a description of each type and what makes it unique. Green tea leaves are unwilted and unoxidized. White tea leaves are wilted and unoxidized. Oolong tea leaves are wilted, bruised and partially oxidized. Black tea leaves are crushed and fully oxidized. Because of the oxidation process, white and green teas have a higher concentration of the antioxidant catechins.

Proper preparation also differs for each of the tea types. For black tea, boiling water should be used. Many of the active substances in black tea won't develop at lower temperatures. This is the most common mistake made when brewing black tea! For optimum results, black tea should be brewed about 4 minutes and never longer than 5 minutes. Longer brewing will cause the tea to taste bitter.

Green tea should be brewed at a lower temperature, approximately 180-185 degrees which is below the boiling point. Hotter water will burn the green tea leaves causing a bitter taste. When brewing green tea, it is best to pre-warm the mug or teapot you will brew in. This will keep the tea from cooling immediately before it is fully steeped.

Oolong tea should be brewed at about the boiling point in a pre-warmed mug or pot. For oolong tea, it is best to use spring water. The minerals in the water tend to bring out more of the flavor in the tea. High-quality oolong tea leaves can be brewed several times. It actually improves with reuse. Many believe the third brewing actually produces the best tea.

To keep your teas fresh and flavorful, store them in a dry, dark, cool place inside an airtight container.

The health properties of tea are constantly in debate. Many believe drinking tea will help to prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc. One thing we know for sure is that tea contains both antioxidant and amino acid properties. It also doesn't add to our daily carb, protein or fat and calorie count when drank in it's natural state without adding sugar, milk, etc. And it tastes good. If you aren't currently a tea drinker, become one. It sure won't hurt you and it just might be healthy for you.

For more of Linda's writings and recipes, go to: http://diabeticenjoyingfood.blogspot.com