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Steeped Book

Tastemaker Tea Podcast: Episode 4 – Numi

tea podcast- numi organic teas

In Oakland, over on Broadway, there’s a co-working space in a bustling complex known as the Hive. As you open the front door, you’ll probably see the smiling face of Numi Organic Tea co-founder, Ahmed Rahim. He and his sister Reem are the founders of local and nationally distributed tea company Numi Organic Teas. I had been familiar with their teas and their social initiatives for a while. But, it took me moving to Oakland to truly understand how they embody the spirit of this city in the diversity, activism, and attention to ingredient sourcing, and so, I’m pleased to welcome them as the next guest on my tea podcast.

As uptown Oakland continues to grow and thrive, it’s no surprise that the Numi Organic Tea offices are tucked into a back corner of the Hive, which is a hub in the city. It’s been interesting to see how Numi has defined itself as they’ve grown over the years. At a natural product tradeshow many years ago, I still remember the creative approach Numi presented by flying out tea artisans to stitch together their flowering teas as a way to launch them. It was a creative approach that connected with tradeshow attendees as large crowds gathered on the tradeshow floor. 

tea podcast - reem rahim painting

Through the conversation, I learned how both Reem and Ahmed have an artistic bent– I profess to miss the original tea bag packets that featured Reem’s black and white paintings like the one above and caught a glimpse of some of Ahmed’s photos hanging in the Numi headquarters lobby. For the fourth episode of Tea with Tastemakers, I’m happy to bring you a chat with the founders of Numi. Tune into the tea podcast here or click the image below. 

tea podcast

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Steeped Book

Mother’s Day Giveaway

Mother's Day Giveaway 

Big news! My book, Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea is now available at Cost Plus World Market. Does your Mom love tea? Does she love to cook? This is the book for her. Inside, I share fresh ways to cook with tea, full of vibrant plant-based recipes like how to make a California Tea Leaf Salad. Learn how to bake with tea and make Iced Tea Sugar Cookies.  Celebrate Mother’s Day with Steeped and celebrate in a big way this year: enter for a chance to win a KitchenAid KP26M1XPK 6-Qt. Professional 600 Series mixer in the color of your choice. Give the stand mixer to Mom or keep it for yourself. My lips are sealed! Entry to this Mother’s Day giveaway is easy. 

Mother's Day Giveaway-- Win a KitchenAid stand mixer!

TO ENTER:

Pick up a copy of Steeped at Cost Plus World Market. Email your CPWM receipt to me at annelies at thefoodpoet dot com. Boom, you are entered!

ENTRY PERIOD: The Mother’s Day giveaway ends at 7p PST on 05/08. I will draw a random winner from the entries and contact the winner directly to coordinate the shipment. 

 

*** GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED. ***

Mother's Day Giveaway Steeped Tea Book Cost Plus World Market

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES: If you want an additional entry to the giveaway after emailing the receipt, take a photo of Steeped at Cost Plus and post it on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #SteepedBookCP.

 

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Steeped Book

Tastemaker Tea Podcast: Episode 3

tea with tastemakers tea podcast

People who work tradeshows have a certain unspoken camaraderie. There is a worn look about the sparkling eyes that says, I too will talk to 500 people today. The moments leading up to a tradeshow tend to be squirreled away and regarded as precious time of quiet before the floodgates of the convention doors are opened wide. It is with this in mind that I started my morning several years ago at Blue Bottle Coffee, waiting in an absurdly long line for a short cup of caffeine and a bowl of oats to tuck down before making the short trek to the Moscone Center. Sometimes, I can’t help my curiosity or my need to say hello to strangers wearing badges that look just like the one stashed in my cross-body bag. At the time, I was working at a food company in another vein than tea, but found that morning that kismet or providence had seated tea kitty-corner to me. And that is how I first met Eric Ring, the tea buyer for CHOICE Organic Teas. Later during that show, I would meet Anne-Marie Phillips and even later, Valerie. But on this particular morning, licking the foam from the inside rim of my paper cup, Eric reminded me that working in tea is like being part of a coterie that you never really leave.

tea podcast - choice organic teas- anneliesz_

When I started working on the book, I knew deep down I wanted to provide a tea bag alternative to loose leaf tea for recipes where it made sense to steep by the bag instead of by the measuring cup. I set up guardrails for what teas might make it into the resource section tucked in the back of the book. Questions like: can readers easily find these teas? Does the quality of the tea make for a tasty addition to the dish? I tasted a lot of teas. You might roll your eyes or nod your head in agreement if you threw open the tea pantry in my front room (or the zippered bag in the back room or the cloth bag filled to the brim with tins, boxes, and silver bags). I could easily find the flavors of teas used in the book packaged up in CHOICE organic tea bags down at Whole Foods, Sprouts, or Berkeley Bowl. They didn’t blend in any inclusions to the teas and they were offered at a reasonable price for organic, fairtrade, non-GMO tea. Their tea bags became a workhorse ingredient so when they approached me last summer to write the descriptions on their Gourmet Tea Boxes, I happily accepted the project.  

tea podcast - choice organic teas- anneliesz_

Last fall when I visited Seattle for the book tour, they welcomed me to their headquarters for a cupping and conversation. Eric led us in the cupping and we got into a spirited discussion of how mood and taste affect one another. Anne-Marie led me on a tour of their facility (all of their tea bags are filled and packaged in tea boxes on-site!) and I left vaguely caffeinated from all the sips and slurps excited to share this interview with you.

tea podcast - choice organic teas- anneliesz_

When I embarked on the tea podcast journey, it stemmed from the simple idea of sharing the stories of the people behind the packaged tea in grocery stores and boutiques who are so deeply steeped in bringing you and I the teas we treasure. While finishing up the editing and packaging it into a snackable soundbite has been several months in the making, if we learn anything from tea, it’s that patience in waiting is rewarded by a full cup. Stay tuned for future episodes–I’ve got a few queued up, waiting just off-stage that promise to keep your cup full.

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Steeped Book

San Mateo Cooking Class: Celebrate Hot Tea Month

San Mateo Cooking Class - steeped book stephanie shih

photo by Stephanie Shih

This one’s going to be a quickie, but stay tuned because I’ve got a recipe coming your way soon that I’m tweaking and re-tweaking until it’s just right and ready to share with you. If you are in the Peninsula or South Bay, you are invited to celebrate National Hot Tea Month through learning how to cook with tea. Sign up for this San Mateo cooking class at Draeger’s Market Cooking School. Only a few spots remain. We would love for you to join us in this exploration of a familiar ingredient with a new twist.

What’s on the menu, you ask? We’ve primed the plate with a selection of winter dishes to keep you cozy with healthy comfort food. To start, we will make and nosh on White Bean Walnut Tea Toasts. Spinach Salad with Masala Chai Maple Pecans will accompany Orange-Jasmine Brussels Sprouts, while we ladle Smoky Tomato Soup into bowls. As a sweet ending, we will warm ourselves up from the inside out with creamy Chamomile Risotto. The meal like Steeped, the book, celebrates the incredible fruits and vegetables within our reach in California, and is vegetarian.

If you’re a cooking class junkie like myself, you will be in for a treat in this hands-on class. I promise you will leave with ways to use tea in your everyday cooking to employ the next day. My goal with the recipes in Steeped was to provide easy ways for the leaves of this beloved beverage to flavor familiar foods. We will explore cooking with tea techniques and how each of the teas mentioned in Steeped asserts itself in a different way flavor-wise as well as texturally. Bring your cooking with tea questions to this San Mateo cooking class for us to discuss as we share a meal together.

Let’s cook together & get steeped.

 

 

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Steeped Book

Tea with Tastemakers Podcast: Episode 2

tea with tastemakers tea podcast

Do you have a car ride ahead of you for a certain holiday of thankfulness this week? To sweeten the miles, our newest episode of Teatime with Tastemakers tea podcast is up! And, good news—we are in the process of getting the podcast up on the iTunes store. Stay tuned for that update.

Expo West 2015

But, first, I felt it fitting to invite you to a conversation with another local tea maker, this time we ventured past San Rafael, California and our first podcast episode with Silk Road Teas to Novato, California and a tea company where each employee is designated as a minister.

Rose and Cabernet Iced Teas

When I think of Republic of Tea, my mind jets through the flavor rolodex of taste memories to the Bazaar Café in San Francisco. It’s not a flavor from their line of Grateful Dead teas or even from the newer line of Downton Abbey teas that comes to mind.

Chardonnay Tea

Instead, Blackberry Sage black tea, Ginger Peach black tea or Wild Blueberry black tea bloom into focus. (Do you sense a trend? Republic of Tea boasts 300 teas / blends.)

Rose Tea

At the 2014 San Francisco Tea Festival, I chatted with one of their ministers of trade about working in the tea industry. Another time, I sat next to the minister of innovation  who has overseen product development for many years–her sources of inspiration on new flavors fascinated.

Chardonnay Tea

Their new releases of teas and tea lines remind me of fashion collections (which might make sense given they were originally started in 1992 by former Banana Republic co-founders, Mel and Patricia Ziegler {along with Bill Rosenzweig}, though the Rubin family has been at the helm of ROT since 1994, under the leadership of Ron Rubin until recently in May when son, Todd succeeded him).

Sonoma Tea Tasting

Earlier this year at the San Francisco Fancy Food show and then at the Natural Products Expo West show, I had a chance to visit their booth and see their flavor innovation at work. Their expansive line of flavors has included recently Matchia or Chia Chai which are both fun to say and to sip / chew.

Hot Mulled Tea

This spring, they introduced a Sonoma Tea line… made of spent wine grape skins that really surprised me with the clever approach and collaboration with wine country company, WholeVine. I had a chance to try the sangria teas at their Expo West booth in Anaheim and then later received an invitation from them to attend a luncheon to taste the teas in action, paired with cuisine concocted by the chef at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco which was a fun way to experience the tea flavors in context.

Sonoma Teas_anneliesz

A vegetable-centric amuse bouche came out as another server poured Chardonnay iced tea. Salad with a citrusy yogurt smear paired with Rose Tea. Seared duck breast was served with Cabernet tea. And a decadent chocolate dessert introduced the hot mulled Zin tea.

Sonoma Teas

After the luncheon, I caught a few minutes with Kristina Richens, the minister of englightenment to talk a bit about Republic of Tea, the Sonoma teas, and their philosophy on cooking with tea.

Tune in below:

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Steeped Book

Tea with Tastemakers Podcast

tea with tastemakers podcast

In college, I worked at the campus newspaper and moonlighted down the hall at the radio station, KPNI. It was there I learned the value of not popping my P’s or T’s and developed an appreciation for techno music from the station manager. My show lasted for an hour during which I would read PSA’s as breaks and attempted to ad-lib throughout the hour. I worked on fading in songs and how to select them by length and sonic resonance with the preceding song. When I look back on that time, it feels almost mythical. Our station team consisted of a spirited crew. We were a band of misfits and I loved every minute of my time in the studio—even the mandatory rotation shows each of us got assigned, playing songs from a limited selection of CDs. In the studio, I set aside my shyness of being in front of crowds, channeling my energy into the music and weaving songs together to tell a larger story. I considered the small space private and the microphone as a rhetorical question issued into the silence.

silk road teas

When Steeped began its locomotive journey out of me, into the kitchen, and onto the page, I knew that I wanted not just to include my story of how I got steeped, but those of friends and tastemakers in the tea world. A cup of oolong tea offered along with an engagement ring at a jewelry shop prompted my former bosses to completely shift direction from their current careers into one deeply steeped in tea. The tea world is full of people whose passion for the leaf transforms their lives. Those stories fascinate me and need to be told. They are the focus behind my new podcast.

silk road teas

You heard that right: I have been working behind the scenes to bring all the pieces together to create a podcast for tea lovers. Expect episodes highlighting conversations over tea with some of the people behind specialty tea companies who are informing and shaping the direction of tea in the U.S.

silk road teas

Living in the Bay area, there is a proliferation of specialty tea companies headquartered within close proximity of each other. Tell me in the comments if there is a tea company you would like to see featured. The first Tea with Tastemakers podcast episode is up!

silk road teas

Silk Road Teas offers exquisite rare artisan teas and has quite a storied past. Based in San Rafael, their focus on quality and reputation in the industry make Silk Road a sought after purveyor of teas. I sat down with president, Ned Heagerty to hear how he got steeped. He and his wife Catherine source and procure stunning teas that are starting to become more available in specialty markets as well as online. Tune in and join us for tea by clicking below to listen.

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Steeped Book

Steeped Book Cooking Class (San Francisco)

Steeped Book Cooking Class

Before we continue with our last few weeks of the Summer Reading Series, I wanted to broadcast a PSA. When I deejayed in college, we would give a PSA on the hour of our radio shows as a way to mark time and get out valuable news. In that same spirit, I want to invite you to join me for my Steeped Cooking with Tea class at 18 Reasons, Tuesday, August 11 from 6 to 9 p.m in San Francisco. I hear there are still a few seats left, so snag your spot before the last openings are gone. Books will be for sale, provided by the great crew at cookbookery outpost, Omnivore Books and I am happy to sign your copy for whomever you like. This cooking class holds a special place for me. I have volunteered through 18 Reasons with Cooking Matters classes in San Francisco and Oakland. 18 Reasons is a community center where people come together over food, and they encourage participation of making the community a better place through cooking and food education. They’re great people and I’m delighted to be teaching a class with them.

Okay, back to the class! I’m excited to teach techniques for cooking with tea. I believe if you master these simple methods, you can easily jazz up your food with a bit of exotic flair. Michelle at 18 Reasons and I landed on these recipes to achieve just that purpose. I love teaching other passionate home cooks and hope you will join in on the evening tea revelry. Now, to discuss the basics. Here’s a preview of the menu with gorgeous photos by the incredibly talented Stephanie Shih. If the cake photo looks a bit different from the bunch, it is freshly baked and freshly shot today by yours truly.

The Menu

Steeped-Book-Hurricane-Popcorn-Stephanie-Shih
Hurricane Popcorn with Green Tea Furikake: For several years, I lived in a house of strong, opinionated women. One of them, Lisa, introduced me to Hurricane-style popcorn that she had grown to love when she lived in Hawaii. I grew to love it after my first fistful. You will learn how to make green tea furikake that jazzes up popcorn and anywhere else you might use the seaweed version.

Steeped-Book-White-Bean-Walnut-Tea-Toasts-Stephanie-Shih

Walnut White Bean Tea Toasts: This little ditty hands-down has been the showstopper at cooking demos, cooking classes and samplings during the spring Steeped book tour. Whether you are making a batch of the ridiculously addictive walnut white bean spread to smear onto toast for afternoon tea, lunch or to serve with crudites, you will learn how to use tea as a spice to whiz up a delightful spread that will make it into your regular rotation.

Steeped-Book-California-Tea-Leaf-Salad_stephanie-shih

California Tea Leaf Salad: This salad found its inspiration at one of two restaurants near our old neighborhood. Instead of making a Burmese version, we are making a California version, where it celebrates that so much of our fruits and vegetables come from the Golden State. You will learn how to make fermented green tea leaves and the salad you love when eating out, at home.

Steeped-Book-Chamomile-Corn-Chowder-Stephanie-Shih

Chamomile Corn Chowder: Before organic corn skirts the farmer’s market and this year’s stalks become next year’s lusting, learn how to fold it into a silky soup with lots of textural appeal. We will be focusing on the idea of building layers of flavor using chamomile.

Steeped-Book-Evelyns-Cake

Evelyn’s English Breakfast Meringue Frosted Chocolate Bar Cake: This cake. It’s a mouthful to say and I’m pretty sure your mouth will stay full of it. This is what it looks like before going into the oven. Come to class to see it in all of its crackly goodness. Learn how to incorporate tea into baking in a bit of a departure from regular techniques of baking with tea.

Sign up for the 18 Reasons Steeped Cooking with Tea Class here.

 

Coming Soon

Leighs-Foodie15postcardIf you missed getting one of the last spots for the class, come get steeped in the South Bay on August 22. I’ll be joining the lovely Cheryl Sternman Rule, Emma Christensen and Sheri Codiana for one doozy of a foodie day at Leigh’s Favorite Books in Sunnyvale from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Fall book tour events are forthcoming. If I’m in your part of the world, I hope to see you at one of the events.

Stay tuned for the next book review in the Summer Reading Series. We’ve still got a small chunk of time before autumn leaps on us and I am working on some devilishly delicious fun things for the fall. So, stick around, and settle in. Things are heating up. I’ll bring the tea. You bring the company.

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Steeped Book

So Purple You Might Blink

Jacaranda

 

For a long time, I’ve thought about how a poet can only really get away with using words like jacaranda or halcyon in a poem once in their career.  But last month, that all changed.

Recently, my rental car has had the occasion to zoom down the 605 and 10 on my way to Long Beach from LAX. Several weeks ago our car cruised down the 5 in Santa Ana with my husband at the helm. Sprinkled like glitter around the edges of the framed highway, I had begun to notice bright purple blooms that sometimes burst above the highway walls. A few times they almost distracted me from the road. More than once, I had to peer above my sunglasses just to make sure that the flowers were really as purple as my eyes perceived them to be behind sunglass lenses.

In February, on a trip with my mom in Mexico, I first noticed these trees towering with festive purple plumes waving in the wind like bells. They swung backward and forward as if pealing their invitation to a block party. What I thought of as beauty, she gave a name: jacaranda.

Jacaranda. The word is as stunning as the blossoms that burst forth from its branches. Maybe it’s that its four syllables provide a pleasing aural sensation where the four a’s mirror each other in succession. Up – down – up – down. Like bells blowing in the breeze, welcoming in invitation. And I’m back underneath the tree, peering up and watching the wind tousle the tendrils of purple.

While we drove around Los Angeles and into Orange County for a Steeped cookbook pop-up shop at a maker’s festival, I ached to see more jacaranda trees in bloom, as if trying to make up for years of never being aware that this kind of beauty exists. I boldly proclaimed as we walked to dinner in Long Beach with friends that we would buy a house with a jacaranda tree out front (and subsequently we happened upon one for sale on their street, making me eat my words.) I mentioned to Ernie at the festival about my newfound fondness as he proclaimed that their season is so short. I remember wondering if the pay-off for a month or two of purple was enough to make up for all the other months of bare branches. I remember wondering what kind of food could rival that vivid color in edible form. Candied violets?

San Francisco has its cherry blossoms and plum blossoms that have always seemed like small pom poms of trees that cheerlead from the sidelines of the streets. But jacarandas are nothing short of frothy party dresses to remind people in their proximity that life is a fiesta.

Over the top in their vibrance, they unabashedly flaunt their flowers for the short time that they cling to the limbs. And isn’t that a bit like life itself? That urge to celebrate good news or a finished project can quickly get eclipsed by what’s next. I’m here to tell you that people plant their glory in close proximity down in Southern California: you might think jacaranda trees have so much pop of personality that one tree would suffice, but sometimes there are full stands of purple-flocked trees – one after the other that would make you question the idea that one can get weary of celebration.

It’s been such a swell of excitement and energy, traveling on my first book tour so far. When I used to travel every month for the tea company, I remember trying to temper my enthusiasm for where I had been, using words that would diminish the experience so as not to stir any sort of jealousy or blockage between me and my colleagues. Sometimes that tactic worked and other times, notsomuch. The small celebrations that happen at home can be some of the most beautiful and don’t require booking a trip around the world to find a life worth living. I’ve played the part of road warrior and take it up as a badge of honor to meet readers, answer cooking questions, and sign books, which is all thrilling. But I wonder when the tour is over and the suitcase is hidden in the closet, can the life cultivated off-script be enough? You know the one–it doesn’t make it to Instagram; it probably involves several evenings of leftovers. It could resemble four bags worth of laundry that have been waiting or a calendar without penciled in appointments. It might look like bare branches when compared to frothy purple party dresses dancing late into the windy night. But you and I know better, right?

The other evening, we took a walk around our neighborhood in Oakland and as we rounded one corner, a jacaranda surprised me and waved hello.

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Steeped Book

Steeped Book: Food Allergy Guide

Steeped-Book-Food-Allergy-Guide

Today’s Steeped’s one month birthday (I wonder if people celebrate books like babies and count the months after cookery conception?) A friend of mine has been posting photos to show how his baby is growing, juxtaposing her next to a gigantic Hello Kitty! doll. To think, one day she will dwarf that kitty. To think, I exercised an amazing amount of self-control and bypassed visiting the Hello Kitty! art exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles today. It’s been an unforgettable month and I am collecting the moments like patches to stitch into my memory and into this blog in snack bites. To celebrate one month and counting, I’ve got some exciting news. We just added a feature to the Steeped book website: a printable food allergy guide designed like Steeped and to serve as a companion to the cookbook.

Quite a few people in my life abide by diets that vary dramatically. When I first began working on Steeped, I knew that I wanted the book to encourage creating an inviting table where everyone could pull up a chair and feel like a special guest and where no one would feel left out. This is my hope for you– that whether you avoid gluten or have a close friend who does, that the food allergy guide can help you navigate the recipes in the book. We focused on the top eight food allergens and I was thrilled to partner with a food allergy blogger friend who served as my extra set of copyediting eyes. So, grab your copy of Steeped and head over to download the guide to tuck into your cookbook.

 

 

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Steeped Book

New York: Steeped in Spring

steeped-book-new-york

The park was flush with people. Across the street, a fountain bubbled and gargled water while a throng of men in kilts lolled on the sidewalk outside of a bus burping exhaust. It was a Saturday in New York and the sunshine sparkled as a reminder that spring had arrived. My hand had shot into the air several times as taxis began nearing. Though I don’t live in Manhattan, we seem to have an understanding between us like old friends that pick up conversations on pause. At last, one yellow cab veered toward me and in I crawled, directing the car toward the Upper East Side. At first, we began the kind of banter between strangers- talk of the weather, then talk of good food, and finally, questions about what a Californian was doing in New York. As the driver heard about the book tour adventure I had begun, our conversation turned to tea and cooking.

We agreed that he could easily make tea-infused yogurt. We agreed that if he took Lex all the way to Park, he could make it to the bookstore where I still thrill at the idea of asking for my book by name, and the delight of surprise when they hear I’m the author. I feel like a flower delivery girl in the guise of a tinkering tea cook because they smile. They congratulate me. I feel like we are complicit in some delicious enterprise of book-making and book-selling. I ask them if I can take their photograph and most of the time they comply with wide grins and Instagram handles at the ready.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that the efficient way to descend on the stores I had scrawled on a piece of hotel paper, all polka-dotted up and down the east and west sides of Manhattan would be best done in a car. I had mapped out my route and described the opportunity to the driver, Mike. We struck a deal and set off to the next bookstore. Between bookstores, we began painting between the lines. He had arrived from Poland at the age of 19 to attend college and graduate. All of his family, except for an aunt in Jersey, were still in Poland. He never saw the temporary job of cab driving lasting as long as it had. He had decided to give up bread and pizza for a month to try and adopt better eating habits. We talked about piroshki and namely my friend Casey’s book that is coming out with unbridled pierogi love for him to check out once he emerges from his no carb-cocoon. We rattled on about the Scottish parade and the sea of kilts that had foisted us from Bryant Square Park. He asked about cooking with tea. He detailed the kind of tea he likes to drink (Brisk. Black. No sugar. No milk.) and he laughed with me when I described a madcap excursion on our route for me to finally nab one of the Matcha Cortados that have been making me swoon on Instagram. He handed me a $20 outside of Chalait and told me to pick a tea for him. Out I came with two bright green drinks. I may have sidled up to the bar and sipped the cortado while waiting for the iced matcha lattes. When in the West Village…

Back in the cab, we sucked down our green tea lattes and he declared that it was good. As the end of our voyage approached, we discussed a pick-up time to dispatch me with my five bags of groceries and suitcase of books to SoHo for a private cooking with tea class.

Here’s what still sits with me in the quiet room of my heart where I wrap cherished things in cream-colored tissue. Mike sent a friend to Eataly to buy my book the evening that we met. The next day, I signed it to his cousin and her fiancé. On the way to JFK while the sky was still dark and the pigeons slept, he told me he had decided to try and get a different job, one that employed his degree in public health. He said he had been driving the cab for too long and hearing my story inspired him to make some changes he had been putting off. And, as the cab pulled up to the airport’s curb, he told me he might have to get a matcha latte later that day.

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Steeped Book

Steeped Book is Here!

steeped book - stephanie shih

On the eve before school started, my eyelids would flap open not to be easily closed. Try as I might to shut them, excitement coursed through my body and anticipation kept the thoughts bumping along like trams hooked into an electrical current. Have you ever experienced that kind of sensation before?

Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea is officially available! It’s been a week since my first book, Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea has been out in stores. For days leading up to its launch, I was in a suspended state of anticipation that is now the fuel of excitement keeping me moving from one city to the next.

While attending a conference and selling books in Minneapolis, I shared a cab with three women from Washington, DC. The next day they surprised me and bought three books. In New York City, I befriended a cab driver who asked his friend to buy my book so I could sign and dedicate it. On a Sunday afternoon, women from all over New York gathered to learn how to cook with tea before we settled in for a supper they had all a hand in making, as we all contributed to a conversation that cut past icebreakers to talk about what it looks like to live a life of meaning and purpose.

People are getting steeped. It’s an exhilarating feeling to know people are inviting the recipes I worked on fervently onto their table. It’s exciting to hear people mention they are emboldened by the idea that tea can provide a path of looking for everyday opportunities to celebrate and the discovery of how tea can imbue its flavors into familiar foods.

On Instagram, photos are popping up of that bright and shiny pink and orange cover that a friend described as her favorite colors, as a sunset and that I liken to a beautiful sari. I am humbled and thrilled to see the glee and enthusiasm on Facebook. If you are getting steeped, I would love to join you for the ride by tagging your photos or tweets with #steepedbook.

The book tour has begun and I consider my life enriched by the people who have opened up their lives for a book about cooking with tea and crafting a life you want to live. While Minneapolis, St. Paul, and New York were the starting points, the journey is far from being over. I’m posting new events in my weekly newsletters and also on the book website, so head there if you want to see where I’m headed and join the cooking with tea adventure.

Thank you for welcoming this labor of love into your kitchen. Thank you to the booksellers and their cheerful staff for welcoming Steeped onto their bookshelves. Thank you for coming to a book signing and sharing your story with me even as you are about to embark on mine and make it your own. Teatime can be anytime we make room to invite it into our lives, right? Thanks for getting steeped.

 

photo by Stephanie Shih

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Steeped Book

Steeped Book – Cooking with Tea Giveaway

Cooking with Tea Giveaway

What’s cooking, good looking? If you said tea, you are so right! Namely, a Cooking with Tea kit giveaway valued at $200. Read on below… or click on the orange link above to go directly to the cooking with tea giveaway page and enter for a chance to win.                     

Here’s the skinny: Preorder Steeped during March 16 – April 5 for a chance to win 1 of 3 Cooking with Tea giveaway kits. And let me tell you, the goods are good.  I’m talking 19 items from brands you know and love, including, and in no particular order: Circulon, ForLife, OXO, Mighty Leaf Tea, Choice Organic Teas, Steven Smith Teamaker, Silk Road Teas, Numi Tea, ITO EN, Lotus Foods, Bob’s Red Mill, California Olive Ranch, and Straus Family Creamery.

I’m thrilled to have partnered with these companies to put together a cooking with tea kit full of the essential tools and ingredients to stock your pantry and make cooking with tea easy and approachable once your copy of Steeped arrives. I’m grateful for the participation of each brand listed above and during the giveaway will share ideas on Instagram.com/ anneliesz of how they make my tea-riddled kitchen cook! Share the love–Pin the picture above. Share the giveaway with your tea-drinking friends. If you’ve already ordered a copy of Steeped for yourself, preorder a copy for a friend or family member (have I mentioned it would make a superb Mother’s Day gift?).

In my book, everybody should win, so everyone in the U.S. who enters the giveaway during the dates above wins free tea pouch samples, courtesy of Mighty Leaf Tea. I wouldn’t be where I am without you and have packed together these Cooking with Tea Kits to make cooking with tea a cinch in your kitchen. Click the link below for rules and details. The 3 winners will be announced at the #SteepedBook Cooking with Tea twitter party on April 6 at 5p PST. Good luck!

 

Click me. Get Steeped.