Categories
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.

 

Categories
Journeys Notes from the Road

Hey, Now

iced matcha latte-anneliesz-7196

Writing sometimes resembles wrestling a beast to the ground where the writer’s persistence on the page is rewarded. Rest assured, no animals were hurt in the statement above. Departures in writing can come about innocuously and perhaps some might say are causes of distraction, but I tend to abide by the idea of inhabiting Alice chasing the white rabbit on the page. The image of wrestling a beast came to me vividly today as I sat down to right about one thing even as the strains of the song in my headphones shuttled me somewhere else entirely. Before I could proceed with the writing at hand, I needed to grapple with that interloper head-on, knowing if I let it fight underneath my grasp, I might be able to access something real and true. Here’s where it took me:

In May, I had been refreshing my phone app’s weather program as if willing the weather to simmer down. I was traveling around Texas on book tour and so were the showers. I’m not fond of driving in Bay area rain where showers have garnered headlines long before the rain dried up. When I used to commute to San Rafael from San Francisco on a rainy day, the sky would turn the same color as the glistening road, blurring boundaries of street and sky. I had grown up in Texas where rain means business and takes on the adage that everything really is bigger in Texas. Growing up in that kind of place, you develop a healthy respect for weather systems. Tornadoes, flash flood thunderstorms, heat that bakes the back of anything in its wake appears regularly in the lone star state.

On one leg of my journey in the spring, I stayed at my mom’s house. She watched the weather channel with the frequency of conferring with it as one would with an oracle. The weatherman’s drone became the soundtrack of our days. That healthy respect transformed into an edginess as the darkening skies unfurled overhead. I have grown too accustomed to 24/7 sun that keeps the streets dry.

As one does in situations that test our mettle, I decided to try and make light of the typhoon of uncertainty growing within. I posted a photo of my driving route through the Texas and Louisiana legs of my book tour where not one but eight lightning bolts lit up the route I was supposed to take. I joked about being in a modern day rendition of the Odyssey and secretly hoped I didn’t spy any sirens on the roadside. An event in Dallas with overcast skies ended up blowing over. Another event in Dallas brought rain after the event had finished. Austin and Houston were on the horizon. My mother practically pushed us out of the house early on Mother’s Day to try and beat the storm headed to Austin. She had deliberated and treated herself to a one way ticket home that night. We beat out the storm. After several mildly wet days in Austin, I needed to leave for Houston. For days, I had been tracking the storms that lighted up the weather app that showed 80 percent precipitation days bleeding into one another. It was inevitable. I couldn’t avoid driving into the heart of the storm alone.

On the morning of my departure from Austin for Houston, the sky hung ominously like one large cloak of steel grey. A few fat raindrops dripped onto the windshield of the rental car and I made a decision to stop into Central Market for road snacks and an iced matcha latte. Blueberries and cherry tomatoes had made the cut of easy to pop snacks for the drive, and my caffeinated green drink would keep me energized. I headed back to the car, squeezing open the umbrella with my free hand to shield me from the rain that had picked up force, finally shutting myself inside the car. What had started as a light rain picked up force and gathered speed to become a full-blown gale.

In the parking lot, the rain pelted down with fury and the kind of force that would have made me pull the car over and wait it out. I hesitated to turn the key and shift the gear into drive. Instead, and without a sign that the rain would abate, I turned on the radio to listen to London Grammar and shifted the gear into reverse. As Hannah Reid’s ghostly voice pierced the quiet of the car amid the crazed percussion of the assaulting rain, I found comfort even as the peach pit of fear in my stomach blossomed in size. She sang Ooh, this is frightening and then followed it with Ooh, it’s like lightning. The words left my mouth, matching her pitch and with them recognition of a type of song onomatopoeia where her lyrics matched my circumstance. They caught in my throat as I tried not to cry.

With 15 percent visibility, the car edged forward as the other few drivers kept a very polite distance. Though the windshield wipers had been set to top speed, I couldn’t discern where one lane ended and the other began. My eyes shifted to focus on the brake lights of the car in front of me, letting them be a light unto my path. I found that if I sang along with the words, I could channel all of the nervousness out of my body and into the melody, letting it catch like a key turning in a door. I could separate myself from the myriad possibilities of catastrophe that could assail me on this road I had to drive alone. It was as if I had found a modicum of courage to just keep moving forward at an ant’s pace. And, eventually, the rain did abate. And, eventually, my coiled fingers around the steering wheel slackened.

This morning, without warning, I found myself back in the rental car, the rain thwacking the windshield as I was pulling out of the safe haven of the Central Market parking lot in Austin. The music unleashed a visceral response to something in the recent past on a day where I was sitting in front of my computer in Oakland, attempting to write something else. Perhaps that reaction came from not listening to London Grammar since the trip until this morning. Or, I could point to the fact that this morning, I woke up with a desire to listen to their music. Do you ever think about the cavernous rooms inside us that stay locked and inaccessible or how they quietly thrust the key into our hand at the right moment? What happens when we stop listening? What happens when we crane forward ready to receive what they have to tell us about life, about ourselves? On the wall of my office hangs a hand-lettered sign that asks a question. Everyday, I pass by it several times, reading the words and letting them take root inside. What is the story only you can write? My rental car rainstorm might be something different for you, but we all go through events we survive that feel harrowing and insurmountable at the time. It’s not everyday that they resurface. And, perhaps, it’s not everyday that we let ourselves be swept away into a memory we would rather forget. When you sit down to write, keep yourself open to what needs to be expressed. You might find as I did with the aid of that London Grammar song that the revelation given is something you need to see in order to move on and start working on the writing at hand. You, the writer-wrangler. Words, the elusive beast.

Categories
Recipes

Spicy Sweet Tea Glazed Chicken with Corn Relish

You get used to 60 degree summers. Somehow, the body in all of its intelligence deduces how to survive in any environs. I visited India twice during the monsoon season of sticky long sleeves with sweat and cotton as air conditioner. I grew up in a place that might sound fictitious with its now “normal” climes of 110 degree weather. And at one time, I lived in a slice of the sparkly city by the bay that became blanketed by a dense fog, muting colors and making a hoodie summertime uniform. There was a time when if we got really desperate, we would leave our hovel, climb into our car and just drive in an attempt to chase the sunlight on the rare occasions when the dull gunmetal gray sky sucked all hope that sun would ever visit our neighborhood again. We ate soup in the summer. Threw the extra down blanket over the duvet. I would walk the few blocks from our apartment to my favorite coffeeshop chilled to the marrow and loving every moment of grey-skied summer humor.

We live in Oakland now. I’m getting used to sunshine 24/7 again with the help of cold-brewed coffee and iced tea. Call me a wuss and I will gladly accept the title. Growing up in Texas, heat means pools and ice cream. It means bringing a sweater to slap over the tank top upon going inside any building because that building is a microclimate of cold proportions, aided by air conditioning. You get used to it. My first car, a Peugeot passed down from my Tia to my Tio and then to me didn’t have air conditioning and in the summertime I would venture out, windows down, an extra blouse in my bag just in case the current one became slick with sweat. One summer during college, I lived in South Carolina and learned how to drink sweet tea to dull the ache of throbbing heat from the sun. That summer changed my life in meaningful ways: I found my love of teaching and made friendships and memories that have lasted. Foodie Day at Leigh's Favorite Books

This past weekend landed me in Sunnyvale for a Steeped book event and I learned that the city is aptly named. Two cookbook author-friends and I handed out samples and talked about our books with passersby of the open-air farmer’s market that brought Sunnyvalites downtown and strolling past Leigh’s Favorite Books. I caught up with Sheri, the brain behind the event. Emma passed out a Chipotle Porter with just enough of a kick in the finish to surprise the dark beer lover, of which I am one. Cheryl poured shots of a vanilla-ginger lassi that made me want to slurp down a whole glass. And I filled a small bowl with strips of fresh levain bread on which to smear either the strawberry jam or sweet tea jelly from Steeped. The sun shone on my table like a spotlight. And during the day, I met so many lovely people. A friend from my Texas youth group even stopped by. After the book signing finished, we chatted in that brief way of catching up without taking a breath in five minutes that can happen when trying to squeeze 10 years into a 30 minute window. You sometimes find how similar your stories are and that as she completes one thought, you’re nodding from a known solidarity.

Sometimes you don’t have to know the person personally to find solidarity. In the wave of people who tried jam and jelly, one woman visiting from Los Angeles who sampled the sweet tea jelly stood out. An immense joy exists when meeting other people obsessed with food. Conversation starts easily and makes unexpected detours and discoveries. Sweet tea jelly talk led to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Long Beach which then led me to grilled chicken and the idea of creating a sweet tea glaze. Hmm, I thought. I might need to get on that. We had known each other for no longer than 3 minutes and yet experienced camaraderie through ingredient collaboration. The next day, as I sat down and began planning our menu for the week, I flipped to a page in one of my cookbooks that begged to be adapted to a version with tea. And, it’s just the right time to make this recipe what with the sunny but breezy days sweeping across Oakland. The glaze has a hint of Texas in smoky chipotles. It includes kernels of sunshine that we would eat for visual cues of summertime when the San Francisco weather looked its most bleak. But, mostly, that slick of sweetness in the guise of sweet tea jelly gives homage to South Carolina where the kudzu grows wild and friendship of youth can be evergreen.
Spicy Sweet Tea Chicken

Spicy Sweet Tea Glazed Chicken & Corn Relish

The recipe in the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook calls for oranges: orange marmalade, orange zest, and orange juice. I swapped them out for sweet tea jelly from my book Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea, grapefruit juice and grapefruit zest to counteract the sweetness with a bit of bitterness that I thought would match up well with the spiciness of chipotle. I also added a touch of chicken stock to give it a savory hint that cooks down in the reduced glaze.  With the corn relish, I wanted to add more vegetables, and found that small diced zucchini paired well with the corn, cilantro and scallions. I hadn’t planned on sharing it here but liked the leftovers today so much, that I knew it was too good not to share. 

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s The Best Simple Recipes cookbook

Makes 4 servings

Sweet Tea Glaze
1/2 cup Sweet Tea Jelly (page 19, Steeped)
1 1/2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon grated grapefruit zest plus 2 tablespoons juice
1 tablespoon chicken stock

4 (12-ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts, fat trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon safflower oil

Corn Relish
1 ( ounce) bag frozen organic corn, thawed
1 small zucchini, small diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, chopped

Make the Glaze: whisk together the jelly, chipotle, zest, juice and stock in a bowl. Set aside.

Fold a piece of foil over a plate to create a tent and place near the stovetop. Drizzle the oil into a 12-inch fry pan placed over medium high heat and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the chicken and add to the pan to cook for five minutes until golden brown. Turn the chicken with tongs. Cover and lower the heat to medium. Cook the chicken for about 15 minutes or until it reaches 160F. Move the chicken to the plate and pull down the foil to keep the chicken warm.

Drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan. Add the corn and zucchini to the pan and cook for five minutes, browning it. Scoop out the corn and zucchini into a bowl. Stir in the cilantro and scallions along with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Finish off the glaze: pour the whisked jelly into the pan, still set over medium heat. Scrape the fond off the bottom of the pan and cook down the sauce by half, about 4 minutes. It will thicken upon cooling. Serve the chicken over the corn relish. Drizzle the glaze over the chicken and serve.

 

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

Categories
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.

 

 

Categories
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.

Categories
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

Categories
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Steeped Book

A Tea Cookbook for You

Tea Cookbook_Steeped Book_Annelies Zijderveld

Adequate words do not exist to describe the jumble of emotions that all piled out of my mouth as I caught sight of the padded manila envelope. I’m pretty sure that even before the envelope was wrested from Nathan’s hands, I uttered, “No way!” at least fifteen times amid peals of delight. There might have been a squeal as one shimmering book of 144 pages sailed from the envelope into my hands. It’s real. And it resembles a metallic tea tin. Holding it was nothing short of surreal. All of the work of over-writing, editing, cleaning pots and pans like it’s my job (it is) as I whipped through multiple rounds of tasting spoons and recipe testing is bound into twelve signatures. It would not be overstating to say I poured myself by way of copious cups of Earl Grey into this book that I cannot wait for you to get in your hands. I’ve been teaching cooking classes locally in the community (more on that soon, I promise) and a cooking class I’m scheduled to teach in April on cooking with tea has sold out. The idea of making tea in all of its possibility accessible to you cooking or baking at home was something too delicious to just keep to myself. Just yesterday I was chatting with a local pastry chef about his favorite ways to bake with tea (more on that soon too). So, this post is a love note going out to you well before the greeting cards of February- tea tastes far better than a yellow waxy candy heart that reads “Text me.” I wrote this tea cookbook for you. And your mom – and Your aunt Lucille in Boston and your best friend Emma in Austin – even your cousin living abroad in London because a tea party is a great way to bring your favorite people together over breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

So preorder your copy of Steeped today to snag the bonus recipes e-book before the end of January. Invite your friends to this #SteepedBook afternoon tea party. Grab your favorite teacup. Start to heat the water. Settle in for upcoming explorations on the making of a tea cookbook and exciting news. Let’s Get Steeped!

Categories
Steeped Book

Bonus Recipes for Hot Tea Month Preorders of Steeped

steeped book hot tea month bonus recipes

From where you sit, is it snowing outside? Maybe your sky is just overcast and grey like the one outside my window, but things are heating up inside. Did you know January is national hot tea month? Whoever decided to appoint that designation must have been in between cups two and three of whatever brew was keeping them cozy in this typically cold month. I hope they got a promotion.

To celebrate national hot tea month, I’ve put together an e-book of 5 bonus recipes for preorders of Steeped during January. Wait until you get a peek at these bonus recipes! Let’s just say there are a few easy ideas to get your mornings off to a smart start, a recipe for you to nosh on in the afternoon, and a recipe so comforting it might be what you reach for throughout the day when you want to warm up. Preorders are important for book sales, and I sincerely appreciate your support. Giving you a little something extra is my way to say thank you in the language that our spoons, forks, and mugs know best. By the way, if you already preordered your book, you can also download the National Hot Tea Month Bonus Recipes E-book too, just input your order number.

I’m also thrilled to announce the Steeped book website is up! Head over there to see a sneak peek of the book. I will be updating the events, news, and compiling behind-the-book blog posts on the Steeped site as well. If you’re already subscribed to get The Food Poet newsletters, then you’ll be getting updates on the Steeped book. If you haven’t subscribed yet, sign up on the Steeped site for the newsletter and join us for tea time. In just three months, my first cookbook is going to be available in stores. I couldn’t be more proud of this book if I tried and I am so thrilled to share it with you!

So, preorder your copy of Steeped.

Then, come back here to download your copy of the Hot Tea Month Bonus Recipes E-book. This e-book is limited edition and is only going to be available until the end of January, so get Steeped today.

Categories
Steeped Book

Tea Poetry: Announcing My New Steeped Recipes Book

Tucked into a kitchen cabinet, a tin of tea

Aspires to what it one day may be—
Will it be iced, slicking a glass with cool condensation

or will it be brewed into a bracingly hot cup—if you ask me
what to do, I will suggest brew it into broth for a warming stew.

You see, I just finished writing a book
for tea lovers who also like to cook,

called Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea.
If you plumb its depths, you will find something

sweet, something savory, and something to make,
if you’re feeling neighborly. There are so many things

a person can do, using tea for cooking and baking too.
So preorder your copy and help my chances

of this tea cookbook taking off—let there be dancing!
Tell a friend about it over a cup of Earl Grey

or buy a few copies as gifts to give away.
Any way you steep it, the end remains the same—

infusing flavor, gaining tableside favor.
Join the journey with me and let’s get busy

starting to cook and bake with tea.

 

Steeped Recipes Cookbook Tea Poem

 

A Few Words about Steeped Recipes

Thanks for humoring my somewhat silly tea poem sharing my big news! I have been working feverishly and behind the scenes for over a year pulling together this collection of recipes, squeezing recipe testing into evenings and weekends, and then letting the book’s completion consume my days too. My obsession for teas, and notably, cooking with teas began many years ago while heading up marketing at a tea company for almost eight years. Since then, I’ve been experimenting and playing with tea, pushing its limits in the kitchen to find new ways to use it in everyday cooking. Over the coming months, I’ll share tidbits on the process of writing a cookbook and talk about tea in fun ways that you can expect from being a reader of The Food Poet. If you are a tea fan, lover of literature (and tea), passionate home cook, or a cooking adventurer, please tell your friends about Steeped and preorder it for friends and family (available in stores, April 7, 2015). I’m starting to plan my book tour, so if you want me to come to your town and give a cooking demo or read from the book, send me an email (click me). Let’s Get Steeped.