Happy 8/20! & Pizza recipe

Is that a haunted house? Nope, just a place we called home in college!#820, hence why we celebrate this date!

Now I understand my parents worried looks, it should be condemned! But at the time we thought it was fantastic! 

Abby lived on the first floor (at least she had some sense) and I lived in the attic (ahem, death trap). Even tough it was 2 separate apartments we left doors at the back stairwell unlocked and we were always in each other’s kitchens.
820 is significant to our tea blog because its when our love of tea samples was born! The 8 of us girls in the house bought a tea sampler for ourselves one Christmas. We have something like 50 different kinds of tea. It was a blast! And we needed the tea for warmth because, surprise suprise, the heat was questionable in this place.

Another thing we made a lot of was pizza, bringing me to the recipe for this post. We used to make homemade pizza. Abby reminded me today that she used to like to put the toppings on all in a row, very orderly, and I would scatter them about. Funny, now Abby is a doctor and I’m an artist!😉 So you can guess who made this pizza!

Arugula, cheddar, chicken & fig pizza


Pizza dough (homemade or store bought)

4 fresh figs

1 cup arugula 

1-2TB Olive oil (I used orange infused)

1 cup sharp cheddar (I used Cabot)

I small chicken breast (pre-cooked)m

Salt and pepper to taste

Start with your favorite pizza crust. In college I used to make it from scratch, but shhh, don’t tell, whole foods and trader joes both have excellent pre make pizza dough!

Let the dough warm to room temp and give t at least 30 mins to expand. 

Stretch dough on your pizza pan using olive old under to keep from sticking. 

Drizzle the top of crust with olive oil.

Add toppings in this order: cheese, arugula, sliced figs & chicken, salt & pepper.

This pizza is good if you scatter toppings about or place then in an orderly fashion. You choose a method and vote if you prefer Abby’s OCD or my ‘messy’ style!

 Bake at 400 until crust is starting brown. Enjoy! 

This pairs especially well with a fruity iced tea.

Lavender Sugar

Lavender Sugar

Isn’t the scent of lavender just wonderful. I love it so much! It is my favorite herb to grow in my garden because I just love the smell. I find it intoxicating, like I can’t get enough! It is also one of my favorite herbs because it fairs will in Maine’s short growing season and is tough enough to survive our long winters.

There are a million different uses for lavender from simple potpourri to lotions and soap – including TEA! With the harvest from this summer I’ve decided to try my hand at making lavender sugar to put in my tea and bake with too!

Lavender Sugar

Making lavender sugar is pretty simple. Just harvest some of the lavender stock from your plant and pull off the pretty purple flowers. Mix them into an air-tight container with sugar (I used one cup) and let that sit for a couple of weeks. Then sift out the wilted flowers and you’ll be left with the infused sugar!

Lavender Sugar


Lavender Sugar

Review: Republic of Tea Lemon Chiffon *Iced Tea*

Republic of Tea Lemon ChiffonAbby says:

Tea Type: Bagged – used three tea bags for iced tea
Temperature: Iced
Served: Nothing added

‘Tis the season for iced tea! With temperatures around here creeping toward 90 degrees iced tea is the way to go – even for me, the die-hard hot-tea girl! Traditional iced tea is great and I love it on a hot summer day, but this time around I wanted to try something a little different. I’ve had this container of Republic of Tea Lemon Chiffon (from the Cuppa Cake Tea line) in my tea cabinet for a little while now and every time I looked at it, I just thought – iced tea! I was right! It makes a great, light iced tea with terrific lemon flavor. It also has a little hint of sweet already in it, so I didn’t even have to worry about whether or not to add anything. I used four tea bags to make about three cups of tea. If you are making a bigger batch add one or two more tea bags. I steeped the tea for about seven minutes, let is sit (covered) in the fridge for about 25 minutes then pour over ice.

I really enjoyed this tea because its different from the typical iced tea. It has nice fruity, lemon notes without being tart or astringent and has a bit of sweet, but nothing like sweet tea. My favorite part is the coconut that you can taste with each sip. It really makes this tea taste like a treat. The lemon chiffon tea is a blend of green rooibos, apple, lemongrass, lemon, vanilla, and coconut. The ingredients don’t list a single sweetener added – love that too!

If you are looking to switch things up in the iced tea dept. or if you are looking for flavorful decaf option try this one out.

Republic of Tea Lemon Chiffon

Taste: 4 of 5 tea leaves – quite a good cuppa!
Steepability: 5 of 5 tea leaves – this tea is easy to make!


Peach and Blueberry Cobbler 


8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted and sliced into thin wedges

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1/4 cup boiling water

1. MIX TOGETHER: 3 tablespoons white sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
3. In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt.

5.Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

6. Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture.

7. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

Review: Merry Auld Apricot Oolong

Apricot Oolong

Overall Rating:

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability:4 of 5 leaves — This tea requires very little effort.

Abby says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf
Temperature: Iced
Steeped: 6 minutes
Served: Nothing added, over ice

Iced tea season, gotta love it! Here in Maine it is short and sweet, so to make the most of it I like to try all kinds of iced teas while the weather is warm. The Merry Auld apricot oolong tea makes an excellent iced tea. The flavor subtle, but interesting and certainly enjoyable.  Brewing this tea, I added a bit more leaves than I would if I were drinking it hot. I also let it steep a minute or two longer than I normally would. This makes for a strong tea that will taste good cold and wont lose too much flavor when the iced cubes are added.

Oolong typically has a more mild flavor, so as an iced tea is isn’t strong at all. The apricot flavor is also mild in this tea, making it a lovely slightly sweet counterpart to the only slightly earthy oolong tea. Together they make a light, yet flavorful combination. For me, this tea was even more interesting cold than it was hot. Definitely worth a try both ways.

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability:4 of 5 leaves — This tea requires very little effort.

Apricot Oolong

Katie says:

Tea Type: Loose leaf

Temperature: Iced

Steeped: 5 minutes

Served: With a touch of honey, over ice
As I mentioned in a previous post, Abby and I came across a tea tasting the other weekend. While there we bought this tea! I thought it would be good iced and was glad to see that I was right. I like this lightly sweetened. It’s hard to find a nice pre-made low sugar tea. I recommend making your own. Oolong is a lighter black tea so make sure to brew a strong batch and cool it first before enjoying over ice! I really like the subtle real apricot flavor. Sometimes fruit tea has a fake fruit taste, but this one has very nice authentic apricot flavor.


Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!

Steepability:4 of 5 leaves — This tea requires very little effort.

Apricot Oolong

Strawberry Rubarb Pie with Lattice Crust

Use your favorite crust recipe. Make sure it’s one you can trust!

2 1/2 cups chopped red rhubarb, fresh
2 1/2 cups de-stemmed, washed and cut strawberries (in larger pieces)
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 1/2 tablespoons minute tapioca
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white


1) Prep your favorite pie crust. The fork holes help prevent bubbles.

2) Mix all ingredients except egg white in a large bowl.

3) Slice top crust. A pizza cutter works well for this. 

4) Fill bottom crust with the filling and add 1/2 of the strips of top crust on top.

5) Lift every other strip and weave the other half of the strips in. Crimp edges.

6) Brush crust with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes and then 375 for an additional 45 minutes. Cool to room temp and serve!

Tea Tasting in Boothbay, ME

While Abby and I were visiting Boothbay we passed a sign that said “tea tasting today” and obviously we had to stop and check it out! What we found was Wanser’s Natural Food Market and Merry Auld Tea Company!

Look for reviews of what we purchased soon! Also, if you’re “Down East” make sure that you venture into the shop. They have an amazing calendar of all of the happenings in Boothbay for the summer!

June, July, August, & even September are even more filled out but I’m told it’s just for those who visit in person so go check it out! 

And, of course, take in the beautiful costal Maine Scenery.

Review: Tazo Sultry Strawberry

Overall Rating:

Taste: 3.5 of 5 leaves – A decent tasty tea.

Steepability:5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Abby says:

Tea type: Bagged
Temperature: @ boiling
Steeped: 5 minutes
Served: Nothing added

The first thing you’ll notice when steeping this tea is the strong scent of strawberry. The sultry strawberry is right there in your face as soon as the water hits the tea. As recommended I steeped this tea for five minutes. While it was steeping in my cup I was talking around getting other things done and it struck me as funny that everywhere I went I was bringing the smell of strawberries with me. The strawberry was only present in the aroma though. I didn’t catch any hints of it in the black tea. This works well for me because I don’t like overly fruity tasting teas. In this tea I got the best of both worlds, the cheery fragrance of strawberries and the taste of strong black tea. Given that I work in the frozen tundra of AC, I drank this tea hot, but I think it would also be tasty iced.

Some other great things about this tea? It’s certified both USDA Organic and Non-GMO verified. Woot!

Taste: 3 of 5 leaves  – A decent tasty tea.
Steepability:5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!


Katie says:

Tea type: Bagged
Temperature: Iced
Steeped: 5 minutes in 3/4 the usual water then cooled to room temp. Poured over ice.
Served: With a touch of honey

I am not crazy about hot fruit teas, but I like fruit flavors iced so that’s what I did with my sample. The strawberry scent is much stronger than the flavor but it’s very pleasant. I used Blueberry honey and the combination of starwberries and blueberry hints was very tasty.

This would also be delicious with a squeeze of lemon or even made as 1/2 iced tea and 1/2 lemonade. If you’re looking for something different this summer is great iced then I highly recommend this tea!

Taste: 4 of 5 leaves – Quite a good cuppa!
Steepability:5 of 5 leaves — this tea is easy to make!

Green tea sugar scrub


Review: Honest Tea Peach Iced Tea

Honest Tea

Abby says:

Tea type: Bottled
Temperature: Cold, over ice
Steeped: Ready made
Served: Nothing added to start, then blended with unsweetened iced tea

As the weather warms up, the search for the perfect ready-made iced tea begins. This year we are starting off with Organic Peach Tea from Honest Tea. First things first, this is a tea you can feel good about drinking. It contains only organic and fair trade ingredients. That’s always a plus. Sadly the first thing I noticed when tasting this tea is that it is just too sweet. Weighing in with a whopping 25g of sugar, that’s just too much for me. Excessive sugar and sweetness aside, I really like the bright peach flavor in this tea. It simply reminded me of summer.

To make this tea work better for me I mixed it 50/50 with some unsweetened Darjeeling iced tea I happened to have in the fridge, made the old-fashioned way. Doing this makes this tea drinkable for me. Of course, some of the fruity peach flavor was lost, but the level of sweetness was much better.

Do you have any bottled iced teas or iced tea concentrates to recommend? Unsweetened or just a hint of sweet would be more my speed.


Taste: 2.5 of 5 leaves – This tea is just ok, just too sweet for me
Steepability: This tea is bottled!

Honest tea