Russian Tea

russian-tea

Just a month ago I wondered if it would ever get cold enough to enjoy all of the winter treats that I love so!!  To my delight it has!  We have perfect weather here in the south, usually.  It seemed that summer would never end this year, though.

One of the cold weather treats I enjoy is Russian Tea.  My friend, Sherri, has been making this deliciously warm spiced tea around the holidays for years.  It’s easy to make ahead and keep in the refrigerator.  Just warm it before serving.  You can sweeten to taste with granulated sugar is you prefer but I make it sugar-free and serve with different sweeteners.  It’s great to serve at teas or cookie swaps, or any Christmas party for that matter.  Make plenty because this WILL be the hit at your party!

Russian Tea
 
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Ingredients
  • 7 c. water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 family size tea bag
  • 6-oz. unsweetened pineapple juice
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • Juice of 1½ lemons
Instructions
  1. In a Dutch oven, combine the water, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and tea bag. Bring to a boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let stand for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove the cinnamon sticks, cloves, and tea bag. Shake the pineapple juice well and add to the boiled mixture. Add juice of oranges and lemons. Stir to combine.
  3. Serve warm with a cinnamon stick. Set up a serving bar with sugar cubes, honey and Splenda and/or Stevia.
  4. Store in refrigerator.

 

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Marinated Olives

I love marinated olives.  When I lived in Florida I kept them on hand all the time because it was so easy to pick some up at Joe Patti’s.  I haven’t found any near me that compare to those.  However, I may have just found a recipe that’s even better!  I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago in Salad As A Meal by Patricia Wells.  I’ve been thinking about the recipe ever since.  I made the Quick Lemon Confit a few days ago so I was ready to complete the recipe this morning.  They are wonderful, I’m almost glad that nobody else in my family likes olives!

 

Marinated Olives
 
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Ingredients
  • ½ c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. best-quality red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp. hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • ¼ c. finely minced Quick Lemon Confit (recipe follows)
  • 2 c. mixed olives
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine the oil and vinegar. Heat over low heat just until warm. Remove from the heat and add the fennel, pepper flakes, bay leaves and lemon confit. Add the olives and toss to coat them with the liquid. Transfer to a large, airtight container. Refrigerate, shaking the container regularly to redistribute the liquid, for at least 2 hours and up to 2 weeks.

Quick Lemon Confit
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 lemons
  • ⅓ c. coarse sea salt
  • ½ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 3 to 4 lemons)
Instructions
  1. Scrub the lemons and dry them well. Cut each lemon lengthwise into 8 wedges. In a bowl, toss the lemon wedges, salt, and lemon juice to coat the fruit evenly. Transfer to a glass container with a non-metal lid. Close the container and let the lemons ripen at room temperature for 2 days. (Store the jar of confit in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.)

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