Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Last Of The Winter Warmer......

I can't believe the weather has turned all cold and chilly on us again and i was getting all excited last week thinking that spring was on its way and we has no more cold weather to endure.... but alas a little more patience! *sigh* Why oh why can't winter just be over... finito, kaput! To make things more miserable i get a cold, i haven't had one all winter and 7 days until spring i catch one. Oh the luck. I think i spoke to soon a little earlier in the week boasting that i haven't had  a cold all winter - yep should of kept my mouth shut. So drippy  nose and sore throat in tow i sit down and think that at the moment this is where i want to be.....

Yep sitting in front of a cosy log fire sipping my tea with my favourite pair of pink socks and a good book...... waiting until spring appears.... or when i feel better get a head start on summer and fly away to.......

The beach! Somewhere exotic, white sandy beaches, beautiful blue see, lots of nice blue sky and warm sun... oh and a margarita in hand and good book! (Sorry a cup of tea just doesn't cut it here) :-)

Anyway enough of me whining about the weather .... the sun and warmth will come soon enough.

This carrot cake is just delicious. It is an one of those "grandma" recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. I came across it in a book called "Grandma's Favourites". It is a deliciously moist cake punctuated with the crunch of walnuts scattered throughout the cake and finished off in great fashion with the best cream cheese icing ever. If you have never tasted or tried carrot cake you have to give it a go. It's devine!

3 Eggs
¼ tsp Salt
1 Cup Sugar
¾ Cup Cooking Oil
1 ¼ Tsp Bicarb Soda
1 ¼ Tsp Baking Powder
1 ½ Tsp Cinnamon
1 ½ Cups Plain Flour
1 Tsp Vanilla
2 Cups Grated Carrot
½ Cup Chopped Walnuts (not too small)

1 Tbsp Butter
120g Icing Sugar
60g Cream Cheese


1.    Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a 20cm round cake tin.
2.    Beats eggs with salt. Add sugar, then oil and beat well.
3.    Stir in dry ingredients and lastly fold in nuts and carrots.
4.    Place mixture in greased tin and cook for about 1 hour or until golden brown.
5.    Meanwhile cream butter and cream cheese in a bowl and mix in sifted icing sugar. Set aside.
6.    Once cake has cooled, ice with cream cheese icing.

Simply Tea Recomendation: I would recommend our Japanese Quince tea to accompany this delicious carrot cake. It has a sharp, sweet flavour of quince superbly balanced with a delicate base of green tea. This tea would compliment the cake nicely cutting throught the sweetness of the cream cheese icing balancing it with the tartness of the quince. 
You can purchase 100g of Japanese Quince for $13.00 from our online store or a sample bag for $2.00. 

Japanese Quince
Happy Sipping

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Country Kitchen

I am currently in market mode at the moment preparing for the Lifestyle Markets on the Saturday the 4th of September. It is a great little market that has just started this year.  It offers gourmet food products, antique and craft items and best of all Simply Tea products. I have enjoyed having a stand there over the past few months and have enjoyed getting to know some of the other stall holders there. I hope that if you live in Toowoomba you get a chance to come down and have a browse. It is located at  Greek Orthodox Hall, 240 Hume Street Toowoomba and will be open from 10am to 3pm.

What is it about the phrase "Country Kitchen" that conjures images into our minds things like the aroma of freshly baked homemade breads, cakes & biscuits, old wooden tables with checked table cloths laid out in with fine fare, filtered light through lace curtains and freshly picked flowers taking center stage on the kitchen bench, wispy grey haired women bustling round boiling the kettle and setting out teacups and saucers  . The phrase to me brings a sense of warmth, fondness and a sense of nostalgia. Mind you i didn't grow up in the country nor lived in a place with a country kitchen but wouldn't it of been nice.......... Country kitchen also reminds me of the CWA Women cooking up a storm of scones or pikelets and along with their outstanding cookbook, i think them as the true image of "country" women of Australia.

I whipped up this beautiful Country Fruit Cake for my husband this week for  morning tea and i am not sure when he slathered his piece of fruit cake with butter and sat down with a nice cup of Ceylon Orange Pekoe that images of "Country Kitchen" filled his mind. Oh well at least he liked the cake.

2 Cups Self Raising Flour
Pinch Salt
½ Tsp Ground Mixed Spice
90g Margarine
2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
2/3 Cup Raisins
2/3 Cup Sultana’s
2/3 Cup Mixed Fruit
1 Egg, Lightly Beaten
2/3 Cup Milk


1.    Preheat Oven to 190 Degrees and line and grease 18cm cake tin.
2.    Sift together the flour, salt and spice.
3.    Rug in margarine and add the sugar, raisins, sultana’s and mixed fruit.
4.    Add the egg and sufficient milk so that the mixture will drop from a spoon when shaken.
5.    Turn into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour or until the cake is golden and skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
6.    Leave in the tin for 5 minutes and turn out onto a wire rack.
7.    Serve with a slather of butter.

This fruit cake is a little bit crumbly than a normal rich fruit cake but it adds to the charm of it think - plus if you add a good slather of butter over it, it will hold it all together nicely!

Simply Tea Recommendations: The tea that i would recommend drinking with this cake from our range would be a good strong but simple black tea, such as our Ceylon Orange Pekoe which has Long, wiry, beautiful leaves giving an exquisite taste, almost oaky, with body and strength. You could also try our aptly named blend called Simply Tea. This tea is a good strong fine leaf blend of Ceylon tea .  It is Simply delicious. Both of these tea's posses a good strong flavour that will compliment the butteryness (if that is a word) of this cake. You can purchase our Ceylon Orange Pekoe for $7.00/100g or our Simply Tea blend for $7.00/100g. We also stock $2.00 sample bags of each of these tea's.

Ceylon Orange Pekoe

Simply Tea blend

 I came across a few cute items in my web wanderings I thought i might share with you.

Gorgeous Print from Madebygirl.

Sweet brooch by Under My Wing

Cute Tea Cosy by Art & Wool

 Happy Sipping

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mulberry Madness

I am excited that spring  is coming in a matter of weeks. I cannot wait! Flowers will be blooming, bees will be buzzing and the days will be getting longer! YAY. Not to mention all the fruit tree's springing to life and bursting forth with delicious offerings. I especially love it when mulberry season is on. We have a mulberry tree in our yard and i cannot wait for it to be dripping with deliciously bursting purple mulberries. Oh the jams, pies, biscuits that are waiting to be made! What inspired me to write about mulberries was i just used my last jar of homemade mulberry jam to create these delicious Mulberry Jam Drops.

These declicous little morsels just melt in your mouth and finish with sweet pop of juicy mulberry jam. Instead of using strawberry jam but mulberry jam you jazz up an old favourite. These would be a great recipe to use at a High Tea or any informal afternoon tea or just to eat for yourself. They are really easy and quick to whip up and only require ingredients that you have in the cupboard (apart from the mulberry jam). So next time you want to whip something up for your neighbour or that school fete or afternoon tea give these Mulberry Jam Drops a go.

Mulberry Jam Drops


240g Butter
240g Castor Sugar
2 Eggs
½ Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
2 Cups Plain Flour
2 Cups Self Raising Flour
Pinch Salt
Homemade Mulberry Jam (or any other jam is fine)


1.    Cream butter and sugar together in a bowl with electric mixer, add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.
2.    Add Vanilla, then flour and salt and mix together. If mixture is too soft add a little extra flour.
3.    Rolls into balls about the size of walnuts and press down a little.
4.    Make a hole in the middle using your thumb and fill with mulberry jam (or any other jam you have).
5.    Bake in a moderate oven (180degrees) until golden brown (10-15min)

 Simply Tea Recommendation: A great tea to accompany these Mulberry Jam Drops would be our Russian Caravan. It is a traditional blend of China black tea producing a mild, fine aromatic and very wholesome flavour. This is not an overpowering blend but will compliment the sweetness of the biscuit and mulberry jam.

You can purchase 100g of Russian Caravan for $9.00 from our online store.


I came across the most gorgeous etsy store yesterday through a blog i love to read called Notions Handmade. The etsy store is called Table Designs and it is a playful and nostalgic collection of hand crafted textiles and giclee art prints and has some gorgeous tea inspired items that i just had to show you.

 These type of things make me want to scrunch my hands up and squeal with delight. They are just so cute and whimsical. i just might have to have a look into adding them into our Simply Tea gift ware range that i am trying to put together! Will have to see!

Happy Sipping

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Very Berry Licious!

Well it seems that it has become a bit of theme on this blog for me to bake cupcakes or muffins. I swear this will be the last one.... for a while anyway otherwise i will have to change this blog name to Simply Cupcakes!. I just think cupcakes are the perfect little morsel to sit down to with a warm cuppa. Nicely compact and perfectly wrapped in there little papers.... oh don't get me started on cupcake papers. There are soooo many out there, all shapes, sizes, colours and patterns. I just think they're adorable.

I was looking for a particular cupcake wrapper the other day(.... more on that another day) and i stumbled across this adorable website called the The Cupcake Wrapper Co. They are an Australian company that sell the most gorgeous re-usable cupcake wrappers (not papers). Once you have baked your muffin/cupcake in a normal muffin paper you pop it into one of these themed wrappers and decorate your creation. They are the best idea and you can even use them again which i think is great. They come in heaps of different colours & patterns and the fact they're aussie as well is just great. They have an online store which you can purchase these wrappers and they also have a blog which you can follow there cupcake journey. So be sure to check there store out and support an aussie business!

Anyway back to the real point of this post.... BERRY LICIOUS.... that's the theme today. I made these delicious Mixed Berry Muffins the other day for my hubby... aren't I a good wife?

They are a perfect afternoon treat and look surprisingly uninteresting to look at at first until you take the first bite....... a yummy streusal crunchy topping of nuts with a hit of cinnamon followed by a pop of juicy berry in your mouth! What more could you want in a muffin i ask?

Mixed Berry Muffin


1 Cup White Self Raising Flour
1 Cup Wholemeal Self Raising Flour
½ Tsp Cinnamon
½ Tsp Salt
½ Cup Castor Sugar

100g Butter
1 ½ Cup Buttermilk (or 1 ¼ cup Milk with 1 ½ Tbsp of Vinegar added)
1 Egg
1 ½ cup Frozen Mixed Berries

4 Tsp Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Cinnamon
¼ cup Chopped Mixed Nuts (Pecans, Walnuts, Peanuts etc)


1.    Sieve dry ingredients into a large bowl.
2.    Warm butter until melted, add milk and beaten egg and combine together.
3.    Tip mixed berries into dry ingredients and add egg & milk mixture and fold together without over mixing – flour should be dampened but not extremely smooth.
4.    Combine topping ingredients together and set aside.
5.    Place mixture into muffin papers and sprinkle topping over mixture.
6.    Bake in a 200 degree oven for about 15- 20 min or until golden brown.

 To finish these muffins off a nice dollop of cream would go down nicely i think.

Simply Tea Recommendations: I think i will go all out on this recommendation!!!.... I would think our Berry Licious Fruit Infsuion would compliment these muffins just perfectly! It is a a high grade fruit infusion of exquisite ingredients; blackcurrant, strawberry, blackberry, bilberry, elderberry, hibiscus blossoms and rose hip. This fruit infusion is caffiene free as is does not contain any of the 'Tea Plant'. It can be brewed to drink hot or cold and is a fruitily refreshing drink. It is $12.00 for 100g or you can purchase a sample bag (10g) for $2.00. We do free delivery within Toowoomba.

Happy Sipping!

Visit Us At: The Simply Tea Shop ~ "For The Love Of Tea" ~


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