Program Recipes

This page will feature recipes and "extra" recipes from recent programs I have presented through the Backyard Patch.  My most recent programs will be at the top, but do not be afraid to scroll down for other programs and different recipes.  For information on programs available, check out My Program Listing.

New Uses for Tea (Tea 101 Program VHHS, Dist 128) 
I love tea; I started growing herbs because I love herb-flavored teas and could not find any of merit in my local stores. In using, drinking and enjoying tea I found more ways to use tea than just to drink. With winter months we often suffer from dry skin, irritated skin and seasonal changes that affect our body or hair. By tea, I mean Camellia sinensis, the actual tea leaf, which is used in black, green and white tea. I will also include herbal teas (infusions) that can treat seasonal issues as well.

I shared a Tea Chicken recipe on my blog too!  Tea crusted Chicken

Things to keep in mind about tea and herbs are the health benefits. When making these infusions, use distilled water as it has no minerals or other irritants that would prevent the tea from soothing your skin. Green tea will tighten pours, calm sensitive skin and provide anti-aging benefits over time if used regularly. Black tea is refreshing and soothes itching, flaking and irritation. Certain herbs give cooling and soothing benefits as well, especially mints. Spearmint and peppermint impart different qualities when used. Spearmint is an anti-inflammatory and good for fighting headaches and balancing hormones. Peppermint is a stimulant which improves wakefulness and circulation while it is cooling and relaxing effect on the skin and clearing the breathing. Lemon balm, improves the immune system as well as stimulating circulation and helping repair damage to bodily systems. Chamomile has many healing benefits including anti-inflammatory and disinfectant qualities.

Here are some examples of what I mean about using tea. If you happen to buy only loose tea, just place the tea in a muslin bag or square of cheese cloth.
  • Reduce under eye puffiness by placing cooled tea bags over each eye for 10 to 14 minutes. You can use black, green, chamomile or eye bright tea bags to do this.
  • Soothe an insect bite or cut by placing a green tea bag over the affected area. The tea will reduce itching and swelling.
  • For bad sunburn, try a tea bath.Hang 4 or 5 oolong, herbal or green tea bags under the tub faucet as you fill your tub, then soak in the tea-infused water.
  • If you henna to color your hair instead of water, use tea water when mixing the paste for a richer color. Use black or Ceylon if you are a brunette, chamomile for a blond and hibiscus if you are a redhead.

More elaborate concoctions can also be made with tea for facial or body treatments. Here are a few you can quickly whip up to soothe your body.

Green Tea Soother
This tea blend is good for dry irritated skin or sunburned skin.
1/4 cup distilled water
2 tsp. green tea leaves
(An optional addition of 1 tsp. of calendula flowers will increase the soothing abilities of this mixture.)

Place tea leaves (and calendula) in a small bowl and pour boiling water over the leaves and steep for 2 to 3 minutes. Strain the leaves and allow liquid to cool. Apply liquid with a clean cotton ball. Do not rinse after using.

This recipe can soothe dry, chapped or sunburned skin and is good when applied after removing makeup.

Chamomile & Lemon Soother

1 Tbls. Lemon Balm (or 2 tea bags of Earl Grey or Bergamot flavored black teas)
1 Tbls. Chamomile flowers (or 3 chamomile tea bags)
2 cups boiling water

Steep tea in boiling water until cool. Strain out herbs and pour into a clean container. To use apply to skin with a clean cotton pad or spray onto skin after removing make up or washing.

Scalp Toner
Use this after shampooing to help keep your scalp healthy and clean. You can also use it as a hair toner that you spritz on your hair for a refreshing pick-me-up.

1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup witch hazel
1/4 cup dry (not brewed) mint tea (or 3 to 4 tea bags)

Steep the tea in boiling water 5 to 10 minutes or until tea is strong. Cool completely. Strain out all leaves and add witch hazel. Massage a small amount into your scamp after shampooing to increase circulation and stimulate the scalp.

And you thought tea was only for drinking!

Herbal Vinegar Combinations
follow up for Presentation at Green Fair on the Fox 8/13/16

Try these herb blends for your vinegar creations:

sage/caraway (great for pork)
mint/rosemary (for lamb)
basil/savory (for beef)
sage/lovage (for poultry)
fennel/bay  (for fish)

Herbs to Use in White Wine Vinegar
Marjoram, purple basil (for a light rose result), salad burnet (cucumber flavor), chive blossom (pretty pink), tarragon, thyme, nasturtium (slight peppery flavor), rosemary, lavender, rose petal, pinks, violet (turns a pale lavender color) or rose geranium.

Herbs to Use in Red Wine Vinegar
Dill, sweet basil, garlic chives, sage, fennel (if seeds, use 2 heaping tablespoons per quart) lovage, spearmint or peppermint, bay thyme, chive (foliage only, no blossoms) caraway (2 heaping tablespoons when using seed), or savory.

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