First things first — I’ve never made homemade iced tea before but I grew up in the South so my Dad usually made a pitcher of the unsweetened variety during the summers. Unsweetened, though, was against my iced team religion (if one can have one) — it was either sweet tea or nuthin’. Who could blame me when I grew up with my Granddaddy’s version — two ladles (not spoonfuls, ladles, yes, I’m serious) of sugar into boiling hot tea? It’s a miracle I’ve only had one cavity my whole life.
Well, now I’m older, not wiser, but less psyched about a tub full of sugar in my drink. So on Sunday I made my first batch of homemade iced tea — 5 bags of earl grey and 5 bags of mint, finished off with a smidge of honey. I let it steep for about 20 minutes before popping it into the fridge to chill. Delish. Now I’m thrilled to try all sorts of other iced tea combinations, particularly with fresh herbs (think: mint) or fruit (how about raspberries?). Anything you’d recommend? I’m all up for ideas.
While the tea was steeping I dove into another new recipe — vegetarian tortilla soup (recipe here) via Gwyneth Paltrow‘s cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. This is definitely a weekend-sort-of-endeavor. It probably took me close to two hours to finish this before serving but it was absolutely delicious. It’s light but rich in flavor and a perfect option for the summer months when you’re done with the usual grilled veggies or corn chowder but want to go sans-meat.
And finally, speaking of my father, we both share the same adoration right now for one particular dessert and that is (drum roll please!) Ciao Bella‘s dark chocolate gelato. You have to pry it out of my hands to get yourself a sampling it is seriously.that.good. Don’t add a damn thing to it — including another gelato flavor or topping. It would ruin the purity of the whole thing. (Do I sound obsessed or what?!)
Happy cooking and taste-testing