Friday, August 17, 2012

How to Make Homemade Herbal Iced Tea

Yup, it's sweltering here in Temecula with unusual (for us! what is this, Miami?) thundershowers, humidity, and plain old heat, as we send our TVUSD kids back to school. (Don't be jealous, MVUSD; you get to go back next week.)

 My kids are really feeling it, so I am breaking out a secret happiness weapon: homemade herbal iced tea. 

This is very similar to the herbal iced tea served at Native Foods (two locations here in Riverside County, in Palm Springs and Palm Desert, plus multiple Los Angeles and Orange County locations. If you go, try the Chinese "chicken" salad. If it's not on the menu because they rotate items, ask them to put it back on for me!)

The Red Zinger tea is made with dried hibiscus flowers (also known as "jamaica" which is pronounced "ha-MAY-ee-ka" in Spanish.) Here in Temecula, look for Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger at Sprouts Natural Market, Henry's Marketplace, and Winco. In a pinch you could also buy Jamaica tea from a Latin American grocer.

It is different from the sugar-sweetened commercial "tropical teas" served at some restaurants. This is sweetened with 100% fruit juice. Which yes, does still contain sugar (I know, I know!), but because it is blended with naturally-sweet herbal teas, the sugar and calorie content is actually quite low.

A 48 oz pitcher of my homemade herbal tea contains a grand total of two cups of 100% apple or white grape juice, which comes out to only two ounces per six-ounce glass.

Serve it chilled and over ice. The herbal teas I use are completely caffeine free so this is a great drink for even the youngest kiddos.

Stay cool! Enjoy!

Homemade Herbal Iced Tea (makes 6 c)

Pour 2 c boiling water over 4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger and 4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags. (8 bags total.)

Set aside to steep 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and let cool.

Pour into serving pitcher and add 2 c filtered 100% apple juice OR 2 c white grape juice.

Stir well and chill. Serve over ice.

Monday, August 13, 2012

This Week at the Old Town Temecula Farmer's Market: Jujubes

These little gems with the whimsical name are reputed to have lots of health benefits. I found them at the Old Town Temecula Farmer's Market on a recent Saturday morning. Jujubes, also known as Korean dates, Chinese dates, or red dates (Ziziphus Zizyphus) Old Town Temecula Farmer's Market Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Mercedes and Sixth Streets

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Temecula Shopping Finds: Wine, Honey, and Tea, Oh My!

Check out what I scored at local Temecula stores recently:

Masia de Yabar Winery is located at 39788 Camino Arroyo Seco, Temecula, on the de Portola Wine Trail in Temecula Wine Country.

What was I drinking the night I walked off with my souvenir glass (oops!  I WILL return it, I promise!)?   Masia de Yabar 2009 Malbec.  My husband's favorite is their 2008 Garnacha.

Sprouts Natural Market is located at 40458 Winchester Road, Temecula, on the Margarita Road side of the Promenade Mall.  This local, independently owned market has been in the area since 1989 and is not affiliated with the natural foods market chain also  called Sprouts.

Recommendations:  the serve-yourself soup and salad bar and the smoothie bar.

California Coffee & Tea Brewery is located at 40315A Winchester Road, Temecula, on the northeast side of Margarita and Winchester.  Say hi to the friendly owners, Vern and Diane Walden.

I recommend my friend Rachel's daughter Maisie Lopez's prize-winning drink creation, San Jose Peach iced tea.

Tokyo Japanese Lifestyle is located inside the Promenade Mall (on the second floor):  40820 Winchester Road, Temecula.

Recommendations:  housewares, dishes, beauty supplies.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New (to Me): the Shellac Manicure

Just a few short years ago when my family first moved to Temecula there weren't any quickie nail salons.

If you wanted a manicure, your only choice was a day spa or a manicurist working out of a hair salon. Fast forward to 2012:  quickie salons for all!  Seems they are on every corner and in every mini-mall now.

I am a wee bit obsessive about germs so I try to be careful where I dunk my feet.  Truthfully, there are only two quickie nail places in the Temecula/Murrieta area that I trust.  (More about them in another blog post.)

And I'm so active that the normal state of my nails is: un-done. Or I do them myself and they look pretty bad.

So anyway....I had a Spreebird deal for something I'd heard of but never tried:  the SHELLAC MANICURE.

You can read all about it here on CND's website.

Roberta at Element in Temecula does all types of manicures including shellac.

The huge revelatory moment for me: she put on a layer of topcoat then announced, "You're dry!" And my nails were completely, perfectly, absolutely 100% dry! None of this "You're dry but be careful" or "You're dry but they might dent" that you have with regular manicures. They were DRY as in, "Reach into your purse for your keys without fear."

My hand was in a golf glove at the driving range within twenty minutes of finishing this 'cure.

How long does it last? Results seem to vary person-by-person but many women see a shellac manicure stay in good condition for 2-3 weeks.