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The Poetry of Spring, As Inspired by Purple Bamboo (by guest blogger Heidi Dixon Kwon)

There’s something about Spring that dyes Winter rose. She has a kind of hypnotic quality that makes one instantly forget the months of thermal socks and frozen fingertips. Just a week ago, my ribs were caving inward in an attempt to keep my organs warm as I sat shivering at this exact spot near the window. And yet today, the birds have returned to their perches to sing new, but familiar melodies.  The timid sunlight peers in and tiptoes across the wooden floor, and peach colored buds flutter on the once-bare maple branches just outside my porch. I freshen my mug of Purple Bamboo green tea and nestle back into my chair. The bold, asparagus flavor of this particular green tea is rounded...

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Welcoming Spring with Silver Tip Jasmine Salmon

I am sharing today one of my children's favorite dishes.  After experimenting for years different types of "tea cuisine", I made up this recipe.  It is one of my go-to-recipes because of how easily it incorporates tea leaves and how much of a crowd pleaser it is.  I will always have fond memories of making this dish to celebrate important moments with my family. Donna Lo Ingredients: 2 salmon filet ( 1 1/2 to 2 lbs total) 2T rice wine 4 pieces of sliced ginger (chopped into finer pieces if desired) Pinch of salt (enough to over surface of fillet) Preparation Steps 1) Marinate salmon with the above ingredients for at least 15 mins 2) Sprinkle 1T Silver Tip Jasmine...

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Process, as Inspired by White Tip Oolong (from guest blogger Heidi Dixon Kwon)

The wind breathes gently through the snow outside. Each flake seems to linger in the late winter air, as though in mid-sentence, hesitating to say its goodbye. As I wrap my hand around the steaming cup of white tip oolong, I let the experience slowly wash over my thoughts. The tealeaves have gone through a delicate, yet complex process in order to achieve this smooth, elegant and distinctive taste. Each leaf is hand selected, withered and carefully rolled. After some time, they are dried and placed in the fire. The tradition of crafting oolong has been handed down from generations passed; it is tried, meticulous and perfected. Like seasons, the process is methodical and each step is a necessity. I...

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The Month of Love (from guest blogger Heidi Dixon Kwon)

I like to think I’m an excellent multitasker. I play catchup with my husband while cooking and checking emails. But the dog needs to be fed, the brussel sprouts must be turned in five, I have a due date on Tuesday and Daniel has an early class tomorrow—which means I should pack lunch tonight. Three of my close friends recently went through a breakup, so I should give them a call to see how they’re doing. My husband explains how his exam went, and I nod in agreement.  If I were to quiet my thinking and focus on him, I would notice the way his eyebrows furrow and how his shoulders turn inward. His voice is tired. I would realize that...

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Ringing in the New Lunar Year with a Tea-Smoked Chicken

Lunar New Year is coming very soon (2/8/2016 being the start of the new year!), which means I get to think about what yummy food I get to create in my kitchen. I have always liked the idea of tea-smoked anything, especially chicken.  Traditional tea-smoking technique requires a wok, which I know many people don't have.  And since my son borrowed my wok, I thought I would experiment tea-smoking with my toaster oven.  And not only did it work great, it was really tasty and easy!  Now, you too can tea-smoke anything when you want to. Ingredients: 3 lbs of chicken (whatever form that fits inside your toaster oven) 2 TB salt (I prefer sea salt for flavor) 1/4 cup...

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