This week’s Tea Time Talk shares a pro tip for tea, coffee, and wine drinkers on how to reduce staining on your teeth from these tasty beverages. Plus another step on cooking intuitively.
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Here are the most popular posts from this week.
SIDE NOTE: Check out the latest article on the difference between loose-leaf tea and tea bags.
What we’re lovin’ this week
No-cook meals thanks to the 97ºF / 36ºC summer heat. That means dishes like:
- Garden salad with garbanzo beans / chickpeas (canned)
- Knorr vegetable dip with fresh Persian cucumbers, sugar snap peas, carrots, and zucchini sliced into strips
- Cherries. CHERRY SEASON. One of my greatest loves <3
Try out this recipe
A no-cook recipe that Alex and I so desperately need as we melt in our apartment (we don’t have AC):
I can’t stop thinking about…
Staining my teeth from drinking too much black tea (red tea if you’re Chinese).
If you don’t live in the U.S. or you’re not American, you may not know how pedantic Americans are about white and straight teeth. A fellow student politely informed me that beautiful teeth are a marker of social standing in my first year of university and living in the U.S.
Due to my dental phobia, I do everything possible to avoid going to the dentist. Upon seeing the staining on my teeth from all the tea I’m drinking (the occupational horrors from food blogging!), I was horrified I might have to get a cleaning soon. As a vain scaredy-cat, I recalled my dentist’s recommendation for preserving pearly teeth (as much as possible without doing the whitening stuff).
My vanity tip for this week:
If you’re a coffee, tea, or wine drinker, rinse your mouth by drinking plain water 15 minutes after drinking tea, coffee, or wine. Swish the water around your mouth to get the residue off your teeth surfaces to reduce staining. Jason (my dentist*) says this rinsing is particularly helpful if your tea or coffee comes with milk in it. He recommends avoiding brushing immediately due to acidity.
WARNING: *I am not a dentist so your mileage may vary.
I’ve found that I usually can’t remember to swish my teeth after 15 minutes. The most helpful workaround is to grab a glass of water to accompany my cup of tea. When I’m done with the tea, I reach for the water, and the rinsing happens without extra energy required.
How do you step away from recipes and start cooking intuitively?
How did last week’s baby step 4 exercise go?
Did you learn anything from the experience of blanching vegetables in salted water?
This week, I’m setting another simple exercise to learn your favorite herbs. Since it’s summer (in the Northern Hemisphere), fresh herbs abound.
Pick 1 fresh herb. Here’s a list to help you get started:
- Thai Basil
- Cilantro / Coriander
Take a pinch of the fresh herb and chop it roughly with a knife.
Take another pinch of the same herb and cut it into smallish bits using a pair of scissors.
Finally, take another pinch of the herb and crush it in the palm of your hand. (For rosemary and thyme, which are hardier herbs, roll the herb between your thumb and index finger to crush it).
Smell the herbs in their different shapes. Which one releases the strongest aroma?
My guess would be the chopped herb, followed by the herb cut with scissors, and finally with the crushed herb.
Was this your experience too?
Sprinkle the chopped herb on something like a cracker, a slice of mozzarella, a slice of firm tofu, or a piece of lightly grilled fish. Try what the chopped herb tastes like. Does it add flavor to the underlying food? Is it too potent, covering up the food’s flavor in an undesirable way?
Try the same exercise with the cut herb and the crushed herb.
From what you learn, when would you use cut herbs versus crushed herbs?
Think about how much cutting and crushing herbs releases different levels of aromatics. Next time you garnish a dish, how would you change the herb’s shape (by cutting, crushing, tearing, chopping) to either more or less flavor to highlight the flavors in your dish?