How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea

Even if you drink tea every day, you may not be brewing it properly. Don’t sweat it, however; simply read up on these simple tips for brewing the perfect cuppa.

  • For hot teas, such as black tea, you’ll want to first bring cold, filtered water to a boil to ensure the best possible taste. Add the tea bag to the cup first, and then gently pour the now-boiling water on top of it, using wide circular motions. Let the tea brew for three to five minutes, no more, and then serve with milk, sugar or by itself.
  • For large batches of iced teas, bring one quart of cold water to a rolling boil in a pot or kettle. Remove it from the stove and add eight to ten tea bags, depending on how dark you like your tea. Let it brew for three to five minutes, and then immediately pour it over a large quantity of ice cubes. You’ll also want to pop the whole thing in the refrigerator to get it completely cold.
  • For green tea, there is an entirely unique process. Because this tea is much more delicate, it can easily burn. Once the water starts boiling, you’ll want to let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool off. Then, pour it over the tea bag and let it brew for just one minute before serving.

How to Steep Hot Tea [The Republic of Tea]
Tea 101 [Teavana]
Brewing Tea [Tea Association]
Make a Perfect Brew [UK Tea & Infusions]

Food Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

Whether you’re cooking for your family or planning a potluck for a whole group, it’s always important to prepare and store food properly to avoid foodborne illness. Here are a few smart tips that will keep your food tasting great while also keeping you out of harm’s way.

  1. Be mindful of leftovers. As a general rule, leftovers should only be kept in the refrigerator for three or four days before they start to go bad. Keep yourself safe by storing all leftovers in airtight containers, and if you don’t eat them in within the recommended time frame, consider it a loss and toss them in the trash.
  2. Use a meat thermometer. When cooking meat, always use a meat thermometer to ensure that it is fully cooked. Beef should be at least 145°F, while poultry should be at least 165°F.
  3. Know your eggs. If you frequently cook eggs, be aware that they have a fairly long lifespan in the refrigerator of three to five weeks. Dishes containing eggs, however, should be discarded after three or four days.
  4. Stay informed about outbreaks. Always watch the news to learn about recent foodborne illness contaminations, such as E. coli or salmonella. Throw away any foods that might be contaminated immediately.
  5. Always wash your hands. The most important thing that you can do when handling any type of food is to wash your hands.

How long can you safely keep leftovers in the refrigerator? [Mayo Clinic]
Learn the Basics to Keep Food Safe at Home [Food Safety News]
Storage Times for the Refrigerator and Freezer [FoodSafety.gov]

Healthy Recipes That’ll Curb That Chocolate Craving

Any chocoholic will tell you how difficult it can be to kick a chocolate craving. If you frequently dream about ice cream, chocolate bars, and decadent brownies (and just as frequently give into those cravings), you’ll appreciate these healthier chocolate recipes.

Dark Chocolate-Dipped Cherries [Whole Living]
The combination of chocolate and fruit is a true classic, and it tastes great in just about any pairing. This recipe uses tart cherries and rich, dark chocolate to satisfy your chocolate craving while still providing heart-healthy antioxidants and cancer preventative anthocyanins.

Chocolate Avocado Mousse [Fit Pregnancy]
It may sound strange, but the thick, creamy consistency of avocado makes a great base for an untraditional chocolate mousse. The dark cocoa inside masks the flavor of the avocado and leaves you with the chocolate-y taste that you know and love.

Chocolate Souflee [Eating Well]
These individual sized chocolate souflees help you to quiet your chocolate craving without overindulging. They also look as professional as a gourmet dessert, which makes them perfect for dinner parties.

Peanut Butter & Pretzel Truffles [Eating Well]
Few things go together better than peanut butter and chocolate, and this recipe is a wonderful example of that fact. These truffles are incredibly easy to make, and they also incorporate a salty taste from the crunchy pretzels.

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