Savories · Sweets

Fruit Preserves

photo credit: Mamiverse
Come next Monday, Lionel turns 6 months old. I’d like to know who switched on the fast forward button to my son’s babyhood!
With each passing day, I become increasingly desperate. Desperate to capture and cling to the precious moments shared with Lionel. All of his milestones, his bursts of laughter, his facial expressions when he sleeps and when he makes new discoveries — I want these things to stay fresh in my memory forever.
These desperate times call for none other than fruit preserves. Preserves represent my wish of harnessing moments and events at their freshest and sweetest. If only it were as simple as boiling and canning fruit.
Preserves punctuate the flavors of both savory and sweet dishes. And what’s afternoon tea without preserves?
Enjoy with beautiful jasmine green tea. The floral notes of the jasmine coax out the fruitiness of the preserves.
Once again, I am commemorating Lionel’s growth process and his current favorite book, Dr. Seuss’s ABC. Hence, this dish is called, “Jerry Jordan’s Jelly Jar.”
photo credit: The iMums

Cucumber and Roasted Vegetable Sandwich

This year I’ve joined the ranks of motherhood. As I navigate my way through it for the first time, I’m seeing my mom with a new set of eyes.
My mom: She’s not the warmest of people. She’s distant and pristine. Mysterious and proud. But then, despite her cool composure, she’ll surprise us with a feisty remark or a heartwarming gesture. She’s both hot and cold.
Still, I’ve never questioned her love for me. She shows her love quietly, but I know it’s a strong, unrelenting love. It’s the unique love of my mother.
So this tea sandwich is dedicated to my mom. Robust flavors working with mild. Creamy textures complementing crunchy. I’m calling it, “Matriarch.”
Pair the sandwich with a smoky green tea.
Happy Mother’s Day! Here’s to the women who have given us everything.
Roasted red and yellow bell peppers, minced
Seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
Vegan cream cheese
Create a sandwich spread by mixing the minced bell peppers into the cream cheese. Spread onto the bread slices. Layer on the cucumber slices. Cut off the crust, and cut into rectangles or triangles.

Tuna Sandwich with Green Olives

IMG_20170509_123703A pastime that my husband and I share is binge watching fail videos on YouTube. I don’t know about my husband, but each time we laugh at another person’s misfortune I secretly say a little prayer that I don’t end up in one of those videos. Alas, I keep on watching and laughing.

One particularly memorable fail was on Wheel of Fortune when a contestant, hesitant yet convinced that he had the correct answer, blurted out a very bizarre phrase. I found the contestant’s heartfelt conviction of his answer especially hilarious. I shed tears from laughing so hard. It’s now a phrase that my husband and I spontaneously blurt out to each other for kicks.

This textured and flavorful tuna sandwich with its salty olives and mildly sweet bell peppers is for that Wheel of (mis) Fortune contestant. Props to him for believing wholeheartedly that “fish love” is really a thing. Accordingly, this sandwich dish is called, “Fish Love.”

Watch the video:


Feel the love and pair with a light oolong tea.
2-4 servings
2 (6-oz.) cans of tuna, drained
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup green olives, finely chopped
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper, season to taste
Choice of bread (I used wheat)
You’ll also need
Large mixing bowl
In the mixing bowl, combine tuna, olives, bell pepper, mayonnaise, and lemon juice. Season with freshly ground pepper. Blend well.
Spread the tuna mixture onto bread and cut off the crusts. Slice the sandwich into triangles or rectangles, and serve.

Shepherd’s Pie Minis

Teacup Cordial marks its debut with a dish that is dedicated to my husband. I call it, “Shepherd of my Heart.”

The first meal that my husband cooked for me was Shepherd’s Pie. Downright comforting, soulful, hearty, and unpretentious; it was our courtship manifested in the form of food. I can’t think of a more appropriate dish to have won my heart over.
Don’t be fooled by the daintiness of these Shepherd Pie Minis; they are filling, and you won’t be able to stop popping them into your mouth! You’ll find the gorgeous and varying textures absolutely addictive.
Enjoy this dish with an earthy black tea or dark oolong tea.
Yields 10
16 oz. ground turkey
Salt and pepper, for seasoning to taste
Olive oil
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots
1 small onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Small package of instant roasted garlic mashed potatoes
Puff pastry, thawed
You’ll also need
Ungreased muffin pan
  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • On medium-high heat, sauté the onion in oil until translucent. Add the ground turkey, season it to taste with salt and pepper, and cook until it is no longer pink.
  • Mix in the flour, thyme, peas, and carrots. Pour in the vegetable broth and allow it to thicken. Season to taste, and turn off the heat.
  • In a sauce pan, follow the instructions of the instant mashed potatoes. (You can very well make the mashed potatoes from scratch, but I am all about ease, folks! Besides, instant mashed potatoes is delicious! Plus, there’s no need to worry about leaving behind lumps.)
  • Unfold the puff pastry. Use a floured round cutter (or the rim of a floured cup) to cut the sheets. Press the pastry circles into the bottoms and sides of the muffin pan cups. Layer in the meat mixture and top with the mashed potatoes. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Allow the pies to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Scoop them out with a spoon and serve!