There’s something about the end of September that brings about a certain nostalgia. Perhaps it’s that feeling that lingers from our younger days, where going back to school would signify excitement for some, and dread for others. And even if those days are long gone, the start of a new season, anticipating the cold, certainly brings a need for added comfort.

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Enter tea. The British notoriously use tea for most situations, and I’m starting to appreciate their point. Tea makes you pause for a moment, and let’s face it – most of us do with a little pause several times a day. Take a minute, sip, decide on your next move without rushing. Yes, I’m starting to catch on to that frame of mind.

The name is striking – Celestial Seasonings – and the packaging artistic and attractive. In fact, with a history behind each iconic painting used for the packaging, you just feel that you’re on the right track trusting these tea producers. The boxes are printed on 100% recycled paperboard with 35% post-consumer content. The botanicals are purchased ethically, supporting the people and places in the world that produce their ingredients. These issues are increasingly important nowadays.

The good news doesn’t stop there – there are so many different teas to choose from. Today I’ll focus on two that have made me happy. I’m looking forward to discovering more and adding to my collection!

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Dirty Chai Tea

For those times when you could do with a refresher and a gentle boost, whilst still enjoying a comforting taste… meet the tea with added coffee. Yes, that’s right – this special blend contains 40% black tea, a mixture of spices and 10% espresso. That means that you can get 46mg of caffeine in each brew, with a delicious flavour that you can enjoy while it perks you up. Incidentally, this tea bag will give you two cups of tea (or a pot) and infuses very quickly. Now what did they mean when they said that you can’t have your cake and eat it?

Sleepytime Vanilla and Sleepytime Blackberry Pomegranate

My beef with teas that are meant to promote sleep has always been the taste. If I cannot drink it, then it’s not going to get to work. The clever people at Celestial Seasonings in Boulder Colorado have managed to infuse this tea with a vanilla (and blackberry pomegranate) flavour that lulls you into a gentle sleep without any hangover sleepy feeling. I would recommend this if you have trouble sleeping, or even if you feel that you need help winding down after being on the go all day. A restful sleep will set you up to be able to better face the day ahead.


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You will need:

  • 200g cooked chickpeas (or canned, drained)
  • 1 cup spinach, cooked or if using frozen, defrosted
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • zest of 1 lime
  • reserve a couple of lime wedges before squeezing (to serve)
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Fry the onion gently in olive oil for 3-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and turmeric and stir. Keep the heat on low so as not to burn the garlic. Add the chickpeas and continue stirring to coat the chickpeas in turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the spinach and lime zest. Mix the spinach in and cook for a further 2 minutes until heated.

Remove from the heat before adding the lime juice and some salt to taste. Stir and serve hot with a couple of small lime wedges.


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There are a couple of meals that you really should be able to make at home. Even if you’re the kind of person who prefers to get their food ready-made, it’s very convenient to be able to rustle up at least a couple of breakfast things. It’s also so much better knowing what’s in your food for your first meal of the day!

For this recipe, I would suggest having everything prepared before you turn the heat on. If you’re a more advanced cook, you’ll know how to juggle and multitask. So get things ready before-hand if you’re not sure where your skill level lies.

You will need: (for 2)

3-4 eggs, whisked together

1 cup cooked spinach, water drained

1/3 cup finely sliced leeks

2-3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1/3 cup cheese of your choice e.g. parmesan, cheddar, stilton (or a mixture)

1 cup sliced onions

optional 2 sliced bacon, diced

This recipe will work with most ingredients of your choice. The trick is to add things to the pan according to the time they need to cook, keeping the eggs and cheese for last. You may want to add salt and pepper to taste as you get to the end of your cooking time.

For example in this case I started with the bacon, then added onions, leeks and garlic and let these cook until softened. Then I added the mushrooms and eggs. As the egg cooks you will want to stir every few minutes and remove off the heat every now and then (whilst stirring) to avoid overcooking the eggs. Finally, add the cheese, blend in, and remove from the heat.

Serve with a side salad e.g. tomatoes and rucola with olive oil. I had some gorgeous Maltese tomatoes that needed no garnish. Yum!

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