Brooke Weeber is the fantastic local artist who drew the cityscape of Portland featured on our Portland Collection. We got the chance to ask her more about her charming Pacific Northwest-inspired illustrations!
Where did you grow up and go to school?
I grew up in Oregon, primarily in Eugene and Salem. I went to college at the University of Oregon and got my BFA in oil painting. When I figured out that I wouldn’t be able get a job in my field, I moved to New York City to pursue a career as a Pastry Chef and enrolled at the French Culinary Institute.
How did you end up becoming an artist?
I was raised by a family who used art making as a wonderful way to pass the time and an important way to show personal creativity, so I grew up drawing and painting and quickly developed an interest in art. I realized in high school that there was nothing else I’d rather pursue, so I followed that path to the art program at the University of Oregon. I so often doubted my abilities when I was in college, constantly comparing myself to other students with more technical skill. It took me separating myself from the institution to really discover my own unique style and to be confident with my work.
2 cups flour
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, such as Droste
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
1 cup buttermilk
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl.
2. Beat butter and brown sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until very fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
3. Beat in egg, vanilla extract, and vanilla seeds. Reduce speed to low and gradually add flour mixture; then gradually beat in buttermilk until smooth, scraping down inside of bowl as needed.
4. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Put batter in a piping bag with a large tip (or cut a 1/2-in. corner off a resealable plastic bag and spoon in batter). Form 1-tbsp. mounds of batter 2 in. apart on sheets. Bake about 12 minutes or until cakes spring back when poked. Transfer to rack to cool.
5. Meanwhile, make filling: Sift powdered sugar and matcha together into a medium-large bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, and mascarpone and beat with a mixer on low speed at first, then on medium until very smooth and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes.
6. Using an offset spatula or a butter knife, generously spread some filling on the flat side of a cake and top with another cake. Repeat for rest of cakes.
Make ahead: Cakes, up to 3 days, stored airtight at room temperature between sheets of parchment; filling, up to 2 days, chilled (bring to room temperature before spreading).
The minute we spotted this creative beverage on Pepper.ph we thought what a great idea! Ice cubes made with English Breakfast tea, fresh ginger and lemon to flavor your cola. Why didn’t we think of that!
Kori Ginger Coke
3 cans regular Coca Cola
2 bags English Breakfast tea
3 pieces thumb-sized peeled ginger (about 2 Tbsp)
1 lemon, quartered
2 cups water
In a pot, put tea bags, ginger, lemon and water.
Heat and boil for 2 minutes. (Start count when it begins to boil.)
Let cool. When ready, pour into ice trays and freeze.
Put ice cubes in a glass and add soda. Serve immediately.
It’s canning season and we couldn’t resist this delicious recipe for Earl Grey infused peach preserves from Bon Appétit. Peaches won’t be in season much longer, preserve the sweet flavor with a hint of bergamot and enjoy on toast, as a glaze on meats or even over ice cream all year long!
Of course, we recommend using any regular, organic or decaf Earl Grey from Stash Tea for this recipe!
Cut a small, shallow X in the bottom of each peach. Working in batches, blanch in a large pot of boiling water until skin loosens, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl of ice water; let cool.
Peel, halve, and pit. Cut into 1/3 inch slices. Combine with sugar and juice in a large bowl. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Place a small plate in freezer. Transfer fruit mixture and 4 tea bags to a large heavy pot. Open the remaining tea bag; crumble leaves slightly; add to pot. Bring to a boil, stirring gently, and cook 15-20 minutes. Test doneness by scooping a small spoonful onto chilled plate and tilting plate. (Preserves are ready if they don’t run.) Remove tea bags. Skim foam from the surface of jam. Ladle jam into 2 clean, hot 1-pint jars. Wipe rims, seal, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
Apple picking season is almost here in the Northwest. One way we like to enjoy the harvest is to make homemade applesauce. It brings back such wonderful memories of childhood. We were delighted to find this recipe from A Good Appetite that gives applesauce a new kick with the addition of sweet and spicy chai tea. We can’t decide what we like better, grandma’s classic version or this one!
3 bags Stash Double Spice Chai
3 lbs apples, cored & peeled (If you have a food mill you can skip peeling & run the sauce through the food mill to get rid of the skins)
1 c water
1/2 c sugar
1 T lemon juice
In a large heavy pot add the water, sugar and tea bags. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve sugar.
Turn off heat and let sit about 10 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing any liquid in them into the pot.
Cut the prepared apples into slices and add to the pot with your flavoring mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are very soft about 30 minutes.
Use a spoon or potato masher to help smash the apples to a sauce texture. (If you left the skins on your apples run your sauce through a food mill at this point to remove them.) Stir in the lemon juice. If your sauce seems too thick for your liking add a little water to it.
Put into containers and refrigerate. Or you can put hot sauce into sterilized jars and can them in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes for pantry storage.
Photo: Jennifer Davick; Styling: Lydia DeGaris Pursell
We know what we’re barbecuing this weekend! We couldn’t agree more with Southern Living’s idea to use sweet tea as a brine for moist flavorful chicken. Plus, the recipe combines lemon, rosemary, onion and garlic…perfect!
Sweet Tea-Brined Chicken
2 family-size tea bags
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
1 small sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 lemon, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, halved
2 (6-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon freshly cracked pepper
2 cups ice cubes
1 (3 1/2- to 4-lb.) cut-up whole chicken
1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 3-qt. heavy saucepan; add tea bags. Remove from heat; cover and steep 10 minutes.
2. Discard tea bags. Stir in sugar and next 6 ingredients, stirring until sugar dissolves. Cool completely (about 45 minutes); stir in ice. (Mixture should be cold before adding chicken.)
3. Place tea mixture and chicken in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag; seal. Place bag in a shallow baking dish and chill 24 hours. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade; pat chicken dry with paper towels.
4. Light one side of grill, heating to 300° to 350° (medium) heat; leave other side unlit. Place chicken, skin side down, over unlit side, and grill, covered with grill lid, 20 minutes. Turn chicken, and grill, covered with grill lid, 40 to 50 minutes or until done. Transfer chicken, skin side down, to lit side of grill, and grill 2 to 3 minutes or until skin is crispy. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Note: Total time does not include 1 day marinating time.
Chamomile tea in a smoothie, we LOVE this idea from Apron and Sneakers! Enjoy the calming effects of chamomile with quinoa for added protein and strawberries for a sweet delicious flavor. Great for a relaxing start to the morning or to wind down after a long day.
Chamomile, Strawberry & Quinoa Smoothie
Makes 1 glass
1/2 cup chamomile tea
1 tablespoon dried chamomile flowers (or 1 teabag) + extra flowers for garnishing
1 cup almond milk (or regular milk)
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (You can replace this with old fashioned oats.)
honey (if almond milk is unsweetened)
1/2 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
Steep chamomile tea in hot water for about 5 minutes. Strain flowers if you don’t want to include them in the smoothie. If you want to include them for a more intense flavor, just leave them. Remove teabag if using one.
Refrigerate until tea cools down.
Put the almond milk, cold chamomile tea (with flowers), cooked quinoa & strawberries in a blender and blend until smooth.
Sweeten with honey if needed.
Garnish with dried chamomile flowers if desired.
Note: If using oats instead of quinoa, grind them to an almost powdery consistency in the blender before adding the other ingredients.
Read our recent feature about chamomile to learn about its history, production and flavor. More about chamomile >