On the Menu: Valentine's Tea

Valentine's Day candies Treat your valentine to a romantic afternoon tea prepared by an all-star group of New York chefs. (See the full lineup here.) The incredible talents collaborating on this feast will tempt diners with a decadent selection of delicate savories and tempting sweets. Check out the menu below, then click here to secure your spot. Sweets Plain and Chocolate–Sweet Herb Scones with Kumquat Marmalade Irish Tea Brack Petits Fours Glacés Lemon–Lavender Jewels Miniature Mallomars (Get the recipe!) Dark Chocolate–Dipped Cinnamon Meringues Pear–

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On the Menu: Valentine's Tea

Valentine's Day candies Treat your valentine to a romantic afternoon tea prepared by an all-star group of New York chefs. (See the full lineup here.) The incredible talents collaborating on this feast will tempt diners with a decadent selection of delicate savories and tempting sweets. Check out the menu below, then click here to secure your spot. Sweets Plain and Chocolate–Sweet Herb Scones with Kumquat Marmalade Irish Tea Brack Petits Fours Glacés Lemon–Lavender Jewels Miniature Mallomars (Get the recipe!) Dark Chocolate–Dipped Cinnamon Meringues Pear–

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Eat this Word: Amaranth

amaranthWHAT? A good Host. The Aztecs revered this mighty grain, using it in religious rituals to make what Barbara Grunes and Virginia Van Vynckt, authors of All-American Waves of Grain, liken to a Holy Communion wafer. The carnivorous sun-worshippers would combine the tiny grain with a liquid mixture that sometimes contained blood, form the concoction into cakes, and use the cakes in religious ceremonies. People who ate these cakes believed they were eating the flesh of the gods. Not surprisingly, the Spanish didn't approve of this custom, nor of the Aztecs generally. The conquistadors wiped out Aztec civilization and for good measure destroyed many acres of amaranth. For the next four centuries, the grain was practically unknown. Rediscovered a couple decades ago, it is now highly touted for its healthful properties. Amaranth greens, which taste similar to spinach, are edible, as are the seeds (which are sometimes ground to make flour). Many natural food stores

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Recipe: Kyoto Matcha Custard

Last month at the Beard House, John J. Shirley, executive chef at the New York Athletic Club, designed and served a menu that showcased the versatility of tea in cooking. We loved his simple but elegant custard perfumed with matcha, a fine green tea that's central to Japanese tea ceremonies. Consider it for an unexpected, luxurious dessert course at your next dinner party. (Chef Shirley uses matcha from Kyoto, but any matcha will do.)

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