Pin It & Spin It: Pumpkin Pie Matcha Shortbread

Oh a link party!  Gina over at Desperately Seeking Gina is linking up (is that even the proper term?) with a Pin It or Spin It theme and since I just used a Pinterest recipe this will be my VERY first link up (again, is that the right term?).  In my last bog post, I mentioned the Pumpkin Pie Matcha that I purchased from David’s Tea had a very BLAH flavor and so I decided to use the rest of it in a recipe.

Pin It:  So, this was the Pin that started it all: Matcha Green Tea Shortbread Cookies

Spin it: I added a half teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice in addition to using the Pumpkin Pie Matcha to try and kick up the flavor. Plus, I used cookie slats to help roll a perfectly even dough.

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How cute are these tiny little cookies?  They are so dainty! I only made about a half batch of these because I didn’t want to sacrifice all of my matcha–but it was almost all of it.  The recipe is very straightforward and is super quick to put together.  The cutting of the cookies into tiny flowers is the most tedious part of the process.  I would definitely recommend using cookie slats to get the dough perfectly even.

Instead of regular sugar for the dusting I used baker’s sugar, which is a much finer grain of sugar crystals.  It worked out well and the sugar makes the cookies look extra cute and fancy without a grainy texture.

The outcome was a tiny cookie that can be a light snack, like Teddy Grams but with no gram and much more delicious.  The matcha flavor was super light and I could only catch a hint of it at the end.  The pumpkin flavor, even with the added pumpkin pie spice, was nonexistent. These tasted more like a straightforward shortbread.

These would be perfect for a little kid’s tea party (my super duper picky eating child even liked them) or maybe a St Patrick’s day snack but they would fail horribly at a pumpkin celebration.

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David’s Tea Pumpkin Collection

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The first blog I had, Pumpkin Passion, was solely about my love of pumpkin and pumpkin products.  The blog was inspired by the first blog I ever read, the Candyblog, and it followed the same model of “eat it and then review it.”  It was a nice break from the policy writing that I was doing so much of at work.  Eventually, the pumpkin-eating focus was too restrictive and I wanted to branch out to other topics that I’m interested in and that is how this blog came to be.  I still have a deep love of all things pumpkin and I intend to keep doing reviews here on Pumpkin Pundit.

I have been daydreaming of being the type of person who drinks fancy posh teas in my quiet breakfast nook, in my clean house, while watching raindrops fall quietly on my vegetable garden.  It’s a whole lifestyle that I’ve conjured up around drinking fancy expensive tea.  This fancy tea would surely have been purchased from David’s Tea.  Their tea is ridiculously expensive and I have only tasted it a few times after pilfering my mother’s free samples.

While pumpkin-eating season has dwindled down to a trickle, I was able to snatch some pumpkin items on after Christmas sales.  After Christmas sales can be glorious things and I was able to get the pumpkin matcha and the pumpkin collection for 40% off.  Finally!  My fancy tea dreams were going to come true!

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When the box came, I ripped that sucker open and was a little giddy.  The pumpkin collection came with about 3 oz of each of their pumpkin teas.  As described by their website, there were tins of

  • Spiced Pumpkin–a sweet and comforting blend of pumpkin, honeybush, cinnamon, cocoa and real maple crystals;
  • Pumpkin Maté–a super-energizing yerba mate with butternut squash, pumpkin seeds and warming spices;
  • Pumpkin Chai–which needs no introduction.

The packaging on these teas is beautiful.  I love the colors, the simplicity, the cuteness, and the sweet little pumpkin graphic.  It speaks perfectly to my own aesthetic.  I want to live in a world designed by David’s Teas.  The hoarder in me wanted to keep all the packaging forever but I threw it away after taking the photos.  A David’s Tea world of simplicity would not appreciate such clutter.  I was not able to fulfill my entire tea drinking fantasy (there’s no breakfast nook, house, vegetable garden or silence) but it was a cloudy and rainy day.

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I tried the Spiced Pumpkin first and it was freaking fantastic.  I wanted to ditch the hot water and start spooning the leaves directly into my mouth.  It tastes like refreshing pumpkin candy.  There’s a hint of sweetness but it needs some sugar.  Usually I drink my tea with milk but it really doesn’t need it.  I made it in an orange cup and at first glance I thought that the tea hadn’t steeped at all.  The color is really light.  It’s caffeine free so I drink it all day long.   This is the tea of my breakfast nook fantasies.

The Pumpkin Chai was next.  After a couple of sips, I wasn’t a fan.  It doesn’t taste strongly like the chai teas that I’m use to drinking.  I think that I expected a lot more spice.  I added more sugar and some milk to my cup and that made all the difference.  It went from mediocre to super likeable.  It is only lightly caffeinated.  There are cute little orange pumkinish sprinkles mixed in with the tea leaves that make it look extra festive.

The Pumpkin Mate looks like a strong black tea and it is the most caffeinated out of all the pumpkin teas.   This one is my least favorite of the pumpkin collection.  It doesn’t take much like pumpkin.  It mostly just tastes like an ordinary black tea. Humdrum!

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Lastly is the Pumpkin Pie Matcha.  I became interested in matcha last year while watching Mozart in the Jungle on Amazon.  I totally love that show mostly because the orchestra players are living their dream job but they’re deeply miserable.  It’s an easy and smooth show to watch—if that makes sense.  On the show, the conductor drinks a ton of tea and it’s brought up frequently in the first season.  There’s even a mildly sexy scene all about the making of this tea.  The funny thing is that I thought he was drinking matcha and so I did all this research on how to make a perfect match.  When the second season was released, I realized that he’s drinking an Argentine mate tea, duh!  Anyway, I still like matcha and when I saw that David’s Tea had a Pumpkin Pie Match I wanted it BAD.  At 40% off, it was going to be MINE!

I waited a while to make this one because matcha is fairly strongly caffeinated and caffeine is probably my #1 migraine trigger.  I had been trying to wean myself off of a Christmas season coffee binge.  By the time I finally decided that I was decaffeinated enough, I was still super excited to try it.  My first taste was disappointing but I kept on sipping.  I tried adding some milk and more sugar.  Matcha is supposed to be strongly presweetened but this is the least sweet matcha that I’ve had.  Ultimately, I did not like it and that’s kind of an understatement.  It didn’t taste anything like pumpkin but it did taste like grainy green tea water.  So disappointing!

The Spiced Pumpkin tea will surely be a lifelong favorite and I will stock up heavily during their next sale.  The Pumpkin Matcha, I will try it again as a latte and see if that helps a little but I will more likely be using it in matcha baking recipes that I’ve been stocking up on over at Pinterest.  These matcha donuts sounds promising!  The others, Pumpkin Chai and Pumpkin Mate, will be sipped and enjoyed but I probably wouldn’t purchase them again.

The David’s Tea brand I have swallowed whole-heartedly!

Pumpkin Haul 1

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Disney World Vacation Video

It has been over a year since we vacationed at Disney World and I’ve finally finished the vacation video I’ve wanted to make since we returned.  It has been over a year since we went and I should probably have something more to show than what it is but I can’t deal with it anymore.  I either had to finish the video or just scrap it all together.  It’s not great but it’s something and that’s enough.

I had a strangely long learning curve towards the end product.  I was stalled for weeks just trying to figure out what program I could download that would allow me to string all of our pictures together.  After way too much time I had a very large “DUH” moment and discovered Windows Movie Maker which was already preinstalled on my computer, DUH!  Does everyone already know about this program but me?

I’m not super pleased with it but I’ll share it anyway because if I only blogged about my crafts that came out perfectly then I would never blog at all and I almost don’t blog at all. Ha!

 

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Friday Tagline Talk

Gloria Steinem

PARENTING: “18 Reasons Why Parents Can’t Stand Caillou” made me laugh so hard that I thought I was going to pass out. My #1 reason is because it is so freaking ugly!

POLITICS: We went to an event last week that had Melissa McCarthy interviewing Gloria Steinem. It was pretty amazing.  Melissa McCarthy is hysterical.  The best part was this discussion:

McCarthy shared that she called Merriam-Webster earlier this week in response to reading in Steinam’s book that the venerable dictionary includes very different definitions for adventurer and adventuress (the latter of which is “a female adventurer; especially: one who seeks position or livelihood by questionable means”). First, she asked Stephen Perrault, the dictionary’s humorously titled director of defining, if he wears a wizard hat. Then she promised to call back every six weeks until the issue had been resolved. 

I saw this embroidery on Flickr recently and I was kinda surprised that someone loves Melissa McCarthy as much as I do. Amazing! There’s also this Dolly Parton embroidery.

PUMPKINS: This is the most beautiful pumpkin that I’ve ever seen.

POSSIBILITIES: Bold words.

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Sooo Exciting!

The weather is finally chilly and it really feels like fall.  This has me seriously wanting to craft.  However, things just aren’t working out all that well on the crafting front.  It started with a small tablecloth that I was attempting to make for my kid’s little table.  I’d purchased the fabric on clearance months ago and was waiting for a bolt of inspiration to tell me what to do with it.  A small Christmas tablecloth was the  perfect project.  All that I needed to do was cut the fabric down to size, sew the edges, and iron on some vinyl so the crud could just be wiped off.

Unfortunately, my old nemesis showed up again and that would be the cutting fabric part of the project.  I really suck at cutting fabric.  I can’t cut a descent straight line.  I folded the fabric in half and then I was supposed to cut off some off the length and instead cut down the center fold.  Who does that?!?! Now I have two long pieces of fabric instead of 1 square piece like I needed.

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Subsequently, I needed to work with my other crafting nemesis, the stupid serger.  I was planning on make the tablecloth more quilt like with four pieces instead of one and then adding some borders around the pieces.  I felt like the serger was my best option.

Since I bought the serger, about 9 years ago I don’t think I’ve ever successfully used it or it’s been so long ago that I’ve forgotten that it ever worked.  This time I was determined and watched dozens of youtube tutorials and read even more about this infuriating machine.  After nearly a week of trying to figure out the tension issues, I came to the conclusion that my serger is actually broken.  One of the tension dials just doesn’t work.  It feels loose when I turn it and it doesn’t matter it is set at 1 or 9 the tread still looks super loose.  So, I’m kind of done with sewing for now.

I decided to resign myself to virtual crafting, aka Pinterest.  While cleaning up my boards, I became focused on the “New Blog Ideas” board that I created over a year ago.  I wondered AGAIN why I never really used this blog.  There were things about the design that I didn’t like and that didn’t feel like me.  I looked over my collection of snips from blog designs that I love and I found that the blogs that really caught my eye were so much more simpler than my design.

Monday night, I just started messing around with the design with the only intention of making things a little simpler.  In just a few hours, I had majorly redesigned the whole thing.  I love the way it looks now!  It makes me want to blog again and so I am!

How the blog originally looked. It was way too busy and too pastel!

How the blog originally looked. It was way too busy and too pastel!

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Little Lying Squares

I’m a horrible judge of what other people think of me. It’s not that I can’t be bothered with other people’s opinions–I wish it was that simple. In fact, I spend most of my time trying to figure out how I’m viewed in the eyes of others. It’s a sickness, I tell you!  I bring this up because I found myself following a path of links to this article, What I Instagrammed Vs. What Was Really Happening, Or My Entire Life Is A Lie.

Instagram is my favorite social media mostly because it’s fairly nonconfrontational and it’s a quick creative outlet. So, this article got me to thinking about how those 300+ little photographic squares represent me. Has someone looked at my photos and thought “Damn! she has her shit together.” I seriously hope I haven’t lied to that extent with my photos.
Like the author of the article does, I’m prepared to confess. Below is “what I’m really doing in all those Instagrams vs. what I presented to the world.”

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1. The Ultimate Kids’ Chef

What It Looks Like I’m Doing…
I wake up early and make my child a homemade breakfast in the shape of any character of his choice. Then, my child eats said breakfast and smiles at me in gratitude.
What I’m Actually Doing/Thinking…
This was a semi-botched birthday plan. We were going to go to Disneyland super early on my birthday, watch the “rope drop” ceremony and eat those Mickey Mouse pancakes that I always wanted as a child but my mom said they were too expensive. Well, the hotel reservation got misconstrued and we ended up going weeks in advance, there is no “rope drop” ceremony at Disneyland (or at least there wasn’t on the day we went), and those pancakes were cold and nasty. They were actually really nasty! Also, our child wouldn’t eat them because those tiny pieces of fruit had touched the pancake and, as some 2 year-old children know, fruit is super poisonous and made out of poop.

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2. The Child Model

What It Looks Like I’m Doing…
My child stands obediently while I take a picture. We can let go of his hand and he will pose with a smile.
What I’m Actually Doing/Thinking…
We rarely let go of his hand or don’t have him strapped into a stroller. He’s a runner/sprinter at high speeds. See how he’s leaning forward in the “After” picture with a gleam in his eyes. That’s because he took off a second later down the hilly sidewalk towards the street causing dogs to bark and shopkeepers to check and see what criminal had escaped.

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3. A Relaxing Stroll at Target

What It Looks Like I’m Doing…
Casually shopping at Target for eclectic household items while my child sits back and relaxes.
What I’m Actually Doing/Thinking…
Since having a kid, I HATE Target. Maybe I just hate the experience of shopping at Target with a toddler. I swear the place turns children into possessed demons. There’s no child restraint my child can’t get out of and he won’t sit in a cart for longer than 3 minutes. This cart in the picture is GIANT. It has the forward-facing seat and then a regular cart attached. It’s like pushing two carts down the aisle train style. It’s kind of embarrassingly large but my child will tolerate it for about 15 minutes, which is heaven.

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4. A Glowing Social Life

What It Looks Like I’m Doing…
Enjoying the company of friends. See you can have a rewarding social life even after having kids.
What I’m Actually Doing/Thinking…
Enjoying the company of my friends and while distracted by real adult conversation my child pulls down his pants in front of everyone and pees all over their (thankfully) hardwood floors. Also, to the mother of the one-year old who was also at the party and looked on in judgmental horror, just you wait! Payback for this kind of stuff is always a BITCH!

Truth is now told!

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