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Side Dishes Made With Bigelow Tea Really Make The Holiday Meal!

There are warm and tempting aromas coming from our kitchens this holiday season. That’s why Bigelow Tea is presenting our special holiday recipes…so we can provide some outstanding options for your perfect holiday meal! Today we want to share some side dishes and we can’t help but think, “so many festive sides, so little time!”

Here are two delicious tea-infused options that will delight you and your guests. What’s more, they pair beautifully with tomorrow’s Bigelow Tea entrée recommendations. So be sure to visit us tomorrow for main course recipes made with Bigelow Tea.

In the meantime, our French Style Green Beans and Carrots with Pomegranate-Balsamic Glaze  are a tasty and colorful addition to any table. And we’re sure you’ll agree that our Mashed Acorn Squash with Apple Cider Herb Tea is pure ambrosia. It’s true; the sides can make the meal!

French-style Green Beans and Carrots with Pomegranate-Balsamic Glaze

Ingredients:

1 cup hot water
Bigelow® Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea Bags
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound fresh french-style green beans
½ pound carrots cut into 1 inch matchsticks
Salt and pepper to taste

Yield: Serves 6

Instructions:

Combine hot water and 4 Bigelow® Green Tea with Pomegranate Tea Bags and allow to steep for 5-7 minutes.
Place tea in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced by half (about ten minutes).
Add balsamic vinegar and sugar. Stir to combine.
Add cornstarch and whisk vigorously until glaze is thickened and smooth. Set aside.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, combine butter and olive oil. Heat until butter is melted but not smoking and then add carrots and green beans.
Saute vegetables until just tender, approximately 5 minutes (allow a few extra minutes of extra cooking time if using traditional green beans).
Add pomegranate-balsamic glaze, and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately.

Note: Glaze may be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator.

Mashed Acorn Squash with Apple Cider Herb Tea

Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray
1 cup hot water
Bigelow® Apple Cider Herb Tea Bags
4 lbs. acorn squash (about 4 medium or 2 large), cut in half and seeds removed
¼ cup packed brown sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon salt

Yield: Serves 6

Instructions:

Enliven your Holiday table with a new tea-inspired side dish! High-fiber acorn squash is a healthy alternative to potatoes, and when flavored with Apple Cider Herb Tea, is the perfect accompaniment to any festive table.
Preheat oven to 400º and place oven rack on middle setting.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and arrange the acorn squash cut-side down on the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until flesh is soft. Allow to cool for approximately 15 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, combine hot water and tea bags and allow to steep for 5 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze tea bags and discard. Set aside.
Using a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the acorn squash and place in large bowl. Mash with a fork.
Add ½ cup of the tea, brown sugar, butter and salt, and stir to combine, making sure the liquid is absorbed. Add more tea (1 tablespoon at a time) if the puree is too stiff.
Check seasonings, and add more salt if necessary. Serve hot.

Image 1 via Christmasstockimages.com

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Fairfield County Business Journal’s First Ever CFO OF THE YEAR AWARD Awarded To Bigelow CFO Don Janezic

Don Janezic

Recipient of the First Annual

Fairfield County Business Journal

CFO OF THE YEAR AWARD

OMG it was a wonderful event!  Please join me in congratulating Bigelow CFO Don Janezic on receiving Fairfield County Business Journal’s first ever CFO OF THE YEAR AWARD.  The Bigelow family and entire staff already know what a remarkably caring and diligent man Don is, but it’s especially gratifying to know that his professional peers outside the company recognize him with the same high regard that we do.  A consummate pro, it’s an honor to have him in our ranks.  Way to go Don!  We’re all so proud of youand wish you every continued success!

Cindi Bigelow

 

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‘Tis the Season for Bigelow Tea’s December Holiday Tea Assortment Sweepstakes


‘Tis the season for tea drinking! For our December sweepstakes, we’ve decided to give away our Bigelow Holiday Tea Assortment! This assortment features one box of each of four distinctive Bigelow Tea seasonal blends:

• Bigelow Pumpkin Spice Tea
• Bigelow Eggnogg’n® Tea
• Bigelow Apple Cider Herb Tea
• Bigelow Ginger Snappish Herb Tea

Total Value: $14.95

We’re delighted about filling teacups with good cheer. Twenty-four (24) lucky winners will receive our Grand Prize which contains 80 tea bags in all. And, because it’s a holiday giveaway, the Grand Prize comes wrapped in festive boxes tied and tagged. It’s ready for gift gifting upon arrival!

Our holiday assortment is the perfect present for any tea lover on your shopping list. Or perhaps you may choose to hold onto it as a personal gift to yourself. That way you can share your prize with visitors and serve our holiday blends to your guests.

To enter, we suggest you “like” our Bigelow Tea Facebook page and click on the sweepstakes icon under our cover photo. The sweepstakes ends on December 27th. Look for an announcement of the winners on our Bigelow Tea blog. Good luck and Happy Holidays!

 

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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka: First Full Day

Previously, we shared that Cindi Bigelow was heading to Sri Lanka to explore tea fields and tea auctions and it took many hours to get there. Enjoy Cindi’s account below of her first full day!

Sri Lanka Trip: First Full Day in Sri Lanka

OK, my first full day in Sri Lanka, it was better than I ever could have hoped.   Growing up in a 3-generation family tea business, I thought I already know a lot about tea but I learned so much! The people in this country are so passionate and so knowledgeable about this precious gem that they have been producing here since the 1860’s.  It is truly inspirational.

We spent the morning with one of our most long-time and treasured partners, Van Rees and their amazing team led by Niraj de Mel. He has over 30 years in the business and his knowledge of the industry was truly amazing. He is the quintessential professional, intelligent, poised, articulate and warm. He made our VP of the Tea Division John McCraw and I immediately feel at home. We felt as if we had known each other for years.

They took us through cup after cup of tea to share with us exactly what they look for when buying for us. Their ability to taste the smallest of nuances was both awesome and comforting.

These people could not be better partners. They knew exactly what we wanted and more importantly how the teas would hold up over time. That is of critical importance to my family. I could have listened to Niraj for days. Then we watched them prepare for a tea auction in which we would be attending tomorrow; I was so excited to being seeing a live tea auction!  Niraj, his associate Prasanna Panabooke and all the others on the team review 12,000 samples a week for color, for size, for quality; it is amazing to watch them in action.  It truly took our breath away to watch these guys work through the samples.  I could never have imagined how intricate and delicate a process it was for these wonderful people to consistently gets teas that match the Bigelow standard month after month. We were in good hands!

I also got to visit a Sri Lankan tea packer after leaving Niraj and was able to see their operation and their people packing different teas for various customers around the world. Different than us but valuable to see for sure.

In just a matter of a few hours, we had come to realize how much tea is steeped in centuries of tradition and what a global beverage it truly is.  I also feel so blessed that my family and i are a part of this tea community. After only one day in Sri Lanka i got a much better understanding of what tea means to the world. Now i could see first-hand how tea was the second most consumed beverage in the world (after water).

Back to the hotel we went for we needed to get ready for our next experience, dinner with our wonderful hosts.

We met up with Niraj and several of his associates at around 7pm. They took us to a wonderful Sri Lankan restaurant.  Besides the outstanding food that we enjoyed, the conversation with our Sri Lankan partners was fascinating. We not only talked tea but we talked global politics and Sri Lanka history. The conversation flowed and the evening flew by. It was the perfect end to the perfect first day!  This was clearly going to be a week like no other in my life.

Cindi Bigelow

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Bigelow Tea Shares Tips For Decorating Your Home For Hanukkah

It’s almost time for joyous Hanukkah traditions like lighting the menorah, making potato latkes and exchanging gifts. In recognition of the “festival of lights” in the Jewish faith, Bigelow Tea takes a moment to highlight fresh and inventive ways to decorate your home and celebrate ancient customs in modern style!

Hanukkah commemorates the victory of the Jews over their rulers in the second century BCE. Today, the celebration focuses primarily on the “miracle of the oil” symbolized by the light of the menorah. The lighting of one candle each night for eight days reminds us of the Hanukkah story:  When the Temple of Jerusalem was rededicated, there was only enough holy oil for one day, but it lasted for eight – representing “the triumph of Judaism’s spiritual values as embodied in its Torah.” The lighting of each candle is a reminder of past miracles and the Jewish people’s ongoing pursuit of peace.

The traditional Hanukkah colors are blue and white and make a beautiful palette for decorating your home, gifts and tabletop for the holiday. Better Homes and Gardens has lots of do-it-yourself ideas, including the one pictured above for a menorah made of glass tea lights set atop wrapped boxes. Or you might try making decorative stars to adorn presents or string on garlands, as Martha Stewart has done in the past. And if you’re strapped for time or in need of that perfect “something,” handcrafted items just for Hanukkah— like wreaths, textiles, decorations— can be found online.

As for gifts, tea always makes a lovely present, especially since almost all Bigelow Tea varieties are certified Kosher! Our ‘Giving Hai’ Hanukkah Gift makes a grand presentation to someone special with 18 teas and assorted treats.

Have a happy and tea-rrific Hanukkah!

Photo 1 by Scazon via Flickr.com
Photo 2 via Better Homes and Gardens

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Cindi Bigelow Travels To Sri Lanka To Explore Tea Fields and Tea Auctions

Ceylon tea, renowned the world over for its full-bodied taste and inviting aroma, is grown in Sri Lanka, an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent in South Asia.  Join Cindi Bigelow as she journeys to this far-away place to explore the tea fields and tea auctions of Sri Lanka, where this world-class beverage originates. 

Sri Lanka Trip: Getting There

Wow, my first trip to the tea fields of Sri Lanka and it’s been amazing. It takes 24 hours of travel to get to Sri Lanka. We went through Dubai and flying into that city was breathtaking.  Seeing the tallest building in the world was truly special. Then we took off landing first in the Maldives. The water was a see-through blue.  The weather looked outstanding.

Taking off from Mali

Just before the plane was getting ready to take off to Colombo (the capital of Sri Lanka) the attendant came up and said to us if we didn’t mind, they wanted to upgrade us to FIRST CLASS. Didn’t mind???  We almost fell out of our seats!  Emirates Air first class…never thought I would see that in my lifetime.  So our last part of our 24 hour journey was going in style.  Here we come Sri Lanka…..let the journey continue.

 

Bigelow President Cindi Bigelow, and VP of Tea Division, John McCraw, upon learning of upgrade.

Cindi Bigelow

 

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Bigelow Tea Fan Of The Month Greta Eagan Goes Gluten Free In Style

Bigelow Tea admires the way eco-fashion expert Greta Eagan has designed a busy and fascinating life around a gluten-free diet that includes her favorite Bigelow Tea: English Breakfast – a fitting choice for this native Brit! So we’re delighted to introduce Greta as our December Fan of the Month and to share her insights on how to happily live gluten free!

Greta explains that her interest in eco-fashion grew out of her concerns about the foods she was eating. “I realized that what I put next to my body was just as important,” she says. Her training in Sustainable Fashion at the University of London gave her the impetus to launch FashionMeGreen, a website that helps to bridge the gap between mainstream and eco-fashion. Somehow, after meeting with designers, photographers and clients, Greta also made time to work on a book about sustainability and fashion!

And her diet? Greta gave up gluten four years ago. “It makes such a huge difference in my life that I really strictly follow my gluten-free diet, and that means I have to plan ahead when I am traveling and carry snacks, as well as check out the menu of any restaurant before meeting someone for dinner,” she says.

As Greta knows, tea is a naturally gluten-free beverage. She appreciates the classic flavor of Bigelow Tea’s English Breakfast and calls it “a staple.” She avoids processed foods and focuses instead on “eating a diversified and colorful diet with more whole foods, especially veggies.”

If you haven’t already, check out our extensive collection of gluten-free recipes infused with tea! Greta even contributed her own delicious recipe for Maple and Miso Glazed Squash using our French Vanilla Decaffeinated Tea. Thank you Greta, for showing us how tea can be part of a stylish and gluten-free life!

 

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Looking At Bigelow Tea And National Cookie Day!

Don’t let this special day be forgotten during your busy holiday season: Bigelow Tea is pleased to remind you that December 4th is National Cookie Day! Did you know that the English word “cookie” comes from the Dutch word “koekje,” which means “little cake?” Cookies are perhaps the most comfortable of comfort foods. Making cookies as children is where we first learned about baking and the importance of measuring ingredients. Fresh baked cookies are about family, love and the holidays. And, yes, cookies are best friends with your favorite cup of tea!

And while cookies are perfect with tea, we remind you that Bigelow Tea is also perfect for cookie making! We’ve created many dessert recipes made with tea … and some are cookies!  Here are a few for you and your family to enjoy!

Lemon Lift® Glazed Butter Cookies

Ingredients: 

2/3 cups confectioners sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 Bigelow Lemon Lift® Tea Bag

Yield: Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Instructions:

Beat together the sugar and butter until smooth and creamy. Stir in flour and salt, blending until dough is formed. Divide dough in half; shape into disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350° F.
Roll dough on lightly floured surface to ¼” thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters, re-rolling scraps for additional cookies.

Place cookie shapes on ungreased cookie sheets and bake 12-15 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Remove cookies to wire racks to cool. Drizzle with Lemon Lift® Glaze.

*Lemon Lift® Glaze: Pour 2 tablespoons boiling water over 1 Bigelow Lemon Lift® tea bag in a small bowl. Let steep 5 minutes. Remove tea bag, squeezing out liquid. Gradually stir in 1 to 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar until mixture is a glaze consistency, adding a few drops yellow food coloring, if desired

Constant Comment® Meringue Cookies With Pecans

Ingredients:

1/4 cup hot water
2 Bigelow Constant Comment® Tea Bags*
Egg whites from 2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
¼ cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)(optional)
Parchment paper

Yield: Makes 24 cookies

*Variations: Mint Medley Meringues: Substitute Bigelow Mint Medley Herb Tea for the Constant Comment Tea and substitute chocolate chips for the pecans.

Instructions:

In a measuring cup, steep tea bags in hot water for 5 minutes. Thoroughly squeeze tea bags into cup before discarding. Allow tea to cool.

Preheat oven to 275º F and place rack on middle setting. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Beat egg whites on medium-high speed with an electric mixer, until soft peaks form (about 2 minutes). Add the lemon juice, then the sugar, a little at a time, and raise the speed of the mixer to high.

Add 1 teaspoon of the prepared tea and continue to beat on high until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes). The mixture should be very voluminous and look like fluffy whipped cream. Don’t overbeat…the mixture should look glossy, not dry.

Using a 2 oz. ice cream scoop (or 2 spoons), place rounded mounds of meringue (about 2 tablespoons per cookie) onto prepared baking sheet and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake for 45 minutes, until firm to the touch. Turn off oven and allow the cookies to slowly cool as the oven cools (at least another hour). They will be crisp on the outside, with a slightly soft center. When they are finished, they will release from the parchment very easily.

Cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container on the countertop.

Image via moonstarsandpaper.blogspot.com

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Bigelow Tea’s Sweepstakes Will Make The Holidays Bright

It’s that time of year again! With the holiday season fast approaching, the search is on for the perfect gift. Looking for something to make the holidays warmer and full of cheer?  Bigelow Tea has you covered with its amazing Holiday Sweepstakes!

The lucky winner will receive a $100 gift certificate for Bigelow Tea products … your choice! So whether it’s teas, gift baskets, treats or something else, whatever you select is guaranteed to make your holidays brighter!

Here’s how it works. Enter the Sweepstakes on our Bigelow Tea Facebook. Simply “like” the page, if you haven’t already, then click the Sweepstakes icon under our cover photo and follow the instructions. The Bigleow Tea Holiday Sweepstakes ends at midnight EST on December 9th, so be sure to enter by then.

One (1) lucky winner will receive a $100 gift certificate that can be used to purchase any teas or gift items offered on our Bigelow Tea website. That’s it. It’s simple to enter and exciting to contemplate winning!

Look for the announcement of the lucky winner on our Constant Comment blog. Good luck, and happy holiday shopping!

 

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Winners Announced for the Bigelow Tea & Foodista.com Sweepstakes!

We want to thank everyone who entered our very fun sweepstakes with Foodista.com!  And thanks Foodista.com for sharing the great tea recipes!  Ok the winners of this amazing “Constant Comment”® Personali-Tea Basket are the following:

Alanna from Nova Scotia, Canada

Zahra from Alberta, Canada

Ross from Washington

And the winner of the wonderful Foodista cookbook and apron is:

Debbie from British Columbia, Canada

Congrats to everyone and happy tea drinking!!


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