Saturday, June 6, 2015

Week 19 - Flowers

The theme for Week 19 was flowers, and it was an easy choice for me about what flower to use - hibiscus. We love the hibiscus flower. We used it in some of our wedding stuff since we got married in Hawaii, and it was the flavor of the iced tea at the restaurant where we got engaged. We always loved that iced tea, but until I started cooking more, it didn't even occur to me to try to make it at home.

Originally I was planning to make hibiscus enchiladas, since I usually try to do something savory for dinner for each of the challenges. But we had just gotten back from our road trip that weekend, I wasn't in the mood to make enchiladas, and I really just wanted some hibiscus iced tea (sweet tea withdrawal?). Making a drink might seem like an "easier" route to go for the challenge, but it still counted!

Making hibiscus iced tea is really easy. All you need is some dried hibiscus (aka flor de jamaica, as you'll probably find this at a Mexican grocery store, like we did). Following this recipe from The Kitchn just for proportions, I combined about 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus with 4 cups of water, and stuck it in the fridge overnight to steep. The next day, we poured ourselves some tea, added a little bit of agave to taste for some sweetness, and our tea was ready to go!

When we first had hibiscus iced tea, we had no idea it was so simple to make, but now we can make it whenever we want. This didn't taste quite the same as the original one we had, but maybe they added other things to it or used simple syrup instead of agave. (They probably also add ice since it is "iced" tea, but we had no ice.) The best thing is that, since the entire bag of flor de jamaica cost $2.19 and we only used a little bit for this experiment, we can keep trying all different variations until we find the one we like best, and for a fraction of the cost of a single order of iced tea at a restaurant. Highly recommend giving hibiscus iced tea a shot if you've never had it before!

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