artist: cara mcgee

Happy Valentine’s Day you wonderful people! I bought this mug as a gift for myself for V-Day and I absolutely adore it It is perfect. #husbandgreatlydisapproves #heisjustjealousoftheFen'Harellol Artist: Cara McGee You can purchase this mug and other fabulous things from her store on Red Bubble in the following link ♡ http://www.redbubble.com/people/ohcararara Shout out to areyoutryingtodeduceme ♡ Thank you for creating this wonderful piece! I hope you have a lovely day ♡

7

Everyone seems to be playing show and tell with their lovely creations with our beloved Cara McGee’s fandom teas. I thought I’d share my recipe too.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Watson (Earl Grey/Irish Breakfast) Shortbread Cookies

(also customizable for any of your fandom teas!)

  • ¾ Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1/8 Cups Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup of Butter (at room temp)
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Tea(more or less, if you want)
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla (more or less, if you want)
  • ½ Teaspoon of Salt

~~~~~~~~How To Instructions~~~~~~~

  1. In a coffee grinder/blender/whatever, blend the tea until it is a powdery mix.
  2. In a food processor, mix together the tea, the flour, and the salt. Blend it together so that the tea is evenly spread throughout the flour.
  3. Pulse the butter, vanilla and sugars until it makes a dough.
  4. Put the dough on a plate or in a bowl in either a log or a loaf in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. Dough will stiffen.
  5. Preheat oven to 375F.
  6. Slice the log or roll out the dough and make cutouts.
  7. Arrange on sheets that are lined with parchment paper (I didn’t have any on hand), one or two inches apart. They don’t really spread that much.
  8. Bake for about 12 minutes, until edges are brown.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes on the pan, then on wire racks.
  10. ENJOY YOUR WATSON SHORTBREAD COOKIES WITH A CUP OF WATSON TEA (or Sherlock to make a Johnlock treat!). DO IT.
2

Today, we’re making cupcakes. And not just any cupcakes: we’re making Spiced Moriar Tea cupcakes. 

Ingredients:
1 box of white cake mix (whatever brand you have is fine) and whatever you need to make it, usually oil, water, and eggs
Some of Cara’s Moriar Tea blend from adagio.com
Tub of white frosting
Food coloring, you will need red and yellow. 
1 box of marzipan (optional, but needed for the apples)
Some whole cloves to make the apple stems
Powdered sugar
Cinnamon or any red sprinkles (optional)
Cupcake pan liners

How to make:

My recipe called for one cup of water so I heated up my water as if I was making tea, and then put two teaspoons in. My tea was a little weak, and you can still taste it in the cupcakes, but I would recommend something more like 3 teaspoons to one cup of water. That way it’ll be more concentrated and your cupcakes will be more spiced. Make sure you steep the tea long enough for a strong flavor.

Then, using your freshly steeped tea as your water, add the oil and eggs and tea to the mix and make your batter.

Next, add yellow and red food coloring until you get a nice pumpkin-like color to your batter. You don’t have to color it, but I just like the effect.

Line the pan with your cupcake liners, spray them with some baking spray Pam, just so the cupcakes come out of the liners nicely.

Pour in your batter. The suggested amount of cupcakes is 24, but I filled my tins more than 2/3 and ended up with 18.

Skip this step if you don’t have marzipan: While your cupcakes are baking take out your marzipan. Slice off a large enough portion for 15 nickel sized apples. Add red coloring to the marzipan and knead it to blend the color. Continue until you like the shade of red. 
Divide the portion of marzipan into small, cherry-ish sized balls. Take out your whole cloves. Find 15 cloves that look small enough for the apples and that would look good as apple stems. Pinch off the four little points around the buds of each clove, and then, using scissors, cut off the bud. 
Take a little ball and shape it into an apple. (You should know what an apple looks like, so I’m not going to go into detail here.) When you are done shaping the apple, stick the clove in the top, skinny end in first. To make sure your apples don’t stick to your surface smudge a tiny bit of powdered sugar on the bottoms. Repeat for the 14 other apples.

Your cupcakes should be done by now. Take them out and let them cool.

Prepare your frosting by scooping it into a larger bowl and adding a small about of yellow and red coloring, to get an apricot or pale orange color. 

Once your cupcakes are cooled you can use whatever frosting tool you have to cover the tops with the frosting. Do this to all cupcakes.

Put three cupcakes aside.

Take out your cinnamon or red sprinkles and sprinkle it on top of all but three of your cupcakes(I like to think that they are blood spatter). Place an apple on all but three slightly off center or it will look like a cherry.

Hopefully you didn’t go crazy and use all your frosting, so add more red coloring until you get a nice red frosting. Take this frosting and spoon it into either a pastry bag or a ziploc bag. If using a ziploc bag, cut off a very small bit of one corner. You don’t want it too big as you will be piping letters. 

Now you make use your last three cupcakes, which you previously set aside after frosting. Pipe I O U across the three.

Now all that’s left to do is make yourself a nice cup of Moriar Tea to enjoy with your cupcakes. Hopefully your tea in the beginning was concentrated enough or you won’t taste the cloves.

Oh, and please remember to remove the clove from the apple before eating it. Just think how terribly embarrassing it would be to die from choking on a clove.

Guest Artist and Tea Maker Cara McGee

It’s Day 50 in the great Sherlock Seattle countdown and I’m delighted to introduce a lady who needs no introduction! 

I often wonder if there is anyone who has not heard of Cara McGee (aka areyoutryingtodeduceme), maker of awesome art and awesome tea over at Adagio. Known for her special “media” blends, Cara takes the various characteristics of her favorite television and film characters and translates them into subtly fabulous and fragrant (not to mention delicious!) teas. For example, Moriartea is a “spicy chai backed by more ginger. Guaranteed to burn the heart out of you, because that’s what people BREW!” And then there’s her latest - Watson’s Mustache, made of Irish breakfast, Masala chai, caramel, cloves, cinnamon, and cardamon. “A warm fuzzy tea, meant to be taken with a hefty addition of milk.”

I can’t really remember now how Cara came onto my radar, but early on when I started to follow her on tumblr I noticed that she was almost constantly posting about food. She would pick some particular kind of food or dish and then for the whole day just keep posting picture after yummy picture after delicious picture of it. I proposed to her that she should change her name from “areyoutryingtodeduceme” to “areyoutryingtokillme” because that’s what I thought she was trying to do with all her tummy enticing photographs! 

Cara will be on a number of art panels, will be showing and selling her work in the Artists Alley, and will do a panel on making tea blends at Sherlock Seattle this October! Huzzah!

Oh, and if that wasn’t cool enough? She’ll be making the official art poster for Sherlock Seattle 2013! Whoooooo! So make sure you get a VIP membership so you can enjoy Cara’s awesome art. We have a very fun (and funny) poster planned for this year. ;)

Cara McGee is a graduate of SCAD where she spent many years learning how to draw comic books. She now puts that knowledge to use creating fandom based tea blends because why not, life is weird like that. She still enjoys comics and draws them frequently, and most of them concern food. You may have seen her crying over Sherlock and other fandoms and pushing tea on her tumblr.​

Doughlocks and recipe

Sometimes Cara the amazing tea blender posts food porn… and it’s usually glutenous and makes me want delicious pasta and breads so I have an urge to make something.

Today she posted these delicious looking sugar coated doughnuts and I was drinking Sherlock and thought “What the hell.”

So here we have Fried Doughlocks.

Zee recipe:

  • Roughly 1 and a ¼ cup of sifted flour (I used a mix of GF Bisquick and Pamela’s baking mixes)
  • ¼ cup sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of brewed Sherlock tea with your choice of milk (I used vanilla almond)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Mix that shiz up.

  • Take your pan, pot, or deep frier, and fill it with oil. I choose canola oil for frying.
  • Heat of the oil slowly until you can just start to smell it. DO NOT put it on high. Keep it at a medium/high temp. On electric stove tops that would be about a 3 or a 4.
  • Plop the batter in. Let it sizzle. Flip carefully if need be. The whole frying process should take about 2 minutes each.
  • Once a golden shade of fried sherlockiness, pat your doughnut down with a paper towel and then procede to roll it in sugar. (if you don’t have bakers hands like me, be sure to let it cool down a bit first).
  • Keep going. This recipe should get you at least 20 doughnuts if they’re smaller in size.

Once you’re done, enjoy your doughlock with a cup of tea (or water, you may need some after being around all that frying).

I find that doughlocks go particularly well with Cara’s Watson blend.

Fin.

2

Sometimes I wonder how famous people feel, when they have their first big success, and thousands of people are drawing and painting fanart of their faces, not the interpretive ones where someone turns them into a cartoon or a caricature, just an observational drawing, and then they send it to them on twitter, give it to them in person, etc. And some of the celebs actually save them, so they have hundreds of drawings of their faces in many styles. Usually for a friend, you would draw them something they like (someone else’s face perhaps).

So a social experiment! I thought about doing it to a tumblr famous person. They’re not famous enough to need bodyguards at conventions, but you’d probably have trouble fitting all of their followers into one building. I’m not painting them for a class project.

areyoutryingtodeduceme jokes about being famous and having people draw fanart and write fanfics of her, and shipping her with other people. So Cara, how does it feel? And if she so wishes, I will remove this from my blog.

HOW DOES IT FEEEEEEL. I DREW YOUR FAAAAACE AND THEN I GAVE IT TO YOU. HOW DOES IT FEEL HAVING A STRAIGHT UP FANART OF YOUR FACE?

(Referenced from a screencap she took of herself)

The Government and the Inspector Infused Ganache - Recipe

Some time ago, Cara mentioned she wanted a recipe for tea infused ganache (unless she didn’t and it was all a dream. Either way, here is a recipe) so, since I make a pretty darn good ganche, I altered my recipe to oblige her~

What you’ll need:

* 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces; or in chocolate chip form
* ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 3-6 teaspoons of The Government and the Inspector tea
(Note: You can use any kind of loose leaf tea, really, but the chocolate chai and hazelnut in this blend work very well with the chocolate)


Steps:

1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl (stainless steel prefered).

2. Put the heavy whipping cream, butter, and tea into a saucepan over low-medium heat. I reccommand starting out on low heat so that the tea has a bit more time to steep before the next step.

3. The mixture will turn a meduim-dark cream color, and smell so good you’ll want to stick your face in it (don’t though, your safety is very important to us!). Bring the mixture just to a boil; small bubbles will start to appear on the surface.

4. Put a strainer with a fine mesh (or whatever you have on hand) over your bowl of chocolate. Pour the just boiling mixture into the strainer so that the tea leaves stay behind, while the liquid covers the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes.

5. Stir with a whisk until smooth.

6. Enjoy! The finished product is delicious. It tastes a bit like Thin Mint cookies, but with a bit of spice from the chai.

*I let mine set in the fridge for 10 minutes before dipping some Mycroft doughnuts into it for a “glaze”.

*The possibilities of ganache are endless! Don’t let it set and use it as a sauce for ice cream! Leave it in the fridge for 30 minutes, take two spoons, roll the ganache into little balls and you’ve got truffles! Eat it with your hands right out of the bowl! You’re only limited by your imagination!