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Creamy Earl Grey, Cardamom, & Pistachio Popsicles ...inspired by Death by Darjeeling {cook the books}

I don't think I've mentioned that I recently started spending time at a quaint little tea shop situated in a beautiful area in town perfect for walking and catching the cool breeze from the nearby river.  Indigo Tea Shop is the sort of place that beckons you to walk through its propped open front door with the  promise of comfort snaking through the air in the form of heady, enticing scent of tea leaves, spices, and freshly baked goods.

The staff of the shop are welcoming and very knowledgeable, as I'm not very adept in my knowledge of tea.  Sure, I've known the comforts of Chamomile, the curative properties of Lemon-Ginger, the uplifting and energizing effects of Green tea, and the scent alone of a good Earl Grey can lift my spirits and bring me a sense of peace all at the same time.  But there is so much more to blending...and enjoying...a fantastic cup of tea.  The Indigo's owner, Theodosia, along with her distinguished colleague Drayton have never seemed put-out at my ignorance.  In fact, they seem as excited to share their knowledge as they do their tea.

And you know I couldn't spend so much time in a place if it didn't offer some tasty food, as well now don't you?  Well, they have a couple of sweet college girls working in the shop, Haley and Bethany, the first of which can bake up a mean blackberry scone.  And her caramel-nut shortbread!?  Not to mention the best Irish Soda Bread I've ever tried...or perhaps it was just the Hot Crab Dip that went alongside it.  Either way.
But in the midst of all of this comfort and beauty, a sad and mysterious thing happened.  Okay, not actually "in the midst", more "in the area surrounding".  The yearly guided tour of the district that the Indigo occupies was happening.  And unfortunately, at the end of the tour, somebody was found dead.  With only a tea cup in front of them.  So suspicion fell directly upon these lovely people from the tea shop.  I sat on the edge of my seat on pins and needles waiting for these good people's names to be cleared.  I heard that someone even threatened Theo's sweet dog...a stray that she rescued and nurtured and named Earl the course of the investigation.  Apparently she was trying to clear her name and getting too close to the actual killer.

Well, I'm just happy to report that they found the real killer and that the Indigo seems to be back to normal.  And Earl Grey is safe and sound.  Since I can only imagine that going through such an ordeal would be completely draining on both your body and your spirit, I decided to make some treats to bring to these people at the Indigo.  These people that were so kind and welcoming to me.  Something that would hopefully bring a smile to their faces and make them forget...if only for a moment...what they just went through.  Popsicles are enough to make anybody smile, right?  Especially when it's still hot enough outside to break a sweat.  So, in honor of Earl Grey (the Dalbrador) being safe and as a nod to their business and passion, I infused some of that tea by the same name that always seems to lift my spirits and bring me peace all at the same time, Earl Grey.  Because I think that's just what they all need right now.

Creamy Earl Grey, Cardamom, & Pistachio Popsicles

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: snack dessert vegetarian nuts milk popsicles summer spring

Ingredients (10-12 popsicles)
  • 12 oz. evaporated milk
  • 4 Earl Grey tea bags
  • ½ tsp. ground cardamom
  • 14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • ¼ c. pistachios, roasted & salted
In a small saucepan, heat the evaporated milk until small bubble form around the edges. Snip the tea bags open and pour into heated milk; stir. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer.

Whisk in cardamom, sweetened condensed milk, and heavy cream.

Put the pistachios in a mini-food processor (or chop by hand) and pulse until you have roughly chopped the nuts. It's nice to leave some larger chunks along with the finely chopped bits.

Divide the pistachios among your popsicle molds. Pour in the milk mixture. Freeze until solid, adding sticks at the right time for the molds you're using. Enjoy!

inspired by Death By Darjeeling and adapted from Aarti Sequeira
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And I can't wait to see what the next mystery that my new friends from the Indigo Tea Shop get tangled up in is in book number two of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Gunpowder Green.  That's right, I discovered the Indigo Tea Shop in the current Cook the Books pick, Death by Darjeeling by Laura Childs.  And none too soon.  Since mysteries are my favorite reads...especially when paired with food, wine, tea, coffee, cooking...I'm excited to find this new (to me) series to read through this summer.  I'm all caught up on my current favorite series, so it was perfect timing.  Thanks to Rachel for this fun pick.  If you want to join in this round of Cook the Books, it's not too late...submissions aren't due until the end of July.  Now...I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of said book number two that is currently on its way from somebody at paperback swap.

I am sharing this post with:
cookthebooks The Summer of the Popsicle 2012 at novel food Tasty Tuesdays 33 shades of green tasty-tuesday-larger-logo1 hearthnsoul150 a little birdie told me rook no. 17 ybr_Button