Friday, March 24, 2017
A thoughtful friend recently gave me a vintage tea towel she bought for me since she knows I like old linens and teatime.
The towel is in great shape, and I'd never seen one like this before with both a teakettle and a tea infuser.
I've actually owned a few infusers just like this one, and the graphic is spot-on!
Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Last week I got to meet with a friend I haven't seen since Christmas, and she gave me several belated (and much appreciated) Christmas gifts, including this cute tin of Alice in Wonderland Tea from Adagio!
I'd not heard of this herbal blend, but I loved the scent and sight that greeted me when I opened the tin!
1 stick butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Pecans or other nuts, as desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and arrange saltines in four rows of five crackers each. Fold foil tightly around edges of saltines to create a "rim" to the foil. Melt butter and brown sugar in microwave and combine well. Pour mixture over saltines, bake for five minutes, and remove pan from oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips over hot saltines and allow to soften for about two minutes, then spread chocolate evenly over saltines. Add pecans and let the toffee cool in refrigerator for an hour or two before serving. Break into pieces and try not to scarf it down in one sitting! (This, by the way, is the half-size recipe, which is all I will let myself make because this stuff is crazy good. People sometimes make this at the holidays and call it "Christmas Crack," and there's a good reason for that!)
Monday, March 20, 2017
I was about to run out of hope of finding something cute to offer for a March giveaway, but then Frances in California thoughtfully notified me that she'd discovered Michaels has the Primrose collection of tea motif goodies on sale, so I picked up a pair of these cute tea towels for this month's giveaway!
If you're a fan of blue and white, then you'll definitely need a pair of these tea towels, so some of you may want to go ahead and stop by Michaels this week to get some of these bargains while they're still available. Or you can wait and see if you win these! To be entered, just leave an "Enter me" to this post between now and 7 a.m. EST Friday, March 24, and you'll be entered to win. (US and Canada only, please.) Good luck!
Friday, March 17, 2017
I've been quite pleased with my magazine selections this month and wanted to tell you about the tea finds in a few of them!
Daphne's Diary has been a favorite for a few years now, and I think this cover is one of the prettiest ones they've ever had. I've yet to find an issue that didn't feature tea in one form or another.
And this time, there's a feature on the most "Shabby Chic" looking tea room (in the Netherlands, alas) that I've ever seen. It is gorgeous!
A recipe for Matcha Profiteroles! I can't wait to try these.
The new issue of Victoria has an absolutely beautiful cover! This whole issue, in fact, reminds me very much of those early issues of Victoria.
Even the inside spread has that gauzy, dreamy look—and lots of tea! Besides Tea Time, obviously, have you found any fun tea-ish magazines, or magazine articles, lately?
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Before I put away all those snack sets from the ladies' group tea last week, I made a point of organizing them into two hampers with like pieces grouped together. What struck me, though, was how very many variations there are on this apparently common moss rose design. Do some of you remember the old song from "Sesame Street" that began "One of these things is not like the other"? Well, all four of these plates are not like the other!
The cups, too, had different shapes, handles, and roses. The two at right both have scallops, although it's a bit hard to tell on the cup at lower right.
My favorite of the designs is this one. Those thin "mossy green" leaves are really gold, and if you look at the leaves at far left, you'll see what I mean. I just wasn't able to capture the gilding in my photo.
You can see it a bit more in the teacup. I have six of these sets and really love them. Just wish I could remember how and why I acquired them!
On the other plates, I found myself studying the number and placement of roses and the lavender flowers among the leaves. Clearly, the cups matching these sets would be the ones with the lavender flowers, right?
Monday, March 13, 2017
It's always fun to hear from different tea companies, not only because I like the idea of trying new-to-me teas but also because I continue to be impressed by all the amazing tea companies in our wide, wide world of tea! When I was contacted by Arbor Teas about trying some of their teas, I was eager for them to arrive so I could sample them and learn more about this company.
Arbor Teas, I learned, offers only organic teas, and their company is focused on "sustainability and doing the best we can to protect the planet while also offering the best teas we can get our hands on!" Sounds like a great focus to me! They sent a box of four teas, and the two I sampled this weekend were the Hawaii Premium Black, an organic black tea, and Pomegranate, an organic white tea blend.
I knew I would like the Hawaii Premium Black as soon as I opened the packet and inhaled that fresh, woody scent, and I was also intrigued by the long (often more than one-inch-long) wiry tea leaves. I've been sipping lots of flavored teas (particularly Earl Greys) lately, so to taste a plain black tea was actually a treat, and this one had a sophisticated, smooth, and almost sweet taste I greatly enjoyed. I often marvel that an unflavored tea can have such personality, but this one did. Maybe I also loved that it is a USA-grown tea as well! I so enjoyed the sophisticated black tea taste, with very little astringency, and I enjoyed multiple cups!
Pomegranate white tea, and again, I was impressed at first whiff. This blend consists of organic Indian white tea, organic rosehips, organic safflowers, and natural pomegranate flavor. I loved the fruity scent, and when I prepared the tea, I was impressed with the light fruity taste. Some pomegranate teas can be mouth-puckeringly tart, but this one was not, just a tea with a subtle, fruity taste. So far I'm quite impressed with these new Arbor Teas, and if you'd like to check out this company for yourself, click here.
Friday, March 10, 2017
Tea friend Donna recently shared a new Dutch tea with me, Pickwick's Fruit Garden blend, and I decided to enjoy it in one of those 20 (!) new teacups I recently received. This pink and yellow one looks like spring to me.
As soon as I saw the cherries on the front of the tea bag wrapper, I knew I would like this tea, because I love cherries, and being the astute observer that I am, I quickly figured out that Kers is Dutch for "Cherries." 😉
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
I prepared three different kinds of tea, and many women wanted to sample them all. I served the new Twinings Earl Grey Lavender, Celestial Seasonings' Candy Cane Lane Green Tea, and Tin Roof Teas' Tiramisu Mascarpone Rooibos, all three of which had requests for seconds. Helpfully, Georgia brought along her tea chest for sharing, and I'm pretty sure I saw some women sampling teas from it as well.
My friend Patty, at left, looked so cute in her ladylike ensemble!
Judi had lots of tea touches on display throughout her home, and I wanted to share the first one I noticed when I arrived, this cute teapot birdfeeder. I knew it was a sign that a fun day was ahead, and it absolutely was. I'm pleased I was able to be a part of such a useful new ministry, and I'm so glad I have church friends I can count on to bake, cook, and serve when called upon to help!
Monday, March 6, 2017
when they were just little girls. Here are Liz, Cydney, Alley, and me on Saturday. The shower was held at the beautiful home of Cydney's friend Lauren.
There was lots of pink at this shower …
And one of my contributions was pink lemonade cupcakes.
So from all that pink ...
Friday, March 3, 2017
Do you know the difference between Shepherd's Pie and Cottage Pie? That was part of the inspiration for my March column in The Coweta Shopper! Local readers receive a copy for free in the mail, but if you're not local, you can read it online simply by clicking here if the version above isn't large enough.
And although I made my Cottage Pie in a casserole dish, I think this would be a great entree to serve at high tea in honor of St. Patrick's Day, perhaps serving it in ramekins or small oval ceramic baking dishes. I hope you like it!
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
One of the unexpected pleasures of blogging in tea land has been the discovery of so many talented and creative individuals who happen to share my love for tea. Even though I haven't (yet!) met Donna Kohler in person, we've corresponded over the years about some of our various creative projects and teatime, so I was delighted when she wrote to let me know her husband Jan (he was born and raised in the Netherlands, so it's pronounced "Yan") has just published a coloring book about Carmel-by-the-Sea in California. Donna said she wanted to send me one and also offered one for me to give away to one of you, so of course I was only too happy to accept her generous offer! On the cover is an image of the famous Tuck Box, built by Hugh Comstock in 1926 and operated as a tearoom in the forties by two sisters from England. It's still in operation today, and you can click here for more information.
I've never visited the Tuck Box, or Carmel-by-the-Sea, for the matter, but oh, how I want to after reading this delightful book filled with images of charming cottages and businesses! Have any of you been to Carmel-by-the-Sea? I'm betting some of you have, especially those of you who are frequent travelers and/or live on the west coast (or are dog lovers; apparently the town is known for being quite dog friendly!). The Tuck Box is so reminiscent of Merrie Olde England with that cheerful awning and those pretty flowers blooming in the boxes out front. One thing I noticed was that somehow, Kohler has managed to create drawings that could be colored in minute detail by more advanced colorists, yet they aren't intimidating at all to amateur colorists such as myself. I love that! This page, of course, was the first one I colored, and the book also features drawings of other buildings like the Prestige Hat Shop, Cottage of Sweets, and even the Cypress Inn, co-owned by actress Doris Day, and Hog's Breath Inn, once owned by actor Clint Eastwood.
So go ahead, make my day and leave an "Enter me" to this post if you'd like to win the giveaway copy of Jan Kohler's terrific new coloring book! Entries will be accepted from now until 7 a.m. EST Friday, March 3. (US and Canada only, please.) Donna shared with me a great article that was written about the new book, and I loved that it included a link to a video showing how Jan created the coloring book. Go here to check it out for yourself. And if you'd like to go ahead and order a copy of the book now on Amazon, click here.