Thursday, January 30, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Miniature Olive & Cheese Biscuits
2 cups Bisquick baking mix
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup black olives, chopped in food processor
1/4 teaspoon parsley flakes
Dash of salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add all ingredients to a medium-size mixing bowl and stir just until combined. Drop by heaping teaspoonful onto greased baking sheet. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until biscuits are beginning to brown. Yields about 30 miniature biscuits.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Monday, January 27, 2014
... Lady Tesser! If you'll send me your snail mail address via the e-mail button at right, I'll get this headed your way. And let me just say that because of the interest in this giveaway (93 entries!), I wish I had 93 of these to give away, but instead I'll do the next best thing and simply have more teacup giveaways this year. So stay tuned, friends, and you may join Lady Tesser in the teacup winner's circle later on this year!
blogger and renowned food photographer and stylist, whose terrific book I wrote about here a few years ago. I was thrilled to be able to hear some of her tips and tricks, and I was also delighted to hear from her co-presenter, Tami Hardeman, at left, of the Running With Tweezers blog. They both came across as very down-to-earth gals, and I took notes as fast as my hands could scribble.
Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Kitchen blog. I loved hearing about the evolution of her blog, where her passions include preserving foods and finding locally-sourced foods. She also writes for other publications besides her blog, so as a freelance editor and writer myself I was taking lots of notes about how she went from a job in marketing to following her passion here. Hers was a very, very helpful presentation!
Virginia Willis, who is the author of two popular southern cookbooks, "Bon Appetit, Y'all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y'all." I've not met her but have heard many great things about her, and of course I have to like anyone who calls herself a "Grits Missionary," since my beloved grits is what I'd request as my last Death Row meal. It was so fun to come across people I recognized as "food celebrities." At one session, I was sitting next to a friendly woman named Cynthia Graubart who saw the "Tea With Friends" on my nametag and introduced herself to me as a fellow tea lover. A little bell went off in my head, and I said, "Wait a minute! You're not the Cynthia Graubart who … " and she laughed and said, "Yes, I am." She recently co-authored, with Nathalie Dupree, the best-selling cookbook "Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking." (Nathalie Dupree, if you're not southern, is sort of the Martha Stewart of the South. Frankly, she's probably even more beloved than Martha here.) Cynthia was so gracious and utterly unpretentious. I was telling my husband about her on the way home, and we agreed that almost without exception, the most successful people we've met have also been some of the nicest. (I hope she got that cup of tea she missed at breakfast!)
1. I wasn't the only middle-aged woman there. I had assumed almost all of the attendees would be 20- and 30-somethings, but that wasn't the case.
2. Some bloggers are trying to get a full-time job out of their blog, but most of those I spoke with at lunch and during breaks were "hobby bloggers" like most of us tea bloggers. Also, some are simply trying to increase their online presence to perhaps help them sell a self-published book or get a book deal.
3. A lot of people talked about "maintaining your own voice" and having an "authentic" blog. I totally get that. I've always liked that old saying, "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."
4. Did you know that some blogs with large followings on Facebook have bought and paid for some of those "Likes" on Facebook? Good grief! I can't imagine doing that.
5. So many bloggers spoke about the great friendships they've made through their blog, and I definitely agree! That, I think, is really why most bloggers blog. And may it ever be so!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Friday, January 24, 2014
Double Chocolate Muffins
1-1/2 cups plain flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts)
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used mini-chocolate chips because I think they disperse better in baked goods)
1 cup cold coffee
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 tablespoons melted butter
Combine flour, salt and soda. Add sugar, cocoa, nuts and chocolate chips and combine. In separate bowl, combine the liquid ingredients. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and combine well. Spoon batter 2/3 full into paper-lined muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes or until muffins have risen slightly. Yields about 15 muffins.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Teavivre recently. Right away, I was pleased to note the difference in the two teas' appearances. The one at left is Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong Tea, and at right is Guang Dong Phoenix Dan Cong Oolong Tea.