Monday, December 14, 2009

A Christmas Gift Idea

Looking for a gift for the Tea Lover on your list? This teacup filled with tea, or chocolates would be a perfect answer. Simply fill the teacup with the item of your choice and wrap the teacup in cellophane. Tie with colorful ribbon and include an adorable teapot teaspoon in the bow.

If you like, it would be nice to include the following verse compliments from www.Tea At Home With

"Teacups are Special Gifts. I give you this gift just from me, to sip and enjoy a cup of tea. Whenever you use it I hope you'll know, the person who gave it admires you so. "

Happy giving...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Santa's Sleigh Tea Party Favor

Santa's candy sleigh makes a easy, festive Christmas tea party favor.

What you will need:
1 chocolate covered peanut or nougat bar approximately 1.5 oz
1 small box of raisins, gum or candy
2 candy canes (6")
Foil wrapped candies , chocolate kisses or hard candies
Foil wrapped Santa Claus
Glue gun
Christmas wrapping paper

Wrap candy bar and small box of raisins in Christmas paper. Spread glue from glue gun along the candy canes and attach to candy bar to make the sleigh runners. Do not remove cellophane wrap. Glue small box on top of candy bar. Next, glue candies on the small box. Glue Santa to the front of the sleigh.

Add gift tag to use sleigh as place card holder. This sleigh will add a cheerful holiday touch to your table.

*Another option is to glue a small teacup ornament on the small box of raisins and fill with chocolate kisses.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tea Tasting at 17 On The Square

Many thanks to all who came to the Tea Tasting. I so enjoyed seeing all of you again . Also, many thanks to all the new tea friends who stopped by. Teas offered for sampling were White Christmas (Chocolate Coconut Cream) , a seasonal favorite, French Caramel Creme Brulee; a rich, creamy flavor of the traditional dessert and Almond Cookie; a green tea with almond and coconut taste, grated coconut and almond flakes.

Please feel free to visit My Tea Spot at 17 On The Square in downtown Gettysburg. There are many antique and vintage treasures there to explore as well. It is a beautifully renovated Civil War building filled with antiques, collectibles, specialty foods, tea, jewelry and art.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sipping Pumpkin Pie Classic

Enjoying a delicious cup of Pumpkin Pie Classic in a favorite tea spot of mine is a wonderful start to any day. Now that fall weather requires us to spend more time indoors, I enjoy my morning tea in my bright and cheerful sun room. This morning I'm enjoying Pumpkin Pie Classic, a black tea with nostalgic spices, cinnamon and what makes this tea especially fun, mini candy pumpkins. The intoxicating aroma almost makes you want to eat it.

It is so delightful to watch the birds busy about their early morning feeding frenzy. Bringing the geraniums indoors maintains the hope of the new spring to come. I can't wait to start new cuttings and these will be shared at a later post.

A delicious steaming cup of morning tea in my cozy sun room is a great way to chase the blustery cold days of the winter soon to come.

Do you have a favorite morning spot for tea?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Loose Tea Versus The Tea Bag

With tea becoming the ever popular drink of choice today, many continue to wonder which is the better option loose tea or the tea bag. Many tea-lovers, yours included, will definitely opt for loose tea. Loose tea literally comes in thousands of flavors from many parts of the world. It gives a better flavor because of the larger size leaf. A smaller size leaf, fannings or dust are often used in tea bags. Loose leaf enables you to be creative as you can make your own blend with spices, flavorings, herbs and so on. Brewing loose tea makes you slow down and enjoy the process as you choose your teapot, steep the tea, inhale the delightful aroma and relax.

I often hear that using loose tea can be "so messy". There are many types of infusers to choose from. I personally love the t~sac. It's like making your own customized tea bag. They come in several sizes which allows you to brew your tea in a cup or teapot. You simply fill the t~sac with tea, steep, and toss it when your tea is brewed. There is no need to strain your tea or clean tea leaves from the bottom of your teapot.

The convenience or portability of the tea bag cannot be denied. Tea bags were invented in 1908 when a tea vendor sent loose tea to his restaurant customers packaged in silk bags. They brewed the tea in the silk bags and tea bags have been with us ever since.

Tea bags have improved in their flavor offerings and style. The pyramid shape tea bag gives a greater flavor as the water is allowed to flow over the tea leaves in all directions. They contain a larger, better quality leaf. With the recent improvement of tea bags, we tea-lovers have even more choices.

Please share which you prefer, loose tea or tea bags.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tailgate Tea

Having recently read about a busy mom who decided to do a tailgate tea at her children's
numerous sporting events gave me the great idea of having a tailgate tea at the Penn State football games. My husband and I regularly attend these games and tailgating is a favorite Penn State football tradition. I was delighted to combine tea with football, a winning combination to make both my husband and me very happy.

Using a festive Penn State checkered blue and white tablecloth and a white table topper adorned with blue teapots, I set the theme for my tailgate tablescape. I also used a white teapot and blue and white teacups with blue napkins.

Freshly baked Blueberry Scones* with white clotted cream were delectable pre-game early morning fare . Yogurt Granola Parfaits and fresh, crisp, juicy apples completed my tailgate menu. Delicious Blueberry Cream Tea was the crowning touch.

Think about adding a tailgate tea to your weekend sports ritual for a pleasant addition. Using your team's colors for your theme and menu ties it together nicely. It was easy and fun and a little surprise for all the football fans.


*Recipe for Blueberry Scones found in "Teatime in Gettysburg"

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

14 Essential Items in My Tea Kit

There are 14 essential items that I must have in my tea life to prepare my tea. It makes teatime preparation easy any time of the day for myself or if friends should drop by.

My Tea Kit Includes
  • Choice of Your Tea Life Tea
  • My Mickey Mouse Tea Kettle
  • Beautiful Teacup & Saucer
  • Teaspoon
  • Teapot
  • Brown Sugar Cubes
  • Sugar Tongs
  • T~sac
  • Timer
  • Measuring Cup
  • Tea Bag Squeezer
  • Perfect Tea Measuring Spoon
  • Tea Warmer
  • Tea Napkin
Do you have a Tea Kit? What's in yours?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Caramel Apple White Chocolate Parfait

This is a yummy fall dessert. It takes a little while to make as there are several steps but it is worth it. Serves 2-6. How many servings it makes will depend on what size glass you use. Using small clear glass votives purchased at a craft or dollar store will allow you to make approximately 6 servings. I suggest cutting the apple slices from the pie filling to fit more easily into your small glass container should you decide to use them.

What you will need:

1/4 C firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 C plus 2 T whipping cream, divided
1 T butter
2 egg yolks
1 T vanilla
1 T maple flavoring
1 T sugar
4 oz white chocolate, melted & cooled
1 can Lucky Leaf or Musselman apple pie filling

Combine brown sugar, 2 T of cream and butter in a small pan. Stir over medium heat for 2 minutes until slightly thickened. Cool.

In a double boiler or pan over simmering water, combine egg yolks, flavorings & sugar. Stir constantly for about 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Cool

Beat cream into medium peaks. Fold in white chocolate. The white chocolate may become lumpy but this won't be a problem.

Alternate mixtures with pie filling in layers in parfait glasses. Finish with whipped cream mixture. Garnish with chopped pecans or walnuts and sprig of mint.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tea Trails II

Vancouver, Canada was another spot on our list this summer. It was beautifully cool there and a welcome respite from hot, humid summer days. We visited many points of interest but of course taking tea was at the top of the list. I was hoping to have tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria. However, I didn't realize that it was a 4 hour trip by bus and ferry from Vancouver. Not having planned enough time for it , made the trip there impossible. Having learned that Victoria is actually more accessible from Seattle, made us realize that it would be more enjoyable at some other time.
On the advice of the hotel desk clerk, we went to tea at the Secret Garden which is in a suburb of Vancouver. The Secret Garden takes pride in the "beautiful eats" they offer. The food and tea were wonderfully delicious. Tea at the Empress will have to wait for another day...

Have you taken tea at any vacation spots this summer?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Tea Trails

After a busy end of summer travel time, I am back to blog again. In August we were fortunate to visit Mackinac Island in Michigan and stay at the Grand Hotel. Mackinac Island (MACK-in-awe) became one of the nation's popular summer resorts during the Victorian era.

The Victorians arrived in excursion boats from Buffalo, Cleveland, and Detroit. To accommodate overnight guests, boat and railroad companies financed the building of the Grand Hotel. It is as special now as it was in 1887, a beautiful large wooden structure with a veranda 3 football fields long. Great attention to detail is seen everywhere in the hotel as well as the on the grounds. The flowers are amazing. The horses have a little to do with this I'm told! Restricting travel to horse drawn carriages and bicycles definitely gives a "step back in time" feel to the island.

The highlights of our stay were taking afternoon tea in the lobby and going for a ride in the Grand Hotel's VIP carriage.

It is a very special place and a tealightful summer memory...

Hotel photo courtesy of the Grand Hotel

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Looking for A Hostess Gift?

Are you looking for a hostess gift? If you froze the second loaf of Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread made from the recipe in the previous post, you're set. Everyone appreciates yummy homemade treats! Take it out of the freezer. Bring it to room temperature. Place the bread in a food safe cellophane bag that can be purchased at a craft store. Tie a beautiful ribbon around it and there is your hostess gift.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Double Chocolate Zuchinni Tea Bread

Looking for an idea of what to do with all that zucchini that is in right now? Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is a delicious treat and perfect for teatime. Enjoy it with Chocolate Mint tea for a winning

Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread

2 1/2 C flour
1/2 C cocoa
2 1/2 t baking powder
2 1/2 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t salt
3/4 C butter, softened
2 C sugar
3 eggs
3 t vanilla
2 C grated zucchini
1/2 C milk
1/2 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Cream butter & sugar, add eggs vanilla and milk. Stir in dry ingredients. Add zucchini and mini chocolate chips and blend well. Pour into 2 greased and floured loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. This freezes well. So you can serve one now and freeze one for later. It also makes a welcome hostess gift.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Back to School Tea

Getting ready to start thinking about everyone going back to school? Start planning your Back to School Tea now. After you get the kids off to school you can relax and invite a few friends and neighbors over to enjoy the morning. Back to School Apple Crisp tea would be great to serve. Pairing it with Cinnamon Chip scones is a tasty combination. Try serving the scones with clotted cream and apple butter instead of lemon curd. The cinnamon tart sweetness flavor of the apple butter marries well with the tea and scones. Don’t worry about making the scones at the last minute. You can prepare them ahead of time and freeze them unbaked. Prepare them as usual and freeze them on a cookie sheet. Then place them in a plastic bag and store in your freezer. They will keep well for at least 2 weeks. Pop them in the oven when you are ready to host your tea. You will need to bake them a little longer but they will be just as delicious as if you had prepared them that morning. Enjoy…Cheers to a happy productive school year.