Friday, January 29, 2016

Downton Mugs and New Tea

On a recent trip to HomeGoods and Marshalls, I was happy to find some new tea to try, as well as a book and shortbread cookies.  I thought the book had some interesting recipes and I've been infusing water with veggies and fruit lately to try to reduce my evening tea drinking.

The shortbread was disappointing.  I thought it was not nearly as good as the Walkers brand shortbread fingers. The texture was different (crumbly) and I didn't like that it is totally covered in coarse sugar on the outside.

The oolong tea is nice and I'm always happy to find a tea that I can enjoy without milk.  Many times the tannin in the tea makes it too harsh for me without the addition of milk.  Does that sound weird? Anybody else have this issue, or is it just me?  Happily it is organic and fair trade too.

The Basilur "Magic Nights" tea was a pleasant surprise.  It has a lovely aroma and mild fruity flavor because of the addition of strawberry, apricot, pineapple and papaya to the Ceylon black tea.  Makes me think of another favorite tea from Harney and Sons named Tower of London.

I've been using my Downton Abbey mugs every day. Don't you fans just love these quotes by the Dowager Countess?  My t-shirt with the "Ration One's Excitement" quote shown in a previous post is a new favorite too.  It is such a lovely color and fits nicely - not too boxy like a lot of them.    

Now I'm off to sip my tea and enjoy a little more of my "A Year In The Life Of Downton Abbey" book. 


Friday, January 22, 2016

Matcha Breakfast Shake

Unfortunately I managed to gain a few pounds over the holidays.  Unlike many people, I don't make New Year resolutions, but nevertheless have decided to get back on track, start using my Lose It app again and try to lose four or five pounds.  It's amazing how quickly shorts and swimsuit weather arrives here in Georgia. 

This matcha shake sounds like a great replacement for my usual egg, tomato and toast breakfast.  I'll have to figure out how the calories compare, but at least it has lots of healthy ingredients.

What are your favorite "get in shape" breakfast choices?

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Travels & Matcha Tea Break

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.  We had all our kids, their spouses and grand kids here on Christmas Day.  Only our eldest grandson was not present.  We traveled to Vidalia, GA to visit with him on Christmas Eve.  We took him to Savannah for a little shopping and lunch.

It was great to see him, although I became ill the day before and spent most of our visit lying in the back seat of the car while they walked around River Street and when they had lunch at Olive Garden.  Seems to be a lot of it going around right now.  

One of my gifts from hubby was a matcha tea bowl and some organic Kenko matcha green tea.  

I already had a bamboo whisk and measuring utensil. I've found that it will take a little practice to master the whisking technique and the proper measure of tea for my taste.  It is very relaxing though, to sip from the bowl and know that I'm doing something positive for my health at the same time.  

Do any of you matcha drinkers have any tips on preparation or the tea itself?  One thing I forgot to do was sift the powder before adding water and I found it difficult to remove the lumps.  

Here are some good reasons to try matcha tea:

(as printed on the Kenko tin)  
- 137 times the antioxidants of regular green tea
- boost your metabolism
- improve focus & clarity
- natural energy boost

Friday, December 25, 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Drink Tea Campaign

The Tea Council of the USA, Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of a #DrinkTea Campaign representing a consumer-friendly, business-friendly, social media-friendly approach to promoting the benefits of tea consumption in the USA.

You can read about the Drink Tea campaign here.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Downton Abbey article and wish list

I couldn’t resist asking Santa to bring me a couple of Downton Abbey items this Christmas.

This t-shirt featuring a quote from the Dowager Countess is one of my favorite items available at the PBS store. My list also includes a couple of the Downton tea blends. Do you have any Downton Abbey items on your Christmas list? 

If you are a fan of the much loved Downton Abbey television series, be sure to check out Barb's Tea Shop blog and her terrific article "A Visit To The Real Downton Abbey" published in the January/February 2016 issue of Tea Time Magazine.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Christmas Preparations

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m getting nowhere fast with my Christmas preparations.  The only decorations in place are on my fireplace mantle.  I don’t even have my trees up yet. 

I did find an easy eggnog pound cake recipe on Pinterest and thought it might save some time.  Plus, I love eggnog and freshly grated nutmeg.  I seem to use nutmeg a lot more at this time of year.  You might like this interesting video about spices and nutmeg in particular.  Not sure if I’d drink the punch after one hunting party host tasted it and then stuck the ladle back in the punch bowl.

You can find it on You Tube - Nutmeg: Natures Perfect Package - The Spice of Life - BBC 1983 series


You can find the eggnog cake recipe on my Christmas board at Pinterest (see link on side bar).  It was quick and easy to put together with a boxed pound cake mix, organic eggnog, eggs and freshly grated nutmeg.


I was ready for a little tea break after a morning of baking, cleaning and wrapping presents.  The cake is quite good, although I over baked it by a few minutes (I think my oven is running too hot).  It would make a lovely Christmas party dessert served with peppermint ice cream or some hot spiced fruit.

Tower of London tea blend

Every Christmas I treat myself to a tin of Harney & Sons Tower of London Blend tea.  This black tea has the most wonderful fragrance. It is blended with pieces of dried stone fruit and oil of bergamot and honey.  You can order it online at Harney & Sons or Amazon.

Do you have a favorite tea that you enjoy at Christmas?  I know several of you like Candy Cane Lane tea by Celestial Seasonings.

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