Friday, August 22, 2014

Canada trip 2014

Just returned from a trip to Canada to visit family and attend my nephews wedding.  I enjoyed a few days at the lake house with my brother, sister-in-law and sister.  The weather was fabulous the first three days and I spent quite a lot of time swimming in beautiful spring fed Allen Lake in Harcourt Park.

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Both my brother and sister love to cook and made us lots of wonderful meals and appetizers.  Of course, even with all the swimming and walking, my weight increased by at least four pounds.  ☺

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Have you ever tried shrimp stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in Prosciutto?  Oh yes, it was good!  My sister did an excellent job, even though her right thumb is in a brace (tricky to tie each one with chives).

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My brother Al spent many years as a firefighter and was used to cooking for the guys.  He made us Fireman’s breakfast with eggs, gourmet sausage, bacon, home fries, beans and toast.  Yum.  One night he cooked Marlin.  It’s a tasty, firm and mild flavored fish – too bad my local Publix never carries it.  They said that they get Swordfish once in a while, but I’ve read that it’s not as good.

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The wedding was gorgeous and I’ll post a photo later.  I purchased some teapot and teacup earrings and a Canadian Classic bone china cup and saucer (haven’t been able to discover much about it online). 

My brother gave me three large bags of tea that he received from a huge tea warehouse he was working at recently (Two Doves Silver Needle White, Guangzhou Milk Oolong and Steam Darjeeling Green Tea).  Not sure if the names are correct – someone in the warehouse quickly wrote on the packages.

Another highlight of my trip was the special Centennial Afternoon Tea at The Old Mill Inn and Spa in Toronto.

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So, I have lots to show you over the next few weeks and a lot of catching up with my favorite blogs. 

 

 

 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dept 7 East & The Tea Room

Some of you may recall a previous post on The Tea Room in Savannah, GA.  It has always been one of my favorite tea rooms and I was saddened to hear a while back that it was closing.  As it turned out, it was not as bad as I had thought.  The owner of the Tea Room had decided to end food service, but continue with her retail sales at this location. 

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It was very busy at the tea counter the day of my visit.  The wall covered with many large containers of loose tea for sale is still there, as well as a selection of china, books, tea cozies, jewelry, and more.The Tea Room tea canisters

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The décor has changed dramatically from a style befitting Charles Rennie Mackintosh (Scottish architect, designer and artist) to an ultra contemporary look for  the bistro it has become.

IMG_1207There is lots of reclaimed wood on the walls now and a relaxing neutral color scheme.  I like it, but I do miss the cozy sink in and relax décor of the old tea room.   

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There were no floral bouquets on the tables when I visited Dept 7 East.  Instead there were stalks of cotton in the vases.

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I didn’t have time to have lunch during my visit, but I will definitely do that next time I’m in Savannah.  The inventive menu has some great items like Low Country Cocktail of Pickled Shrimp or a Picnic Platter of Regional Cheeses for nibbles.  Some yummy salads were offered and A Teasy Chicken Sandwich with Lapsang Souchong Chicken Salad sounded good.  They also have a petit plates menu and offer wine, beer and, of course, peach iced tea.

Now, if only there was somewhere in Savannah to have a traditional afternoon tea.  If you know of any, please share.  ☺

 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Macarons in Savannah

Just returned from Savannah, GA where hubby attended some classes at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center.  I was delighted to find Maison De Macarons while doing some pre trip planning.

IMG_1203Their location at 42 Abercorn St. (next to The Lucas Theatre) was a short walk from the Studio Homes at Ellis Square where we were staying.

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It was a tiny little shop with a couple of café tables and a display case full of colorful macarons. 

This video shows some of the flavors available.  It is quite long, but the photo styling is very pretty and the flavors sound so yummy.  I’d love to try lemon blueberry poppy seed, raspberry and the coconut shell with dark chocolate center and more.

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Of course, I was immediately drawn to the tray of green tea macarons.  I asked if the baker used Matcha powder and was told no, but the recipe does contain tea.

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I got some to eat in Savannah and brought home a little box of six including green tea, cappuccino, raspberry chocolate, Mexican, bananas foster and pistachio.  Isn’t it great that they are low fat and made with almond flour (gluten free).  At around 100 calories each, I can enjoy them with a cup of tea (without too much guilt).  ☺

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Now I know where I can get delicious and pretty macarons for a special afternoon tea, shower or wedding.

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You can order online here in boxes of one or two dozen.

I’ll tell you about some of the great meals we had in Savannah and my visit to the former Tea Room on Broughton Street later.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Fauchon Paris

Have you ever tried tea from Fauchon Paris

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I’d never heard of Fauchon until I came across this tin of Sweet Almond and Orange Flavoured Tea on a recent shopping trip.  The tin itself is very pretty and I really like the two part lid with a monogram on the little inner handle.

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The loose tea is lovely with half fermented China tea, orange peel, almond, orange blossom and natural orange and almond flavors.

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As some of you know, I’ve never been a big fan of flavored teas, but I did enjoy this one.  It has a light fragrance with a hint of almond and orange in the brewed tea.  It will probably be good iced too.

Too bad Fauchon is not available in the USA.  I read online that there was a store in New York that is now closed.  Amazon has a small selection, when they keep it in stock.

Don’t these French macarons look scrumptious.  The company is known for elaborate pastries (some are very striking looking – almost too fancy to eat).  I can only imagine how delicious they must taste. 

Fauchon macarons

Now I think I’ll have another cup of Fauchon tea and explore their elegant website.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

National Ice Cream Month

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation's population.  President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with "appropriate ceremonies and activities."

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Ice cream is not a treat that I indulge in very often, but I would like to try making homemade tea flavor ice cream.  This recipe for chai ice cream from The Daily Tea sounds delicious.

Since I now have some Matcha  green tea powder that I received from The Republic of Tea, I can try making Matcha ice cream.  This video shows the simple preparation with a link to the recipe at Just One Cookbook.

Earl Grey Ice Cream

Earl Grey Ice Cream sounds good.

Have any of you tried making ice cream with your favorite tea?  

Monday, June 23, 2014

National Pink Day

What are you sipping on National Pink Day today?

June teacup

I thought that this was the perfect opportunity to use my pink teapot that I purchased while in Berea, Kentucky with the Travelling Tea Friends.

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I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”       - Audrey Hepburn

Friday, June 20, 2014

The Republic of Tea

Recently, I received some samples from The Republic of Tea

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With temperatures in the 90’s lately, I thought that the Ginger Peach White Tea Tea would be perfect iced.  It tastes smooth, slightly sweet and has a pleasant fragrance.  I quite enjoyed this as iced tea and it is low in caffeine (quite calming). 

The Biodynamic Organic Darjeeling is new to me.  I don’t think that I’ve ever had a biodynamic tea before.  This Darjeeling is from a tea garden in Northern India where the biodynamic practices have boosted soil fertility, while preventing soil erosion.  It’s nice to know that this estate uses only organic fertilizers and renewable energy sources in the tea production. 

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This “Champagne of Tea” is available in the convenience of tea bags.  It’s a pleasant, rounded cup of tea without the addition of milk, but you know what they say about old habits – I still like to add a splash of milk.

In order to do justice to my first experience with Matcha tea, I purchased a bamboo whisk (also known as a chasen).  It is amazing to me that the whisk is made from a single piece of bamboo. 

IMG_1152 You might enjoy this video on the preparation of Matcha using the whisk. 

I don’t own a traditional Matcha bowl, so I made do with a mixing bowl and served the tea in a little Japanese cup.  It’s probably not a good idea to switch bowls. 

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The Matcha was pleasant and not overpoweringly vegetal (a quality I’m trying to warm up to).  I’m looking forward to trying some recipes like Matcha cupcakes, or a healthy smoothie.  Check out the great recipes on The Republic of Tea website.  They have so many kinds of tea, I’m not sure where to start next, but the Downton Abbey Teas caught my eye, especially the Grantham Breakfast Blend. 

 

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