Monday, October 31, 2011

Belgian Chocolate

Spider Cup Cake

This year my Halloween treats are extra special.  My hubby brought me several kinds of luscious chocolate while in Belgium last week.


I’ve had these seashell shaped chocolates before and they are available locally.


My favorite is the Cote D’Or that is a milk chocolate with a truffle filling.  This brand is sold on Amazon, but not this particular bar.


There were several varieties of chocolates, including thin Neuhaus wafers that included Earl Grey Tea.



The grands needn’t worry that Nana will steal any of their Halloween treats this year.



Monday, October 24, 2011

Royal Sutherland


The cup I’m showing today is Royal Sutherland bone china and was made in Staffordshire, England.


This set has such soft pretty pastel colors and the shape is lovely.


Royal Sutherland is a pottery mark of china manufacturer Hudson & Middleton which was founded in 1870.


I don’t know how old this cup and saucer is.


Be sure to visit the lovely blogs of hostesses Terri and Martha for lots more Teacup Tuesday posts.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Teago Mobile Tea Press

This Tovolo “Teago” mobile tea press is my latest tea gadget.  I came across it recently at Marshalls.


It’s a handy size for travel and makes it easy to brew a single serving and then save the tea leaves for another pressing.


The device is dishwasher safe and BPA free.


It is an airtight design and has a cover to seal in the used tea leaves to make it easy to take with you.  There is no dripping or mess to worry about.


You could use the steel clip for taller cups, but this mug didn’t require it.  The stainless steel infuser basket has lots of tiny holes in the mesh design.


I thought some nice Darjeeling from the English Tea Shop would be good to try with the Teago.   This tea comes in a pretty tin with an inner lid to keep the tea fresh.


The only negative thing I have to say about the Teago is that the used leaves are a bit hard to clean out (be careful not to press the plunger too hard).  If the tea leaves are compressed too tightly, they can be difficult to clean out.  I like that you can pour in some of your favorite tea leaves and carry the Teago with you, so you are ready to brew a nice cup of tea wherever you go.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Royal Albert Scottish Tartan

This bone china English teacup is from the Royal Albert Scottish Tartan series in the MacDonald pattern.  It was made sometime between 1962 through the 1970s.


I’ve read that the MacDonald clan is known as the mightiest of the clans with the motto “By sea and by land”.


The Scottish Tartan series includes Black Watch, Cameron, Campbell, MacDonald, Macleod and Royal Stewart.  All the cups are in the pretty Montrose shape with broken loop handles.


The colors of this tartan are quite pretty, with the shield in a strong contrast color.  I like the little sprigs of heather.



This is a made in England  wool tartan kilt, that I purchased around forty years ago.  Now I’m curious to see if it still fits.  It is a wrap around style and the leather straps are adjustable – so maybe – not.  One day I might repurpose the wool tartan fabric into pillows,  a tea cozy or something – meanwhile the kilt stays tucked away in a cedar chest. 


You can see my Royal Canadian Tartan teacup here.

Be sure to visit the lovely blogs of Terri and Martha for more Teacup Tuesday posts.

Plate of Freshly Baked Scones with Cranberries

Friday, October 14, 2011

Tea With Bea


Tea With Bea is one of the books that I’ve added to my tea library lately.  This is a lovely baking book by pastry chef Bea Vo, owner of Bea's of Bloomsbury in the heart of London, which opened in 2008. 

The recipe chapters for cookies & bars, scones & small treats, tarts, cake bases & fillings, special cakes, and cheesecakes are full of wonderful teatime treats.


If you’d like a recipe for “the ultimate afternoon tea scone”, it’s in the bookBea says that her method, using only the coldest butter, should produce a high rise and flaky result.


American-style orange cranberry scones are included.

DSCF0406There are recipes for Almond Cherry Muffins, as well as Blueberry Streusel, and Doughnut muffins.  I was thrilled to see Foolproof Vanilla Macarons for the more adventurous baker.  Did I mention that Ms. Vo studied at Le Cordon Bleu. 

The tarts section has recipes for pate brisee and pate sablee dough and a recipe for Key Lime Pie that my hubby would love.  The many luscious cake recipes include Red Velvet, Espresso Bourbon, Chocolate Buttermilk, and Almond Tea Cake.  I love the Leftovers Trifle recipe to use up any extra cake from a cake-baking frenzy.

DSCF0410 Doesn’t this Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake look perfect for Thanksgiving dinner?  Maybe I’ll make this the first “family special occasion” recipe I try.

This could be the perfect gift for any bakers or tea enthusiasts on your Christmas list.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rosina China Centenary Year


This weeks pretty bone china teacup was made in England by the Rosina China Co. Ltd. in the Centenary Year pattern.


I decided to photograph the teacup in the multi purpose family room area.  This solid wood dining set is amazingly heavy and I soon discovered that I was not going to budge any of the chairs.  


The footed cup has a pretty shape, with an elegant handle and a dainty floral pattern with gold trim.


The combination of flowers is lovely, especially the pink roses and parrot tulips.


The Rosina China Co. Ltd. in Longton, Staffordshire, UK used this mark from 1941.


Please visit the lovely blogs of hostesses Terri and Martha for more Teacup Tuesday.

Plate with macaroons

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ginger Tea

This is a tasty and healthy tea to enjoy anytime of year, but especially during cold and flu season.

I’ve been enjoying Ginger Boost from the Ginger People for quite some time.  It contains 30% ginger and is wonderful for upset tummy, motion sickness or a sweet treat for us ginger lovers.  But, if you would like to use fresh ginger, you can always brew some tea. 


I used about a two inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced.  This was simmered in 1 1/2 cups of water with a splash of lime juice for about 10 minutes.  I strained the tea into my pretty Bavarian cobalt teacup and added some honey.  It was delicious and potent.  Great for clearing your sinuses when you have the sniffles.

This video describes the many health benefits of ginger.  I was also happy to read in “The Top 100 Diet Secrets” that gingerroot boosts circulation and metabolism. So, even if ginger tea is not to your taste,  you can try adding fresh ginger to stir fries, salad dressings, etc.  Maybe this natural antiseptic will help you to avoid colds and flu this season.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Royal Albert Tourmaline


This weeks cup and saucer is Royal Albert bone china from England in the Tourmaline pattern.


This pretty pink and black rose pattern with lots of gold is from the Summer Bounty series.  The six piece series includes Amethyst, Jade, Pearl, Ruby, Sapphire and Tourmaline.

Each cup pattern comes in both the Gainsborough or Avon shape.  I prefer the Avon shape above.


The Summer Bounty series was produced 1960s - 1970s. 


Please visit Terri and Martha at their lovely blogs for more Teacup Tuesday.


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