As many of you know, I'm not a big iced tea drinker (must be my Canadian roots) and prefer to drink hot tea year round. Lately I have been trying a few, perhaps because I've been hearing so much about National Iced Tea Month celebrated this month.
Here in Georgia a lot of people drink "sweet tea" and it is served iced and very sweet. I've been trying to find tea that tastes good over ice, without sweetener. The coconut mango wuyi oolong from Stash was good. My most favorite black tea for serving iced is Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea. It has a wonderfully sweet taste without adding sugar to the brew. I actually called the company the first time I tried it since it was hard to believe that it wasn't sweetened. It contains three types of cinnamon, orange peel and sweet cloves, but no sugar added. You can find it loose, in sachets or tea bags here.
What type of iced tea are you are drinking this month?
I came across this lovely sundress in a recent Kohl's sale flyer. It has ruffles down the front and dainty crisscross straps in the back. It is from the new Lauren Conrad Disney collection. Wouldn't it be cute to wear for afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian on an upcoming trip. You can find it here. Do you like to wear tea themed clothes? My collection includes tees, purses and pajamas.
We just returned from our second trip to Aruba, a small southern Caribbean island 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. We stayed at La Cabana Resort and Spa again.
Aruba has so much to offer. The weather is fabulous with a year round average temperature of 82 degrees and constant trade winds to keep things comfortable. The beaches are some of the best in the world. English is spoken everywhere, US dollars are always welcome, people are friendly, crime rate is low and the island is outside the hurricane belt. What more could you ask for?
Our first of several great dinners was enjoyed at Las Ramblas, one of our resort restaurants. What a treat to have a terrific view of Eagle Beach, the beautiful sunset and live guitar music while we ate a delicious meal.
I had a surf and turf plate with extra large bacon wrapped scallops, shrimp and a juicy cut of beef with chimichurri sauce. We also enjoyed Cuba's Cooking, Taste of Belgium, La Granga and lunch on the Mi Dushi snorkel cruise. I loved that our resort was within walking distance of Super Foods, a superb market with an amazing selection of Dutch and American foods, a great bakery, deli and produce section. One of the young workers in the produce department offered to cut up a minneola for me (a cross between a tangerine and grapefruit). It was so yummy - hope they will be available at Publix.
If you love the beach, Aruba is a must. Eagle Beach is rated by Porthole Cruise magazine and TripAdvisor as one of the world's most beautiful beaches. Our hotel is shown in the background and our favorite palapa on the beach was in front, beside the volleyball net.
Can you tell from my hair how windy it was on deck? Next time I'm packing a hat with a chin strap. There is excellent snorkel and scuba diving here. You can easily see many types of colorful fish, eels, starfish, etc., as well as some interesting shipwrecks. The sunset cocktail cruise we did was fun too.
Are you convinced yet that this is indeed "One Happy Island" place to be? I'll be making this a yearly trip, if I can convince hubby. He says he likes to try new places each year.
"Tea As It Should Be" I like my morning tea to be full-bodied and refreshing with an appealing fragrance and have found Assam 1860 to be a great tea to start my day with.
My sample box of tea immediately caught my attention with the colorful scenes of tea gardens, delivery trucks, etc. and "Hello, Fancy A Cup Of Quality Tea?" written on the lid.
The individually wrapped silken tea bags have cute graphics on the front and the back. They brew quickly to a beautiful dark liquor.
You can explore the 150-year-old James Warren Tea Estate teas on the Assam 1860website. Here you will find lots of interesting information about the history of Assam, world tea tradition, great photos and lots more.
My hubby made a trip to Savannah, Georgia last weekend and I asked him to bring me home some wonderful macarons from Marche de Macarons on Abercorn Street in the historic district.
The box is much prettier than it looks in my photo. The sides are pink and it is very sturdy - great for craft room storage, etc. This is an older box from before the name change. There are lots of delicious flavors to choose from. You can see a current list on the website. A few of my favorites are salted caramel, bourbon pecan and cappuccino. Sadly they didn't have any matcha tea flavor this time.
I think they got a little beat up on the trip home. Also, my grandson got into them and I ended up with less than the dozen I'd requested. Maybe that was a good thing, although macarons are lower in calories than a lot of other teatime treats.
Have you ever searched for macarons on Pinterest? I have, and was amazed by the sheer volume of gorgeous photos of these dainty treats.
I was recently gifted with some Brooke Bond Taj Mahal tea by one of the guys my husband works with. He and his wife buy it at a small Indian grocery. He told hubby that his wife prepares it with water, but he prefers half water and half milk.
It is loose orange pekoe tea from Assam. The box contains a lot of tea - 15.8 ounces.
The box notes that this tea "cheers your senses" and I must agree. I made a pot for my early morning tea and found it robust, yet quite smooth. I think I'll be enjoying this for my first pot of the day for quite some time.
This tea brews quickly and has a dark reddish liquor and pleasant aroma. I don't make iced sweet tea often, but I think this would be excellent cold as well. I'm happy to have been introduced to this delicious tea. It is available at Amazon, but if you have an Indian market nearby, you can probably find it for less than half their price.
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.
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 myLose Itapp 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?
(Indubitably a Party) Cakes and tarts and scones shaped like hearts,
an afternoon affair.
Frocks and pearls topped with hats and curls,
perfume applied with flair.
Fine Earl Grey, a fresh bouquet,
the table set with care.
Invited guests (some dear, some pests).
Manners? Beyond compare!
- J. Camille Korsmo