Meet Octavia Teas! Chocolate Earl Grey!

Meet Octavia Teas!

Out of a genuine passion for premium, loose-leaf tea, Octavia Tea was founded in 2002 after our founder spent 2 years traveling around the world (through Europe, Asia, India, and Africa) and fell in love with the different types of tea along each stop in her journey.

From thick, mint tea in Northern Africa … steamy, rich, spiced tea in India … bright, grassy green tea in Japan … fragrant jasmine tea in China … sweet apple tea in Turkey … comforting red tea in South Africa … exotic yerba maté in Argentina … fruit and vanilla flavored teas in Europe … our founder was amazed by the quality, variety and importance tea has on different cultures around the world.

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Unable to purchase her favorite teas once back at home in Chicago (in a country that focuses on coffee where mass-produced tea bags are the standard), she began a small tea-importing hobby … that soon evolved into a full-time business.

Today, Octavia Tea imports and blends over 100 different teas, and the list is constantly evolving. Our main business is wholesale; we sell primarily to gourmet grocery stores, gift shops, spas, restaurants, tea shops and coffee shops around the country.

 

Octavia

A friend on IG recommended them to me. I have never had Chocolate Earl Grey before and was anxious to try it. These are all loose leaf tea, which I prefer. The loose tea looked and smelled very good. There is a very good quality black tea with an Italian Bergamot and that silky chocolate all blending together to form this unique and deliciously smooth tea.  I can’t wait to try all of them!

Tommy has never had a cream horn! How can you be 40 years old and never had the adventure of a cream horn? Biting into that flaky pastry to find a light, whipped cream and sticking your tongue all the way inside to scoop it out. I called my sister, and we agreed this was a travesty. Now, mind you said sister and I had no idea what a cream horn was either until we spent the summer after graduation in Colorado Springs. Next to a King’s Sooper with a bakery. So off we went to Uptown Bakery and they had these fancy ones in vanilla and chocolate dip. He is now a fellow member of the Cream Horn Cult.

Have a wonderful week! It didn’t rain last night so I think we are going to the lake.

xxP

 

Tommy Saves The Day Again!

Sunday morning with no rain. It should be here tomorrow as we have been warned a million times that tomorrow is a severe threat day. But today, not so much. We had rain all day yesterday. It was a dark and gloomy day. But I was fine for a few reasons.

One, I love a gloomy day when I’m reading. Add some fresh from the oven bread and fig preserves alongside a cup of Earl Grey Tea. As you can see I finished painting my kitchen table and chairs and am 90% done with the breakfront. If I could everything in my house would be white. It’s a blank canvas so it can be whatever you want it to be with accessories.

Yesterday just as I was fed up with the painting, Tommy popped in to save me! With a quick shower and a change of clothes, I was ready. We headed up north to Quail Springs and checked in with Marshall’s, coming out with a few new outfits and the coffee I like. Then on to Ganache Patisserie. If you have never been, you really must!  I was on the lookout for Passionfruit Macarons. I have a tea today and the tea is Passion Flower Tea. Tommy picked out a dark chocolate tart and I picked a chocolate croissant.

Dinner was a spur of the moment decision. I am trying to be more spontaneous. We ended up at Cowboy Chicken. All they serve is rotisserie chicken in a lot of ways.

We sat at the bar so we could watch them cook. That is so not true! We sat there because I am always cold and this spot was so warm! It was interesting watching the guy stab these poor chickens with what looked like a Viking sword. 4 on a stick. I had the Monterey Salad, which was great. Tommy had the BBQ chicken with baked mac and cheese. It was delicious too.

On other exciting news, we got our DNA testing back. Since we already knew our history on both sides, as my uncle had written a few books on them and of course in the South you better know who your people are! I did have one surprise though and I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow!

Enjoy your Sunday and Game of Thrones!

xx P

 

DOWN THE BUNNY TRAIL…AND PIE!

Good Friday! I’m wishing I was closer to my Momma this time of year so I could have her coconut cake. My momma is a world-class baker and cake decorator.  Between her coconut cake and her pound cakes we should all be morbidly obese by now.

The one thing we both loved was those Cream Cheese Mints that melt in your mouth and contain 2 pounds of powdered sugar! Yesterday I spent most of the day stirring and then rolling some into tiny egg shapes and the rest the round flat only I used a wax seal with my initials and made them all fancy. I’m mailing them to her.

The BEST Cream Cheese Mints you'll ever try! This incredibly easy recipe yields the most delicious, luscious, melt-in-your-mouth cream cheese mints around! Make them in any color you like! Perfect for Easter, baby showers, weddings, and more! // Mom On Timeout #candy #creamcheese #mints #recipe #dessert #party #babyshower #food #recipes #desserts #momontimeout #Easter #wedding     

Since it is Strawberry Season I had a fridge full of berries and Tommy said he had never heard of Strawberry Pie from Shoney’s!  Oh the horror! Luckily we know this one by heart so by the time he got here there was a counter full of drying mints, and a chilled strawberry pie with homemade whipped cream. It was perfect. Even the crust was British Baking Show quality. Which is rare for me.

I wish you all a lovely Easter and a grand weekend.  I’ll be reading and finishing some projects and am trying to stay off the internet so I don’t lose my mind with all the politics!

xx P

 

CREATE THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE!

Monday morning and the Sun is shining and it’s warm! I am therefore declaring it is Spring. Winter has been like a bad house guest and overstayed his welcome. Yes, Winter is a he. So Voila!

This morning I’m sipping on my favorite Lemon and Lavender from Celestial Seasonings.

Celestial Lavender Tea. Only pinning to remind me how absolutely tasteless this is.  Something about these flavors makes my mouth very happy.

I had a great weekend. Although my body is paying for it. I found a new French Press and a Bundt pan. Nope I didn’t have one. I try never to have things around that I may have to bake with. I made a Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. I mixed it up a bit this time with the icing. I used heavy whipping cream instead of just milk. I used 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar, 4 tablespoons of Kerrygold butter, 4 tablespoons of cream cheese, a splash of Vanilla and the cream as needed. Let me say this was the best frosting I’ve ever had! Smooth and addictive.

I had to send a huge chunk and a big dollop of extra frosting to work with Tommy this morning for my favorite Hyatt employee! She has already scraped the bowl clean.

Saturday we hit up The Catch at their newest location where I proceeded to show Tommy how unladylike a beach girl missing her shrimp can be. I ripped those suckers open and was done in 5 minutes. He’s just staring at me…..good thing it wasn’t crab!

Yesterday I worked moving my office and setting up the gym room. The last thing was the television. I was not allowed to take down Corbin’s Spiderman and Venom poster so now while I run I pretend they are cheering me on. I also had  a mirror installed so I could track my yoga moves for form. Holding myself accountable.

Today is a good day to have a good day!

xx P

 

CAN YOU SMELL THE RAIN?

Not only is it Friday but I woke up to mist and that steady but light rain. Good day for tea and a book! It smelled so good outside. Like the promise of spring and the earth waking up, soaking up its own ‘tea’.

    We are& celebrating the release of Kirsten Weiss’s newest Cozy. Yummy chocolate, so we are also sipping some really nice Harney & Sons Chocolate Tea.

If you love chocolate and tea, and want to experience the two as one, our Chocolate Tea is an apropos choice for you. With its China black base and rich aroma, it's rated quite highly by all the chocolate fanatics here at Harney & Sons. (See also Decaf Chocolate Tea, if you're looking for an alternative to enjoy anytime of day or night).  This tea is so good and warming. I toss in a bit of cinnamon and almond milk and it tastes like Mexican Hot Chocolate. Good for rainy days and reading about murder!

Next week I will be working with the team at the school garden. Cleaning up, getting beds ready and this year turning soil to plant asparagus. Since it is also Spring Break I’m really looking forward to digging in the dirt with the kids. So this week-end will be a baking one. We have to have snackies and tea and I shall use this opportunity to indoctrinate your little babies in the ways of Tea Time!

Have a great Friday…or not….it is after all your choice how you handle it.

xx P

 

 

MARDI GRAS MEMORIES

Happy Wednesday! It’s doing something outside. Not rain, but freezing little pellets turning the streets into ice rinks. Tommy called on his way to work and said there were emergency vehicles everywhere and wrecks and backed up traffic.

Yesterday we had a back up on I-35 because of a load of toilet paper being flung like Mardi Gras beads from a float! Not sure what that was but I would have picked those suckers up!

Mardi Gras is the thing we miss the most living away from the coast. 3 days out of school, parades and balls begin in January and will culminate with the biggest Krewes rolling on the big day itself March 5th. The one we look forward to the most is the Pass Christian parade. Somebody always gets shot at or just shot at that one. Hopefully not this year as my sweetie pie niece, Baleigh, is a Maid for the first time! So much fun.

We decorate the heck out of anything that will hold still! Nails, hair, lots of wine glasses, wreaths and my mother in law even has trees! Like Christmas! Since our Krewe of Hera always kicked off the season as the first ball and always on New Year’s Eve, it was a long time before I ever did anything on that night except put on a costume or a ball gown and let the good times roll. I mean who doesn’t like a good ball, with a mask on?? Good Times!

I was going to go for a run but then I opened the door and that didn’t happen. Ye Gods people make up your mind on the weather situation! The ducks are back in the pool, that means its warm time. Get it together.

I hope you are staying warm and safe! I am doing my nails because tomorrow the Publisher’s Clearinghouse People said they would be in my neighborhood, and we all know they don’t lie….js

xx P

PIE HARD by KIRSTEN WEISS DEBUTING ON THE 26th!!

At Pie Town, Val Harris is still in her first year and while business is a little slow right now she isn’t about to throw in the towel.

Unbeknownst to Val her much older pie crust baker, Charlene has signed the shop up for the reality television show Pie Hard. Walking into her shop to find strangers and cameras is not what Val needs at the moment. But with Charlene whispering in her ear listing all of the good things and publicity they would receive, she caves.

Pie Hard, like all reality shows, thrives on drama and trust me there is no lack of drama in this tale. Rude, late, and pushy, Val doesn’t know how much of this she can take. Charlene has already forgotten to tell her she rented a piece of the land where Val’s tiny house sits to a group of Yurt loving, goddesses for the week and she still isn’t sure if she has a boyfriend or not.

When one  of her gaming regulars, Ray calls to say he just saw a body fall off the cliff at the hotel where the entire crew is staying, Val and Charlene are on the case. Val is hoping they all just go on home, but no, fate has something even more shocking in store for her! The new producer.

When even more bodies start piling up they know they need to solve this thing before Pie Town dies a hard death!

What makes a really good Cozy Mystery Series? Characters. And Ms. Weiss has given us an abundance of them. Not the typical ditzy ones. Characters you could meet in any small town. They have depth, flaws, quirks, just like the rest of us. They are relatable. This is what I like to call an intelligent cozy. There are so many layers of intrigue in this one that I read it straight through! Just when you think you know who did what and why, you don’t. I love it when I read a story and go WHAT?? at the wrap up.

Very Well Done!

Kensington February 26, 2019

Thanks so much for the ARC KW!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Oh Wednesday, I am so happy to see you! I’m trying to ease back into my schedule now that the horrible plague and Tommy’s surgery are over. He went to work this morning. I doubt if he’ll make it an entire day, but he’s determined.

Yesterday he overdid it and ended up having to take a pain pill and that started the throwing up so we missed Corbin’s musical event last night, which killed us, but I got video and it was so cute.

So the house was very quiet when I got up this morning. I came around the living room corner to go make tea and almost had a stroke. There was a 7 foot tall balloon bouquet standing there and I screamed “I have a bat!” The worst part? I put it there. It was for Tommy for Valentines Day. Because we celebrate so many birthdays tomorrow we do V-Day early.  The heat had kicked on and it was swaying like one  of those things in front of a car dealership. Scared me good. And not just once. Coming back too! That was pre-caffeine.

The Whisky Cake Café 🥃😍😍

We went to Whiskey Cake Cafe’ the day before surgery and I had this delicious Parsnip-Apple Soup. Oh was it good. This is the famous whiskey cake. Gayle ordered Gingersnap Ice cream with hers and declared it transformative. It also comes with a bowl of freshly whipped cream. It was all delicious, the cake has whiskey and apples and sticky toffee…yum. If you haven’t been please do. The place is so cute and everything was just warm and welcoming.

Time to put on the running shoes and get back at it. Hope your day is peaceful and warm.

xx P

IS IT OVER YET???

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Other than the fact that it is bitterly cold outside, I’m good with Mother Nature. All of my sisters got snow and graciously kept that mess to themselves instead of sending it south. I’m not big on sharing anything so thanks girls!

There were a lot of curse words flying around here last night. And not just from Nick Saban! I mean that first touchdown was a big slap in the face to the Sooner Nation!

Alabama: Welcome to the South Boys! Boom!

OU: WTF?????  Which continued to be their mantra.

Since the Dawgs didn’t make it my son and granddaughter cheered for OU as my daughter in law has ties to the Med school there. But my girl still wore her Dawgs jersey!

We are still waiting on surgeons and doctors and I wish this week would just be over already so we can get to surgery. I only have so much patience with ill people. Like a weeks worth. After that I’m not generally sympathetic. I come from good Scandinavian stock. Broken leg with a bone protruding? Put an Ace bandage on it and go to work. I also have a hefty dose of Irish so I can just drink until I don’t hear you moaning.

I took all the ornaments off my tree and decided to just leave the flocked thing up. It is in a gorgeous pot and is 7 foot tall. I told my sister I’m just going to decorate it for Mardi Gras now. Seriously my sister and I have already received e-mails from Paul’s Pastry in Picayune, Mississippi and Randazzo’s Bakery in Slidell, LA reminding us it’s time to order our King Cakes.

Basically I’m bored, I’m over Winter and having to wear pants. I’m at the stage of licking the rest of the caviar out of the tiny jar because I am not going to the store until after the shoppers are done. So it’s coffee, tea and figs.

Have a good Sunday and be Kind.

xx P

MILK BAR LIFE by Christina Tosi

Milk Bar Life: Recipes & Stories by [Tosi, Christina]

Go off the clock with Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar as she bakes one-bowl treats, grills with skills, and embraces simple, nostalgic—and often savory—recipes made from supermarket ingredients.

For anyone addicted to crack pie®, compost cookies®, and cake truffles, here are their savory counterparts—such as Kimcheezits with Blue Cheese Dip, Burnt Honey–Butter Kale with Sesame Seeds, and Choose Your Own Adventure Chorizo Burgers—along with enough make-at-home sweets to satisfy a cookie-a-day habit. Join Christina and friends as they cook their way through “weaknights,” sleepovers, and late-night snack attacks to make mind-blowingly delicious meals with whatever is in the pantry.

I am a fan of Christina Tosi and the one bowl treats she creates. This book is full of recipes for every occasion. They are simple, using readily available ingredients and easy and short recipes.

We made the Oatmeal Cookies and the Jerk Chicken and everyone lost their mind!

This is another of those books I saw at the library and then purchased!

Well Done!

 

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Image result for milk bar life