Meet Laura Childs Cosy Mysteries! Bring Tea and some Scissors!

It’s been so long since I read the very first Tea Shop Mystery by Laura. And I was instantly in love. This series has a lot of things I love. Tea, Charleston,Recipes and smart and funny characters. Here are a few of the titles!

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The Tea Shop Mysteries – set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She’s also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn’t rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

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The Cackleberry Club Mysteries – set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe’s undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality

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The Scrapbooking Mysteries – a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans’ spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!

Laura Childs

Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund-raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!)  I can say I have read every one of her books. She has truly mastered the cosy mystery genre and has now branched out to writing Thrillers! Her first was Little Girl Gone and next to come out will be Shadow Girl. Both Afton Tangler Thrillers. And she has nailed it! I have read them both and she has successfully crossed over to the hard side! OH, and she is writing these under her actual name Gerry Schmitt.

Laura’s latest Tea Shop Mystery is Pekoe Most Poison. So today I’m having some Pekoe and I’m pretty sure it’s not poison!

Give her a try. I’ve never been to a library that didn’t have them all, so you can try before you buy!

xx Happy Weekend

The Tea Fairy Makes An Apperance

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Thanks to Harney & Sons and the Tea Fairy, yesterday was a fine day. My postman knows to bring Tea mail first thing. Probably just to watch me do the tea dance, but we’re at a good place now.

Yesterday’s mail brought a lovely tin of Lapsang Souchong. Let’s take a look at what Mike rated this one. Briskness 1, Body 2, Aroma 5.  Okay, so I’m going to agree with all of these.

For this tea, the leaves are plucked and carefully dried over special wood fires. It is light in body with a pronounced smoky flavor. Brewing Time about 5 minutes.

As soon as you open the tin ( I got loose leaf), the aroma is very pronounced. Smoky, not bitter at all. This is one of my all time favorite teas. There really is nothing like it. And I admit I use it to cook with also. Today we’ll be making Lapsang Souchong Chicken Salad.  I’ve done this two ways. Poaching the chicken in the tea as well as baking chicken breasts with a rub of tea and spices. Either way is good. Today I’m going to poach the chicken, dice it, mix in some apple, grapes, celery, sweet onion and mix it up with a Dijon flavored home-made mayonnaise. 

Y’all are welcome to stop by later and check it out. Bring a cup and share some tea with us!

xx Patricia

Pekoe Most Poison: A Tea Shop Mystery by Laura Childs

Pekoe Most Poison (A Tea Shop Mystery) by [Childs, Laura]

In the latest Tea Shop Mystery from New York Times bestselling author Laura Childs, Theodosia Browning attends a “Rat Tea,” where the mice will play…at murder.
 
When Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is invited by Doreen Briggs, one of Charleston’s most prominent hostesses, to a “Rat Tea,” she is understandably intrigued.  As servers dressed in rodent costumes and wearing white gloves offer elegant finger sandwiches and fine teas, Theo learns these parties date back to early twentieth-century Charleston, where the cream of society would sponsor so-called rat teas to promote city rodent control and better public health.

But this party goes from odd to chaotic when a fire starts at one of the tables and Doreen’s entrepreneur husband suddenly goes into convulsions and drops dead. Has his favorite orange pekoe tea been poisoned? Theo smells a rat.

The distraught Doreen soon engages Theo to pursue a discreet inquiry into who might have murdered her husband. As Theo and her tea sommelier review the guest list for suspects, they soon find themselves drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse…

There was definitely a different tone to this latest Tea Shop Mystery.

While I have always loved the trio that are the Indigo Tea Shop, Haley the baker extrodinaire, Drayton, the perfect gentleman and tea sommeliar and Theo, running the show and loving what she does.

We meet some new characters in this book and of course all of our favorites are here. Although one is definitely missing and missed!

After being practically blackmailed to investigate, Theo and Drayton put their heads together to find out who killed Beau and why. There are no shortage of possible suspects, really unsavory characters, but are the killers too?

Theo has developed quite a backbone. I enjoyed her new bolder personality and I think it is a very natural growth process for her as a character. Everyone felt very sure of their place in this one. A maturing of all the characters.

The recipes are included in the book and as usual, they are divine! Laura always gives us such good tips for teas and tea sources and we get to read a great cozy mystery!

Enjoy with a cup of Assam and a slice of lemon bread!

Moonlight and Magnolia Oolong…So Good!

Yesterday afternoon Tea was this lovely loose leaf Magnolia Oolong from Harney & Sons, blended by Master Tea Blender, John Harney. I made enough tea cakes to last a year yesterday so we had something sweet to go with the tea.magnoliaoolongtea

The Feng Huang Mountains are located outside of the beautiful old monastery city of Chao Zhou. This area is located in the north of the Guangdong Province. They have made great teas there for centuries. This is a light oolong, and different from our regular Fenghuang Shuixian. The light floral flavors are a joy.Magnolia Oolong

The leaves are just lovely.light brown and the aroma was fruity and floral. It is a lovely tea. The aroma is delicate and like all of Harney Teas, this one is smooth and was so good, I forgot the tea cake!

AS you can see it is light in color and has a delicateness about it that I found very nice. A very calming tea. I will definitely be getting more of this one! Perfect for all those Spring events!

Want to get your own? Click Here  And you can follow us on Facebook too, lots of deals, reviews and news about Tea and goodies! Click Here

xx Patricia

 

 

tea & crumpets by Margaret M. Johnson

Recipes and Rituals from European Tearooms and Cafes.

teaandcrumpets

Curious armchair travelers, nostalgic food excursionists, and inventive home entertainers will adore this tour of Europe’s legendary tearooms and salons. A delicious culinary and cultural experience as well as a treasure trove of recipes from top-notch destinations, this little gem lets readers in on the rituals of taking tea. Recipes like the Ritz’s cucumber sandwiches, Claridge’s famous raisin and apple scones, or chocolate scones from Edinburgh’s Balmoral Hotel, as well as color photographs of tasty tea fare and European teahouses, bring the charm of afternoon tea to anyone’s home.

Whether it is detailing the history of Twinings or the history of my favorite place Laduree, Ms. Johnson has put together some of the best Tearooms and Cafe’s throughout Europe.

This book is beautiful. The pictures, the history and the recipes. I have tried a lot of these recipes and I can honestly say they are all baker friendly. And I love that she puts the addresses to tea rooms and a great resource section also.

I can’t pick a favorite but I am determined to work my way through the entire book!

May your day be easy and enjoy a cuppa today! Like now!

XX Patricia

Make Your Own Chai!

Authentic Indian chai tea recipe - Foodess:

Chai Tea Concentrate

  • 4 Black tea bags
  • 1  4 inch piece of fresh ginger

Baking & Spices

  • 3 Allspice, whole
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 12 Cardamom pods
  • 4 Cinnamon sticks
  • 8 Cloves, whole
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 8 Peppercorns, whole black
  • 2 Star anise
  • 1 Vanilla bean

Liquids

  • 4 cups Water

Yummy Goodness is what this is!  A good book, warm socks, a fireplace and a mug of Chai…heavenly!

xxP

Holiday Tea and Cardamom Bread!

holidayteas

There are holiday teas galore out now! So no matter who your favorite tea seller is, I can guarantee they have a holiday tea to fit your needs.

Cooking with these teas is easy as can be. If you are making say gingerbread, replace the liquid with an equal amount of strongly steeped gingerbread tea. Do the same with peppermint, pumpkin spice, caramel, really any of them that match your flavor of baked goods.

teagift12  This is one of my favorite treats to have in winter. Cardamom Bread. And here is an easy recipe for you!  It is a perfect accompaniment to your holiday teas!

Ingredients

2 cups unbleached white flour
2 tsp cardamon, freshly ground
1 tsp cinnamon, ground
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 large eggs
1/4 c sugar
1 c sour cream
10 Tbsp butter, unsalted, melted

Directions

1 Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease and flour a loaf pan.

2 Combine dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Beat eggs and sugar together until creamy. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Mix in sour cream and melted butter.

3 Pour batter into prepared pan, baking until done, about an hour.

Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto rack and finish cooling.

Dust with powdered sugar.

And just pick a tea!

Starting next week, we are going to dig in to my Southern Roots for Christmas…oh, yeah, it’s going to be good!

fridaytea2 xxP

Who Are The Easiest People To Shop For?

teawitch Why Tea People are! Seriously it does not take a lot to make a tea lover happy. A new cup, a different tea, a special strainer or cozy. We are very simple people….

So I’ve scoured magazines and on line for what tea centered gifts I’ll be doing this year. And here they are!

This year I am doing the Mason Jar Tea Kit. I’ve been collecting and even Grandpa went to an auction and bought me about 50 Mason jars! Just think to yourself…what would I like to have as I sit down on a cold winter’s afternoon? Tea, a nice cup, a sweet and you have an experience! If you have some homemade jam, or cookies or bread, just pop that in the basket too. It’s very easy, inexpensive and from the heart.

You can also make your own holiday blends and pop them into a small container, as you can see, you can make a tree, and those lovely Harney and Sons tins are perfect for growing herbs or making into candles! I love this little tea cozy and the little travel pouch for teas. Our friend over at pinkiebag.com could have really used that little packet when travelling around the U.S. this year!

We all know that old adage, It’s the thought that counts, right? Well all of these are very thoughtful and I would be thrilled to receive any one of them.

I hope you got some ideas for the tea lover in your life, or maybe to introduce someone to tea time!

Take some time for you!fridaytea2

Bigelow’s Salted Caramel Seasonal Tea

Salted Caramel Tea? Whaaat? I almost didn’t notice this and as soon as I did it was safely home with it’s friends.

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When I opened the packet the smell of caramel was strong. On the bag it suggested steeping for 4 minutes so I started there.

While the caramel aroma was still strong, it tasted a bit weak. So I let it steep just a little longer and got the result I was looking for. A nice hint of caramel. I will be very honest here, I probably wouldn’t buy this one again. And I added a squirt of the same caramel I use for macchiatos . Now that was good!

20161114_130748    Yeah, the chocolate pecan cookie wasn’t bad either!

Enjoy your day!  And don’t forget to take a minute for tea!    xxP

Cooking With Tea

Digging around on the Web last night looking for different overnight oats recipes and look what I found on Celestial Seasoning’s site!  Another great way to use our Holiday Teas!

celestial1

CARAMEL APPLE OVERNIGHT OATS by http://www.kleinworthco.com/…/caramel-apple-overnight-oats.…

PREP TIME
5 mins
TOTAL TIME
5 mins
Simple & easy overnight oats recipe to bring fall flavors to the breakfast table.
Serves: 1
INGREDIENTS
  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp apple butter
  • 1 tbsp salted caramel mocha syrup
  • ⅓ cup brewed Caramel Apple Dream tea- room temperature
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 tsp chopped pecans for garnish (opt)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Add oats to the bottom of an 8 oz mason jar
  2. Add in apple butter & ½ the syrup
  3. Pour in the tea & milk
  4. Screw on the lid tightly & give it a good shake until all ingredients are combined
  5. Refrigerate overnight
  6. When serving, top with chopped pecans & remaining syrup

cupofappletea  And what goes better with that than a cup of Caramel Apple Dream Tea?

Enjoy!    xx P

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