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

 

Historic Royal Palace Teas and Cannoli

Pairing the Historic Royal Palaces Royal Wedding Tea from Harney & Sons Teas with a couple of mini cannoli is a wonderful idea!

The Royal Wedding tea is a white tea with pink rosebuds,cornflowers, marigold petals, natural almond, vanilla and coconut.  Steep 4 minutes and sip. It is such a smooth and aromatic tea. It would be appropriate for a wedding and is a perfect dessert tea. Or just a really good Friday treat!

It has been beautiful outside and I’ve been putting the house back together now that the kids are with their parents. We had Charli’s baseball practice on Wednesday night and that was fun. Thursday night we kept thinking we had misplaced them and I think the amount of crumbs under the table would have kept two dogs busy.

Now we are back to normal or what passes for normal here. Tonight it’s just leftovers and Netflix. I hope you all survive the snowstorm in the north, I see my sister took the last flight out of South Dakota and took herself to the Gulf Coast. Smart girl!

What is everyone up to this weekend?

xxP

THE HISTORIC ROYAL PALACES COLLECTION

Wednesday already? Where did the time go? Saturday I was so happy to see this lovely red box from Harney and Sons! I knew it meant a Royal Palaces tea tin. I already have some others and these were the last two.

harneygreenteas

The Green Tea with Coconut, Ginger and Vanilla and Lemongrass. The aroma is very soft. This is a delicate tea. I steeped it for 3 minutes in not quite boiling water. It tasted smooth and bright with that zing of ginger left on the back of your tongue. There is the brightness of the green tea and the surprise of coconut and they all come together to make a perfect tea for anytime. I’ve had it twice hot and I made a chilled one as well and it was delicious.

Well Mike and Jodi are on a plane headed to D.C.  I may have (she did) have a major panic attack yesterday talking to Mike. I’m sobbing about him driving a bus that far and he pops in with You should be worried about the plane. Well that was it. I cried this morning when they dropped off an entire car load of things for the kids. Ballet, hip hop, t-ball, coach pitch, school picture clothes and uniforms. They already have double of everything here.

Yesterday we were doing prep work and I asked Tommy to make the mini-muffins. He did not do it correctly (her way) and I tossed them in the trash. This morning so far I’ve made 4 dozen blueberry muffins and 4 dozen chocolate chip muffins. 2 dozen Brownie Bites, a Red Velvet Cake and a sauce for pasta tonight. Lunches are planned out and snacks are grab and go. Tonight we have practice at 5 p.m. for Charli Ava and I am so OCD about being prepared. Although Corbin has already asked if he could just not go to school and stay with me. Now I have 2 and a half hours to wash my hair, Lay out clothes and read a book.

Hopefully I will be alive tomorrow. Or drunk. Who knows?

xx P

A Surprise Delivery!

Sunday….Another odd weather day. Starts out all sunny and promising and by the afternoon it’s thunder and lightning. You have to time your outings in between rain showers. Spring has descended on the state. Blowing crap everywhere and shining just enough sun to warm the earth.

Yesterday and last night the weather was all over the map. There was a tornado touch down closer than I would have liked and huge hail. Then it was over.

Yesterday afternoon I went outside and tripped over a FedEx box. And look what I found! I decided to try the Almond Sunset. When I opened the tea bag the aroma was medium strong. Like oranges and star anise with a hint of Almond. I wanted a pot so I used two bags. I let it steep for 3 minutes and had a small cup and then tasted it again after 5 minutes. The first one was delicate and sweet and the almond aroma was still the underlying note. I quite enjoyed it. The 5 minute steep was perfection. Every note came together and the almond was lovely. Just smelling made me feel calm and loved. It’s from Celestial Seasonings and like all of these caffeine-free. Ingredients list: Roasted Carob, Roasted Barley, Roasted Chicory, Cinnamon, Orange Peel, Natural Almond Flavor, Blackberry Leaves and Anise Seed. They also list other natural flavors. I’m pretty sure one is Vanilla. There is just something about those two smells that I recognize. Maybe because I bake a lot of Almond Vanilla Cakes.

I’m trying to cut down on caffeine and not have any after afternoon tea. This tea is a perfect ending to a dinner. It is what I call a dessert tea. You don’t need dessert, because the tea tastes like dessert. With NO calories. I’m happy with it and will put it in the rotation.

We still have to try the Vermont Maple Ginger, Decaf India Spice Chai, Spiced Espresso Chai. 

So to my sister….Victoria Beth….it’s a go. I’ll send you some.

xx P

CELESTIAL TEAHOUSE MOUNTAIN CHAI

Thursday has come with a surprise or two. This morning I received this little gem. Celestial Teahouse Mountain Chai. A true masala chai with Assam black tea. It is the best.  The aroma is intense and the taste is smooth, full-bodied and chock full of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves,nutmeg, star anise, black pepper, roasted chicory and vanilla bean. I had never seen it before, even on their website so I looked on Amazon and they had 1 box left for $10.99. OU Boy paid $2.50. Yep.

It was really good and I love the packaging. The banana bread was a hit. People like dusting the pan with cinnamon/sugar mix. It gave it a small crunch on the bottom which I quite enjoyed.

Since this was the first day in a long time we’ve been off together we went to the book store. Of course. Had some tea and bought some books and then called Corbin and Charli Ava and told them we were having treats and tea at the book store. All you could hear in the background was ” NOT FAIR”.  But it was nice to be lazy on a sunny day and wander around seeing Spring showing off around town.

He’s off tomorrow too. That may be a bit much for me so he’s making plans to golf with my son Mike, which better mean I get my babies back!

Now I have to go read 3 books before tomorrow. Is it Spring where you are now? For those of you dealing with flooding, we are praying with you.

xx P

CHOCOLATE TEA AND BANANA BREAD MUFFINS

Morning Y’all! Another beautiful day with all the windows open, blowing the staleness of winter heat out. I have been a busy little bee this morning.

While sipping my early morning tea I noticed I had 5 bananas that I needed to use. You know those bananas that are aging badly, like an old lady with brown spots all over her hard-working hands. I also had some sour cream that I don’t remember buying as I don’t eat it, but I googled a recipe for Sour Cream Banana Bread and made 2 large loaves and a half-dozen muffins. This recipe said to grease your pans and then instead of flour, using a cinnamon sugar mixture to coat the bottom of the pan. They turned out beautifully and smell like love.

In the middle is a Butternut Squash steaming in Celestial Seasonings Cinnamon Apple Spice Tea. I’m going to toss it in the blender with 2 Honey Crisp Apples and blend it, heat it and sprinkle with Nutmeg for lunch.

Meanwhile on top of the stove…

I’m poaching chicken breasts in Lapsang Souchong to make Smoked Chicken Salad on croissants. That’s the loose leaf tea from Harney & Sons in there.  Because the man wants meat.

So I feel sufficiently productive today. Now I am planting my bum on the sofa and watching for the postman. I am expecting tea and books today and that new postman is lazy and likes to just leave a note telling you to pick it up. Not today Satan! I have a text saying it is on your truck and I will be waiting by my box with it!

Do you cook with tea?  Tell me what!

P

TUESDAY TEA TALK

Tea Tuesday! It’s already 70 degrees and sunny here. I haven’t been able to find any Twinings Soothe in my market area. Neither have Twinings. I asked them. I am not going to order a tea on-line that costs less than the shipping, so I’ve turned my efforts to finding a similar one and I found this one. From Sri Lanka. And it is very nice.

I just don’t feel good on days I don’t drink Turmeric. It’s such a good cure for so many things. For those of you who were wondering about all of that tea in the picture yesterday, I’m happy ( she should mean ashamed!) to say that what you saw was a very small portion of what I have. And then a good question! How long does tea last? Well, it depends. Loose Leaf Tea maybe a year or two if you keep it in a nice dry place. Sachets last about a year. The more delicate the tea, the shorter the life. Now that said, you can still drink old tea. Aged tea is an example! It’s just that the flavor may have faded a bit.

It doesn’t last long at my house. I push tea like a drug dealer. Got a problem? I’ve got a tea for that. And I also cook with loose leaf tea. The best smoked chicken salad I make is made by poaching the chicken breasts in Lapsang Souchang Tea. It has a full-bodied, smoky aroma and taste. Basically when I bake I will use an appropriate tea in place of the liquid in the recipe. You get an extra punch of flavor!

I’m waiting for the postman now bringing a shipment from the Northwest! I don’t even know what they are, so we will be surprised together!

What is your favorite tea this time of year?

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

 

I Baked. I Shopped. I am Awesome!!

Good Morning! Tuesday and it started raining last night and was still sprinkling this morning. The thunder show is supposed to begin in a couple of hours. I don’t care I have a lifetime supply of tea, books, and flowers. And today I am in love with these pink beauties! And the white tulips are lovely too. The main (only) reason I go to Whole Foods is to get flowers. Or sometimes just sit and have a tea and smell them.

Spring Break started yesterday. Sunday night we went and shopped for groceries and kid food. This time I actually made a 2 week menu and a list of ingredients. I am now the refrigerator Nazi. No one is taking anything out of there without asking me!

So far….. I have baked dozens of tiny blueberry muffins and 6 in every small snack bag (portion control), 6 dozen Amish Almond Sugar Cookies, also portioned out as well as several loaves of GF bread.  Now they know they can just grab a tiny snack bag and I don’t have to get up and play the “What do you want?” game.

Pretty bread. Some of the cookies stayed in the jar, most are in the freezer.

Nothing like taking a break for a nice cup of Paris Tea and Almond Tea Cakes! I do all kinds of things with my tea tins. This is one.

Now I’m going to go for a run before the rain comes back! Stay Safe!

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