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

Checking Out Twinings Pure Rooibos Red Tea…and some instructions!

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I saw this one the other week and absolutely had to have it. You can always use more Herbals!  And Rooibos is a favorite of mine in the summer. The only ingredient is the Rooibos Tea. It has a really nice aroma and a lovely taste. It’s naturally a bit sweet. Not too much, just right. It is a Keeper!

On the instructions, I realized that after I posted the wreath picture, I should have at least told you how I did it. Of course there are all kinds of ways, but this is how I did it and continue to do my wreaths.

Find a good sturdy grapevine wreath. Any craft store, or you can make them yourself, it isn’t hard if you have or know someone who has grapes.

Figure out what type of look you want and then gather your crockery. The ones I use on my wreath are ones I’ve found or bought at a thrift or yard sale. I used Gorilla Glue to fix the cup to the saucer and then hot glue gun to fix it to the wreath. If it’s just a cup or a creamer with a handle I tie those on with clear fishing line or very thin ribbon.

When you have it the way you want it, just fill in with greenery, flowers, pearls, whatever you like really….let your imagination run!  I always have yards of different pearls hanging around so I use those a lot. And I’ll have a color scheme in mind and may add a few tiny tea spoons, or birds, even birds nests. Really the possibilities are endless!

They make great gifts for wedding showers, birthdays, any occasion or no occasion at all if you are a tea lover!

If you make one, let us see! I’m always looking for more ways to use them. Now I am off to check the fairy house. I’ve heard a toad moved in….

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patricia

 

 

Channeling Orange

Since today’s tea is Tazo wild sweet orange, we’ve gone all out with the orange theme!

First the tea is really good and full of things I love. In the summer it is delicious with ice and a few slices of orange. You don’t need sugar at all, so it makes it a great drink for the summer for the kiddies too.

After digesting all of yesterday’s eye news I am feeling really calm and positive about whatever comes next. So when my doorbell rang this morning, I actually answered it. And I’m so glad I did. I got to share some great tea and conversation with my neighbor who I rarely see as she’s always at the hospital working. But she just had a hip replaced so she is sidelined for a few weeks. And she likes tea!

This isn’t like last month when I not only invited the Mormon boys in to chat because I was so bored but gave them  my phone number and they have returned a few times. We are discussing the ark and Noah. They are like a captive audience for me since I’m still not allowed outside.

After recently freeing myself of some negative folks I am taking the above advice and channeling Orange. Being me. It really is liberating to let go of expectations.

yellow7   xxx 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!

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

The Boulder Tea Company Sale!

Image result for the boulder tea companyGreat news! Get an early jump on your holiday purchases and save 20%! Plus free shipping on any purchase over $50.

https://boulderteaco.com/collections/black-teas/products/pumpkin-spice-1

Just a few available, or in other words, what I’m getting! lol

Rooibos Vanilla Nut                                       Full Moon Spice

Organic Genmaicha Matcha-iri         Pumpkin Spice

Tangerine Tea Gingerbread Cake   So grab your holiday teas now and stock up on your regulars and try a few samples….with this lovely Gingerbread Loaf!

xxPcupcakeholder1

Tea With A Twist!!

Tea lovers craving new and novel ideas for their next tea party will gladly put the kettle on…and the doilies away. There’s nothing old–fashioned here! Specialty tea expert and author Lisa Boalt Richardson inspires readers to set their tables for fun and serve up any of her eight contemporary tea parties. Stunning photographs by one of Atlanta’s leading photographers Lauren Rubinstein grace each page, enticing readers to indulge their guests and serve them fine tea in a fun style!

The parties are simple to put together. Each tea includes easy–to–follow instructions and budget–friendly tips for brewing specialty teas, preparing delicious recipes, and decorating tables. Whether the cook chooses to pour tall glasses of the unusual bubble tea for fun–loving friends or hot, exotic masala chai tea for those seeking an adventure, it’s certain that tea time has a new twist!

This has to be one of the prettiest books I’ve come across. Everything you want and need to know about entertaining and cooking with tea. And from a tea expert no less!

The book is full of beautiful photography, and themed tea ideas and recipes. This one is definitely staying on my shelf!

More about the Author:

You can usually find Certified Tea Specialist Lisa Boalt Richardson of Lisa Knows Tea sipping tea no matter what time of day it is. Her philosophy is “teatime is anytime and all the time”. Lisa’s friendly approach to writing and teaching others about this ancient beverage is refreshing. Her anticipated third tea book published by Chronicle Books will be released fall of 2014 entitled, Modern Tea: A Fresh Look at an Ancient Beverage. Her first book, Tea with a Twist won “Best Tea Book USA 2009” from Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.

She travels the country speaking at conferences and special events focusing on her culinary arts and specialty tea expertise. She has spoken at places such as the World Tea Expo, Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show, Sundance Resort, and Emory University. She also consults with companies wanting to learn more about specialty tea.

She has contributed to publications including Cooking with Paula Deen and TeaTime Magazine. Her tea expertise and recipes have been featured in numerous national publications such as Women’s Health Magazine, Real Simple Magazine, Diabetes Forecast, and The New York Times. Lisa has also been interviewed by Foxnews.com, Discovery.com, NBCnews.com, and Chow.com. For more information you may follow LisaKnowsTea on Twitter, join the Lisa Knows Tea Facebook fan page, or visit http://www.lisaknowstea.com. You may also follow her tea blog at http://www.lisaknowstea.blogspot.com.

Lisa Boalt Richardson

She also has an amazing tea blog and really knows her tea!

Enjoy and have a good one, and don’t forget to pause for a cup of tea today! xxP

A Celebration of Autumn!

autumn leaves

Here in the South, and yes Oklahoma is considered part of the South, it is Fall. Now don’t rush to pack up your summer shoes and your shorts, as we still have the a/c running and the weather is in the 80’s.

But for our purposes, it’s Fall. And we are having a Celebration of Autumn themed Tea. I would say tea party, but come on we all know it’s me and some other crazy chicks, looking for any reason to drink. Tea. I meant drink tea. Yeah.

Since our leaves have not actually turned any color other than green,we are going to have to dig into the Autumn/Halloween decoration box and find those garlands of fall leaves I bought before Michael’s up and died.

 

I’m using two different teas. One of my favorite Lapsang Souchong and the new Celestial Seasonings Pumpkin. Not Pumpkin Spice, just Pumpkin. I’m about over the Pumpkin Spice after seeing it on the Cheerio box.It just doesn’t feel special anymore, you know?

Along with Pumpkin Scones, Espresso Brownies and Amish Sugar Cookies, we’re serving the Lapsang Chicken Salad Finger Sandwiches, along with a Pecan Pear Salad. For dessert we are going with Mini Pumpkin Pies, along with Mexican Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Buttercream.

 

Each person brings one of the goodies and the hostess provides the tea and decorations. It’s a fun and relaxing way to get together and catch up and we all know we can make time for a few hours once a month. I spend more time in the bathtub every day than that!

I’m reading a bunch of new cozy mysteries and mixing up some new herbals to go with them. Have a wonderful day and save time for tea!  xxP

A Cup of Earl Grey and A Tale

timefortea

Grab the teapot and make yourself some Earl Grey this afternoon! I’ll wait….

 

As you already know if you follow my book review site, www.piratepatty.wordpress.com, I have been struggling with an eye infection that turned bad in a big hurry. A 6mm glob on my eye that since June has been the focal point of my days. I am extremely lucky that I have the Dean McGee Eye Institute at my disposal.

But you can read all about it over on my other site. Being blind in one eye isn’t so bad when you’re a pirate. I had plenty of patches along with a rolling pirate ship from Toys R Us. Suffice it to say I missed all of Summer. My favorite time of year. I promised not to whine anymore about it, but Meh...

I live with Anxiety and PTSD. The kind where you’ve just seen way too much bad stuff and you would rather just stay in and avoid people and be in control. But at the moment I am not in control and that’s a first for me. So to calm myself I’ve started having an actual time for tea every afternoon. The entire process is calming and allows me to focus on just one thing.

Today I want to say Thank you!   To all of my fellow bloggers who keep me entertained and informed every day!  Luckily I am only blind in one eye so I can still read and write. And I do enjoy hearing from people from all over the world. I’ve learned so much about other cultures and countries so keep that up!  The other day one of my fellow bloggers reminded me we had been friends for a year! I have marriages that didn’t last that long! Just know that if you are here, it’s because I find you interesting!

 

Have a great Thursday and Be Kind to one another…share some tea! xxP