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

Drama, Clorox, and a Crime Board….

Time to slow it down and have a cuppa and a sit. Spring is slinging pollen all over the state and I am fairly sure it is a personal vendetta. I swear you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting one of those fluffy white trees! So obviously I’ve been slurping hot tea and blowing my nose. I went out to lunch and the lovely server made me hot tea. They don’t even serve it but she made me some. I love her now.

Do you ever have one of those miserable days where you are just fed up with the world? I know I can’t be the only one. I’m tired of the Trump drama. I’m tired of listening to stupid people. I’m about to start handing out bottles of Dramamine in hopes that people keep their drama contained. Just keep that to yourself. It’s good no matter where drama shows up. Boats, planes, cars. My drama is mine.

I had 3 items to find today. Clorox, a new White Board, and toilet paper. So far I have none of those items. Staples had a white board the size of a sheet of paper and didn’t understand what I was looking for. They are dead to me now. Office Depot on-line knew what it was. A Crime Board, double-sided. Office Depot gets me. I ordered it and just because I was feeling shitty I ordered new bedding. All white. And maybe some tea.

My boys are on the golf course. This is Tommy’s first time out on the course since his surgery on his hip/leg so we shall see how far they get. I couldn’t go because allergies. My eye is way to important to risk pushing my pressure up. And since he’s probably reading this at the course….cheese grits….

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Get outside if you can!

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

 

Friday Advice From The Flamingo

It’s Friday! Week one of Spring Break is over. Tomorrow baseball season begins. Tomorrow is when they get their gear and have a giant party on the lawn. I will be home baking bread and cookies and muffins. Everyone has disappeared. No, there is 1 lonely cookie in the cookie jar.

The first couple of days Thing One and Thing Two went to Dallas to spend some time with Grandpa Bob so there was a 24 hour period where we had to calm down and go to bed at a decent hour. Different rules and all. So yesterday Thing One was in rare form. He ran all day. Everywhere. He refused to get dressed in anything but his Black Panther slippers, a Spiderman shirt and a pair of shorts. And yes, I took him shopping in this outfit. There are battles that are not worth fighting. And as soon as we got home he stripped and was happy. The rest of us were not so we plopped him into a bubble bath and gave him some toys and closed the door.

This morning he was dressed and wanted Leprechaun cereal. Lucky Charms. I know they are going through a growth spurt, but man can they eat! They are like cows, grazing all day, pouring way too much tea in the cup and requesting a bread sandwich. Yes, that is 2 pieces of bread. TaDa!

He was also told not to pick on his sister….yeah that lasted 10 minutes. Finally I had them both on the sofa snuggled in watching the last 2 chapters of Stranger Things 2. Then he just punched her. I told him I was going to have to tell his Daddy that because he had specifically told him not to do that. His reply? “Oh, Granma, just don’t bring it up.””:I’m sorry, what?”  “Just lie.”  “No, sorry I’m not lying to your father.” “Do you not know how?” God save us all!  

Then my sister called and they were her problem. They grilled her on breakfast food.

Now I’m going to soak in a hot bubble bath and remember how to be an adult.

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

 

 

ACTUALLY I CAN AND I DID!

Tomorrow is Friday and I could not be happier! Like a seagull with a french fry happy! I just want this week over. As I am sitting here gazing out my window and sipping this lovely Jasmine Green Tea that a lovely lady brought back from Taiwan. It’s so smooth and delicate and the leaves themselves are beautiful.

This week I said NO. After a long couple of weeks since Tommy has slipped on the ice and landed on his surgery side. No stitches were broken but he is banged up and has a lot of water on his knee which they will drain Monday. I was having major anxiety over a few things and I started losing weight again. Tommy kept telling me to just say no, just tell the truth. That I do not want to be in that big of a crowd. I had reasons lined up why I couldn’t say no, but then he took one of the issues and handled it himself and I realized, well, yes, actually, I can say no. So I did. And the world did not fall apart. No one died. No one hated me. I finally mattered enough to myself to put my foot down. It felt good.

Spring Break starts next week so I am filling the craft boxes and getting the tennis rackets out for the kids. Yesterday it was so gorgeous out that I washed all of my windows and screens, inside and out. Of course than I slid in the soapy water and almost ended up on my tush. But there is something so wonderful about throwing open the windows and letting the fresh air and sunshine flood the house. The fairies were very happy except for that anxiety fairy and we all know she’s just a Debbie Downer!

Enjoy your day and I hope you take time for yourself and know that You Matter! And yes, you can say NO.

xxP