Spill the Tea: eleven tlc

Last April my sister needed some help with my nieces as it was spring break, her husband was out of town due to family illness, and she was working. I had promised my niece I would visit them in Albany, Georgia before they moved and found this to be the perfect opportunity as my work had finally lifted their stops on all vacation. I still had to quarantine when I returned, but that was okay. I had a lot of things I planned to take care for my Jane Austen birthday as I quarantined (such as baking, piñata making, etc).

The plan was for me to fly into Atlanta and then we would spend some time in a couple of different shops with my sister and my older niece as the younger niece was going to be watched by a babysitter. I had looked at a couple of places and suggested going to a tea house as I of course try to visit a tea place every time I go somewhere. I was excited as CA was under so many COVID19 restriction and in April of 2021 there weren’t any teahouses open.

While on the plane and using Delta’s free Wi-Fi, I checked my messages and something had happened so we not going to be able visit the tea house after all, instead my sister planned to take us to Ponce City Market only, and afterwards we would be heading to Albany.

I was disappointed, but in a lifestyle center that big I knew there had to be at least one place that served tea. After some searching I came upon eleven tlc. Ponce City Market described it as “Delicious organic, functional teas & lattes that make you feel good from the inside out.”

I sent my sister the link, and we prepared to go there.

I’m not sure how long eleven tlc has been a company or a part of PCM, as there was very little about them on their site, but they strive to have items that promote wellness for your body and for the earth.

I was tempted to get a matcha latte as I usually do, but was intrigued by their lavender latte. It sounded absolutely delicious and as I hate almond milk I had mine made with oat milk instead. The lavender latte I had there was the best lavender latte I have ever had. And as I was in need of tea I felt much better after drinking it.

My sister got a latte with bee pollen in it that is supposed to help wiht allergies. She really enjoyed hers as well.

I definitely recommend this place if you are ever in Atlanta or Ponce City Market. It was an all around win!

For more tea cafe reviews, go to Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe

For more tea posts, go to Teapot Card with Teabag

Books, Tea, and the Trinity: Twice Baked Potatoes

Back in 2020, some friends and I started a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We met every Wednesday and worked our way through the Chronicles of Narnia and are currently working through the Lorien Legacies. When we started I resolved to share all the recipes, we have made-but I haven’t gone through them as quickly as I hoped. 

When we completed The Magician’s Nephew,The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and A Horse and His Boy; we moved on to book four, Prince Caspian. This book is one of my favorites in the series as I love Prince Caspian (although the Disney film version is horrible). Like A Horse and His Boy, this book did not mention a lot of specific foods, so we planned whatever we wanted to make.

As I wasn’t in charge of this book, there will be no discussion questions, just recipes. 

The first week we had Apple Cinnamon Scones: Salmon Radish Cucumber Canapés, Cinnamon Bread-Honey-Cheese-Apple and Ham Sandwiches, Kellogg’s Cheese Potato Crisps, and Applesauce Cake; all paired with Caroline’s Coffee Roaster Princess Earl Grey (as we needed to have some royal-tea).

The next week we had lavender flowering tea, Irish Soda Bread, Tuna Salad, Twice Baked Potatoes, carrot soup, and Quaker Oatmeal Cookies with Chocolate Chips.

I originally wanted to make the Teatime Magazine twice baked mice potatoes in honor of Reepicheep entering the story; but when I went to the market they were all out of the small potatoes and I had to buy larger ones. I will attempt this recipe again, with small potatoes, and try to make them as nice

Ingredients:

  • 1 (24-ounce) bag small red potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ cup finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 24 (2½x⅛-inch) slices green onion, green parts only
  • 24 sliced almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2 black olives, finely chopped

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, approximately 18 minutes. Let cool on pan on a wire cooling rack.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375°.
  5. Using a sharp knife, cut 12 potatoes in half lengthwise. Peel and discard skins from remaining potatoes. Transfer peeled potatoes to a medium bowl.
  6. Using a ¼ teaspoon, scoop a small well from potato halves, adding pulp from wells to bowl with whole, peeled potatoes. Using a fork, slightly mash whole, peeled potatoes. Add cheese, sour cream, and remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add milk, beating until incorporated (mixture will be thick). Transfer mixture to a piping bag fitted with an open-star tip (Wilton #4B).
  7. Pipe potato mixture back and forth into potato shells. Return filled potato shells to baking sheet.
  8. Bake until warmed through, 15 to 20 minutes. Let potatoes cool to room temperature.
  9. In a medium bowl full of cold water, place 2½-inch-long green onion slices to curl for tails. Blot dry on paper towels just before using.
  10. To create whiskers, using a sharp knife, gently cut a slit at each end of ¾-inch-long green onion slices.
  11. On each potato, gently press into place 2 almond slices for ears. Using tweezers, place 2 olive bits for eyes, green onion whiskers, and a green onion tail. Serve within an hour.

Notes: Potatoes can be prepared and filled up to 3 days ahead, let cool completely, place in an airtight container, and refrigerate. Up to 2 hours before serving, warm filled potatoes in a 375° oven. Let cool before decorating as mice.

So I did try to turn my large potatoes into large mice, but it just didn’t work out. Instead I had to admit defeat and just make regular twice baked potatoes.

These were delicious and like I said above, I plan on making them again. And even though they were not boiled, I do think Mr. Collins would have enjoyed them too.

For more from our Books, Tea, and the Trinity tea times, go to Applesauce Cake

For more potato recipes, go to Cheese Potato Crisps

For more Teatime Magazine recipes, go to Brisket and Slaw Roulades

For more recipes, go to Rice Krispies Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe

Books, Tea, and the Trinity: Applesauce Cake

Back in 2020, some friends and I started a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We met every Wednesday and worked our way through the Chronicles of Narnia and are currently working through the Lorien Legacies. When we started I resolved to share all the recipes, we have made-but I haven’t gone through them as quickly as I hoped.

When we completed The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and A Horse and His Boy; we moved on to book 4 Prince Caspian. This book is one of my favorites in the series as I love Prince Caspian (although the Disney film version is horrible). Like A Horse and His Boy, this book did not mention a lot of specific foods, so we planned whatever we wanted to make.

As I wasn’t in charge of this book, there will be no discussion questions, just recipes.

The first week we had Apple Cinnamon Scones: Salmon Radish Cucumber Canapés, Cinnamon Bread-Honey-Cheese-Apple and Ham Sandwiches, Kellogg’s Cheese Potato Crisps, and Applesauce Cake; all paired with Caroline’s Coffee Roaster Princess Earl Grey (as we needed to have some royal-tea).

This recipe comes from my myrecipes.com.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup thick applesauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

Glaze:

• 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

•2 cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, line bottom with parchment and butter paper.
  3. In one bowl beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg to the butter and sugar mixture.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir baking soda into the applesauce.
  6. In a third bowl mix the remaining ingredients
  7. Add the second and third mixture to the first butter mixture in 3 additions; alternating between the two.
  8. Pour the batter into the pan and bake until the top springs back when pressed, about 50 minutes.
  9. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack.
  10. Make the glaze by mixing the lemon juice and confectioners’ sugar.
  11. Spoon the glaze over cake.

These are so delicious. You can’t go wrong with potatoes and cheese! This is also easy to make, and doesn’t take that long to bake. I definitely recommend!

For more from our Books, Tea, and the Trinity tea times, go to Cheese Potato Crisps

For more cake recipes, go to Lemon Gingerbread Cake

For more dessert, go to Marmalade Rolls

For more recipes, go to Rice Krispies Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe

Books, Tea, and the Trinity: Cheese Potato Crisps

Back in 2020, some friends and I started a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club. We met every Wednesday and worked our way through the Chronicles of Narnia and are currently working through the Lorien Legacies. When we started I resolved to share all the recipes, we make-but I haven’t gone through them as quickly as I hoped.

When we completed The Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and A Horse and His Boy; we moved on to book 4 Prince Caspian. This book is one of my favorites in the series as I love Prince Caspian (although the Disney version is horrible). Like A Horse and His Boy, this book did not mention a lot of specific foods, so we planned whatever we wanted to make.

As I wasn’t in charge of this book, there will be no discussion questions, just recipes.

Party time!

The first week we had Apple Cinnamon Scones: Salmon Radish Cucumber Canapés, Cinnamon Bread-Honey-Cheese-Apple and Ham Sandwiches, Kellogg’s Cheese Potato Crisps, and Applesauce Cake; all paired with Caroline’s Coffee Roaster Princess Earl Grey (as we needed to have some royal-tea).

This recipe comes from my Kellogg’s Cookbook.

These are better than French fries! We guarantee that once you try them, you’ll make these cheesy potatoes a standard at your table. Using different cheeses such as Monterey Jack, American, Swiss, or grated Parmesan cheese, and a bit of chili powder easily adds variety and keeps the dish interesting.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
  • 3 Large Baking Potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Cup of Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Paprika
  • 1/4 Cup of Sliced Scallions or Green Onions
  • Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Directions:

  1. Place the corn flakes in a reusable plastic bag.
  2. Seal the bag and, using a rolling pin, crush the flakes to a medium crumb.
  3. Open the bag and measure the crumbs, you should have 1 cup. Set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Lightly coat a large baking sheet with Non-Stick Cooking Spray.
  6. Lay the potatoes on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Lightly coat with Non-Stick Cooking Spray.
  7. Sprinkle the potatoes with salt to taste.
  8. Sprinkle each potato with some of the cheese.
  9. Top with corn flake crumbs and a sprinkling of paprika.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven, without turning, for about 25 mins, or until potatoes are cooked through and golden brown.
  11. Remove from oven and transfer to a serving platter.
  12. Serve with scallions or green onions.

These are so delicious. You can’t go wrong with potatoes and cheese! This is also easy to make, and doesn’t take that long to bake. I definitely recommend!

They may not be boiled but they are most excellent indeed!

For more from our Books, Tea, and the Trinity tea times, go to Rice Krispies Chocolate Chip Cookies

For more potato recipes, go to What Excellent Boiled Potatoes

For more recipes, go to Hummus and Veggie Sandwiches

For more tea posts, go to Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe

Spill the Tea: There & Back Again Cafe

Last month was my birthday and unfortunately both my sister and best friend were unable to celebrate with me. We then decided to meet up a few weeks ago and have a girl’s weekend.

We went to Sacramento and were looking for a tea place to go to for lunch, really searching for a High Tea but willing to go to whatever tea place we could find. A quick google search and I found the There and Back Again Cafe a Lord of the Rings themed gamer cafe. Now we all love Lord of the Rings so it seemed the perfect place to go and celebrate.

The There & Back Again Cafe opened at the beginning of this year. It serves teas, coffees, hand pies, avocado toast, and “shire-cuterie” boards. They have 15 tables for gaming and a collection of board games, card games, and cooperative/group games. If you come and purchase food or drinks, having a gaming table is free (otherwise there is a $5 cover charge.)

All games are first come first serve, and patrons can also bring their own games if they wish.

They are open Tuesdays to Thursdays from 7:30 am – 3 pm; Fridays 10 am – 5 pm, and Saturdays they are open 8-3 for any customers, closing and then reopening 5-10:30 by registration only. They also hold special events that have a cover charge and are by reservation only.

Or dinner

Due to family commitments, traffic, lack of parking, meter issues, and the current construction in Sacramento we didn’t get to the cafe until after one and had only a couple hours before the shop closed.

The first thing we enjoyed was the ambience and the decorations in the cafe. Everything was exactly what a geek would love. They had such a variety of games, that we did not need to play any of the ones we had brought. We really enjoyed being in the cafe and playing a couple rounds of a new game, in fact I think we might have startled some of our more quiet neighbors with our joviality.

Then we went about ordering our drinks. The menu has a variety of regular coffees and teas for you to choose from; but is also home to geekier ones.

  • GROGU REFRESHER: A delicious twist on our favorite little green guy’s preferred snack. (lemon lime soda with a blueberry twist)
  • HALFLING GREEN APPLE TEA: Halflings agree, it’s a wonderful hot delight. (Sweetened with caramel, topped with steamed almond milk and cinnamon)
  • LIGHTBRINGER LAVENDER LEMONADE: In this dread hour, a warrior shall draw from the fire a delicious lemonade! Sweetened with Lavender syrup, truly refreshing.
  • POLYJUICE POTION: Magic juice. But not the kind that’ll leave you trippin’… we think… Peach Lemonade with a color-changing potion. Choose a potion from the magic spells box.
  • SYLVAN STRAWBERRY MATCHA: You can’t outrun destiny just because you’re terrified of it. (Iced matcha latte with strawberry puree & white chocolate drizzle)
  • MEILOORUN JUICE: Citrusy and tart yet sweet melon drink favoured by General Hera Syndulla and her comrades on the Ghost. (pineapple soda with fruit syrup)
  • X-WING Red Leader sure knows how to get into the air with this one! (energy drink with two shots of syrup of your choice) pwew pwew

I being a lover of Matcha, and it being a sweating Saturday, I of course had to try their Sylvan Strawberry Matcha. I thought the drink was very good extremely delicious, and I would definitely order it again.

So while I enjoyed the ambience and the drinks, the biggest issue I had with this cafe came to the food. Since I have been there the menu had changed, but when I went there on May 28th, they had only a few food options: Ham & Brie hand pies (which were unfortunately all sold out when we arrived), shirecuteries, avocado toast, and a vegan Avocado, Tomato & Basil Sandwich. As the three of us were all very hungry, and wanted something more substantial than a charcuterie board; we all decided to instead each order the Avocado, Tomato & Basil Sandwich with a caprese salad for $8.25 (although one of us had the for gluten-free one which was $11.25). However, instead of a sandwich we received a piece of toast with vegan mayonnaise, tomatoes, cucumber, basil, and sprouts. At least the other ladies did, as my order was just avocado and tomatoes on toast; I was not given any of the greens. We all were disappointed as we were expecting an actual “sandwich”, not toast, and an actual salad-not just sprouts on top. If it had been described as toast or an open faced sandwich we would have been expecting to see only one slice of bread, but as it was labeled sandwich we all expected a full sandwich.

My sister’s “sandwich”

My thoughts regarding the menu is that I strongly suggest the There and Back Again Cafe to add pictures to their ever fluctuating menu so that customers can have an idea of what to expect when ordering. As they have a fluid menu they wouldn’t have to include photos of every item, but I believe a few shots would be helpful.

As far as staff goes, the two that were working that day were helpful and very pleasant. Both were attentive and answered any questions we had regarding the drink menu. They did forgot to make my sandwich, but when they realized that, they apologized and brought me one as soon as they could. In a time where every business is struggling to find and keep good employees, this cafe has some great ones.

I definitely recommend going to the There and Back Again Cafe and enjoying their drinks with a game or two (I know I plan to go back for a game night/day with some friends). When it comes to their food, definitely give glance over the menu before heading to the cafe, to decide if the items described there are enough for you, or if you need to eat before.

For more tea cafe reviews, go to Spill the Tea: Caroline’s Coffee Roaster

For more tea posts, go to Teapot Card with Teabag