Spill the Tea: Tea Elle C Garden Cafè Review

So I have been wanting to do this for a while, a looong time! It’s been on my to-do list to incorporate tea shops and tea places reviews, but I just haven’t had the time. It seems I have a thousand different things I want to write and review and just no time to do them all.

So I ended up telling myself that when my tea photos popped up on my “on this day” part of Instagram or timeline it would be time to actually start reviewing them.

Last September, I had to go to Los Angeles to visit with my grandfather who was seriously declining. It was a good visit, and while we were in L. A., I suggested to my mom that we should try a high tea place before we left. She agreed, as long as it wasn’t far out of our way. Right before we headed back home, we stopped at Tea Elle C Garden Cafe.

Tea Elle C is located in Santa Clarita, CA and the idea of it is based on when the Dutch would serve portable teas outside in the garden. This tradition spread from Holland to England as both ladies and gentlemen enjoyed it. The tea garden allowed women and men to socialize “alone”, as since they were in an open public space, they were in no need of a chaperone. Tea gardens were also open to people of all classes.

Because of COVID-19, we weren’t able to eat inside, which was a shame as if looked super cute and they also sold loose leaf tea for purchase and other tea items. But we were unable to browse as we were quickly shuffled through the resturant coming in and going out. I did snap this picture quickly of the inside.

I so wanted to sit inside!

To be compliant with the COVID-19 policies of the time we were seated outside in the garden. The garden was extremely beautiful, full of twinkly lights and tea decorations. I wish I had taken a picture of it, but unfortunately I didn’t.

One of the nice things about this tea place was that it blended a regular cafe menu with high tea being offered all day. So if you have one person who loves High Tea but their partner isn’t in to it-or if one of you wants high tea and the other wants regular cafe food; this is a perfect compromise and a place you both will love. I of course wanted High Tea while my mother wanted a regular breakfast. She ordered a delicious Paris Tea and a Benedict breakfast bowl: a sourdough bowl filled with hash browns, Canadian Bacon, two-over easy eggs, and topped with hollandaise sauce. She loved her food and couldn’t stop raving about it.

I, of course, ordered the high tea (that being the reason I wanted to stop there) and was given a choice of six finger sandwiches (you choose two flavors), your choice of one scone, three desserts, and either one two-Cup teapot or a half carafe.

They offer many choices and I decided on a: Cranberry scone; a cucumber and herbed cream cheese, and a pesto & turkey sandwich . For desserts they gave you whatever they chose to serve and I had a lemon bar, and another crumbly dessert on top. And I, of course, had Earl Grey tea.

Everything was amazing, and it was a good amount of food for a good price. Sometimes high tea places will serve you too much food, or too little, but this was just the right amount for me.

Cranberry Scone

If I were to make a complaint, the only thing I would change would be that they did not offer an endless pot of tea, which a lot of places do (and I love), but each pot or carafe were separate orders. I would have liked an endless pot of tea, but my two cups were the perfect amount as most bathrooms were not open at the time I visited (including the resturant and most gas stations.)

This place was a win and I would most definitely go back again. If you are in the Santa Clarita area, I highly recommend that you drop by.

For more tea posts, go to Marmalade Rolls

Jane Austen Birthday Party Menu, Plus How to Dip Cookies in Chocolate, and a Sugar Cookie Recipe

So as you know if you have been following my page, I just celebrated my 29th birthday with a Jane Austen Garden Tea Party.

Some of you might be wondering why I am so extensively going through all the party planning and it was because I had been planning to have this two years ago, but life got in the way so I decided to wait and now I’ve finally been able to have it.

Party time!

So far we have gone over invitations, decorations, prizes, activities to have, how to make your own piñata, etc. Before we go over the games I thought I would share the menu.

So starting with sandwiches, remember how we’ve been having those The Magician’s Nephew Bible study/book club/tea party? Well, those have also been a dry run for me as it gives me a chance to try out recipes and see which ones I really love. I decided to start off with one I really loved: Curried Egg Salad Triple Stacks Sandwiches

I also really love cucumber sandwiches and wanted to use the recipe from Spend With Pennies but to save time I used Chive and Onion Cream Cheese Spread.

I know not everyone will be into them so I needed some regular sandwiches. I decided on Turkey-Apple Tea Sandwiches:

And I rounded it out with Tea Time Magazine’s Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches:

Out of all of them, the Ham and Cheese did the best. They were all gone before the party’s end.

My mom made a salad for a side and then we went to the strawberry farm down the street and bought a ton of strawberries. Yep, I wanted it to be like Donwell Abbey.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any scones. I had wanted to make some, but I ran out of time. I had also planned to buy some, but when I went to the store they were all out.

But I had lots of desserts! I had made them a few weeks earlier and put them in the freezer until the day before the party. The first cookie I made was Crispy, Chewy, Matcha Green Tea Cookies.

People didn’t really like these as much as the other cookies, but I love them. They were eaten, just not as much as all the others.

The next cookie I made was Basic Shortbread:

But I used a cookie cutter to make them into teapot shape; along with cutting the other half of the cookies into a teabag shape. And I dipped them in chocolate

Chocolate Dipped Cookies:

  1. Have your cookies baked and cooled.
  2. Using a double broiler, melt a chocolate bar or chocolate chips.
  3. If you do not have a double broiler, get two pots about the same size or have one be slightly smaller than the other. Heat water in one until it boils. Turn down the flame and take the other pot and hold it over the one with boiled water. Place the chocolate in the top pot and stir until melted.
  4. When chocolate is melted, dip cookies and lay on wax paper. Put cookies in freezer or fridge to get chocolate to harden.

The last cookie I made was Better Home and Gardens Sugar Cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 Cup of Shortening
  • 3/4 Cups of Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla
  • 1 Egg
  • 4 Teaspoons of Milk
  • 2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour (Sifted)
  • 1.5 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Salt

Directions:

  1. Throughly cream shortening, sugar, and vanilla.
  2. Add egg; beat until mixture light and fluffy.
  3. Stir in milk.
  4. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Blend dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  6. Divide dough in half.
  7. Chill for one hour.
  8. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 of an inch thickness.
  9. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.
  10. Bake on greased cookie sheet at 375 degrees F for 6-8 minutes.
  11. Cool slightly, then remove from pan.

I had wanted to make Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake but I ran out of time and I ended up just buying an Almond Poppyseed cake from Raleys. It was good, but not as amazing as the Meyer Lemon Poppyseed Cake.

My friend also made Carrot Cake (my favorite) and carrot cake cupcakes. I didn’t take a picture of the cake (so good) but in the picture below, where the cupcakes are is where the cake was placed. All the cupcakes were gone by the end of the party. The recipe is a secret or else I would have shared that too.

I’ve been having so much fun sharing all these things with you, and even though the party has ended I will be continuing to share all my other party plans!

For more of my Jane Austen Birthday plans, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Croquet

For more Jane Austen party ideas, go to Jane Austen Birthday Party: Paper Fan Making

For more desserts, go to Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

For more cookie recipes, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

For more recipes, go to Savory Beef Hand Pies

The Magician’s Nephew: Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). This week we had Cinnamon Bun Scones, Curry Egg Salad Triple Stack Sandwiches, Savory Beef Hand Pies, Cranberry Feta Pinwheels, and Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies.

0

I though it would be able to post these faster, but I have really fallen behind and I’m trying hard to catch up though!

tea
And food to go with.

I had made something and I had all this buttermilk left over and nothing I could think of to do with it. So I started looking around online for a recipe. The only thing I could find that wasn’t too time consuming and I had all the ingredients for was Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen’s Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate baking chips (or another cup of chocolate chips)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a baking sheet. (I used foil).
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.
  4. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter.
  5. While the butter is still warm, add the cocoa powder to the butter and whisk until smooth.
  6. Then whisk in sugar, vanilla extract, and buttermilk.
  7. Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain.
  8. Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
  9. Drop dough by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving a few inches in between each cookie to allow for spread.
  10. Bake for 10-14 minutes, or until cookies are set around the edges.
  11. Cool for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

These were delicious and I just know I’ll be making them again when I have leftover buttermilk; such as after I make my Irish Soda Bread.

teamansfieldpark

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Savory Beef Hand Pies

For more recipes, go to Cinnamon Bun Scones

For more cookie recipes, go to The Picture of Earl Grey Tea Cookies

For more desserts, go to Easy Fruit Tarts

For more tea posts, go to Brisket and Slaw Roulades

The Magician’s Nephew: Savory Meat Hand Pies

So every Wednesday, starting in October, I have been a part of a Tea Party/Bible Study/Book Club on The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis. This is different from my book club and the Book Club Picks I have been reviewing (and desperately need to catch up on). This week we had Cinnamon Bun Scones, Curry Egg Salad Triple Stack Sandwiches, Savory Beef Hand Pies, Cranberry Feta Pinwheels, and Melt-in-Your-Mouth Buttermilk Chocolate Cookies.

0

I though it would be able to post these faster, but I have really fallen behind. I’m trying to catch up though!

tea

So my friend had made some meat pies a few weeks earlier and they were amazing! I begged and begged her for the recipe but she couldn’t give it to me as she didn’t really have a recipe. She just kind of throws things together.

So I instead went searching online and found a site called Longbourn Farm, and I was like “Longbourn”? Do you mean this Longbourn?

Pride and Prejudice’s Longbourn?

So of course I went with it. I ended up using my pie crust recipe from my apple pie recipe.

teatimealiceinwonderland

Ingredients: Pie Crust

  • 2 Cups of All-Purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3/4 Cup of Shortening
  • Ice Water

Filling:

  • 1.5 lbs of Ground Beef
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Onion
  • 3/4 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Thyme
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Oregano
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 Cup of Grated Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon of Water

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, mix up the shortening and flour. Add in water, a tablespoon at a time until dough is more malleable. If you add too much and it is too liquid-y, then just add a bit more flour to firm it up.
  2. Put dough aside.
  3. In a medium frying pan on medium heat, add ground beef and spices.
  4. When ground beef is brown, about 8 mins, add onion.
  5. Cook until the Ground Beef is completely cooked through and the onoions are translucent.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  7. Roll out pie dough and cut circles out of the pie crust, they should be about 4-6 inches in diameter. You can use a large cookie cutter or biscuit cutter or just trace a drinking glass if you don’t have a cutter.
  8. Divide the Ground Beef and cheese up evenly between the circles.
  9. Fold the circles in half and press the edges together gently. Crimp them firmly with a fork.
  10. Whisk the egg and water together.
  11. Brush the egg-water mixture onto each beef hand pie.
  12. Place the beef hand pies on a lined or greased sheet tray.
  13. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

So these weren’t as good as my friend’s hand pies, but they were extremely delicious.

I did run out of pie dough though, and ended up having to buy more (I just bought the premade frozen ones).

teamansfieldpark

For more from The Magician’s Nephew Tea Party/Book Club, go to Cinnamon Bun Scones

For more recipes, go to Easy Fruit Tarts

For more pie recipes, go to Mini Apple Pies

For more tea posts, go to Brisket and Slaw Roulades

How to Clean Your Tea Infusers

If you are a tea addict, or teaddict, like me, you drink a lot of tea.

And when you drink as much tea as I do, your tea infuser gets all gross and brown and embarrassing for people to see.

But I have found a way to clean them. On the box that my forlife teapot came in said to use baking soda and warm water.

Huh

Not super clear, so I went online and cruised a few pages for a little more info:

  1. Put some baking soda on the areas affected. Then add a little warm water so it is pastelike.
  2. Scrub the areas with the paste, adding more baking soda if needed.

Voila! It looks amazing.

I’ve had this infuser like 4 years now and it looks brand spanking new. Amazing!

This one I’ve had even longer, and it was horribly brown and look at it now!

I just wish I had taken a before picture for you all so you could see it. I’m kicking myself as this is amazing, baking soda is amazing!

Wow!

And it will help all you tea lovers keep their tea things nice and clean.

For more tea posts, go to Cucumber Aioli Canapés

For more tea love, go to Mug o’ Tea Treats Christmas Gift