I Won the Two Sisters Tea Giveaway

So if you have been following me for a while, you know how I feel about free things.

As I always say:

“Free is always good unless it is diseases.”

So I just cannot resist a giveaway-anytime I see one I have to enter it.

I can’t stop myself.

So a while back I entered the Two Sisters Tea and Tea and Me giveaway. I received my tea at the beginning of October, but because I was in the midst of Horrorfest VIII I didn’t get a chance to review it.

I won one bag of tea and had my choices of Original Hibiscus Iced Tea, Hibiscus Iced Tea with Cardamom, Hibiscus Iced Tea with Cinnamon, and Hibiscus Iced Tea with Dried Pineapple. You know me and making decisions…

Which way…?

So I told them to send whichever, and I waited for it to arrive.

I received the Original Hibiscus Iced Tea which contains 3 family sized teabags of whole hibiscus flowers, each makes 80 fl oz./2.3 liters.

The Two Sisters of Two Sisters Tea are Jennifer Michelle and Claudia Maria. The sisters grew up drinking Rosa de Jamaica, or Jamaican Rose, tea in Guatemala. After moving to America, it was hard getting it, so the two created their own company to share the amazing health benefits of Jamaican Rose Iced Tea and bring it into every home.

So when I opened the iced tea, there were these giant tea bags. I felt a little unsure how much to do, but on the back of the package it gives clear directions on how much water and sugar are needed.

And then I made it and just had to wait…

It was pretty good, not what I usually drink, but I enjoyed it. It was extremely refreshing as well.

A friend of mine saw it and loves hibiscus tea so I sent some off with her and she loved it as well.

My friend is actually Elizabeth.

So if Hibiscus Iced Tea is your thing, you should definitely check them out!

For more giveaways, go to I Won the Regency Marketplace Giveaway

For more tea posts, go to Green Tea Frappuccino

For more on the Tea and Me blog, go to I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Infused Facial Cubes

So a few years back I was given a collection of five teas, A World of Teas. As I was about to try them out, I started thinking, which books would best suit the teas? After all nothing goes better together than a good book and a delicious tea. I decided to repeat it with the teas I won in the Regency Marketplace Giveaway. Since that went so well, I think it will just be my new thing. After all:

 

Original Hibiscus Iced Tea

So something set in Latin America, involving sisters-the first book that popped in my head and stayed in it was:

In the Time of Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

I first came upon on this book when I read How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents and Before We Were Free; both part of a recommended reading list. I enjoyed Alvarez’s style of writing and was intrigued by her account of living under the dictatorship Rafael Trujillo-something that she experienced along with having her father be a part of the resistance movement. At the time I was reading it I knew extremely little about this time in history-but her words hooked me and caused me to research about it.

I must find out more.

Out of all the books, the story In the Time of Butterflies was the one that really stuck with me. It tells a fictional account of the four Mirabal Sisters, known as Las Mariposas (Butterflies)-Patria, Minerva, Maria Teresa, and Dedé- who take a stand against their dictator and fought to save their country and their people.

“We cannot allow our children to grow up in this corrupt and tyrannical regime. We have to fight against it, and I am willing to give up everything, even my life if necessary.” -Patria Mirabal

Alvarez took an already amazing story and brought the sisters and their bravery, freedom, and all they did and stood for back to life again.

I recommend reading it with a glass of Two Sisters Tea Rosa de Jamaica.

 

Amish Baked Oatmeal

Or scones!

So I love tea

And I am always on the lookout for new recipes to go with my teatime. This one my sister blog, Mysterious Eats, posted and it looked so good, I decided I needed to try it out with my tea time.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of Light Brown Sugar
  • 1.5 Tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1.5 Tsp of Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 Tsp of Salt
  • 1 1/4 Cup of Milk
  • 1/4 Cup of Butter, Melted
  • 3 Cups of Rolled Oats (Quick Oats work too)
  • Cinnamon Sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter an 8×8 inch baking dish, set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs.
  4. Add in brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Whisk until there are no lumps.
  5. Stir in milk and melted butter.
  6. Add oats and mix well.
  7. Pour into prepared baking dish and spread evenly. (At this point you can refrigerate overnight or bake immediately.)
  8. Bake in oven 30-40 mins until it is set.
  9. Top with cinnamon and sugar.
  10. Cut into squares and serve warm with fresh nuts, milk, a little cream, half and half, maple syrup, or honey of desired.

Unlike my sister blog I took a couple tablespoons of my hot Earl Grey tea and poured them over the top of the square and I thought it tasted fantastic! I would recommend this for you tea time.

For more goodies to make with your tea, go to Cheese Round

For more recipes, go to Green Tea Frappuccino

Green Tea Frappuccino

So I know some of you are thinking…uh didn’t you say you were going to resume reviewing Rational Creatures?

You are all 100% right. However, this weekend I left the hot three digit heat to visit my friend in cool, comfortable degree weather-San Jose.

I was hoping to have the next installment of Rational Creatures ready but it’s isn’t and I don’t want to post a lackluster review for a book that I have been enjoying. So instead I thought I would pause and share a yummy tea recipe that will help you beat this summer (it’s not fall in California until October) heat.

This recipe comes from my sister blog, MysteriousEatsand is a way to make a homemade Green Tea Frappuccino which stars one of my favorite teas:

So I mentioned in Matcha, Matcha, Matcha that my niece and I would go on these faux-around the world trips. One day she wanted to go to Japan so I planned a trip around town and then we ended the day with the tea ceremony. As I had leftover Matcha and I love the Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino-it was a no brainer to use my sister blog’s recipe and make my own.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Ice Cubes (Less than 10)
  • 1 Scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Tablespoon + 1 Teaspoon of Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons of Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of Vanilla or Vanilla Extract
  • Xanthan Gum (Optional)
  • Whipped Cream (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients in a blender.
  2. Pulse and blend on high until thorough.
  3. Add whipped cream if you want.

greenteafrap

It’s absolutely delicious!

For more tea posts, go to I Won the Regency Marketplace Giveaway

For more Mysterious Eats recipes, go to Cheese Round

For more recipes, go to Matcha, Matcha, Matcha

For more Jane Austen quotes, go to Rational Creatures: Elizabeth & Charlotte

Matcha, Matcha, Matcha

“Well all I hear all day long is how great Matcha is or how wonderful Matcha is, Matcha, Matcha, Matcha!

So Matcha tea is amazing, if you have been following me on Instagram, you know how much I love it.

For me I have always loved the Green Tea Frappucinos at Starbucks, but I didn’t know there was any Matcha in it.

Oh?

No, my obsession started with a book.

I know, don’t they all.

I picked this particular book up at the library, The Tea Ceremony by Seno Tanaka. It was a fascinating book that went over the history of the tea ceremony, along with discussing Matcha tea, it being the one used in the ceremony (no wonder it is so expensive).

Wow!

One part of the book really stuck in my mind, and that was when they described this one…I guess for lack of a better word, tea party, that had a ton of people and they had to keep getting new dishes and used over 200 of them. Wow, that’s a real tea party.

Wow!

Anyways, I know a lot of people like it because it is supposed to help you loose weight, help keep your brain & heart healthy, gives you healthy energy, stop bad breath, burn calories, build your immune system, help with memory, bring relaxation, help your skin, lower cholesterol, detox, etc. I just like it because it tastes good.

So I had been drinking Matcha for years with the green tea frappucino, but I didn’t start buying my own Matcha until three years ago. My niece used to come every year for the Summer, and on Mondays, my day off, we would go on trips around the world.

Let’s go!

Of course, we didn’t really go around the world. We would travel around the bi-county area recreating famous places/landmarks. She would pick a country, I would do the research on it, and then plan out the day. We would then travel and have the different places “stamp” her passport I printed off.

She wanted to go to Japan, so I planned out our trip. First we made Chocolate Oat Crackles; then we headed to the oldest building in our Gold Rush built town-a Japanese Market (no longer open though), saw the Buddhist Temple Gardens (lucky as they hardly are ever open), the local art gallery (supposed to be the Mori Art Museum), the pet store to pet cats and the cafe next door (supposed to be the Japanese Cat Cafes), Imperial Park, a Cat Bento Box, and ending with the tea ceremony.

Now I live in a small town, so it took some doing to try and hunt down some Matcha. I could have ordered it online, but she wanted to do it the next day, and she was visiting for the summer so I was going to make it happen! I finally tracked down a tiny, and I mean tiny, container for $15 at the health store. The things we do for the ones we love.

We did the ceremony, with what we had (I of course didn’t have the proper tools). But after that, we had Matcha left over, so she and I made our own Green Tea Frappucinos (I’ll post the recipe later) and lattes.

I know some people think Matcha is coarse or gross, but I love it. If you haven’t tried it, I recommend it.

So here is a recipe to make your own Matcha Latte hot or cold:

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tsp of Matcha Powder
  • 2 Tsps of Sugar
  • 3 Tbsps of Warm Water
  • 2 Cups of Milk (Hot or Cold)

Directions:

  1. Put the Matcha powder, sugar, and water in a cup or mug
  2. Whisk together to ensure no lumps (use a matcha whisk or electric stirrer. (My dad was given one and it just somehow ended up in my home.)
  3. If doing hot, warm the milk and pour into the mug. If doing cold, just pour in the mug.
  4. Use the whisk or electric stirrer to combine everything until it is a light green color.

For more Tea posts, go to I Won the Regency Marketplace Giveaway

For more recipes, go to Cheese Round

For more on Matcha tea, go to Tea Chocolate

 

Clean Cup! Clean Cup! Move Down, Move Down, Move DOOOWWWNN!!!!!

So most people watch Disney films and they find a character they connect to. Disney princess:

Maybe an animal:

Now that Star Wars is in the Disney family it opens more choices:

 

Marvel characters…

But sadly no. Since living on my own, I have discovered that the Disney character I am most like is the Mad Hatter.

So first of all I’m not mad from Mercury poisoning.

*whew* I know you are all relieved to hear that. And no it isn’t how he dresses, although I love wearing hats.

It’s not even his love of tea-which I do share

It’s his mess of tea cups everywhere.

I’m a mess

 

The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: ‘No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming. ‘There’s plenty of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table…

‘And ever since that,’ the Hatter went on in a mournful tone, ‘he won’t do a thing I ask! It’s always six o’clock now.’

A bright idea came into Alice’s head. ‘Is that the reason so many tea-things are put out here?’ she asked.

‘Yes, that’s it,’ said the Hatter with a sigh: ‘it’s always tea-time, and we’ve no time to wash the things between whiles.’

‘Then you keep moving round, I suppose?’ said Alice.

‘Exactly so,’ said the Hatter: ‘as the things get used up.’

That’s my apartment. Now, I’m not saying that I’m a total slob, it’s just I’ve noticed that since living on my own 70% of my dishes are tea cups/mugs.

So as you can see-when it comes to dirty dishes 70% of them are tea cups/mugs. I also live in a very small apartment with a tiny sink, so as to not damage my cups/mugs they tend to line the counter next to the sink.

The real problem comes if I miss a day washing the dishes. Then oh no-it really looks like the Mad Hatter’s tea party.

How ’bout you all? Do you have this problem?

For more tea posts, go to Literary Tea Parties

For more Alice in Wonderland, go to It’s Always Tea Time

For more Lewis Carroll, go to Past is Past

Literary Tea Parties

So I few years ago I did a post on a tea party that we had at my church. Of course, you know how I love books…I just had to tie them in together!

To read the whole post, click here. So every year at my church we do a Christmas Tea Party, and the past three years my friend and I had a table that I’ve been in charge of decorating. And if you think I just had to feature a book each year, than you are right! I love books!

In 2016, the theme was “Our Journey”, and shoes were the center as it was about “the paths we take”. Of course shoes made me think of one thing:

As Dorothy and all her friends go on a journey, along with having a magical pair of shoes,  it was PERFECT! We did a:

  • Yellow Brick Road Runner: Canvas that we painted with three different shades of yellow
  • Poppy Magnets as our favors: I used this one from Hometalk and did button centers and glued magnets on the back.
  • Mason jar water glasses with gingham ribbons and red mugs for coffee or tea.
  • Wicked Witch of the East candy straws: I got the straws from Wal-Mart and made the shoes from Swedish Fish.
  • We painted our own Emerald City on glasses.
  • And I sewed a sock monkey king of the flying monkeys, out of black and white socks (just like the ones the Wicked Witch of the East wears). Yes, I sewed it-help from Madsen Creations and my mom.
  • We made our own Dorothy’s magic red shoes, but they weren’t ready when I took the picture, so I put my own red shoes in there.
  • And of course, a copy of the book.

The next year the theme was “Friendship”

So my friend and I choose to do:

Last Christmas the theme was Holy Ghost…hmmm ghosts. Which book? 🙂

  • We used a holly and cranberry patterned runner on the table.
  • Sheets of music as place mats, with red chargers over them.
  • The centerpiece was a Christmas Tree, as those became popular in the Victorian era with Prince Albert, that I strung with popcorn.
  • I also placed a basket with the Christmas gifts/favors as that was how Victorian tables were set up. Each package was a different copy of A Christmas Carol. I got them all by swapping on PaperBackSwap.com I wrapped them up in brown paper and red yarn.
  • We had chestnuts on the table and each place setting got on orange, as they were very popular gifts, but I didn’t put cloves in it as you can’t eat them when you do that.
  • We had Earl Grey Tea, Hot Chocolate, and candy canes.
  • Each person received a homemade Christmas Card (made by me), and each had a little token in it, my version of the Christmas pudding.

This year the theme is gifts and I have to admit, I’m a bit at a loss. Any ideas of a book that gifts plays a role?

Please help me!

For more on The Wizard of Oz, go to Bookish Thank You

For more on A Christmas Carol, go to Book Club Picks: A Christmas Carol

For more tea posts, go to I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea

For more book-filled posts, go to Stranded at the Bookstore

I Ran Out of Milk So I Put Buttermilk in My Tea

So buttermilk…I have never really drank it or used it except when making Irish Soda Bread for Saint Patrick’s Day.

Next year I promise to do a post on it, for now if you want to make it yourself, head over to my sister blog MysteriousEats.wordpress.comAnyways, every year I am leftover with buttermilk and have no clue what to do with it.

I know most of you are thinking: pancakes.

I’m not really a big pancake fan, so I’m not into that.

Meh.

The other day I ran out of milk, and I LOVE milk in my tea. I don’t like to drink my tea without it.

Now normally I would just go to the store and buy more but its been raining.

Actually, that’s not an accurate description. It has been storming-windy, sheets of water, etc. The type of weather that makes you want to just stay home in pajamas with a good book or movie…

 

And tea!

But I had no milk!!!!!

So then the idea came to me…what about buttermilk?

I had never even drank buttermilk before, I mean I know you can make a substitute using vinegar so I’m pretty sure it isn’t sweet. And I know in the one Ramona book they call it “sour”

“How else am I supposed to reach things?” Ramona successfully broke the egg and tossed the shell onto the counter. “Now I need buttermilk.” Beezus broke the news. There was no buttermilk in the refrigerator. “What’ll I do?” whispered Ramona in a panic. “Here. Use this.” Beezus thrust the carton of banana yoghurt at her sister. “Yoghurt is sort of sour, so it might work.” The kitchen door opened a crack.“What’s going on in there?” inquired Mr. Quimby.” Ramona Quimby, Age 8

But then in Westerns they always have the men drinking it when they come back from working the fields and such.

So I tried it and…

It is so sour! It’s like drinking plain greek yogurt.

I can’t imagine drinking a whole glass of it. But I thought maybe a few drops…?

It came out…okay. I only did a tiny bit and put in quite  lot of sugar. I don’t recommend it for everyday use, but only in a tight squeeze and only a little bit.

Well in the end it worked out, and I got my tea.

For more tea posts, go to I Tried Tea & Me’s Tea Infused Facial Cubes

For a recipe that uses buttermilk (which I had completely forgot about), go to Harlem Tea Room Cheddar-Thyme Scones

For more rainy days, go to A Water-Logged White Christmas

For more C.S. Lewis’ quotes, go to Book Club Picks: A Wrinkle in Time