November 14th, 2013
Veteran’s Day brings out the best in people. We have parades to honor all who have given their time and even their lives to give us the freedom we are so blessed to have. It’s a day or season that you can walk up to total strangers and say Thank you for all you have done.
Here in Cathedral City, CA., the Rotary Club has found a way to memorialize many of the fallen soldiers in their late teens and 20′s. This is the 8th consecutive year the Rotary Club has made it possible to honor the 6,676 men and women who have lost their lives in the Iraq and Afghanistan War. They place 3500 flags bearing the names of each of the men and women who lost their lives.
I walked through the field yesterday at Patriot Park in Cathedral City to see first hand the beauty of the flags and to read some of the names. While I was there I prayed for the surviving family members whose hearts are broken. You can find out about the healing fields here.
These pictures don’t do this justice, it is so beautiful to see so many flags.
This last picture is of a large message board at Patriot Park. It has hundreds of messages on it. If you are in the Palm Springs area, this will be set up for the next few days. If you are a Veteran, I personally want to thank you for all you do.
Happy Veteran’s Day!
October 26th, 2013
I have had so many Tea Parties, it used to be my business. How fun is that! Now I just share with others how you can have your own Tea Party for your friends. I don’t know what it is about having a Tea Party, but it gets me so excited just thinking about it. Maybe it’s the idea of having friends together, or maybe it’s about the food or the tea, but whatever reason you are having a party, it is sure to be a success.
You don’t even need a reason to throw a Tea Party, you can just plan a date and a theme and make some tea and a few desserts or sandwiches and your done! Not really there is a little bit more to it, but it is pretty easy. I will show you how to create your Tea Party in ten easy steps.
- Set a Date – Make sure you give it a few weeks so your friends can make it.
- Send an invite – You can use paper or use Evites
- Get out your china – It doesn’t have to match, I love a mismatched china tea table. Do you need a place setting chart? See one below.
- Get some Herbal Green Tea and a tea pot. If you want to learn how to make a great pot of tea check this out.
- Candles. They are always fun at a party, you can even go scentless.
- Make some sandwiches like these, and desserts like these.
- Put on some nice music.
- Get out your favorite hats.
- Hopefully you got an RSVP from everyone, they wouldn’t want to miss it and you need to know just how much food to make.
- Be a great hostess, tell a cute tea cup story, or the history of tea, and this is the best part, pouring tea for your friends and having great conversation.
I hope you plan a tea party soon and use these tips to help make it easier. Please pin this to one of your boards so it’s easy to find in the future. You can also follow me on twitter or facebook. I would love to hear your comments, so leave one below.
October 10th, 2013
Have you ever wanted to have a Tea Party with your best friend? Why not have a Tea for Two party?
There won’t be as much preparation, but it’s a lot of fun. Why not make it a surprise and invite your best friend or your mom over and have an intimate Tea Party with just the two of you.
You can send a cute email, a phone call, a text, a nice invite that you made by hand and send it to your bff. It could be formal or informal.
First pick your theme. Dessert Tea, Afternoon Tea with Sandwiches, Scones and Tea, you get the point.
Once you have chosen your theme, get to work – Let’s say you want to make scones and tea – Set up your table or area with a tablecloth, some nice teacups and small plates. Light a few candles, put on some soft music and get ready for a nice visit. Maybe get your Iphone out and take a few pictures of your table and with your friend. Make these wonderful scones, serve up some tea and the rest is up to you.
- 3 Cups Self Rising Flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 stick butter, at room temp
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup hersheys cinnamon chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet or use scone pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour and sugar.
- Using a pastry blender, blend together butter with dry ingredients until mixture resembles corn meal.
- Add heavy cream and cinnamon chips to mixture. Mix together until dough forms.
- Roll out dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut out with a biscuit cutter or form into a disc shape and cut into triangles. If using a scone pan, fill each section 1/2 full with dough.
- Bake 9-12 minutes until edges are browning. Serve with clotted cream.
If you like this recipe or scones, pin in on pinterest. Or follow my tea party board. I would really love it if you would follow me on twitter too. If you have a great tea for two story, share it with me.
September 23rd, 2013
When I owned Teacups of Kindness, this wonderful story was posted on my website and we gave it to guests that came for tea. I have always loved this story and wanted to share it again. The author is unknown and the bible verse that correlates with this story is Jeremiah 18:6b “Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.”
There was a couple that used to go to England to shop in the beautiful stores. They both liked antiques and pottery, especially teacups. This was their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. One day in a beautiful shop they saw an exquisite teacup. They asked the clerk, “May we see that? we’ve never seen one quite so lovely.”
As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke. “you don’t understand,” it said. “I haven’t always been a teacup. There was a time when I was red, and I was clay. My master took me and rolled me and patted me over and over, and I yelled out, ‘let me alone,’ but, he only smiled and said, ‘Not yet.’ Then I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly spun around, and around, and around. Stop it! I’m getting dizzy!’ I screamed.
“But the master only nodded and said, ‘Not yet’. then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I wondered why he wanted to burn me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the opening, and I could read his lips, as he shook his head, “Not yet.”
“Finally the door opened, he put me on a shelf, and I began to cool. ‘There that’s better’, I said. And he brushed , and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. ‘Stop it, stop it!’ I cried. He only nodded, ‘Not yet.’ Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, not like the first one. This was twice as hot, and I knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded.
I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening nodding his head saying, ‘Not yet.’
“Then I knew there wasn’t any hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. But the door opened, and he took me out and placed me on a shelf. One hour later he handed me a mirror and said, ‘Look at yourself.’ And I did. I said, ‘That’s not me, that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful.’
“I want you to remember, then’ he said, ‘I know it hurts to be rolled and patted, but if I had left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I knew it hurt, and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked.
“I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened; you would not have held. Now you are a finished product. You are what I had in mind when I first began with you.’”
MORAL: God knows what He is doing for all of us. He is the Potter, and we are His clay. He will mold us and make us, so that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good, pleasing, and perfect will.
I hope you enjoyed this story as much as I do. If you like it please share it on twitter, facebook or pin it.
The next time you have a tea party, you could read this story and it would be a great ending to your tea party.
September 8th, 2013
How to make a good pot of tea.
Don’t you just put some water on the stove and drop in the tea bag? Well you could but I have a better way to make your tea taste it’s best.
Fill a tea kettle with bottled water or filtered water. Set it on the stove just until it boils. While you wait you can take a pretty teapot and run it under hot water so it will be warm when you put the hot water in it. I also recommend using a tea cozy on your pot. Now you can add the tea bags (2 – 3 bags per pot) and then pour the hot water in the pot. If you use loose tea you can add it to a tea ball and place it in the water in your tea pot. Wait about 5 minutes and take out the bags. You can find out about loose leaf tea here.
You can use the bags or tea ball a second time and you will reduce the amount of caffeine in the second pot. I also suggest having a small tea strainer, just in case some little tea rascals escape when you pour your tea.
Once your tea is ready, get out a pretty teacup and teaspoon and any sugar you may want, light a candle, get a good book and have a nice cuppa tea.
If you like what you read here, please leave me some comment love and share on twitter or pin it. Don’t forget to come back and see what’s next in A Day In Candiland.
August 21st, 2013
Are you having a Tea Party and need a quick dessert? Do you need a make ahead Cheesecake Brownie that tastes good out of the freezer? These brownies can be made the day before and tastes great cold or room temperature. Plus you get the bonus of them being so pretty.
I found the recipe here and now they are my go to snack for around the house or when I need to bring a homemade dessert that is NOT completely 100% made from scratch. By adding extra ingredients along with the box mix it gives it a whole new taste. Plus, who can go wrong with cheesecake in the mix. After they are cooled, you place them individually wrapped in the freezer and take them out AS NEEDED.
How to use them.
Get a pretty pedestal cake plate out and put a few out with some tea cups and saucers along with a pot of tea. When your friends come over, they think you have slaved for hours. You don’t have to tell them you just took them out of the freezer. Unless they read your blog after you posted about it. hee hee. They will never know. Another great trick is to add some homemade whipped cream on top.
Make sure you leave a comment here on the blog or on my facebook page if you try them. What do you like at your tea parties?
Quick Freezer Mint Cheesecake Brownies for Tea Parties
- 2 boxes Brownie Mix
- Eggs, oil and water as listed on box directions
- 2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 TBS peppermint or mint extract
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Few drops green food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray the bottom with nonstick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix both brownie mixes, water, oil, and eggs with a wooden spoon until combined. Spread about 3/4 mix in prepared pan.
- In the bowl of your mixer, beat the cream cheese with your whisk attachment until smooth. Add eggs, sugar, extract and food coloring and continue beating until well mixed.
- Spoon cream cheese mixture over the brownies.
- Spoon remaining brownie batter randomly over the cream cheese.
- With a small knife, swirl the batter so the cream cheese and brownie batter become marbled.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, until edges are brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not overbake. Cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled. Peel off foil, cut, wrap, and store in freezer.
August 10th, 2013
It’s Shark Week.
Don’t worry, these cupcakes won’t draw blood. But when you bite into them you might get a surprise. This post started a year ago and somehow I never sent it out. So since Shark Week is almost over and that’s all that’s on our T.V. this week, I thought we would celebrate with some Shark Week Cupcakes.
Have fun with these cupcakes and surprise your guests.
You can use your favorite boxed recipe or use one from scratch. After their done cooling, fill them with some strawberry or raspberry jelly. Just cut a little cone out of the top, spoon in some jelly and put the cone back on top. Then frost with some blue icing and pick up some fondant, cut out a heart shaped piece with a cookie cutter and cut off about 1/2 off it and you have the shark fin. Use some grey food coloring on the fondant before you cut them out. You can frost these by putting icing in a piping bag and use a wilton star tip. These are super easy and you can even cut them out free hand.
I Wanted to leave you with one more picture from a few years ago.
Do you watch Shark Week? Do you do a shark week post? Leave me the link so I can check it out. You can also share it on my facebook page.
July 23rd, 2013
What is herbal tea? Is it really tea? Where does it come from? This is part 3 in my tea series. You can find the others here and here. Herbal tea really isn’t tea from the plant, it’s a tisane made from herbs and water. The herbs are usually dried and steeped, or can be fresh and placed in a teacup of hot water. There are some great things about herbal tea. You can enjoy it hot or cold. You can buy or make your own tea. You can find it in the health food store, grocery store or even in your backyard or your local Lowes or Home Depot in the plant section.
- There is no caffeine (yeah)
- It comes from herbs (many in your backyard)
- There are health benefits (too many to list)
- Some can soothe your stomach (like peppermint)
- It can help you fall asleep at night (like Chamomile)
- Its a good detox (milk thistle and dandelion help your kidneys and liver)
- It’s cheap (if you make your own)
Do you like herbal tea? Have you found one you really like? Make sure you sign up for our next post in the series of Tea time. You can also follow on facebook or twitter. I look forward to seeing you soon. Don’t forget to leave me a comment letting me know how you celebrate tea time.
April 25th, 2013
Bagged or Loose?
I just started a series on tea and the benefits of them. Do you like your tea hot or cold? Do you like it loose or bagged? Do you like it green, black, white, red? Wow, so much to learn.
I love tea, I love it all of the above ways. I also like to teach how it’s made, along with tea history. I will share that in one of the posts in my series. Today I will talk on loose and bagged tea.
Loose tea is the best kind to purchase. It is usually full leaf tea. Bagged tea is referred to as tea dust.
The teaspot.com says - Bags of tea are generally mass-produced. Often the leaves contained in a bag have been picked, processed, and packaged by machine. In contrast, premium loose-leaf teas are carefully hand-selected.
If you have been to tea stores such as Teavana, you have seen how beautiful full leaf tea can be, especially if there are flowers in it. They have a wonderful store, where you can go in a do a tasting. I highly recommend it. Full leaf tea is usually hand picked and sold within a year to remain fresh. Bagged tea may be on the shelf for a few years. Loose tea is also a higher grade than diced up tea in bags.
There is usually a price difference between the two also. Loose leaf tea is generally a higher price point. But it’s like they say (who are they), you get what you pay for. If you don’t care, you might not even notice the difference until to try the loose leaf.
Caffeine extraction, together with nutrients loss, causes tea bags to taste bitter. In contrast, if you want a cup of tea that is calming and relaxing, then you will have to go loose-leaf.
Did you know the more times you use the tea bag or loose tea in a tea ball or tea envelope, the more you weaken the caffeine. You can get the same flavor but less caffeine. I think its a wonderful trick. I hope you will go out and try some loose leaf tea, come back and share what flavors you like.
What type do you drink, loose or bagged and does it matter to you?
Stop by my last post in the tea series. Make sure you join the conversation on facebook.
April 22nd, 2013
What temperature do you like your tea?
It’s no secret here around Candiland that I love tea. In 2005 I started a tea party business and had weekly parties for the Red Hat Society. We would serve between 8 and 40 Red Hatters over in my beautiful Victorian home. It was my dream come true home. It lasted about 3 years until we had to sell it thanks to the crazy economy.
Did you know that tea is actually good for you? It is the number 2 drink consumed after water. Not only is it popular but there are so many ways to enjoy it. There are probably more combinations than other drink, plus you can drink them hot or cold.
According to Enjoytea.com here are some of the benefits to drinking this amazing beverage.
Fight Cancer & Heart Disease
Tea contains antioxidant compounds of polyphenols that help the body fight harmful free radicals. It is believed that harmful free radicals can lead to cancer and heart disease. Tea also contains flavonoids that restricts the build up of cholesterols and help with blood vessel functionality.
Protects Teeth & Strengthens Bones
Polyphenols found in tea may reduce plaque, which lowers your chance of cavity and gum disease. Tea also contains fluoride that helps protect against tooth decay. Fluoride is extracted from the soil by the tea plant. This identified mineral also strengthens bones and prevents osteoporosis.
The polyphenols in tea, help with digestion of fatty food by increasing the flow of digestive juices.
Prevent Food Poisoning
The catechins in tea are a powerful sterilizing agent, which kills germs and bacteria. Tea prevents food poisoning by fighting against stomach diseases caused by harmful bacteria’s.
Look and Feel Younger
Studies suggested that the high concentration of antioxidants in tea have an anti-aging effect.
Strengthen the Immune System
Vitamin C in green tea helps to treat the flu and the common cold. Moreover, the polyphenols in tea have shown to increase the number of white blood cells in our immune system.
Tea is a good source of fluid intake that replenishes lost body liquid. Doctors recommend that it is vital to drink at least 1.5 liters of fluid a day. Tea is low in calorie and it is a great thirst quencher.
If you enjoy these reasons to drink tea, stay tuned for the next issue of A Day in Candiland, for different types of tea and easy recipes that you can enjoy.
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Leave a comment letting me know which of these reasons, you might start drinking tea. Do you like it hot or cold? What is your favorite blend?