Monday, February 29, 2016

Tea for crisis management

How many times have I said tea is the answer to everything? Several? I'm not alone. A woman I know from England once told me her mother insisted this was true - no matter what the problem, tea was the answer. Mostly, I think, because tea isn't a drink you can sip while standing. It really requires you to sit down and savor. Otherwise, why drink it?

Today all crises will be handled with white tea with cinnamon, orange peel, cloves, allspice, ginger, lemongrass, and lime.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Tea with dinosaurs

My daughter used to work for our science museum, and, as expected, loves science with a passion. While it is common to see little boys excited about dinosaurs, my daughter is excited about them as an adult. Her wife gave her an enormous pink T-Rex for Valentine's Day. Two things I'm sure she will never outgrow - dinosaurs and stuffed animals.

So naturally today I am drinking a black tea with vanilla and hazelnut in a mug she gave me.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Tea after gardening

I had posted on Facebook recently how I am hesitant to let people know I'm a Master Gardener, that one look at my seriously neglected yard was enough to convince anyone I must be pathological! I shared this along with a photo of my scratched arm, after wrestling with an angry and sorely ignored fairy rose. I'm still not even done with the trimming she needs, but I'm getting there. She is such a feisty rose - don't let the sweet little blooms fool you!

But I will say, unequivocally, it feels really nice to be back out in the yard working with my plants. So many were lost after the last hurricane, and I've never truly gotten back out there to fix things. Poor excuses, yeah. But I'm out there now. So much work to do! And even though the little fairy was fighting me, grabbing my clothes, piercing my skin, being generally difficult, I could almost hear her sigh of relief that I was making her life a little easier.

Afterwards, I come inside, and you guessed it, have some tea.

What could be better than a green and white blended tea with strawberries, roses, and plums?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Tea and sleep

Earlier, I talked about chamomile and insomnia, and I stand by it. Chamomile is a really excellent tea for helping one sleep. But if you aren't having issues with insomnia, any herbal tea is a great way to ease into bedtime.

I have a large collection of herbal teas. Mostly I used to buy them for my kids when they were little, so they could share in my joy of tea. Kids have enough energy to spare, so I never wanted to give them caffeine. Which is funny, now, that I think about it, because all of them love coffee, which has much more caffeine than tea! Anyway, as they grew up and I was left with all that herbal tea, I was concerned it might go to waste. I was never much of an herbal tea drinker.

But then, the proverbial light bulb clicked on. I knew my tendency to drink tea throughout the day was probably contributing to my difficulty in falling asleep. So now I make a habit of having a mug of an herbal tea at night. I like to read before bed, so sipping something warm and delicious while I do just seems like the perfect way to end my day.

I hope you'll try it, too.

Cinnamon Apple Spice in a sweet farm themed mug:

Thursday, February 25, 2016

A spiritual force

I've never actually considered drinking tea to be a spiritual activity, per se, but I guess it could be seen as part of a spiritual practice. I've spoke of mindfulness before, and to many, that is a form of spirituality. It is certainly something to think about.

Today I ponder these thoughts while sipping a gingerbread tea.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How it feels

People who don't drink tea just don't get how drinking tea feels. After that first sip, I can feel my body relaxing, my breathing slowing, my pulse and blood pressure going down. No, I've never actually tested this. It's just a sense. It's a peaceful pleasure.

Today it is an herbal tea with spearmint and peppermint.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tea Sandwich Tuesday: Mushroom Tea Sandwiches

When you are following a recipe and accidentally mess one up, and it turns out better, this is what you get:

Mushroom Tea Sandwiches

One container vegan cream cheese
Diced onion, to taste
4 oz. can mushrooms, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. chopped smoked almonds

Mix everything together and spread on bread of choice, then cut into desired shapes. Serve. Enjoy!

In this case, the almonds were meant for another dish. I realized, later, that I had added them to this one instead, but discovered it really boosted the flavor!

I enjoyed the sandwiches with a mate' with blackberry and orange.

This delightful tea mug also comes with a lid to help keep the tea warm.

Monday, February 22, 2016

It's the thought that counts

The other day I joked with my husband that it was a crime that I did not wake up to breakfast in bed. So, today, I was awakened by having breakfast served to me in bed.

It was the sweetest thing. I love a particular vegan breakfast sausage. Try as he might, he couldn't find it. So he bought regular vegan sausage and cooked it. He toasted a couple slices of bread. He included a bowl of blueberries.

The tea? Detox tea. Not my usual breakfast tea. He reasoned it was sitting on the counter, therefore it must be what I was drinking. I do drink it. Just not normally with breakfast.

Major points for effort, and extra, extra points for doing it all with love. I woke with a smile and the very fabulous sense that I am a lucky, pampered wife.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

You can buy happiness!

I often tell my husband that if we get separated in the grocery store and he can't find me, always look in the tea aisle. I'll probably be there, checking to see if there is a new tea on the shelves. And I am. I did it, even today. It's like a candy store for me. I love, love, love to find a tea I don't have, buy it, and bring it home. It darn near makes me giddy.

So, I really can buy happiness. And it comes in a box or a tin, and makes me very happy.

Today I enjoy a green tea with raspberries and peaches, in a mug depicting a mythic scene. I bought this print while traveling in Italy many years ago. Those memories, that print, and this mug also contribute to my happiness.

See how simple it really can be?

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Tea is all about how you make it

I've previously discussed brewing times for tea. But tea is so much more than that. It's also more than just taking time for tea, as I've also already discussed.

These are all good and useful ideas. Proper brewing makes for a more pleasing cup of tea, and taking time to slow down and enjoy your tea is essential.

But, really, it's mostly about mindfulness.You can find many different views on what mindfulness is, but to me, it's more about being in the present moment.

Today I am enjoying a green tea with mint, lime, and more island rum. Still tea for grownups!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Tea, take me away!

Does anyone else remember the old Calgon commercials, where a beleaguered woman would look up at the ceiling and exclaim, "Calgon, take me away!"? When my kids were young, that was my refuge - a nice hot bath - alone. The hubby would entertain them so that no one was standing outside the door calling for me. It was bliss.

Now my kids are grown, and while I still love baths, they no longer represent peace. Tea does that quite nicely.

Today I enjoy a green tea with coconut, pineapple, and island rum. Yep, tea for grownups.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Can you ever have too many green teas?

I came across this comic, and I really did have to laugh at it. I have so many varieties of green tea, it's...not insane. You never really realize how many choices there are out there until you look.

Today I am enjoying a blueberry vanilla green tea.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Just sitting with a nice cuppa

When the wind is blowing, and it's just too cold to go outside to work in the garden, I like to just sit, curled up on my recliner, and hold a nice hot cup of tea in my hands. The scent, the warmth, it makes for a day of happy.

Today it's a strawberry kiwi green tea.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tea Sandwich Tuesday: Chicken Salad

I love Delight Soy Nuggets. I'm bummed my closest Whole Foods doesn't carry them. Any time I visit a different Whole Foods, I check the frozen section for them, and if they carry them, I buy at least two. I think it makes the best tasting chicken salad.

Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

One package Delight Soy Nuggets (baked and cooled, then shredded)
1 c. vegan  mayonnaise
1 t. tarragon
1/3 c. chopped onion

Mix everything together and spread on bread. Slice bread into preferred shape. Serve. Enjoy!

Today is a chocolate chai rooibos.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Food on the Fifteenth: Green Tea Marinated Cucumbers

Gastritis means avoiding certain foods, like tomatoes and citrus. I'm guessing maybe vinegar, too, but since the doc didn't say...

Green Tea Marinated Cucumbers

1 t. sesame oil
1 t. soy sauce
2 T. rice wine vinegar
1 c. strong brewed green tea
1 t. sesame seeds
1 t. shredded, dried seaweed
One cucumber (or more), peeled and sliced into chunks

Mix everything together, cover and marinate for at least two hours. I found the leftover marinade to be a pretty good salad dressing.

It's a windy day, and feels fall-ish. So I'm having a pumpkin spice rooibos.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Tea and Valentine's Day

My husband knows me well. I never seek candy for Valentine's Day. It's just not my thing. Give me soft heart covered throws or snuggly, sweet stuffed animals. I'm happy. But my husband did surprise me with candy, and it's perfect.

It's a Kit Kat candy bar made with green tea.

So I sit here with my unopened candy, deciding when I best want to indulge. For now, I am delighting in a delicious black tea with pink and red rose petals.

I hope you day is just as pleasant!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Tea, At Home. It's Just Better.

It's true. It is. You can make it as weak or as strong as you like. You probably have a much better selection. And you have nicer cups. Fact.

It's why I am sitting here, enjoying mine, right now.

Prince of Wales.

Friday, February 12, 2016

It's Better Than Chicken Soup

No, I don't really know if this is true, but I know it makes me feel better!

I often actually spend my morning in bed with a cup of tea and some reading. It's pleasant and peaceful.

Forest Fruit tea. By the way, this mug is like images I have all over a small room I have dedicated to Valentine's Day... :)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Many Problems, One Solution

Yesterday I said tea is always a good idea. I wasn't kidding.

Many problems can be solved with one solution - make a cup of tea. Why? Because sitting down to make that cup of tea will relax you, and allow your mind to go in a different direction. And when you least expect it, a solution presents itself.


Candy Cane Lane. Hey, it's still winter!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tea is Always a Good Idea

Because it's true. Whether it's a hearty black, fresh green, delicate white, or calming herbal tea, it is always a good time for tea.

Today is a black and green oolong.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Tea Sandwich Tuesday: Hawaiian Tea Sandwiches

I was looking for some vegan ham to make these sandwiches, and had no luck at all. Seems either they have quit making it or the store just quit carrying it. So I made a substitution, and I think it turned out even better!

Hawaiian Tea Sandwiches

One package Sweet Earth Tuscan Grounds
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. vegan sour cream
1/4 t. paprika
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper

Mix everything together thoroughly, and spread on bread. Cut into desired shapes.

I was pleasantly surprised by these grounds. I chose them because they said substitute for pork. I thought they gave a really nice flavor to these sandwiches.

Of course, I had them with tea.

Another french vanilla, this time without the salted caramel syrup.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Those Random Tea Bags

This comic reminded me so much of my house. I have a cabinet full of tea, just like pictured here, but will probably pick up the random, lonesome bag to make tea if I come across one. I actually now place single tea bags in a separate container, so I can grab from them as I choose. I normally do two bags to a pot, but occasionally will find there is a single bag leftover. They are good for when I just want a single mug.

Plain vanilla black tea, with that delicious salted caramel syrup again.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

I Like Big Cups

My mom teases me because I tend to use large mugs when I have tea. She prefers the daintier cups with saucers, but I drink more tea than she does, so I like bigger cups.

I'm kind of waiting for my husband to buy me one of those humongous mugs that hold more than a pot, but he hasn't done that yet. He's probably afraid I'll actually use it and be super buzzy all day.

Guess I'll just have my peppermint black tea in this mug.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

All You Need Are Books and Tea

My friends know me so well. They'll often post things about books or tea on my wall, because they know those are two of my favorite things. Curling up with a good book and nice hot cuppa, especially on a grey, rainy day - heaven!

And it's still winter, so I enjoy a holiday spice tea.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Cup of Tea Makes Everything Better

Because it really does. I know when I sit down to have a nice hot cuppa, suddenly the day is just better, no matter what else is going on in the world.

Go. Have a cuppa. You'll see!

Decaf green with mandarin oranges.

I told you! Everything is better!