Monday, October 13, 2014

Cake Mix Cookies


When I was visiting Canada last August, my sister Donna introduced me to Cake Mix Cookies – so quick and easy to make.  All you need is your favorite cake mix, an egg, half a cup of melted butter and your add ins. 

I’ve tried a few different kinds.  I think the Coconut cake mix with added coconut flakes was yummy.  My hubby liked the cookies I made with Spice cake mix and walnuts.  Today I’m having German Chocolate cake mix cookies with milk chocolate chips as my add in.


Try some with your afternoon cup of tea.  Just mix 1 cake mix, 1 egg, 1/2 cup melted butter and whatever add in you like (nuts, coconut, chocolate chips, mini M&M’s, etc.  Depending on the mix, you might need a splash of water.

I use a 1 1/4 inch scoop to place the dough on cookie sheets and then bake at 350 degrees for around 12 minutes or till done (cracked on top).

These were delicious with a cup of Golden Tips Goomtee Darjeeling tea. 


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Golden Tips Tea Company


Recently an unusual looking package arrived in my mailbox from India.  I could see that it contained a box and was wrapped up in fabric that appeared to be hand sewn. 


Each corner had sealing wax applied to it.  I carefully unstitched the package and found that the inside box contained a wonderful assortment of tea from Golden Tips Tea Company.


Golden Tips Tea Company produces one of the oldest and most reputable brands of tea.  Their tea is 100% Pure Single Origin Unblended Tea from India.

The tea comes well packaged, with lots of valuable information included on the label, such as - origin, estate, date picked, flush and season, grade and useful brewing information.

Right now I’m enjoying Castleton Moonlight First Flush black tea.  I’m definitely not a connoisseur tea taster, but even I can taste the fine quality and flavor of this Darjeeling tea.  I really like the mild astringency, delicate flavor and bright golden liquor of this black tea.

I’ve also sampled the Okayti Silver Needle  white tea.  It has a lovely fragrance and a delicate sweet taste which I enjoyed.  I was also happy to see that this is an organic tea.

Golden Tips offers several terrific sampler packs of exotic tea for just $15 including shipping from India.


The photo above is Halmari Gold black tea from Assam, India.  Look at all those gold tipped leaves in this superior hand picked tea.  As soon as I opened the package I could smell the rich maltiness and the brew is full bodied and perfect with a splash of low fat organic milk. 

I’m looking forward to tasting more samples (such as Arya Ruby Darjeeling, Giddapahar Muscatel, Goomtee Darjeeling, Avaata Supreme Nilgiri and others) over the next couple of weeks.

You can check out Golden Tips large selection of teas for yourself here


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Pewter Cup and Teapot Earrings


These are the pewter tea theme earrings that I mentioned in one of my recent "trip to Canada" posts.  I have been wearing them quite a lot and find them so lightweight and comfortable.  I thought that I’d kept the store receipt, but now I can’t find it and can’t remember the name of the shop.  I believe it was on the main street in Port Perry, Ontario.

There are many interesting shops on Queen Street in the downtown shopping area.  There is also a great place for traditional fish and chips for lunch and lots of beautiful scenery to photograph along the lakefront park area of Lake Scugog. 



Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Canadian Classic Fine Bone China

One cup and saucer was added to my collection after my trip to Canada last month.  I already have a teacup decorated with maple leaves and the Canadian flag, also another that has the Royal Canadian Tartan.  My new cup does not quite fit the theme, but it is bone china and made in Canada.


This set has a raised white on white pattern with gold trim and a pretty mixed floral motif. 


I have never seen bone china that was made in Canada and the $5.00 thrift shop (for charity) price seemed reasonable.  There doesn’t appear to be any easily available information about Canadian Classic China online.  If any of you know about this company, I’d love to hear about it.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Old Mill Centennial Afternoon Tea

The Old Mill motto says “VALLIS HUMBRIA ANGLIAE PARS ANGLIA PROCUL – In the valley of the Humber, a bit of England far from England”. 


I’m glad that I was able to experience the special Centennial Afternoon Tea at the Old Mill in Toronto with my sister-in-law Jane, during my recent trip to Canada.  The Old Mill is a long time favorite landmark for dining, dancing, buffets, afternoon tea, weddings and meetings.


Tea is served in a lovely bright room overlooking beautiful gardens and fountains.  There was a box of Old Mill Centennial Tea at each place setting – I’m looking forward to trying their blend.  It contains  black and green teas - Dimbula, Nandi, Nilgiri, Assam and Wuyi.


Our three tier tea tray contained Cucumber, Baby Watercress and Fine Herb Cream Cheese Open Face Sandwich – Mini Egg Salad Croissant with Bibb Lettuce and Tomato – and a Smoked Salmon, Asparagus and Fine Herb Cream Cheese Pinwheel.


Next were the Currant and Lemon Scones with imported Devonshire Cream and Greaves Jams and Marmalade.


The tea pastries included Battenburg Cake, Lemon Meringue Tartlet, Scottish Shortbread and a Chocolate Dipped Strawberry.


We enjoyed pots of Earl Grey and Crème au Caramel Rooibos tea.

It was a delicious English afternoon tea in a delightful venue.  I was also happy to learn that a portion of the proceeds are donated to Women’s Habitat (a refuge that provides counselling, support and advocacy for women and their children who are fleeing domestic violence).



Jane mentioned that she and my brother almost had their wedding at the Old Mill over thirty years ago.  They decided against it because the ballroom they liked shared a dance floor with another ballroom.


If you would like to explore a little more of the Old Mill Inn and Spa, or if you live nearby and are interested in planning an event, their website is here.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Canada trip 2014

Just returned from a trip to Canada to visit family and attend my nephews wedding.  I enjoyed a few days at the lake house with my brother, sister-in-law and sister.  The weather was fabulous the first three days and I spent quite a lot of time swimming in beautiful spring fed Allen Lake in Harcourt Park.


Both my brother and sister love to cook and made us lots of wonderful meals and appetizers.  Of course, even with all the swimming and walking, my weight increased by at least four pounds.  ☺


Have you ever tried shrimp stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in Prosciutto?  Oh yes, it was good!  My sister did an excellent job, even though her right thumb is in a brace (tricky to tie each one with chives).


My brother Al spent many years as a firefighter and was used to cooking for the guys.  He made us Fireman’s breakfast with eggs, gourmet sausage, bacon, home fries, beans and toast.  Yum.  One night he cooked Marlin.  It’s a tasty, firm and mild flavored fish – too bad my local Publix never carries it.  They said that they get Swordfish once in a while, but I’ve read that it’s not as good.


The wedding was gorgeous and I’ll post a photo later.  I purchased some teapot and teacup earrings and a Canadian Classic bone china cup and saucer (haven’t been able to discover much about it online). 

My brother gave me three large bags of tea that he received from a huge tea warehouse he was working at recently (Two Doves Silver Needle White, Guangzhou Milk Oolong and Steam Darjeeling Green Tea).  Not sure if the names are correct – someone in the warehouse quickly wrote on the packages.

Another highlight of my trip was the special Centennial Afternoon Tea at The Old Mill Inn and Spa in Toronto.


So, I have lots to show you over the next few weeks and a lot of catching up with my favorite blogs. 




Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dept 7 East & The Tea Room

Some of you may recall a previous post on The Tea Room in Savannah, GA.  It has always been one of my favorite tea rooms and I was saddened to hear a while back that it was closing.  As it turned out, it was not as bad as I had thought.  The owner of the Tea Room had decided to end food service, but continue with her retail sales at this location. 


It was very busy at the tea counter the day of my visit.  The wall covered with many large containers of loose tea for sale is still there, as well as a selection of china, books, tea cozies, jewelry, and more.The Tea Room tea canisters


The décor has changed dramatically from a style befitting Charles Rennie Mackintosh (Scottish architect, designer and artist) to an ultra contemporary look for  the bistro it has become.

IMG_1207There is lots of reclaimed wood on the walls now and a relaxing neutral color scheme.  I like it, but I do miss the cozy sink in and relax décor of the old tea room.   


There were no floral bouquets on the tables when I visited Dept 7 East.  Instead there were stalks of cotton in the vases.


I didn’t have time to have lunch during my visit, but I will definitely do that next time I’m in Savannah.  The inventive menu has some great items like Low Country Cocktail of Pickled Shrimp or a Picnic Platter of Regional Cheeses for nibbles.  Some yummy salads were offered and A Teasy Chicken Sandwich with Lapsang Souchong Chicken Salad sounded good.  They also have a petit plates menu and offer wine, beer and, of course, peach iced tea.

Now, if only there was somewhere in Savannah to have a traditional afternoon tea.  If you know of any, please share.  ☺


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