Thursday, February 28, 2013

Coffee Beans

In the Dominican Republic, coffee is practically the National Drink.  Originally brought from Africa, it is grown from Aribica Coffee "cherries". You can see the coffee beans hang on the branch like cherries. 
There are small local coffee plantations through out the island and you can see them drying and turning the coffee beans on tarps and cement pads.
After drying the beans are roasted and ground. 

It is served in small portions, is sweet and strong.  Avid tea drinkers ourselves we had a short glass of coffee as it would really have been quite rude not to as coffee in the Dominican is a source of National pride.  The coffee we had was full-bodied and flavorful.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dominican Sights

We traveled off the all inclusive resort and had the opportunity
to see everyday life in the Dominican Republican.

Favorite Mode of Transportation

 The Kitchen at the Coffee Plantation.  The fire to cook on and the washing machine were on the back porch.

Fruit Stands

Lot of life along the streets
 Colorful Houses


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Divine Indulgences!

Something about wanting to order room service when the option is available.  These two desserts were delivered as Room Service options; cheesecake and a chocolate brownie.  Just the plate garnishing alone is so creative and such fun!

This array of pastries were featured at the small cafe where a nephew and I enjoyed tea and desserts.  Hard to pick just one!  And actually, between the two of us, one afternoon we selected four pastries!  The clerk commented that we must have a sweet tooth.  Little does she know, that is my curse!
Oh my!
Buffet desserts... glorious desserts.  Cream puff swans, petit tarts, flan, cakes, everything... colorful and tasty. 

Most of the desserts were light and fluffy.  They were not overly sweet, either.Tempting though.  Very tempting.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

All Inclusive, All Delicious!

We stayed at the Hard Rock Resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.  It is an all-inclusive resort, and features an unbelievable number of restaurants.  Many are sit-down, order off the menu, style, while others feature buffet style dining. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between, there was no wanting for something to eat.

The Isla Restaurant has these gorgeous woven palm fronds arching from one buffet line to the other.  Featuring food typical of  the island, including abundant sea food, it was always hard to decide what to put on your plate, and equally as hard to limit yourself to the bounty.

Fresh fruit was abundant, the mangoes and pineapple incredibly sweet.

Assorted salads provided a delicious sampling.

The food artistry and presentation was as beautiful as the food was delicious.  Back to the reality of preparing our own meals daily, we are definitely missing the abundant selection and wide assortment of culinary delights created by the talented chefs at this resort!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Vacation Destination - Punta Cana

Earlier this month we headed south to the Dominican Republic to enjoy some vacation time in Punta Cana.  It was a chance to leave the snow sleet and cold of a Pennsylvania winter and enjoy some fun in the sun at our getaway destination.  Beautiful blue skies, colorful floral patterns, palm trees, and more greeted us upon our arrival.


Mint Mojitos pool side!
Tea and pastries in the afternoon.
Horseback riding along the beach. Serene!
Zip lining for the adventurous!
It's always fun to enjoy a mid-winter getaway, but just as fun to return home!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tea Room Decor - The Painted Tea cup

Just a few more shots of The Painted Tea Cup, a tea room we recently visited in Upper Darby, PA.  This beautiful collection of tea pots and assorted tea cups are on display waiting to be put into service.  These shelves are tucked in the tea room, for display and for use.

The highest shelves are additional display, while the lower shelves hold gift merchandise.  The dining area is also the gift shop, upstairs and down.

It's always tea time in my book!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Painted Tea Cup - Upper Darby, PA

We had another getaway last week that included a visit to a tea room just outside of Philadelphia, The Painted Tea Cup, in Upper Darby, PA.  It's always a special treat to visit a tea room, and this was a fun stop.

We selected two hot teas to accompany our afternoon tea, which started with a little sweet cream piped atop a flat cookie.  Individual platters were presented next that included a wide variety of sandwiches, a scone, tea bread, and a small cake all circling around a kale salad.  The sandwiches were sweet and savory.  The chicken salad in petite croissant was popular.  And the little creamy quiche was warm and tasty.

We were served individual dessert plates that included three tasty treats including a petite apple cobbler with ice cream.  Yummy!