Monday, August 19, 2019

Celebrating an August Birthday!

A homemade dinner, enjoyed under the pavilion in the herb gardens, with family and cake. What could be any better? 
Susanna and Angelica commandeered the kitchen one afternoon, and with chopping, slicing, sauteing and baking there was a complete healthy dinner and lots of happy dancing from the birthday girl. New recipes discovered on the Internet at Connoisseurus Veg provided the inspiration for a fabulous birthday dinner. The entree featured a delicious pasta dish that mixed spaghetti with roasted cauliflower and summer tomatoes topped with a hummus sauce and fresh from the garden basil. Yum!
Crispy black bean taquitos served with a pumpkin coconut dipping sauce rounded out the menu.  Also, yum!

And well, what's a birthday without cake. Susanna always manages to find a new bakery, and simply requests a tea themed cake. Every year there is always a beautiful cake.
Thank you to Angelica and Susanna for the surprise birthday dinner! Researching recipes, grocery shopping, cooking, all of it! Thanks to David for traveling to pick up the cake. And Cedar, our Wildcat football player was able to join in the festivities after practice. What fun!

Friday, August 16, 2019

The Drawing Room, Cos Cob, CT

A recent jaunt to visit our NY family included a surprise day trip to Cos Cob, CT where The Drawing Room serves Afternoon Tea in their cafe/tea house.
Since you may order off the menu, some of us selected the complete Afternoon Tea while others ordered a selection of tea sandwiches combined with a few desserts.

The tea choices were varied and our table had a selection from Silver Tips White Tea to a Ginger Citrus Peach Green Tea to a spicy Vanilla Chai. The loose leaf tea is served in a plain white pot with the leaves contained in a strainer within the pot.
This three tiered tray served three of us. It held scones on the bottom tier, sandwiches in the middle, and as assortment of little desserts on the top tier. The sandwich assortment included egg salad, cucumber with boursin cheese, and roasted chicken salad or avocado spread for the vegetarian option. There was a variety of scones to choose from including blueberry, cranberry, plain, or cheddar cheese for a savory option served with cream and jelly. The dessert plate held a variety of sweet treats from macarons to petit fours to chocolate tarts. All very yummy.

Cedar ordered the chocolate brownie with whipped cream to accompany his teacup of hot chocolate also topped with cream.

This was a fun surprise early happy birthday celebration with the family! This was actually our second visit to The Drawing Room. In the summer of 2006 (before we began blogging), we stopped here en route to a Rhode Island vacation getaway. According to my journal, our tiered tray included "egg salad, chicken salad, cucumber sandwich, choice of scones, read devon cream, jelly, and small pastries, several chocolate, lemon tartlets and one blueberry garnish". Much the same menu as our most recent visit (including the blueberry garnish!). Also noted, we were seated outside on a little patio where we enjoyed tea "under a canopy, with a passing thunderstorm. Cedar danced in the rain and got soaked".

Monday, August 12, 2019

Pennsylvania Tea Festival

Coming up very soon! Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28, 2019 in the gardens of the Rosemary House and Sweet Remembrances in downtown Mechanicsburg, PA. Celebrating our third year, we feature the Camellia sinensis plant from which tea is harvested and processed.Visit our tea festival website for all the details, programs, specialty tea tastings, and vendors.

TICKET information HERE
FAQs and Online Ticket Purchase.
Tickets are also available at the Rosemary House.

There will be vendors in the gardens, and also along Rosemary Alley. Specialty teas, unique tea and herbal blends, yixing teapots, hand whisked bowls of matcha, tea advent calendars, travel tea ware, tea cozes, and more. Everything tea!

There are featured programs scheduled throughout the day (Friday schedule, Saturday schedule). These lectures are included with the price of the admission ticket. Seating is on a first come basis. New this year is the Literary Corner. Cozy mystery authors will be joining us for a casual chat session and book signing. (Friday schedule, Saturday schedule). These sessions are also included with the admission ticket.
Specialty guided tea tastings are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, but are limited in size and need a separate ticket. It is strongly suggested you purchase this ticket in advance (Friday schedule, Saturday schedule).
We are grateful to all the sponsors of the PA Tea Festival.
Tea Time Magazine           Tea by Two Tea for All                  The Essential Herbal
International Tea Sippers Society                     Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Chicago - Out and About!

A few pics from our three day adventure in Chicago.

Don't look down!

103rd Floor. See the cars?

The Chicago Picasso 

Millenium Park
Cloud Gate "the Bean"

Les Mis at the Cadillac Theater

Chicago Skyline

Lincoln Park Conservatory

Crown Fountain (Faces) in Millenium Park
Hamilton The Exhibition - Northerly Island
My name is Alexander Hamilton
Hamilton - CIBC Theater

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Afternoon Tea - The Drake, Chicago, IL

Afternoon Tea at the Palm Court, The Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago was an elegant treat. Seated around the fountain, we selected our teas from a wide assortment of options. Our visit, on a Friday afternoon, meant that there would be live harpist music to accompany our special experience. Once tea was served, we eagerly anticipated the presentation of the three tiered tray.

Loose leaf teas are served in individual pristine white tea pots with personal tea strainers to catch the leaves when pouring into your cup.

The tiered tray included dainty desserts on the top tier, gourmet artisanal finger sandwiches fill the middle tier, and scones and tea breads round out the bottom tier. The little black tray with lemon curd, double Devon cream, and housemade strawberry preserves was placed on the table shortly after we sat down.

The finger sandwich selection included: Cucumber with cream cheese, spiced tomato jam, and baby tomatoes; Shaved Roast Beef, horseradish, arugula, and aged white cheddar on  brioche roll; Thai Spiced Chicken Salad Tartlet with scallion and black sesame. Vegetarian options included Roasted Vegetables on a white bread, and a petite rolled asparagus sandwich.

The Scones and Loaves course included English Scones and Lemon Poppy Seed Bread to be enjoyed with an array of toppings. The dessert assortment featured an Orange Creamsicle Macaron, French Silk Tart, Blueberry Buttermilk Panna Cotta, and Strawberry Shortcake Bellini.

            Such a very special Afternoon Tea at The Drake.