Sunday, March 31, 2013

Happy Easter from My Family to Yours...

Today has been a wonderful day of celebrating our risen Savior!  I was blessed to be able to worship with my two sons and their families [my daughter and her children attended their own church].  I took lots of pictures before and after church.

Cousins [granddaughters] - Brooke and Isabella

Papa [my hubby] and Ellie.  It was pure torture that I couldn't hold this sweet baby, but she weighs more than 10 lbs., and I can't exceed that limit for another four weeks.

Son, Jeremy and Ellie

Daughter-in-law, Samantha and Ellie

Grandchildren - Isabella, Ellie and Landon

My mother and me at the restaurant after church.  And to bring this post around to tea, my mother and I both ordered hot tea to go with our meal.  ;-)

Sisters [granddaughters], Brooke and Brianna

Son, Steve, daughter-in-law, Sharon, and Brianna and Brooke

Friday, March 29, 2013

Resurrection Rolls - Happy Easter!

A few years ago I was invited to speak to a group of minister's wives while they were on a retreat, on the subject of hospitality.

Afterwards one of the ladies sent me two different recipes for "Resurrection Rolls" - one made with frozen yeast rolls, and the other with refrigerated biscuits.  I have never made the refrigerated biscuit recipe, but I know it's quicker since there's no waiting for the rolls to rise twice.  Despite the extra time, I love the taste of the yeast rolls so that's the recipe I always use. 

My daughter-in-law, who is the Children's Director at my church, has used the refrigerated biscuit recipe during children's church.  The rolls beautifully [and deliciously] illustrate Christ's empty tomb.  When the children participate in making the rolls, they see the marshmallow encased in the dough, but it melts during baking.  Amazingly, the dough holds its shape and doesn't collapse.  When the children bite into the baked roll, they see a hallow cavity where the marshmallow was.  It's the perfect way to explain about Christ's body being placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea on Good Friday, but the stone was rolled away and the tomb  was empty when Mary Magdalene went to it during the early morning hours on the first day of the week.  Thank God for the wonderful words the angel spoke to Mary, "He is not here; He has risen!"  It's the reason we celebrate Easter!  Christ's death and resurrection is not a legend or myth, but a real, documented, historical fact!

I decided to make some resurrection rolls to share with you today.  Since I'm still not venturing out to the stores, hubby shopped for me and got a 36 count bag of Rhodes frozen rolls, which  may be the smallest quantity available.  It didn't occur to me that I  didn't have to thaw all 36 rolls, but since I did, there was no stopping until they were all baked. My neighbors will be receiving resurrection rolls since there's far too many for my hubby and I to eat by ourselves.

My recipe says to thaw the frozen rolls in the refrigerator overnight, but since I wanted to make them sooner, I thawed them according to the directions on the package.

They're all thawed and ready to begin making.

Flatten the rolls into a circle using the bottom of a glass.

Dip a large marshmallow into melted butter, then roll in cinnamon sugar, and place in the center of the circle of dough.

Draw the dough up around the sides and bottoms of the marshmallow and pinch together to seal.  Place on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with more cinnamon sugar.  Let sit until double in size.  Here's a very important tip:  Use a jelly roll pan or large sheet cake pan with sides, because the marshmallows become very syrupy when they melt.   The syrup has to be contained or it will run over in the oven, and you'll have to clean your oven before you  planned.

The rolls smell divine when they're baking.  Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

These are great with a cup of hot tea.  The photo below shows how the rolls maintain their shape even after the marshmallow melts.  I cut a roll open so you can see its hollow cavity [empty tomb].  They're yummy and perfect for Easter.  Children love them, and so do adults!

For 36 rolls you will need 1 1/2 sticks of melted, unsalted butter, and 1 cup of sugar to which 1 tablespoon of cinnamon has been added [more according to taste].  The rolls are best straight from the oven, but they can be reheated in the microwave and taste yummy that way too.

If you happen to give them a try let me know how you like them.

Wishing everyone a Happy and Joyous Easter!  He has Risen, and is Alive!  He lives within my heart!

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I'm joining Bernideen's Tea Time Blog today for "Open House"

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sweet Tea Revenge

It is with pleasure that I share my review of Sweet Tea Revenge, the newly released #14 in the Tea Shop Mystery series by Laura Childs.

As a rule, I read more non-fiction than fiction, but I found Sweet Tea Revenge absolutely captivating.  Even though it's fiction, it is laced with lots of non-fiction information pertaining to tea, tea time foods [that made me down-right hungry as I read the book], recipes, as well as informative tea facts, ideas, and resources - all currant and up-to-date.

As someone who aspired and trained to open a tea room of my own, I loved reading about the menus and special events that were frequently taking place at the Indigo Tea Shop.  Some were so creative I couldn't help thinking how beneficial the book would be to actual tea room owners.  I found myself wishing there was an Indigo Tea Shop in my city!

I love Laura Childs' imaginative, descriptive, and vivid writing style.  Each character, no matter how large or small their role in the mystery, was described with such detail that precise mental images were immediately formed.  The book drew me into the physical and emotional setting of Charleston, South Carolina, and Theodosia Browning's world.

The multi-faceted, effervescent Theodosia is the heart of the Sweet Tea Revenge mystery, but the other characters, places, and things fulfilled their roles in making the book entertaining, interesting, and fun to read.

As far as the book's mystery intrigue...I discovered I'm not a good amateur sleuth.  I compiled a list of eight viable suspects from various chapters, and chuckled when the revelation of the killer proved to be none of those eight!

Are you a fan of Laura Childs Tea Shop Mystery books?  If not, get your copy of the book right away.  The 30 chapters are chock-full of good reading, and you, like me, will become one of the newest fans.

Thank you, Laura, for the opportunity to read and review your latest book.  Best wishes for many more!

While perusing the recipes at the back of the book, the recipe for Peanut Butter Scones on page 299 piqued my interest.  My hubby loves anything peanut butter, and since these were drop scones, they seemed easy enough to make while I am in recovery mode. The recipe makes 8, and I opted to use chunky peanut butter instead of creamy.

My hubby put his stamp of approval on them and so do I!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tea Forté

Today's mail included a tea pot design Get Well card from Linda J. in Kentucky with a packet of Tea Forté inside. 

I remembered reading Linda's March 22nd post about the tea on her blog, Friendship Tea.

The packet said it was a robust, organic, black Breakfast Tea, so I knew it would be perfect for helping to get my day started after my shower.

The packets are pre-measured loose tea to provide a 12 oz. cup of tea.

Doesn't this look like the perfect way to start a day?  This Assam tea from the Sewpur Estate  in Northeast, India, definitely is a full-bodied, malty, robust tea.

I normally don't use sugar or milk in my tea, but when I read the back of the packet it stated that milk and sugar complimented the tea.  So I added a small cube of rough cut brown sugar and a splash of 2% milk and it was deliciously smooth.  

You can read all about Tea Forté products at their website,

Thank you, Linda!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Get Well Wishes, Prayers, and Expressions of Kindness

I hope you had a wonderful weekend celebrating Palm Sunday.

Special thanks to everyone for your get well wishes, prayers, and expressions of kindness, and support.  I am making progress, and will go out for the first time tomorrow, even if it is just to the Dr.'s office!  ;-)

I received a special package from tea friend, and fellow blogger, Angela, at Tea With Friends last week.  Needless to say, it boosted my spirits.

Her package contained a teacup by Royal China in the Old Curiosity Shop pattern that I blogged about here; four packages of tea [one from the The Glass Slipper Tea Cottage in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida that she recently blogged about visiting]; and two great books.

The teacup matches the creamer and sugar that I already had, thanks to my girlfriend.

The tea is called Caribe and is a blend of black and green tea with strawberry-guava and coconut.  It is yummy, and I've been drinking it ever since it arrived.   I don't know how or why taste buds get skewed after surgery, but mine are.  I'm getting a sweet grapefruity taste instead of strawberries and guava, but it's delightful anyway.    Thank you so much, Angela!

My sweet friend and "tea buddy," Lori, who you often see in my blog photos, stopped by to see me on Saturday for a few minutes.  She brought a floral basket arrangement of orchid, dark purple and hot pink flowers, that are perfect colors for Easter.

I didn't realize what treasure was nestled inside the arrangement until after she was gone.  It's so cute I had to gently dismantle it to show you, and then put it back together.

It's a Boyds Bears teacup and saucer titled, "Fixin' Tea for Three" with Prissie, Sissie and Missie. How cute is that!  You know that brought a smile to my face!  ;-)  Thanks, Lori!

Shortly after Lori left, the doorbell rang with the delivery of a beautiful mixed floral bouquet in pastel spring colors, from a very special family.

Michigan's weather may be cold and snowy right now, but it's definitely bright and spring-like inside with these beautiful flowers!  Thanks, Ruth, Paul and girls!

My life-long girlfriend, Sandy, [who you also see in a lot of my blog photos] sent a card and check for a carry-out meal.  I'll take advantage of that later this week when my taste buds get back to normal so I can enjoy it.  I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family and caring friends, and I'm definitely counting my blessings!

Last but not least... I've been reading, and enjoying the book, Sweet Tea Revenge, and am half way through it.  I'll be writing my review soon.

Friday, March 22, 2013


While I'm not feeling up to resuming my blogging on a full-time basis yet, I wanted to provide you with an update.

Thanks so much to everyone for your get well comments and e-mails. I am gradually making progress and beginning to heal from surgery.

I had the sweetest hospital roommate named, Choysen, from Beijing, China.  She was 14 years my senior, and a tiny 4' 10" lady.  She looked like a little china doll laying in her bed.   I knew I was going to like her even before I saw her, when I heard her daughter call room service on the other side of the curtain, and order a pot of hot water so she could make her mom some tea!  Choysen later told me she came to the United States 20 years ago and her two favorite things were tea and rice.

Laura Childs sent me a copy of her book, "Sweet Tea Revenge" to review, and I hope to get it read during my recovery period.  Watch for the review on my blog.

Another package that welcomed me home from the hospital was from one of my sweet readers, Sarah, in Biloxi, Mississippi.  She sent me a cookbook from The Glass Slipper Tea Cottage, which Angela recently blogged about at Tea With Friends.  I'm really looking forward to trying some of the recipes and sharing them on my blog when I'm fully recovered.  Thank you for your thoughtfulness and kindness, Sarah!

My hospital stay was brief.  I checked into the hospital at 5:30 a.m. last Tuesday and had a two hour surgery at 7:30 a.m.  At 10:30 that evening they woke me up to start walking in the halls. "SERIOUSLY?" was the thought/question that ran through my mind! ;-)  My hospital paperwork [which obviously needs updating] said the stay for my procedure is usually 3-5 days, but I was in and out within 31 hours.  But that's okay because I like my own house, bed, nightgown, and tea better than their's anyway! ;-)

My hubby has been a great nurse and my sweet daughter brought over wonderful comfort food.  I spent yesterday laying in bed watching the Food Network Channel [when I wasn't sleeping]. Ina Garten made some yummy looking cheddar-dill scones, and a carrot/pineapple salad which would be great for tea time. Check out the recipes at Food Network.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Taking Some Time Off

I am having surgery today, so I'll be away from my computer for a few days.  I look forward to returning to blogging as quickly as possible.

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 Ladies' Spring Tea - Hats!

Every year as spring approaches, my mind turns to a theme for our Annual Ladies' Spring Tea at church.   I booked the same facility as last year - Sycamore Hills Golf Club.  The tea will be held on May 11th [the day before Mother's Day].

Since a publicity flier/insert will be going in next Sunday's bulletin, I had to focus my attention yesterday on determining a theme.  For inspiration I got out all my Tea Time magazines from the current March/April 2013 issue, all the way back to the fall 2003 premier issue.  These magazines are chock-full of gorgeous photos, recipes, articles, and great ideas.  I have every  issue, and wouldn't part with one.  This year is their 10th anniversary.

I didn't have to search long before an idea began to form - "Hats off to Spring!"

[Pinterest Photo]

I'm envisioning hat centerpieces, hat desserts, a hat/bonnet/veil/fascinator contest [in person as well as photos], a little history about hats, and people we think of who wore, or currently wear them.  For example, who could forget the Grand Ole Opry comedian, Minnie Pearl, with the price tag dangling from her hat? Or more recently, Aretha Franklin, who sang at President O'Bama's 2009 inauguration, and her hat catapulted the designer's business into world-wide fame.  [He's from the Detroit-Metro area.]

Do you wear a hat when you go to tea?  Church - especially on Easter Sunday?  A wedding?  I used to wear them to church when they were in style, and occasionally wear them to tea now. The photo below was at Tea Time Magazine's 2008 An Occasion for Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia. [That's me in the back row, black hat.]

I love how hats have never lost their appeal among many British women, and especially the Royal women.  Rarely is the Queen or Duchess of Cambridge seen in public without a lovely hat on.  It's part of their outfit.

[Internet Photo]

In the United States, hats are very popular with African/American women, especially when they go to church.  They are, in fact, referred to as "church hats."   The photo below was taken at a tea party.  Both ladies are wearing hats created by Luke Song [the milliner who designed Aretha Franklin's hat].

Who or what comes to mind when you think of hats?

Would you wear a hat if they came back into style, full-swing?

It will be a fun theme, and my mind is spinning with ideas for developing it.   If you have any ideas or comments to share about hats I'd love to hear them.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Celebrating St. Patty's Day!

Saint Patrick's Day is almost upon us, and the pre-holiday festivities have been a lot of fun.

What special Irish recipes do you prepare? I made Grandma Clark's Soda Bread yesterday [recipe from Silver Palate cookbook]. 

It's delicious, and even better with a hot cup of tea!

Two Irish Blessings...

When Irish eyes are smiling
and Irish smiles are wide,
When Irish hearts are happy
and the piper plays a slide,
When Irish stew is bubbling
and the soda bread is hot,
And the Irish tea is steeping
in a little Irish pot,
When the room is warm with laughter
and the songs are bright and bold,
And there's poetry and magic
in the stories that are told,
Isn't it a blessing,
isn't it just grand
To know the heart and soul of you
belongs to Ireland!

*  *  *
May you always have
Walls for the winds,
A roof for the rain,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire!

*  *  *
Sometime this weekend I hope to watch the 1959 Disney movie, Darby O'Gill and the Little People.  I got it out to watch with the grandchildren, but Izzy wanted to watch Anne of Green Gables instead.

Happy St. Patrick's Day Everyone!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Special Tea Party

The tea party I mentioned having this week took place yesterday.  Our daughter-in-law and three grandchildren came to spend the day.

Seven year old, Isabella, enjoys tea parties... 

and Landon participates too.

Izzy ate peanut butter teapot sandwiches, apple slices and potato chips, while Landon enjoyed cheese sandwiches, carrot sticks and potato chips.  Hot chocolate in lieu of tea!   Dessert was decorated teacup, teapot, and shamrock cookies.

Eight month old Ellie is still too little for tea parties, but her day is coming!

It was a fun day with "the Grands", and daughter-in-law, Samantha!

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Today I'm joining Rose Chintz Cottage for "Home"
Antiques and Teacups for "Thursday Tea Things and Talk"
Bernideen's Tea Time Blog for "Open House"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wearin' o' the Green for Afternoon Tea at O'Mara's!

Last October I blogged about visiting the nearby city of Berkley, Michigan [see post here].  A lady in one of the shops told me about a nearby restaurant,  O'Mara's, that serves Afternoon Tea every Tuesday, by reservation only.  It's been on my list of places to go for five months now, and my girlfriend and I finally went yesterday - just in time for St. Patrick's Day!

Hummm... what to wear?  This?

Or this?

I opted for outfit #1 and will save outfit #2 for Sunday!  ;-)


The room where Afternoon Tea was served was the perfect setting for an Irish themed tea.  Their theme for March is "A Taste of Ireland." [The themes change every month.]

There were fifteen ladies in attendance.

Our table

The menu

My place setting.  I love the white dishes that go with any theme.

Our attentive server, Diane.

Our freshly brewed loose-leaf tea was placed in tea-sacs to steep.  A dish and tongs were provided to decant the pot for those who wished to do so.   Diane kept the teapots filled with hot water throughout the tea.  Each guest had their own individual teapot, and choice from four tea offerings.  I chose Irish Breakfast.

The tea meal began with a bowl of soup.  There were two offerings:  O'Mara's Irish Cream of Potato and Salmon Chowder.  I chose the potato soup.  It was delicious.

Next came the tiered server with Orange Scones and four Savories - a Sausage Roll, Goat Cheese sandwich with Watercress, Shamrock Corned Beef sandwich, and a Walnut Tea sandwich.

My dear friend and tea buddy, Lori.

Orange Scone and Devonshire Cream

Four Savories

Fresh Fruit [Watermelon Honeydew, fresh Pineapple, and Strawberries], with Baked Brie and Crackers.

Slice of Irish Cheese/Chicken/Tarragon and Pea Quiche        

Dessert Course:  Rye Shortbread Cookie, Anita's Hundreds & Thousands [an Australian dessert of white bread, unsalted butter and sprinkles], and a square of Pound Cake with Vanilla Frosting rolled in crushed peanuts.

What a fabulous tea!  I'm glad they told me when I made our reservation to come hungry, because there would be a lot of food.  All this for $20 plus tax and gratuity, which figured out to approximately $25.  It was worth every penny!

They normally feature a cooking demonstration at the teas by their chef, Anita Kern, but she couldn't be at yesterday's tea.

Lori and I concluded we will definitely be at their April Tea, which has a Spring theme.  I can't believe I've been missing out on O'Mara's fabulous teas, and I will definitely be spreading the word!

When we left O'Mara's, we went to KrisTea's - the shop who told me about O'Mara's - and browsed around.  Lori and I both bought something to remember our day.  This is the teacup I purchased - an  Elizabethan Fine Bone China, made in England.

We browsed through another antique store in Berkley before heading home.  It was a perfect afternoon!
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Today I'm linking to Bernideen's Tea Time Blog for "Friends Sharing Tea."