Thursday, December 29, 2011

i really enjoy my tea

You know I really, really enjoy tea. I used to only drink peppermint tea, straight, no milk, no sugar. I loved it that way because you could really taste the flavor so nicely. It was never bitter. Then I bought a latte from a coffee shop. Little did I know that it was simply 'baby tea' (tea with milk and sugar) and easily made at home, even iced lattes.

Then one day someone gave me some different flavors like Vanilla Chai and Cocoa Chai...yummylicious. Of course, my looose leaf tea from Ethiopio is still my absolute favorite and it has never, ever gone bitter. Last semester, one of my professors gave me some loose leaf tea from Kenya I think--that was delicious too. One time my oldest brought home a box of licorice tea---oh that was is so tasty, with out additions too!

Over the holidays, I noticed a display in the grocery store of Christmas Teas. They had the loveliest names like: White Christmas, Holiday Chai, Christmas Eve and Christmas Morning, Merry Mint and even Pumpkin Spice, They are all produce by Stash Tea.

Wow were they a fabulous addition to my collection of teas. Such cozy flavors to sit and enjoy. Another new holiday fav was Ginger Snappish by Bigelow. What a fun name for a tea, right?

I have quite a collection of teas now but I just can't stop myself. Enjoying a cup of tea is one of the loveliest moments of my day.

Do you vary your tea selection by season or stick to reliable favorites?


Thursday, December 22, 2011


 People, Look East
Eleanor Farjeon

People, look east. The time is near
Of the crowning of the year.
Make your house fair as you are able,
Trim the hearth and set the table.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the guest, is on the way.

Furrows, be glad. Though earth is bare,
One more seed is planted there:
Give up your strength the seed to nourish,
That in course the flower may flourish.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the rose, is on the way.

Birds, though you long have ceased to build,
Guard the nest that must be filled.
Even the hour when wings are frozen
God for fledging time has chosen.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the bird, is on the way.

Stars, keep the watch. When night is dim
One more light the bowl shall brim,
Shining beyond the frosty weather,
Bright as sun and moon together.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the star, is on the way.

Angels, announce with shouts of mirth
Christ who brings new life to earth.
Set every peak and valley humming
With the word, the Lord is coming.
People, look east and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

perfect christmas treat

Inspired by these delicious goodies, I did some baking last night. I based my recipe on hers but I did not have all the exact ingredients so I did a few changes. They were still incredibly delicioso! You can follow her recipe or mine, either way--I don't think you can go wrong. They are super easy to make too.

Mine had a more brownie-ish texture and needed to bake longer. I have a vintage Okeefe & Merritt stove, so that may be why, I'm not sure. I regularly have to bake things at least 5-10 minutes longer than recommended.

The asterisks indicate my changes.

Brownie Textured Ginger Strips

3/4 cup butter (1.5 sticks)
1 cup packed *brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup molasses
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp *ginger (I grated fresh ginger, maybe 1 tsp)
2 1/2 cups *mixed whole wheat & white flour (they were already mixed in my container but probably half & half)

Beat egg, butter & sugar together. (it will be helpful to soften the butter first-which I did not & it took longer to mix it) Add remaining ingredients.

The dough won't look like much, but trust me, it will expand while baking. Separate dough into two sections. Shape each section into a log and then flatten. I lined my long rectangular baking stone with parchment paper & shaped the dough directly on it. Brush each log lightly with water and sprinkle with sugar. I used *raw sugar. It is bigger and chunkier and actually looked nice.

Once removed from oven, allow to cool slightly, then cut into strips.

I baked at 350 for about 30 minutes.
If you read her recipe--that is significantly longer. Please be mindful of your own oven temperament.

The ends were slightly crunchier but over all, the bars I made had a chewy consistency. Everyone loved them. I think the few changes I made make them slightly healthier too. I wasn't trying to make them healthier--it just happened to be the ingredients I had on hand.
Christmas treats are some of the loveliest treats, aren't they?

This post linked to:
Not Just a Housewife


Sunday, December 11, 2011

an advent prayer

 Almighty God,

You are author of history. You created the heavens and the earth, all that is seen and unseen. In the fullness of time, Your Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. Open your eyes so that we cannot over look the coming of Your only-begotten Son. Purify our hearts as we await His coming in glory. 
Through your son we pray.

Prayer taken from this lovely book, Christ in Christmas A Family Advent Celebration.