Friday, February 26, 2016

Tea, Tea, and More Tea

February is a wonderful month for tea, especially with Valentine's Day right in the middle of the month. 

I received my first issue of my new British Country Living subscription in the mail! I love this magazine and it provides plenty of relaxation and inspiration.

Friends introduced me to a new Amish donut shop in nearby Zionsville! They even carry gluten free items (I took home a few gf muffins for the kids and you can pre-order gf pies!). You can check them out at A Taste of Amish.

 David has taken up baking as his current hobby! Nearly every day he wants to bake something. He made these to take to our last church fellowship dinner.

I was recently given a very large silver-plated tea set! I LOVE it! The scale is of Downton Abbey numbers (which is hard to see in this photo) and I don't have the center teapot pictured here but it is even taller as it sits on a special stand. I also learned something new to me -- that center vessel in the picture below is known as a "slop bowl"! Can you believe it -- such an elegant set with such a vulgar term! But, it's true. That slop bowl was used for collecting the dregs in the teacups before pouring a new cup or for holding the hot water used to warm the pot before making tea!

We used Valentine's Day as an excuse for lots of tea! Picture below are gluten free, dairy free, and refined sugar free treats! (Honey marshmallows, coconut cream filled cream puffs and maple bacon):

The maple bacon was amazing! You can find the bacon recipe and the cream puffs in my most recent favorite book: My Paleo Patisserie: An Artisan Approach to Grain Free Baking.

It was fun to pull out the china teacups in pink for Valentine's Day!

And my sister and brother-in-law's store (Wildwood Market) had so many incredible things available for Valentine's Day! I wanted one of those pies but they were filled with gluten, dairy, and sugar!

Leftover cream puffs keep pretty well! Oh they are so good! I love using my Piquot Ware teapot (I suppose it's a coffee pot but I use it for tea!):

My kids were fairly well coordinated on Valentine's Day and one even chose to wear a dress shirt completely of his own accord! Wow did I feel special! And I even got a photo of them all!!!

We need another up close picture of the cream puffs. They are so amazing. I've been through a number of coconut milks and creams to find the one that I like best for "whipped cream" and I think my third try is the charm. I used this: Savoy Coconut Cream 400ml Pack of 6 although I found it at my local International Grocery.

Another glimpse of waiting treats:

All my family were able to be here on Valentine's Day afternoon for tea:

Lots of fun!

Craig and Em brought a cheese plate. If you live in town you should order one of their (Wildwood Market) take-out cheese plates sometime! They are incredible. Look at that chocolate goat cheese! Wow. It was SO good!

I was very pleased with this gf, df, sf vanilla almond cake which was covered partially in regular whipped cream and partially in the whipped coconut cream.

There were leftovers the next day! I love the fact that the almond cake stays moist for days unlike other cakes.

And finally, I can have scones with cream since my discovery of the Savoy coconut cream!

Mr. Badger said goodbye last week and flew away to his home. It was such fun to have him around!

This past weekend I turned my kitchen into a bakery for an event for friends of ours. Scones, brownies and shortbread were the order of the weekend!

There were blueberry lemon, cranberry chocolate chip, and maple pecan. They were heavenly (I checked!).

A friend baked the brownies for me (to perfection!) and I put on the icing:

Here is one side of the table at the event -- it made a beautiful presentation.

Oh yes, look at those scones! (Can you tell I love them?! But they were not gluten free and definitely not dairy free). The nice thing was we had plenty of leftovers for church fellowship and way beyond. :)

Do you like kombucha? I love it. It's fermented tea! But I haven't been brave enough to start making my own yet. But, this week a few friends and I checked out Nature's Pharm's kombucha bar in their Castleton store. We tried many flavors including Cherry Vanilla, Cranberry Raspberry, Apple Jasmine, and Ginger. I think Ginger was our favorite.

And just today I discovered that Panera has finally gotten on board and are now offering a "gluten conscious" cookie!!! ha ha ha! No one could give me an ingredient list except that it was indeed "flour free". It was sweet -- half a cookie was enough. But, it was nice to have the option of something at Panera!

I've promised Laura a mommy daughter tea party this weekend so I need to put that on my list for tomorrow. And then we all get an extra day on Monday! Too bad it doesn't feel like an extra day! Enjoy!

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elizabeth said...

what a lot of fun things!!!! beautiful events, lots of wonderful food and lots of new options for you! I can only imagine what a lot of creativity and energy goes into finding new foods ... have you seen the babycakesNYC(vegan, GF) cookbooks? I've heard great things about them!!! God bless and keep you!

Pom Pom said...

Wow! What amazing treats! Your Valentine kids are adorable!

Nicole said...

Wow! Everything looks amazing!
I've started making kombucha. Too bad we're not in the same city or I would give you my scoby "baby"! I did a workshop and got the starter there.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I love your kid with the bare feet! Hubby tells me the Kentucky side of my gene pool comes out with the kids and I preferring to go without shoes. Your photos are delicious!

We had six inches of blowing and drifting snow this week so my thoughts turned to baking. I made a pumpkin pie for us. Shortbread cookie dough for the freezer. Chocolate chip cookie dough, mostly for the freezer but a couple dozen baked and shared with Christopher and Melissa. I have to freeze dough instead of baked cookies as frozen cookies are too tempting. 🙄

Anonymous said...

Everything looks so delicious and beautiful! What flour do you use in your GF baking? Almond flour is soooo expensive.

Anonymous said...

Now I am feeling very hungry!!!!

Lynn said...

Oh my gosh, so many yummy looking treats! I want to leap right through the screen.