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Julie and Julia

December 12th, 2009 by

I finally watched the Julie and Julia movie tonight.  I thoroughly enjoyed it!

I know so many of you are sad that the tea room closed and in some ways I am too.  But I just love being home again.  I have forgotten what joy cooking brings to me.  This movie reminded me of it again. It also reminded me that I haven’t blogged in ages!

Before I opened the tea room, I cooked for my family all of the time.  But as time went on, my poor husband had to learn to cook as I was too busy cooking for everyone else.  I thought that might change when I hired my first cook at the tea room, but it seemed the tea room became busier and busier and took up more of my time.  My cooking resorted to easy dishes I could prepare in 20 minutes or less. We became a big fan of grilled cheese and soup :)

Now that I’m home again, I have rekindled my passion for cooking.  Today I spent 2 hours making enchiladas and had a ball researching and combining recipes and adding my own touches.  That’s what I really love to do, be creative in the kitchen.

Tonight after watching the movie, I decided that I will write one more cookbook.  I really didn’t think I had enough tea room recipes to fill a book, but I decided that many of you might enjoy my own dishes that I prepare for my family.  So that’s my new goal for 2010, a cookbook full of family recipes plus a few from the last months of the tea room. Yeah, a new project!  Stay tuned for more!

Amy

Thanks!

October 19th, 2009 by

Thanks to all my favorite customers who came to the Peddler’s Market this past Saturday.  It was great to see all of you there! It seemed like old times.  I really do appreciate all of the kind words and support. You’re the best!

Today I’m recuperating from the weekend and drinking a nice cup of Masala Chai.  It just seemed like the perfect thing today even though I normally prefer the “pure, unflavored” teas.  Have a wonderful day!

Amy

It’s about time! Finally practicing what I preach..

August 21st, 2009 by

Hi all,

It’s been a long time since I’ve blogged.  It’s hard to keep up in this techie world with blogging, tweeting, texting and the ancient form of communication these days-e-mail!  I feel a bit behind.

I’m finally practicing what I preach. I’m slowing down, enjoying life and a cup of tea.  It’s amazing, when I make myself a small pot of tea, I actually have time to enjoy it hot and finish the entire pot.

In the days of the hectic tea room world, I would make myself a big pot in the morning, drink 2 sips and then rush around to get things done.  By the time I remembered about my tea, it was cold-which was no problem, I just poured it over ice. This tastes great, but  I really enjoy a good cup of hot tea-yes, even in the summer!

These days my schedule has changed radically.  I make myself a pot in the early morning, sit outside on my patio, listen to the birds and enjoy my tea.  It makes such a difference, I can’t believe it.  So for those of you who are skeptical, take 10 minutes to yourself and drink a cup of tea. It’s a great way to start your day.

It’s Almost Expo Time

April 26th, 2009 by

Hi all,

I’m so excited about the World Tea Expo this year. I feel like a kid going to Disneyland in 3 days. Today is my day off and for once I am not doing tea things today. I have a million things to do to get ready to leave-mow the yard, laundry, etc. So I’m not doing tea things today. Yeah-right! What am I doing now? Anyway,  I decided to make a cup of tea and write my blog.  But when I went to make my tea this morning, I discovered I was out of almost everything-except Zhen Qu.  I thought, no that’s for special occasions.  Then I realized, I don’t have anything else so this must be the special occasion.  I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t refilled my stock of tea at home. So Zhen Qu it is!  I love this tea. It’s a black Yunnan tea but a very special one.  My tea broker, Devan Shaw has it specially made. He pays a special group of tea makers money to drive to a certain area in China a few hundred miles away to process the tea in their style.  The result is fantastic!  It’s a Yunnan but has interesting floral notes. It’s such a pretty tea as well. It’s very fluffy and almost fuzzy with golden tips.  I discovered it right before the expo last year.

I can’t wait to see all of his teas this year.  His booth is one of my favorites. I always make a point to sit and listen to James Norwood Pratt conduct his tea tasting and talk at Devan’s booth. Last year I also met Rajah Banerjee at his booth who owns the oldest tea estate in Darjeeling. He was fascinating!

So who knows what the Expo holds for me this year!  I know I will be super busy with 2 booths, teaching and judging but I definitely plan on learning more about tea!

Stay tuned for more tea talk!

I just love my customers!

April 23rd, 2009 by

Hi all,

I just looked on the KCRA A-List as the winners will be announced this week.  I’m so amazed that we have 239 reviews from loyal customers.  Even if we don’t win Best Tea House, we’ve won in my mind!  Thanks so much for all of your sweet comments.  If I’m ever having a down day, all I have to do is read those and my spirits will be lifted. You all are the best! Thanks so much for supporting and believing in us!

Amy

The tea plants have arrived!

April 22nd, 2009 by

I’m so excited! My tea plants finally arrived!  They were ordered from North Carolina and sent out on April 3rd. They were supposed to be here for the big Tea Sipper event last Friday.  I received a letter from California agriculture saying they were denied entry to California and sent back.  Then today for some reason, they arrived on my door step!  I really thought they were dead as it’s so hot and they have been in a box since April 3rd.  But, they were green with new sprouts on the ends and they look fine.  I immediately planted them in pots and set them out on my patio out of direct sunlight.  Hopefully they won’t go into shock.  But they are here!  As soon as I give them a chance to recover I’ll bring them in for a special tea class. What a wonderful day!!!

Very Excited About Tomorrow-and Scared! (only because of the Fox 40 News part)

April 16th, 2009 by

Hi all,

I’m very excited (and nervous) about tomorrow!  Tomorrow is our big kick off day for the International Tea Sippers Society.  And not only that, I’ll be on Fox 40 around 7:45 -that’s the nervous part.  They wanted me to talk about medicinal teas, but that is something I know nothing about.  I told them, tea is very different from herbal tea.  True tea comes from the camelia sinensis plant, if it doesn’t come from that plant, it’s not tea!  So hopefully I’ll be showing them the 5 types of tea and telling them how to make it.  Then I’m off to the tea room to meet my special guests, Norwood Pratt, Jennifer Sauer and Mitchel Noble.  That will be the fun part.  I’m really looking forward to hearing everyone speak.  Hope to see many of you there!

Amy

April 17th

March 22nd, 2009 by

I’m so excited about April 17th!  That’s our big kick off day for the International Tea Sippers Society.  When I put together the speaker schedule this week, I was absolutely amazed.  We have some great speakers and great topics! I have them lined up every hour from 11-7.  In addition Kisty Rose from In the Mix 916 will be providing our music.  What a day!  We are going to film it and put the footage on a video clip to show at the World Tea Expo May 2-4th.  My goal is to have 500 members of the International Tea Sippers Society by then so we can promote it to all of the tea businesses across the U.S. We want 10,000 members by December 2009.  If anyone knows any press connections to get them to this event, let me know!

I’m almost done with the new cookbook!

March 14th, 2009 by

Many of you have been asking about the new cookbook.  I’ve been busy working on a new cookbook, but it’s a bit different than the previous years and is geared toward a different audience.  This time I decided to do a large quantity cookbook, perfect for tea rooms, caterers and social groups such as churches.  There aren’t many cookbooks out there with recipes which make large quantities.  So I decided to branch out and try something new.  If you’re looking for a recipe which will make 100 chicken sandwiches or serve soup for 40, this will be the book for you.  If you’re just doubling a recipe, then it’s not usually a problem.  But when you have to come up with a shopping list for 100 people, you can spend a lot of time trying to figure things out. You may end up spending extra money as well buying more for “just in case, ” or have to run to the store at the last minute because you didn’t buy enough.  This cookbook contains many of the favorites of the last 5 cookbooks as well as new ones.  It is written in step by step format including prep work of items which can be made ahead of time.  It should be off to the printer by Monday and back in time to be exhibited in the New Showcase Display at the World Tea Expo in May. I will make them available as well at the tea room for those of you interested.

Turbinado Sugar

February 15th, 2009 by

As I sit here today working on a new cookbook for the World Tea Expo event, I typed in “turbinado sugar” an ingredient for Dena’s (my baker) famous Creme Brule Tea Recipe.  I wondered what the heck is it?  I know it’s large course granules of sugar that we sprinkle on top of cookies and scones, but where did it get its name?  So I decided to look it up on wikipedia. According to them, it is “made from sugar cane extract. It is produced by crushing freshly cut sugar cane; the juice obtained is evaporated by heat, then crystallized. The crystals are spun in a centrifuge, or turbine (thus the name), to remove excess moisture, resulting in the characteristic large, light brown crystals.” I was also pleased to find that in the United Kingdom it is called “demerara” sugar, a name I had heard of but didn’t know what exactly it was. So for those of you curious like me, there’s your answer.