Thursday, December 13, 2012

incredibly excited for the hobbit tonight!

supreme breakfast tea.

I am seeing The Hobbit tonight, and couldn't be MORE excited! I've been listening to the soundtrack since it was released and have been going over some of my favorite portions in the book.  I read the book when I was rather young, and it left quite an impression on me (as did the Lord of the Rings trilogy & The Silmarillion.)

Rarely do I get this excited over enduring crowds for a midnight release! I'm hoping to see many hobbits, wizards, dwarves, and elves outside the theater tonight. :)

Today I'm drinking what I feel is the most "hobbity" tea I have, out of my favorite rustic stoneware teacup!

Harney & Sons "Supreme Breakfast" is strong, dark, and malty. Makes me think of the raw wildflower honey this area produces which looks like molasses. I can imagine some of the folk from The Shire brewing a pot of this up before tending to their gardens and livestock. Plays very nicely with cream, sugar, and meadowfoam honey. In reality, it can be taken in whichever way you prefer and will still be delicious and perk you right up!

curious cat.
(Chai even wanted a cup of it!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

december arrives.

yet to fall.

Apologies for the small bout of inactivity. Our family owns a 12 year old yellow lab and his health suddenly took a turn for the worse. He has congestive heart failure, but our veterinarian has given us medication and he seems to be improving for the time being. It's hard to be creative and outgoing when one of your best childhood friends has suddenly become very, very mortal in your eyes.

I mean, in his youth he was a tank. He was hit by a SNOW PLOW and was tossed about and then popped out of the snow happily bounding back to me and my dad while we stood frozen in absolute horror.

I'm still waiting to develop film. I hate making separate trips to get things processed -- I much prefer having a wave of photos come in all in one go. I can't wait to see what my old reliable camera has captured. I was a little bit worried that the internal light meter battery would have expired (I think I last changed it in 2004...) but it seemed to function well enough! I just wish I had the forethought to unpack my little remote cable so the lower lit shots wouldn't have any sort of blur to them.

the tea drinker. golden.

I am pictured drinking Harney & Sons "Mangalam FTGFOP Or. 664." It is absolutely delicious! I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to try this tea out while restocking my plain black blends/breakfast teas. I'm a real sucker for good Assams. It is a beautiful reddish caramel cup and the flavor is so smooth and comforting. They mentioned on their page that the aroma is sweet and toasty, and I couldn't agree more. When they also mentioned "toast with dark honey spread on top" I couldn't get that association out of my head, and it has since become my favorite tea to drink while eating a little bit of cinnamon toast with raw almond honey on top!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

tea time & baking

Untitled Untitled

This past weekend Ryan and I were in NYC visiting a friend. I brought my film camera and snapped many photos ... only to realize the roll was only halfway done when I returned home. I wanted to develop the film right away, but I can't waste exposures like that! I can't wait to develop the photos ... plus, I might as well develop all the rolls I've had sitting around for a little while! It might cost a pretty penny. :(

I ordered more macarons from a different Etsy seller. They were somewhat cheaper, shipped out a lot faster, and I can't wait to try them! I want to make some of my own but I get the feeling that making them is beyond my current level of skill in the kitchen. I did make Russian Tea Cakes this past week, though!!! It is one of my favorite holiday cookie recipes that has translated well into gluten free baking. :)

Check out my favorite recipe after the jump!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

spiced tea & snow.

So I woke up this morning thinking it would be a rainy day (as the forecasters kept saying about this nor'easter) and looked outside to see snowflakes falling! Apparently the forecast changed while I was sleeping, and we are getting 2-4" of snow through tonight. I know people will likely grumble about winter coming too soon, but I stocked up on wool socks, fleece lined leggings, and even got boots with more tread than usual. I'M READY!

When the snow started falling I knew exactly which tea to pluck from my cabinet. Harney & Son's "Holiday Tea" is perfectly warm and soft. From their website: "Our Holiday blend tastes of orange and cloves with hints of vanilla and almond." It is medium bodied, and makes a golden brown cup. The tea in the tin is so pretty with the pieces of red safflower amongst the black leaves and orange pieces. I brewed up a pot and watched the snowflakes fall with some Fleet Foxes playing. Perfect way to relax before work!

holiday tea.

Monday, November 5, 2012

out & about.

amber. (one of Ryan's cats -- Amber!)
 morning rituals. 
I got Ryan a burr grinder for our anniversary a while back, and he used it to grind beans from La Colombe -- a Phildelphian coffee roasting company. I couldn't believe how much smoother his morning coffee was after grinding it fresh and brewing immediately afterward. Delicious, and I'm not even a coffee girl! I have a little stash of tea at his house, and he grinds and pours hot water over his coffee while I steep my leaves.

the pour. (Ryan was kind enough to pour the water so I could snap an ~action shot~.)
  ginger sencha.

I decided to drink some Ginger Sencha from NM Tea Co., because Smokey Russian Caravan would be a bit too harsh on my stomach after devouring the amazing breakfast Ryan cooked up for me.

We went to H&M to pick up a few new winter basics. I had just gotten a new wool coat at NY&Co for 40% off (I love you, gigantic sale) and Ryan managed to find a really warm jacket and some nice button downs. I had to resist temptation over a pair of black patent rainboots they had on display ... with little bows on the back.

bowling. not so great at bowling.

We ended the night with a celebratory bowling gathering for a friend! On my very first roll I managed to get a strike and sucked consistently afterward. I did get a strike on my last turn, and got a few strikes after my first tries. One of our friends works at the bowling alley and was able to get a 6lb ball for me after the 10lb one started hurting my little hand/arm. I had forgotten how much fun bowling is!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

almond tea & cold weather.

This past week our area was hit by Hurricane Sandy (superstorm sounds ... so sensationalized) and lost power for 2 days. Not so bad in comparison to the others out there whose homes were destroyed, those stranded in NYC without their trains, and the people who are STILL without power in this chilly weather. I've heard talk of a nor'easter headed our way this coming week as well. Our old trees creaked all throughout the storm, and I had very little sleep. I was quite worried the winds would knock a tree onto our house or our wires, but we were very lucky and our property came out unscathed. So many fallen trees elsewhere, though. :(

While we were without power we had our wood burning stove going, and I brewed my tea on top of it. So glad I had a way to make a hot drink -- the weather immediately after the storm was cold, damp and miserable.

Right now I am craving macarons from Le Bonbon. I had ordered from them a short while ago and my package somehow made it to Hawaii from California ... on the way to Pennsylvania? When they finally arrived they were crushed and the ice packs they needed to stay fresh had thawed out completely. They have since been devoured, but I've been thinking about them all week and might make another order sometime soon.

(earl grey tea and white chocolate lemon ganache & black lavender and cassis white chocolate ganache macarons pictured)

They were my first ever French macarons (after seeing so many photographed all over the internet) and I think I know why they're so popular now! My favorite flavor by far was their pistachio buttercream, followed in close second by the Earl Grey with lemon zest. I thoroughly enjoyed them with almond black tea. They just posted pumpkin pie flavored ones, and I am sorely tempted to get another sampler with those included.

I also just realized The Hobbit is out next month! I can hardly contain my excitement!!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

pumpkin chai.

warm cup.

Today is it cold and overcast in our area. The leaves are in full foliage and I figured I'd brew up an autumn tea I've heard so many good things about! DAVIDsTEA makes a seasonal Pumpkin Chai that is out of this world.

pumpkin chai.

I love how it looks in the tin. It is so pretty and colorful! The little pumpkin candies are very charming, and it smells so warm. When I brew the tea it has a very brown sugary and spicy smell, but it's not like other chais at all. The spice isn't strong, instead the pumpkin is the primary flavor, and the spice is soft and accentuates it. It needs no sweeteners as there are candy and caramel pieces integrated within the tea.

The black tea base itself isn't the strongest, but I think that's for the best. If it were any heavier I might not be able to drink so much in one sitting, and the soft flavoring would be lost!

I strongly recommend it for cozying up and drinking during cold weather. :)

Additionally, Natalie at Vanillery Garden posted a lovely video I had to share!


Ryan sent his bike into a local shop for repairs, and we'll be going out Friday and riding along the canals near Lambertville and Frenchtown. Can't wait to ride my bike with the leaves falling all around us!

an introduction.

good company. (365/23) My name is Danielle, and I'm a 24 year old photographer residing in suburbia. I have a fondness for black cats, old cameras, tea, and food. I collect teaware and have upwards of 50 teas in my cabinet.

I've had a love for photography since I was quite young. I like shooting with film, but I am a procrastinator with lots of undeveloped rolls laying around ever since I stopped having a darkroom to visit. One day I'll get them all developed simultaneously and it will be a treasure trove of forgotten photos, or maybe one day I'll make my own darkroom and not have to procrastinate so thoroughly.

I hope to post lots of recipes and food photos, as this blog will help document the lifestyle of a food lover who abruptly developed a gluten intolerance and had a hard time adjusting. Hopefully my kitchen experiments will benefit someone who loves tasty allergen-friendly food just as much as I do!

Nice to meet you. :)