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!!!!!