Tea & Coffee – Homemade Coffee Creamer

irishcreameMaking Your Own Creamer ~

I’ve mentioned before I’m a diabetic. Finding a flavored creamer that is diabetic friendly isn’t easy. And when you do, you still have to be careful what the makers version of “sugar” might be.

Are they sweetened with Splenda? Which can still raise sugar levels in diabetics? Or could they be sweetened with something like Stevia, which is a little more diabetic friendly?(Stevia in the Raw is my sweetener of choice).

It’s a hard and laborious process to find the right product. Then I thought, hey, what about homemade where I can sweeten with my own sweetener?! And thus a new search ensued.

I found a lot of versions of homemade creamer and all have their own tweaks and variations. It’s not at all hard. And nearly all start with a base of condensed sweetened milk. That sweetened part is a problem again for diabetics. But the base is flavored from there. So everything begins with the base, how about going the other way to find the flavor and add what you require on the back-end.
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Recipes – The History Of The Tea Sandwich

Traditional Tea Sandwiches

Traditional Tea Sandwiches

 Honoring Tradition

Tradition is more than doing what your Mom or Grand Mother has taught you. What your family has done for years and generations are a great way to feel connected to ancestors. But without the stories and the history behind the traditions, those special events or recipes lose some of their esteem and magik.

Today you can find “finger” sandwiches at nearly every party whither or not it’s formal or social. The Tea Sandwich has definitely evolved into something bigger. But not always better.

Evolution is part of life and all things, even family traditions change slightly from time to time. Each generation or person adding their favorite twist on the happening, be it an event or a recipe.

It’s nice to be able to tell the original tale and history of those traditions we hold dear. Where did they come from, how did they start and what was the original intent? All good questions that give importance and imagination to your family traditions.

When I was old enough, my Mom put me to work in helping to get things ready for a party. She would sit me at the dining table, give me ingredients and instructions then let me lose. Of course it wasn’t ever that difficult a task, but it was often fun for a 9 year old girl. I’d roll up cheese balls and coat them in nuts. Or roll up peanut-sweet balls and coat them in sugar. Or, make the finger sandwiches. Continue reading

Recipes – Eggnog Coffee

eggnog-coffee🍓 A Tasty Recipe

I’m always looking for recipes to try in the winter. Especially if the recipe is something that will help me get warm! I’m not big on being cold, even though I love winter time and snow.

At one time in my life I dated a from the UK. He and his parents had moved here to the states and we hit it off for a time. Frankly I don’t think his parents approved of their son dating a lowly American. But sometimes it’s a good thing when things don’t work out.

One of the good things I got out of our relationship was a recipe from his Mom for what she called Christmas Morning Coffee. So if you like holiday Eggnog, you might like this too. But I prefer to call it Eggnog Coffee. Continue reading

Tea & Coffee – Southern Sweet Tea

iced-teaIced Tea From The South ~

Southern Sweet Tea isn’t unique, but it is certainly different from iced tea made in other places. Why? Well my personal experience has shown that making sweet tea in the north and out west is sweetened with fruit juices, not sugar. Ok if I wanted fruit juice, I’d have some. Can’t stand it when restaurants serve “sweet tea” and it ends up being raspberry tea.

While that might be better for you, um…it’s not Southern! We make our iced tea with sugar, plain and simple. Though some of us may use it with fake sugar, it’s still sugar!

There are two different kinds of Southern Sweet Tea. Sun tea and brewed tea.

Sun tea uses more tea and of course it takes longer to make. But beyond that, they’re virtually the same. Continue reading

Tea & Coffee – What Is Coffee?

coffee-cakePlants and Roasting ~

Everyone knows coffee when they see it. Dark roasted or light roasted beans with a warm aroma that perks up your nose. But those roasted coffee beans don’t start out that way. They start out, as cherries.

Coffee cherries grow on trees that can reach 30 feet high or bushes that can be as small as 2-3 feet. The most common trees have dark waxy leaves that contrast against their beautifully cherry fruit which grow on the trees limbs. But they can also be found with purple or yellow leaves, to the predominant dark green.

It’s common to see coffee flowers blooming on a tree with green and ripe fruit at the same time.

On average a coffee tree can live 20 to 30 years as long as the climate doesn’t experience vast fluctuations in temperature. They primary love rich soil, mild climates, frequent rain and moderate shady areas.  Continue reading

Tea & Coffee – The 3-Tier Serving Tray


The Proper Placement

The Proper Placement of Courses ~

I’m a visual person and that means I love pictures. The internet has been a wonderful invention to feed that interest. Especially places like Instagram, Pinterest and other social media sites that focus on imagery.

But one thing I’ve noticed in looking at the inspirational pictures people share for Tea and Coffee time are the mistakes they make when properly setting a table or serving tray.

Yes there really is a proper way to set or place anything on a table. And that includes the proper placement of food on a tiered serving tray. It can even include the proper placement of silverware on a serving dish or where on the table that dish should go.

But I’d like to focus this post on the 3-tiered serving tray. First off a tiered serving tray is reserved for low or afternoon tea. It is NEVER used for high tea. The only exception is when a tiered tray is used to serve varying types of desserts and the tray is placed on a side or buffet table. Continue reading

Tea & Coffee – Beans vs Grounds

beans-groundsThe Coffee Battle ~

Coffee often faces the same question about whole or ground versions that Tea does with whole leaves or in a bag. Like Tea Bag vs Loose, the question is the same with Coffee, it’s all about the freshness.

Ground coffee is the easiest and most convenient method to buy and use. It requires no additional equipment in the kitchen and stores easily anywhere in your pantry. It is the most popular way to sell coffee, even at your local coffee specialty stores. 

That’s about all there is to the advantages of ground coffee. It’s convenient and easy to use. I’m a creature of convenience, so for me, those are actually some really big advantages. These days, ground coffee is also often more inexpensive than whole bean coffee. Another little advantage that helps a lot people in this financially strapped time. Continue reading