Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fall Is Here!!

As I've been looking at my tea section in the kitchen for quite some time now, I've been thinking that it was time for a new look. Since fall was around the corner, I thought to give it a fall season look. I'm so thankful for a sweet hubby who allowed me to be able to change it around. My mother has been in the hospital for awhile. As I've been waiting to hear about her progress, I was able to redecorate the tea section.

Here's how it looked at first.

The Old Tea Section

I bought four candles holders and four vases from Dollar Tree. I spray painted the candles orange and then glued the vases onto the candle holders first.

Once that was done, I put an orange & gold bow on them. Then I glued black circles with the seasonal flavors on each of them.

I found containers to hold my main ingredients and my favorite tea flavors at Dollar General. I spray painted the tops orange, added some flowers on top, painted the front of them black, and then wrote the items' name on it.

My most PROUDEST piece on the tea area is the FALL SIGN!! I love it whenever the Lord enhances my creative skills. We had some extra pieces of wooden blocks laying around the house. I had the idea to glue three of them together, paint, then write something about the season on it, and then decorate it with flowers or something. I LOVE how it turned out. My hubby was even going to let me use a DRILL!! Woo-hoo!! LOL But, I wound up only needing to use a screwdriver. LOL

My sweet Hubby!!

I wanted to change the containers as well. I just covered the tops with some left over fabric that I used for the chairs, added some flowers and orange yarn, then added the black circles with the name of the tea on it. It was hard to do by myself, so I had my daughter Kayla's help. She did a great job working with me.

My sweet Kayla!!

I wanted to add a bit of orange some where on the table top of the tea section, so I spray painted the shelf paper orange, traced the Lazy Susan, cut, and put the shelf paper onto the Lazy Susan adding flowers in front of it as well.

The last things I did were the boxes underneath. I pretty much just took the old labels off and added some of the spray painted shelving paper and bows to them. I used the box that our new printer was in to hold our craft supplies. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how HUGE it would look underneath there. Oh, well! LOL

I love using our white tea pot. I feel like my time with guests will be so elegant and special!! I knew I didn't want to do anything permanent to it. So, I tied a pretty flower to the top!!

So, this is what keep me busy as I waited and prayed for my mother's health. I'm thankful that she's doing well. The Lord graciously used doing this project to keep my mind at peace. Here's the finish tea section!!

The New Tea Section

Wait until you see my tea section idea for the winter season!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

No Stevia, No Java Mate

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

I've never been one to get headaches. The only time I would get one is after a really busy and exciting event. But, for the past couple of weeks, I have been getting headaches for 2 days straight!! I'm one who would pray and ask for wisdom quick!! I take James 1:5 LITERALLY (as one should of course!)

Well, I noticed that after I would drink something with stevia in it, I would get a headache. I googled it (the quick "go to" for questions) and I discovered that many others would experience headaches after consuming some stevia. So I threw it away.

I fixed me a Java Mate Pumpkin Latte. After I drank some, I was beginning to feel tired and weak. "Could it be the Java Mate?" I wondered. As I drank some more, I felt fatigue again. So, I just threw it away as well.

So, I fixed me a "Cashew Cinnamon Stick" drink. I love the cinnamon taste. Here's the recipe:

4 bags of Bigelow's Cinnamon Stick tea bags
5 cups of water

I also made a copycat version of Starbucks' Cinnamon Dolce Syrup. I got the recipe here. I poured it in with the Cinnamon tea.

I then made cashew cream. I used this recipe here.

Then I poured the Cinnamon Tea and the cashew cream into a blender to mix it all together. Then I poured it into a pitcher.

When I poured a cup for myself, I confess, I got a little carried away by adding whip cream (I know, why go vegan on the creamer and NOT with the whip cream. Smh. I did have coconut milk in the fridge too. I was being lazy! LOL) Then I had the NERVE to sprinkle it with some cinnamon-sugar!!! LOL

It was good! LOL

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Fall Season!

I've come to love my tea section. It's the one area in the house that can be consider "my space". LOL As I was looking at it, the idea came to me to change it for the fall season.

I went to Dollar Tree and Walmart for my supplies. I started prepping today. After having a long day, I needed something fun to do for myself.

Glass Candle Stands

I purchased 4 glass candle stands and spray painted them orange. I look forward to making my own Apothecary Jars like this one.

Shelf Paper

I had plenty of shelving paper left from when I first decorated my tea section. I have my top tea flavors and sweetener sitting on a Lazy Susanne that's in the middle of the stand. I didn't want to paint it. So, I'm thinking of putting this orange covering on it and try to glue some flowers onto it (I thought I purchased some leaves. Good thing I already had some flowers that can be used to decorate it).

Tops to Containers

I covered around some of the tops to protect them from effecting any of the food that might touch it.

Hopefully if I'm able to finish prepping for my co-op tomorrow, I'll be able to work on the next part to the project...the TOPS of the containers. To be continued...

Dear Lord, thank You for blessing me with the ability to be creative. In Your name, Amen.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Sweet Potato Pie Latte

Although it's not Thanksgiving yet, I can't help to think about Sweet Potato Pie whenever I see anything about Pumpkin Pie. Growing up in Maryland, I never tasted (or even heard of) pumpkin pie until I was in college. LOL

When I finally tasted it, it didn't compare to my mother's sweet potato pie. Til this day, my mind goes back to seeing her staying up late on Thanksgiving Eve fixing them for our guest. After enjoying all the delicious foods, I'm ready to eat some of my mother's SWEET POTATO PIE!!

So, whenever I see Pumpkin Spice, my mind wonders, "What about Sweet Potato Pie?" I made it my MISSION to come up with a Sweet Potato Pie Creamer!! Yesterday, I succeeded!! LOL (holding my hands up like a mad scientist). Here it is.

Sweet Potato Pie Creamer
1/3 cup of Yams
1/2 cup of Chai tea
1 cup of plain coffee creamer
1 cup of brown sugar
1 Tbsp of butter
1 Tsp of cinnamon
1 1/2 Tsp of Nutmeg
1 Tsp of vanilla

Smash the yams into mush (I used canned yams). Put into a small sauce pan. Add the other ingredients and mix them all together. Let it cool. Pour it into several jars. Then place into the fridge.

This morning, I pulled it out and made this.

Sweet Potato Pie Latte
1/2 cup of the Sweet Potato Pie Creamer
1/2 cup of Java Mate Tea
1 Tsp of Stevia

Blend it all together and enjoy.

I hope to figure out a non-dairy version soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tea Protein Shakes!!

I've been missing in action for quite some time. But, you could still find me in my kitchen trying to come up with my own tea recipes.

I'm constantly trying to figure out a way to enjoy a nice hot or cold cup of tea with a creamy creamer without all of the added calories or sugars. I know I could have tea WITHOUT creamer....but that isn't me. LOL I've GOT to have some CREAM!!

Since I've become a tea lover, I have also gained back some UNWANTED WEIGHT!! (sigh) I'm not sure if it's coffee creamer, age, or just must needed hard work to loose it again. BUT, I praise God that I'm not TOTALLY at my old weight. I just want to nip it in the bud in CASE.

So, I've been working in my kitchen and searching the good old pinterest trying to come up with a solution. Then I found CASHEW CREAM!! When I found this recipe, I felt like, "Where have you been all of my life!!?) Here's the best recipe for cashew cream.

One day, I has some unused cashew cream in the fridge. I had just brewed some Java tea, mixed with some caramel sauce. I decided to add some of the cashew cream in it. I blended them together and it was GREAT!! I'll have to try the recipe again.

Since then, I've been trying to figure out how well to blend the cashew cream with other teas. It wasn't turning out so well. So, I paused with doing that and started trying to mix tea with my protein powder. Psst...I honestly wanted to make a copy cat version of Bolt Farms Chai Protein Smoothie. No luck yet.

But, I have come up with a nice Rooibos Protein Shake. Here's the recipe.

5 cups of Rooibos tea
1 jar of cashew cream

Blend them together and pour into jars.

When you are ready for your protein shake, pour a jar of the Rooibos drink into the blender with a scoop of protein powder. Add stevia for a sweeter taste. Then enjoy.