Happy Birthday Grandpa!!

This weekend we went up to visit my Grandpa for his 77th Birthday! Many of you have heard about my cute Grandpa Cherryholmes! He's the one that likes to go tag sales to find teacups for mom and I!

I think you'll all enjoy this story he recently told me about how he invited his neighbors over for afternoon tea. He said "We had loose-leaf Tea... and I served it in a teapot and teacups..." (Now, I'm sure my Grandma had a big part in this, but when Grandpa told me the story he gave her no credit! hee-hee)  He was so pleased with his teatime! And I was so proud of him! I told him that he is turning into a 'Proper English' Grandpa... and that instead of calling him "Grandpa" I should start calling him "Grand-dad" like the Brits would do!!  I do believe I have the best "Grand-dad" in the world!!

Here's a picture of my "Grand-dad" with all of us!

Teacup Thursday: "Royal Minster"

Hello Tea Friends! This is the last Thursday in February... I've had fun sharing with you some of our rose teacups. I hope you've enjoyed them too! This one here is made by Royal Minster. Its delicate roses look so cheerful and hopeful, reminding me that Spring will be here soon!! What a lovely thought! I'm excited to see some green!! Speaking of Green, for the month of March that will be my theme - green teacups!! See you next week!

Other's Who Are Participating in
Teacup Thursday!
Faith Hope & Cherrytea
Beautiful Clutter
Martha's Favorites
Breath of Fresh Air

If you'd like to join us for Teacup Thursday,
 email me here with your blog address.
I'll post a link to your blog and you can link us to yours! Thank you!

Recipe: Mardi Gras King Cake

Mardi Gras King Cake

1 Stick of Butter, melted
2/3 C Evaporated Milk
¾ C, plus 1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Envelopes of Active Dry Yeast, Regular or Rapid Rise
3 Eggs
Grated Zest of 1 Lemon
6 C Flour
4 TBSP Butter, melted
1 Egg White, for glazing

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling:
½ C Sugar
1 tsp. Cinnamon

White Icing:
2 C Powder Sugar
2 TBSP Whole Milk

Colored Sugars – ¼ Cup Each of yellow, green, red and blue

Combine 1 stick of melted butter, evaporated milk, ¾ C Sugar and salt. Stir so that the sugar dissolves, allow to cool. Dissolve the yeast in ¼ C lukewarm water along with the teaspoon of sugar. Cover and allow to stand for up to 10 minutes or until foamy. (If the yeast does not foam up, it is no good, you will have to start over with yeast and sugar…be sure your water temp is lukewarm, not hot.)

Add yeast mixture to the butter/milk mixture. Next add eggs and lemon zest; whisk together vigorously until well blended. Add one cup of flour at a time until you have a thick paste – about 3 C of flour. Then switch to a wooden spoon and continue adding flour, mixing well. Do not add more than 6 C of flour or your cake will be too dense. When you have added all of the flour, turn the dough out onto a lightly floured wooden board and knead with your hands until the dough is smooth and elastic. (About a dozen turns).


Place dough in a large clean boil that has been coated with vegetable oil, turn the dough to coat all sides with the oil; cover bowl with tea towel and allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down and divide the dough in two pieces. Roll out each half into a 10x15 rectangle. Brush each half with the 4 TBSP of melted butter and sprinkle each half with cinnamon sugar mixture. Roll up along the long end like a jelly roll. Seal the seam, using water if necessary. Braid the two rolls together, making one thick piece, form the dough into a circle, seal ends and place on a greased baking sheet.

Cover again and allow it to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour; it should double in size. Preheat oven to 350 – whisk an egg white with 1 TBSP water, and brush the top of the cake. Bake for 35 minutes or until browned and sounds hollow when tapped.

Icing – combine the sugar and milk in a small dish; if appears too thin, add more sugar…if it is too thick, add a little more milk. Drizzle over top of cooled cake then top with colored sugars. Makes about 24 thin slices…remember, you can’t have a Mardi Gras party without a King Cake!! Enjoy.

**For a more gourmet approach you can add cream cheese and fruit fillings to the cake

Teacup Thursday: Lady Sylvia

“There is always a great deal of poetry
and fine sentiment in a chest of tea”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I think this teacup here speaks of sophistication and elegance… It’s made by Elizabethan. It's name is “Lady Sylvia” and is from their Anniversary Rose Series. I wonder what the other teacups look like in the series!? Do any of you own one?  

Other's Who Are Participating in
Teacup Thursday!
Faith Hope & Cherrytea
Beautiful Clutter
Martha's Favorites
Breath of Fresh Air

If you'd like to join us for Teacup Thursday,
 email me here with your blog address.
I'll post a link to your blog and you can link us to yours! Thank you!

Valentine Teas Picture Highlights

Good Morning Tea Friends!
Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's Day!!
As promised, here are some pictures of the foods from our Valentine Teas. We always mean to take more pictures, but once everyone gets here we get busy and forget! Sorry!
We'll have to try better next time!

We started everyone out with a Tomato Bisque Soup with a little toasted heart on top

Tiered Tray...



Wishing Everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!

We had a wonderful weekend with the Love Letter Teas!! Be watching for picture highlights in the next few day!

Teacup Thursday: Another Queen Anne

Well, last week I showed you a Queen Anne teacup and told you about how I thought it would be neat to start a little collection of Queen Anne Teacups. Well, this week as I was looking through our collection teacups, trying to decide which one I wanted to feature for this weeks edition of Teacup Thursday, I came across this pretty little rose one. As I sit here to write about the name and title, I had to laugh outloud... guess who it was made by?  "Queen Anne"!  Haa-haa! I had another Queen Anne teacup that I didn't even know about!! Silly me... I wonder how many more I have in the cupboard... Looks like I've already started my collection of Queen Anne Teacups! 

Other's Who Are Participating in
Teacup Thursday!
Faith Hope & Cherrytea
Beautiful Clutter
Martha's Favorites

If you'd like to join us for Teacup Thursday,
 email me here with your blog address.
I'll post a link to your blog and you can link us to yours! Thank you!

Life on the Farm: Grayson's Igloo

It's nice to know "Someone" enjoy's the snow!

Grayson in the entrance of his New Snow Igloo!

He built it himself and says it's nice and warm inside!
I wonder if Eskimo's drink tea?

Meet our Artist Tea Friends!

Meet our artist tea friend ~ John Preston. We had the pleasure of meeting John and his wife, Cindy, at our "Out of Africa Tea" in 2008. Of course, John did not know that Spenser had been praying for God to help her find a watercolor artist to mentor her... amazingly (as God always does) he brought the artist straight to us!

We have been blessed the past couple of years getting to know John and Cindy!! Cindy with her great New York accent has also lent her services with as an 'accent' coach for one of our skits! Thanks Cindy!

A couple of weeks ago we had the great privilege of a sneak peek to John's most recent commissions... 2 Oil Murals for the Federal Land Bank in Chicago. The two murals depicted Iowa in the Summer Season ~ they were so "life-like" and "life-sized" you could almost walk right in them! With temps around 10 degrees and snow on the ground it was very tempting!
We hope you enjoy these works! As you can see, John is extremely talented! John and Cindy actually gifted our family one of his paintings for the tearoom - we feel so blessed! Be sure to take a peak at it the next time your here! We hope to have him speak at a tea event one day!

Benefits of Tea - Black and Green

I wanted to share with you an excerpt from an AOL article called "Aging Gracefully: 8 Tricks to Add Years to Your Life". In this article they gave information about the benefits of tea that I thought you all might enjoy reading!
Drink Tea
Drinking both green and black teas can help you live longer, according to a wealth of worldwide research. A 2009 study of 2,000 Chinese women suggested that drinking green tea regularly (and eating a diet rich in mushrooms) may cut cancer risk by 90 percent, while a study of over 40,000 Japanese men and women showed that those who drank five or more cups of green tea daily had the lowest chances of dying from stroke or heart disease. The caffeinated drink has high levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants (a cup contains can be as packed with antioxidants as a serving of fresh spinach). Meanwhile, black tea, which has antioxidants, too, offers its own benefits. Over 15 years, researchers recorded the tea-drinking habits of 60,000 Swedish women, ages 40 to 76. Some drank at least two cups of tea per day, while others drank less than a one cup per month. The regular tea-drinkers had a 46 percent lower risk of ovarian cancer. Experts recommend drinking at least two cups a day of the stuff you brew yourself (bottled teas seem to lose their health benefits).
Hope you all found this as interesting as I did! Have a wonderful weekend and drink some tea!  

Teacup Thursday: Queen Anne

Teatime with a friend is always filled with wonderful conversation! A few months ago, I was enjoying tea with a friend and we were commenting on her new teacup it was made by “Queen Anne”. My friend and I are both Anne of Green Gables fans, and whenever we see the name “Anne” spelt with an “e” we always think of our dear book-friend Miss Anne Shirley! (Can any of you relate?) Upon arriving home, I thought I’d take a peek through Mom and I’s collection to see if we had any “Queen Anne” teacups too! And look what I found!

Queen Anne Teacup

If you google Queen Anne Teacups you’ll find that they are all different! Which is kind of fun… I think it would be neat to have a little collection of Queen Anne teacups and then host a tea party in honor of my favorite ‘Anne’… Anne Shirley! And with that in mind, I’d like to leave you with this teatime excerpt:
I can just imagine myself sitting down at the head of the table and pouring out the tea,” said Anne, shutting her eyes ecstatically, “and asking Diana if she takes sugar! I know she doesn’t but of course I’ll ask her just the as if I didn’t know.”
~Anne of Green Gables, by L. M. Montgomery

Other's Who Are Participating in
Teacup Thursday!
Faith Hope & Cherrytea
Beautiful Clutter

If you'd like to join us for Teacup Thursday,
 email me here with your blog address.
I'll post a link to your blog and you can link us to yours! Thank you!

Gilbert the Cat's Exercise Routine

The big winter storm hit the Midwest on Monday, we have been snowed in for three days... and I think we have a case of Cabin Fever?! After reading this post you'll probably agree!!

This morning as my brother and I were out doing chores I noticed my kitty Gilbert was shivering and crying as he wandered through the snow... the poor little guy was so cold so I brought him inside to warm up. After some breakfast, he started being really silly for us, so I took some pictures. And now, I'll let him finish this post, as he's very excited to share with all you tea friends his daily exercise routine!

(Oh, and we believe that if Gilbert could talk, he'd have a European accent... judging by his little goatee, we think he might be French... so feel free to add a French accent while reading)
Today, I'd like to share with all of you my Daily Exercise Routine, it is bound to leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated!
Ready to Begin?? Start the Music!!

First take one arm and STRETCH!!!!!

Pull it back Slowly...

Relax... Breathe... and...


Again, Relax and Breathe...

Now the Other Side... And STRETCH!!!

Do Ten Sets of these...
Or Until Tired... ZzzZzz 

Thank you Gilbert for your expert advice!! haa-haa!!!
Hope you enjoyed our little bit of humor!
Until Next time... Drink Tea, Stay Warm and Safe during these Cold Winter Days! 

A Mommy Brag Moment!!

A Congratulations to Mr. Zach - Piano Extraordinaire!!

(Left to Right) Zach, Don, Grayson, Donna, Miss Spenser & Chase ~ Spring Recital 2010

 Okay...bear with me here...but as a Mom, I have the right to brag...right?! A week ago, Zachary (15) competed in the Iowa Music Teacher Association's Piano Competition. Zachary has been performing in this competition for several years now; he won State at age 13 at Level C.

This year, he was performed at Level D - his music program was about 20 minutes long and consisted of four memorized pieces, a Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary. For months now, this kiddo has been working very diligently on these pieces...practicing at least an hour or more every day. Now, let me reassure you, I am not one of those Tiger Moms, Zach just happens to love his music, so practicing is something he really enjoys.

For those of you who attended our November tea where we featured Zachary's musical abilities, you will attest to his natural ability at the piano; nothing makes me smile more than to watch him play...his musical expression is 'awing.' Of course, Mr. Zach, is one of the most humblest guys I know and would never toot his own horn...so let me do it for him!! Zachary won his competition and will now be going on to State on March 12!! We are so excited!! Thank you for allowing me to share this great achievement with you...way to go Zachary...we are all so proud of you!!

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