Monday, December 20, 2010

Three Year Christmas Decoration Hiatus: Terminated.

Hello Friends!
As you may, or may not know, after the Christmas of 2006, I decided I was no longer going to decorate my house for Christmas. There were a lot of reasons for this, which I am not going to go into, however, this year, the decorating suspension has been lifted, and there are a few glimmers of Christmas Sparkle over here at #304.
Why the reason for the change of heart? This adorable three piece Nativity, handmade by a 9 year old girl as part of the Water 4 Christmas Fundraiser on Etsy. (Complimented by a lovely camel ornament which seems to fit the scene well). The only problem is, Baby Jesus is as tiny as a fingernail, I'm worried I'm going to lose him!

Part of the decorating process included sorting and tossing the decor that I have stored in my loft for the past three Decembers. Stuff I am not particularly attached to. Most of it was tossed. Some put back in storage for another time. But, I was inspired to pull out a few of my favorites.




After all of that hard work, I treated myself to what else, the very blog appropriate, Candy Cane Green Tea, in an adorable Candy Cane Mug, that I totally forgot I had! It actually tastes better this way!




“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
(Matthew 1:23 ESV)


Joy to the World , the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.


Monday, December 6, 2010

I May Have a Problem

I mean. Just a little one.

Yesterday, I decided that I needed to find a home for all of the tea I had purchased in Europe. And, not in Europe.

So I cleared out a bottom drawer, which used to hold paper plates and plastic cutlery, and found a new home for my treasures.

It's a fabulous drawer. It is pretty deep, although the sides don't go all the way up. I started placing all of my teas inside, filling it all the way to the back.

Then I remembered I had more tea in the cabinet above the stove. So I added a second layer of teas.

Here is the final arrangement:

What you can't see is the bottom layer, and the boxes of tea that are the farthest back. This also doesn't include the looseleaf teas I have stored on the back ledge of my stovetop.

My name is Kim, and I have a drinking problem.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Miss me?

Ho! Ho! Ho!
It has been a while since I have given you, my faithful readers, some nuggets of delicious blogging!

Well, most of you know, I gave up candy and chocolate for the month of November. It actually went by rather fast, but there were a few treats that had to be passed over.

Good news, I have lived to tell the tale!

I had to forgo some delicious cupcakes, and yes, Red Velvet is considered chocolate.

No Hot Chocolate either. And it's been cold.

Thankfully, I have been sustained with Trader Joe's Decaf Peppermint Green Tea with a pump of Sugar Free Vanilla Torani Syrup (try it, trust me, you won't regret it).

But this morning, December 1st, I ended my chocolate hiatus with this delectable doozy:
A cuppa-joe splashed with Coffeemate's Peppermint Mocha creamer. Delicious.

And the funniest part, I read the ingredients, and it doesn't include a spec of chocolate. I could have had it all along!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fall in Love With Pumpkin

Hello Readers!
Good news, Fall is here!

Better news, it's PUMPKIN season!

The other night, I dangerously wandered into Cost Plus, and I should have known better. After perusing their standard tea selection, international candy fare, and unique accessories I stumbled upon their seasonal display. Whoops.
Pumpkin treats and fall decor galore!
Before I knew it, my basket was full of orange wrapped goodness.

The total damage was:
  • Pumpkin Ginger Tea
  • Maple Pecan Tea
  • Pumpkin Spice Coffee
  • Pumpkin Scone Mix
  • Pumpkin Bark
  • and a REALLY cute owl for my fall display at work.
This morning I baked the pumpkin scones - and let me tell you, run, don't walk, to get yourself a bag of this mix! It turned out delicious, and was super easy to make (just add water)! They were really pumpkin-y and really soft. I would not lie to you.

Of course I paired my fresh baked scone with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee - with hints of cloves and nutmeg. My two favorite hints.I call this breakfast my "Fall Delight". So go get your own, you will be delighted.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wii LOVE Cupcakes!!!

Saturday night I had a few ladies over to play some Wii! We busted open my newest game, Gold's Gym Dance Workout. Together, four of us burned the equivalent of a piece of bacon and a chicken nugget. That was the good news.

The bad news was, earlier in the day, my lovely sister (I'd insert a blog link here if she had one...Sister, get one!) and I were shopping in the City, and utilized the restroom at Starbucks. As we exited back on to O'Farrell, Laura freezes, points, and says,
"What is that? Is that a cupcake shop? It is a cupcake shop. We are going there."
with more force and demand than I have ever heard from her. (She is more serious about cupcakes than I am!)

Obviously, I was not going to object. We did a little more shopping, and made our way back to, Cako (really, with the name? Not to mention the fact that their logo looks like it say "caka", anyway). On our way over, we discussed what flavors we wanted and whether we wanted to eat them now, or later. Red Velvet would be a must, but there would be more flavors to choose from.

CuppaKim: What if we just get half a dozen, and then we can pick a few different flavors and we can have them tonight?

CuppaSis: Ok, but how about, we just get a dozen!!!!

CuppaKim: ...OK!

Once in Cako, we let a few customers go ahead of us, since our order was going to be slightly high maintenance...in the end we bought a dozen, and got one free:

1 x S'mores
1 x Caramel
1 x Oreo
1 x Pink Champagne
1 x Nutella
1 x Coconut
2 x Mint Chocolate
2 x Chocolate Strawberry
3 x Red Velvet

Laura brought the Nutella to her husband, Matt. I dropped off a Chocolate Mint to my dad. And that left 11 cupcakes for 5 girls. We MAY have had eyes bigger than our stomachs.

I must also give Laura credit for reminding me to use my cupcake stand - SO CUTE.


And major shoutouts to Cari, who had previously given me these incredibly appropriate napkins:


I think the cupcakes were a hit:


But then again, when are they not?

Jett Cakes: Take 2

Last Tuesday, I took an inaugural visit to the Jett Cakes Truck - it was fabulous.

When I returned to work that afternoon, I had one cupcake left to deliver - so I put it in the work fridge. When I took it out to take home one of my coworkers asked what I had, I told her about my Jett Cakes adventure (she actually is the one who told me about Jett Cakes in the first place!)

Anyway, on Friday, she decided to track down the truck and get a few cupcakes for her brother-in-law's birthday - and was kind enough to take orders from the rest of the office!

I had decided that I already had hit my cupcake quota for the week, and passed on the offer. In the mean time, I tweeted Jett Cakes to find out what flavors were offered that day.

I probably shouldn't have done that because what I got back was the following:

Today's flavors: chocolate, choc mint, vanilla, lemon, apple, red velvet, banana nutella, coconut, choc/vanilla swirl, caramel fleur de sel

Do you see that last one? CARAMEL FLEUR DE SEL? That would translate to Salted Caramel. I love salted caramel. LOVE.

So, of course, I emailed my coworker and changed my order - and threw in an extra chocolate mint for dad.


Please do not divide by when I tell you the caramel fleur de sel may be the best cupcake I have ever had, EVER.

The coarse salt was generously sprinkled over the caramel colored icing, which made me a little nervous, but at first bite, the zip of the "sel" paired with the sweetness of the icing was similar to that same experience you get from a chocolate covered pretzel, which leaves your mouth saying:
WHAT IS THIS AMAZINGNESS I AM TASTING!?!
The cupcake beneath had the most unique texture, the outer edges had a chewiness to them, a little bit like a a crust that had been glazed with a bit of sugar. Combine the two and what you have is a cupcake that is utterly
Heavenly.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yumi-ness

If you live in San Mateo, you know about Yumi Yogurt.

In fact, you probably LOVE Yumi Yogurt.

You are willing to wait in line for 20 minutes in the 90 degree evening heat on the hottest night of summer just for a child's size fro-yo. (You know, when summer nights are actually hot, unlike this year, BOO!)




So, of course, I follow Yumi on Twitter.

At this point, are you thinking, "Where is she going with this, this is not a blog about frozen yogurt!"?

I'm getting there...

The whole point of following the Yumi Twitter is to get the listing of daily flavors (so convenient!).

On Thursday, right as I was leaving on my lunch break to run some errands, Yumi tweeted their day's flavors, including, get this, Carbolite & WowCow Pumpkin AND Cupcake!!!

Suddenly, my errand route included a stop at the Yumi.

I sampled the Pumpkin, delightful as always. I love that Yumi is ushering in the fall season, and I have been feeling fall-ish ever since.

But in the interest of this blog, I got a full cone of Cupcake.


Sweet, tasty, delicious. And, only approximately 150 calories (boosh!).

Not distinctively cupcake-y, but scrumptious nonetheless.

A Few Housekeeping Items!

Hello Faithful Readers!
Just wanted to let you know about a few changes you may see around the blog! If you haven't yet, check out the new blog header - scroll up - (Google Reader users you can click through).

Also on the right column is my very new, very CUTE button! Copy & paste the HTML to your blog's blogroll to spread the word about A Cuppa Kim. (Thanks in advance!)

Both the header and the button were designed by the lovely Becky Lee over at Adopt Africa Digital Designs. She is really talented and offers affordable blog designs. I have to say, working with her was a lot of fun - she communicated really quickly, took my vision and used her own creativity to make the cute icons that you see now!



So, thank you Becky Lee!

Otherwise, stay tuned, I have a few more posts in the works, hope to have them up shortly.

<3

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keep On Truckin'

I'm gonna let you in on a little secret...

Cupcake Trucks.

Oh, no she didn't.

But, she so, so did.



The cupcake truck, owned by Marianne Jett aka JettCakes cruises around the Peninsula peddling her pretty pastries, and I have been dying to check it out.

The truck usually parks near my work about once a week (sometimes more, sometimes less), but I hadn't really had the opportunity to stop by.

Yesterday, before I left to my weekly lunch date with the lovely Wendy, I saw on Twitter, that JettCakes would be nearby! Hey! Hey!

I swung by, and after parking illegally creatively over at Oracle, I walked up to the uber cute IceCream Cupcake Truck.

Since Wendy just turned Thirty, Flirty, and Fabulous, I wanted to snag some treats to celebrate! I picked up half a dozen: three Red Velvets, one Chocolate Mint, one Carrot Cake, and one Chocolate Banana.

JettCakes run $2.50 per cuppa-cake, which in the world of designer cupcakes, is definitely reasonable.

I let Wendy pick her poison, and she chose the irresistible Chocolate Mint - I mean, who can resist a cupcake garnished with an Andes Mint? I could smell its deliciousness as I opened the box.

I, of course, chose a Red Velvet. Yeah, and the biggest one too. Whoops. I bit into it, and the cupcake was so amazing it started to crumble in my hand - time to grab a fork. I finished up that puppy utilizing the utensil - and it was SO, SO good.

Of course, I let the Birthday Girl select another treat to satisfy her Prego cravings - and she chose the second Red Velvet.

After lunch, inspired by JettCakes, it was almost like Ravigail became a Cupcake-SUV in her own right, and the Chocolate Banana and Carrot Cake were delivered to the parental units, and the final Red Velvet to the sis.

So, the secret's out.

Bottom Line:
Cupcakes.
From a truck.
Practically delivered to my door.
Red Velvet.
and other creative flavors.
YUMMY.

Jett Cakes absolutely deserves 5 out of 5 sugar cubes!

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Cuppa Warnemunder Morgensonne

Say what?

Yeah, that is one of the teas that I picked up abroad.

For some reason, I had it in my head that it translated to the Warnemunde Morning Blend...

From what little German I know, I should have guessed something different...it seems German words are whatever the sound most like in English...hence Morgen = Morning (I had that part down) and Sonne = You guessed it, SUN.

Anyhoodle - this local Warnemunde find isn't your standard morning breakfast black tea blend...


Nope, it is a fruity, colorful, textured, herbal (I'm guessing here, since I can't read anything on the bag) variety.

So it was quite to my delight when I opened the little bag and found a mixture of tea that actually looks more like a trail mix than tea!

But my first morning back Stateside I brewed myself a little cuppa (in my uber chic, uber functional, Danish designed mug, that cost more than I'd like to admit...but that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE and no, you can't borrow) - and sipped on this cranberry colored, tangy treat!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Pirate's Booty

So...last week I was sailing the Seven Seas Countries.

Along the way I did my best to bring home some relics from each stop. Mostly, I was on the hunt for TEA!!!



I brought the most tea home from England.

I got the priciest tea in Denmark.

I was delighted by the fragrance of tea from Germany.

I bought a boring pack of Lipton in Finland, however in varieties we don't have in the USA

and I found Royal Tea in Sweden.

I also bought two tea containers, and two overpriced, but absolutely fabulous, mugs.


So next time you are over, be sure to ask me to brew you a hot cuppa, I have plenty to go around.

Birthday Lovin'

Some of you know I turned the fabulous age of 29 at the end of last month...

A few of you showered me with some serious Tea goodies...

One of you, knowing my other love, gave me this Juicy lil bobble:


Cupcake Jewelry? Pretty, please!

With a cherry on top!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Orange You Glad It's My Birthday?


I am fortunate to work with a group of fabulous peeps who love to celebrate birthday - with cake. Or CUPCAKES.

A few of us rotate making or bringing the treats. Tradition states that one or two of us will whisper (or IM) the plan of setting up the celebrations in the kitchen, while another passes out the party hats. (Yes, we wear party hats.)Usually the Happy Birthday sign is hung at your desk so when you show up to work on the day of your celebration things are festive. Well, as festive as can be in an office.

This year, my coworkers did not disappoint. Cake duty was assigned. Party hats were passed. And of course, Happy Birthday was sung.

I work with someone who could go head to head with Martha (yes, as in Stewart), and win. She has made many-a-Martha recipe for these celebrations. Her cupcakes always take the cake!

Using her near professional skills, she made an Orange Poppyseed Cupcake, sans the poppyseeds (now I can pass that drug test, phew!). A cupcake made from scratch, with real Odwalla Orange Juice in the recipe. A lightly whipped cream cheese frosting, zested with real orange peel.


Can you say yum?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Non-Fat Light Ice Cuppa Vanilla Chai

What do you do when temperatures threaten 105*?

You ice your Cuppa.

My afternoon standard is a (reusable) bottle of water, and a hot cuppa tea. Every day. Always.

But today is just too dang HOTT. (Yeah, two T's. It's that HOTT).

Anyhoodle - I whipped myself up a li'l Iced Chai! Nom. Nom.


Ingredients:
2-3 Vanilla Chai Teabags (I used 2, Bigelow, should have used 3, Vanilla variety is optional)
1 Tray Ice Cubes
1 Mug Hot Water
1-2 Tsp Fat Free Vanilla Coffeemate

Instructions:
Steep teabags in hot water until DARK brewed (should have gone a little longer).
Fill drinking glass with ice cubes and Coffeemate.
Pour brewed tea over ice.
Stir well.
Sit back, close your eyes, and imagine you were just handed a cool Iced Chai from your Sherpa after a long day of hiking Everest...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Birth-Tea Girl!!

It is probably a good sign that my friends know me very well when all of the gifts I receive are ALL tea related.

Despite my specific instructions of NO GIFTS, my dear, and long time friend Ellen delivered a sweet gift to me at Bible Study:
My absolute favorite tea - Tazo Orange Blossom (from Starbucks). And a super cute pink flower hair clip (LOVE!). The card is adorable as well. I love me some Oreos (do they make Oreo tea?). Interestingly enough, about 15 minutes before I opened this gift, I was complaining to EMJ how I can never seem to find the Orange Blossom Tea on the shelves at Starbucks. Welp, problem solved.


Secondly, my lovely, and beautiful sister treated me to a weekend away from this cold, cold San Francisco summer to the warm, ok HOT Arizona heat. We had a fantastic time soaking up the shade, enjoying the (a little bit too warm) pools, and catching up on our reading. In addition to the lovely time away, she also gifted me with a dinner out, AND the a gift card to Teavana along with the cutest looseleaf tea container EVER! (Which apparently, according to the Teavana experts is a MUST HAVE - metal. No glass. No plastic.)

Thankfully, now that I am properly equipped, my contraband glass containers will be put to shame.


And finally, the lovely Jessica, known for her generosity and thoughtfulness also broke the no-gifts rule (seriously people, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS) and gave me Way. Too. Much. First off, she gave me the cutest little Asian style Teapot, complete with a little Warming Stand where you place...get this....a TEA LIGHT. It also comes with two matching tea cups. Adorable.

And of course, she went overboard and also included a tin of my favorite Orange Blossom Tea (yeah, I guess I talk about it a lot), and a Starbucks gift card.

Now I'm totally set - with a tea set. :)

Thanks Ladies! You all make me laugh. All of this tea warms my heart - and hands.

A Farewell to Cupakes

No, I'm not swearing off cupcakes for good. I wouldn't dream of it. I couldn't.

Nor am I swearing off my dear friend Margaret.

In fact, there isn't much swearing going on at all.

However, there is some cupcake enjoyment.

Today Marge and I had a little farewell lunch - because, I'll be leaving and sailing the high seas (on a quest to find the best Cuppa's along the Baltic Sea)...and she'll be headed down to Southern California for school before I get back. SAD DAY, right?

Anyhow, after enjoying our final Una Mas lunch, outside, enjoying the long awaited warm weather - we headed over to Nob Hill where we split a Red Velvet cupcake from the bakery. $1.99 is a pretty fair price! Would the cupcake live up to our standards?

Survey says...
YES.

Not the best, but not bad. Very dense, very rich, very chocolatey. Filled with cream cheese is always a welcome feature.

Adios Margaritaville! I don't know how much of the fun will be coming to me, since you will be living in a different half of the state.

And remember, daily email updates. Every day. The entire semester. Do it.

A Cuppa-Copenhagen?

Set the scene:
Kim & Margaret.
Saturday evening.
Burlingame Ave.
A long day of Horse Back Riding.
Starbucks pasta salad and hummus plate for dinner.
Shopping in Banana Republic.
Need to Pee.
No bathroom at BR.
But there is one next door.
You can't walk by that display case without looking.
$2.95 for a Red Velvet is proposed.
Accepted.
Split.
Cream cheese center!!!


And enjoyed.
A lot.

A Cuppa & The Word

Every other Monday my intercom system calls my house and moments later some of the lovely ladies who are committed to the planting of Hope Church of San Mateo flood my apartment. Usually a few come with their dinners in tow. We sit around my living room, and dive into God's precious Word, specifically the book of Acts (appropriate for a Church Plant, no?)

The first few weeks I provided them with some of my favorite teas. It is the perfect excuse to pull out my tea tray, teapot, and teacups.

This last Monday, the ever hospitable EMJ bestowed our group with the gift of tea! One of the perks of her employment at Starbucks is her access to some of my favorite teas. She brought to us a tin of Vanilla Rooibos!

I got the water boiling, steeped a few teabags, and next thing we knew we were enjoying a great Cuppa while studying His Word.



To make things even sweeter, Ellen had just returned from a trip to Oregon, bringing back some cheek puckering Lemon Tea Cookies and Chocolate Cranberry Truffles. Delish!

I can totally relate...

The Double Play

There isn't much of a better combo than a sweet-treat and a warm bev-mo.

A week and a half ago Margaret, Angela, and I met up with Betsy and her PCC friends for an Open Mic Nite in Redwood City. As much as I can't resist cupcakes, I have a harder time resisting microphones.

It's a disease.

Anyway, we met up at La Tartine, where I had been kindly informed by a coworker of their delightful pastries.

I also negotiated being treated to a treat as compensation for my attendance at said event. It worked out well.

After perusing the shiny glass case of delicacies and chalkboard drink menu I decided on a decaf Cafe au Lait and a Boston Cream Cupcake.


Its like coffee and cake were designed to go together (isn't that why they have coffee-cake?).

I'm a sucker for coffee served in a clear pedestal glass. I think when it looks pretty it just tastes better. Don't you?

I was slightly disappointed that the coffee didn't have a swirly design on top (as I had been told it would) - but it tasted good anyway.


The cupcake was ok. It definitely was pretty on the outside. It was a very traditional Boston Cream Pie style cupcake - a more dry, biscuit like cake, custard filling, and fudgy icing. I think my favorite part was the super cute, super tiny, dessert fork that it was served with.

A Warm Cuppa-Welcome!

Hello, and welcome to your new favorite blog.

Okay, it may not be your new favorite blog, however, it's still new. And a blog. So, welcome.

You may be wondering what you are going to find here.

Well, I'm not completely sure yet, but you are invited to come along for the ride.

Three things I promise:

I'll blog when I enjoy a good Cuppa-Tea.

I'll blog when I enjoy a good Cuppa-Joe.

and I'll blog when I enjoy a good Cuppa-Cake.


Basically this blog is about the three edible loves of my life - Tea, Coffee, and Cupcakes. My fourth love is Hot Dogs, although you can't really put "Cuppa" in front of that....but I'm not going to promise that I won't blog about them too.

So grab your favorite mug and hang on!