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.

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

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...

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.
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!