Saturday, December 17, 2011

Take the Chill off with The Boston Tea Company

The Boston Tea Company

I can remember well when my love for tea began.  About 10 years ago I moved to Virginia and met a wonderful woman, Miss Nancy who just loves everything tea from gorgeous tea pots, tea, cute little healthy sandwiches,  to her amazing home made scones.  I went to one tea party hosted by Miss Nancy, and I was introduced to world that went far beyond my small concepts of tea.  It included everything from gourmet herbal teas to healthy green teas to exotic teas in loose leaf form.  To put it simply, I. Was. Hooked.

Fast forward and I have now moved to a different state and haven't seen Miss Nancy in about six years, but the love for tea she awakened in me is just as strong today as it was 10 years ago when I attended my first tea party.

I was completely Delighted this week to receive a box from The Boston Tea Company containing a variety of teas for me to try.  I received the Fair Trade Certified Cranberry & Blood Orange Rooibos Red Tea, Earl Grey Green Tea, Gingerbread Spice Tea, Blackberry Black Tea, and Finest Grade Coconut Joy Black Tea.

It was a hard choice choosing which I would drink, but I decided to try the Blood Orange Rooibos Red Tea first because I can just see Miss Nancy now selecting this tea to drink while teaching the Ladies' Sunday School Class.    I was not disappointed.  It is a really light tea with just the right balance of both the Cranberry and Blood Orange flavors.  It smelled so good that I caught my 12 year old Max sneaking a sip and I gave in and let him make his own cup.

I know you want to know more now, so let me satisfy your curiosities.  The Boston Tea Company proudly offers teas that originate from the plantations from South Africa, Sri Lanka as well as the Mountain regions of China and India.  All the teas are hand-picked and processed using traditional old world processes.  Lastly, yet equally important, all tea from The Boston Tea Company are Kosher Certified by the "rabbinical supervision of the Orthodox Union"  so all my friends can enjoy!

Where Can I get them?
That's the easy part.  The Boston Tea Company can be purchased online here  and you can also keep up to date with the company via Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer:  I received no monetary compensation for this review; however, I did receive one or more products mentioned in this post to facilitate my review.  I was not required to post a positive review, and all opinions expressed are honest and uniquely my own!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I have a favor to ask of you my dear readers!

I have a friend from high school whom I haven't seen in years, but do communicate with on a regular enough basis via our wonderful Social Network Facebook.  Our youngest sons are almost the same age.  In fact, they were born within just a few weeks of one another so both are 2.5 years old, so we have a lot in common right now.

I don't know the entire story, but her darling baby is in ICU and it has been a scary go for the baby, my friend and her family.  Something went wrong with his stomach so the doctors gave the baby an enema which went wrong and absorbed in his body causing his phosphorus levels to rise dangerously high and his other levels to drop.  The end result is that they had to remove a foot of his intestine which died and he is still in ICU with a tube in his mouth.

The doctors are saying he is slowly progressing, but he isn't alert a lot yet and they think it will be a long recovery in the Hospital.

Whatever it is you believe in, prayer, Higher power, positive thinking, whatever, will you please do this for my friend?  I know she would appreciate it and this little baby needs all the prayers and positive thoughts he can get now!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Thirsty Thursday-Oregon Chai

Earlier this week I was blessed to receive a package in the mail from Oregon Chai Tea company.  My first thought was that I didn't recall any communication with the company about a review, but then I remembered I entered a sweepstakes a while back and turns out I am a winner!

I was thrilled when I opened the box to find a quart of Chai Tea concentrate and a great coffee mug.  Nothing thrills me more than choosing a special mug to drink from every morning!


I really had never heard much about Oregon Chai Tea company other than to see products listed online so I went to find out for myself the story behind this company.  Turns out the company's owner headed to the Himalayas in 1991 for a break and met a man who introduced her to a product he was selling.  The result?  Immediate love!  She came home and started the process of mixing a little of this and that until she concocted this wonderful tea!

My absolute favorite thing about this company is that 90% of their products are completely organic.  The only exception is their sugar free version that uses Splenda for diabetics and other people who are watching their sugar intake.  So while those products aren't organic, they are a very good thing since it markets to an entire community of people who can now enjoy their products.  Oh, and even better yet?  They have a vegan version!  You read that properly, even my vegetarian and vegan friends can enjoy Oregon Chai Tea!

Now for the real life opinion.  I couldn't wait to try this tea because years ago I used to frequent a coffee house that sold Chai and it was my favorite drink on the menu.  I quickly heated and frothed my milk, mixed in equal quantities of the concentrate and milk taking my first taste.  My initial thought was this is awesome!  It was honestly everything I had anticipated.

In my opinion, Chai Tea is a true "comfort food."  When all else is going wrong, I can warm up a cup of Chai and it's warmth just takes over and has a calming effect.  I think the only better thing would be a warm bubble bath with a cup of Chai (or wine if no chai is available)!

Where can I get mine you ask?  No problem, you can buy them right on the website, and they really aren't that expensive.  Also, the more you by, the more you save so if you buy one, you pay a set rate, but if you buy 6 or 12 you pay less per each.  Go ahead and buy yours, you know you want to!  What better to give your Holiday guests than a warm cup of Chai for Breakfast or after a cold night of Christmas Caroling?

Update 8/1/2012:  Just last month I stopped by the local coffee shop to grab a cup of hot chai because I was running on no sleep and four energetic kids!  I was so sad.  It was not good at all.  It was barely sweet (so I had to add several packets of honey) and the flavor was just off.  I don't know what the problem was but it was missing the very distinct flavor of cardamom that is inherently unique to Chai.  On my honor, my first words to my 13 year old were "this is awful, and I really need some Oregon Chai."  I came home and got online to purchase myself some Oregon Chai, and I am happy again.  A whole year later, my thoughts are still that this is the best chai I have drank, and I am a loyal customer!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

What the Pets REALLY do while we're sleeping!

A Week ago Max was sick sick sick with a virus and this is what I discovered mid day!


Max and Ruby


Touch my remote and I'll bite you, grrrrr!


Watching the Dog Show on Animal Planet!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Slap Yo Mama!

You read the title correctly folks!  Today is Tasty Tuesday and I am featuring my Mama's homemade Banana Pudding.  Where does the Slap Yo Mama come in?  Last year my friend Donna was asking for a good Banana Pudding recipe and I told her once she tried mine, she won't ever look for another unless she becomes diabetic from eating it!  The next day, She has not only made and eaten the pudding, she has posted it on Facebook and Renamed it Ally's Slap Yo Mama Banana Pudding.  It REALLY is that good, all bias aside.

Here is your one disclaimer.  If you are borderline diabetic, sensitive to sugar, or only like things "slightly sweetened" move on.  This recipe isn't for you.  If you understand Southerners need for butter, sugar and more butter and sugar, then look no further!  I have JUST what the doctor prescribed!

This is actually my ODS Max's favorite dessert in the world, and since he hasn't been well for a while, I made this for him yesterday.  True to form he was up this am asking for some more Nana pudding for Breakfast!

Ally's Slap Yo Mama Banana Pudding.
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
pinch of salt
2 TBS corn starch
1 TBS Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla 
2 Cups of Whole Milk
8 oz of cream cheese at room temp and cut into slices
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tub of cool whip

In a pot, whisk together sugar and eggs until well blended, add in salt and milk and heat over medium heat stirring constantly until bubbling and eventually thickens.  This process takes about fifteen minutes, and be sure to stir constantly so you don't scorch your pudding.

When pudding is sufficiently thick, stir in the cream cheese until completely melted and place in the fridge to cool. Meanwhile, fold together the cool whip and sweetened condensed milk and gently fold into completely cooled pudding.

In serving bowl layer bananas then Nilla Wafers and top with half the pudding mixture and repeat process.  Garnish as desired and completely chill.  This pudding tastes better COLD because of the cream cheese, but also tastes pretty good warm.

Note, if you have a large family like I do, you can always double the recipe which is what I always do.