Our King Arthur tea is here at last! I’ve been itching to introduce it all month, and now it’s FINALLY time! Last year I introduced new teas at the end of each month as part of my hint post, but writing the posts got more difficult as I struggled to tie in tea with my otherwise unrelated monthly news. I decided to remedy this by giving each new tea its own premiere post. Huzzah!
The Once and Future Tea
I love this blend! It’s simple and light, with the faintest hint of fruit and flowers. I’ve had my eye on Adagio’s eternal spring tea for ages, and an ancient king borne away to an ageless isle seemed like the perfect opportunity to include it in a blend. Eternal spring uses a white tea base with all kinds of dried fruit: mango, pineapple, apple, cranberry, and blueberry, plus some rose petals and hibiscus for good measure. The scent is intensely fruity, but since it’s a white tea, all the flavors are more airy and subdued. I mixed in snowbud, another white tea. Snowbud is made with the newest leaves and buds harvested in early spring, which results in the gentlest flavor. The mix of the two is a delicate tea with a mystical, ethereal effect. It definitely reminds me of Avalon!
Now that we’re starting a fresh new year, I want to give you guys a heads up on some changes you can expect to see around here:
DOUBLE THE POSTING, DOUBLE THE FUN. I’m planning on expanding my schedule and posting twice a week. In addition to my usual weekly recipe, I’ll also post monthly reading kits, Top Ten Tuesday linkups, new tea overviews, and one random post per month. Huzzah!
AN UPDATED THEME AND TEA PAGE. You may remember that some unexpected side effects from a theme update had me shopping for themes last August. I love the theme I found (Tweak Me by Nose Graze), but I want to change the colors and fonts, plus add an awesome header a friend made for me. Some time this month I’ll shut the site down for maintenance for a day so I can make all the updates. In the process, I’ll update our tea page so that, instead of a gallery with just names, there will be paragraph descriptions and food pairings for each tea (much like the format of our 2015 tea review).
WHAT DO WE WANT? A CONSOLIDATED PINTEREST PAGE. WHEN DO WE WANT IT? …PROBABLY SOME TIME TODAY, ACTUALLY. Originally I organized my Pinterest profile by having a board for each menu, but now there are just too many boards. Some time this week (maybe even before this goes live), I plan to condense all my menu boards down to one.
I WILL FIGURE OUT YUMMLY. I SWEAR ON A STACK OF A MILLION COOKBOOKS. I signed up for Yummly last August and was all excited about it, since it was a streamlined way for me to add printables to all my recipe posts. Unfortunately, I’ve been having trouble getting my posts to upload. When I submit my post to the Yummly database, weeks go by before it’s processed (and sometimes it never gets processed at all). I’ve been working on the problem on and off since I signed up, but now it’s time to buckle down and truly devote myself to solving it. I’m determined to fix it soon…because you beautiful Wonderlings deserve printables! 🙂
Happy 2016, folks! Is there a change you’d like to see that I didn’t mention in the list?
Leave it in a comment below, and I’ll take it into consideration! 🙂
It’s December 31st! The year is ending, and with it our Little Women menu. It’s been a fun year, folks! I’m excited to start a new one with you tomorrow, so today I decided to post something I’ve been working on for MONTHS: a full review of all of the teas we’ve made on AWR!
Back in August, I invited my friends Laura and Mary from The Twins’ Guide over to perform a very serious task: review our Alison’s Wonderland Teas. The goal was to see how the teas hold up across a range of different palates and get some ideas about which ones could be improved. There are a few teas in this post that weren’t reviewed at the party because I hadn’t created them yet (like the chocolate mocha tea). For these, I brewed them several ways over the course of weeks to be sure they created a balanced cup each time.
Below you’ll find a picture of each tea followed by its name, description, a food pairing, and notes from the review. The pictures and titles link to the page on Adagio.com where you can order each tea. Enjoy!
P.S. These are all loose teas. To brew, you can place them in a tea infuser or paper tea filter…or you can drink your tea like Professor Trelawney and brew the leaves loose in the teapot! 🙂
Happy December, folks! How was your Thanksgiving? I was home sick from mine 🙁 , but I was able to send the Mister with a batch of homemade applesauce I froze a few weeks beforehand. Yay!
In much more pleasant news, I FINISHED MY NOVEL FOR NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH! Not gonna lie, I spent almost 20 minutes last night dancing around and singing. I’m extra excited because this was my very first time doing NaNo. It was tough, but I made it!!! I definitely want to try it again next year. I already have an idea for the book I want to write! 😀
Of course, since we’ve come to the end of our November menu, we also have a new tea blend available through Adagio Teas. In honor of our Divergent menu, I created Tori’s Peppermint Tea. It’s the perfect blend of peppermint, spearmint, and lemongrass with a lemon balm and marigold inclusion: refreshing and full-flavored without the menthol sensation being too overpowering. I love it both hot and iced. In fact, it’s been one of my few comforts while I’ve been sick (nothing like mint tea with a touch of honey to soothe a sore throat). Totally my new favorite green tea!
What have we got planned for our December Book of the Month? Here’s a hint:
Howdy, folks! The Mister and I just moved into our new house yesterday (!!!), so things are pretty chaotic around here right now. Still, I’m super excited because I’m doing this year’s NaNoWrMo, so a whole month of super intense writing is just beginning for me today. Oh, and my birthday was a few weeks ago! So lots of craziness…but good craziness. 🙂
In spite of my topsy-turvy life, I managed to get my last two Agatha Christie recipes posted: Delicious Death chocolate cake and Little Belgian Truffles! As is our tradition, we’re punctuating the end of our menu with new custom teas from Adagio. I actually made TWO blends this month, since I love Agatha Christie so much and couldn’t choose between the two I designed. The first, called Hallowe’en Party, is inspired by the book of the same name and features spiced apple chai and cinnamon tea. The second tea blend is inspired by Hercule Poirot: Chocolate Mocha Tea for Ze Little Grey Cells! It’s got indulgent chocolate flavor with subtle coffee tones and just a touch of hazelnut—sure to set your brain buzzing!
Now that our Agatha Christie menu is all wrapped up with a tidy little bow, it’s time to share the photo hint for our next menu! Our November book is actually a modern book series rather than a true classic. I decided to make a menu for it after loving the first book in the series. It was such a fun read and featured food so prominently, I knew it would be a great addition to Pop Culture Corner. Without further ado, here’s your hint:
…moving quickly in a car past me and about a million other people. But it still counts.
You may have noticed that I’ve been mostly AWOL from the the interwebs since Thursday. That’s because I’ve been busy flying to Philadelphia and fangirling over Pope Francis all weekend!!! I walked more than 20 miles over the span of 3 days: first site seeing in Philly and then gettin’ down with my Catholic self at the Festival of Families and the Papal Mass. SO MANY PEOPLE! SO MUCH EXCITEMENT! 😀
Needless to say, this made blogging a bit tricky. In fact, I pretty much failed at sharing my last Monty Python post on Facebook/Twitter. So I decided to make up for it by posting the shares today and linking to it here (better late than never, right?). If it’s any consolation, we’re finishing up our Monty Python menu today by adding a new custom tea to our Adagio collection: Monty Python’s Coconut Camelot Tea! Click on the link or the pic below to see a description of the tea and details on how to order.
Wow…with our Monty Python menu finished up, that means it’s almost October! HOW can it be almost October, guys? I could have sworn September just started yesterday. Then again, this month has been super busy for me, and not just with papal visit plans. I interviewed Jonathan Stroud about his new book tour a couple weeks ago, and I just finished my next Real Life at Home guest post. Plus, the Mister and I are moving on Halloween, and I’m doing NaNoWrMo this November. In short: CHAOS! It’s really no wonder October snuck up on me. Still, I’m SUPER excited for our new menu, especially since it involves one of my favorite authors! Want a hint as to what it could be? Check out the picture below!
Now then, I’m going to find a lovely little corner of my apartment in which to curl up and sleep off my 7 am flight from yesterday (if I wake up and see my shadow, we get 6 more weeks of fall).
Howdy and happy September, Wonderlanders! I’m currently editing up a very special menu for our SECOND Movie of the Month! Remember when we made Star Wars food for our first Movie of the Month, and it was awesome? Those Dry Rub BBQ Bantha Steaks are still my favorite steak recipe, hands down. ^.^
The new menu premieres on Thursday, so be sure to swing by and check it out! If you want to take a guess at what the Movie of the Month will be, here’s a hint:
Til then, try this cool food quotes quiz by Cait from Paper Fury where you match books to food quotes. I did ok (13 out of 19). The contemporary lit did me in, but I completely SMOKED the classic book quotes! ^.^ Question: Can I feel proud of myself for knowing the Game of Thrones quote…if the only reason I know it is because I have the GoT cookbook?
I have one last piece of news before I go finish my editing: we’ve made a new tea blend! In honor of our Odyssey menu, we’ve released Calypso’s Tea, our very first green tea. It has subtle hints of pineapple, peach, passion fruit, and oranges with an inclusion of hibiscus petals and coconut flakes. The tropical fruit makes it a great iced tea, but it’s also earthy enough to work as a hot tea too. You can order it through Adagio here or by clicking on the appropriate caption in our tea gallery.
NOTE: I’m a member of the Adagio Affiliate Program, which means I get a commission for every Adagio order placed as a direct result of a link from my site. If you see a tea you like but want to order it later, please come back to this site and click on one of our Adagio links to take you to their site. That way Adagio can track the order back to Alison’s Wonderland Recipes. Thanks for helping keep AWR up and running!
For years, my reason for not attending comic book conventions was simple: I don’t read comic books. No better reason than that, right? Well, a month ago the Mister (a big video game and comic book fan) asked me if I was interested in going to our local comic con, Wizard World Chicago. I thought, why not? With him working full time and attending grad school, it’s not often we get to spend a whole day together. Plus, my geeky horizons have widened considerably over the past couple years. I still love my books and tea, but now I’ve added things like Star Trek and Firefly to the mix. I still don’t have much interest in comic books, but I figured the convention might still be fun anyway. Turns out I TOTALLY wasn’t giving it enough credit.
Sherlock and Star Wars pillows by Craft Encounters
Tree mugs by Mesiree Ceramics (they had Totoro mugs too!)
This was a tea booth with steampunk flair!
When we got to the convention hall yesterday, it was PACKED. There were hundreds of people in the main lobby alone. Our first stop was the vendor hall, and I was floored by the huge variety of things there. We’re talking Hogwarts house bathrobes, hobbit hole watercolor paintings, leather Celtic journals, steampunk coffee presses, Star Trek oven mitts, and of course all things superhero. We stopped by a gaming room where the Mister played Super Smash Bros, and there were even Q&A panels with Youtube stars, comic book creators, and famous actors. We went to the Firefly panel and saw Nathan Fillion, Adam Baldwin, and Summer Glau! * insert fangirl squeal here *
And these are the spoils of my lovely trip to the vendor hall: a custom quote pillow, handmade stoneware Totoro mug, and two custom teas (Red Queen and Irish Whiskey Cream).
As you can see, we’ve got a new look around here! You may recall my special post a few days ago, where I explained that some unexpected problems with my previous blog theme had me hunting for a new one. This gorgeous new theme (courtesy of Nose Graze) caught my eye right away, since it’s so customizable. Unfortunately, it took me almost three whole days to get it set up, but I promise I have a good reason:
This awesome little guy is my brand new nephew (and soon to be godson!). I’ve been staying at my sister’s place the last couple days to help out with the new baby, which hasn’t left much time for blogging…but it HAS left lots of time for baby cuddles and playing pretend with my 3-year-old niece. The toddler and I even colored some leftover sugar cookies (from my Candied Flower Cookie recipe) with some special food markers I had on hand.
Howdy, folks! I just got back from ringing in July in the best way possible: 5 days of cabin camping with old college buddies! It’s a summer tradition that started 5 years ago. Now that we’re scattered across 3 different states, it’s the most important way we keep in touch. Despite the mosquitoes and lack of cell reception, it’s the highlight of my summer. There’s just something magical about age old inside jokes, ice cream cone s’mores, and late-night discussions about how The Lego Movie is basically The Matrix.
On our way to get groceries for the cabin, we stopped at a Mickey D’s for wi-fi so I could post our final Tom Sawyer recipe: Tom’s Whitewashed Jelly Doughnuts. I brought the leftover doughnuts with me to share at the cabin, and my oh my were they popular, especially with blackberry jam (possibly more so than the original raspberry jam I used). If you’re looking for a drink to go along with your own jelly doughnuts, we just released our Tom Sawyer tea from Adagio: Becky’s Peach Tea! Click here or the image below to visit our tea gallery!
But you’re REALLY here for your Book of the Month photo hint, right? No worries, I’ve got it right here: