Monday, January 16, 2012

♥ Custom Orders ♥

I really enjoy making jewelry and making beaded teaballs also. I sold a ton of these between Thanksgiving and Christmas! I was so happy and proud of myself. I even did a few custom orders. I'm always a bit nervous about custom orders because I want it to be perfect and I want my buyer not to be just happy with it, but I want them to be thrilled! :)

I received a request for a custom order Friday for two diabetic medical alert bracelets. I have really gotten into making these. I think I might have shared before that I am diabetic and when I was diagnosed last year, I didn't want to wear one of those ugly chunky metal things. I know you know what I mean. :) So I started "playing" and made myself one. Hmmm...I thought, I wonder if other people feel the same way and hate those ugly ones? So I made a few and put them in my Etsy shop. WOW. I have sold a few and I have gotten such positive feedback on them. My favorite is how pretty they are and so much "nicer "than the photos. LOL. I admit I am a bit amateur on my photography. NOT one of my best talents, that's for sure! So I had fun making 2 bracelets this weekend...and of course, I was nervous as I sent her the pictures. I don't know why...she loved them and bought them! ;) Really I must work on this self-confidence more!

Hope you have a wonderful Week! :)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

♥ Tea on Tuesday: True Love Chocolate Cake ♥

Is it too early to start thinking about Valentine's day? Never! :)

1/4 cup butter, softened
1-2/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/4 cups water
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 carton (8 ounces) frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup candy hearts

•In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until crumbly, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce.

• Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture alternately with water, beating well after each addition. Fold in chips. Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray.

• Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

• For frosting, in a bowl, beat cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Fold in whipped topping. Frost cake. Refrigerate until serving. Just before serving, sprinkle with coconut and candy.

Yield: 24 servings.

~~yummy recipe and photo from: Healthy Cooking February/March 2009~~

Thursday, January 5, 2012

♥ It's a new year & Tea at Prim Rose Hill ♥

A new year is always so exciting to me. It's like a fresh slate, a start over. It seems like anything is possible and I always seem to feel inspired and hopeful as I look over the coming year. For 2012, I am hoping to be in better health. And to continue my journey towards being alot healthier than I have been in the past year. Part of that is weight loss, but unlike most people (which I count myself as in the past) who dream big, only to crash a few weeks, or maybe a few days later, I want to continue on what I have started.

After being diagnosed as a diabetic last year, and after much lecturing from my Dr how I should have gastric bypass surgery and I know she means well, but no, that's not for me....I embarked once again on the low-fat/calorie counting adventure...determined that this time was going to be last time. Although I have said that many, many times in the past. And so I did. For about 5 months, I starved myself and counted calories. After having metabolic testing done, I did find out that after years of yo-yo dieting my body has decided that it maintains my weight at a bit under 1700 calories a day. Now if I was to confess my body weight, you would be amazed. ;) My dietician could not believe it. She said with my weight I should be able to eat 2200 calories a day and still lose weight! Oh no. Not me. :( So I kept count 1200 daily calories and that gave me 1 lb a week weight loss. I honestly don't know how I survived this for 5 months.

My Dr kept telling me I was one of those "carb sensitive" diabetics. I eat the carbs and my blood sugar goes sky high. I eat veggies and salads and my blood sugar is happy. After 5 months of starving and only losing 22 lbs, I finally decided to listen to her and quit eating the bread, potatoes, rice, and all those yummy flour products. The result? Blood sugars are once again in the "nice" range & I lost 20 more lbs in only 2 months!! What's even better? I'm not hungry all the time! Am I eating one of those crazy low carb diets? Not exactly. I call it a "low-ER" carb diet. I'm actually vegetarian and I don't eat meat (beef, chicken, pork, etc) but I do eat fish. (No I'm not one of those crazy PETA vegetarians...I just can't digest the meat and tried to start eating fish a few years ago with success). I eat ALOT of veggies and salads with my soy protein and fish. So while I can't claim it as a "low carb" diet (most of those people only eat 25 carbs a day) I do call it a "low-er" carb diet since I eat about 50 - 75 carbs a day. With weight loss success!!

So why am I sharing this on my blog? Well I wanted to let you know I will continue to post all kinds of yummy tea goods made with flour and such. Nothing there will change! :) And I will also continue to publish yummy flour and sugar recipes on my tea blog, Tea At Prim Rose Hill. Hopefully one day I will be able to eat that again, but for me it will be awhile. I wanted to share today about a simple tea I had at home and it was all low-carb goodies. yes, I'm so proud of myself. LOL.

My husband bought me a 3-tier tray that I had seen for Christmas. I can't find alot of my tea things since we moved. I think most are still packed in storage! So while I do have trays, I didn't have one at the moment. We were sitting at the table on New Year's Day and he asked what I was going to do with it. Well use it of course! So while he went out on a service call, I decided to have "afternoon tea" ready when he came home. Talk about surprised! :) It was an impromptu tea and I really enjoyed it. I was thinking about dear Bernideen from Bernideen's Tea Time Blog and a recent post she had where she shared her tea parties from 2011. I felt inspired! It was afterall the first of the year when all things seem possible. So I thought I'd give it a try and see about having one every month. Life is too short to live without tea parties, right? :)

So I thought I'd share my little impromtu afteroon tea party on New Year's Day! Since I grew up on the Eastern Coast, I should tell you we always celebrated holidays with fresh seafood. I guess I haven't outgrown that because I still do the same even though I live 350 miles inward now in the mountains.

Wishing you a healthy and happy 2012 & year full of inspiration and creativity!

have a TEA-licious day!


Shall we start with Pan-Seared scallop salad with champagne vinaigrette & she-crab soup? The salad was featured in this month's issue of Tea Time Magazine.

My new 3-tier tray with lots of goodies!

On the bottom we have Shrimp salad on cucumber, spinach artichoke spread with smoked salmon on low-carb bread, and my low-carb cheesecake looking yummy in the background. ;)

The middle tray I tried out a new recipe for low-carb mini scones. Actually not bad!

Yummy cheesecake with strawberries

coconut macaroon cookies

And tea of course! I love these cups. The dinner set is very precious to me because they belonged to my Irish grandmother. I always loved having tea in these with her.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

♥ Tea on Tuesday: Basil Cheddar Scones ♥

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg
1 cup whole milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup prepared pesto sauce

In a large bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, combine the egg, milk, cheese and pesto. Stir into flour mixture just until moistened.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead 8-10 times. Transfer to a greased baking sheet. Pat into a 10-in. circle; cut into eight wedges but do not separate.

Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Yield: 8 scones.

~~yummy recipe and photo from: Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2003~~