Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A November Chrysanthemum tea

Its been awhile since I have done a "real" tea party with my china, so I thought it was time for the flower of the month tea I've had planned for awhile--a chrysanthemum tea!

One of my local grocery stores (Wegmans) has a long and wonderful tea aisle, including tins full of loose leaf teas that are self service.  In that way, you can get just enough to try something new...including my find a couple of months ago of chrysanthemum tea!

The tin was full of dried whole chrysanthemum flowers, that made for a lovely tea as soon as I added hot water to my small glass teapot.

This tea is very mild and is caffeine free.  I enjoyed it with a bit of sugar (ok, two whole lumps), but I just had to put some milk on the tray too so I could use my new glass creamer and sugar set even though the tea doesn't need milk.

I really like the art deco look of this set.
Little petals drift on the top of the light yellow tea after I poured it into my cup.
I'm enjoying tea in my Royal Crown Derby demitasse set, a gift from my sister, who knew that I had been looking for one of these Imari sets for my collection. 
What better snack to go with a November tea than pumpkin, like this pumpkin mini-bundt cake?
Thanks for stopping by!  I'm joining the tea parties below:
  Sandi's No Place Like Home

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Final touches of a Disney Fall

Here is the last most to share the last bits of my Disney trip--Disney's Hollywood Studios Park and the hotel we stayed at this time--the Carribean beach.

Let's start with the park.  There were a couple of surprises.  The first one was outside of the gates:

Elsa and Anna topiaries!  Very cool.

The next surprise was just in the unobscured view of the Chinese theater (the location of the Great Movie ride, my favorite ride at this park.

I was actually a little sad.  There used to be a giant version of Mickey's blue sorcerer hat in front of the theater, but I guess they no longer wanted that to be the symbol of the park, so they took it down. 

We now headed to where we always start, with the Beauty and the Beast show!

I saw that show for the first time 18 years ago...and it is still as magical as it was then.

We then wandered towards the other side of the park, and passed some characters in their Hollywood finery:

Chip and Dale,

Movie star Daisy,

and Goofy!

At this point we were walking by a theater and it just so happened that the next showing hadn't started yet and there were still a few seats left, so we got to go in without waiting in line at all!  So here is the next surprise of the day...the new Frozen show!

I really enjoyed seeing Anna and Elsa and Kristoff!  This was a sing-a-long show, which of course my sister and I were belting out the tunes.  At the very end, Elsa even made it snow in the theater.

After a quick snack (with Mickey ears of course),
And a bit more wandering,

I found this replica of Mr. Gold's pawnshop store front in the Streets of America and totally had a fangirl moment for my favorite television show, Once Upon a Time.

(Emma's baby mobile)

(Henry's book)

(it's Chip!  This is the cup Belle dropped while serving tea to her "Beast")

Now it was dinnertime at Hollywood and Vine.

This restaurant is a buffet with all sorts of good food...especially my favorite, dessert!  Any (or all) of these were definitely pretty enough for a tea party.

 My mother had gotten us all the dinner package that included assigned seats for the nighttime show at Hollywood Studios--Fantasmic!  Every time I go, I try to get pictures, and this time was excited that so many of my shots of the boats used in the show came out:

Before we leave Disney World, I wanted to share a bit about our hotel for this trip, Disney's Carribean Beach Resort.  My family enjoys staying in the Disney hotels, both because it extends the Disney fun to the hotel, and because Disney provides transportation and other benefits to those that stay in the resort.  This is the first time we have gone back to a hotel again, but we last stayed at this one the first time I saw the Beauty and the Beast show, so we figured it was time to see it again.

We were in the Martinique section of the resort, 

(the room)

which was pretty close to the main building (the one with the food), Port Royale.

(One of many Mickey waffles from this trip.  I love the Mickey waffles).

The different sections of the resort (each named for a Caribbean island), surround a lake,

with beautiful views at sunset.

We could even see the fireworks at Epcot over the lake at night.

There are many pools throughout the resort, but the fanciest is near Port Royale.

Right outside the pool they even showed movies at night--a great way to unwind after a long day at the parks. 

Here ends my 2015 trip to Disney World.  Now to plan my next trip :)! 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Epcot and the Food and Wine Festival

I lost this post the first time I tried to publish it, which was pretty frustrating, but I thought it would give it one more try.  Today we travel to Epcot and the special fall even there--the food and wine festival!

There were all sorts of different stations set up around the world showcase portion of Epcot with foods (and drinks) from countries all over the world. 
Placement of the booths didn't always make sense geography-wise, but it was like a culinary surprise around every corner. So lets begin where all great culinary journeys should start...with dessert!
A chocolate cherry explosion (front), orange blossom brewery toasted coconut porter float with caramel ice cream (left), and strawberry-basil champagne toast (right).  I ordered the chocolate cherry explosion, which was delicious, but the beer ice cream float was not very good at all!
The next stop was "Scotland," where I order the tipsy laird,

whiskey soaked cake with lemon cream and toasted oats...very yummy!
Next up, are the first "hard" beverages of the day--four different types of cider:  raspberry, pear, elderberry, and pumpkin.  I really liked the elderberry, which I had never tried before.

We passed three other country stations,  before reaching the very first country of the world showcase--Mexico!
(pastel de elate con queso:  Sweet corn cheesecake!)

(and here is Three Amigos Donald--one of my favorite Epcot rides)
The next food station wasn't until the next World showcase country--China, where I got a jasmine bubble tea!

Right outside of China was the South Korea food station, where my sister tried the soju banana milkshake with ginger.
I was not a fan.  We continued on, stopping at the Africa station where we did get some snacks, before we entered Germany and our next food station stop for a bratwurst in a pretzel roll, which was delicious, but unfortunately I was too busy eating to take a picture.

On our way out of Germany we passed the Poland station, where we stopped to get a frozen szarlotka, apple pie with vodka.

Next we crossed into Italy.

You know, I don't think I ever realized that Epcot's Italy is a replica of Venice, but now that I've seen the real thing, it was even more fun to wander through and recognize buildings.

(although, you would have thought the gondola would have given it away if I had paid attention)
On the other side of Italy we passed into the American Adventure, where we got mini lobster rolls--delicious!

We next passed through the world showcase Japan,

then Morocco,

followed by a walk through France,

until we crossed into England, where my favorite Epcot store is located--Twinings Tea!

This time the adorable tea cozies caught my attention.

At this point we had reached our last food station stop, Ireland, where I got the warm chocolate pudding with Irish cream liqueur custard.  That was just as good as it sounds :).

After all this food (including a bunch I didn't even mention), I thought the proper theme for this festival would quote Alice in Wonderland (especially appropriate since Alice hangs out in front of Twinings Tea):  We are all mad here after trying all that food!
What could be more brilliant than a teacup shaped giant hat?