Time for the "Things I Am Loving This Week"--those (mostly) food-related things I am enjoying and want to share.
I have the greatest collection of small tea cups, some pretty blue and white ones from Japan and some beautiful green pottery ones, and they are perfect for when I brew a tea press of loose tea and want to feel very "zen" by drinking little cups of it. Sometimes though I drink tea bag teas and I want a big old mug of it, one I can wrap my hands around and drink while studying or reading a good book. My small tea cups and regular size coffee mugs were not fitting the bill and my one red jumbo mug, circa Starbucks Christmas Collection 2001, was starting to look a bit grungy so I headed to Ross, a nearby discount store to see what they had. I found these two beauties for $1.99 each (love that price!) so I snapped them up. Solid, curved and nice to hold and with room for lots of tea, they are so perfect I may have to go back and get a couple more.
Of course the cups need a good tea to fill them and my tea collection is vast, filled with tons of loose and bagged tea--in fact I am not allowing myself to buy any more tea until I drink through some of it. (Wonder if that will be as *successful* as my "buy no more cookbooks" rule?) My latest two favorite tea bag teas are an Orange Sencha from two leaves and a bud tea company. Made with organic ingredients like Japanese green tea, orange peel, sunflower petals and orange flavor, it is smooth and slightly tangy with a lingering orange finish. I love it on a gloomy day.
The other tea I am loving, the Mangosteen Green Tea from Stash Tea is fun and has the sweet, citrus taste of mangosteen (see here for a picture of this fruit), along with a touch of juicy pear flavor. It also has orange peel, rose hips, hibiscus, lemongrass in a Matcha tea base. This was my Mom's favorite tea when she was staying with me and it's perfect any time of day. A bag of this tea is also great for perking up (or maybe masking), the not as tasty immunity-building tea I have been drinking.
Finally all that shopping for mugs and drinking tea makes me hungry so I need a little something sweet to munch on. I usually have a LÄRABAR or two in my purse, ready to go when I want/need a little healthy snack to tide me over but that tastes great too. If you have never tried one, LÄRABARs are made of dried fruit, nuts and spices and are all natural and have no more than 8 ingredients (many of the flavors have just 3 or 4 ingredients). The two newest flavors, Peanut Butter and Jelly and Tropical Fruit Tart finally showed up in the stores here and I got to try them. I am now loving them and they have replaced Banana Bread and Key Lime Pie as my favorites.
Peanut Butter & Jelly is made up of dates, peanuts, unsweetened cherries and salt and tastes like the sandwich only better. Tropical Fruit Tart has dates, pineapple, unsweetened coconut, almonds, coconut oil, cashews, orange juice concentrate and orange peel and it counts as a full serving of fruit. I love how they fill me up and give some good fiber, protein and vitamins but still taste like a treat.
So that's it--the "Things I Am Loving" for this week. So what things are you loving in your corner of the world?