Sunday, December 27, 2009

Pumpkin Muffin Mix from Stonewall Kitchens

OK, so I don't talk about a lot of mixes on this blog, mostly because I do prefer the taste of "from scratch" -- but hey, I do live in the real world, and sometimes (ok, most of the time!) I don't have the time or the inclination to start baking something from scratch. Enter convenience mixes.

However, rarely is a mix so good that I feel like writing about it on my blog. This mix is the exception.

The muffins are moist and delicious, and rich with pumpkin flavor. The customary spices are also detectable (most notably, I can taste some cinnamon and some ginger). Yes, these are very, very good. But not exceptional.

That is, until you get to the crumb topping!
What really rocks these muffins is the maple crumb topping.

Sure, you could bake these muffins without the crumb topping ... I guess. But why? To save a few calories and sugar grams. Yeah, you might save some of those, but, you'd be losing a lot of flavor on these muffins.

The maple flavor of the crumb topping is not monumentally strong - it is a pleasant maple presence that compliments the pumpkin flavor perfectly.

My one complaint... the mix only makes 6 muffins.

These go great with that morning cup of tea and is total bliss when served with my Breakfast in Bed tea! And right now, at their website, Stonewall Kitchen has the mix on sale! Yum!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yay! Back in Stock!

Greetings Everyone!

Well, it's a little late for guaranteed by Christmas delivery (I can do my best though!) but, my best sellers are BACK IN STOCK!

Please note that the links I've provided for the following are direct links to the items in my Artfire Tea Shop. These items are also available in my Etsy shop and 1000Market Shop, if you prefer to shop at either of these venues.

Chocolate Rose Romance: This has been a big seller, especially now that the chilly weather has set in. The rich, chocolate flavor of this chocolate melds perfectly with my selected black tea leaf. Yes, there are other chocolate teas out there, but you won't find one that rivals my creamy, decadent flavor.

mmmm... Chocolate Rose Romance, my favorite!

LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend: Yes, there's a story behind this one... I created this blend several years ago after having carried a delightful English Breakfast blend in my shop, and realizing that it just felt weird to be selling an English Breakfast tea in a shop that I call LiberTEAS! So, I went about creating my own, exclusive blend. This tea is rich and brisk, with just a touch of creamy vanilla. A perfect tea to serve at breakfast ... or anytime!

Breakfast in Bed: I fear that some people might confuse this tea (or the name of this tea) with my Breakfast blend. Rest assured, they are two totally different teas. My Breakfast Tea is a robust blend of rose scented teas, flavored gently with vanilla and tossed with cinnamon chips for just a delicately sweet touch of cinnamon. This is the tea you'll want to linger over!


Earl Grey Creme - smooth and creamy!

Earl Grey Creme: Another best seller. I love my Earl Grey Creme because it offers a lovely Ceylon base, scented with bergamot, and lightly flavored with vanilla cream. It's a fresh, delightful twist on a classic favorite tea.

Well, that's about all for now. I hope everyone has a very happy and safe holiday season!!!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, December 10, 2009

News from LiberTEAS

Greetings Everyone!

Some of you may have been browsing through one of my shops, and have noticed that a few teas are missing from the "shelves" -- currently, I'm out of stock of LiberTEAS Breakfast Blend, Earl Grey Creme, Breakfast in Bed and Chocolate Rose Romance.

For those of you who have been eagerly awaiting these teas to return... I wanted to let you up to date with the latest information:

Breakfast in Bed: This will ready for shipment this weekend! I will be adding it to the stores tomorrow afternoon, but any orders for the tea won't be shipped until Monday (12/14/09) afternoon.

Earl Grey Creme, Chocolate Rose Romance & Breakfast Blend: These three will all be ready to ship by next Friday (12/18/09). If you want one (or more) of these teas and would like to pre-order yours, you may contact me and I will set up a special listing for you, and your tea will be shipped on Friday afternoon. For US shipments, if they are shipped via Priority Mail, this will still allow just enough time for Christmas delivery.

Also out of stock: My sampler tins! These won't be restocked until February. I apologize to everyone for the inconvenience.

Thanks for catching up with me, and your support over the years... I have truly appreciated it.

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A New Etsy Shop!

Greetings!

OK, so you're probably reading the title of this post and thinking... doesn't she already have an Etsy shop? Why, yes I do. When I first signed up with Etsy (way back in 2005) I signed up with the name of my 'zine, because I had originally intended it to be the place to purchase my 'zine (when ever I might get around to actually publishing one haha!) and only put my teas there temporarily until my website was up and running.

However, I hadn't intended for the EccentricPastiche Etsy store to be my tea shop. And then, once people started buying teas there, I kept them there, because I didn't wish to create confusion. I know that I'm always confused when I encounter a shop that has moved... and I didn't wish to cause confusion for someone else.


So, now, I've finally set up shop for my tea on Etsy... appropriately named LiberTEAS!

I don't have all my teas listed there yet... it's a slow process. Please be patient with me.

If you go shopping at my Etsy TEA shop (and you SHOULD!) and you don't find what you're for -- please feel free to either convo me and if I have it in stock, I'll list it just as soon as I can... OR if you'd like, you can shop at either of my other two tea shops: My Artfire Tea Shop ~ OR ~ My 1000Markets Tea Shop.

Thank you for your patience with this ... and a most sincere thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years... I truly appreciate it!

~Anne

PS: Don't forget about my FREE SHIPPING offer in my Artfire Tea Shop! Get free shipping on all orders $25 or more! Just use the coupon code: THANKS (Valid for US and Canadian Customers only)

International customers can save too! On orders $25 or more, just use the coupon code: INTERNATIONAL and receive $5 off your order.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thanksgiving ... and all that SHOPPING!

Greetings everyone!

This will just be a quickie blog post, just wanted to update everyone on the **Sales** I have going on in my Artfire Tea Shop.

As I posted previously, throughout the month of November, you can use the code NOVEMBER to receive 20% off your total order of $20 or more (not including shipping). And, of course, that sale is still active (since it is still November!)

But, for the upcoming BLACK FRIDAY (one of my favorite shopping days -- certainly don't like the crowds, but I love the sales!) and CYBER MONDAY ... I am also offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders of $25 or more for all US and Canadian customers. Just use coupon code THANKS.

For my international customers, I want to give you a reason to shop with me too... so I am offering $5.00 off your order of $25 or more. Just use the coupon code INTERNATIONAL. Of course, anyone can use this code with a qualifying order.

OK... so now for some fine print...

Discounts are limited to stock on hand, sorry no rain checks. Coupon codes are limited to one per customer, and one per order. (However, if you'd like to take advantage of all three coupons, I'd be happy to accept three separate, qualifying orders.) Coupon codes are valid through December 1, 2009. Discounts/Coupons valid for my Artfire Tea Shop only.

So, that's that! Time to shop!

~Anne

PS: Also... as it is that time of year, I'd like to offer a big THANKS to each and every one of you for your support over the past five years. I truly appreciate it!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mind Body Spirit Marketplace

Greetings!

As most of you know, I have a shop on 1000Markets. I really like this venue: it is attractive and holds the sellers to high standards to maintain the highest quality product and appearance. When you shop with 1000Markets, you feel like you're shopping in a top quality boutique, rather than a flea market or garage sale.

Not to say anything bad about flea markets or garage sales -- I love them!

But I also love 1000Markets.

In the coming weeks, I plan on highlighting the marketplaces of which I am a member on 1000Markets. This week, I am featuring

MIND SPIRIT BODY MARKETPLACE

Please visit the Mind Body Spirit Marketplace on 1000Markets -- and support handmade at its finest!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, November 06, 2009

November's Sale!

Baby, it's cold outside, and it's a perfect time to curl up with a hot cup of tea! And what could be better than tea? Maybe 20% off on your tea purchase! Check out this sale!

Now throughout the month of November (Hey! That's this month!) you can receive 20% off your entire order ($20.00 or more, not including shipping charges) from my Artfire Tea Shop! Just use the coupon code: NOVEMBER at checkout and your discount will be applied.


mmm... Chocolate Rose Romance Tea!

Fine Print: Coupon valid from November 6 - November 30. Limited to stock on hand only (no rainchecks), and can not be combined with any other discount. This coupon is valid for my Artfire Tea Shop only.

That's it... Just place your order of $20 or more, use the coupon code - November - and get 20% off your order!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, October 23, 2009

FREE SHIPPING offer!

Greetings!

To celebrate Autumn, and all that goes with it, including my Masterpiece Chai! -- I'm having a free shipping offer now through the end of October!



Just place your order of $25 or more worth of product from my Artfire Shop, and use coupon code: Autumn and get FREE SHIPPING on your order! This is good through the end of October, limited to stock on hand only, no rainchecks, and for orders in my Artfire Shop only.

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, October 10, 2009

It's Baaa-aaack! Masterpiece Chai!

And nobody is happier about this than I am -- I've really missed this tea!

There is just something truly rewarding about a hot cup of spiced chai latte on these chilly autumn afternoons here in the Pacific Northwest. It's so beautiful up here this time of year as the leaves change color, and the skies take on their misty gray hue ... and nothing goes better with it than my Masterpiece Chai!


Hey, this ain't no ordinary, namby-pamby, whimpy chai -- this chai goes for the gusto and will knock your socks off! It was designed to brew in water (rather than milk, although, if you wish to be traditional, you can go ahead and brew it in milk. I prefer things simple, and that means brewing it in water for me!) and to take on the addition of milk or cream (I use half and half)... too often, with chai teas adding milk or cream to create a latte beverage and the tea loses some of it's vibrance... NOT so with my Masterpiece Chai! The addition of milk, cream, half & half, or even your favorite soy/rice/almond/hemp milk-like beverage will enhance the overall flavor of this tea.

Don't get me wrong, it will also taste quite good on it's own, without the milk or cream... but, I love chai as a latte, so that is why I created this chai! It's absolutely perfect! A MASTERPIECE!

You can read a review about my Masterpiece Chai Tea Here. Here is another review on the same blog -- same blog, different reviewer!

Now available in my Artfire Studio and my Etsy Shop. I will also be adding it to my 1000Markets Market very soon... so watch for it there too!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Super Fast & Easy Won Ton Soup

Greetings!

I just made a quick and easy -- and absolutely delicious! -- Won Ton Soup that I'd like to tell you about!

I LOVE Asian cuisine, and I have a special fondness for the soups. In particular, I love Won Ton Soup (and of course, Hot and Sour! Yum!) I don't usually have very good luck with processed soups when it comes to Won Ton Soup, except for the absolutely yummy CP Shrimp Won Ton Soup that you can find in some grocery stores in the frozen section. And when I can't find CP's soup, I must either go without, visit a Chinese restaurant, or make my own.

So, when I want Won Ton Soup... here is how I make it:

Ingredients

  • 1 quart of chicken broth (I actually used some turkey stock that I had in the freezer. Whenever I bake a turkey, I generally boil the bones for soup, and keep it frozen. However, you could also use the cube quart containers of broth in the supermarket for this recipe, I have used both chicken broth and vegetable broth in this recipe with excellent results)
  • 1 medium sized carrot, sliced thin
  • 1 stalk of celery, sliced thin
  • A small amount of chopped onion (I usually chop up an onion, store it in the fridge in an airtight container. I keep it on hand for condiments or for times when I only need a small amount of onion, like this)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (you can adjust this amount to your own taste, I like garlic!)
  • 1 tbs. chopped Ginger (I used dried, chopped ginger, but you could also slice up some fresh)
  • Trader Joes Frozen Mini Won Tons (I have also found mini won tons at Zupans and they work just as well. I like the mini ones because they take only 2 minutes in hot broth to cook, and they are just the perfect size for soup)
Heat broth to a simmer, and add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and ginger. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes, or until celery and carrot have a nice texture to them. I usually like the celery and carrot to have just a small amount of texture, and not to be limp... this makes it taste more like fresh, homemade soup... which... this is. Only easier!

Turn the heat up to Medium High and add 12 - 15 mini won tons. Allow them to cook in the hot liquid for 2 minutes. Won tons should appear somewhat "translucsent" -- this is how you know they are heated through.

Serve. I usually top it with a few drops of seasame oil or chili oil.

YUM!

This all takes just about 20 minutes from start to finish... and it's well worth the effort if you love won ton soup as much as I do.

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Congratulations to Ruthie!

Greetings:

Well, I reached 100 fans (well, I'm at 102 at the time of this post) and I held the drawing. Ruthie from Rose Works Jewelry is the lucky winner of the Chatsford Teapot and Tin of Tea!


And... while we're on the subject of Ruthie at Rose Works Jewelry... check this out! Isn't it gorgeous!

Love it!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Become A Fan and Win a Prize!

Greetings!

For those of you who are on Facebook, you've no doubt discovered the fan pages that are all over the Facebook network. I recently created a fan page for LiberTEAS... and I'd like you to become my fan!

So, I'd like to make you an offer that I hope you can't refuse! If you become a fan of LiberTEAS on Facebook, you might win a beautiful Chatsford Teapot!

The above photo is of the actual teapot you could win simply by becoming a fan of LiberTEAS on facebook. But that's not all! You'll also win a full-sized tin of tea (your choice of flavor) to accompany the teapot.



This is a large, 6-cup teapot, in beautiful, dark moss green. The teapot comes complete with a nylon tea infuser basket.



Total value of this prize is $48.95 (including shipping of the package).

This contest will run from now until I've reached my 100th fan. At that time, I'll close off the contest to further entries.

If you are already a fan, you need to do nothing more... you've already received a free entry to this contest. However, if you'd like additional entries (for a better chance of winning!) you can:

  • Subscribe to my newsletter. You can subscribe by filling out the form on this blog (to the right)
  • Become a follower of my blog.
  • Twitter about this contest and include a link to this blog entry.
  • Plurk about this contest and include a link to this blog entry.
  • Blog about this contest and include a link to this blog entry.
  • Place an order (this will earn you 2 entries!)
Any of these things will earn you a free additional entry to the contest (except placing an order, which won't be free, but will earn you 2 additional entries instead of just 1). However, to get the additional entry, you need to add a comment to this blog post and tell me what you did to earn the entry, so that I can properly administer the entry.

Be sure to include a link to your blog if you're blogging about the contest, and if you are twittering or plurking about the contest, please become one of my followers on either application (I am LiberTEAS on both Plurk and Twitter) so that I can check out your posts.

This contest is only running until I reach 100 fans (and at the time of this post, I have 76 fans, so hopefully that won't take long!) ... so please hurry and submit your entries! Please note for international fans: I can only ship to countries where the customs allows gifts of teas to be received via mail.

Thanks for reading along... and entering my contest!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, August 27, 2009

One Tin Left!

Greetings!

OK, here's the deal: I have only 1 tin left of my Momoko Melon tea! This is/was a limited edition flavored Formosa Oolong tea.



My Momoko Melon Oolong tea was one of my very best sellers, but I had to discontinue the flavor because the flavoring that I used to flavor this tea was discontinued by my vendor, so I had no other option! I am still looking for a viable substitute for this flavoring, but, I haven't yet found one. So, until I do find one (if I'm lucky enough to find one!) I have to discontinue this flavor... AND THIS TIN REPRESENTS THE VERY LAST I HAVE AVAILABLE!

So... if you want it, you better hurry to my Artfire Tea Shop and grab it before someone else does!

That is all for now!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, August 14, 2009

FALL IS COMING!

Hello Everyone!

I am kicking off my Fall is Coming sale in my Artfire store this weekend! For the time being, I am offering this sale only in my Artfire store, however, if you would prefer to purchase from my Etsy Store or my 1000Markets store, please simply contact me through the store of your choice and I'll post a special listing for you.

Here's the scoop:

Chocolate Rose Romance


All teas sold in tins (full-sized only) is 25% off the regular price! The prices are already marked down in my Artfire store, so all you need to do is place your order to take advantage of this sale.

This sale is limited to stock on hand only, and only on tea sold in tins (I'm running low on my refill bags!), and sale prices are good through August 31, 2009... so time is ticking and products are flying off the shelves... so better place your order NOW! Just visit my Artfire store, and take advantage of my excitement for my favorite time of year -- AUTUMN!

Potpourri Tea

Please keep in mind that I do relist products after their sold, so if you visit my store and don't see what you're looking for, don't dispair! I probably DO have the tea in stock, I just haven't had a chance to relist yet! So, just contact me through my Artfire store if you don't see what you're looking for, and if I have it in stock, I'll relist it for you!

It's Time for Tea!!!


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tohono Chul Park

Greetings!

This past weekend, I took a road trip with my oldest daughter to visit Tucson, Arizona. The main purpose for this trip was so that she could visit with her boyfriend, who is in the Army and stationed in Arizona.

I was worried that this would mean that I was going to be spending my entire weekend cooped up in the hotel room while they were off shopping and swimming, but, fortunately, I came across a Tucson based magazine that was called "Art Scene" and featured the local museums, galleries and other art happenings throughout the Tucson area.

It was in that magazine that I found an advertisement for Tohono Chul Park. The ad said "Where Nature, Art, & Culture Connect!" and reading further, I saw that they featured natural Arizona settings, gardens, art museums, and even a Tea House! Somehow, I felt as though this place was built just for me!

The garden was immense and beautiful. Scrolling pathways lead you through every area within the park, and as I walked through, I saw hummingbirds flitting from blossom to blossom. Roadrunners ran amid the cactus plants, and I could hear the gentle coos of mourning doves. Lizards would scurry across the paths as I strolled along through the winding paths. It was truly a rewarding experience with nature.

As beautiful as these gardens were, I must say that museums located on opposite sides of the gardens offered a welcome respite from the heat of the blazing Tucson sun. They were indoors -- and air conditioned!

One of these museums was rather small, as it was connected to classrooms and was assembled as an artifact museum, offering educational information about the native wildlife and history of Arizona. Surrounding this museum, called the "Desert Discovery Education Center" was the Desert Living Courtyard, and featured several stunning designed gardens.

The second museum, the "exhibit house" is attached to a gift shop where you can purchase many art pieces created by local artists, including some rather stunning examples of polymer clay works! When I first looked upon these pieces, I didn't think that they were polymer clay, they were so intricately detailed, I thought surely they must be hand painted wood carvings!

The exhibit house was showing two different exhibits when I visited, one featured the artwork of local Jr. High School and High School students, while the other was called "Re-Visions" and featured altered art, or more appropriately, re-purposed art.

I was really quite impressed with the Re-Visions exhibit especially, because this is the kind of art that not only I create, but truly inspires and excites me.

Remington Rand
An Artpiece created using Rust as a Medium
by artist Don Baker
photo from the Tohono Chul Park website


The artists featured in this exhibit created exceptional works of art using items that most people would consider junk or trash. It was truly inspiring to see ordinary objects turned into extraordinary artwork, it was amazing to experience the visions (or Re-Visions) of these artists. I felt that I walked away from this exhibit a different person, and a changed artist. Even though I do consider myself an altered artist, for the past few months, I've found myself in somewhat of a lull, and have not been able to create. The inspiration found at Tohono Chul Park has revitalized my muse, and I feel truly INSPIRED!

Now, I must admit that one of the things that I was really looking forward to at Tohono Chul Park was afternoon tea in their tea house! And, I certainly was not disappointed by my visit.

I chose their grapefruit green tea, and it was really delicious. The grapefruit was delightfully pungent, and perfectly complimented by the natural sweet flavors in the green tea. In fact, I loved this flavor so much that I may just have to create my own grapefruit green tea for my tea shop collection!

The delicious array of sandwiches, scones, and sweets that they offered for afternoon tea were quite satisfying as well. My favorite was the salmon sandwich -- a nicely spiced cream cheese spread onto bread, topped with a thin slice of smoked salmon. It was an unusual tea sandwich, but one that I really enjoyed.

Of course, my stay at Tohono Chul Park would not have been complete without some shopping in their quaint gift shops. I found some delightful tea choices (although, I sadly did not find the green tea that they offered in the tea house), as well as some other interesting gifts for my daughters (and myself!)

If you are visiting Tucson, please do yourself a favor and stop in at the Tohono Chul Park. You won't be disappointed!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, July 09, 2009

My latest teacup acquisition...

OK, so perhaps not the most exciting stuff to all of you out there, but, I recently went shopping at the local thrift store and was absolutely THRILLED to find this teacup!

What made it so exciting for me is not only the price (a steal at just $5.99) but also that it not only is a beautifully shaped teacup, but it's design is PAISLEY!


Beautiful, isn't it? I just love it when I find lovely bargains such as this -- the teacup is in perfect condition! -- and when it's something that touches upon two of my passions, in this case, teacups and paisley... it makes it all the better!

I love it!

For those of you who have not been keeping up with the latest posts on the Tea Review Blog, you should be! I'm an active reviewer on there -- I don't review my own teas! -- however, some of the reviewers have been reviewing my teas... and here are some of those reviews:

Green Apple Tea

Meadow Nocturne

Momoko Melon

Sweet Caramel O'Mine


Check out these awesome reviews... it always brings a smile to my face to know that my teas are pleasing other people out there!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Green Apple Tea now available!

Yay! I am so glad to have my Green Apple Tea back in my collection! It truly is one of my personal favorites - I love the crisp apple flavor, and it will be absolutely perfect for iced tea brewing!
I was inspired to create this tea because I have always loved Aspen soda (do you remember it?) I loved it so much that even now, when I go grocery shopping I check the soda aisle very carefully for Aspen soda, hoping that it will somehow magically appear again!

I am not beginning to suggest that this green tea tastes anything like Aspen, but it has one of the characteristics that made Aspen soda so memorable for me: a crisp, clean apple flavor that seems to sparkle! The sparkle in the Aspen soda probably came a bit from the carbonation of the soda, and while the green tea doesn't taste carbonated (or even at all like soda), it has a certain crisp, sparkling flavor that I find irresistible.

How to brew Green Apple Tea:

As with all green teas, it is important to note that water temperature is a KEY factor in brewing success. If your water is too hot, you are likely to scorch the delicate green tea leaves and this will leave the tea with a bitter, almost "burnt" taste. It is better to have the water "not hot enough" than to have it too hot. (Note: If the water is "not hot enough" you should allow the tea to brew for a slightly longer period of time)

The water temperature should not exceed 180 degrees F. Not all of us have thermometers on our tea kettles (I don't!) so I generally just pull the kettle when small bubbles form at the bottom of the kettle and begin to start jumping about -- not quite boiling, but generating a good amount of steam.

Use 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea for each cup you'd like to make. I recommend that you allow your leaves to brew "loose" because this is the best way to get the most flavor from your loose leaf tea... so put them directly into your teapot, and allow them to brew without an infuser. If you absolutely MUST have an infuser, use a very large one, one that is at least three times larger than the amount of dry tea that you place in it to allow for tea leaf expansion. Or use a T-Sac (I do carry these, if you would like a box, you can order one by emailing me: anneliberteas@yahoo.com), and use a larger size than the tea that you're going to place into the T-Sac.

Allow your tea to steep for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes for the first infusion. Because I use a very high quality tea in my blends, you can always get at least 2 infusions out of my teas, sometimes more! For the second infusion, you should add at least 30 seconds to 1 minute of additional brew time.

I recommend using a small amount of sweetener (my favorite is agave nectar) to bring out the most in the flavors of any flavored tea!

Thanks for reading along!
~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wow! It's been a month!

I can't believe it's been a month since my last blog post!

Time sure does fly... and I haven't even been having fun! Unfortunately, I've had a few stressful situations in my life lately, and so I haven't been able to focus on other things the way I would like.

However, I do have some great news! My Green Apple tea will be available soon! Please watch for the announcement.

My Green Apple tea tastes just like a fresh, juicy apple. The flavor is very crisp, and the flavor sparkles! I just love this tea, and it will be a perfect tea for iced tea! Refreshing and delicious!

Thanks to everyone for your continued support of me, I can't tell you how much I truly appreciate each and every one of you!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, April 27, 2009

Another Feature... woo hoo!

Greetings!

I've been featured on another blog, this time, you can find my interview on Kristen Andrew's blog: La Dolce Vita!

As some of you might recall, I interviewed Kristen on my EccentricPastiche blog a little while ago.

Kristen is a very talented artist, and I feel so honored that she chose to make me a featured reader of her blog! Thank you Kristen!

Now... here's a chance for you, my readers, to get a 15% discount off your next order of TEA! Simply visit Kristen's blog, read my interview, and leave a comment. Then, with your next order of tea, I'll give you a 15% discount off your entire order (excluding shipping).

To take advantage of this special offer, you need to email me at the time you place your order and tell me that you have left a comment on Kristen's blog. If you have already processed payment, I will refund the 15% discount immediately, or, if you haven't yet processed payment, I will send you an adjusted invoice.

It's TEA time!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, April 24, 2009

Featured on Cafe Handmade as a Mommaprenuer!

Hello Everyone:

Going to keep this brief... just wanted to share a little news with you... I was selected to be featured as the Mommaprenuer on Cafe Handmade! You can check out my interview by clicking here.


Have a tea-riffic day!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spring is Here!

Well, it's official, Spring has finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest! I wasn't sure it was going to arrive, because even though March 20th came and went, we were still experiencing a lot of wet, a lot of cold, some frost, and even some mention of snow in the forecasts (although, I don't think we actually got any snow after March 20th). So even though, technically, it was Spring... it didn't feel like Spring.

But it's actually becoming warm, daffodils and tulips are blooming, and it's finally starting to look like Spring! I even mowed the lawn this evening -- for the first time this year!

With the coming of Spring comes the inevitable allergy season, at least for me! My allergies typically start in late Winter (as things start to turn green and bloom), and last through early Fall. I am fortunate that I have plenty of my Allergi-TEA on hand, which really does help with the symptoms... especially the early morning symptoms! And it tastes great too!



Another thing that I've found that really does help is locally-harvested, raw honey. I use this in my tea whenever I can find it! Unfortunately, it is rather spendy. I've heard from other people that they used the local honey for a year or two, and it eliminated their allergies. I haven't been so lucky, perhaps because I haven't been buying it on a regular basis.

So, happy Spring everyone!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WoW!

OK... I'm not one who enjoys bringing politics into my tea journal, but I did want to save this photo, courtesy of Yahoo! News and Reuters...

And I wanted to say this: My reason for calling my business "LiberTEAS" is not a patriotic one. The full name on my business license is "Life, LiberTEAS and the Pursuit of Happiness" and I chose this name because for me, Tea is Happiness. To be able to express myself artistically with my tea is truly a freedom... it is truly my idea of LiberTEA! Hense, the name. It was more an expression of my artistic nature than it was a patriotic declaration... not that I'm not patriotic, I just prefer that my art and tea remain separate from my politics and patriotism!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, April 10, 2009

April is National Food Month!

As a member of Etsy's Edible Arts Team (EEAT), I thought I'd give a quick mention of the sale that is currently going on amongst most of the Edible Arts Team members... 20% off the entire purchase (excluding shipping charges)!

Check out Double Dipped Sweet's blog for more details of this special sale!

Be sure to check with the store owner before you order, to make sure they are participating in this sale!

It's a great time to get good eats (not to mention TEA) at a sweet price!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Meadow Nocturne!

Hurray! My relaxation herbal tea (tisane!) is finally ready!

This tisane is actually many months in the making ... I spent a good amount of time trying different recipes... until I finally found one that tastes great, smells amazing, and looks as beautiful as it tastes. The result of the many many months of work and waiting is

MEADOW NOCTURNE


Available at all three of my online shops: Etsy, Artfire and Made it Myself!

This tea is delicious, with a hint of sweetness, and the perfect choice at the end of a long, hard day. It's a great way to encourage a sense of relaxation so that you can get a good night's sleep.

Try some today!

To Brew my Meadow Nocturne:

Water Temperature should be just under boiling (195 degrees F). Use 1 1/2 teaspoons of tisane for each cup (6 - 8 ounces) you plan on brewing and place directly into your teapot, or use an infuser or T-Sac. Carefully pour the hot water into your teapot and allow the tisane to steep for 5 minutes.

Strain the tea, and add a little sweetener if desired. Enjoy hot. Take a moment to enjoy the aroma as the tea has aromatic herbs that will also help relax you.

Delicious!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Entrecard...

Greetings!

First off, my apologies to anyone who visits both of my blogs... as this post is going to be similar to my previous post on my art journal.

Now, I'd like to take a moment to apologize to any entrecard user who signed up for ad space on my blog and did not receive it. I had to remove the widget. Unfortunately, I visited my blog this evening and was horrified to see that an ad that I did not approve (Nor would have approved of) was on my blog. Entrecard had assured us that this would not happen, and that we would have the power to determine what ads would appear on our blogs. Unfortunately, my experience this evening shows me that entrecard did not hold to this pledge, so I was left with no choice but to remove the widget from my blog.

I really appreciated the additional exposure entrecard offered, however, I'm not willing to sacrifice the integrity of my blog for that exposure. It's just not worth it to me.

So, if you are one of the people who was left short because of this impromptu removal of the widget, my sincerest of apologies. I hope that you can understand my motivation for removing the widget.

Thank you.
~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Garlic Soup... it's good for what ails you!

Greetings!

Over the past few days, I've been stricken by a cold/virus of some sort. At first, I thought that it was just my allergies in overdrive, but, when my Allergi-TEA wasn't working it's normal magic, I realized that it must be something a bit more than just allergies. Now, Allergi-TEA will help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with a cold/virus, it's not going to knock it out because of the viral nature of the cold. Or something like that. It certainly is still quite nice when I have a cold, keeping my throat from getting too irritated.

But, when I do have a cold, it's time to bring out the heavy artillary. I always reach for pineapple juice when I have a cold or flu, because there is an enzyme in pineapple that helps break up proteins (another reason why pineapple is THE BEST topping for a pizza) and... well, not trying to be gross or anything, but proteins = mucus when you have a cold/virus/flu. Pineapple is extremely effective in breaking up the mucus... plus it's cheaper and tastier (and better for you!) than OTC mucus medications.

Anyways... On to my secret weapon when I have a cold! It's actually a new recipe I stumbled upon... well, I didn't actually stumble upon it aka http://www.stumbleupon.com (and hey, if you're a member of stumbleupon.com... please feel free to stumble my blog, and, if you'd like, you can add me as a friend: Liberteas on Stumble Upon) but... more accurately, it's a recipe that I went in search of, after recalling an article I had read many years ago about a restaurant in New York City that sold only soup, and one of their best selling days was the day that they featured a cream of garlic soup. Thinking that I must try that some day, I deposited that thought somewhere in the back of my brain... until one day this past week I thought I'd look it up, and I found a recipe that I thought sounded delicious... so I tried it.

I found this recipe on allrecipes.com however, after reading many of the comments about how thin the soup ended up, I decided to alter it a bit... so this is the recipe as I made it:

Garlic Soup

2 heads of Garlic (full bulbs)
3 tsp olive oil
1 carton College Inn Culinary Broth - White Wine and Herb
(Note: It's not often when I suggest one particular brand of an ingredient, however, I found this broth recently at my local grocery store, and since it contains not only chicken broth, but also white wine... not to mention the herbs, I chose this to make my garlic soup, rather than buying chicken broth and white wine. If you choose to go with another broth, you should adjust the amount and add a little white wine to the mix)
1 cup of heavy cream
1 cup of half & half
1 large russet potato, cut into small cubes (I washed the potato and left the peel on, but you could peel it if you want)
salt & pepper to taste


In the bowl of your food processor, process the garlic until it forms a thick paste, be sure to stop while processing once or twice to scrape the sides of the processor bowl to ensure even processing. In a large saucepan over low heat, heat the olive oil and then cook the garlic paste until it some of it begins to turn brown. You must stir the garlic constantly, or it will stick, and do not turn the heat up too high as garlic goes from delicious to burned (yuck) very quickly. This is the most tedious part of the recipe, it takes some time and some diligence, but, you will be rewarded.

Once the garlic begins to turn golden brown, add the carton of broth, and stir, stir, stir. Bring to a boil, and then drop the heat down to a simmer and allow to simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Combine the milk and cream together in a bowl, and temper the mixture with a couple of ladles of soup. Then, stir in the potatoes and the milk mixture to the soup. Bring the heat back up to a simmer, and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Using an immersion blender, puree the potato chunks. Serve.

<><><>

This creates a very thin soup, even with the adjustments I made to the liquids. But... it's gonna knock your cold/virus out. Serve it with some good, crusty bread, and it's a very good meal for someone who's sick.

The next day (today), I decided to heat the leftovers back up. The soup was a little thicker after a night chilling and then reheating... however, I decided that since I was feeling a bit better, I wanted something a little heartier... so I decided to heat it up and add a couple more potatoes (2 medium size russets) to the soup. I brought the soup to a simmer, added the potatoes (cut to a small dice) and simmered it for another 30 minutes... The result was a very thick soup, or... the makings of a very thin, garlic-y mashed potato, heavy on the garlic! I also added a little more half and half, about a cup more. When I reheat again, I will probably add a little more half and half just to make it more bisque-like, and less mashed potato like... LOL!

Anyways... the soup is very delicious... and like the title says, it's good for what ails you! Knocked that cold right out of my head and while I do have just a little bit of chest congestion left, that will be gone (thanks to the pineapple juice) in a day or two.

~Anne


Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Momoko Melon Oolong!

It's back ... but only for a LIMITED TIME! That's right... unfortunately, I've made my last batch (at least for a while) of Momoko Melon Tea! So it's only available while it's in stock... and when it's gone, it's gone for good!

This one is a summer-time FAVE... because it is just amazing served as an iced beverage! So refreshing -- thirst-quenching -- GOOD!

How to brew Oolong Tea:

Here's the way I brew Oolong tea...

Measure 1 teaspoon of loose leaf Momoko Melon Oolong tea for each cup (6 - 8 ounces) of tea desired. Place loose tea directly into warmed teapot. Oolong teas expand a LOT when they brew, so really, the best way to brew the tea is loose, directly in the teapot. Using an infuser or a T-Sac would really be an injustice to an Oolong!

Bring cool, freshly drawn & filtered water to about 165 degrees F and pour gently over tea leaves. Allow the tea to steep for 3 - 6 minutes, depending upon your personal preference. I usually let Oolong steep for about 3 1/2 minutes for the first infusion, and add 1 minute for each subsequent infusion.

Strain your tea, and enjoy. Momoko Melon Oolong is delicious without the addition of sweeteners, however, a drizzle of Agave Nectar will bring out some of the more subtle melon flavors, as well as the natural peach-like flavors of the tea.

This is one of my TOP 3 iced tea choices in the summer.

Here's how I make my Momoko Melon Iced Tea:

I have a 1 gallon iced tea pitcher, and I use a 4 cup teapot to brew my tea, using 6 teaspoons of tea in my teapot, and filling it full with 165 degree F water for each infusion.

Brew the first infusion at 3 1/2 minutes. Strain this tea into your iced tea pitcher, and if you like your tea sweetened, go ahead and add the sweetener now, and stir, this will ensure that your sweetener will dissolve completely in the hot tea. (note: each subsequent infusion uses the same tea leaves!)

Brew the second infusion at 4 1/2 minutes, and strain into the iced tea pitcher.

Brew the third infusion at 5 1/2 minutes, and strain into the iced tea pitcher.

Then I fill the iced tea pitcher the rest of the way full with room temperature, freshly drawn, filtered water, and stir. Perfect iced tea!

<><><>

My Momoko Melon tea is available only at my Artfire Tea Shop... and only available while supplies last!!! Get some today!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earl Grey Creme!

Yay! It's finally back in my tea cupboard!

I've really missed my Earl Grey Creme. Such a lovely flavor. I have always really liked the flavor of most Earl Grey teas that are available out there, however, sometimes the bergamot is just a bit too edgy... sort of like sipping a man's cologne! The vanilla and creme flavor of my blend softens that edge just enough without sacrificing that classic bergamot flavor that I love! It's perfect!


I have listed it in all of my shops: My Etsy Store, My Artfire Tea Shop, and my Made It Myself Store, and have included refill options in the etsy and artfire stores.

How to Brew Earl Grey Creme tea:

Filter freshly drawn, cool water, and bring to a gentle boil (212 degrees F). Place 1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea for each cup you would like to brew directly into your teapot (or you can use a T-Sac or an infuser if you wish, just make sure there is enough room in either one for proper expansion of your tea leaves), and gently pour 6 - 8 ounces (for each up you wish to brew) of boiling water over the tea leaves. Allow to steep for 2 - 4 minutes. I allow it to steep for 2 1/2 minutes for this particular blend.

Remove the tea leaves by filtering through a strainer, or removing the T-Sac or Infuser.

Enjoy! As with all flavored teas, a little sweetener will bring out the more subtle flavors of this tea.

Note: as with all of my brewing tips, please keep in mind that these are suggestions only, based upon my extensive sampling and testing of each blend, but also limited to my own palate and preferences. You might prefer a stronger tea (in which case, you should add a little more tea, but don't brew longer, as this will result in a more bitter tasting tea, but not necessarily a stronger tea), or you might prefer a weaker tea (use less tea), or you might want your tea to have just a little more edge (in which case, you might want to extend the brewing time just a little, but be careful).

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Meyer Lemon Bars

Greetings!

I've become quite enchanted by Meyer Lemons lately, they're less sour than a regular lemon, and have a unique flavor that I have fallen in love with! They are wonderful when sliced thin and added to tea, and even more delightful when used in recipes such as this one... and then served with tea!

This recipe is a recipe that came from joyofbaking.com originally, and was posted to my tea group as a recipe to try... and am I glad I did. Of course, I substituted Meyer Lemons in the recipe so I altered the recipe slightly for the change up in lemons, as well as some improvements that I felt the recipe needed. Before trying this recipe, the only lemon bars I had made were from a mix, and let me tell you, if you liked the bars from the mix, you're going to LOVE making them from scratch! So much better! No contest! Even if you don't like the bars from the mix... try them from scratch, you won't be disappointed! Yummy!!!

Meyer Lemon Bars

Crust:
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8x8 square (or similar) pan with non-stick spray. In the bowl of your mixer, cream butter until fluffy, and then add the sugar, creaming the two together until very light and fluffy. Add flour and salt, and mix until the dough comes together.

Press dough into square pan, working up the edges a little.

Bake about 20 minutes, until edges start to become golden brown. Remove crust from oven, and allow to cool slightly while you work on the filling.

Filling: (note: wash lemons, and remove zest before juicing the lemons. Only remove the zest, not the white pith)
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1/8 tsp salt
Zest & Juice from 4 Meyer Lemons
2 tbsp unbleached, all purpose flour

In a clean bowl of your mixer, beat together the sugar and the eggs until light and the sugar has dissolved. Add the salt and the zest and juice from the lemons, and mix until blended. (Note: the zest from the lemons tends to cling to the beaters, so, be sure to clean them off well with a rubber spatula). Fold in the flour.

Pour filling over the slightly cooled crust, and put into the oven for 20 minutes, or until the center is set. I usually turn the oven off after the 20 minutes, and allow the pan to sit in the oven for another 5 minutes to ensure a set custard.

Remove the bars from the oven, and allow to cool.

Sprinkle cooled bars with a little confectioners sugar or with a little extra lemon zest, if desired.

Cut into bars, and serve. The crust is a bit crumbly, so be careful getting that first bar out!

Hope you'll try this recipe... let me know how yours turn out! I've made this recipe twice now, and my family devours them! Make them an extra special treat by serving them with some of your favorite tea!

~Anne




Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Coming soon!

Hello Everyone!

Next week, one of my best sellers will be back... Earl Grey Creme! This is probably one of my most requested flavors -- and I've missed it too! So watch for the announcement. If you've not yet signed up for my newsletter... please do so, as I will announce there FIRST when the tea is available for sale.

This tea DOES move pretty quickly when I have it in stock, so get yours while the getting is good!

And speaking of my newsletter... there are other benefits to being a subscriber to my newsletter, not only are you kept up to date on my tea blends and when they're available, but I also offer specials not available anywhere else... And, in just a few days, I'll be announcing a special contest -- and to enter, you need only be a subscriber to my newsletter!

You can sign up over here >>>>> on the side of my blog! Just enter your email address and your name, and you're all set!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Agave Nectar

When it comes to sweetening your tea, there are many options available today, from sugar cubes to honey, brown sugar to maple syrup, artificial sweeteners to stevia. One sweetener that has only recently come into my personal radar is Agave Nectar, a sweetener that is derived from the Agave plants.

Photo from Wild Organics Website

This has become my favorite sweetener for my tea. It is a little sweeter than honey, so I don't need quite as much, and not quite as sticky (or slow to drizzle!) so I can use it quickly, and without all the mess that often accompanies honey. There are several different varieties of Agave Nectar available: light, amber, dark, and raw. I prefer the raw when I can find it, and when I can't I prefer the amber. The darker amber nectar has a very subtle caramel flavor to it, which I find quite a delightful addition to my tea. I have also used the light nectar, and the flavor is more neutral.

Also new to the market are flavored Agave Nectars, including Amaretto (yum!), vanilla, cappuccino, Irish cream and hazelnut flavors. I haven't yet tried these flavored Agave Nectars but, I may just have to check my local Whole Foods market the next time I stop in for my weekly supply of carrots...

Until recently, I could only find Agave Nectar at my specialty markets (such as Whole Foods and Trader Joes) but during last week's grocery excursion, I was happy to find Agave Nectar available at my local you-bag-it-yourself-and-save grocery store -- in both light and amber varieties! Now I won't have to make a special trip to the specialty markets just for Agave Nectar (and the aforementioned carrots). Of course, I'll still have to make a trip for the carrots, since the discount grocery store doesn't carry my favorite organic, with the greens still attached carrots.

You'll find the Agave Nectar in the same aisle you'd find honey... so check out your local market for Agave Nectar the next time you're shopping and try a drizzle of it in your tea! It's the perfect vegan alternative to honey, and has a lower glycemic index than white sugar, is allergen free, and it doesn't crystalize quickly the way honey does! It's the perfect alternative sweetener!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Amy's Soup

Hello Everyone!

I love soup. There are few things that are more comforting than a nice, piping hot bowl of soup on a chilly day... with the exception of a cup of tea, of course! As a fan of soup, however, I must admit that most of the canned soups available in the grocery store are sadly lacking in flavor. Limp, colorless vegetables swimming in a sea of bland broth.

So, to get my soup fix, I am either waiting in line at my local Sweet Tomatoes (a favorite restaurant) or I'm getting out my crock pot and making my own. However, there are a few ready-made soup exceptions that have a permanent placement in either my freezer (more on those at a later time) or my pantry shelf. One such exception comes from Amy's Kitchen.

Photo from Amy's Kitchen Website


Amy's Organic Chunky Tomato Bisque! Wow! What a refreshing change from the ordinary canned tomato soup! The flavor is fresh and alive! It tastes like I went out to my garden and picked the tomatoes myself, and made the soup immediately thereafter! Tomatoes are quite possibly my favorite fruit (yeah, I'm one of those people who consider tomatoes a fruit), and there's nothing quite like a homegrown tomato, picked at the peak of ripeness. And this soup captures the joy of a homegrown tomato! As Carla from this past season's Top Chef would say: "You can really taste the love" in this soup. It's so good.

The price is a bit more than what you'd pay for the standard tomato soup issue from your canned soup aisle, but, trust me, if you love tomatoes, it's well worth the cost.

For the best selection of Amy's foods, you are probably going to need to visit your local Whole Foods or similar market. However, I did notice a small selection of Amy's soups in my local bag-it-yourself-and-save grocery store, and that selection did include this variety. Surprisingly, though, the price at Whole Foods was better than my usually-lower-prices-on-everything grocery store!

I'd love to hear your own comments about this soup...

Thanks for reading along!
~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Last Day for my "Month End" Sale!

Maybe I should have called it the Month End Plus 1 Sale?

Please Check here for details!

This great sale ends today! Check it out!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spotlighting...

Hello Everyone!

I'm hooked on Spotlighting! And just what is spotlighting? Spotlighting is a super-cool feature at the artisan website byhand.me that is similar to the Etsy Treasury feature, with a couple of significant exceptions: 1) You don't have to wait until the spotlights drops to 333 before you can score a spotlight -- how many times have you waited until 1 am in the morning to get in on the treasuries, only to miss it by like 4 seconds? and 2) You can use listings from sites other than Etsy, such as Artfire, 1000Markets, Made it Myself, and others!

Here's an example of a spotlight I recently created... featuring just some of the things I have on sale right now!





So as you can see, spotlighting can be an effective marketing tool! They're very addictive (and you don't have to create one just to promote yourself... you can create one based on a favorite color scheme, or a favorite theme... you are only limited by your imagination!)

Stop by byhand.me today, and join (registration is free!) in the fun!

~Anne

PS: don't forget my sale: 15% off all orders; 20% off all orders $20 or more; 30% off all orders $30 or more! Valid at all my stores, through March 1 at midnight!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Blend, A New "Job" & A New Sale!

Hello Everyone!

Well, let me start out with the most exciting news of all, my herbal blend designed to enhance calm and relaxation is ready! I sampled it last night, and I really like it! I have tried other "night time" herbal teas, and I must say (not biased at all, mind you!) that I really think that this tea is better!

Some of the subscribers to my newsletter (if you're interested in subscribing, please enter your information into the subscription form in the left column of this blog) have volunteered to be my taste testers, their job will be to not only taste a sample of this new tea, but also to offer some ideas for a name for the blend! The subscriber who submits the winning name will receive a tin of the tea when it's ready (it won't be ready for release until late March).

Next on my list of exciting news ... I have been "moonlighting" as a tea reviewer on The Tea Review Blog! Now, I do not review my own teas here (as it might be considered biased), but I do enjoy other teas as well as my own... this past weekend, I managed to get three reviews submitted.


I'm enjoying this new position, hey, it gives me another excuse to drink tea (not that I need another excuse! LOL) and it also opens the door of opportunity for me to try something different, which expands my palate and my own ideas for what tea blend I might create next.

Finally, I want to announce my end of the month sale:

15% off all orders
Buy $20 or more, the discount is increased 5% (20% off the entire order)
Buy $30 or more, the discount is increased 10% (30% off the entire order)

This sale is valid at all of my stores: My Etsy Store, My Artfire Tea Shop, My Artfire Art Studio, and my Made it Myself Store.

OH... and I almost forgot... on ARTFIRE... no account necessary to purchase!

Paypal customers: Please process your order and process your payment. Upon receiving payment notification from Paypal, I will issue you a refund for your discount.

Prefer to mail a check or money order? No problem! Process your order, and then please wait for my confirmation email, I will calculate your discount, and email you with an adjusted total to reflect the discount.

Fine Print: Offer expires on March 1, 2009 at midnight (Pacific Time) and is limited to stock on hand. Discount applies to entire order before shipping charges are added, and is valid only on product, not on shipping charges.

Thanks for reading along, have a great week!
~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wow, it's Saturday already!

My how time passes when you're having fun!

I have been busily listing items in my newest venue:

Made it Myself!

Yes, yet another store! I currently have 3 other shops: My Etsy Store, My Artfire Tea Shop, and my Artfire Art Studio. And I am considering adding at least one more shop to this list, besides the new one at Made it Myself.

You might ask why? why make all these stores, why not instead concentrate my efforts into just one venue?

Basically, I'm doing it for added exposure. Since I am a one-person operation, essentially breaking even with this venture for the time being, I can't really afford the investment for a decent advertisement package. So, while I do what I can, blog constantly, join forums and hype my products, the fact is that I don't have the money that a lot of the bigger guys out there have to bring attention to my product. It's a great product, and once you try it, I feel like the quality of the product speaks for itself, but, it's about getting the exposure, getting my name out there to get the attention first... so I open these other venues with the hope that someone might see me at one of the venues where they might not have seen me at another...

So... this weekend, I'd like to celebrate my new venue with a special offer!

Buy any 2 tins of tea from my Made it Myself Store, get a box of T-Sacs (size 2, 100 count) absolutely free! Hey, I won't even charge you additional shipping! ABSOLUTELY FREE! This is a $6.00 value (that's what I normally sell these boxes for) free of charge!


Now, if you, for some reason, can't find your favorite LiberTEAS flavor at my Made It Myself store, simply email me, and I'll get it listed for you. Or, you can shop at one of my other two tea sites - My Etsy Store ~or~ My Artfire Tea Shop and get the same deal. I won't hold it against you! But please, do take a moment to visit my Made it Myself Shop first!

To take advantage of this offer: simply place your order for the 2 tins (or more!) of tea, and process through paypal (or if you prefer, you can pay via check or money order). I will automatically include the T-Sacs with your order, so long as you've ordered 2 tins of tea!

Now, if you're a tea purist, you probably don't like T-Sacs and want nothing to do with them! Alright, I can appreciate that. I'm somewhat of a tea purist myself, although I have been known to use T-Sacs on occasion (especially when I'm brewing a Rooibos blend, as the needle-like leaves of Rooibos are very thin and often sift right through my tea strainer!)... so here's a special offer just for you!

Buy any 2 tins (or more) of tea, and get a $5.00 rebate on your total purchase.

To take advantage of this offer, you need to let me know that you'd prefer the rebate over the T-Sacs. So, please email me after you've placed your order and processed your payment (or if you're mailing your check or money order payment, please email me before doing so, so that I can give you an ammended total). I will refund $5.00 from your paypal payment as soon as I receive notification of the payment.

So, what are you waiting for? This offer is not going to last forever... in fact, it is only going to last through Monday, February 23rd, at midnight (Pacific Time). Visit my Tea Shop at Made It Myself right away and take advantage of this amazing offer!!!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lemon Cupcake Recipe (Contest Winner!)

Hello Everyone:

Well, I've heard back from the contest winners (there were two!) and so I think it's safe to publish one of the two recipes -- I'll post the other one in a week or two.

Here is the recipe for Lemon Cupcakes, submitted by Christine from Ohio! I used Meyer Lemons for this recipe, mostly because they were available at Whole Foods when I shopped there, and they looked irresistibly beautiful!

Lemon Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 cup of butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
zest from 4 lemons
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Juice from 2 lemons
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Drizzle:
Juice from remaining 2 lemons
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray muffin tins and dust with flour. Alternatively, you can line the tins with cupcake liners, however, there is a step that follows baking that can leave your cupcake liners somewhat sticky. If you don't mind sticky cupcake liners, then use the liners instead of spraying and flour dusting.

Cream butter and sugar together at medium speed for about 5 minutes. Do not skimp on this step, it greatly affects the texture of the cupcakes.

Add eggs, one at a time, to creamed mixture, blending well before adding another egg. Add lemon zest, and blend well, taking time to scrape down the sides of the bowl of your mixer and the mixer blade. The zest accumulated on the blade for me when I made these, so do make sure that you scrape the blade to make sure that the zest gets well incorporated.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a different bowl, mix together the lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Gradually add 1/3 of the flour mixture, blend, and then half of the lemon juice mixture, blend. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, blend, the last of the lemon juice mixture, blend, and finish up with the last of the flour mixture. Mix for about 20 seconds on medium speed, making sure that batter is well blended but do not over mix.

Scoop batter evenly into muffin tins, filling each cup about 2/3 full. This makes about 24 cupcakes.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a wooden skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Now for the sticky part!

Juice the remaining 2 lemons (remember, you zested 4 lemons, but only juiced 2 of them), and pour into a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of sugar. Heat over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.

Using a wooden skewer, poke several holes into the crown of the cupcake. You should drive the skewer through to almost the bottom of the cupcake, as you want the syrup to be absorbed throughout the cake.

Now, spoon the lemon juice syrup over the cupcake. I used a soup spoon for this, and used about a spoonful and a half for each cupcake. Allow the syrup to absorb into the cupcake.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and then frost them.

Thank you Christine for your winning recipe! I love these cupcakes! So yummy!

A note about the syrup ... do not make the same mistake I made and drizzle the syrup over the paper lined cupcakes while they were still in the muffin tin. Instead, move them to a cooling rack and drizzle them there... use yesterday's newspaper underneath the cooling rack to catch the drippings to avoid a sticky mess!

Christine won a Chatsford teapot, along with a tin of her favorite tea! (and I might add, these cupcakes are the perfect accompaniment to tea!!!)

Thanks for reading along, I hope you too will enjoy this recipe!

~Anne





Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Valentine's Weekend Special!

Hello Everyone!

Well, here it is, Valentine's Day is here already! To celebrate, I'm having a special sale all weekend, through Sunday, February 15, at midnight (Pacific Time).

Receive 25% discount on all tea purchases that include either Chocolate Rose Romance tea ~or~ Breakfast in Bed tea!

This means you can purchase a tin of my Sweet Caramel o'Mine tea, and a tin of my Chocolate Rose Romance tea, and you qualify for the 25% discount on your entire order!

Or you can purchase any other combination of tea, and as long as you've included the Chocolate Rose Romance Tea, *OR* the Breakfast in Bed tea (or you can, of course, purchase both of them!) -- you'll receive the 25% discount!


Just visit my Artfire tea shop or my Etsy store, and place your order this weekend... and be sure to include either the Chocolate Rose Romance tea, or the Breakfast in Bed tea to receive a 25% discount off your entire order!

Discount offer is limited to stock on hand, and is good through Sunday, February 15, 2009, at midnight. Discount on product only, does not apply to shipping charges.

TO RECEIVE YOUR DISCOUNT:

Paypal customers: Just place your order, and process your payment as you normally would. When I've received notification of payment, I will process a 25% refund.

Check/Money Order customers: If you prefer to mail your payment, please wait for me to send you an invoice with your adjusted total, then mail your payment within 5 days.

Thank you, everyone, for helping to make my Artfire tea shop a success!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, February 09, 2009

A Tea Story...

Hello Everyone:

Over the past 7 years as I've been blending and flavoring teas, I've created tea flavors that I have wanted. It all started with my Chocolate tea, now called Chocolate Rose Romance. I wanted a chocolate tea that was similar to the chocolate tea I used to purchase from my favorite little antique store in old town Orange, California, an antique store that went out of business, and they took their delightfully flavored chocolate tea with them.

So, I visited all the tea shops I could find in the area, and some of them had chocolate teas, but, none of these chocolate flavors were quite as decadent as my fond memories of the Chocolate tea from that little antique store.

This is how I became inspired to try my hand at flavoring and blending my own teas. My first attempts were very hit and miss... mostly... miss! I did some research, and I did a lot of experimentation. And there was even a time that I gave up and threw in the towel on the whole endeavor, certain I wasn't going to ever achieve that flavor for which I longed.

Then, about 7 years ago, I decided to try again, and I came up with a blend that may not be exactly what I used to obtain from my favorite antique dealer, but, it was certainly close, and quite possibly, better! Since that time, I've made various improvements on my original recipe, and I must say that now, it indeed IS better.

None of my other flavors have undergone as many attempts and transformations as my Chocolate tea.

I am often asked which tea is my favorite, and I usually list my newest tea, or the most recently blended tea... but in truth, my all time favorite is indeed my Chocolate Rose Romance. The flavor is rich, sumptuous... it is everything I want it to be and more. It's a nice chocolate indulgence with little fat (I say "little" because I do add a splash of half & half to this tea, so there is a small amount of fat), and little calories (sometimes I add Agave Nectar, sometimes, I add honey, and sometimes I add Stevia to this tea, depending on what I have handy!)

My Chocolate Rose Romance is a blend of black teas, Chocolate bits, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla, Apple, Rooibos, Almonds, and just a sprinkling of Rose Petals. The rose petals are not added as much for flavor as they are for visual appeal. (Note, if you like rose flavored tea, try my Breakfast in Bed tea!!!)

Is there a tea flavor you'd like to try? Is there a combination that you think would make a winning tea flavor? Please, feel free to drop a comment on this blog, and let me know what flavor you'd like. I'll try creating a flavor to your specifications, and if the flavor is a hit, and I decide to begin offering it in my shop, I'll send you the first tin of it... FREE!

~Anne

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, February 06, 2009

Weekend Special! $5.00 Instant* Rebate!

Hello Everyone!

Well, the weekend is here already! And it's tax season, so I thought I'd offer a REBATE!

This weekend, beginning Friday, February 6, and ending Sunday, February 8 at midnight, you can receive a $5.00 INSTANT* REBATE on your purchase of 2 or more tins of tea!

This offer is good at either my Artfire Tea Shop or my Etsy store.


Offer is limited to stock on hand, no rainchecks, and is valid on all orders placed before midnight on Sunday, February 8. To receive your rebate via paypal, simply place your order, and process your payment. Once I have received payment, I will refund $5.00 via paypal. If you prefer to mail your payment, simply email me after you've finished processing your order, and I will email you with a corrected total, less the $5.00 rebate.

*You will receive your rebate as soon as I have received notification of your payment via email, so it may not be "instantaneous", but, it will be prompt.

Also, I do not have all of my teas posted to my shops yet, so, if there is something that you want, but don't see in either shop, please email me and I'll let you know if it's available.

It's Tea Time!!!

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A New Online Playground for Artists!

Hello Everyone!

This is a reposting (or a cut/paste) from my art blog. Just in case there are those of you who read this blog, but not my art blog... or the other way around... for those of you who read both blogs... well, read it twice?

<><><>

I am writing today to share with you some information about a whole new website that has been created for artists.

It's called ByHand.Me and you can access it with this url: http://www.byhand.me

It has been designed to be a social community to help promote handmade wares. It's a place for the artists who sell their wares on places like Etsy or Artfire. It's also a place where artists can find support, and learn more about how to better promote yourself as an artist. At ByHand.Me, you'll find:

  • An Artisan Directory - for artists with a business. You can add your business, along with where you sell online, and how you can be contacted. A great way to help build your business online!
  • Forums - a message board where members can post about handmade wares, ask for advice, promote your business, or just socialize!
  • Member Blogs - Each member gets their own blog. Also, and this is really cool... your blog entry can be on the front page of the site! Kind of like flashing, only you probably won't get arrested for it. woo hoo!
  • Social Networking - the social networking feature allows you to connect with other artisans.
  • Chat - A place to communicate in real time with other members. It's also a great place to facilitate your own procratination issues. If you're an artist, you probably know what I'm talking about.
  • Private Messaging - A safe way to talk in private. Maybe play a game of telephone with other members. Remember that game?
  • RSS Feeds - OK... so I don't know what RSS feeds are. But maybe you do... If you do, well, you can do that here. If you don't, well, then, you can continue in your blissful ignorance of them here. Or maybe, you can get into a private message or chat with Adam (the creator) and he can tell you what it's all about. Because artists support each other like that.
  • More! - just the way it sounds... more... not less. And more is more.
And it's all free! That's the best price. Unless you could find someone to pay you to join a site, and that, honestly, might feel a bit weird... sort of like paying someone to be your friend, or giving the bully on the playground your lunch money so they don't beat you up after school.

You can learn more by visiting Rebecca's Soap Deli News Blog.

Join today, and then find me on there and add me to your connections ... my user name is Liberteas... you know... like my tea shop? Speaking of which, it's really nice to brew a cup of tea before you sit back and socialize at ByHand.Me. It's sort of like having tea with friends... only you don't have to get dressed up and wear a hat. Unless you want to.

So, that's all for now. Hope to see you at ByHand.Me soon!

Stumble Upon Toolbar