#SCBDReview: Tea in Wondeland – Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter 2

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My boyfriend works in the city, one day his mom and I decided to meet him for lunch in the Upper East Side, New York City. We came across Alice’s Tea Cup Chapter 2 in the Upper East Side, on 64th street between Lexington Avenue and 3rd Street. We walked into a cute store front tucked away and into an Alice in Wonderland inspired restaurant café.

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Our wait was about ten minutes, due to wanting to sit upstairs. There are two levels. The downstairs area is small with a nice amount of tables and includes includes the main lobby area with a counter and host desk.

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Upstairs was so cute with Alice in Wonderland themed decorations all over the place; including large butterflies and paintings, tall ceilings, and tea cups all over.

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We started with ordering a pot of tea. The restaurant offers a deal where customers can order a pot of tea for three cups and two scones. Between the three of us, we have several cups of the tea- it was plenty. We decided to order one of their house specialties, called Herbal Detox Blend. This was a special blend of Alfalfa, dandelion, nettle bush, plantain, red clover and mint. It was light and smooth and tasted divine. I also decided to try one of their specialty Mar-Tea-Ni drinks. I got a Peach Bellini. It is infused with Peach Tea and Prosecco. All of the mixed drinks they offered sounded so good, and this one was excellent. It tasted fresh and refreshing. On a note with this drink and the service, I accidentally spilled this when I got it after taking a few sips, and the staff graciously came over and replaced it with a new one since it was pretty full when it happened. They have such great service and are so generous.

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After we received our tea, I got the cup of soup I ordered. It was an Artichoke soup. It had artichoke, mixed vegetables in a chicken broth. I love artichoke, but now I have a new favorite way to eat it. The broth made the artichoke so soft and smooth, it was so tasty. The flavors all mixed together to create a delicious soup. They always have different soups each day, so it is exciting to try another on a future visit. The soup also came with homemade rosemary focaccia bread. This tasted so good alone or mixed in with the broth of the soup.

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After finishing the soup, we were served our sandwiches and scones. All of our meals came with an option of fries or salad, so we all got a salad. The dressing that came with the salad was a ginger Soy dressing. This dressing was light but unfortunately they put only a small amount on the salad. I personally would have liked more, but it was so good. I ordered the Grilled Veggie Sandwich. This included Portobello mushrooms, eggplant, peppers, zucchini, onion, and tomatoes with goat cheese on pumpernickel. It included pesto which I opted to have it on the side. I usually am not a fan of pesto, but I tried this with this sandwich and it blended beautifully. The vegetables tasted so fresh and they were cooked perfectly. I loved having it paired with pumpernickel bread. I realized that too many places don’t use pumpernickel bread, it is under used.

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My boyfriend’s mother ordered the Lapsang Souchong Smoked Chicken Breast Sandwich. This was a smoked chicken breast on seven grain bread with granny smith apples and an herbed goat cheese. This sandwich was our least favorite. It was on the drier side. It needed something more to make the dry bread and chicken more moist, possibly a dressing. It was still very delicious though and would recommend it with an additional dressing.

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My boyfriend got the Croque Madame sandwich and added smoked grilled chicken to it. This sandwich was delicious, it was a heavier sandwich. The cheese made it a bit greasy. On this sandwich was grilled gruyere with mayonnaise and whole grain mustard. It was on golden raisin semolina bread. This did have a lot of taste but was very filling.

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Finally, we finished with our scones. I chose the Pumpkin Scone with a caramel glaze and my boyfriend chose the original buttermilk scone. They were served with clotted cream and a jam. The pumpkin scone was my favorite. It was so moist and rich. It tasted so fresh. The caramel on top made it sweeter, but it was not a sickening sweet, but instead a very enjoyable sweet. It went well with the last of our hot tea. I would highly recommend this. My boyfriend and his mom enjoyed the original one the most, they said they loved how flakey and moist it was, at the same time. It broke apart but was not too dry. I do have to say it was one of the best original scones I have had.

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I found out that they have three different restaurants, each called a different Chapter. I am excited to visit these other ones in the future and see the difference between them. They offer so much more than we had too. Other deserts, cakes, more drinks, so many teas, and salads and sandwiches of all kinds. The food was fabulous, servers were super nice and alert, and the atmosphere is like no other. Highly recommend this and I will be back in the future to enjoy another afternoon tea with friends.

Tea Cup

 

http://alicesteacup.com/

https://www.facebook.com/alicesteacup

#SCBDRecipe: Delicious Healthy Fall Cookies

scbdrecipe

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 half cups of almond meal, or one cup of almond meal and 1/2 cup of flax meal
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or any oil)
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (preferably cocao nibs)
  • 2 tbs maple syrups
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • optional 1/2 cup pumpkin puree for pumpkin cookies
  • optional 1 tbs of honey, to make it sweeter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

3. On a nonstick baking sheet place about 1 tbs of batter in a ball and press lightly in center

4. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or longer for crunchier.

*inspired by a recipe from Instagram

#SCBDEventRecap: SCBD Intern goes to Gluten Free Expo

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September 13 marked Celiac Awareness Day. We celebrate being gluten free and getting the word out to others about the allergy and gluten intolerance issues. Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a Gluten Free Expo in Secaucus, NJ.  The expo was two days with many vendors, authors and bloggers all dedicated to the Gluten Free Lifestyle. I found out about this event on Facebook and was immediately intrigued. Personally, I do not have an allergy to gluten, but I do have a thyroid problem, and studies have shown that there is a correlation between thyroid and gluten intolerance.

download-10I went to the expo on Sunday, September 8th with an open mind. I tried going gluten free before now, I had only succeeded for a few days before I gave up and said, “I can’t do this.” I decided to give the gluten free lifestyle another try; and what better to start again than to attend this expo with the support of many others who are going through the same as I.

images-72When first entering the expo, each person was given a recycled bag which included mini treats and a directory of all the vendors that attended. The directory included vendors’ websites for the convenience of contacting them after the expo. With rows and rows of vendors I did not know where to start. My first tasting was the new gluten free salted caramel cashew cookie by Udi’s. I loved the ratio of salt to caramel, I didn’t think that the caramel taste was over powering at all. There were over 100 vendors, each one had different samples of their products, you definitely got your monies worth. From breakfast foods to desserts, magazines and children’s books, vendors touched on every category possible. Here are some of my favorite vendors that I was able to meet during this event:

Favorite Drink: Zipp Fizz

Favorite Dessert: Jac’s Bakeshop & Bistro

Favorite Book: Free To Be…Gluten Free By: Heather Spiegel

Favorite Snack:  Udi’s Salted Caramel Cashew Cookie

I am so happy that I had the opportunity to attend this event. I met some great people and learned a lot of useful information at the same time. If you ever have a chance to attend this expo I definitely recommend that you do!

Homemade Vegan No-Bake “Thin Mints”

As much as I love eating out, I hate not knowing exactly what ingredients are used in a recipe.  It’s a weird quirk of mine and most likely the reason that I love making food at home.  That being said, it was only a matter of time that I made my own Thin Mints.  I can’t afford to purchase enough Thin Mints to last me until the next Girl Scout Cookie season, so I am excited to have this insanely easy recipe in my book.  If you like Thin Mints, you’ll like these!

Note: Although I am not Vegan myself, I did quite a bit of research on the ingredients to be absolutely positive that they are Vegan.  Ritz Crackers? Who knew!

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Ingredients

  • 1 box Ritz Crackers
  • 1 package Ghiradelli Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • 1 tbsp Crisco All Vegetable Shortening
  • 1.5 tsp peppermint extract

Instructions:

  1. Put your chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl with the crisco and microwave until melted.  Mix well.
  2. Add in the peppermint extract.  Taste the mix to be sure it’s enough, and if you want it even more minty, add some.  Just be careful that you don’t add TOO much or your cookies will taste like mouthwash.
  3. Dunk your Ritz Crackers into the chocolate until they’re completely covered.  Lay them out on a piece of wax paper or aluminum foil.  Once you have a whole tray filled up, stick them in the fridge to harden up. The Ritz Cracker turns into a cookie once it firms up! 
  4. After the chocolate is firm, I placed all the cookies into a tupperware container and threw them in the freezer for easy storage.

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For St. Patty’s day, I am planning on making some Thin Mints with green sprinkles on top for a fun addition.

What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?

These Are a Few of Katrina’s Favorite Things…

Like raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, I happen to fancy the art of baking. I get my jollies by going to the local grocery store and taking my time walking up and down the isles, until I find the best deals for the best brands of fresh food. I am not a big fan of processed food (or “crap” as Jillian Michael’s calls it), so to me, I like to bake and cook from scratch most of the time. While others see nothing wrong with buying cookies and cupcakes, I prefer to bake them myself.

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I started baking back when I was about 10 years old; after I checked out the All American Girl Cookbook from my local library. I immediately wanted to try Samantha’s Blueberry Muffins and Felicity’s Scones…you catch my drift. And there I was…not even a teenager, but I was washing fresh blueberries, sifting flour, and cracking eggs in a bowl. To this day, I LOVE to bake. I love the feeling of patting the homemade crust on the top of an apple pie, or sprinkling sugar into chocolate chip cookie dough. The smell that floats through the air as my banana nut bread bakes is one that not only makes my family all hover around the kitchen, but makes me eager to try a piece too.

Tonight after working a full day in the office, I came home and baked. And baked. And baked. I have a function the next evening and promised I would bake, so I did! chocolate chip-walnut cookies, Banana Walnut bread, and an apple pie. Yes, call me crazy, but it was fun! Although time-consuming, I enjoyed it and my treats look decadent and are just waiting to be gobbled up.

#SCBD Holiday Find: EE Cookies!

About a week or so ago, I got one of the best things anyone who loves food  dessert can possibly get. EE Cookies sent me a dozen of their unique cookies to try and they are right when they say these are not your ordinary cookies. So if you have a friend who is a cookie lover I highly recommend you get them a dozen cookies. They won’t be disappointed, all the cookies are jam-packed with chocolate chips, nuts, or fruit– how it should be! This pretty much says it all.

In my dozen, I received about four of each of these flavors:

Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip: delicious and jam-packed with chocolate chips

Dark Chocolate Chunk with Dried Cherries: I think the picture says it all, perfect for the dark chocolate lovers in your life.

Triple Chocolate Chip with Pecan: I’m currently munching on one of these and it is a great size, with great flavor!

Oatmeal with Dried Cranberries, Blueberries, & Walnuts: My favorite and currently my new favorite breakfast. I love how healthy it is since it has oatmeal in it and the dried fruit is top notch! It’s  a perfect little bit in the morning!

I’m so happy I was able to try EE Cookies and will definitely consider them for holiday gifts!  You can order your cookies online at their online shop, here. Plus, if you use the code HOLIDAY20 you can get 20% off your order at check out– can you say deal?! YES!

They also have a new home at 10 Waverly place inside “Brad’s” at NYU so you can stop by and grab some of our fresh, baked on site cookies, brownies and other delicious baked goods fresh in the case if you don’t want to order online.

I can see how they keep such a loyal fan base since they started in 2009! So if you have a few minutes, check out their site, order some cookies, and maybe even join the Cookie of the Month Club– you’ll be in for a delicious endeavor! They have tons of ordering options at the online store with plenty of creative deals for the cookie lover in your life!

Happy Eating– there is nothing wrong with having a sweet tooth especially with cookies this delicious!

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