Monday, March 18, 2013

"New York City's Most Whimsical Tea Room"

One chilly "almost" spring day, while in Manhattan, I found an area I hadn't explored much in the past. Although there are certainly "favorite places', I do love finding new things along the way. One of my most favorite places in New York City, of course, is Central Park. On this visit, I decided to head up to the upper west side along the Central Park West area. I've spent so much time in the park, I wanted to "look around" to see what I would find along the perimeter. Well, it's a pretty big "perimeter"! Take it from someone who once walked around a HUGE portion of it! (Bring REALLY good walking shoes :)

Though it was almost spring, just a day or two away, it was a bit cold. One of the places I wanted to see was the Dakota Apartments, home of former Beatle, John Lennon. I was also going to take a walk through "Strawberry Fields", which is located right across from the apartments at W. 72nd Street, and then follow the pathway that leads to the famous "Imagine" mosaic commissioned by his wife, Yoko Ono.

Instead of heading straight up 72nd Street, I got distracted by other things along the way and ended up over a bit further. While heading back towards the Dakota, I came across this cute little shop on a quiet little street. The sign on the awning read, "Alice's Tea Cup." Tied to the post outside with pink ribbons, balloons were waving in the air, and a menu on the sidewalk listed the scones of the day. Oh yeah, I was hooked :) Did I mention the twinkle lights??? Had to go in and check it out!

I dragged/pushed my "companion" who was with me inside the door. "She" had her plans for the day too, (shop, shop, & shop again! I, on the other hand, rarely shop there.) I know!!! Crazy, right? Maybe, a small piece of jewelry, a pretty warm scarf, or another bag for my camera on the rare occasion. But that's it. And coffee...lots of coffee! I just get so caught up in everything else around me & bringing home "memories". But I am certainly due....overdue! Maybe next time! So though we didn't get to stay & have tea or goodies, I did get a peek. So many scones, so little time! But since I have a food allergy, (would you believe.........allergic to CHOCOLATE? SERIOUSLY ALLERGIC to chocolate!) I didn't bring any home with me either. Also, if I wanted enough time to get my fill of photos & whatnot for the day, I would have to come by another time to really look around. So, on we went......but it left a "smiling" impression that I didn't forget. quick "snap" to be sure.........

Next stop.....Dakota Apartments.......

Sad....I know......Love that music that still lives on.....
           Such a beautiful building.......

Located on the corner of W72nd....cross the street to Central Park West.

Follow the are now in "Strawberry Fields". ("forever" :) You won't be alone. (Most likely.)

People & "puppies" all walk this way to visit and see the "Imagine" mosaic in memory of John Lennon......

Leaving flowers, dreams of what might have been....hopes for what might still be.......


A little side trip there :) Hope you enjoyed it! But wasn't this supposed to be about tea???? Yes, it was. My apologies. It still is actually. Sort of. 

My initial blog post was going to introduce you to "Alice's Tea Cup", show you some of the sights nearby, which I have done! But then I wanted to share a recipe with you from there that I had been wanting to make for awhile. But on second thought, I do not have permission or the time to get WRITTEN PERMISSION to print a recipe that is not mine! So proceeding cautiously....this I can share with you! 

Yum! Finally got around to making these...."Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting", courtesy of "Alice's Tea Cup". If you would like to make these, you can find a cookbook from "Alice's Tea Cup" on their website here: Lots to look at on their website. And it is also available on Amazon. Filled with recipes for cakes, scones, & all kinds of tea party goodies, it refers to this cute little tea room as "New York's Most Whimsical Tea Spot". Quite a big name to live up to, but I'm guessing it does!

Ta-ta till next time!


P.S. As always, many of these photos can be found in my Etsy shop :) 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Coffee? Or Tea?

I have to admit, I am a fervent coffee lover, though I had been a happy tea drinker in the past.

But somewhere along the way, I started enjoying coffee again. Thanks to Starbucks and so many amazing coffee houses, lattes and the occasional cappuccinos became my constant companions. All frothy and creamy...caramel, amaretto, hazelnut, pumpkin spice? Yes, please! Dulce De Leche? Do, pass it over! :)

Throw in some scones, muffins, quiche, or as my husband once mistakenly called it, "qui ch-e"  (pronounced kwi ch-e, and we can lose ourselves for an hour or more in our favorite coffee hangouts.

But recently, I have had the urge to try tea again. Not quite sure why. I think it has something to do with all those flavors and realizing that those who drink tea, love it just as much as we love our coffee. So, on occasion, yes, tea might be fun! So, I made a nice cuppa recently. When the tea kettle started whistling, our youngest cat, "Poey" kind of "freaked out" a bit.  But, he usually does that two or three times a day anyhow :)

At any rate, if you liked my last blog post, "Diary of a Mad Cupcake", you might just want to stop by later this week..........especially, if you are an avid tea drinker! :)



Saturday, March 2, 2013

"Diary of a Mad Cupcake"

If you follow me on facebook, (you can find me here: ) you know that I have been promising something "sweet". Maybe I should have said "bittersweet"........ but mostly sweet! So here it is :)

It all started about a week ago. You know how you get "those" days. Life is hectic. You are always trying to keep up with it. But It's okay. You take it all as it comes. The "peacemaker", you smooth everything over. Nothing much bothers you. Then somewhere along the way.....something finally "gets" you! Wham! It might not be anything really big. It could even be something small that normally wouldn't even matter. But it was one of those days, and it came at the wrong time. Hmmmm.....what to do? How to handle it? Calm down...keep busy. Try something creative, but physical........BAKE!
Strawberry Cake with Creamy Homemade Frosting!

And so it started.......Get out the bowls! Drop in the batter, etc! Mix it up a bit......

Grab some eggs.....


 Oh.....someone's come to's Poe! (also known affectionately as Poey.) He loves to bake too!

 Add the eggs........


 What's next?

Beat It!

Whip it good! (Do you have any idea how hard it is to beat a cake and take a picture of it at the same time?)

Ever watch "Cake Boss" or "The Next Greatest Baker"? Then you know, "Bakers scrape!"

Pretty with Pink & Polka Dots......

Into the much used cupcake pan..........already smells good!

oooh.....sweet (but not too sweet!), creamy white, homemade frosting to finish it off! 

Voila! So yummy! Cupcake Heaven!

What was that silly thing that bothered me??? Not a clue! heh heh......:)



P.S. Some of these yummies will soon be available on Etsy! ( )
Watch for them! :)