Posts Tagged ‘tea’

Afternoon Tea


It’s Monday. It’s cold outside.

That means I’m having some hot afternoon tea – are you?

Today, I’m enjoying some Celestial Seasonings Blackberry Pomegranate. It’s such a beautiful color!

Too bad I don’t have a scone to enjoy with my tea. That would be even better ; )


And one of you will be enjoying this tea soon, too!

The winner of the tea package above is:


My favorite tea is candy cane lane from celestial seasonings! Chamomile citrus from mighty leaf is great too :)

Congrats Gloria!

Please email me your information to branappetit [at] gmail and your package will be on its way.


What are you having for your afternoon snack or pick me up?

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Happy, happy Friday !!!

I am SO ready for the weekend – my family is coming up to visit and it’s going to be fun! We have plans for floatinis, movie watching, froyo eating, and having lots of laughs.

And to start your weekend off right, I’ve got a couple of giveaways for you!

First –


A few weeks ago, I received these new teas from Celestial Seasonings to sample (the samples were sent to me free, but my opinions are my own).

I was sent three new Antioxidant Max Green Teas to try and their new Sleepytime Decaf Lemon Jasmine Green Tea.

Antioxidant Max Green Teas

Combining the health benefits and smooth taste of Celestial Seasonings green tea with delicious, nutrient-rich superfruits, these new wellness blends contain 35% more free radical-fighting flavonoid antioxidants than other leading flavored green teas and provide 20% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C with each serving. Available in three flavors:

• Blackberry Pomegranate

• Blood Orange Star Fruit

• Dragon Fruit Melon

Sleepytime Decaf Lemon Jasmine Green

The newest variety in the lineup of delicious, health-supporting green teas features the well-known blend of chamomile, spearmint and lemongrass featured in the bestselling specialty tea of all time, Sleepytime herbal tea, but adds healthful decaf green tea and a refreshing, calming lemon jasmine

These came at the perfect time, too. I don’t drink hot tea much in the summer, but in the winter, that’s all I want during the day.

I already love their regular Sleepytime Tea, but the new Lemon Jasmine Green is delicious! I think it will be my new bedtime tea.

Out of all the new teas, I liked the the Blackberry Pomegranate and the Sleepytime Lemon Jasmine the best! But I definitely enjoyed them all.

Also – and this is something I love – Celestial Seasonings’ tea boxes use 100% recycled paperboard, including 35% post-consumer waste, and can be recycled again when empty. AND their natural fiber tea bags are manufactured through a totally chlorine-free (TCF) process, meaning that no dioxin is released into the environment. Plus, they never contain starch or gluten, and they’re completely biodegradable and compostable – making them better for you and for our planet. Best of all, because our unique pillow-style tea bag doesn’t need a string, tag, staple or individual wrapper, we save 3.5 million pounds of waste from entering landfills every year! Pretty cool, right?

Want to win these teas to try for yourself?

One lucky winner will get the package pictured above, which includes one box of each of their new flavors.

To Enter:

  • Leave a comment telling me YOUR favorite tea

For additional entries:

  • Follow @SleepytimeBear on Twitter and leave a comment
  • “Like” him on Facebook and leave a comment
  • Tell me what flavor tea you would make if you could create your own – it can be anything!

I’ll pick the winner on Monday morning, February 7th.

And remember the Chobani Holiday Recipe Challenge I participated in?

Well, all of the recipes have been posted on their Facebook page and if you vote, YOU have a chance of winning an entire year of yogurt! Yup – a whole year of free yogurt. Can you imagine?

Enter here for you own chance at an oven mitt, a tote bag, and most importantly, an entire year’s worth of Chobani!

Happy Friday!

Fashion for this week coming soon…

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A few weeks ago, I got an offer to sample Sokenbicha Tea, Japan’s leading tea brand, before it made its U.S. debut at Whole Foods nationwide this October.

*I received these samples for free, but my opinions are my own.


Sokenbicha’s authentically brewed teas are unsweetened, contain zero calories and are made with tea blends and natural botanicals from around the globe. Sokenbicha is inspired by the teachings of Kampo, a traditional Japanese herbal approach to health and wellness dating back more than 1500 years.

The five varieties of Sokenbicha are:

  • Revive, a crisp oolong tea blend infused with pomegranate and raspberry notes, black tea and rose hips
  • Defend, a mild oolong tea blend with guava leaves and ginseng
  • Purify, an aromatic green tea blend with chamomile and aloe
  • Shape, a bold barley tea blend with peach flower notes, pu’er and green teas
  • Skin, a full-bodied barley tea blend with cinnamon and ginger

They recommend sampling the drinks in the above order, and I definitely agree! Sweet tea lovers will be drawn to Revive, traditional Chinese oolong tea fans will like Defend, green tea drinkers will enjoy Purify and adventure seekers will likely appreciate the bold Japanese-style barley teas Shape and Skin.

Nick and I had fun trying each flavor – they were so different from each other, and I love the variety and different blends.


Green tea is one of my favorites, especially iced, and I have to say that the Purify was my favorite. It was so fruity and sweet, I would have sworn it had added sugar or fruit juice, but it was just the blend of teas. Delicious!

Along with my tea samples, I also received a Sokenbicha reusable bag and journal.


And what makes these teas even better?

The beverages will be introduced in 15.2 fluid ounce bottles made from PlantBottleTM packaging – a PET plastic that features up to 30 percent plant based material. 100 percent recyclable, the bottles are made through a process that turns sugar cane and molasses into PET plastic. Sokenbicha™ has zero grams of sugar and zero calories and includes no added preservatives or artificial flavors. Cool, huh?

Want to win some Sokenbicha of your very own?

Three lucky winners will score their own Sokenbicha Tea samples along with eco-friendly shopping bag! Thumbs up

  • Leave me a comment telling me YOUR favorite type of tea – hot chai, iced black, green tea?

For additional entries:

  • Tweet: @BranAppetit is giving away @SokenbichaTea! and leave another comment letting me know you did
  • Link to this giveaway and leave another comment for me


I’ll be picking a winner Monday at lunch! Good luck Smile

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I don’t think I’ve shopped this much since the day after Thanksgiving!  🙂  We had so much fun today.

First we hit up the Amish market – I got a bunch of stuff – some I needed, some I didn’t, but that doesn’t really matter, right?

  • oat groats!  (heather, I know you’ll be proud – I need an idea of how to make oatgurt without that heating dish)
  • wheat flakes, they look just like old fashioned oats
  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • orange blossom honey
  • smoked paprika for cheap! a whole container was only $2!
  • whole wheat couscous
  • whole wheat pastry flour
  • chia seeds! I was so excited to find these. I can’t wait to try them.

We came back home, dropped off our bags, and headed downtown to grab some lunch.


Nick’s mom took us to this really cute little place called the “Tea Room” – it was the perfect place for just us girls to have lunch.


It was pretty small and very busy! Apparently, they are always packed and have lots of reservations, but I loved this little place. They do not have a very large menu, but everything from the scones, quiche, soups, and salads sounded amazing.


The tables are all set with all different, non matching tea cups and they offer over 100 varieties of tea! I would love to come back for their actual afternoon tea, which is from 2-5 each day. Maybe next time  😉




I had the Ann Hardesty’s Chef Salad, which had local turkey, ham, cheese, tomatoes, red pepper, and some croutons along with an orange-mustard dressing. Yum! It also came with this amazing little cheddar biscuit that I saved for the last part of my meal.

I had their unsweet iced tea of the day, which was a mango madness. This was the perfect light lunch for us ladies! I can’t wait to go back.

And then.

We shopped.

And shopped.

And shopped.

The sad thing? The only place we got to was Kohl’s 🙂 I don’t have one near me, so I always want to go when we’re here, and we were in there for over 3 hours! I think we tried on the entire store between the 3 of us. We also helped this lady in the dressing room pick out a dress to wear for a wedding this afternoon – she was kind of freaking out because the zipper broke on the dress she was wearing. She had stopped in to Kohl’s to try to find a dress for a wedding that was at 4:30 today! We helped her decide on a dress to wear and she looked beautiful. It was fun to help another girl find a fabulous dress.

You think we got some good stuff?

Now, some of my stuff was birthday presents from my mom and Nick’s mom, but most of this is their stuff anyways.


This is Nick’s mom’s pile – and yes, that is a little deep fryer in the back. She decided they needed to be able to those deep fried oreos at home.


The middle section is my mom’s stuff she got – we all got the cutest stuff!


And this is my pile  🙂  AND, all of our stuff was on sale. We got some great deals, and Nick’s mom and I got some good skirts + hats for our trip to Honduras next month, which is good because I actually did need those.

We missed you Melissa, Maleasa, and Tiff!

Whew! I’m worn out!


I had one of these ciders when we got back (and after we did our little fashion show and tried everything on again). I love having girls time.

We’re working on dinner and I’m hoping we eat soon! All that shopping has made me hungry.

I think there will also be a trip to Kline’s dairy bar tonight for some local ice cream….but we shall see.

I hope you’re enjoying your Saturday!

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No Rain? Is This a Dream?

Today is beautiful! I’m not sure what happened, but I wish I could just be outside all day today and enjoy the weather since I think it’s supposed to rain here again tomorrow. The sky is blue, the grass is green, and there is a cool breeze to go along with the warm sunshine. I think I’ll get to run today!

Work has gone well this morning – for some reason, I keep thinking it’s Monday. I guess since yesterday didn’t start out like a normal Monday, I have my days all confused. I keep putting the wrong date down and looking at yesterday on the calendar.

Since we didn’t make coffee at home today, I had some of my Numi breakfast blend tea with a splash of skim milk this morning at work.


It was good with the milk. I don’t usually add milk to my tea, but I really liked it in this.

Lunch was something I was very excited about:

1. I got to use up some great leftovers, and

2. I had TONS of veggies! My tummy is very happy.


I love all the colors!

You can’t really tell how big this was from this picture so I took a side shot of the container, too.


This is one of those massive 7 cup gladware containers and I ate every bite  🙂 It was mostly greens, though, so it didn’t make me too full.

  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup mixed local greens
  • 1/4 cup taco meat
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fat free refried beans
  • 1/3 cup corn
  • 1 diced roma tomato
  • 2 spoonfulls of the leftover guacamole

I topped the greens/spinach with the beans/corn/meat mixture that I heated up in the microwave and then put the tomato/guacamole on top of that. I. love. taco. salads. I really think I could eat them every day.

I also had an apple with my lunch


Nick and I ran over to Barnes and Noble at lunch so I could pick up 2 new books I want to read and somehow I ended up with this?

frapToday was so nice and an icy blended coffee sounded so good. Having those starbucks in B&N is so tempting! I got a grande mocha light frap, blended twice. I hate when you get to the bottom of the frap and it’s all just big chunks of ice – if you ask them to blend it twice, you don’t have any of that. I have to thank my WW friend Penny for that tip.

Back to work for me – I’m hoping this weather holds up for a run this afternoon!

Do you “milk” your tea or coffee? Or do you add anything?

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Happy happy Humpday! AND it’s half way over already! and LOST comes on tonight! Today is a good day.

Operation Tea is still going well. I had some of this at work this morning:

tea1I forgot how much I like this tea! It tastes very similar to a an Earl Grey, but a bit different. A good way to start my morning at work  🙂

Lunch today was full o’ beans and it was tasty. I had some refried beans topped with a Black Bean burger and a little avocado

burger2Bean overload? Nah. I love these Morningstar Farms black bean burgers.

I also had the leftover broccoli and cauliflower from yesterday, for some non-starchy veggies


Plus more of my cantaloupe and pineapple. I’m glad just one of each of these has so much fruit! Keeping it cut in the fridge makes it so easy to just pack up what I want for the day or have some for breakfast or dessert without having to do any work.


We’ve got BodyPump after work today, then home for some leftovers and LOST!

I’ll be trying my baking project tonight, but I’m pretty sure it’s good. Nick ate a row last night, so 3 pieces, all by himself. I’d say that’s a good sign  🙂

I’ll probably be working on ANOTHER baking project tonight for tomorrow morning, but this one isn’t my recipe. We’ll see how it goes! It’ll be my first time making this dish.

What’s your favorite veggie burger?

The Morningstar Farms Black Beans and the Boca Tomato Basil Pizza burgers are my absolute favorites, but I also really like the Boca grillers.

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Day of Operations

Well, the rain let off for a little while on our way home from work, but it’s been pouring ever since. I know we still need the rain here, but I am getting really excited about the beautiful weekend we’re supposed to have!

Operation Tea seems to have just invaded my day – it’s unstoppable!


I got a fat free steamed milk while we were out at lunch so I could make my own “tea latte” in my office. I just added this Chai tea bag and let it sit for a few minutes before enjoying. It was really nice on this cold and drab afternoon. I LOVE tea steeped in milk, so I’m hoping I can remember to start doing this on my own more instead of paying so much for a cup of steamed milk  🙂

With my “latte”, I finally broke into this bar I got in my Secret Blogger V-Day package!


I know, it took me forever. I guess I was just saving it for the perfect day.



I had about 1/4 of the bar and it was the perfect little accompaniment to my tea – this chocolate is very dark, which I love. I can’t wait to have more!

Dinner tonight was based on a recipe from Eating Well for Beef & Cabbage Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce, but I made a few changes.


  • I used chicken instead of beef
  • I only used 2 Tbsp pb, 1 tsp sugar, and added 1 tsp hot chile garlic paste to the sauce
  • We put ours on brown rice and had edamame on the side


I love the spicy kick from the chile paste with the peanut butter – I think I would actually add more next time! The sauce was really good, and it would work well with any protein in this dish (beef, shrimp, tofu, etc).


Why the Day of Operations you ask?

– Operation Tea instead of Crappy Coffee started today and has been going great! I may even need to buy more tea at some point – that will take a while, though. I have a lot to get through  🙂

– Operation Lawnmower was successful! Nick went this morning once he dropped me off at work and we are now the proud owners of a brand new lawnmower! Exciting, huh?

– Today is actually a very special day. Nick’s Dad (of Bob’s Breakfast fame) is having his 2 year heart-iversary today. He had emergency open heart surgery 2 years ago today, and I am so happy he is here to tell the tale of that crazy day and week. You can read more about what happened here. I just wanted to say that we love you and are proud of you and can’t wait to see what comes next!


So….that baking project I was going to tell you about? Eh. Not so much. It just didn’t turn out well. I may try that recipe again with some tweaks, but it wasn’t good enough to share. Oh well. The good news? I just took out another baking project, and I have a feeling this one will be great. I’ll wait until Nick and I try them to make sure they’re good enough to post, but they smell pretty darn good right now.


What’s your Biggest Cooking/Baking Flop?

This last baking project wasn’t horrible, but the flavor just was not at ALL what I imagined. The texture was good, but nothing else really. I hate to throw stuff away, but I knew we wouldn’t eat these and I didn’t want to give them to anyone else, either. I also tried making this lemon pasta dish one time that just did not turn out at all. Even if we don’t really care for something, we usually eat it that first night, but neither one of would eat the lemon pasta dish. I’m not sure if the recipe just wasn’t a good one or if it was me….but ick.

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Green Tea for Me

Good Morning  –  it’s FrIdAy!!!

I’m SO glad it’s almost the weekend.

And what better way to start a Friday than with an awesome bowl of oats?


This was the same mix I had on Wednesday:

  • 1/2 cup oats, 1 cup water, pinch salt
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/3-1/2 cup pumpkin
  • cinnamon!!!
  • 1 Tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts
  • 1 tsp butterscotch chips, 1 tsp mini chocolate chips

This little chip was ready for her close-up



I also had a cup of skim milk, as usual.

So, I usually have 1-2 cups of coffee at work. Not today! I always bring some skim milk from home to put in my coffee, but I ran out yesterday and forgot to bring more. I’m not a fan of black coffee unless it’s amazing (and ours usually isn’t) but I don’t like those powdered creamers, either.

So I dug out some tea that I have in my office. I actually found TONS of tea in my office! I guess I need to drink it more.


This tea is really good, and I’m feeling fine not having coffee – maybe more tea is in my future?

I also just ate (at 10:20) a hard boiled egg I brought. I’m glad I thought to toss it in my bag this morning – I’ve been super hungry this week, and today is apparently no exception.


Well, back to work – Nick and I are going out for lunch, but we don’t know where yet. We’ll see what happens  🙂

Hope you’re having a good Friday!

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Special Delivery and Review #3

Woohoo, I LOVE getting real mail!!!

First, my Valentine’s Day Secret Blogger Package, and now my share of the tea prize from the BSI Date contest that Sarah held a week ago.


Look how cute the little package of tea is!  Thanks so much, Sarah! I can’t wait to try it.



Now…for another review of what is quickly becoming my favorite place.


Since I had to go get Sarah’s BSI prize the other day, I decided to try another truffle from The Chocolate Spike.

This one is called the Spikey Rum Truffle and is a dark chocolate truffle with a hint of rum. The outside is completely covered with roasted cocoa nibs.


I have a feeling I’ll try every one of their confections pretty soon – it’s hard to resist!

What’s your favorite decadent treat?

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No Heat for Us!

Well, the maintenance guy came out and looked at our heater, and our motor has locked up, which is what caused the burning smell. We have to get a new motor, which won’t be here until Monday or Tuesday of next week – thank goodness we have a propane heater upstairs and a few of those electric heaters! 


At least the weather is supp0sed to be pretty nice the next few days (in the 50s and 60s), so I’m hoping it won’t be too bad. You may see a few more hot drinks in the next few days on here  🙂


Starting with some green tea!  I was a little chilly this morning, so I made a cup of this while waiting for the heater man and working on laundry.








This was really good – I like citrus flavored green tea, and it did a good job warming me up!


For lunch, I had a taco salad, aka big bowl of veggies!





This bowl had:

  • between 1/3 – 1/2 cup fat free refried beans
  • 1/2 chicken breast, diced (it’s in there, I promise! You just can’t see it)
  • 2 cups chopped romaine
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1/4 avocado, diced
  • lime juice
  • 1 tsp. olive oil


I heated the beans and chicken in the bottom of the bowl, then added the rest of the veggies cold and drizzled on the juice and oil.



Since we’re home for the rest of the day, we decided we’re going to go running this afternoon.


So – I needed some fuel  🙂


Thanks to Jenna’s pictures of this, I finally made one for myself!  Now I know why she has it so often –  it is so good!


This snack starts with this beauty:





Add a sliced and halved banana, and you’ve got a powerful snack   🙂





I think we’re going to run a few errands, go for a run, shower, go to dinner, and then head out for a church group thing tonight. 


Dinner recap might not be until later – you’ve seen this meal before, but I sure am looking forward to it today!!!  🙂


Woohoo – it’s the weekend!

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