A Few Of My Favorite Things In 2016 & What’s Next?

Reflecting can be a good thing…so here is a brief pictorial journey of the things that inspired me in 2016, along with a hint as to my direction for 2017.  Food, tea, family, literature, gardening…all these things inspired me this past year.  Our #1 food experience….drum roll please…Providence, L.A. where acclaimed, Chef M. Ciurisky, WOWS every time in an unassuming fashion!

Providence – Chef M. Ciurisky’s fabulous L.A. restaurant. My #1 dining experience 2016…by far…

Each and every dish is simply spectacular in it’s conception, flavor, and presentation…starting with their delectable handmade oyster cracker filled with sumptuous salmon and a lovely little foamy soup…tasting of the sea.

Providence handmade oyster crackers filled with salmon…served with a foamy sip of soup…


First course…handmade oyster cracker filled with salmon and a scrumptious foamy taste of soup…yes we wanted more 🙂

Continuing to be our top vacationing experience…the Napa Valley … and it’s not just about the wine (well, it is, but….) the gardens are spectacular.

Winter mustard cover crop at Frog’s Leap…so gorgeous.

My birthday dinner was a surprise visit to the acclaimed Restaurant at Meadowood

Just loved the road leading to Coppola’s stunning Inglenook Winery on a cloudy, drizzly day

The French Laundry gardeners kindly post their seasonal garden schematic..here is fall 2016




















Our other top vacationing experience…Southern California beaches…surf camp with our grandsons, family week (a tradition), & now sister time too…and awesome seafood.

Carlsbad California sunset from our vacation spot









Reading great writing…with a cup of tea of course…my fete this year was re-enjoying War & Peace as a Lenten goal…1,287 unabridged pages in 40 days…still my favorite book of all time.

My Lenten commitment – 2016 was to read War and Peace (unabridged)










Dealing with life changes and dietary changes yet coming up with fabulous and satisfying alternatives … My niece Samantha’s unctuous and decadent petite creme brûlées and her apple crostatas.  Her 4 ounce brûlée is a perfect dessert for me…and doesn’t raise my glucose levels at all (yay!!!)

Sammy cakes Pumpkin Brûlée…I had mine without the “carmelized sugar” and no sugar spike later …hurray…





Sammy cakes apple crostata … just a rustic thing of beauty and flavor.









Our vegetable and fruit gardens this year were the best ever…all organic and unique veggies grown from seeds.  My husband’s favorite…watermelon radishes..also several heirloom cucumbers (including the lemon cuke which looks like a lemon but fully tastes like a cucumber).  Gorgeous tomatoes and basils and beets and herbs … it was a good year and good yield, along with figs and pomegranates and Fuji apples…odd looking nectarines that tasted rich and delicious.

Our 2016 backyard harvest …




















Food and teatime will always be a focal point of joy, inspiration and excitement in my life…and will be experienced in Eat Be Tea; however, I am excited to embark on a year of literary exploration this next week…beginning with two ventures; 1) Exploring the classics through the writings of the immortals in the Harvard Classics and 2) enjoying a year-long book club all about author Jane Austen.  You will hear more about this focus next week and my hope is that you will follow along, and maybe get into the literature yourself.  Happy New Year!  and remember…

Drink Tea … It’s good for you … and even better with a good book.



Testing Out “The Law of Attraction” & The Power of Positive Thinking

Mom’s (Betty’s) teacups…she was the start of my love for tea and blogging about it…

Yes, I have been M.I.A. for awhile…not for any one particular reason either…but things added up to cause a bit of disillusionment with keeping up with this blog.  Last year at this time I was happily blogging about food and tea and the meaning of life in all it’s manifestations (War and Peace revisited emerged:-) when my blog was suddenly and inexplicably…..hacked!  It just disappeared… gone!  I had to go through several machinations and $$$ to get it back, and it irritated me 🙁    But, dutiful as I am, I got it restored after hours of stress with the hosting site, the security site, and my wonderful web person (who doesn’t really do this anymore but helped me anyway – thank you Wendi).  After restoring it, I was told it was just plain silly for me not to have annual security coverage and other stuff to protect my little tea and food blog from evil doers…so I did that.  Then I had to renew my hosting stuff … so I did that… then my photos went through some update that has made it much more difficult for me to edit and post … so I just QUIT!  Ha!  I got even with all of them.

Over the past few weeks, I was feeling inspired to write again and have several half done posts to finish…but then, I started getting bombarded with security site emails telling me that my “auto renewal for security won’t renew automatically…” well of course it won’t…I never do that…rarely do I leave a credit card sitting online…so daily I have been getting this email asking for the renewal fee or guess what…”my site will be in jeopardy of the evil doers again!” … yuck. Fear mongering has never impressed me as a way to sell a concept or product (and I was in sales for 30 years so have an idea of what makes for a rational reason to buy something).

Last week, I had worked with my niece on a college paper she was doing on “The Law of Attraction” and the Power of Positive Thinking.  It has been inspirational for me. So inspirational that I’ve decided to follow the vibrations of positive energy and am NOT renewing my security for EATBETEA.  Therefore, this blog may just disappear overnight.  But I am willing to take the risk.  I feel good about it.  I am sending out positive vibes that it hangs on in the midst of evil doers…that there is a shield of whole leaf teas that will fend off any potential invader.

On a separate note, I have been thinking of going a different direction with my writing and might start a new site.  If so, I will let you all know – you might want to follow. Tea will always be involved, as tea continues to be a most positive daily ritual in my life. No matter what happens, tea and the 5 minutes of steeping a great cup is something I plan to keep as a positive focal point.  It is the thing I wake up looking forward to each morning. No matter what diet changes are needed; whole leaf, antioxidant filled organic teas harvested from quality growers will fit in … and it seems to me, it attracts positive energy!

Drink tea…It’s good for you!