Tea Time from England

I’ve been really bad lately with posting… I believe it’s been a year >_< eek. I restarted though and I’m now getting into editing my photos from my first ever Europe trip. I had never travelled overseas before (where I had to have a passport). So when I finally went I wanted to go BIG! I took a month off from work and went to Europe. I spent a week in each of these countries; Germany, Italy, France, and England. It was an experience of a lifetime. I wish I could live in any of those countries. They are so beautiful.

I got to spend half the time with my mom who I invited along for the journey. She had never been overseas either so this was a big thing for her as well.  I can go on and on about my time but I think I’ll split it up into different posts or this will be a very long post lol.

I wanted to start out with some tea time that I brought home with me from England. I have to admit England I over indulged!! I literally had afternoon tea twice a day! Oh it was glorious! Tea time over there is different and more of a dainty experience than it is here. I have recently found a local place here in LA that is close to England, but again it’s completely different… maybe because I was in England lol.

Fortnum & Mason was one of my favorite stop offs for tea. They had an amazing store where I believe I shopped at for an hour haha. I knew I was going to spend a lot of money so I tried to limit myself to what I knew I would love and it would become a quick favorite of mine.

Earl Grey Tea Biscuits were a must! They quickly went once I opened the package =) Not vegan, but being vegan in Europe with out living there is really difficult. I was able to have a lot of afternoon tea that was vegan, they were very accommodating. Finding vegan foods on the run though was difficult so I had to be vegetarian for my trip. I know if I lived in Europe and got familiar with places and grocery store I’d be able to be vegan.

Any suggestions from vegans who travel to Europe a lot, would be gratefully accepted. Next time I go back I want to be 100% vegan. Of course there’s always hidden stuff, but for the most part I’d like to try =)IMG_4014

Famous Teas Royal Blend Tea was the tea I had selected during afternoon tea so of course I selected it when I went shopping. I’m still enjoying it to this day.
IMG_4016Hope you Enjoy!

~ Chibi Artist ^_^

 

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Vegan Crescent Rolls with Cookie Butter

Ok I have to admit when I was making this recipe I thought for some strange reason I was making Croissants HAHA so silly. I knew from the start I was making crescent rolls, but I think half way through my craving switched to croissants. So in the end I went out and bought so super delicious Cookie Butter from Trader Joes. Well I had to wait a few days for them to restock and then had to put two of them on hold! Can you believe it lol they were in high demand. I couldn’t even get the smooth version, which I prefer, till about a week later >_<.. Now I believe they have been able to stock the shelves with the cookie butter with out shortages. So they should have them when you go to Trader Joes next. Thanks goodness!

I really did like the out come of these crescent rolls and I would share the recipe if you like, but since I felt the recipe could of been better I won’t post till I find one that is worthy of posting. For something that should be served during dinner it was a bit sweet. Who knows if this was my craving sabotaging the recipe by adding sugar when it didn’t need it haha. I’ll have to redo the recipe and see. Will post results when I do =)

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Hope you Enjoy!

~ Chibi Artist ^_^

 

Tea Time with New Milk and Sugar Container

I have been constantly searching for the perfect milk and sugar bowl for my tea time. I recently came across one from the brand Make My Day. I couldn’t get a great photo of the name, but it’s super cute and I love that the milk fits over the sugar. Saves space on my tray for more things like Jam and Cream =p

This specific tea time I felt like using one of World Markets Scone packages. It was very delicious, I believe the brand was Sticky Fingers, there’s a lot of flavors to choose from. I added some cinnamon on top which was like icing on the top.

The Kawaii Cat mug I bought from a local Japanese market. I’ve seen it online too but I can’t remember where.

The Teapot in the back, which you can’t really see the logo, is from the local renaissance faire. I got it when I had tea with the queen. I highly recommend if you’re going to a renaissance faire to do tea time with the queen. It’s a great experience and with the price of the tea you will hopefully get a teapot like I did =)

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Hope you Enjoy!

~ Chibi Artist ^_^

 

Vegan Baked Donuts

I’ve always been obsessed with donuts. I grew up in a small town that was influenced by Alsatian Culture and there was this Alsatian Bakery that had probably the best donuts I’ve ever had. I mean they were fluffy and sugary and just plain delicious. When the Krispy Kreme craze came around I tried one and could not figure out how those donuts could even call themselves donuts. Number one they looked so fake! I felt I was eating something out of Barbie’s playhouse lol. So I never got it or any of the other fast food donuts. Now when I became vegan I just gave up on the thought of ever having another donut again. Lard is a horrible thing! lol you don’t have to use lard to fry foods anymore. Of course I did find some places here in LA that gave me my wonderful donuts again. First place I found – Whole Foods in Venice. I have to say they are seriously close to what I grew up on. They don’t just have one flavor either! There’s the Original with just glaze, Cinnamon (my personal favorite), Chocolate Dipped, Vanilla Dipped with Sprinkles, and Coconut. Second place I found – Fonuts in Beverly Hills. This place isn’t all vegan but they normally have around 2-3 choices. The flavors are, Banana Cinnamon, Chocolate Coconut, Coconut Passion Fruit, Vanilla Latte, Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Lemon. I haven’t been able to try the last three, but the first three were good. I’m actually not the biggest fan of coconut flakes (it’s growing on me =p) so my favorite is Banana Cinnamon. Fonuts are baked which I love because I’ve grown more and more health conscious since living in LA and I try really hard not to eat fried foods (I’m still working on sweet potato fries >_< lol). Whole Foods donuts are not baked… mmm… so good lol. Since I love to bake of course I wanted to try my hand in making them that way I knew what was going into them. Went out and bought my self a donut pan from Bed Bath & Beyond and got to it =) Here are some photos from my experiment: Food Blog - 067 Food Blog - 076 Food Blog - 064 Food Blog - 060 Food Blog - 057I had to make a version of all of them – Chocolate, Powdered Sugar, and Glaze with Sprinkles. I thought they turned out beautiful and satisfied my craving for donuts but in a slightly healthier way haha cause they’re still donuts even though they’re baked and vegan ; ) Recipe: (from Vegan YumYum) 1 cup all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1 tiny pinch cinnamon 1/2 cup soy milk (I used Almond milk) 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar Egg substitute for 1 egg (I used Ener-G Egg-Replacer) 4 tbsp Earth Balance margarine Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350˚F 2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon till throughly combined. 3. Combine soy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla extract, egg substitute, and margarine in small saucepan over med-low heat and mix till the margin is melted. Don’t get it too hot; you should be able to stick your finger in and feel slightly warm. I didn’t do this cause I didn’t want to burn myself if it was hot so I used a spoon. If it’s hot then it’s too hot for the dough. 4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix till just combined. It should be a very soft dough or thick batter. 5. Using a tablespoon measure, scoop out the dough into the ungreased, nonstick doughnut pan. Smooth out the top of the doughnuts with your fingers, clearing the posts in the middle. This makes prettier doughnuts =) 6. Bake for 12 minutes till the doughnuts are almost browned on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Invert pan over cutting board or cooling rack to remove doughnuts. Cool completely before decorating (if making powdered doughnuts they will still need to be warm; see below). Covering them loosely with plastic wrap will keep the doughnuts soft and fluffy. Decorating Directions: Chocolate-dipped doughnuts: Melt 1 bar of your favorite dark chocolate in the microwave. Remove and stir every 15mins until the chocolate melts and is smooth and warm to touch. Don’t let any water get in the chocolate or it will seize up. Dip your doughnuts one by one into the chocolate and place on wire rack. Sprinkle with sprinkles if desired. Glazed doughnuts with sprinkles: Whisk together 1/2 cup lump-free powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon of soy milk. Dip the “bottom” half of the doughnut (the pretty side) into the glaze, let some drip off, then dip glaze side down into a bowlful of sprinkles (1/4 – 1/2 cup). Transfer to wire rack (don’t forget to place parchment paper underneath or wax paper) Powdered sugar doughnuts: While the doughnuts are still warm from the over, roll them in a bowl of powdered sugar. Striped doughnuts: Dip doughnuts into the powdered sugar glaze (from above) then drizzle with melted chocolate. Enjoy! Try them out and let me know what you think! ~ Chibi Artist ^_^

Egyptian TeaPot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lately I’ve been on kind of a crazy buy every cute teapot in site lol. It’s really hard to pass these guys up, they’re too darn cute! So of course when I saw this guy online I purchased before I even knew what I was doing lol kind of scary a little. I acquired it from Fab.com. One of my new favorite online stores. Sometimes there’s great deals sometime not really, but you find things there that you probably wouldn’t find elsewhere.

With this new teapot I’m going to have to find some amazing Egyptian Tea to go with it. Only seems fit =)

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~ Chibi Artist ^_^

Being Touristy in Downtown LA

Getting to just park and walk around downtown LA is extremely… relaxing honestly lol. Which is not what I think about when I think of downtown LA. I went for two reasons – Sanrio in Little Tokyo and Angels Flight. So I played tourist for a day =)

The visit to Sanrio was because my brother is expecting his second kid in June and it’s a girl. YES! finally! She will be showered with nothing but Hello Kitty from me ^_^ hahaha. I really hope she grows to love it cause I never want to stop giving it to her =p. I knew the Sanrio downtown location would have Baby Hello Kitty. Most places don’t.

Angels Flight is actually this nifty little historical railway. It’s the smallest railway and was built to move posh Victorians from they’re homes to the markets. Back then it cost 1cent one way, today it costs 50cents one way (25cents with metro pass).

Oh! and while walking downtown I ran into this cute little place Four Leaf. I had heard of this place but haven’t had the time to go to it and there it was on my way to Sanrio =). Their crepes are delicious and their boba was perfect. I could eat there everyday! Good thing I don’t live downtown haha.

It was a good touristy day… oh and there was another place I had wanted to try. Lette… they make these awesome macarons… I couldn’t get a picture in time so y’all have to settle for a picture of the box heh. I had a violet cassis, caribbean chocolate, madagascar vanilla, sweet wedding almond, earl grey tea, and rose flavor macarons. *drool* lol Just thinking about them right now makes me want to see if they’re open… which they’re not cause it’s 10pm >_< I have such a sweet tooth.

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Almond Butter Protein Balls

I’ve been on a fitness kick for 7 months now. =) yay! (been thinking of blogging about my experience) But I’m always worried about protein because I’m vegan and I also limit my soy intake. So what’s available? I do love Pea Protein powder. It’s really good in shakes and the taste isn’t over powering. But I wanted to make more of a dessert style protein kick. Thank goodness for Pinterest! lol I found this recipe for No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Protein Balls. I substituted peanut butter for almond butter and for the protein powder I used this brand, Vega Energizing Smoothie – Vanilla Almondilla. Too good! I had a hard time not eating them =p even when I took them to work. They just kept calling my name lol.

I had left over chocolate that I didn’t want to waste so I started dipping Freeze dried bananas (trader joes brand) and mandarin oranges. Mmmm.

IMG_0491 copyShot with Canon T2i 50mm lens.

Hope you Enjoy! ^_^

~Chibi LaLena

Palm Springs Tram

Who knew this existed?? lol This little tram goes up to Mount San Jacinto State Park. So you go from desert to snow… pretty awesome. I saw snow for the first time back in 2009. I know, I know lol. And all I did was drive a little north and stop off on the side of the road and play around lol. It was kind of weird. I definitely thought it would of been different. The movies at least portrayed it as much more. So finally this time I saw and felt the snow I expected. It’s the snow that people don’t really touch. =) Not the snow that’s been dirtied by vehicles or tons of kids. Ha.

Of course there was only one foot of snow on the mountain but that was enough for me. I didn’t go thinking I would cross ski or go sledding. I just liked walking around and taking awesome pictures =)

I think next time I’ll come more prepared! A sled and some good snow walking shoes to do the hiking trail.

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Desert Hot Springs

Best thing about living in LA? You get to escape to Palm Springs =) I went for spring break with my mom who recently visited from Texas. We actually stayed in Desert Hot Springs which is to the east of I-10. The reason? Desert Hot Springs uses healing natural hot mineral waters. Which feels just amazing. Your skin would kiss you if it could. The mineral waters are also pumped into the jacuzzi that’s in the suites. ^_^ love.

The Spa and Resort I stayed at was called Bella Monte Resort and Spa. It was a very serene place. My mom got a Shiatsu Massage and I got the Green Tea Clay Masque Treatment. For the rest of the time we enjoyed the sauna, hot tubs and warm swimming pool. They even had s’mores at night for you to roast over the open fire pit.  I wish there was vegan marshmallows =(, but I enjoyed the chocolate (which I successfully melted over the fire!), graham crackers and hot chocolate.

A really wonderful vacation =)

While there I took photos of the landscape around the resort.

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Christmas in the Desert

I was missing the twinkle of christmas lights the other week as I hung up a strand of LED lights on my bookcase. It reminded me that I never got around to editing photos from my visit to Rancho Cucamonga during the holidays. While up there my friends and I visited this street where it’s mandatory to decorate for christmas. They go beyond that and some houses sell cupcakes, hot chocolate, churros, and a variety of other delicious goodness. It’s located on Thoroughbred Lane (Near Hillside and Sapphire north of the 210 Freeway). I hope to make this a holiday tradition! =) We walked the lane rather than drive, which in my opinion was the best way to do it. You get to really see everything up close and everyone will enjoy it (the poor driver won’t have to avoid people the whole time).

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