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Book Review: Tea with a Twist: Entertaining and Cooking with Tea by Lisa Boalt Richardson

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Tea with a Twist: Entertaining and Cooking With Tea is a beautiful gift book that will thrill any cookbook collector or specialty tea enthusiast. The book details eight themed tea parties using specialty teas. It also contains an introduction that discusses shortcuts and the basics of hot tea and iced tea.

The Flower Power Tea Party is a flower themed tea party that is all about simple elegance with a contemporary, fresh style. This chapter discusses cooking with flowers and how to prepare blooming teas. It also has suggestions for decorating with and using flowers in your party. The recipes included either use flowers in them or are in the shapes of flowers. The detailed finishing touches section will make this tea party bloom.

The Bubble Tea Party incorporates bubbles into the theme of your party and also features bubble teas. It has an Asian theme because bubble tea is from Taiwan originally. The food is Asian with American influences, and everything for the party is circular or round in shape from the round scones to the anelletti pasta.

The Tropical Tea Party is all about the sea and the beach with relaxing, tropical scents. It features Mom's Beach Iced Tea, and each of the recipes includes a citrus or tropical flavor. The finishing touches section will leave you feeling like you're at the beach and include fish netting and sea shells.

The Mexican Fiesta Tea Party will help you discover the culture of Mexico from the Tea Sangria to the spicy tastes of traditional Mexican food. The Fried Ice Cream Topping has my mouth watering already! Finishing touches include using Mexican blankets to cover tables and mariachi music playing in the background.

The Southern Tailgate Tea Party will please any football fan. It features Iced Tea and some southern favorites like sweet potato pecan scones and smokey tea first down barbecue. The party is done picnic style or in the back of your vehicle for a true tea party feel.

The All About Chocolate Tea Party will make any chocoholic swoon! Chocolate truffle tea and foods featuring chocolate are sure to tempt your tastebuds. This would be a great tea party for a girls' afternoon out or for a romantic couples party.

The Indian Chai High Tea features masala chai tea and includes Indian inspired recipes including a yummy looking Tandoori roasted chicken thighs recipe. I love the finishing touches for this chapter. They include using Indian linens or a sari and filling rustic clay pots with cinnamon sticks and dried lentils.

The Under the Table Tea Party is a tea party just for children, and, yes, it's held under the table. It's all about having fun with your kids. The menu is simple and kid friendly and includes PB&J sconewiches and crispy wormy mud balls. Your kids will really love this one.

This is a really amazing book. The color photographs are absolutely gorgeous and really give you tons of ideas about how to make each tea party a beautiful event. I can't wait to try some of these ideas!

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About Ellen Christian

Ellen is a busy mom of two teenagers who left the corporate world in 2008 to focus on a more eco-friendly life. She lives in rural Vermont where she juggles family, two blogs and a career in social media. You can find her at http://www.confessionsofanover-workedmom.com/ and http://the-socialites-closet.blogspot.com/.