2018 Mother's Day Gift Guide

Does the thought of wandering along the aisles of the store in search of the perfect gift leave you with a deep sense of panic that only gets worse as the days go by? Or are you stuck scratching your head, wondering what to give your mother this year. Your shopping days are quickly running out, but don't worry, we're here with a handful of great ideas that any mom is sure to love.

2018 Mother's Day Gift Guide | Not Starving Yet

Didn't find what you were looking for? Don't worry, we have you covered! Check out our past gift ideas for more inspiration.


 

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

 

Lemon Pound Cake

I like cake. It doesn't matter what flavor—chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, salted caramel—I enjoy them all, but I'm especially fond of lemon pound cake. This is largely due to its simplicity as it's one of those rare cakes that doesn't need to be drowned in frosting to make it delicious. A thick slice coupled with a cup of coffee (or better yet some vanilla bean ice cream) has the power to make even the worst day a little brighter.

The trouble is, I don't often find myself with enough time for baking.

The good news is that pound cake can be made in advance and the flavor only improves as the days go by. I've been known to make one of these cakes, enjoy a small piece, then save the rest for a rainy day (or for those last minute guests that tend to turn up at my table on a regular basis.)

If you want my advice, if life hands you lemons don't waste them on lemonade, make a pound cake instead. Cake makes everything better.

Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Pound Cake


makes 1 loaf


1½ cups sugar
2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons lemon zest
4 large eggs
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the insides of a loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper and set it aside.
  • In a mixing bowl cream together sugar and room temperature butter. Add lemon zest, eggs, buttermilk, and lemon juice then continue to mix until well incorporated. 
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until smooth.
  • Transfer the batter to the greased loaf pan and bake for 65 - 75 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes away clean.
  • Allow the cake to cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cake platter or plate.

Notes


 

Loaf pans come in several different sizes, for this recipe you'll need a 1.5lb loaf pan like this one from Nordic Ware.

This cake is tasty when paired with ice cream (I'm partial to lemon and lavender or vanilla bean) but it's also quite good eaten on its own or topped with sliced strawberries and fresh whipped cream.
 

Disclosure
 


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

 

The Best Kitchen Tools Under $25

This time of year it seems like more and more of my weekends are dedicated to weddings and wedding showers. While I enjoy them, my wallet is starting to feel the pinch of so many events happening all at once. I'm sure some of you find yourself in the same boat, so here is a list of my must-have kitchen tools, all of which are under $25. 

Whether you're looking for inexpensive ideas for the bride-to-be in your life, registering for gifts for your own wedding, or want a fabulous gift for Mother's Day we have you covered! 

The Best Kitchen Tools Under $25 | Not Starving Yet

Didn't find what you were looking for? Check out our past gift guides for more inspiration.
 

Disclosure


This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Midwest Tea Festival 2016 - Kansas City, MO #MidwestTeaFest

Last Wednesday I packed the cooler, loaded up the car, strapped in the kid, and started making my way towards Kansas City, MO for the 2nd Annual Midwest Tea Festival. I had a ton of fun last year, so as soon as the date was set I started making plans to attend. As luck would have it the festival took place on Mother's Day weekend, so I made a quick stop in St. Louis to pick up my mom as I was passing through. 

There were a few notable changes to the festival this year, the biggest being the new venue. The Ararat Shrine Auditorium, located on the outskirts of KC, is a much more convenient location for non-KC natives who may not want to navigate the traffic of downtown. There was plenty of free parking available and despite the long line to get in the door things progressed quickly. The volunteers handling check-in kept things moving, so in less than 10 minutes I was able to jump right in and start sampling tea. 

Yōki Booth: Matcha Kit Kat bars - Midwest Tea Festival | Not Starving Yet

My very first stop was at the booth for Yōki where I sampled my first cup of tea and discovered numerous tea related treats including pocky, mochi, and matcha kit kats. I've been keeping my eye out for those kit kats, so I picked up a bag to take home. They managed to make it back to Wisconsin unmelted, so I'll be sharing the review of these tasty gems later this week.

Tealet Tasting Cafe: Experimental Teas - Midwest Tea Festival  | Not Starving Yet

With tea in hand I headed over to one of the first tasting cafe presentations of the day. Rie Tulali the General Manager at Tealet gave a brief talk about experimental teas. I was hoping to catch her later presentation about Direct Trade Tea as well, but time got away from me and I completely missed it.

Bimi Bakery - Midwest Tea Festival  | Not Starving Yet

After Tealet's session I headed back over to the vendors where I stumbled across more great tea snacks. Bimi Bakery was handing out samples of their lavender earl grey cake when I stopped by. As many of you know I love all things Earl Grey, so my mom treated me to a full size piece which I munched on during the ride home.

Bimi Bakery Treats - Midwest Tea Festival | Not Starving Yet

They also had a large assortment of matcha-based treats to choose from. The matcha chocolate with raisins, coconut, and nuts was tempting, but I wanted to save room for tea.

Japanese Tea Ceremony Presentation - Midwest Tea Festival | Not Starving Yet

I visited with a few more vendors before heading upstairs for the Japanese Tea Ceremony presentation given by Ayako Mizumura of Bimi Bakery. She gave a brief talk about respect, tradition, and how they relate to different aspects of tea ceremony before showing a video from the NHK, Japan's national public broadcasting organization. 

It was fascinating to learn the reasons behind some of the smallest details of the ceremony; every action is meant to add to the comfort of the guests. Something seemingly innocuous, such as where the tea pot is placed, can have a huge affect on how comfortable a guest is. In the winter the pot is placed closer to the guests to provide added warmth and it's placed closer to the host during the summer to keep guests cooler. It is small details such as these that make tea ceremony so fascinating, but at the same time it is this attention to detail that makes Japanese tea ceremony a very time-intensive tradition to learn. 

For those of you who are interested in learning more you can find the video that was shown during the lecture on YouTube.

Steepster Meet-up - Midwest Tea Festival | Not Starving Yet

After the presentation I headed downstairs again, this time to meet up with a group of Steepster members that I've been chatting with for years. We spent the hour sampling an aged oolong and chatting about various tea-related topics. Amanda from My Thoughts are Like Butterflies, Andrew the mad-genius behind Liquid Proust Teas, and an Oolong Owl were among those who attended the meet-up.

Afterwards I had meant to stop back by Liquid Proust's booth to pick up some of his Rummy Pu, one of the teas he was sampling during the festival, but it slipped my mind. It ended up being my favorite tea of the day, so I ordered some as soon as I got home along with his Watermelon Baozhong. I'll be sharing both of these teas during one of our upcoming Tuesday Tea reviews, so keep your eyes peeled.

Pi Ceramics - Midwest Tea Festival | Not Starving Yet

After more than three hours of sampling tea I needed a short break, so I decided to check out Pi Ceramics. Yvette brought along some truly breathtaking pieces this year, I really love these patterned tea cups and vases. My one regret from the festival is that I didn't take one home... maybe next year.

Tea-Rex T-shirts - Midwest Tea Festival | Not Starving Yet

Next stop was over to check out these lovely ladies who were hard at work making t-shirts. Who could pass up Tea-Rex on a shirt? Speaking of Tea-Rex, we saw him wandering around the festival throughout the day. I tried to get my dinosaur-loving little man to pose for a picture, but he was having none of that... go figure.

Anna Tea Shop Tea Plant Giveaway - Midwest Tea Festival | Not Starving Yet

Later on I discovered that Anna Tea Shop was giving away a tea plant every hour. I have a black thumb, so I didn't enter, but I'm pretty sure my mom slipped my name in the bowl while I wasn't looking. Fortunately the baby tea plants went home with someone else, if one had come home with me it would have been lucky to survive the trip home. 

I am death to anything green.

This shop was one of my favorite discoveries from last year due largely in part to their Lemon Souffle Rooibos tea (which we reviewed a few weeks ago.) It's easily one of my top five favorite teas, so I usually end my day with a huge cup before I head off to bed.

Bruce Richardson - Midwest Tea Festival | Not Starving Yet

I stopped in for a quick chat with Bruce Richardson, the tea master for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum and co-owner of Elmwood Inn Fine Teas. He gave a lecture on the Five Teas That Launched a Revolution which was on my list of presentations I wanted to attend. Unfortunately it was going on the same time as the Steepster meet-up, so I missed out on hearing him speak.

Someone really needs to invent a time machine so I can attend all of the presentations during the festival and stop missing out on so many great lectures.

I spent another hour wandering around the various booths before I decided it was time to head back to St. Louis. After more than 12 hours in the car to arrive in KC and facing the fact that there were still 12 more hours of driving ahead of me I decided I was ready for a good meal and a nap. 

Want to see more photos from the festival? Look for us on Instagram or check out #MidwestTeaFest.

 

Disclosure


I am in no way affiliated with The Midwest Tea Festival, it's just a really cool event I'd like to see succeed. Upon my request I have been provided with a press pass for the event, admission for one guest, and samples from several of the vendors.