happy new year!

by Patricia on January 1, 2010 · 8 comments

Sparkling tea

Cheers! Did you have a fun New Year’s Eve? Dan and I had a low-key evening at home. We didn’t even make it to midnight… when did I get so old? Haha.

But we had a beautiful dinner at home: Dan grilled a rib-eye steak seasoned with Herbs de Provence, I made a potato-leek gratin based on this onion potato gratin from Simply Recipes and sauteed some mushrooms then finished them with a little port and cream. We paired it all with a lovely Syrah. It was a great way to send off 2009.

Sparkling tea

And in place of champagne (since we already had enough wine between the two of us), we tried something new: Golden Star Tea White Jasmine sparkling tea. I found it at Whole Foods this week. Dan called it a good non-alcoholic grown up alternative to sparkling apple cider. According to the Golden Star Tea web site, their sparkling tea is currently available at Whole Foods throughout California and the Pacific NW, but they will be rolling out throughout the US soon. In the meantime, you can buy it online through their site. [Note: It’s not as cheap as the typical Martinelli’s sparkling cider. It was $9.99 at Whole Foods for 1 bottle. So it really is like a champagne replacement. But for a special occasion if you don’t feel like booze, it’s a nice alternative… it’s pretty like champagne too]

Sparkling tea


1 Charles Thompson January 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Thanks for the tip on an alternative to champagne – and Happy New Year as well! Have enjoyed reading your posts.

2 Patricia January 6, 2010 at 8:35 am

Thanks Charles. Happy New Year to you too! I am looking forward to 2010… it has to better than 2009, right? :)

3 Cheri January 3, 2010 at 8:12 am

Happy New Year! I love your photos- they are beautiful. Did you use a flash? I am trying to figure out the flash thing!

I hope 2010 is a wonderful year for you. Maybe our paths will cross at another conference this year!

4 Patricia January 3, 2010 at 10:25 am

Hi Cheri,

For the photos in this post, I didn’t use any special lighting. I had the glass and bottle on a little window sill above the kitchen sink and had the fluorescent light on above the sink. (the window is between the kitchen and another room in the house, not outside).

Normally, I use a Lowel Ego light (you can find it on amazon)… like for all of the cookie photos, that’s what I used. Though I do have a nice flash that I’ll pull out sometimes (Canon Speedlight 580x)… what I find works best with the flash is to point the light up so that it can reflect off of a surface like the ceiling — this diffuses the light. Another thing you can do if you are using the flash on the camera or an external flash is to cover it with something to diffuse it (gauze, for example… or a translucent white plastic… they even sell little things you can put on the big flash).

Hopefully some of this is helpful. If you have more questions, feel free to email me. I think if I keep writing on this topic, it will need to become its own post :)

5 Melissa January 2, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Happy New Year to you too! Don’t worry, not making it until midnight does not make you old! There have been a few years that I have not made it either, it is just that New Years Eve is at the end of a long week of celebrating the holidays, cooking, and lots of clean-up after Christmas.

6 Patricia January 3, 2010 at 10:19 am

Yeah, it was definitely a long week. Plus Dan was sick and I was trying not to get whatever he had so we decided extra sleep was more important than seeing the clock strike 12.

7 Damaris January 1, 2010 at 9:34 pm

happy 2010 to you, Dan, and the boys.
i don’t drink alcohol so this seems like a great alternative.
thanks for sharing

8 Patricia January 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm

happy 2010 to you and yours as well Damaris!

The tea was great. Bubbly, not too sweet with a hint of jasmine.

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