Wednesday, October 30, 2019

I Went to a Hocus Pocus Themed Tea Party at Tyme for Tea & Co



This past weekend, I went to a Halloween themed tea party centering around the beloved film, Hocus Pocus at Tyme for Tea & Co. This place is a hidden gem located in the historic part of Fremont, California. Not only do they serve tea and delectable sandwiches, but also sell antiques and small trinkets. They have different tea packages to choose from but the holiday tea parties are my favorite and are always a wonderful experience. They usually have four holiday themed tea events throughout the year, which include Halloween, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day. The prices do change for the holiday tea events, but roughly stay around the $40 range. The Halloween themed tea party is always a must for me.


Before I dive into the review, here's some photos of the tea room and the delightful ghoulish decorations!



Someone lit the black flame candle...



Love this wall decoration!



Plenty of witchy decor placed throughout the room.






The menu for the Hocus Pocus Brew Ball:



Started off the tea party with a lovely cup of pumpkin spiced chai tea, which came in an adorable and appropriate themed teapot. Can we talk about how cute that teapot is for a second? I don't think I have ever seen a Hocus Pocus themed teapot before, it looks like they made them just for the event. They get extra points for theming! Besides pumpkin tea, they also had a champagne cocktail and sparkling cider to choose from. 



Next up was the pumpkin spice scone with caramel pecan butter. The scone tasted warm and fresh like it just came out of the oven. The butter was to die for, it went with the scone perfectly. I need that recipe asap! 



The main course arrived on the cutest spider-web serving tray I have ever seen. This savory tower of ghoulish delights featured a cucumber & blood sandWITCH, cast a spell chicken pecan sandWITCH, witch warts cheese and corn crostini, ham & cheese sandWITCH, and brie pinwheel with pineapple chipotle sauce. Even though the sandwiches look quite small, I assure you they will magically leave you quite full. Each item presented on the menu is portioned for one individual.




The first sandWITCH I had my eye on was the ham & cheese. You can go wrong with ham and cheese, especially warm melted cheese. Simple yet tasty!



The brie pinwheel with pineapple chipotle sauce was my favorite of the bunch. I had it before at their previous tea parties and it is still one of my favorites. It's the right amount of spicy and sweet.



The cucumber & blood sandWITCH was bloody delicious! This staple sandwich of cucumber and cream cheese got a Halloween makeover.



The next treat was the cast a spell chicken pecan sandWITCH. And it did indeed cast a spell on me, the tenderness of the chicken paired well with the cruchiness of the pecans. So good!



Another treat with warm gooey cheese, I'm sold! The witch warts cheese and corn crostini was another one of my favorites. I liked the idea where they called the corn witches warts. Fun idea!



Last, but not least was the final course with bewitching desserts! The desserts included a red velvet cupcake, spell book brownie, a Binx cat cookie, and Halloween petit fours. By the time I got to the desserts, I was pretty full but I had to try a few of them. The Binx cookie and spell book brownie were calling my name! Both desserts tasted very fresh and the brownie was packed with chocolate goodness. I like how they included the "human eye",  it's all about the details! I ended up taking the other half of desserts home to enjoy with some spooky films later. 



Overall, the Hocus Pocus Brew Ball was a frightfully good time! Everything tasted so fresh and homemade. The service was great as always, very welcoming. There wasn't any point during the tea party that I felt rushed. It was pricey, but it was worth it! I highly recommend that if you are near Fremont and enjoy high tea to give this place a try. I also highly recommend making reservations for any of the holiday themed teas as soon as you can due to the fact they sell out quite fast. I can't wait to see what theme they come up for next Halloween and look forward running amok amok amok to their next tea party.




Be sure to "Like" Tyme for Tea & Co on Facebook to receive updates on all their upcoming tea parties!  






-Brittany 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Ghost Whopper Haunts Burger King for a Limited Time This Halloween Season



(Source)


Burger King's newest Halloween burger is finally here! I was so excited when they teased this new eerie burger on their Twitter page last week until I found out the news, this burger would only be available in 10 locations. Well, that's a bummer! I wasn't a fan when they did this type of promotion with their Stranger Things Upside Down Whopper, which was sold at 11 select locations over the summer. This burger is already limited enough being sold for only one week or until supplies run out. Why minimize the release when there is so many Halloween fans who like to try every possible spooky tie-in food (like myself) would love to try it. As Tony Stark would say, "Not a great plan". 



Burger King announced the 10 lucky locations on Instagram which include, Detroit, Memphis, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Savannah, Summerville and New Orleans. It will be available from October 24 - October 31, 2019. It seems like the standard whopper except for the ghostly white cheddar bun on top. I feel like they missed the opportunity to include either ghost pepper cheese or sauce to help add to the ghost theme.


They also released a commercial on advertising the Ghost Whopper this week, which feels odd due to the fact that it doesn't fully express how limited it will be except for the small print at the end. I feel it will confuse a lot of individuals who want to try the new burger. You can check out the video below:







It could be a fun road trip out to one of the select locations to try this new spooky creation. I just wish they could sell this burger everywhere like their Halloween Burger from last year, the Nightmare KingIf you make a trip out to one of the 10 chosen locations, let me know what you think! I'm curious to know your thoughts on the super limited release. I really hope this trend dies down quickly. 





-Brittany 


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Tasting Halloween Snacks from Japan Crate






Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean the treats have to end! I've been wanting to try out Japan Crate for awhile now ever since I saw their October themed crate last year. From seeing photos online, Japan is home to some extremely adorable themed food. And to make that food even cuter they usually wrap it up in packaging that is to die for. As you all know I am a sucker for cute packaging, so I already know this box will be a win for me based on the packaging alone.

If you have never heard of Japan Crate before, it's a subscription box that sends a variety of Japanese snacks and candies right to your doorstep straight from Japan. The treats you receive are a mystery although they do revealed some hints on their social media pages. There are three options to choose from, mini, original and premium. I purchased the premium option because I wanted to try as many Halloween treats as possible! Here's a quick run down of the three options:

Mini
-$12/mo
-5 Items

Original
-$25/mo
-10 Items

Premium
$35/mo
-18-20 Items
-Includes drink
-1 DIY Kit Guaranteed
-Limited Edition Bonus Item



On to the treats! Here's everything that came in Japan Crate's Premium October box in no particular order.



Each Japan Crate comes with a very helpful booklet about everything that's included in the box. 



I provided the descriptions for each candy and snack that I received in the box down below!



Halloween Pepsi Midnight




"Sip this special edition Pepsi, infused with favor of cassis. It is meant to be enjoyed in the afterglow of the evening so it's fitting to enjoy during Halloween night."


I didn't know what cassis was before Japan Crate but after one google search later, I discovered it's black current. It doesn't taste too different from a regular Pepsi to be honest, just has a slight fruitiness to it. I don't normally drink Pepsi on my own but I totally would if it had fun packaging like this.




Halloween Tsubu Gummy




"Try these jelly bean like gummies in ramune, cola, apple, grape, and a mystery secret "zombie" flavor!"





When I read the description, I wasn't quite sure what to think of "zombie" flavor. I was just hoping this candy wasn't anything like the Bertie Bott's Beans. You know the jelly beans with such amazing flavors like earthworm and dirt? Yum! I'm happy to report "zombie" flavor is pretty darn good and doesn't taste gross at all, just fruity. 


Halloween Kit Kat




"Take a break of these Halloween themed Kit Kats! Each wrapper features a character that encourages sign language."


Can't go wrong with Kit Kats! Just tasted like a normal Kit Kat to me but since they had a Halloween themed wrapper it instantly enhanced the taste. If you didn't know already, Halloween packaging makes whatever your eating taste way better. The more you know! 



Chee-Zack






"Take a break from all the candy with this cheesy snack. This tasty biscuit has a crispy and flaky consistency with a sweet, creamy cheese taste for a unique cheese snack experience."

This biscuit looked like a giant rectangular Cheeto and tasted like one too. The flavor was salty cheese on the outside and creamy cheese on the inside. It was really good and flavorful! 



Burnt Caramel Osatsudoki





"Satisfy your sweet and savory cravings with these chips coated in butter specially sourced from Hokkaido (known for their dairy and agriculture). The burnt caramel flavor brings out the richness of the sweet potato chip for a unique and delicious experience."

One of my favorite snacks in the box! It's the perfect fall treat, smelled just like freshly made caramel apples. The combination of the caramel flavor and the sweet potato go perfect together. So yummy!


Chibikko Mikan




"Don't fall for this trick! This isn't a stack of pumpkins but a stack of mikan (mandarins). This cute package contains delicious orange flavored candies."


I was really hoping this was an adorable stack of pumpkins when I first saw them in the box. Don't get me wrong the packaging is still cute but not as cute as a stack of pumpkins would have been! Anyways, these tiny crunchy candies had a nice sweet orange flavor to them. I can see myself taking these little sweets on the go for a quick sugar fix but due to their size, I have a feeling these candies won't last very long.



Halloween Alphabet Chocolate




"Enjoy these delicious Halloween themed chocolates. There are three flavors: milk, vanilla and pumpkin pudding. Which was your flavor?"

Delectable chocolates sealed in delightful ghoulish packaging, what's not to love? My favorite flavor was the pumpkin pudding due to my love of all things pumpkin!  


Halloween Choco Bat




"This chocolate bat is a special Halloween version of a classic Japanese chocolate treat that has been around since 1964. The package typically features a baseball player but this time he is dressed up as a witch, using a scepter as a bat!"

Nice tasty chocolate on the outside with a crispy biscuit on the inside. From the description I was expecting it to be just chocolate so I was surprised by the biscuit inside. I'm glad it wasn't all chocolate, this was better. 


Akabe Kurobe Gum




"Watch this gum magically transform your tongue color to a bright red color or black color!"

It's not just a bunch of hocus pocus, it really does turn your tongue colors and tasted great too. The description didn't say what the flavor would be, to me it tasted like soda. 


Makai Drink Succhimaoze




"Succhi Mao is a devil from Hell that is excited about making the special Makai (Hell) drink made from the "konuts" of the big tree called, "kini naru ki" found in Hell. When he drinks it up he becomes Super Succhi Mao as seen on the cup! Help Succhi Mao blend up his concoction so he can transform into Super Succhi Mao." 




I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into after reading that description. I thought this would be a harmless DIY. Boy, was I wrong. Hell drink? Yeah, I would call it that. The end result looked really neat but the taste, yuck! It tasted just like nasty grape medicine. I could only take a few sips before it was down the sink. I will say I was super thankful that the booklet included English directions to make the drink, otherwise I would have had to hunt them down on the internet. 


Halloween Koala March




"Our familiar koala friends are ready to celebrate Halloween! Each koala is dressed up for just the occasion. Which costume is your favorite?" 


I knew these adorable snacks right away! I had these snacks all the time in middle school and still do! If you haven't had any Koala March cookies before, you're missing out. Each cookie has an adorable koala design on a crunchy outer shell with a creamy and smooth chocolate filling inside. I wish there was more in the box, one little bag is not enough! 



Skeleton Ramune





"Piece the ramune candy together to make a skeleton! Keep the bones safe in its cute coffin inspired case."


Another treat that reminds me of my childhood, we have a very similar treat here in the US. At least I think we still do, I haven't seen them for a few years. I can never turn down the opportunity to make a spooky scary skeleton.  



Horror Mask




"Spook your friends with this instant horror costume. Each pack comes with a scary mask and apple candy."

Got some Heath Ledger Joker vibes from the mask I received. It appears I already have my Halloween costume for next year. The little candies that were included with the mask tasted very similar to the Chibikko Mikan candies, tangy yet sweet. 


Halloween Tara Tara




"Tara means cod, the type of fish used to make these dried fish strips. The mascot is saying "Don't be Tara Tara", or don't move slowly, playing on the fish meaning of tara and the slow/lazy meaning of "tara tara".


Dried fish strips? No thank you! Going to have take a pass on this one boils and ghouls. The Halloween packaging is awesome I'll give it that but I need this terrifying snack far far away from me.



Halloween Mini Rumando



"Bite into crispy and flaky deliciousness, Rumando is a thinly baked crepe cookie coated in a caramel and cocoa cream. MMM!"

It tasted like a flakier version of a Kit Kat. I could eat a bunch of these. I'm a very big fan of the little spook on the wrapper. 


Halloween Fettuccine Gumi




"Fettuccine Gumi is a popular staple of Japanese gummy snacks! The gummy pieces look like fettuccine noodles. This package is decorated with Disney Tsum Tsums in Halloween costumes! Share them with your friends and family or save a stash for yourself!"




Can we appreciate how cute this packaging is for a moment? I'm obsessed with it! Each package has a different Disney character, including Mickey, Donald, Minnie and Daisy. These gummies had a very strong flavor, the grape flavor was spot on. Pretty sour but very enjoyable. 


Halloween Kyachan




"These fun hard candies change color and taste as you eat them. They start purple with a grape flavor and can change to pink peach, yellow lemon, and blue apple. Look out for a special gold leaf Kyachan candy in each pack! Also have a little fun by cutting out the cute Halloween shape on the back and taping it to a stick for a fun photo prop."




Cuteness overload! It's hard to determine which snack has the cutest packaging in this box. It's a hard call between this one and the Halloween Fettuccine Gumi packaging. I didn't see them change color when I tried it but I could taste the flavor changing from grape to peach. Very neat concept. The adorable character on the package is even on the candy itself. I'm dying! That's it, I'm moving to Japan! 





Peko Peko Konpeito





"Konpeito is a traditional Japanese sweet with a taste similar to rock candy! While Konpeito is often multicolored, these are in a special Halloween color and packaged with fun Halloween monsters on the wrapper."

Pumpkin King, is that you? Just tasted like sugary goodness and it also turned my tongue purple, which was a fun surprise. It would have been fun to have a bunch of these to give out on Halloween. 


Scary Story Gum



"Each one of these gum packs comes with a spooky story and a curse card that can either bless you with sweet dreams or a troubling nightmare! If you're too scared to uncover the mystery alone, surround yourself with the safety of friends and family."




Saved possibly the scariest snack for last. I can't read Japanese so unfortunately I can't read the spooky story or tell if I'm cursed from the curse card. So I got nothing to worry about, right? The story won't give me nightmares but that creepy girl on the gum package will. The gum just tasted like any normal gum, I hope the gum wasn't cursed too. 


Overall, I highly enjoyed my first Japan Crate! As a fan of all things Halloween, this box was a winner in my book. I usually spend way too much to have adorable Japanese Halloween snacks sent to me. In the past I have spent $15 on one item alone. So receiving over 18 items for just 35 bucks the value is definitely worth it. I loved the variety that was included in this box, no snack tasted the same. My favorite items in the box would have to be the Burnt Caramel Osatsudoki and the Halloween Kyachan. Nothing was tossed out except for that horrific Hell drink, so gross! The packaging was a feast for the eyes and made me want to go to Japan even more now, during the Halloween season of course. I initially only wanted to just try out Japan Crate's October box but wouldn't mind checking out other months as well. I know for sure that I will want to try out their crate for October again.



If you would like to know more about Japan Crate and their other subscriptions they offer, check out their website: https://japancrate.com/

-Brittany 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Starbucks's New Halloween Treat "Witch's Brew" Is Here


Double, double toil and trouble
 Fire burn, and caldron bubble


In case you missed the news, Starbucks has whipped up a new magical concoction just in time for Halloween, the Witch's Brew Frappuccino. Last year Starbucks unleashed the Zombie Frappuccino complete with whipped cream brains, it seems they outdid themselves once again in creating a frightfully festive beverage. This drink is made with a orange creme-flavored frappuccino base with hovering chia seeds aka "bat warts". 

Starbucks describes the drink on their website as:


"A powerful potion. Bewitched, it’s true. One single drop and the curse will go poof. Toad’s breath, swamp fog and goblin regret, divine. A mixture so scrumptious it must be a sign. Sip this sweet potion before it disappears, the Witch’s Brew Frappuccino® drink is nothing to fear."





To me, this shimmery purple drink tasted just like cereal from my childhood. Like either Fruity Pebbles or Trix cereal. It was wickedly good! Not sure what to think of the chia seeds though, they gave the drink an usual texture. I may run amuck to my nearest Starbucks to grab another before they vanish. 




Will you take a sip to lift the curse? Be sure to hop on your broomstick and head to your nearest Starbucks. The Witch's Brew Frappuccino will be available for a limited time while supplies last!



-Brittany