God’s Winter Wonderland of Tea: A Guest Post with Linda J. Hawkins

December 10, 2018

Any climate or weather is tea-time: Get creative and let memorable times unfold. We truly enjoyed an unusual experience one winter by creating a special time amid a very difficult situation.  We were out of power for one week – others in our area, nearly three weeks!

An ice storm had dumped freezing rain and ice on our Kentucky landscape, leaving devastation, yet an unusual beauty. Its aftermath caused many people to employ various forms of survival techniques and then take one step further: to seek entertainment.

So when the storm hit our area, after a couple of days of staying indoors and keeping warm and fed, my husband and I invited two of our granddaughters who lived close by to step outside for a unique experience.

We prepared hot tea in a teddy bear teapot to serve amid the ice-covered flower garden, showing such contrast between hot and cold, summer and winter.  We encouraged them to always remember: “God is with us in every situation. When the storms of life hit, we must look for the silver lining, and if you are handed a lemon, add plenty of sugar, then sip sweet lemonade.”

Or — “When an ice storm hits, have a teddy bear tea. Life is not all hot, nor all perfect days with no clouds, but we can find enjoyment if we search. Our Master has all things in control even when we feel uncomfortable about some storm of life.”

Hot tea in God’s winter wonderland of a beautiful, ice-covered garden is surely enjoyable. We can enjoy each day we’re given — even if everything is ice-crystal covered!

We created memorable times sledding, slipping, and sliding, but also pausing to sip hot tea as we made lasting memories, as we thanked the Great Creator for all His many rich blessings! He is truly an Amazing God!

Sun filtered through the iced-covered branches of the bowing garden trees. They appeared to be crystals and diamonds hugging each branch with an unrelenting grip.” –Linda J. Hawkins


Snow-covered woods outside my office door

“…Shall be as white as the snow” (Isaiah 1:18).

Whenever we behold nature, we see God’s handiwork given to us.” –Linda J. Hawkins


Tea–it’s for me. Something nice with a little spice.” –Linda J. Hawkins

Good times—Ahh- you will remember them!” –Linda J. Hawkins

Creamy Apple Dip


8 oz. cream cheese (soften to room temp)
½ can apple pie filling (chopped fine)
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon of apple pie spice, ½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup pecans
1 tbsp butter
caramel sauce



Whip first four ingredients together. Place into a beautiful serving dish, and add items below as a delightful addition.

Roast ½ cup pecans in buttered pan at 275 degrees for 5 minutes. Turn oven off. Leave pecans sitting in the oven. Watch closely as they brown; remove and cool.

Drizzle caramel sauce on top of dip; sprinkle roasted pecans on top.

Serve with gingerbread men cookies . . . YUMMY!


This recipe is easy to double for a larger group and allows the use of the full can of apple pie filling, AND it doesn’t last long in a small batch — not with our group!

Vanilla Chai Crème Brûlée


1 cup evaporated milk
½ cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
4 chai tea bags (or earl grey can be used for a completely different flavor)
1 Tbsp. pure vanilla extract
5 small egg yolks (or 3 large)
1 pinch salt
Extra sugar for topping


Preheat oven to 325° F. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine evaporated milk, heavy cream, and vanilla. Add the tea bags and simmer for 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, and pinch of salt together until the mixture is a pale yellow.
Remove the tea bags from the cream and slowly drizzle the cream, a few spoonfuls at a time, into the egg mixture. DO THIS SLOWLY. This will temper the egg mixture. If poured in too quickly, the egg yolks will scramble.
Divide the mixture evenly between 3-4 ramekins and place in a shallow baking tray.

Pour hot water into the tray around the ramekins until the water reaches about halfway up the ramekins.
Bake 35-40 minutes. Carefully remove the ramekins one by one and place them onto a rack to cool.
Cover them with plastic wrap and place them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 hours.

When you remove them from the refrigerator to serve, remove the plastic wrap, and sprinkle sugar over the top. Tilt the ramekins back and forth until there is an even layer of sugar on the top.

Use a torch or a broiler to caramelize the sugar on top. Watch this process carefully to avoid burning. They are ready to serve!


Author Linda J Hawkins is a busy Christian lady who loves God’s creation. As her stress-buster when life gets hectic, she grabs her boots and camera and heads to the fields and woods snapping pictures as she allows herself to indulge in His lovely world. This is her sure way of feeling His Spirit and peace in a chaotic world. She returns refreshed and with a thousand pictures to share.

Linda has written numerous books for children and adults. She is the owner of Heart to Heart Publishing, Inc., and her mission is helping families be healthier and happier. She served many years as a Sunday school teacher and youth leader and is still active in her church, NPC. Linda volunteered ten years as a crisis counselor for abused women and children and has spoken in many venues inspiring others in this journey of life.