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   By Angie Bridges
It only took me about a month to talk you into having tea every morning instead of coffee since you like that late afternoon java to get you through your long shift. “It’s so delicious and good for you too,” I said. It is. Tea has many benefits including it’s loaded with antioxidants, it can help protect your bones, can boost your immune system and some herbal teas help soothe your digestive system. Jeff, my husband has been having hot tea every morning since in his favorite tea mug that is permanently stained from the tea he drinks.
Me, I’m full on tea lover. Hot and cold, different types, I can drink it anytime of day since there are also plenty of caffeine free choices as well. I’ve been known to cook with it too. One of mine and my hubby’s favorite to date has been these chocolate and Earl Gray tea truffles. They are so easy to make and delicious (chocolate AND tea- yes!). I encourage you to explore tea in all its grand glory, and make these truffles for your special someone, and their tea stained mug. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ciao for Now, Angie
Earl Gray Truffles
You’ll Need: 1 cup heavy whipping cream, 8 bags Earl Grey tea, 1 (12-ounce) bag
semisweet or dark chocolate morsels, 20 chocolate wafer cookies
Directions: In a small saucepan, heat cream until almost boiling, (called scalding, nut don’t boil) Remove from heat, and add tea bags. Let steep for 20 minutes, then remove and discard tea bags. In the top half of a double boiler set over simmering water, combine tea infused cream and chocolate morsels. Cook, stirring, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. About 30 minutes. While chocolate is cooling, place chocolate wafers in a zip top bag and crush them until finely ground. (A soup can works great here!) Add wafer crumbs to a small bowl and set aside. Using a small 2-teaspoon scoop, portion cold chocolate mixture into rounded shapes a few at a time. Roll them in bowl of chocolate crumbs, tossing to coat thoroughly. Serve at room temperature.
Angie Bridges is owner of Copa Wine Bar in
Stone Oak along with
her husband, Jeff Bridges. Angie is also the founder of the Taste of the Northside Fiesta event and is the original Queen of the Vine.
Tips For Sealing Your Deck
And Pool Surfaces
      By Alissa Reinhard
re you satisfied with the condition of your outdoor surfaces? Have you ever thought about sealing
  your deck, patio, pool surface or even fence? Here’s just a few advantages of doing so.
Did you know that different woods have different chemistry? For example, treated yellow pine is a water base wood. When it becomes wet, it expands and when it dries, it shrinks. A 10-pound board can shrink to seven pounds. Constant changes in weather will cause treated yellow pine to warp, split and crack. To stop expansion and contraction, you must seal it with an oil base penetrating sealer designed to look for dry cell structure allowing the sealer to move through the wood. On the other hand, cedar and redwood are oil base woods. In time, the oil will evaporate, allowing the wood to rot from the bottom up. So when sealing cedar and redwood, you need a sealer that can follow dry cell structure, allowing the sealer to move to the bottom of the deck.
Like wood, it’s also important to seal limestone, flagstone and rock. These surfaces are porous and allow water to penetrate. As the temperature of water begins to lower toward freezing, water will expand. Adversely, as the temperature of the rock begins to lower, the rock will contract. So, as the temperature fluctuates, the water and the rock expand and contract, causing cracking and flaking.
Pebble stone must also be sealed for two reasons. First, to protect the surface, keeping the rocks from popping out. Second, to enhance the look. Construction of pebble stone leaves a concrete film on the rocks. Acid washing the rocks will remove this concrete film. Sealing the stone
with acrylic will leave behind a beautiful, dewy look.
Sealing a wooden fence is also important. Wooden fences can deteriorate quickly. The bottom of the board acts like a straw, sucking water into the board. Thin boards can also allow for moisture penetration from all six sides. Wood also has tannic acid. When the acid comes to the surface and is exposed to sunlight, the wood can turn gray or black. Sealing a fence can eventually double its life.
I hope you find these tips useful. I’d be happy to service your deck and patio today! Just call Barry Hagendorf’s Deck and Patio Care at 210-822-9147 for a free estimate or visit for more information.
   Choose a Medicare plan that serves those who served.
You deserve a Medicare plan that has your back. UnitedHealthcare® has a wide range of Medicare Advantage plans designed to complement the health benefits you already receive for your service. The AARP® Medicare Advantage Patriot plan from UnitedHealthcare includes the freedom to visit doctors and hospitals in our large network for a $0 monthly premium. Additional plan benefits may include:
$600 annually off your Part B premium $0 monthly premium
It’s time to take advantage.
Learn more about Medicare Advantage plans that complement your VA or TRICARE For Life benefits.
Bertha Eliza Calpena
Licensed Sales Agent
210-612-5777, TTY 711
Specialist visits
See any dentist for dental services*
   Benefits, features and/or devices vary by plan/area. Limitations and exclusions apply. You do not have to be a veteran to be eligible for this plan. Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in the plan depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP and its affiliates are not insurers. You do not need to be an AARP member to enroll. AARP encourages you to consider your needs when selecting products and does not make specific product recommendations for individuals. AARP does not employ or endorse agents, producers or brokers. * You can see any dentist who accepts the plan. You’ll get greater savings from a network dentist. Network size varies by market and exclusions apply. ©2020 United HealthCare Services, Inc. All rights reserved. Y0066_2000910_031245_M SPRJ57947 0032C1DB
February 2021

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