Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate

Water sugar pumpkin chai latte



You remember my recipe for Homemade Chai Tea that was inspired by my daughter Kayla’s short stint in India a few years back?

All I’ve heard about of late is the craze over Pumpkin Lattes since fall has hit and I received a new inspiration to come up with a homemade Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte over the weekend.

But since slow-simmering a pot of steaming milk and spices isn’t really work-week friendly for me, I decided to try to make a concentrate solution that could easily be added to a steaming hot cup of milk throughout the work week.

And by jove, I think I’ve got it.

The process is similar to making Chai Tea in a pot on the stove.

T start out, you’ll need a medium saucepan with four cups of water. Add in a cup of brown sugar. Stir it over medium heat until the sugar melts, stirring it with a whisk.

Turn the heat down to simmer. Then add in some spices.

Add in two whole cinnamon sticks.

Cinnamon sticks chai pumpkin latte

Also, roughly smash 12 peppercorns.

Pgppercorms chai

Black peppercorns chai latte


Add in 3 star anise pods.

Star anise chai latte

I think they look a little like a creepy spider don’t you?


Add in 12 whole cloves.

Cloves chai tea

I like a really spiced-up chai latte. When it comes to drinks, give me boldness and flavor.

Also add in a chunk of ginger, about the size of your thumb. My ginger was ornery and didn’t photograph well, as do all yellow items I try to photograph. If you truly love the ginger flavor, cut it up into 3-4 pieces to make it stronger.

These are cardamom pods.

Cardamom pods chai

They have tiny little black seeds inside. I find them whole at a place here in Oklahoma City called Spices of India. If you can’t find them whole, but you can find the seeds, use about 1/8-1/4 of a teaspoon. I give about 8 pods a whack to open them up.

Add in ¾ cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, which is evil, and bad).

Pumpkin purée chai latte

Stir the spices up a bit and let the pot simmer for 5 minutes. Then remove it from the heat and add your tea.
Take ten black tea bags and wrap them around the handle of the pot (to keep them from falling in completely) and submerge them in the water.

Chai tea pumpkin katte

After 10 minutes, strain the liquid through a fine mesh strainer and into a large mason jar.

Let the concentrate cool for an hour then stir in one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.

To serve, mix one part of the concentrate with one part of steamed milk (coconut and almond milk are both delicious). Serve it hot or cold over ice. I would also probably heat the concentrate with the milk and right now, because it’s autumn, piping hot sounds perfectly wonderful.

Pumpkin chai latte concentrate

If you’re feeling a little bit naughty, add some frothed milk or even some whipped cream.

Pumpkin chai tea latte

This is the perfect hot drink for a cool fall day.

But, how about this? For summer, try adding the base to ice-cube trays and freeze them. Pop out three or four and then pour over some milk, coconut or almond milk. Delicious!!


Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate



Recipe type: Drink

  • 4 c. water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 knob of ginger the size of your thumb
  • 8 cardamom pods, cracked
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 8 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 10 black tea bags or 1 c. loose-leaf tea
  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  1. Add water and sugar to medium sized saucepan.
  2. Heat almost to boil and stir to dissolve sugar.
  3. Add the spices and tea and pumpkin puree. Simmer on low for 8 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool.
  5. Stir in vanilla.
  1. Mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk or half-and-half.
  2. Microwave or heat in pan until steaming. You can also pour over ice in the summer heat.
  1. Blend in vanilla smoothies
  2. Spoon over ice cream at Thanksgiving with Pumpkin Pie
  3. Drizzle over Pumpkin Pie or Pumpkin Cheesecake


Look what other fabulous food bloggers made this week using pumpkin for Food Network’s Fall Fest!

The Hungry Traveler: Pumpkin Brown Butter Madeleines
Bacon and Souffle: Pumpkin Lasagna with Sausage, Kale and Parmesan
Homemade Delish: Warm Pumpkin Salad
Creative Culinary: Pumpkin Butter
The Lemon Bowl: 20 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes
Weelicious: Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts
Virtually Homemade: Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
TasteBook: Creamy Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Dishin & Dishes: Homemade Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte Concentrate
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes
Red or Green: Spiced Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bars
The Heritage Cook: Roasted Pumpkin, Potato, and Sage (Gluten-Free)
Swing Eats: Pumpkin Panna Cotta with Pumpkin Seed Brittle
Taste with the Eyes: Sultry Pumpkin Soup – Southwest Flavors, Dressed To Kill
FN Dish: 8 Ways to Eat Pumpkin All Day Long


Pumpkin Chai Tea Latte


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Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca (Aguas Frescas)

Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca Recipe 4


A couple of years ago, when I was finishing my book, Mr. Wonderful and I went on a trip to the Los Angeles area for a week. He worked for two days and I sat on the beach with my laptop writing. Then, we traveled up and down Highway 1 along the coast stopping at every beach and staying at various hotels along the way.  One in particular near Santa Monica was absolutely wonderful. It had an outdoor lobby in the center and had lush groupings of fire-pits with beautiful couches and chairs, complete with the ability to privacy with long resplendent curtains you could pull around them. The pool had cabanas around it with lounge chairs at ground level built down into wooden platforms. It was by far, one of the most-glamorous and enjoyable hotels we’ve ever stayed at.

By day we would traipse down to the beach and enjoy watching the surf-dudes try and conquer the waves, and then we’d come back for a clothing change and head out to a local place to have lunch. When we returned to the hotel from the beach, however, man were we thirsty!

In the hotel lobby were giant glass urns full of ice water infused with various fruits and vegetables, and I fell in love with one in particular – watermelon and jalapeno. At first, it seemed off-kilter to me but I fell in love with the sweetness of the watermelon and the soft heat of the jalapeno flaring up after the fact in the back of my throat.

That is the inspiration for this agua fresca.

Agua frescas are common to Mexico, Central America and parts of the Carribean. The term agua fresca means “fresh water” and is nothing more than a blending of sweet or sour fruits or sometimes rice (in the case of horchata) with water and some sort of sweetener. They are extremely refreshing in the hot summer and exceptionally good for you too! Watch how easy this one is to make.

Start out by getting a really good watermelon.

Photo Jul 21, 1 59 27 AM

I have the best luck looking for one that has a yellow spot on it and thumps hollow-like when I rap it with my knuckles. The yellow spot means it has rested on that particular spot on the ground for awhile ripening and this peculiar method of selection has usually ended up with sweet ripe results in a watermelon.

Cut it up into slices, remove the rind and cut into rough chunks until you get six cups. This was about a half of a medium-sized seedless watermelon. Except it had seeds, so I’m not sure what’s up with that.

Watermelon cut collage

Now slice off the tail end of a jalapeno and slice it in half. Scrape the seeds and white ribs out with the pointed end of a spoon. If you think the jalapeno is too adventurous for you, simply leave it out. The plain ol’ regular watermelon agua fresca is delicious by itself!

jalapeno slice

Place both the watermelon chunks and the pieces of jalapeno into your blender and then pop the lid on. If need be to get your blender going, add a bit of water (maybe a couple of tablespoons) to the blender. Then whiz it up! If you can’t fit all six cups, do about four and then when it begins to liquify, you can push the other remaining chunks through the hole of the blender. Puree this to a very smooth consistency and then pour it into a bowl or pitcher through a fine sieve. You can press the solids (kind of foamy-looking stuff) in the sieve with the back of a large spoon or spatula to really get all the juice out.

Blend watermelon for Agua Fresca

Now add in the juice of two limes, one and one-half cups of water and two tablespoons of either honey or Truvia (maybe less depending on your sweet preference). Also take your jalapeno slices and 2/3 cup of fresh mint leaves and two more limes sliced thinly and add them in along with 2-3 cups of ice cubes.

watermelon agua fresca collage

Stir up the pitcher with a long spoon.

pitcher of watermelon jalapeno agua fresca

And pour some into glasses.

Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca Recipe 3

Refreshing doesn’t even begin to cover it.

AWatermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca (Aguas Frescas)



Recipe type: Drink

  • 6 c. watermelon, cut in chunks
  • ½ medium sized jalapeno, ribs and seeds scraped out
  • 1½ c. water
  • 2 large limes, juiced (about ¼ cup)
  • 2 T. honey or 2 T. Truvia
  • Garnish: 2 limes, sliced into rounds, 1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds, seeds removed, ⅔ c. fresh mint leaves
  1. Place watermelon and jalapeno in blender. If needed, add a little of the water to start the blending process.
  2. Once the mixture is finely blended, pour it through a fine sieve into a bowl.
  3. Squeeze in lime juice and add any remaining water and honey or Truvia.
  4. Pour into large pitcher and add ice, lime and jalepeno slices and mint
  5. Serve in glasses with ice


Want some more some more watermelon inspired recipes? check out what other wonderful food bloggers are featuring in Food Network’s Summer Soirée below!

Weelicious: Watermelon Cinnamon Granita
Homemade Delish: Refreshing Watermelon Salsa
Healthy Eats: Pretty in Pink: 6 Dishes Made Better with Watermelon
Creative Culinary: Margarita Watermelon
The Wimpy Vegetarian: Watermelon and Peach Salsa
Dishin & Dishes: Watermelon Jalapeno Agua Fresca
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Watermelon Salsa
Red or Green: Watermelon, Corn & Jalapeno Salad
The Mom 100: Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie
Taste with the Eyes: Unique Watermelon Salad – Pomegranate Syrup, Feta, Cucumber
FN Dish: 6 Party-Ready Ways to Take Watermelon Off the Rind







how do you make agua fresca


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Summertime Basil Lemonade | Dishin & Dishes

Summertime Basil Lemonade | Dishin & Dishes


The same night that we made the Caprese Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, I used some of the mounds of fresh basil that I picked from our herb garden to make this lemonade.

Does anything say summer like freshly squeezed lemons?  Bursting with tartness and balanced with a little sweetness, they are the ultimate thirst quencher in this, the all-american summertime drink.

As a child, we all probably poured some processed powder drink into a plastic jug to sell around the neighborhood at a homemade stand, but there is nothing like freshly-squeezed lemonade.

Start by making something called simple syrup, which is nothing more than equal parts of water and sugar.  I used one cup each of water and sugar and put them over medium heat on the stove.  You don’t want to boil this mixture, just heat it, stirring with a whisk until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is clear.

Then turn this off and let it cool into a nice, clear, sugary syrup.

Get 6 good sized lemons, cut them in half, and squeeze them into a small measuring pitcher.  You’re looking for about a cup.

Pour this into your blender with a handful of basil leaves.  I used roughly about ten leaves.

Turn your blender on high and let it blend for a minute.

And then pour it into a large glass pitcher, because lemonade demands a tall, cool, glass container.  If you’re fussy about floaties in your drinks, you can strain it as you pour.

I had a bad experience with car sickness and orange juice and pulp that left me with a bad case of anti-floaties in my drinks.

Needless to say, I strained mine.

Add in your simple syrup and stir with a wooden spoon.

Now, fill the pitcher with water.  I used about 5 cups of water on top of my syrup and juice mixture.

At this point, you might want to taste your lemonade and see what you think.

Not tart enough? Squeeze in another lemon or two. Not sweet enough? Make a little more syrup.  Too tart? Add a little more water.

I’ve found that the measurements I gave you are just about perfect for me, but everyone’s tastes are different.

Slice up a couple of lemon slices and float them on top and garnish with a sprig of basil.

Then sit back and enjoy the tastes of summer with a relaxing glass of tall, cool Basil Lemonade.

  • 10 fresh basils leaves
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 c. lemon juice (Juice of 6 lemons)
  • 6 c. water
  • Ice
  • Putsugar and water in saucepan.
  • Heat up but don’t let boil, just enough to let sugar dissolve.
  • Let cool.
  • Add lemon juice and basil to blender and process one minute.
  • Pour sugar syrup and lemon mixture into large glass pitcher and add water. Mix well with wooden spoon in pitcher.
  • Garnish with additional lemon slices and basil if desired.



    See what other great drink recipes for summer other food bloggers are making when participating this week for Food Network’s Summer Soirée!
    Feed Me Phoebe: Healthy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie with Cacao Nibs
    Poet in the Pantry: Strawberry Lemonade (Sweetened with Pure Maple Syrup)
    Dishin & Dishes: Summertime Basil Lemonade
    Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Frozen Mango Lemonade Mocktail
    Dishing With Divya: Thandai
    Virtually Homemade: Strawberry Soda with Lime
    The Lemon Bowl: Banana Licuado (Mexican Smoothie)
    Weelicious: Mermaid Deep Sea Punch
    Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Mango Lassi
    Cooking With Elise: Black Cherry Sweet Tea
    Devour: 5 Booze-Free Picnic Sips
    Taste With The Eyes: Roasted Barley-Corn Tea
    Domesticate Me: Vegan “Orange Julius” Smoothie
    Daily*Dishin: Sweet Balsamic Spritzers
    FN Dish: Refreshing Summer Drinks for the Whole Family


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    Citrus Sparkler | Dishin & Dishes



    I don’t usually like sweet drinks, and if I do, they have to involve some sort of citrus. In Oklahoma, it doesn’t take long for our summer temperatures to reach 100º.

    Our summers just beg for a cool, citrusy drink to refresh ones dry palette, and this drink, with its hint of mint does just the trick.

    To begin, take 2 1/2 cups of water and put it into a medium saucepan. Add 2 cups of white sugar. Bring to a boil, then take off heat. Stir fora mintue. The sugar should dissolve quickly into the water. This is called a simple syrup. You can add many things to a simple syrup to make refreshing drinks. This is your base.

    Take 2cups of fresh mint.


    If you plant this stuff in your yard or garden, let me offer you a few pointers.

    #1 In a few short years, it will take over everything nearby. I mean it! Wherever there is dirt, there will be mint.

    #2 Knock or cut out the bottom of a large flower pot. Sink the pot down into the ground so the lip is level with the ground. Plant your mint inside the pot. The plant now has boundaries so it can’t spread. You’ll get plenty of this fresh stuff without feeling taken over.

    Take your mint and put it into a bowl.

    Take a fork, or some sort of “smashing” tool and begin to smash your mint into the bowl. This is called muddling. There are professional muddlers you can buy that look like a short wooden baseball bat, but it’s not essential to have one. As you can see, I don’t.

    Kitchen gadget alert! My mom got me this Pampered Chef tool to break up ground meat while it’s cooking, and it’s a marvelous muddler!

    Who thinks of these words? Muddling? Doesn’t sound like a cooking word.

    Sounds like something little boys do to get dirty outside.


    Anyway, now you need to juice 7 lemons and 3 oranges into a bowl. You can juice them right on top of your mint if you don’t want to wash another bowl. I used a separate one. Mr. Wonderful loves to wash dishes.

    Just kidding.

    Pour your juice and your muddled mint into your simple syrup in your saucepan and give it all a quick stir. Let it sit for several hours. At least 4-6 hours, as you really want the mint to infuse the syrup.

    Strain through a fine sieve, or if you don’t have one, remove your coffee basket, and line it with a coffee filter and pour through there. Did you know coffee baskets make wonderful sieves in a pinch?

    Now put your citrusy syrup into containers. You can put some in the freezer for later. When you want a refreshing cool drink, fill your glass 1/2 full of the citrus syrup, and pour either club soda, or ginger ale over top.


    Your taste buds will be hit with the twangy citrus of the orange and lemon, followed the cool refreshment of the mint.


    As for the frozen syrup? It makes for a great lemony-orange slush which is so cooling on a hot summer day.

    Cooking with Love,



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    How to Make French Press Coffee at Home

    How to Make French Press Coffee at Home


    Every Sunday morning, I get up before the rest of the household. I tiptoe out to the kitchen, past the sleeping dogs and husband, fill my tea kettle halfway and set it to boil on the stove.

    It’s a day for special coffee. The rest of the week, I don’t really have time for this, but Sunday morning?

    I make the time.

    I make French press coffee.

    Just what is it about French press coffee that makes it so richly satisfying? Why do I love to sit on my patio with my press pot and simple white cappaucino cup and saucer and write or read a good book?

    A French press pot, press pot or plunger pot, which are other names this contraption goes by, makes a better cup of coffee than that old standby drip coffee maker. Think about it. When you drip coffee, the water doesn’t do anything but quickly pass through the paper filter and the coffee. There are newer Krup type coffee makers now that have improved this with funnel type filters that are permanent, but mostly quick drips aren’t the best way to make coffee.

    The French press is great because you brew the water and ground bean together and you can leave it for a short time if you like weaker coffee, or longer, like I do for a stronger brew. And because there is no paper filter to absorb the essential oils of the coffee, it’s all going to be in that cup of coffee you’re drinking.

    And, isn’t there just something special about a glass and chrome individual pot that is excitingly elegant?

    So, what you’ll need to French press your coffee.

    A French Press pot.  Bodum is a good brand but anything sturdy will do.  You can get one usually for between $20-$30 but a quick trip to amazon.com revealed some even less costly than that.

    You’ll need a bag of whole coffee beans and a grinder. Again, there is much dispute amongst coffee snobs about the evenness and quality of the grinder, but I got a small one for $20 and I am happy with it.  You can play around with coffee beans in flavored and unflavored. It’s your preference really.

    The rule of thumb for measuring out the coffee is one rounded tablespoon per four ounces of water. French Press pots come in different sizes so you have to take that into account. Mine is a 32 ounce pot so I use eight tablespoons, but now, I’ve done it so frequently, I just eyeball it.

    Mine has a clear plastic top that pops off.

    You’re going to put your beans in the silver cup located on top of the base.

    Then pop the clear lid on tight.

    That brown button under my fingers is what sets the grinder to whir and grind up the beans. Pulse it a few times to get a feel for it, and then just hold your finger down for a few seconds.

    This is important! Do NOT grind your coffee to powder! The lid of the french press has a mesh plunger and if ground too fine, you’ll end up with dirty coffee as they will escape through this into the water.

    This looks about right.

    I flip my grinder upside down so all the coffee goes into the top.

    Then I remove the top and voila! Fresh ground coffee!

    Now you can measure your grounds into your French press pot, or just dump it in like me when you’ve done it enough to know.

    Now for your water. Once your water boils, take it off the stove for about 20 seconds. Then pour it right over top of your grounds.

    Fill it to within an inch of the top and then set your plunger lid right on top.  Make sure the plunger is all the way up on the lid.

    Now, be patient and let this brew. The common time is four minutes.  I leave mine for five.  It’s just the way I like it.

    Once that time is up, grasp the plunger firmly in one hand and evenly push down on it.  Don’t let the plunger go crooked or the coffee grounds will escape into the water.

    Push it down all the way.

    I love the crema dark foam on top.

    And that’s it!  You have a lovely pot of rich dark coffee now to enjoy.

    I love to take it to my patio with one simple gooey yolked egg and some toast soldiers.

    I love Sunday mornings.



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    Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie

    Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie


    Rhubarb and strawberries are showing up everywhere!  Here’s a Saturday morning, or any morning smoothie made in memory of this.

    Only it’s minus the 90 million fat and sugar grams that you get with it.

    Toss some nonfat plain yogurt, some fresh strawberries, rhubarb, honey and a little ice into the blender, and you’ll have a nice treat!

    Katie’s Printable Recipe – Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie

    The post Strawberry Rhubarb Smoothie appeared first on Dishin & Dishes.


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    Iced French Vanilla Coffee | Dishin & Dishes

    Iced French Vanilla Coffee | Dishin & Dishes


    My Mom brought me this recipe when she came to visit recently from Michigan.  I think she got it from my cousin Diane.  Here are my cousins Karen, Diane and I last week in Michigan.  We had such a nice time together.  I miss my cousins.

    I love iced coffee in the hot days of summer.  You probably remember this version that I made earlier in the year.  And currently we are over 20 straight days of 100 plus temperatures here in Oklahoma City, so what a great time to finally make it!  This gives you a nice coffee punch of caffeine for your day, but doesn’t leave you sweating. 

    To begin, you’ll need to brew some double strength coffee.  To do so, you can do one of two things.  You can either put twice the amount of coffee grounds you normally use into your coffee filter and brew your coffee like normal. 

     Or you can make some espresso.

    I opted for the strong coffee route.

    Brew your coffee and then pour it into a large mixing bowl.


    Add in cups of sugar.

    Add in one teaspoon of vanilla extract.

    And also add in 1 pint or 2 cups of half and half.

    And  1 quart or 4 cups of milk.


    Stir this all together really well and then you’ll need to freeze it. 

    You can either dip it out with a small pitcher.


    On second thought…if you have a large glass measuring bowl with a spout (like the 8 cup one I have and forgot about), that would be really nice to pour into the baggie.  But I realized this too late and had to make life difficult on myself.  So you could pour some of this into a freezer bag.


    Zip it up and pop it into the freezer.


    Or, you can do another way, a way I greatly preferred.  Pour it into a freezer container. 


    Pop on the lid..




    I really preferred this way of the two because…

    #1  it was really hard to balance the wobbly liquid freezer bag to stand upright on the freezer shelf and I was worried about it leaking..and…

    #2  Later on, when it came time to scoop the slushy liquid out, it was much easier and less messy out of the container.

    Imagine scooping ice cream out of a freezer bag instead of a container?

    Let this freeze up for several hours or until it gets nice and semi-hard/slushy.  Then scoop it into glasses.

     This makes a lot of iced coffee…probably about 6-8 tall glasses full, so it’s great to make this ahead of time and enjoy a glass each day when you’re especially run-down and sweltering.

    I made this a second time subsituting Splenda (the granules, not the packets) for the sugar.  Use the same amount – 2 cups of Splenda granules.  I also used skim milk and fat free half and half for the regular milk and half and half.

    It was pretty doggone good.  If you’re watching your waistline…try it!

    Katie’s Printable Recipe – Iced French Coffee




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    Chai Tea to Make at Home

    Chai Tea to Make at Home


    Last year my daughter had the privilege of going to India for a 40 day mission trip. Their “team” stayed in a large house and had an Indian woman who took care of cooking for them and cleaning the house while they were there.

    She made a huge pot of Chai tea for them each morning in a large pot on the stove and it was waiting for them when they came down from sleeping on the flat stone roof they went up to escape the heat of the uncooled downstairs rooms.

    When she returned from India, she raved about the Chai tea and I wanted to try to recreate it.  Fortunately, we have an Indian Spice market down the street from us and we were able to (cheaply!) find everything we needed.

    Now we make this in a large pot on our stove.  It is a creamy spiced tea made with milk and flavored with the heady scent of cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, cloves and black peppercorns and sweetened up with a bit of honey or sugar.  The recipes for Chai are many.  Some include star anise, some ginger. It can be made a latte by adding some frothed milk on top.

    Anyway you make it …it is delicious.  Here’s how we made ours.

    Add 2 cups of water to a good-size pot.  Bring it to a boil.  Add in 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 cloves, and 6 whole black peppercorns.

    If anyone knows the secret to getting black off the bottom of a Le Creuset pot once you’ve burnt something, please let me know how?

    These might be unfamiliar to you.  Cardamom pods are either green (called Elettaria when they’re younger), or black or brown (called Amomum when they’re more aged). These obviously are green.

    They actually belong to the ginger family and they’re pretty potent, like ginger is.  If you can find them whole like this…take four of them and smash them with the flat side of a large knife.

    Inside will be some tiny little brownish black seeds…that’s the flavor baby.  Scoop them up, shells and all and toss them into your pot.


    Take a knobby piece of fresh ginger and cut a thumb size piece off…Cut it into chunks.  Don’t even bother with peeling it. Just make sure you give it a good scrub first for dirt.

    Toss it into the hot water as well.

    Let this all steep for 20 minutes.  I’ll confess, I leave mine a lot longer – like an hour…I love everything strong..tea, coffee and the spices in Chai tea. It’s your preference though.

    Pour it into a medium-size bowl through a strainer.

    Then pour it back into the pot and return it to the stove and bring it to a simmer again.

    This time remove it from the heat and add 4 black tea bags or 3 tablespoons of loose leaf black tea (I got this which Kayla says was what they used in India at our Spices of India market).  Ceylon is good as well.

    Bring it back to a simmer…then tie 4 black tea bags together for easy lifting.

    Wrap them around a spoon handle to be able to remove them easily and set them into the hot liquid to steep again -but this time only for 5 minutes.

    Remove the tea bags after 5 minutes and pour in 2 cups of milk.  Slowly heat it up, but don’t get it to a boil this time…just steaming hot.  Add in 3 tablespoons of sugar and taste.  Add more if you desire greater sweetness.  You can also add honey instead, as they do in parts of India.

    Stir it up and then ladle it into cups.  It should be pretty hot but not bubbling.

    If you are lucky enough to have a frother, froth up some milk and pour it on top…that’s a Chai Tea Latte…but I like to just sip it out of a cup.

    Katie’s Printable Recipe – Homemade Chai Tea


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    Blueberry Lemonade Smoothie



    Quick refreshing smoothie for summertime.

    Ingredients of Love:

    Plain vanilla yogurt, frozen lemonade concentrate, fresh or frozen blueberries, milk, ice, honey and lemon zest (optional)

    Mix in your blender or smoothie maker:]

    2 cups blueberries

    3 T. frozen lemonade

    1/2 cup yogurt

    1 cup milk

    3-4 cups of ice

    1 T. honey

    1 t. lemon zest

    Throw all in a blender and blend until smooth!

    Enjoy! SO refreshing for a summer day!

    Blueberry on Foodista

    The post Blueberry Lemonade Smoothie appeared first on Dishin & Dishes.


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    Holiday Spiced Cider | Dishin & Dishes



    Baby it’s cold outside…well sometimes.  We actually had a 75 degree day one day this week.  Ya just never know in Oklahoma.

    The holidays are and have been upon us. We like to start a crockpot of this cider on Thanksgiving and Christmas and pretty much every weekend in between. Not only is it warm goodness to sip on in the evenings, but it makes your house smell heavenly as well.

    But for the most part, the  weather here has dropped significantly requiring hoodies, sweaters, blankets. socks and the worst of all…pantyhose.  I hate pantyhose almost as much as I hate spiked high heels, and think it highly unfair that men don’t have to suffer the misery of either.  I mean, the things us woman have to endure to look marvelous..I tell ya..

    Anyway, I actually like cool weather.  I realize that places that stay warm all year have their perks, but I love the change in seasons.  Especially here in Oklahoma.  I love it when the 100 degree days spiral down to the 80’s, and then the mercury continues to drop to even the 60’s and 50’s.  I love wrapping up in a blanket on a cold Saturday afternoon and popping in a movie.

    But nothing makes it more perfect than a good cup of warm, fragrant Spiced Cider.


    This recipe is made in your crock pot, but can be made in a pot on your stove as well. Just simmer it for 15 minutes or so on your stove and you’re good to go.  However, the added bonus to the crockpot over the stove is

    #1)  if you walk away and forget about it, it won’t evaporate or reduce away, and

    #2) the heavenly aroma it fragrances your home with all day long.

    So, to begin, pour a gallon of apple cider into your crockpot.




    Now, the spices of mulled cider beg for this spice, the most important ingredient of spiced cider.

    Cloves just give it that little hint of something’ something’ at the back of your palate.  Add in one tablespoon of ground cloves.


    Next, add 1/4 cup of brown sugar.  I like my cider smooth with just a hint of tartness.


    Add 1 tablespoon of Allspice.


    Add 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks.  They look pretty floating on top.


    Slice up one whole orange.


    And float the pieces right into the pool.


    Some people use juice, but I prefer the pretty oranges floating on top and also, this way you release the essential oils in the rind of the orange as well.

    And that’s all folks.  Just pop on your crockpot lid and turn your setting to High.


    I left mine like this for several hours, then turned it down to Low.


    Now if you are a picky texture floaty person, you  might want to strain this before you serve it through some cheese cloth or a fine sieve.

    However, as one person who refuses to drink pulp in orange juice, it didn’t bother me at all.  The spices kind of melt in with the cider.  But there may be some residue in the bottom of your cup, so you decide.

    Ladle it out into a nice mug or cup.

    final collage

    During mid-afternoon at some point, it occurred to me that this would be fabulously amazing with one of my Triple Cinnamon Snickerdoodle Bars.  I think it was the incredible scent of the mix of apples and spices that drew me.

    I made up a tray and set off to watch Patrick Swayze for the millionth time in Point Break on some off-cable channel.


    Let’s have a minute of silence in remembrance of Patrick.  I will always have the biggest crush on him that goes way back to the 80’s.  I remember being pregnant with Tori and with my hormones all out of whack, sobbing all the way to the parking lot after watching Ghost for the first time.  I was astounded to learn he was 57 when he died recently.  I would have guessed early 40’s.  He still looked that good.

    So, it was a lovely, cool autumn day.

    I was under a quilt, sipping Mulled Cider.



    Holiday Spiced Cider


    Total time



    Recipe type: Drinks

    • 1 gal. Apple cider
    • 1 T. ground cloves or 8 whole cloves
    • ¼ c. brown sugar
    • 1 T. Allspice
    • 4-5 whole cinnamon sticks
    • One whole orange sliced thinly
    1. Add all ingredients to crockpot
    2. Turn on high heat
    3. Allow to heat to hot temperature then turn crockpot on low or warm for the rest of the day!
    4. After 2-3 hours can strain if desired or just serve with a little strainer and let guests ladle into their cups through the strainer.


    It doesn’t get much better than that.


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