Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Cool Weather Tradition: Steamy Sippers

have ya missed me? these days when the weather gets chilled, i gets thrilled! why? because it means boots, scarves, hoodies, peacoats, and my favorite signature item - knee socks all get to come out to play with me once more. (seriously, i'm so much cuter in the cold months) also, cold outside means more cozy inside with fuzzy throws, smokey wood stove fires, and hot drinks!

the Huz and i adore us some hot drinks. for our nearly-daily talking times, we can be found flopped on the giant brown couch (when the kids go down for their afternoon naps) sippin' somethin' steamy and staring deeply into each other's eyes. (okay, maybe we're staring off into space due to sleep depravity, but we're still totally in love and connecting there exhausted on the couch.)

i thot i'd invite y'all to join us a bit here by sampling some of our fav steamin' sippers. these also would make good giftys for Christmas or for hostess gifts (yep, i still believe in proper party etiquette).


Orange Spiced Instant Tea Mix
We were given this for Christmas last year and used it almost twice a day it was so good! Good snacky pairing = snickerdoodle cookies.

1 c. Tang breakfast drink powder
1 c. instant tea powder
1 (3 oz.) envelope sugar sweetened lemonade mix
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 Tb. sugar
¼ tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground cloves

Combine all ingredients. Store in a tightly covered container. Stir before using. To use, stir 1 tablespoon of the mix into 1 cup boiling or cold water. Makes about 2 ½ cups.

I made both of these this week with good success. The orange one needed a bit more flavor, so I added more cinnamon and orange. The chai was spicy and exotic and good, I wouldn't change a thing, it tasted like India, but it's not for the faint of heart. : )
Chai Tea
i haven't tried this exact recipe(UPDATE BELOW), so let me know if it's a disaster, but after having the real thing in India, i've been looking for that milky, spicy, soothing, wonderfulness in a cup, kinda taste. starbucks doesn't get it. they think chai tea is a cinnamon cookie in a cup. true chai is stronger and spicier, like it's native land. this recipe holds promise of delivering and doesn't contain nasty non-dairy chemically creamer. (oh, i'm sorry, are my opinions showing?)

Makes 18 servings (1 cup prepared tea each)

2 cups powdered dry milk
1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea mix
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon allspice
½ tsp white pepper
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cloves

1.In large bowl, stir all ingredients until blended.
2.In food processor, blend about 2 cups mixture at a time 30 to 45 seconds or until mixture looks like fine powder.
3.To serve, place 1/4 cup tea mixture in mug. Add 1 cup hot water; stir until dissolved.

Note: To make vanilla chai, add 1tsp vanilla extract to brown sugar and mix well. Allow to air dry completely before adding to recipe.

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