This week has been an excellent week.
To begin with, I’m working three whole days. No week can be that awful when the number of days you are working is less then your days off.
Second, I will be braving Warped Tour for the second time in my life to see my all-time favorite band, Taking Back Sunday. After hours of meticulous show sorting and hounding my two concert buddies, Melinda and Whitney, by best guess is this will be my 21st Taking Back Sunday Show. Yeah…I’m sort of into them…
Third, my car decided that meh, it wasn’t going to start Monday after I went to the bank. It was hot and I was approximately a 5 minute walk from my house but I had to call AAA and get my car jumped. One would think this would put a damper on my week, especially since I had to shell out money for a new battery. And it was. BUT, silver lining and all, the guy who came to rescue my car was a very attractive 20 something year old who was also going to the same Warped Tour as me. What are the odds?
Fourth, I finally made it to trivia on Weds night and my team totally took home first…again. Yeah, we’re sort of awesome. I think that may have to be our team name next time…
And last but not least, I have FINALLY found a good replacement for Iced Coffee. I have severely cut down on my coffee consumption over the last few months. I went from 1-2 cups a day to 1-2 cups a month. Not too shabby! But lately, with the heat numbing my brain, I’ve been missing iced coffee. So I decided to tackle Iced Chai. YUM!
Homemade Chai Concentrate
from Healthful Pursuit
yields: one batch of concentrate, or approximately 2.75 cups
- 3 cups water
- 4 black tea bags – I used 365 brand Black Tea Bags, nothing fancy
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half*
- 1/2 cup palm sugar
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1/2 inch section of fresh ginger [or 2 pieces of dehydrated ginger]
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 cardamom pods* [or 1/4 tsp powdered cardamom]
- 1/4 tsp aniseed
- 8 x 6 section of cheesecloth, folded over [doubled]
- 2/3c-3/4c non-dairy milk of choice
Option 1: Liquid concentrate – to be enjoyed within 7 days
- Lay cheesecloth flat and begin placing ingredients on top. Begin with tea bags, then vanilla bean, ginger, cloves, cardamom, and aniseed. If you’re using cardamom powder, sandwich in between 2 teabags to prevent it from dispersing into the mix. Bundle everything into cheesecloth and pinch together. Tie with twine and tie 2 cinnamon sticks with the twine.
- Place water and palm sugar in a medium sized saucepan, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and put the cheesecloth bag in. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool before pouring it in an air tight container [mason jars works well] and placing in the fridge to cool.
To enjoy as an iced latte: combine 1 part concentrate with 3 parts non-dairy milk. Serve on ice. (I prefer mine with 1/3 c. concentrate, 3/4 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk. 1/4 c. concentrate with 3/4 c. of milk isn’t strong enough for me. Start with the 1/4 to 3/4 ratio and work up)
*the vanilla bean and the cardamom pods are expensive! I’m not going to lie. It’s what kept me from trying this recipe for so long. I would recommend though, if you live in New England, checking out Ocean State Job Lot or one of the bulk grocery stores, like BJs. I know that both carried these spices for cheap.
I’ve had this iced chai every day for breakfast (before I photographed it…which is why the picture of the chai concentrate in the first pic is really showing the last dredges of concentrate left…) and it’s so good! I need to go stock up on vanilla beans from BJs or Costco’s or this addiction is going to be worse then when I thought I could afford Starbucks everyday!
Ok, everyone. Have a lovely Thursday. I will be spending the day sweating my little behind off at Warped Tour. Keep your fingers crossed for me that a cold front swoops in and keeps my from melting in the sun and heat!