Browsing Tag


Masala Chai

February 28, 2013

It’s hard to overestimate the importance of tea in Irish culture. Tea is simultaneously a beverage, a medicine and a social ritual. It’s the sense that a cup of tea and a chat can cure anything. Even if the weather forecast looks dreary I can be sure that a cup of spicy warmth awaits me at the end of my day.

Making this tea from scratch is easier than you might think. Simply steep black tea with cinnamon, cardamom, clove and ginger. You’ll appreciate how the spicy fragrances fill your kitchen. Chai is a centuries-old beverage originating from India. In fact, the word chai  is the generic word for “tea” in Hindi, where as in the west we are referring to “masala chai” or spiced tea.

This tea is a health-promoting beverage and a tonic for the whole body. It strengthens the nervous system, energizes the body, clears the mind, and is both a remedy and preventive measure for colds, allergies and other illnesses.

What do you do to unwind at the end of the day?


Masala Chai


  • 8 cups water
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 3 sticks of cinnamon
  • 20 whole cardamom pods (split the pods first)
  • 6 ginger root slices (1/4 inch thick, no need to peel)
  • 2 tsp. orange zest
  • black tea – 1/2 tsp. loose leaves or tea bag (optional)
  • milk of choice and sweetener to taste


  1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and ginger to boiling water. Cover and boil for at least 30 minutes. Let steep until it reaches desired flavor.
  2. Remove from heat, add black tea and let cool. Strain tea.
  3. When ready to drink, add one part warm milk (rice, oat, nut, soy) to one part warm chai concentrate. Sweeten to taste with honey or maple syrup. This concentrate will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge or freeze it in ice cube trays to add to smoothies.


Exotic Spice Cookies

February 13, 2013

Valentine’s day is silly, but I’ll look for any kind of excuse to get dressed up and take my handsome man out on the town. While we don’t go over the top with celebrating, I get into the spirit of the day the only way I know how to show true love: food. I baked again, and with a vengeance.

These are my latest creations – Exotic Spice Cookies. They are perfectly spicy, wonderfully soft and deliciously chewy. They are an ideal companion for a hot cup of tea. And the best part of all – baking a batch or two is incredibly easy. And on a day like today (rainy), baking is the perfect way to pass the time.

Happy baking!


Exotic Spice Cookies 


Makes 12 cookies


  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup spelt flour or whole grain whole-wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. fresh or powdered ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup nut butter (I used organic almond butter)
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. In a large bowl mix together the dry ingredients: oats, flour, ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a small bowl mix nut butter and oil until well blended. Stir in sugar, non-dairy milk and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add wet to dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon just until combined.
  5. Drop dough by spoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.