iced chai tea

hello my friends.

As usual, I’ve been missing in action.  There’s been so much going on and life seems crazy all of a sudden.


And here we are, summer 2016 😜


It it no secret that summer is my least favorite season of the year, but for all that annoys me about it, there are a few things I actually really like.


Like Iced Chai tea.


I’ll order it out now and then, but it’s kind of pricey for what it is.  Plus, so many of them that you order are actually just mixes that have chemicals in them. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still drink them, but I went on a mission to make one at home that could rival one from a popular coffee shop.

I started with This recipe, then played around with it just a bit.

I played around with a few recipes and tweaked them until I came up with one that I am throughly enjoying.

Iced chai ingredients


iced chai tea

2.5 cups water

1 cup fat free milk

1 cinnamon stick

3 cardamom pods, pierced with a pairing knife

3 nobs candied ginger

a few gratings of fresh nutmeg

3 whole cloves

5 whole peppercorns

1/3 cup of organic sugar

3 black tea bags


start by adding everything except for the tea bags to a pot, and slowly heat up, making sure you don’t bring it to a boil

( or else the milk will boil over and you’ll have yourself a big ol mess.  Or so I’ve heard 😂😂😂)


ChaiLet simmer for 10 minutes on low

imageAdd tea bags’ cover and let brew for 5- 7 minutes, off heat.


  • I doubled this batch which is why there’s more than 3 tea bags, start with the original recipe, then if you like it, it doubles easily 😊*

imageThis is an excellent time to play fetch with your pup.  That little nugget in the background is my newest grand-puppy, Varly. More on her later 😉🐾💜

imageOnce it’s brewed to your liking, strain with a fine mesh sieve

image* I did not discard this, I have been saving it in a Baggie and reusing it for a second batch *


imageLet the mixture cool.

Now, I don’t have it pictured, but I froze some of this in ice cube trays in the freezer so that if you simply cannot wait for it to cool, you can use those cubes to have some immediately without having it water down from the hot chai melting the normal ice cubes.



I happened to to stumble across this at good old Target 🎯


This is a step that you can skip, but I was in a playful mood so I had fun with it 😁


Sprinkle some chai sugar on a plate


Dip the top of a glass, margarita-style into a bit of the cooled chai

then roll in the sugar



Fill glass with ice



Pour chilled chai over ice and enjoy!


I changed it up a bit with the batch I made yesterday.  I added a whole vanilla bean and agave syrup in place of syrup.

It also came out fantastic!

I’ve been making a double batch, storing in mason jars and I’m finding that it’ll last and still taste as good as fresh for about 4 days in the fridge.

I didn’t bother pricing out this recipe vs. buying one out, but I’d venture to guess that a large batch of this would cost  a fraction of even one large drink purchased out.


let me know if you try this! I’m at that point where I can’t seem to get enough of this drink!  And it’s making the heat and stickiness of summer *almost* bearable for me


ciao bellas!

English Toffee Squares

you had me at ‘English’

I love tea…

I love trifle…

I love toffee..

not so sure about Scotch Eggs but Ryan insists that they will be delicious…..  we’ll see.



back to the cookie~ when I came across this recipe,  I knew this HAD  to be my cookie of the day.

English Toffee Squares

you will need :

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup chopped nuts ( I used almonds, because that’s what  I had )

(pesky elf optional)

so remember butterbutt from last year? She did it again.

I pulled out the ingredients to get to room temperature before I went to the gym & when I came home, a stick of butter was missing.

Guess who is  in the doghouse

and guess who learned her lesson about how high to store the butter 😉

Ok.. start by preheating the over to 275 degrees & lining a small cookie sheet  (15 x10 ) with parchment paper ( I was out of parchment paper, so I used aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray)

In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat butter & sugar until creamy; scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Separate the egg

and mix the yolk into the butter mixture.

In another bowl, sir together flour & cinnamon. add to the butter mixture & mix until blended.

Dump the mixture onto the prepared cookie sheet & with oiled hands, press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan. It takes a few minutes to get it all flattened out, but trust me, it will lay out nicely.

Quickly whisk the egg white( I used the flour bowl, one less bowl to wash) then brush the egg white over the dough mixture

sprinkle the chopped nuts on top

and gently press into dough

Bake at 275 for 1 hour. Remove from oven & let cool just a bit, then cut into squares.

*note* using the parchment/ foil makes it easy to lift the entire bar out & trnasfer to a cutting board to make easier cutting. The foil seemed to stick to the back a little, but I was able to peel the part that stuck off. I think that with parchment this wouldn’t have been an issue.

I was astounded at how delicious these are.

when I first read that there was cinnamon in the dough I was a bit unsure, but seriously.. without the cinnamon & nuts & butter, they taste just like Baklava!!!

These will be on my cookie list every year for the rest of my life.

in the meantime, would someone please come over & eat all of these for me? like immediately? So that I don’t



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