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!


low fat creamy carrot-ginger soup with lemon-parsley pesto

friends, I have to tell you… I absolutely love  soup.  I could seriously eat it 365 days of the year. 

I woke up in a healthy cooking mood this am.  I headed to the store unsure of what I was going to make and I saw a beautiful display of carrots and then I knew! I remembered that the  very first dish I made at Johnson &Wales was a carrot soup. So I decided to make my own version! 

vegan creamy carrot-ginger soup with lemon-parsley pesto 


( makes 2 servings, it can easily be doubled) 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

3 carrots

1 small fingering potato 

1 garlic clove 

A few gratings of fresh ginger  

1 tsp turmeric root 

2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth 

1 cup light coconut milk 

Sea salt and pepper 

In a Dutch oven, melt coconut oil.  Peel carrots reserving peels for Stock ( I keep empty freezer bags in my freezer and add to it daily. When they are full I’ll make either a veggie stock or bone broth, depending on what I have in hand ) 

Roughly chop carrots and potato ( no need to peel the potato 😉)

Add to coconut oil and sauté.   Stir a little bit, but not too much, you want the sugars in the carrots to get a little carmalazation ( color=flavor) 


When you can see color on the carrots, crush garlic and add, stir once then immediately add 1 cup broth.

Grate the ginger into the soup ( my good friend, Cindy told me that if you keep your ginger in the freezer it’s easier to grate and won’t go bad —-genius! —) 

Add turmeric, salt and pepper.

Bring to a simmer until veggies are tender.


   Let cool then add to blender ( alternatively you could us an immersion blender, but I find my blender results in a silkier soup) 

Add another cup of broth and blend until smooth. 

Return mixture to pan and stir in 1 cup coconut milk


Taste for salt and pepper. Adjust accordingly .  If soup is too thick, add a bit more broth to make it to your liking. 

lemon-parsley pesto 

1 handful fresh parsley

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1/2 garlic clove

1/4-1/3 cup olive oil 

Sea salt and pepper 

Blend well in a tabletop blender 



To serve, swirl the pesto atop the soup and garnish with slivered almonds ( pepitas would have been my choice here, but since I had almonds, they won!) 


I’m quite sure this soup will be just as tasty cold as it was hot….  I’ll check back in 😎


strawberry and balsamic chicken summer salad

Good morning, friends!

I made this recipe last week, just sort of opened the fridge and it all came together.

We liked it SO much,that I made it again this week!

And you should too!

Start by making your marinade


1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP low sodium soy sauce ( use GF soy suave to make the dish GF)
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1/8 c olive or canola oil
1 handful fresh parsley
1 small onion roughly chopped
Dash sea salt


Dig out your trusty smoothie maker. And blend


Reserve about 1/4 cup of marinade for dressing base , being careful not to contaminate.

Pour the rest of the marinade over the chicken and let sit for 3-4 hours


When ready to cook, discard marinade that chicken was hanging out , and preheat girl to 375 ish


Grill chicken breasts for about 7-8 minutes per side. Use a meat thermometer to make sure internal temp gets up to 165.

You’ll get some color on these, don’t worry! It’s the sugars in the balsamic and brown sugar carmalizing. And, it’s delicious!

When chicken has reached 165 in the thickest part, remove from heat and let rest.

Make your dressing…

To the reserved marinade mix, add 1/4 cup of extra virgin oil oil, and black pepper. Re-whirl the dressing in your smoothie maker ( it should look a bit creamy due to the oil emulsifying )

Next, assemble your salad

Place greens of your choice in a serving bowl. Chop up about 1/2 pound ( or more) of fresh strawberries. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts ( toast them first for a deeper flavor) then add about 1/3 cup of soft cheese sprinkled all over the top.

( first time I made this I used goat cheese, second time, I used a soft feta.. Both were amazing! … Use what you have )

Next, slice your chicken ( it should still be warm) and top on top of the cheese and let sit for a minute ( your cheese layer is getting very happy )


Drizzle the dressing atop chicken and toss when ready to serve

Yeah. You should totally make this.


%d bloggers like this: