HOT VANILLA CHAI LATTE ( serves 4-6 people)

I visit this restaurant in my neighborhood a lot with my son. We always have the same thing to drink. It is a fabulous chai latte. I loved it so much I had to try to recreate it. Without any special machines or gadgets I came extremely close to the one they serve at the restaurant.

YOU WILL NEED:

Water
Milk
Vanilla chai tea bags ( I like Bigelow brand )
Sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Boil 3 cups of water.

2. Steep 3 tea bags till it is very strong and dark in color right in the same pot you used to boil the water. Then remove tea bags. Add sugar now to entire pot till it has enough for your liking.

3. Slowly bring 1 cup of milk to a boil in another pot. Just as it starts to boil remove from heat. Use a strainer for the next step if you have let the milk develop a skin.

4. Add boiled milk to the pot of tea and stir.

5. Serve hot.

VARIATIONS: I have never tried it chilled but, if you like your lattes cold, I’d imagine you could just store in the refrigerator and drink later. I’m not sure if using ice cubes would water down the flavor.

Advertisements

INFAMOUS OATMEAL

Photo will be posted soon

This is a forty  year walk down memory lane for me. When my children were smaller, my husband and I left them with a sitter in our home overnight,  while we attended a function. When I arrived home, our usual babysitter, Valerie,  stated , ” I made them oatmeal but none of them ate breakfast.”  The children looked nervous, as if  they knew they were in trouble. (Lol. ) I apologized to her and paid her and she left.
The bowls of oatmeal were still on the table and warm. My middle son asked,” Are we punished? ” and all began protesting. I asked, ” Were you disrespectful to Valerie?”. They said,  ” No.  But Mom, it’s disgusting, it’s not like yours. Valerie can’t make it right”. I looked at the bowls of clumpy oatmeal. This was the kind my mom used to make,  that I hated and always got yelled at for because I took so long to eat it. The kind that sticks to a spoon when the spoon is upside down.
Three smiles appeared as I said, ” No, you’re not punished. This IS disgusting.” and promptly threw it away and made more.  Three happy children sat and ate all their oatmeal . 🙂 I have taken care of numerous children in my life and have never had a child not eat their oatmeal.  So, if your child wont eat their oatmeal, I hope you will try this recipe.This is how I make it.

You will need:

Dried oats ( I use Quaker, but not the 1 minute kind, though that would work fine too.)
Milk
Cinnamon
Sugar
Vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. Instead of boiling water, I use milk. ( if I’m low on milk, I have used half water and half milk and bring to just before the point of boiling.

2. Add your oats , stir, and lower heat to simmer for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. If it starts to get thick, add more milk till it is a creamy consistency, almost like a thick soup.

4. Turn off heat and add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon and sugar to taste.

5. Serve hot and enjoy.

VARIATIONS: I have experimented with other pure extracts like almond and orange and recently, half water and half coconut milk. All were great! However, you will need less sugar if using coconut milk.

KITCHEN SINK SOUP

Funny name I know. However, I call it that because it seems like everything but the kitchen sink gets thrown in. Ever wonder what to do with your leftover veggies n pasta or rice? Americans waste a lot of food in comparison to other countries around the world. I was brought up being told I must finish everything on my plate, regardless if I were full or not, because kids were starving in places around the world. Now, people know that’s not a good idea and can lead to childhood obesity. With that said, it’s ok to have leftovers and you don’t have to discard them . Just toss them together and make a soup. I’ll tell you what usually winds up in mine but know that you can use any veggie cut into bite sized pieces. Any small macaroni or rice.

YOU WILL NEED:

Four quarts of chicken broth

Diced boneless chicken

Green beans cut in half or thirds

1 cup of rice or macaroni

One large carrot diced

Half of small onion minced

1 can of beans ( chickpeas, kidney, cannellini, navy or whatever kind you like)

1 ccelery stalk sliced small

Pepper and salt to taste

VARIATIONS: substitute beef broth for chicken broth and use tiny, already fried meatballs or steak sliced in place of chicken. Add diced potatoes and above vegetables.

For a vegetable type soup use water instead of broth but decrease water to two quarts and add 1-16 oz bottle of V-8 tomato juice and a cup of diced seeded tomatoes. You can add corn or any other vegetables you like.

DIRECTIONS: Throw everything in a large pot and bring to a boil and simmer twenty min or till macaroni is done. FAST and EASY.

CHARON’S JALAPEÑO TENNESSEE CHEDDAR PUFFS

This is a recipe she’s had for years and modified to add two  or three Jalapeno peppers. It is unfortunate that she does not know, nor do I, who to give credit to for this amazing recipe. Makes about 80 puffs.

YOU WILL NEED :

10 ounces cheddar cheese

2 cups water

2 cups of flour

8 ounces unsalted butter

2 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne

6 eggs

2-3 Jalepeno peppers seeded and ribs removed, diced very small

INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Grate cheese and set aside.

3. Melt butter with water, sugar, salt, and cayenne.

4. Once butter is completely melted with the water  add the flour all at once.

5. Reduce heat and stir with a wooden spoon constantly for 1 minute.

6. Pour into mixing bowl and mix with paddle attachment for 1 minute   on medium low to cool the mixture.

7. Increase speed to medium and add eggs one at a time , making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next.

8. Fold in grated cheese and Jalapeños.

9. Drop with a small ice cream scoop (or you can use two spoons) onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone liner.

10. Sprinkle with paprika.

11. Bake for 11 minutes.

12.  Turn the pan and bake for 11 more minutes.

NOTE : Serve warm. This recipe is easily halved and once cooled, leftover puffs can be frozen.

JEANETTE’S FRUIT COCKTAIL

Clock photo to enlarge
Clock photo to enlarge

I don’t care for pears so I really don’t care for canned or jarred fruit cocktail. I do love fruit though, so when the children were small I decided to invent my own fruit cocktail so they wouldn’t have to eat pears either. Now that I’m older, I realize that just because I don’t like something didn’t mean they wouldn’t have. However, I think mine tastes better. You be the judge. It’s a literal ” Dump it all in” easy recipe. Perfect for barbecues  and days you have no desserts in the house or just feel like some fruit. Aside from slicing the peach slices into thirds and the maraschino cherries in half there’s really nothing else to do. Of course if you like pears you can throw a can in. 🙂

YOU WILL NEED:

1 -16 oz. can of sliced peaches in heavy syrup ( I do cut each into thirds so they are easy to eat with a spoon)

1-20 oz can of pineapple chunks (Packed in pineapple juice)

1-10 oz. jar of maraschino cherries. Cut cherries in half and add to bowl.

Add about 20-25 seedless green or red grapes or both

1-15 oz can or jar of mandarin oranges

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Place all juice from peaches into  a large bowl

2. Cut peach slices  in thirds or fourths  and add to bowl.

3. Put entire can of pineapple chunks into bowl .

4. Add as many grapes as you want. Usually 20-25 is good. You don’t really need to count them. Use the smaller ones of the bunch or can cut big ones in half.

5. Take cherries out of their juice. Cut cherries in half and put in bowl. If you don’t mind red fruit cocktail you can put that juice in there too.

6. Put entire can of mandarin oranges in and stir.

7. Chill well and serve.

VARIATIONS: I  have add diced bananas , melon or cantaloupe cubes if I have these in the house and they are getting overly ripened. If you choose to make this for a party , skip the bananas. Many  children are allergic to bananas. And of course, those of you who like pears can dump a can of pears in the mix.  Whatever you have, really, if you like it, by all means, add it. Enjoy!