Rosemary Iced Tea

Category : drinks · (4) Comments · by May 21st, 2012
Rosemary Iced Tea

Time for another Secret Recipe Club! I was so happy to be matched this month with Devon from deli-cute-tessen.com, because I am always on the lookout for new vegan recipes to try. Deli-cute-tessen has tons and they look just delicious.

Mulled Wine

Category : drinks · No Comments · by Dec 17th, 2011
Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is lovely, warming, and festive. I first made it for a Christmas party my husband and I were…

Cardamom Coffee

Category : drinks · No Comments · by Nov 30th, 2011
Cardamom Coffee

Cardamom – the Queen of Spices – is my most favorite spice. It is warm, delicate, and in about 10…

Rosewater and Cardamom Lassi

Category : drinks · No Comments · by Sep 12th, 2011
Rosewater and Cardamom Lassi

On the way to work a couple weeks ago I was listening to NPR coverage of the Syrian revolution. Although…

Red Raspberry Leaf Lemonade

Category : drinks · (1) Comment · by May 22nd, 2011

This recipe is going to start off very sad.

Two weeks ago we found out I am miscarrying. Everything started off normally but then the baby just never began to develop. It feels like such a cruel joke because for two months we had all the excitement and the planning, not to mention all the symptoms (positive pregnancy test, exhaustion, morning sickness) but none of the baby. This has been one of the most heartbreaking events of my life. I feel so stupid to have joyfully and confidently announced my pregnancy so early – and why not, my first one was so breezy and easy – and now having to confess when people ask me how I’m doing that I’m not doing well at all. It’s awkward and sad.

I’ve been through all the stages of grief: hemorrhaging, IKEA shopping, mix taping, cooking away my pain (as you can see by the flurry of posts lately) and finally….acceptance.

Though difficult, this is teaching me a lot. Some things are put in perspective. I am blessed to have such supportive family and friends, my sweet husband who held me while I cried and cried, and most of all my beautiful daughter who I realize is a miracle. She came out so perfect when everything so easily could have gone wrong. I’m also learning how much is out of our hands. Nature is neither kind nor cruel, it just is. And not everything happens for a reason. Some things happen for no reason at all.

I am the kind of person that feels so much better when I can take action rather than sitting around feeling sorry for myself (although I’ve done quite a bit of that too). Even though there’s not much I can do at this point, I can try to be healthy for when we decide to try again. I’ve been doing lots of reading, and found that red raspberry leaf is supposed to be very good for the womb, so I’m planning on drinking a good bit in the meantime. I ordered some online from Bulk Herb Store, and I’ve been drinking it hot with a little honey. Today though, since life gave me such a lemon, I decided to make lemonade.

Red Raspberry Leaf Lemonade

2 cups water (plus more to fill up pitcher)
2 tbsp red raspberry leaves
1/4 cup honey
2 lemons

In a small pot bring water and raspberry leaves to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in honey, and let sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze in the juice of 1 1/2 lemons. Strain into a pitcher and fill the rest of it with cold water and the remaining half lemon (sliced). Serve over ice.

Note: through my Googling, I’ve read that red raspberry leaf is good for the reproductive system but that it causes contractions so you may not want to drink it right before you are trying to conceive or during the first trimester. Some studies say it’s safe, but personally, and especially after this experience, I would err on the side of caution. Check with your doctor or midwife.

Oh and remember this? I love Tori Amos, she suffered several miscarriages and this is about that. It’s really good if you listen to it like 10 or 20 times in a row, just my recommendation.

Masala Chai

Category : drinks · No Comments · by May 9th, 2011

It seems to bother some people when Americans say “chai tea.” Chai means tea! It’s redundant! Well whatever you call it, it’s delicious. Here’s how you can make your very own.

Ideally you can steep the ground spices in the tea as it’s boiling, but my husband prefers his tea plain (boring!) so I just let mine steep a few minutes in my steaming cup.

Masala Chai

Use about 1/2 tsp of the spice mixture per cup of tea – save the rest for a rainy day!

10 green cardamoms
3 cloves
3 black peppercorns
1” stick cinnamon
generous pinch fennel seeds
1/2 tsp ground ginger
4 teabags black tea
4 cups water
1 cup milk

Toast the cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon and fennel in a dry skillet until they smell divine. Grind in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle (you will need to break the cinnamon stick up; if it’s too strong to snap, hacking at it with a knife works fine). Remove to a little bowl and stir in the ground ginger.

Bring water, teabags, and 1-2 tsp of the spice mixture to a boil. Add milk and steep. Serve hot with sugar or honey.

There are no rules, you can play around with the spices as you like, or just boil the tea with whole spices and strain them out. Enjoy!

Black and Cream, a St. Patrick’s Day Cocktail

Category : drinks, holiday · No Comments · by Mar 19th, 2011

Everyone knows the Black and Tan, but the Black and Cream was invented by myself and my dear friend (then roommate) Denise, one sunny afternoon many years ago. We had one Guinness and one cream soda in the fridge and decided to combine the two. The result is this delightful drink, that has the ice-cream taste of a car bomb without the curdle. Also something you can sip like a lady instead of chugging like a frat boy.

Black and Cream

Equal parts Guinness and cream soda

Hot Mami – a Mother’s Day Cocktail

Category : drinks, holiday · (2) Comments · by May 11th, 2010

A couple of years ago I made a mess of a cocktail with Rooh Afza, a rose-flavored syrup used to make yummy (non-alcoholic) summer drinks. It was a few of days after the end of Ramadan, during which we had been abstaining from alcohol, but drinking lots of Rooh Afza. We had a few friends over, and I mixed up some concoction with the syrup and vodka – you know, just to be funny in an inappropriate way – but I was rightfully smote.

Luckily, I got the chance to redeem myself this year at a BBQ we were having on Mother’s Day. We had made up a pitcher of Rooh Afza for the nondrinkers, so I decided to try again. This drink features Absolut Mandarin, with Rooh Afza already made up (mixed with sugar, water, and lemon juice), and is topped off with Sprite. The ratio is about 1 to 2 to 2. The result was sparkly and sweet, and I made up a cute name for it as I was carrying one over to my mother.

Shan also liked it, and as unofficial bartender began mixing them to distribute to the rest of our guests. It was delish, but to tell the truth maybe a little too sweet. Instead of Sprite I’d like to try it with orange seltzer. Happy Mother’s Day!