This and that

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Homemade White Chai Concentrate

I am a big tea drinker... love tea and Chai tea especially...
I have at least once cup a day if not more often. 
I have thought many times to make my own and today was the day..
Maybe because it is -40F degrees out and we have 10 feet of snow outside...
Ok maybe not -40 but at least -7F and we probably only have about 3 feet but it felt like 10 feet when I was shoveling today.
So a cup of Chai just hit the spot.
I decided that I would make my Chai with white tea instead of black.
I found a few recipes that sounded good to make a recipe. 
These are the recipes that I read ~ Tasty Yummies, Tasty Kitchen and Healthful Pursuits
and this is what I came up with...

Homemade White Chai Concentrate

4 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp peppercorn
3/4 of fresh nutmeg
7 cardamom
1/4 tsp anise
1 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 in fresh ginger
1 tsp orange peel 
1/2 tsp lemon peel
1 vanilla pod
8 white tea bags
1 tbsp honey
Cheesecloth and twine

Place cheesecloth on table and add peppercorn, nutmeg, cardamom, anise, ginger, nutmeg orange peel, lemon peel and vanilla pod (cut in thirds).  Bring up edges of cheesecloth and tie around spices.  Set aside.
In pot place water and brown sugar, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.  Add tea bags, spice mixture, star anise and cinnamon sticks.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Cool and place in jar.  Makes approximately 1 quart.  Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. 


add teabag, cinnamon sticks and star anise
To make Chai Latte, add chai concentrate to milk of your choice.  Most instructions say to use 1 part chai concentrate to 3 parts milk but I like to do it half and half.  I also like to use French Vanilla Creamer in my Chai... So I used evaporated milk and French Vanilla Creamer.  I did run out of Creamer so used French Vanilla Syrup instead of the creamer and it tasted just as good.  You can always heat the milk if you want, it makes the tea warmer.  Chai can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Chai Latte and Chai concentrate



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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Turkey and avocado Panini

Do you know that I have to look up the spelling of panini every time I mention them? It is one word that I have a hard time with.  Also did you know that in Italy a  Panini or Panino is a sandwich that is made with bread other then sliced bread.  They use bread like chiabatta,rosetta or baguette.  They are filled with deli meat and cheese or other foods and often are served warm after being put in a warming press.
 Here in United States and  Canada we have adopted the word for any type of sandwich that is pressed or toasted.  ( Panini)  So sayng that is a grilled cheese sandwich that a I make in my panini press a grilled cheese panini sandwich?  Not sure and I am even not sure if this sandwich  that I am writing about is really a panini but that is what I am going to call it... I did use french bread, although I sliced the bread and probably should have just cut it horizontally and then maybe it would have been a real panini.. Well, maybe not! You decide.
I do know that whether or not this is really a panini it is good...

Turkey and Avocado Panini 

2 slices French Bread cut thick
left over turkey
1/4 avocado
1/2 ounce Monterey Pepper Jack cheese
1 ounce Tillamook Chedder cheese
2 tsp Henri Bacon and Tomato dressing
butter or olive oil
Cut French bread thick, spread dressing on both inside slices.  Add turkey, onions, avocado, and cheeses to sandwich.  Spread butter or olive oil to outside of sandwich and place in press. My panini press tells me when it is done, but you would cook them until the bread is a crusty brown colour.
 You can also make this in a pan and press your sandwich down with your spatula.  A George Foreman grill would also work great.

Ready to cook

My panini press is a Bella Cucina.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party - January 18/13

Last week we had a wonderful party with a great turn out of recipes.
Thank you everyone for linking up.
This week, I know that we are going to have another great party and
I want to introduce you to our sponsor giveaway...
I just meet her last week and she graciously offered to sponsored our giveaway
Stacy from Origami Owl and you can follower here...
Head over to one of her sites and see the great designs that they have to offer.
Her giveaway includes:
1 person will win one chain with locket and 3 charms
2 people will win 2 loved based charms
USA shipped only

Make sure you fill out the rafflecopter for your chance to win

Rafflecopter code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now for this week's Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party

This week, the recipes will be rotated so they may fall anywhere in the group.


Please stop by and check out all the hosts blogs...
Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writings: : 
Joanne at Winelady Cooks:
Marlene at Nosh My Way:
Jutta at Hungry Little Girl:
Erika at Chef Picky Kid:


Please take a minute to read the rules, we ask that everyone follows them.  Please also link back your recipe to foodie friends friday or the host blog that you link up with.  If you are linking up on my blog, I would love if you would let me know so that I can personally  thank you. 

Last week's Party winners: 

Sponsor Winners

Voted Top 3

Most Clicks

Host Favorite
Foodie Friends Friday
This week's host favorite goes to Cozycakes Cottages for her 
I love the story Madeline and this apple cake sounds delicious.  I was hoping to make it today,
but I have to go to work... So, hopefully I will be able to make it tomorrow so I can leave you my picture of 
Danielle's creation.
madelines paris cake
Picture credit:  Cozycakes cottage
Starting next Monday you will be able to find all the Foodie Friend Friday's host favorite over at the Daily Dish.  So head over there on Monday and find out if your recipe was picked.

Daily Dish with Foodie Friends Friday

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Breakfast Granola Scones.

 I love scones... they are something that can be eaten at anytime.  You can have them at breakfast, morning or afternoon coffee or tea, evening snack or you can grab one for that on-the-go pick me up.  The same goes for granola, so when I came across this recipe from Michael Ann of The Big Green Bowl for her granola scones, I just knew that I had to make some.
I had some granola samples from Gypsy Girl Granola that I had won before Christmas from Hun What's for Dinner 12 days of giveaway that I knew would just be perfect for these scones and they were.
 So, yesterday morning I was up bright and early that seems to happen quite frequently for me and I decided that this would be a great morning to make these.  Hubby can grab one on his way out the door as we head out for church.  He didn't but he did have one with his smoothie this morning and the only thing he said was that they needed more fruit.. So next time I make them, I will be adding double the amount of dried fruit.

Breakfast Granola Scones

 Breakfast Granola Scones

 adapted from The Big Green Bowl: Granola Scone 
1 2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cup tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cloves
1/3 cup unsalted butter -chilled
1/4 cup local honey
1/3 cup milk ( I used egg nog)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla 
1 cup granola ( I used Coco Cabana from Gypsy Girl Granola )
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (I used Welch's dried fruit and will be adding more next time I make these)

Preheat oven to 375 degree F.  Lightly butter a baking sheet, I used a baking mat so didn't butter.
 Mix flours, baking powder, nutmeg cloves and salt in a bowl. Add chilled butter that is grated as you add.  Stir frequently.  In separate bowl add honey, milk and eggs and mix.  Add to flour mixture.  Add granola and dried fruit and mix well using your hands or a spoon.
Pat mixture into an 8 inch, using a pizza cutter or knife cut into 8 wedges.  Bake at 375 F for 20-25 minutes.

So yummy and thanks Michael Ann for your wonderful recipe.  This is going to be a frequent breakfast food in our household.

Pat into an 8 inch circle and cut into 8 wedges before baking.


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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party January 11/13

It is that time again.... time for another party!

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party!

Last week's party was great, there were some wonderful recipes.
 So are you ready for another great party.... were we have
 Great Recipes, Great Friends and Great Giveaways.
This weeks sponsor is Elizabeth Mindermann of Broken Treasures
She will be giving away 2 Stamp Sets.

Remember to fill out the rafflecopter for your chance to win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the Party!

Please stop by and give each host some foodie love.
Foodie Friends Friday
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
Jodie at Binomial Baker
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writings: : 
Joanne at Winelady Cooks:
Marlene at Nosh My Way:
Jutta at Hungry Little Girl:
Erika at Chef Picky Kid:


I will be featuring one recipe each week for my host favorite.
Please remember to put a link back to either Foodie Friends Friday or the host blog that you link up with.
I will not use a recipe that doesn't have a link back.
If you do link up with my blog, would you please leave me a
message so I can personally thank you.
I do try to get to every link each week.

Last Week's Party

This week's Voted Top 3 and Most Clicks goes to one of our hosts
Jutta from Hungry Little Girl for her
White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake
Toffifay Squares

Host Favorite

Foodie Friends Friday
Please grab our button
This week's host favorite goes to Nosh My Way for her Hot Toddy Mocktail
I made this and it was so delicious... I did add some nutmeg also to mine.

Hot Toddy Mocktail... YUM!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Individual Tourtière Pie

                              You would think that being Canadian I would have tried Tourtière
but no not never. But then I am not French Canadian.
I have to tell you a little secret.... I didn't even know really what it was.
I had to look it up and after I did I thought that it was something that I would enjoy.
Here in Upper Michigan we have something similar called pasties but without all the spices.
I went to for the basis of my recipe.
I wrote down a few combinations of spices from a few of the recipes and as I was making them I decided what I wanted in my Tourtière.
Although the real Tourtière, I don't think anyways, doesn't have potatoes or carrots, I had some that were cooked and that I needed to use up.   I also used leftover ground chuck roast and ground pork tenderloin tips.
So these are a combination of the pasties and Tourtière.

Tourtière made as individual pie.  

Individual Tourtière Pie

1 lb ground chuck roast (approx 2 cups)
1 lb ground  pork tenderloin tips (approx 2 cups)
1 1/2 cup diced carrots (cooked)
1 cup diced potatoes (cooked)
3/4 cup onions diced
1 cup mushrooms diced
1 1/2 cup water mixed with 2 maggi beef cubes
2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove
1/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
pie crust - enough for one double crust pie (either homemade or bought) ~ I cheated and used bought this time
2 tsp whipping cream

Place all ingredients except pie crust and whipping cream in large pan.  Cook on medium heat until sauce thickens about 1 hour.
During this time you can prepare your pie crust, as if you make your own, it need time to chill before rolling out.  Here is a recipe for homemade pie crust.
Once the mixture is thickened, I set mine aside while I rolled out my pie crust.  Roll out pie crust and cut them into 6 inch diameter circles.  I place 6 circles into my large muffin tins and the left overs I made individual pies.
I rolled out my pie crust really thin, as I don't like lots of crust.  Place the crust in the muffin tins and fill with meat mixture.  I topped the meat mixture with a small piece of pie crust cut in the shape of a flower.  For the individual ones I cut my 6 inch diameter circles, place maybe a 1/4 cup of meat. to one side and flipped the other side over  top.  I used a fork to seal the edges.  Brush tops with whip cream.  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes until crust is brown.  If edges gets brown to fast, cover edges with tinfoil.

* the individual meat pies that I made in the muffin tins were very hard to come out, I am thinking that it was because the crust was too thin.  If you use a thicker crust it would be perfect.
* my husband loved the individual ones that were little pies as he could eat them anywhere
* I used one store bought pie crust that has 2 crust in the package to make 6 muffin pies and 3 small pies.  I would reroll the leftovers.
* you could make this into one big pie, but as there is only 2 of us, I thought that I could freeze the left overs... The individual mini pies would be easier to freeze.

pie crust in large muffin tins, filled with meat mixture

tops brushed with whip cream
ready to go into the oven

Tourtière made in muffin tin... Enjoy

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party January 3/12

It's is our first linky party of the New Year!
I hope you all had a good holiday season.
My Christmas and New Years were good ~ because I didn't have to work them :)
My goal with these parties is to feature one of the recipes from the last party again as Host Favorite .
I hope that I will also be able to make the recipe.
If you would like to be featured please link back your recipe to either FFF or my blog.
Without some kind of link back, I will be unable to feature you.

Foodie Friends Friday Linky 

This week we have a great party for you
and a great giveaway for you bloggers...
with a Blog Makeover.

4 Bloggers will get a Makeover from some great sponsors:
Thaleia from Something 2 offer will give a esty/facebook banner and guest post on her blog
Brooke from Get Outta My Head Please will give a custom blog header
Leslie from From A Daughter  will give blog button, custom about me side bar image and header image
Lauren from Tutus and Tea Party will give basic social media button and sidebar menu tab (images only)

Remember to fill out the Rafflecopter 
For your chance to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please stop by and give each host some Foodie Love
Tracy at Busy Vegetarian Mom
Marlys at This and That
Lois at  Walking on Sunshine
Michelle at  From Calculus to Cupcakes
Cynthia at Feeding Big
R Dawn at Spatulas on Parade
Angie at A lil Country Sugar
Cindy at Cindy's Recipes and Writings: : 
Joanne at Winelady Cooks:
Marlene at Nosh My Way:
Jutta at Hungry Little Girl:
Erika at Chef Picky Kid:


I also would love if you would leave me a message if you linked up with my blog
so that I can personally give you a Thanks.
I do try to get to every link each with week. 

Last  Week's Party Winners:

Top 3 Voted
A'lil Country Sugar - Cookie Butter Buckeyes
Crumbs in my Mustachio - Bundt Gingerbread
Spatulas on Parade - Orange Crinkle Cookies
Most Clicked
Cindy's Writing and Recipes - Cheesy Chicken Bites
Cooking from a SAHM - Cheese and Ham Pockets
Milwaukee Kitchen - Savory Slow Cooker Swiss Steak
Sponsored Giveaway

Host Favorite
This week I am featuring  Earl Grey Tea from All Things Yummy
I love tea and haven't had any Earl Grey for a long time,
I am going to have buy some on my next shopping trip and make this soon.
Foodie Friends Friday
Please grab our button
and place on your recipe or wall

All Things Yummy
Have you stopped by the Daily Dish lately?
There are articles for everyone... 
Daily Dish with Foodie Friends Friday
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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Years and Black-eyed Peas

Happy New Years!

Did you see the New Years in? 
I had a very hard time as I have been working nights 
and yesterday was my body's day to sleep.
So does sleeping on the couch until the strike of midnight comes,
opening ones eyes and saying Happy New Years to your loved one 
and promptly falling back to sleep count as seeing the New Year in?
Because that is what I did..

Did you know that Black-eyed Peas are eaten on New Years?

Black-eyed peas probably first started in West Africa but also grows in many countries in Asia.  It was first introduced to the United States in the 1700.  The Southerners feel that black-eyed peas show good luck and prosperity. During the Civil War it was considered a lucky dish.  Union Soldiers burnt all the crops except the peas as they thought they were only used for cattle feed near Vicksburg, VA. The people of Vicksburg, found the peas and adapted to diet to include them.

In our household we eat black-eyed peas often.  We use them when we make rice and beans  and I also make a vegetable dish with them and eat this dish with plantains and gari.  I think I will make this tonight with our New Years meal, although I don't have any plantains to go with it.

Vegetable Black-eyed Peas
I don't have any measurements for this recipes as I just throw things in.

cooked black-eyed peas - a cup or so
corn -either fresh or frozen - maybe about 1/2 cup
green beans - either fresh or frozen- also about 1/2 cup
onions to taste
2 tbsp on oil

In frying pan, add oil and then add cooked black-eyed peas, corn, beans and onions.  Cook until warm~ about 5 -8 minutes.  Serve with gari and plantains if you have. It also can be eaten as cooked, drizzled with a little oil.

* Gari is made from cassava tubers

So will you be eating Black-eyed Peas this year
 for good fortune and prosperity throughout the next year.

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