Recipe: Hot Honey Lemon with Vodka (Central Asia/Eastern Europe)

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It's that time of year. Coughing. Sniffling. Sneezing. Right about now we all need a hug. And a big blast of disinfectant. Oh, and let's face it, something pretty. This lemony, sweet, cinnamony, vodka-tastic drink - popular all over central Asia and eastern Europe - takes care of it all. I especially love that the honey makes drinking it a huge bear hug (and would please grown-up Winnie the Pooh, I'm sure). The vodka is totally optional (Ava loved her booze-free version) but it does help … [Read more...]

Salty Salty Chai

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Every time I sip a cup of tea, my lips naturally curl up into a smile. It's the world's best mood enhancer. Chai tea is particularly warming. In Kazakhstan people like to add salt, pepper, butter, and even sour cream (Kalmak) to their tea. It's a whole new world of flavor. If you're feeling adventurous add a few salty shakes, buttery tabs, or sour cream plops into our homemade chai. You can also try it with plain black tea - like we did with our butter tea from … [Read more...]

Arabian Cardamom Coffee

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There's nothing as relaxing as sharing a cup of coffee with a dear friend. It helps you celebrate the life you are in. A part of the past. A bearer of the future.  Everything connected. There are even coffee ceremonies organized around this special drink, in which the raw beans are carefully washed before grinding and brewing. To make an extra special pot of coffee, grind the seeds of 3-6 cardamom pods for every 1/4 cup of coffee. Brew as normal - with a smile and a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Espresso Jello with Evaporated Milk

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Fills 10 standard silicone muffin liners or pour into 8x8 baking dish It's wiggly. It's jiggly. And it's in your drink. Jellooooo for adults. You can thank Japan for their love of mixing textures - there's nothing quite like slurping up jello squares into a round straw, along with a bit of milk. Gulp. Slurp. Chew. Note: If you substitute hot cocoa for the coffee, you won't need the sugar as long as your mix is sweetened. Ingredients: For the jello: 1 1/2 cups hot, … [Read more...]

Celebrate Christmas like a Jamaican (Recipe: Sorrel Drink)

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Makes at least 1 1/2 quarts (more, depending on how much you dilute it) August has drug on too long. I know because the mosquitoes have given up for the summer. Not a one can be found. They've been cooked off. I've been shriveling up, too. Thankfully a few of our readers suggested I try sorrel, Jamaica's perky, often spiked answer to iced tea, typically served at Christmastime. Sorrel is better than pouring a bucket of ice down your back. And it's (literally) cooler than mulled wine … [Read more...]

Recipe: Israeli Juice (Lemon-Limeade with fresh mint)

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Dilutes up to 1 gallon Have you ever sipped on the sun? First you have to chill it, so it doesn't taste as much like a "ball of fire."  The compression of all the heat particles actually makes it sour. Like lemon sunshine. Then you squeeze it and sweeten it. I've read somewhere that limes are actually cooled moonbeams. They go well with the sunshine, especially with a handful of mint. That's what's happening with Israeli juice - summer sunshine in a glass, with a hint of funky … [Read more...]

Recipe: Masala Chai for Uncle G (Spiced tea with milk)

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Serves 4 I've officially learned how to blackmail my brother into doing anything I want. Make him a pot of masala chai. He drank this sweet, milky treat his entire visit. A mug was never far from reach. The flavor is as intense as any local coffee shop, but the satisfaction is 200% greater, as we made it ourselves. One more thing - you can serve it hot or cold which makes it the perfect drink in my book. I'm honored that this recipe was featured in Penzy's Spices' 2012 early summer … [Read more...]

Recipe: Guatemalan Hot Cocoa (Central America)

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Serves 1 When I don't have time for a bubble bath, I like to slip my dreams into a steaming hot cup of cocoa. Imagine my surprise (and joy) when I found out Guatemalans don't make their hot cocoa quite like we do here, in the USA. Like their neighbors throughout Central America, Guatemalans make hot cocoa out of bars of pressed cocoa. Dry and crumbly, these hot cocoa bars are nothing like the creamy bars of chocolate we snack on. The good news? You can find them in your local Latino market … [Read more...]