Long Winter or Early Spring I Need Only Know One Thing

February 11, 2013 23:55 by rob

Until only months ago, I [thought I] did not like chai.


Which seems quite ridiculous as my current cuppa chai sits not 6 inches from me; steam curling and twisting as my tea cools from liquid magma to a more drinkable temperature, and the smell of cinnamon, spices and a hint of vanilla drifts around my cubicle.


My current favorite 'recipe' is as follows;

2 Novus Spiced Chai teabags steeped, in a big mug, until almost dark as coffee

Stir with an Amber Sugar Cane stick until dissolved

Top off with Vanilla soymilk.


It's not just the drink's heat that is so welcome on a snow-frosted (but, of course, not enough for us all to be snowed in our cozy houses) Monday morning, but the flavor itself that warms you up from the belly out. The spice, the sweet, the rich bold flavor of the full leaf black tea… Really all that's missing is another 34" of snow.


Punky Phil says Spring's coming soon

Though, with an accuracy percent of 39

I trust him like I trust snow in June.

So to a long winter, we must all resign.


But my chai isn't all that's warm and sweet,

Winter also means a day called Valentine,

And I've got one request, don't make me repeat,

How 'bout it Chai, will you be mine?


…Just don't tell the Cocomels; the creamiest of artisan, small batch vegan caramels made with the smooth and healthful wonders of Coconut Milk. I may or may not already have a Valentine.

Honestly who could resist? Whether it's the perfectly executed contrast of salty and sweet with just a sprinkle of Fleur de Sel Sea Salt, or the dark and rich flavor of organic espresso beans carried perfectly on the subtly sweet undercurrent of creamy caramel and coconut milk, there is also Vanilla and the classic Original and nothing artificial or saccharine about 'em.


On second thought, maybe I'll be my own Valentine.

And I'll give my Valentine – the handsome, rakish, rogue that he is – enough Chai Tea to make it till Spring, whenever it arrives, and a whole barrel of Cocomels.


My, my, how thoughtful my Valentine is; that's exactly what I wanted.

Crispy Chewy Vegan Oatmeal Cookies

December 6, 2012 11:14 by kelly

3 cups rolled oats (not quick oats)
1 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup white whole wheat flour

3/4 cup vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance organic), melted

1/4 cup corn starch
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup boiling water
1 tsp baking soda

In a large bowl, combine all but the last two ingredients. In a smaller bowl combine the baking soda & water, then add to the rest of the ingredients, stir well. Cover & put in the freezer for 1/2 - 1 hour (until dough is stiff). Preheat your oven to 375F & cover a cookie sheet or two with parchment paper. Spoon out frozen dough into small balls and press down slightly - cookies will flatten quite a bit while cooking. Bake for ~10 minutes until flattened & lightly browned. As they cool, they will flatten a bit more. Edges will be crispy and the center is soft - perfection! (makes 3 - 4 doz cookies, depending on size)

Serve with your favorite cup of tea and enjoy! 

For the love of all things luscious (and routine)!

August 31, 2009 23:27 by kelly

Every morning, I have a routine I like to follow once I get to work (at home or at the office).  I prepare an iced drink (non-alcoholic, settle down now, folks!) in a tall glass with a straw for myself before applying myself to my work.  Somehow, sipping cool yummy refreshment through a straw makes any task simpler, don’t you think? Certainly, it must be linked to productivity, I’m quite sure.  I mean, who couldn’t be more productive while sipping an iced, luscious, whatever? Mary Poppins certainly knew what she was saying, when she sang: 


“In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and snap!
The job’s a game… A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in a most delightful way”


Over the years, I’ve had varying favorite morning confections. I’ve consistently enjoyed a good glass of iced chai, even on a chilly morning in Maine.  One of my favorites is Big Train Gingerbread Chai  Now I know what you’re thinking: Gingerbread?  In August?  Well, you can drink this even when reindeer are not expected on the roof in the near future.  I usually add a bit more milk than the recipe calls for, and plenty of ice. It’s creamy, smooth, spicy, and just enough sweet, and brings to mind a delicious, drinkable cookie. Who wouldn’t want just the hint of a cookie every morning?


There are mornings, however, when I’m in the mood for something not so creamy, but still craving the spiciness of chai.  Those days, I’ll go for Big Train Sereno Organic Chai  – no milk in the concentrate; just organic black tea, spices, honey & cane juice.  It tastes quite good made with plain ricemilk; light & refreshing.

Recently, though, I’ve been more of a coffee fan. Well, let’s restate that for accuracy & truthfulness, shall we? Always, I’ve been an ardent coffee fan.  Recently, though, I’ve been making an iced latte that I’ve been hooked on for a while now (and, is saving me money by no longer visiting unnamed drive-through coffee chain on a regular basis). 



To make my morning iced latte, first, use 1 pump of either Monin Organic Vanilla or Caramel syrup (depending on mood). Next, fill the bottom 1/3 of the glass with iced Lavazza In Blu –  perhaps the most lovely tasting espresso out there (brew double strength for iced use, and I always recommend a french press over a standard drip coffee maker, any day). Finally, add another 1/3 glass of cold milk (cow, rice, or almond milk – all good in their own ways), and fill the final 1/3 with ice.  Stir, then add the all important straw (I’m partial to the rainbow-colored bendy straws, myself).  Sip slowly & enjoy your morning!