dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

Dirty Chai Chia Pudding

I am not a coffee drinker. This revelation is usually met with a variety of reactions, including but not limited to shock and disgust. I live in NYC, surrounded by lovers of drips, cold brews, and Chemex brewers. As a supertaster, I find the taste of it as a straight beverage to be too bitter, and as an anxious person, I find the high amounts of caffeine – especially in cold brews – send my heart racing like a hamster on a wheel. It’s pretty much a lose – lose situation for me.

HOWEVER…I love coffee in things! Coffee ice cream, chocolate-covered coffee beans (go figure!), coffee milkshakes, you name it!

dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

In an effort to test the bounds of my coffee consumption while making a relatively nutrient-dense breakfast, I came up with this little number. While a dirty chai typically uses espresso in its mix, I’m flexing my favorite muscle: creative license. Ha! I used Kohana Coffee Cold Brew Concentrate to create this special recipe, and I have to say, I am impressed! The coffee mixed with the milk mellows it out a bit, though the flavor still shines. The chai tea and the cinnamon add a spice that plays off of the coffee flavor beautifully. Plus, do I have to get into how good chia seeds are for you? Google it if you don’t know, I feel like it’s almost common knowledge at this point. 😉

dirty chai chia pudding kohana coffee

NOTE: This recipe was entered into Kohana Coffee’s recipe contest! Please click this link to find my recipe and vote for it before April 15th, 2017! Thanks in advance for your support!

Dirty Chai Chia Pudding
(Makes 3 – 4 servings, roughly 16 ounces in total)

Ingredients:

– 6 tablespoons chia seeds
– 1 cup milk of choice (dairy or plant-based)
– 1 – 2 chai tea bags
– 1/2 cup Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
– 1/2 cup cold water
– 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon vanilla
– 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

Directions:

1.) Place chia seeds in a large bowl and set aside. Over medium heat, bring milk to a slow simmer; it should not be brought to a boil. Turn off heat, add tea bag(s), and allow tea bag to steep for 5 minutes. Use a spoon to press on the tea bag(s), if desired, to release more of the tea. Allow milk and tea mixture to cool down for 10 minutes.

2.) Add milk tea mixture, Kohana Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate, and water to chia seeds and gently whisk until thoroughly combined. Add ground cinnamon, vanilla, and honey or maple syrup and whisk again until combined. The mixture should start to thicken by this point.

3.) Place plastic wrap over bowl and place in fridge for no less than 3 hours. Remove from fridge and stir to unify the consistency of the chia pudding. Serve immediately or return to fridge until you’re ready to consume it! This pudding, refrigerated as directed, will remain fresh for up to five days.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Matcha Custard Pie

Maybe I’m missing my calling in life by not picking up a famous cookbook and chronicling my way through it. Someone’s already done Julia Childs, so there goes that idea. Maybe can bleach my hair, spike it, put sunglasses on the back of my head, and work my way through Guy Fieri’s “Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It“.

Uhhhh, no, the appeal of that disappeared too fast. Ha!

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

It’s not often that I post a recipe on this blog that came from someone else first, verbatim. Though I prefer to develop my own recipes for this blog, I’ve found great recipes and, with credit given to their respective creators, adjusted them to give them my own personal twist. This time, I decided to straight-up make a pie I’ve been wanting to make for ages, if only to save me on a long voyage to Gowanas. (Ugh…I hate transferring from the A to the F/G. Haaa.) Four & Twenty Blackbirds is an amazing pie shop in Brooklyn which I’ve been to a few times. I haven’t been there since 2012, and I have been itching for a trip down there, long trip be damned! It’s a cozy yet popular little spot to go to, and their pies are truly amazing. Recently, I saw a lot of people on Instagram post photos of their Matcha Custard Pie, and it looked amazing! Though green tea usually turns this supertaster’s tastebuds off, matcha, to my surprise, is a flavor I honestly enjoy and indulge in quite often.

I had a friend coming to my place to spend the night recently, and my inner hostess said, “I better bake something for her arrival!”

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Admittedly, I cut a few corners – namely, buying a pre-made pie crust at Whole Foods – because I did not have the time that day to make my own crust. Hell, I’ll admit, I usually buy the pie crust you can roll out into your pie tin – one of my favorite cooking shortcuts of all time – but the Whole Foods at Columbus and 97th didn’t have any in stock when I went. (Damn them!) However, I loaded up on ample eggs and heavy cream while I was there, with the newest tin of matcha at my apartment ready to be broken into.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

The process was surprisingly easy! I par-baked my pie crust, though, as you can tell from the photos, it did pull away on the sides a bit. The amount of custard I made ended up exceeded the amount of space in the pie crust; this recipe definitely will work better in a deeper pie tin. This was a great lesson in living and learning as you bake! However, the end result, while not as gorgeous as anything I’ve seen at the shop itself or on Instagram, had a wonderfully creamy flavor that had me swooning! For those that might be turned off by the occasional sharp or grassy flavor of matcha, this pie may be a great (re)introduction to it! It’s not overwhelmingly sweet either, the sugar and cream marrying beautifully to mellow out the often sharp flavor of the matcha.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

It’s a wonderful pie to start the spring out with. DO IT.

matcha custard pie four and twenty blackbirds recipe

Matcha Custard Pie
(Recipe from Four & Twenty Blackbirds Cafe, via Food52)

Ingredients:

– 2/3 cup granulated sugar
– 1 & 1/2 tablespoons flour
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 teaspoons Ippodo Matcha powder
– 1/2 (8 tablespoons) cup butter, melted
– 3 whole eggs
– 1 egg yolk
– 2 cups heavy cream
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 pie crust of choice (pre-made or your own recipe)

Directions:
(Please note that some of the verbiage in the directions is taken verbatim from Food52.)

1.) At least two hours prior to baking, par-bake your pie crust. (If using a pre-made crust, follow directions on package for how to par-bake. If making homemade crust, please use these directions.)

2.) Preheat the oven to 325° F. Position oven rack in center of oven.

3.) In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, salt, and matcha powder. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to stir in the melted butter, then the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Mix briskly until the filling is thin and light colored. Stir in the heavy cream, followed by the vanilla extract.

4.) Strain the filling through a fine-mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or nut milk bag directly into the pie shell; if you are uncomfortable doing this, strain filling through a fine-mesh sieve , cheesecloth, or nut milk bag into a large bowl, then pour contents of bowl into the pie shell. Be careful not to overfill! Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes, rotating 180 degrees when the edges start to set, about to 35 minutes into baking. The pie is finished when the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is no longer liquid but still wobbles slightly.

5.) Remove pie from oven. Allow pie to cool completely on a wire rack, 3 to 4 hours. Slice and serve. The pie will keep refrigerated for 1 week or at room temperature for 1 day.

how to make plant-based milks

How To Make Plant-Based Milks

Another month, another recipe done for Yoga By Candace! This one, however, was one of the most fun ones to develop for her site. (Well, so far!)

I was given the opportunity to use nut milk bags!

(Get your giggles out now.)

homemade almond milk

I used Havesome Goods Nut Milk Bags by Clever Yoga, and they truly are superior. In terms of ease of use, quality of product, versatility, and cleaning. Since creating these nut milks, I’ve made multiple batches of coconut milk, and I have even used the bags in place of cheesecloth for other projects I’ve done, such as straining custard for an upcoming pie recipe I worked in.

how to make plant-based milks

Head on over to Yoga By Candace for the full recipes, including almond milk, coconut milk, and, yes, banana milk!

how to make banana milk

avocado kale sauce

Avocado Kale Sauce

WOW. Funny story, and by funny, I mean devastating: I had this recipe posted with a great back story. The photos were gorgeous. The commentary was hilarious (as always). It all came together beautifully. As I hit “Publish”, went to the page, and said, “Oops! I forgot to add my Featured Image!” I went back to edit it and add it in. As I hit “Update”, I was brought to my newly updated page, which had the Featured Photo…but, inexplicably, deleted ALL OF MY TEXT AND PHOTOS.

*deep breath*

So, here are the photos of this luscious and delicious sauce (which can be made vegan-friendly!) served with sweet potato noodles, here are the ingredients, here are the directions, and I promise that my next post will have more humor and substance to it. Ha! I realize that this recipe riffs on a few prior avocado sauce recipes I’ve made for this blog, but, eh, I still post a third one proudly. 😉

avocado kale sauce

avocado kale sauce

avocado kale sauce

Avocado Kale Sauce
(Makes roughly 2 – 2 & 1/2 cups)

Ingredients:
– 1 ripe avocado
– 3 – 4 kale leaves, washed, de-ribbed, and roughly torn
– 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or skyr or non-dairy yogurt or cashew cream (for vegan version)
– 1/4 cup room temperature water
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole
– Salt, to taste.

Directions:

1.) In a blender, add avocado, yogurt of choice or cashew cream, olive oil, and garlic. Blend until smooth; if mixture is too thick, slowly more add water and blend until desired consistency is reached. Add salt to taste. Store in refrigerator if not using immediately; will keep fresh for up to 4 days.

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

I am a wonderful meal prepper…when I have the motivation to do it. Some Sundays, I am running and raring to go, at least three days worth of breakfasts and lunches made for work in a two-hour span, neatly stacked in my fridge in coordinated containers. Other Sundays, I’m exhausted and think aloud, “I am going to rack up a lot of points on my Sweetgreen app this week.”

With this slow cooker recipe, I have no excuses not to meal prep. It’s all too easy!

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion

There isn’t much else to say, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Tomatoes + Onions + boneless chicken breast = an amazing shredded chicken that gets you four meals, easily.

Get down on your knees and praise your slow cooker. Give it a nice big kiss, though preferably wait until it’s cool enough.

IMG_9482

Slow Cooker Chicken with Tomatoes & Onion
(Yields 1 average-sized boneless chicken breast’s worth of shredded meat)

Ingredients:

– 1 boneless & skinless chicken breast
– 1 15-ounce can chopped or diced tomato, with juices
– 1 large white or yellow onion, roughly cut
– 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
– Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

1.) Add all ingredients to slow cooker and turn on to High. Cover and cook for 3 hours.

2.) Remove chicken from slow cooker. Shred chicken with two forks. Add shredded chicken back to slow cooker and stir into tomato and onion mixture. Cook for an additional 15 minutes before turning off slow cooker.

3.) Eat immediately! If storing for meal prep, place chicken in container(s) along with some of the tomato and onion mixture to keep the chicken moist, and allow to cool slightly before placing in fridge. Chicken should stay edible for up to five days.