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.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

Ugh, I know, this recipe is familiar (I’ve done this…AND this…in the past) and this genre of oat-based creations is a trifle overdone.

Truth: This recipe post was supposed to be my version of Spaghetti al Limone. I was looking through all of the photos I took of it last weekend and shook my head in defeat as I softly muttered, “…nope…nope…nope…nope…” Honestly, not one photo of the bunch was worthy of posting. The lighting on the day I took the photos of the dish was okay, but most photos turned out blurry. In addition, most looked awkward in plating / presentation.

The upside? I guess I’ll have to make…and eat…another batch of Spaghetti al Limone soon! There are certainly worse calamities to deal with in this wacky world of ours.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

So…here’s a filler recipe. My opening sentence may make it seem as though I’m knocking overnight oats on the whole. I’m not. This recipe is my life saver and delicious to boot!  I doubled it last week, brought it to work, and had breakfast for two days!

After years of experimentation, I find that a nice healthy glob of peanut butter is what makes my overnight oats the most palatable and satiating. Yogurt makes them pasty, in my multiple experiences; peanut butter keeps ’em creamy.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats

If y’all catch me trying to post another blueberry and oat amalgamation in the future, please stop me from myself. Ha! I think I’ve reached my quota for this blog. 😉

Peanut Butter Blueberry Overnight Oats
(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
– 1/2 cup milk of choice (dairy or non-dairy)
– 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
– 1 teaspoon honey (or sweetener of choice; omit honey if vegan)
– 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or other nut butter)
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2 hearty dashes of ground cinnamon

Before We Get Started…

– If your peanut butter is too hard or creamy, microwave it until softened.

Directions:

1.) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Transfer to container of choice and place in refrigerator. Allow to sit for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight. Oats will stay edible for up to three days.

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

Sick day, schmick day, double beat day. I hate sick days. I’m channeling my inner Randy Parker from “A Christmas Story” as I’m sitting on my living room couch, stuffy, sniffling, and overheated.

Well, at least a sick day is a good day to edit and watch mind-numbing TV shows.

On sick days, I certainly don’t feel like cooking, but I usually always do. I can only lounge on my couch for so long before I get antsy. I’ve seen these breakfast-centric sweet potatoes making their rounds on my Instagram feeds for sometime now. Looking extremely versatile, I decided to give one a shot.

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

I was going to go a nut butter and blueberry route originally, but something about yogurt and nuts called out to me instead. It was a decision I don’t regret. It’s filling and delicious, not to mention easy on the throat if you’ve got a sore one like I do!

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

I can’t wait to make this for breakfast again on a day when I’m not so down and out, but it was absolutely a comfort to me in my current sickly state.

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts

Breakfast Sweet Potato with Yogurt & Walnuts
(Serves 1)

Ingredients:

– 1 sweet potato or yam, scrubbed and dried
– 1/4 cup yogurt of choice (I use Siggi’s Vanilla Skyr)
– 4 walnuts, chopped
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 375°F.

2.) Pierce sweet potato a few times over its surface with a fork. Place on cooking sheet and place in oven for 45 – 50 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly, roughly 10 minutes.

3.) While potato is cooling, add chopped walnuts to a small frying pan and turn heat to medium-low. Sprinkle with cinnamon and shake in pan to coat. Cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until nuts become toasty; do not allow them to get too browned!

4.) Split sweet potato in half and fill / top with yogurt and walnuts. Eat immediately!

apple pear blondies

Apple Pear Blondies

WELL…uhhhhh…it’s been an interesting few days here in the ol’ U.S. of A, hasn’t it?

I’m part of the more than 60+ million folks that are shaking their heads in disbelief in this moment, and I am currently going through my own grieving at this time. There really is no other way to say it. I’m not about to get fully political in this post, as I’m sure you came here for a recipe and not a rant. All I can say is stand up for what you believe in and don’t be afraid to take peaceful action that will move us all forward. Be sure to deal with your emotions in healthy ways. Take time for self care and know that it’s okay to feel emotional right now; if you feel that your emotions are getting the best of you, don’t hesitate to reach out for a helping hand!

Okay, now, shall we move onto some deliciousness?

apple pear blondies

Since the election, my two coping mechanisms have been levity and eating. As Waz from Let’s Nom Nom posted on one of my Instagram photos the other day, to paraphrase, she’s been a carboholic since November 8th. Me too! Ha! Handpulled Chinese noodles, queso fundido, tacos, rice and beans, donuts, you name it! During my lunch break today, I had some zucchini in my Old Beijing Bolognese noodles from The Handpulled Noodle. I thought to myself, “Well, hey now! A vegetable! I’m being healthy again!”

apple pear blondies

This dessert has a good dose of fruits in it, between sweet apples and tender pears. The blondie mix itself lends to a buttery and slightly caramelized flavor to the overall dessert. I can not claim this to be healthy by any means, but you could do worse.

apple pear blondies

Go ahead. Eat a few of your feelings. We’re all allowed! Just continue to stay on that good grind for the most part. 😉

Apple Pear Blondies
(Makes 9 large squares)

Ingredients:

– 1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled
– 1 & 1/4 cups flour
– 1/2 cup white sugar
– 1/2 cup dark brown sugar (light brown sugar can be used)
– 1 egg
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 1 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 medium apple, cored and diced into small chunks
– 1 medium pear, peeled and diced into small chunks

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 °F.. Lightly grease and 8″ x 8″ pan and set aside.

2.) Melt butter in microwave or over stove top until melted. Set aside and allow to slightly cool while you mix your other ingredients together.

3.) In a large bowl, combine apples and pears. Toss with lemon juice and set aside.

4.) In a large bowl, whisk egg. Add sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk together until combined. Slowly add melted butter into mixture, whisking continuously to avoid the residual heat from the butter cooking the egg. Add all dry ingredients to wet mixture until combined; the batter may be a little thick and sticky, but that is normal!

5.) Gently fold apples and pears into the mixture until all fruit is combined and coated.

6.) Add mix to prepared baking pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the blondies comes out clean or with virtually no crumbs.

7.) Remove from oven and cool on cooling rack, in its baking pan, for at least one hour before cutting and removing from pan. Wrap blondies tightly in plastic wrap if not eating immediately.

apple pear blondies

golden milk baked donuts

Golden Milk Baked Donuts

I GOT A DONUT PAN FOR MY BIRTHDAY! LET THE DONUT BAKING BEGIN!

As I get older, it’s more about the quality and thoughtfulness of the gifts I receive, not the quantity or trendiness of it. As I just turned 32 two weeks ago (I know, I know, these old bones here), a few friends and family got me appreciated and lovely gifts. My parents got me a food garnishing tool kit. One of my aunts bought me some new work pants from Loft. Dione and Caitlin bought me, respectively, potent alcohol and luscious mac & cheese at The Milton on my birthday night. Adam, however, bought me a donut pan. I literally screamed and punched him in the arm when I saw it, I was so freakin’ happy!

golden milk baked donuts

I’ve wanted to jump into donut-making for a long time; the Internet is rife with amazing recipes. I’m the first to admit that, right now, I’m not about developing any original donut recipes, as I need to run through my personal list of donut recipes I’ve found around my favorite food blogs! One such recipe I’ve been dying to make are Giselle’s Vegan Baked Golden Milk Donuts from Diary of an ExSloth! I love turmeric. I really love making myself a hot cup of turmeric tea a few times a week in the colder months. As I woke up yesterday morning, the 80°F degree temperatures that enveloped Manhattan on Tuesday and Wednesday turned into a rain-soaked 48°F. (C’monnnn! Too stark, too fast, Mother Nature! Give us some time to adjust!) A chilly Saturday, indeed! I glanced at the donut pan on my counter, and I suddenly knew what my first batch of donuts would be.

golden milk baked donuts

I worked with what I had and followed her recipe as closely to a T as the items in my pantry would allow. Ha! While her donut recipe is completely vegan, I am without flaxseed, so I used a plain ol’ egg. Also, I used all-purpose flour instead of spelt flour. I have a feeling these changes were fine, because I pulled some delicious, moist, springy baked donuts from my oven. Oh my! I had to restrain myself from not eating all six at once! I really wish I had the coconut cream to make the luscious frosting from her recipe (next time!), but you can’t go wrong with a simple glaze, conversely. Turmeric is a fairly polarizing flavor, and most people are used to it in savory dishes, not in a pastry or a dessert. In my opinion, it’s worth the exploration. The flavor of this donut is warm with the slightest bit of a citrus kick, thanks to the fresh-squeezed orange juice. I might even add some orange zest to my batter the next time I make these! Hmmmmmm…

golden milk baked donuts

Thanks for creating such an awesome donut recipe, Giselle! I’m currently bowing down to you, my mouth full of donuts.

golden milk baked donuts

Golden Milk Baked Donuts
(Adapted from Diary of an ExSloth’s recipe for Vegan Baked Golden Milk Donuts)
(Makes 6 Donuts)

Ingredients:

Donuts:

– 1 egg
– 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
– 1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
– 1 tablespoon orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
– 1 cup flour, sifted
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon turmeric
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons coconut oil, softened (not liquified)
– 1/3 cup agave nectar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze:

– 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
– 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Before We Get Started…

– For a fully vegan-friendly recipe, use 1 tablespoon ground flax mixed with 3 tablespoons of water to make a “flax egg”, per the original recipe (link below recipe title).

– If you do not have almond milk or another plant-based milk, dairy milk can be used in both the batter and the glaze.

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the inside of the donut pan’s cavities. Set aside.

2.) In a small bowl, whisk together almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and orange juice. Set aside; it is okay if it takes on a slightly curdled appearance!

3.) Sift flour into a large bowl. Whisk baking powder, salt, turmeric, and cinnamon into the flour until thoroughly combined.

4.) In another large bowl, whisk together egg and softened coconut oil. Slowly add in  agave while continuing to whisk. Pour in vanilla extract and whisk in until combined.

5.) Whisk in the milk mixture into the egg mixture, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until incorporated The dough should take on a very light springy texture. Do not overmix!

6.) Carefully spoon dough into a medium or large zip-top plastic bag or a pastry bag; if using a zip-top bag, carefully cut out one corner for piping out the dough. Carefully pipe the dough into the donut pan’s cavities, filling up to just below the top.

7.) Bake donuts for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove pan from oven and place on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove donuts from pan and continue to cool on wire until room temperature.

8.) In a shallow bowl, mix together confectioner’s sugar, almond milk, and vanilla extract to create the glaze. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet or other easily washable surface; dipping donuts into glaze will cause a considerable amount of glaze runoff! Gently dip the tops of the donuts into the glaze, carefully turn over, and placed the unglazed side on the wire rack. Repeat until all donuts are glazed. Allow glaze to dry before eating…but if you’re really hungry, I will not judge you for eating one (or two) early! 😉