Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Chai Latte Mix

This is a super favorite at our house. Leslie found this originally on SeeMomRun, so swing over there to visit some of her awesome posts and how she makes this mix. I have increased the spices in my copy of her recipe. We wanted a little more kick.

I want to point out the tip to make it into a cold drink, because of all the powdered ingredients in the recipe we found it really grainy when you just mixed it with cold water. Thanks to Trader Joe Chai Latte we came up with this new approach. Basically, you start with just enough boiling water to dissolve the mix in your cup and then add ice to cool the drink down and dilute it. Once the ice is no longer melting, add enough water to taste.
  •   1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  •   1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
  •   1 cup French vanilla flavored powdered non-dairy creamer
  •   2 1/2 cups sugar
  •   1 1/2 cups unsweetened instant tea
  •   1 tablespoon ground ginger
  •   1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  •   2 teaspoons ground clove
  •   1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  1. Dump everything into a huge bowl and stir it with a whisk until it's all blended. To ensure the mix is truly blended, work in batches using a blender or food processor to thoroughly combine the  mix into a single color fine mixture. It will dissolve better in the drinking cup.
  2. To make a hot cup of Chai Latte, add 2 Tb of the mix into your cup. Boil 8 oz of water. Add a splash of the boiled water into the cup and mix to moisten completely. Add another splash and mix. Keep adding water until the entire mix is dissolved.
  3. To make an iced cup of Chai Latte, add 2 Tb of the mix into your cup. Boil a scant 1 oz of water. Add boiled water into the cup and mix thoroughly. Once it is dissolved, add cubes of ice and stir to chill the drink down. Add more water & ice to your taste.
  4. Whether you like it hot or cold, consider adding a splash of almond or coconut milk. For the cold version, another option is to use almond or coconut milk instead of water

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hand Pies

Thank you to Chef John for these 2 videos on hand pies and, specifically, the pie crust. Now it is my turn to play with these recipes. I recommend that you check out the videos yourself and come back here to see how I have tweaked the recipes.

I made 2 double batches of Chef John's crust. The first was with no modifications, but the second batch used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. You'll see the recipes calls for 2 C of flour. I like to weigh out my flour, which is 250 g.

Buttercrust Pastry Dough - Flaky Butter Pie Crust Recipe
Apple Hand Pies - Apple Turnovers Recipe - How to Make Hand Pies 

 Just as Chef John says in the video, the dough is very crumbly. I almost thought I messed it up and needed to add more water. Have confidence in the recipe. Dump out the dough on a floured surface.
 Placing the filling in the dough was a little more difficult than I expected. You will figure it out too. Just remember the advice about folding the dough to cover the filling -- leave an inch to allow the dough to be pinched together.
 Crimping the pies takes practice. Here is my best one, but trust me, they all did not look like this one.

In the end, I made 27 individual pies from my 2 double batches. I used pumpkin, apple, and cherry fillings.

Oh, I made 2 savory pies: whole wheat crusts filled with homemade chili. I sprinkled Parmesan cheese on them.