DIY chai vanilla latte

vanilla chai latteThere is something about a spicy chai that warms even the chilliest of days. Maybe its the rich aroma of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg, or maybe it’s the creamy swirl of frothy cream that creates that sweet velvety sip….

Or, maybe it’s just so cold that just about any hot beverage tastes amazing.

I have a love/ hate relationship with coffee.  I know, there are people that claim coffee is the magic elixir of the day; I know that there are some people that couldn’t dream of going without…. for me, it’s different.

You see, I go through tea periods, hot lemon water periods and coffee periods,  Mainly because I don’t want to ever want to be dependent on one particular morning beverage.  So, several times a year I rotate my morning beverage choice. Currently, I am in my coffee period, in case you can’t tell.

The village cook vanilla chia latteSince we’re talking coffee… how about some coffee talk? Household news? Rants and raves…. grab your beverage and sit a spell. Continue reading DIY chai vanilla latte

easy homemade hummus and other trends

easy homemade hummusI’m in a season of clean eating… I say season, because there are still  going to be seasons of feasting, and enjoying the occasional indulgence of a big slice of homemade cake with caramel buttercream.

Isn’t it funny how the term “clean” eating has replaced healthy eating? I wonder if it subconsciously helps people eat better? Clean always sounds nice. A clean house, a clean car, a clean shirt, clean sheets. No wonder a “clean diet” has gotten so popular.

We associate dirty with bad, so I wonder why we don’t call an unhealthy diet a “dirty diet”?

Just wondering… Continue reading easy homemade hummus and other trends

baked mini tacos

mini taco pizzas These little guys are the perfect portion controlled nibble for your next fiesta, or Superbowl party… or Taco Tuesday.

If you follow my other blog, you’ll know that I am off white flour/sugar/processed foods  for a bit, (maybe longer than a bit) How long is a bit, anyway?

In my book, a “bit” is anywhere from 3 minutes to three weeks.

But, what is “my book”? Haaaaaahaaaaa, one day I will write a book, call it “My Book” and explain what I intend to say when I speak/write. I’m sure it will go something like this:

Chapter One:

Recipe explanation:

“Eyeball” amounts in recipes: This does not mean the size of an eyeball. This means adding enough that looks good according to one’s own personal sight/preference.

Example: I like to see fresh cracked black pepper in homemade cream gravy. I survey the gravy with my eyesight to obtain the correct visual/taste appeal ratio of black flecks in velvety creamy gravy.

This could also apply to the amount of chocolate chips added to cookies, and sprinkles to, well, everything that deserves sprinkles.

(In my book, there are lots of things that deserve sprinkles)

Hahaha, back to “my book”.

Or, back to tacos? Continue reading baked mini tacos

January Days

 NOTE:  Although this primarily is a food blog, on occasion I share my daily thoughts. This is a daily thought post. Most daily thought posts are found here: The Domestic Mama, however, with this post in particular I felt led to publish it here. 

There will be food tomorrow. :)

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It’s halfway through January, and  we are  in our second week of  our homeschooling schedule. There is something about order and routine that brings security, comfort and contentment.

After a winter break that consisted of random trips to the hospital to visit my dad, trips to his apartment to feed his bird, and all of the other  “festivities” the the end of the year holds; it’s nice to stop and re- structure life.

We started our winter break finding my father incoherent and confused, laying face down in his bedroom. Since then, it was a life and death questionable period. Today, we still remain in a sort of limbo, unsure of when,  or where he will go after rehabilitation. And, although this time period of uncertainty invaded our December, we were still able to capture the moments of joy that only December can bring. Continue reading January Days

Spanish spiced roasted turkey

Note: This is a sponsored post, however the opinions expressed are my own.

A while back, I had the opportunity to feature Rioja wine in a festive appetizer, I created a festive little Caprese bite that is the perfect accompaniment to a holiday meal. Caprese bites with rioja wione reduction sauceCaprese bites with a rioja wine reduction glaze

This season, I’m happy to share with you a new twist on the traditional brined and roasted turkey…

Nowadays, everyone seems to brine their turkey- which is awesome because the world needs less dried turkeys, and brining is the secret to a moist, flavorful bird.

But, why stop at the basic brine? Why stop at a salted, moist turkey when you can go a step further with an array of complex flavors that make your feast really stand out?

In this recipe, featuring the bright flavors of citrus and red wine, your holiday feast will leave your guest talking about the food, instead of crazy aunt Sally.

Turkey Holiday TableIf you happen to have some guests that prefer a sweeter beverage to sip, how about using that Rioja wine in a festive spiced Sangria?

_DSC2909Yum.

With the addition of Spanish inspired spices and a bright citrus glaze, you won’t be limited to the traditional white wine with turkey. Step out of the box, embrace flavor and the holiday season!

Have a festive Holiday season!

CHEERS!

Turkey Recipe:

 

1 Bird
4 quarts water
1 cup salt
1 cup sugar
Carrots & Onions for roasting
Fresh thyme

 

Orange Sauce:
2 Cups OJ
1 small yellow onion
4 cloves of garlic
Salt, to taste
Honey, to taste
4 cups stock
OJ Zest

 

Stuffing:
Prunes
Pine Nuts
Apricots

 

Spices:
Fennel seed
Cumin seed
Smoked Spanish Paprika
White Pepper
Mustard Seeds
Chili flakes
Salt

 

Equipment:
Cheese cloth
String


Directions:

  1. Bring to a boil the water, sugar and salt. Cool and then immerse turkey in the brining liquid for about an hour.
  2. Toast pine nuts until golden on the stovetop.
  3. In another pan, saute onions & garlic until soft and fragrant.
  4. Add orange juice and stock and reduce by ⅓, stirring frequently.
  5. Season with honey and salt according to your preference. Pour over the apricots and prunes and allow fruit to soak.
  6. Strain fruit, reserving the liquid, and stir in the toasted pine nuts. Using cheesecloth and string, wrap and tie the prunes, apricots and pine nuts into a bundle.
  7. Combine spices in a bowl.
  8. Stuff bird, sitting in a roasting pan, with bundle and rub with spices. Arrange onions, carrots, and fresh thyme around the turkey.
  9. Roast at 375F for about 2 hours, or until done, depending on the size of the bird.
  10. Baste occasionally with the strained orange sauce while roasting.
  11. When serving, remove the cheesecloth insert and arrange its contents around the turkey with the carrots and onions. Garnish with fresh thyme.

pre holiday planner

It’s that time of year.

You know what I’m talking about:

We coast along, munch on our kids’ Halloween candy and then, bam! Christmas is knocking on your door before you’ve even taken your jack o lantern down.  I know, hearing songs about angels and Jesus in the stores while the shelves are adorned with witches and ghouls seems somewhat “off”, but it does remind us that there is goodness to come.  Sparkling lights, white angels and Jesus are on the way. In the midst of the dark skulls and goblins marking the shelves of our stores… and, our world.

Unlike the spooky decorations that are now bargain priced in clearance bins, the darkness in our world is on sale year round.  Human lives are disregarded, children are sold like merchandise, and people are lost, wondering and wandering how and where to find their purpose. Mankind turns to war, and hatred permeates borders.

With today’s technology negative news travels fast.. and far.

But you know that already.

So, this season: I’m taking a step back from the world and stepping into my world. I know that sounds really selfish, but first let me explain…

Continue reading pre holiday planner

A little food, a little fun, and a little laugh in between, enjoy!