let the 12 days of Christmas begin! and where better to start than a hot cup of coziness? word to the wise: relaxed, coffee-drinking shopping is the way to go at Christmas. have you noticed that like 70% of Christmas shoppers are walking around with a cup of hot something in their hands? it's like we cannot dream of touching a cart at Target with both hands. no. one hand must contain Starbucks. you must master the one-handed driving of a shopping cart so you can keep sipping. you must. (i actually love this phenomenon. it kinda makes me feel like we're all upping the cozy level of Target.)
a chai latte has been my Christmas drink of choice this year. warm and peppery, silky smooth.. it's so cozy i can hardly wait for another mug. and i've been making my own! it's the perfect way to start a nighttime. i recommend the following routine:
1. once your babies are asleep/the dinner dishes are cleared away/laundry has been started or finished/lunches made/house is picked up/work is done, go to the stove.
2. make chai. pour it into a mug and watch the steam rise.
3. take your steamy mug by the handle and pad around the house in your thick socks while it cools.
4. find your Christmas tree. stare at it. sip. stare. sip. enjoy.
5. then go sit yourself down at the computer where you can Christmas shop on amazon or write that blog post you want to write or huddle into the leather recliner with a blanket and maybe watch A Christmas Story. continue sipping while it's piping hot.
homemade chai concentrate
adapted from cheeseslave
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cloves
½ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp nutmeg
2 pinches ginger
1 cinnamon stick (2 inches)
cardamom/peppercorns/ anise are also great, but i didn't have these in my cupboard:)
4 ruby red spiced rooibos tea bags (i used the trader joe's brand)
4 cups water
milk or coconut milk
1. add all loose spices to a coffee filter. bring edges of filter all together and tie with a string. presto! a homemade tea bag.
2. fill a saucepan with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. add your homemade tea bag and the 4 rooibos bags to the pan. turn off the heat and let steep for 5 minutes.
3. at this point, remove the rooibos tea bags. leave the homemade tea bag and simmer on low for 20-30 minutes. or you can just let it steep all day. (24-36 hours)
4. when finished simmering/steeping, remove tea bag and pour into a glass jar to store in the fridge. keeps for about a week.
to make your latte: pour half a cup's worth of the chai concentrate into a small saucepan. turn the heat on and let it get nice and hot. add honey to taste; stir until blended. stir in milk or coconut milk. pour into a teacup or mug and enjoy.
wishing you many merry mugs.
what's your cozy Christmas drink of choice?