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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tea for Two

and two for tea...

There's nothing cozier on a cold day than snuggling up on the couch with a cup o' tea, or even a whole mug for that matter.

While I adore green tea for both its flavor and it's superwoman-energy powers, it tends to give me rather uncomfortable heart palpitations. Given my hatred for coffee until quite recently, the cold New York days had me searching for an alternative beverage to provide both the necessary warmth and energy I required to make it through a real, true-blue (literally, I turn blue) winter.

In walks chai, rhymes with 'pie', tea. A quick history and nutrition lesson for you: chai is Indian in origin and as with most of my favorites, health benefits abound.

It's loaded with antioxidants, benefiting your heart and your lungs, increases your metabolism and alertness, promotes digestion, and improves circulation and your immune system. All this in a favorite mug of your choosing  (mine has a daisy on the bottom).

Here's a fabulous recipe for two to not only encourage your awakening culinary prowess but also to put $4 back in your pocket that Starbuck's otherwise would've taken.

2 cups water
1 tsp of cardamom pods, whole (or 1/2 tsp cardamom dried)
1/2 tsp of cloves, whole (or 1/4 tsp cloves dried)
1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, ginger, black peppercorns, and allspice
2 black tea bags
1 cup milk (soy, cow, goat, almond, etc)
honey or sugar to taste

In a saucepan, put in water and all spices and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tea and milk and cook for 10 minutes longer.

Strain into mug/cup and enjoy...with Mary Poppins.

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