Almond Milk Chai Latte

Almond Milk Chai Latte

Does your heart or head rule winter?

For those of you being in the upper northern hemisphere like myself know all too well about bitter cold winds, endless shovelling and icy roads.  This same blistery cold also brings beautiful hoar frost, sparkling snow, ice skating and snowmen.  I guess it’s all about perspective!

Let your heart rule!

Warm and comforting, Almond Milk Chai Latte appeals to the heart with its frothy top, myriad of warming spices and fragrant aroma.  It’s a simple way to forget the shortness of the days, snow removal and frostbite.

It’s easier than you think…

Chai is black tea infused with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, pepper, clove and ginger.  Some include star anise or fennel seeds, nutmeg and allspice. Each having their own unique flare.  I like mine with a little less clove but with a hint of sweetness.  The wonderful thing about making your own chai concentrate is you can make just how you like it. 

Making your own chai mix is quick and easy.  It’s a matter of simply simmering desired spices and steeping them with black tea.  The concentrate can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to a week.  The concentrate merely needs to be warmed and mixed with your favourite milk or milk alternative for a warming cup anytime the mood strikes. Getting that perfect frothy top is easy too with the help an Amazon Milk Frother Enjoy! 

Be sure to try the warming and boozy Blueberry Tea if you’re looking for something a little stronger to warm you up.

Almond Milk Chai Latte
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Almond Milk Chai Latte
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 8 oz servings 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 8 oz servings
Instructions
  1. Crush cardamom using the bottom of a small pot or metal measuring cup. Remove seeds and discard shells. Continue to crush cardamom seeds along with peppercorns, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and nutmeg until well broken down. It will take 10-12 good crushes to break down the whole spices. Bring 2 cups of water to a simmer in a small pot (preferably with a pouring spout) Add crushed spices along with ground ginger. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in loose black tea. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Stir in brown sugar and strain through a fine-mesh sieve. Will yield approximately 2 cups of chai mix.
  3. Warm and froth almond milk. Pour 1/2 cup hot chai concentrate into a mug and top with 1/2 cup of almond milk and a spoonful or two of froth. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired and serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

-2% milk can be used if desired.

-you can grind the whole spices using an electric spice grinder as well, however, crushing by hand works just fine.

-almond milk or milk can be frothed using an emersion blender, by shaking, commercial frother, espresso machine frother or a mini hand-held electric whisk. You can find these items in My Amazon Store under "The Extras"

-the chai concentrate will keep in a sealed container for up to a week in the fridge.

Affiliate Disclosure

I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Apricot Brandy Sparkler

Apricot Brandy Sparkler

Cheers to a new year with Apricot Brandy Sparkler!

Apricot Brandy Sparkler is my way of saying goodbye to 2018 and cheers to the new year ahead. Can you believe another year is already over?  Where has the time gone?  It is the sentiment I have often felt, but with the approaching new year, I have a sense of accomplishment and a strong purpose moving forward.  While 2018 was still a year of routine, plucking forward just trying to keep up with work, household and blogging, it was also a year that a few things got done.

One of my greatest joys this year was the construction of our new deck/outdoor space, and for many, it would not be a big deal.  For me however, it was a project that was put off for a variety of reasons for many, many years.  It was also designed and built by my husband, who did an amazing job. It ’s a beautiful space, complete with furniture and gas fireplace.  I love it and couldn’t be happier to share it with family and friends or simply sit quietly spending quality time with my husband.  

 

The Year Ahead…

The past year was also a year of learning and working hard to create our first video for Mark Bouliane/Overland Explorer, which follows my husband and me on our over-landing adventures.  Creating and editing video is definitely a skill and has its own set of challenges. We are both excited to improve this skill and have fun being creative.  We hope it’s the first of many videos for both of us, which leads me to another goal for 2019.  Video production for Compelled to Cook is set for my 2019 to do list, as is monetizing my food blogging efforts.  Both are substantial goals for myself but definitely in the realm of possibility.  The learning, progress and firsts are what excites me for 2019.  So, even though 2018 must go, the new year looks amazing and I’m ready to get started.  How about you?

Author: Compelled to Cook, from “Cooks Workshop” Cocktails & Party Drinks 1984

Apricot Brandy Sparkler
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 10 minutes
Apricot Brandy Sparkler
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cocktail
Instructions
  1. Combine vodka, apricot brandy, lemon juice, and Grenadine in a cocktail shaker. Fill half full with ice. Shake until cold, about 30 seconds. Pour into a champagne glass and top with champagne. Serve immediately.

Holiday Punch

Holiday Punch

This refreshing all-purpose beverage gets named Holiday Punch for this time of year, but truthfully, it’s wonderful anytime you have a gathering. It takes no time at all to mix together and has a festive flair with the addition of cranberries. 

It’s a game changer really! Why? Because it’s also very, very good with vodka or white rum.  So those who want to live it up a little can, while non-drinkers, designated drivers and kids also have something great to drink.  

It will allow you to free up some of your valuable time not having to fuss with cocktails and making sure everyone has a drink poured.  I find that if you serve this Holiday Punch and put out bottles of wine, most everyone is happy and can serve themselves. Not to mention it’s rather yummy to sip on with or without alcohol.  Cheers!

Holiday Punch
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 litres 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 litres 15 minutes
Holiday Punch
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
6 litres 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 litres 15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: litres
Instructions
  1. Trim ends from oranges, limes and lemons. Cut into 1/8' slices.
  2. Add cranberry juice, pineapple juice and ginger ale to a large punch bowl or beverage dispenser with a spigot. Stir to combine and top with fruit. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

-If liquid ingredients are not chilled prior to mixing, serve over a small amount of ice if desired.

 

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Affiliate Disclosure

I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Magic Hour Cocktail

Magic Hour Cocktail

Treats aren’t just for kids on Halloween!!  Adults need a little fun too and I was dying to try my hand at a spooky theme.  The Magic Hour Cocktail is a creamy, orange delight that tastes a lot like a creamsicle, ahem… like a “treat” Fun and delicious to shake up when the adult goblins come knocking on your door.

You’ll also love that this delightful orange vodka cocktail is dairy free. Yup, it’s coconut milk that makes it creamy and a little frothy.  A splash of vanilla syrup makes it extra dreamy and easy to drink.

Orange vodka is not a normal item tucked away in my liquor cabinet, it was a gift from my brother.  One day he just shows up with it, I think as a “thank you” for something my husband helped him with.  My memory fails me a little, but I’m guessing he won it or was gifted it himself, as he’s just not an orange vodka kinda guy, nor have I ever indicated I wanted or needed orange vodka.  But in the end, he gifted it to us…lucky me I’d say.  It’s not just any vodka either, but Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka.  Once he gets a taste of this tasty cocktail, he’ll wish he’d kept it for himself.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Magic Hour Cocktail adapted just slightly from:  Grey Goose Magic Hour Cocktail

Magic Hour Cocktail
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 20 minutes
Magic Hour Cocktail
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 cocktail 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
5 minutes 20 minutes
Ingredients
Vanilla Syrup
Cocktail
Servings: cocktail
Instructions
Vanilla Syrup
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and heat to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Once it reaches a full boil and sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and allow to cool. Makes 1/2 cup syrup, or enough for 8 cocktails if using 1/2 ounce per. Will keep several weeks chilled in an airtight container.
Cocktail
  1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker half filled with ice. Shake until very cold, about 30 seconds. Strain into glasses and garnish with orange zest if desired. Serve immediately.

Zesty Michelada

Zesty Michelada

Cheers and Happy Father’s day to my dad, who simply called it beer and clam.  Little did I know as a youth that his afternoon summertime drink actually had a name.  The Michelada is a Mexican cocktail with many variations, and while I’m no expert in this area, I do know you’ll love this Zesty Michelada with Clamato juice and spice just as my own father enjoyed his “beer and clam”.

Although a little spicy and salty, the Zesty Michelada is quite thirst quenching and goes down easy on a hot day.  For those who aren’t familiar with the original Clamato juice, it’s basically a blend of tomato juice, spices and clam juice.  You may think clam juice and beer is an odd combination, and I suppose it kinda is. Yet the clam gives it a bit of brininess that makes it perfectly “slurpable” over a chili spiced salted rim.

Don’t forget about the garnish either!  It’s a cocktail that can balance all you can through at it.  I personally like shrimp and celery but go on and try chunks of spicy sausage, cherry tomatoes and or lime.  I think a little wedge of cheese could also work.  There’s no rules and that’s the fun of it, so enjoy!

Recipe source for Zesty Michelada inspired by Fox Valley Foodie Authentic Michelada

Zesty Michelada
Print Recipe
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Zesty Michelada
Print Recipe
Servings
4 people
Servings
4 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a flat shallow dish combine salt, chili powder and lime zest. Cut one wedge out of the whole lime and run along the rim of 4 tall beer glasses to wet the edge. Dip each glass rim into salt to rim the edge. Set aside.
  2. Measure Clamato juice into a 2 cup liquid measure and add lime juice from remaining lime, hot sauce, Maggie seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine. Fill the salt rimmed glasses 1/3 full of ice and pour Clamato mixture equally between glasses and top with beer. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.

Raspberry Vodka Lemonade

Raspberry Vodka Lemonade

Consider yourself warned!  Raspberry Vodka Lemonade is dangerously delicious and perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day.  The recipe makes a pitcher full, so be sure to invite your friends.

A stirring spoon and pitcher is all you need for this super quick and easy beverage.  Using frozen lemonade concentrate allows you to use the empty can as the measuring device, so there’s little cleanup too. Don’t let the summer go by without stirring up a batch of this lovely fruity drink, it’s sure to be a favourite.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Raspberry Vodka Lemonade: Drinks Mixer Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Vodka Lemonade
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 6 oz glasses 5-7 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 6 oz glasses 5-7 minutes
Raspberry Vodka Lemonade
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 6 oz glasses 5-7 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 6 oz glasses 5-7 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: 6 oz glasses
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to a pitcher and stir until frozen lemonade is combined. Serve over ice and garnish with fresh raspberries if desired.