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
Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes

Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes…oh my!

One of my quick and easy weeknight meals consists of broiled fish with a creamy caper paste.  It takes mere minutes to cook and is tender, moist and full of flavour.  I decided to use this same paste on smashed baby potatoes for an easy side dish that’s super delicious and pairs well with roasted meats and fish. 

Capers are the unripened flowers buds of Capparis spinosa or Capparis inermis and are generally dried and pickled.  Here’s a handy link from The Spruce Eats that tells you a little more about the amazing caper. 

You won’t be disappointed!

Roasted mini potatoes get a gentle smash and topped with a creamy caper paste made with capers, lemon, dill, mayonnaise, and parmesan cheese.  Crispy little potato disks with fluffy centres are the perfect base for the briny capers, fresh dill and creamy mayo.  

If you’re not familiar with capers, they’re a handy pantry item to have kicking around.  They’re pungent and briny and not all that good on their own, but combine them with cream, butter or lemon and you have a flavour explosion. They add a salty depth of flavour that enhances sauces, dressing, salads, and more. Enjoy!

Author: Compelled to Cook

Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Creamy Caper Smashed Potatoes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
30-35 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350℉. In a medium bowl toss together potatoes, olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  2. Spread out evenly on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once, until just tender.
  3. While potatoes are baking, combine together mayonnaise, parmesan, capers, dill, lemon juice and pepper.
  4. Remove potatoes from oven and gently flatten each with a flat surfaced utensil (I use a metal potato masher) to a third of its original height.
  5. Set oven rack to 7" from broiler and turn oven to broil. Spread 1 tbsp of paste onto each potato. Broil for 2-3 minutes until golden and bubbly. Remove from oven and serve immediately, garnishing with fresh dill if desired.

Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls

Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls bake up perfectly soft and speckled with fresh rosemary.  This makes them absolutely perfect along side your baked ham or golden roasted turkey.  There’s almost nothing better than freshly baked bread, filling the kitchen with an amazing aroma.  The kind that sparks a memory and elicits a feeling of comfort. 

These lovely rolls are easier than you think, requiring no fancy equipment and use everyday ingredients. When making bread, it’s important to distribute the yeast evenly, whether you’re using fresh yeast or dry yeast.  Because I’m using dry yeast, I bloom it with the liquids and sugar prior to mixing. This not only ensures the yeast will be evenly dissolved and distributed but also gives it a head start in the production of carbon dioxide which helps make the bread rise. 

You won’t be disappointed, and neither will your guests.  Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls are delicious and simple and will make your holiday table the best it can be.  Enjoy!

Author:  Compelled to Cook

Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 rolls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
18-20 minutes 105 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 rolls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
18-20 minutes 105 minutes
Rosemary Buttermilk Rolls
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
12 rolls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
18-20 minutes 105 minutes
Servings Prep Time
12 rolls 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
18-20 minutes 105 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: rolls
Instructions
  1. Whisk together buttermilk and 1/4 cup water. Warm to 95℉-110℉ in the microwave using 30 second intervals.
  2. Combine warmed liquids, sugar and yeast in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook (see note). Allow yeast to bloom for 10 minutes
  3. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of flour, rosemary and salt. Start kneading and add the butter chunks a few at a time, along with additional flour until the butter has been incorporated and the dough is starting to pull away from the sides. Continue to add flour by the tablespoon until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the side of the bowl, about 8 minutes.
  4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel. Allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, approximately 60 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400℉. Remove dough from bowl to a clean work surface. Knead two or three times by hand to remove the air. Divide dough into 12 equal portions of 55-58 grams each. Roll into balls and place on a parchment lined baking tray 1/4" apart. Cover with oiled plastic wrap or kitchen towel and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
  6. Whisk egg and 1 tbsp of water with a fork and brush evenly onto rolls. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20, rotating tray half way through baking time. Remove from oven and slide onto a cooling rack, removing the parchment paper. Allow rolls to cool to slightly warm or room temperature for serving.
Recipe Notes

-If kneading by hand, bloom yeast as instructed and stir in the first portion of flour, rosemary and salt.  Turn the wet dough onto a work surface and add a few chunks of butter and 1/4 cup additional flour.  Knead by hand, adding remaining butter and flour by the tablespoon until dough is smooth and no longer sticks excessively to the work surface. Proceed as the recipe indicates.

-Spacing buns 1/4" apart will result in tray style rolls that you have to pull apart.  For more individual rolls,  increase spacing to 1 1/2" between rolls.

Poached Egg and Kale Toasts

Poached Egg and Kale Toasts

I love eggs with greens, so when I was on the hunt for a nice lunch, I couldn’t think of what would be better than braised kale and eggs. Poached Eggs and Kale Toasts are not only quick and delicious, but a great way to eat your greens. Need more motivation to kale?  It’s crazy high in vitamin K, high in vitamins A and C and also a great source of fibre to name just a few. 

Curly leaf kale braised with shallots, red pepper and garlic get a bright finish with a splash of white wine vinegar.  The tender, yet still slightly chewy kale provides a good texture contrast with the soft eggs.  Crisp toast is the perfect crunchy base to soak up any juices and runny yolk. It goes to prove that eating well can be simple and delicious with only a few quality ingredients. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Poached Egg and Kale Toasts:  Compelled To Cook

Poached Egg and Kale Toasts
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Toasts 15 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Toasts 15 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Poached Egg and Kale Toasts
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
4 Toasts 15 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 Toasts 15 minutes
Cook Time
12-15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Toasts
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a medium skillet, add shallots and garlic. Cook on medium for 1-2 minutes, stirring often.
  2. Add kale, red pepper and water. Continue to cook, stirring often until kale is tender but still has some texture and all the water has been absorbed about 10-12 minutes. Stir in white wine vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
  3. While kale is cooking, add 3" of water to a shallow pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and add 1 tbsp of white vinegar and a sprinkle of salt. Crack eggs, one at a time into the water. Cook for 4 minutes for soft eggs. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess moisture.
  4. Toast bread and butter if desired, top with a generous portion of sauteed kale and top with a poached egg. Sprinkle with chilli flakes if desired. Serve immediately.

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding

As much as I’m gonna miss summer, I can’t help but be happy about cooking up warm casseroles, holiday squares and hearty soups.  This golden and eggy Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding, with its flecks of vegetables and herbs is EXACTLY why I love the fall.  I could go on about brightly coloured fall leaves, pumpkins, and apple desserts, but in the end, this glorious casserole wins my heart this fall. 

It’s a dish I’ve made plenty of times, always with great results and never disappointing. The only sad thing is, it makes quite a lot, feeding 10-12 people.  Sad only because the only time I make it, is when I have enough company to warrant a casserole of this size.  So, with that being said, it’s perfect for a crowd, and can be prepped up to one day ahead, helping you manage your time when feeding a small army. 

If you’ve never had a savory bread pudding, you must give this glorious Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding a try.  It takes a bit of time to prepare, but worth every minute.  Enjoy!

Recipe source for Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding:  Adapted from Epicurious Savory Bread Pudding with Mushrooms and Parmesan Cheese

Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
Print Recipe
Servings
10-12 people
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 70-75 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 70-75 minutes
Savory Mushroom Bread Pudding
Print Recipe
Servings
10-12 people
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 70-75 minutes
Servings
10-12 people
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 70-75 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375℉ and butter a 13"x9"x2" casserole dish. Slice crust from bread and cut into 1" cubes to yield 10 cups loosely packed cubes. In a large bowl, toss bread with olive oil, thyme, garlic and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Spread evenly in a single layer on a large baking tray and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden, turning once or twice. Remove from oven and return bread cubes to same large bowl.
  2. Heat butter in a large skillet until foamy. Add celery, onions, green pepper, and mushrooms. Sauté until softened and most of the moisture has been cooked out, about 15 minutes. While vegetables are cooking, whisk together eggs, cream, spinach, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour egg mixture over toasted bread cubes, add sauteed vegetables, parsley and gouda, stir to combine well. Pour into prepared dish, spreading out evenly. Top with grated parmesan cheese, cover and chill for at least an hour (up to one day ahead) to allow bread to absorb the custard.
  4. Preheat oven to 350℉. Bake uncovered for about 60 minutes until set and golden. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10-15 before serving.

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

By far, one of my favourite classes I took while in culinary school was “Soups & Sauces”.  Along with the five mother sauces, I learned how to make consommé and other traditional soups like Mulligatawny.  But what I learned the most, was the basic skill set that enabled me to make any soup I wanted or turn ingredients that I have on hand into something delicious. The “roux” was a big component to the class, and I remember little of alternate diet considerations.  Hence, with a world trying to cut out, or at least cut back on their gluten intake, I thought it best to skip the roux in this wonderfully thick and delicious Broccoli Cheddar Soup.  

It’s still thickened up a little, but I opted to use potato flakes instead of the traditional roux.  By doing so, I’ve not only cut out the gluten but used less fat, with wonderful results.  It’s also relatively healthy, as there’s minimal added fat and milk is used instead of cream.  Trust me, you won’t be missing a thing with the hints of oregano and mustard. Thick, creamy, loaded with broccoli and swirled with cheddar cheese, Broccoli Cheddar Soup is a must to make this fall. Enjoy!

Recipe source for Broccoli Cheddar Soup:  Compelled To Cook

Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 5 minutes
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
3-4 people 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Cut stems off broccoli, cutting very close to the flowerettes. Separate flowerettes into small pieces. Set aside 3 cups of flowerettes. Using a vegetable peeler, lightly peel the thick skin from the thicker stem pieces, discard skin. Chop stems, along with any remaining flowerettes into 1/2" chunks.
  2. In a medium pot, heat butter over medium heat until foamy. Add shallots and garlic, cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chopped broccoli, 3 cups chicken broth and oregano. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until very tender, 15-20 minutes. Stir in potato flakes and Dijon mustard. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Using a blender or submersion blender, blend soup until smooth. Return to pot, add milk and broccoli flowerettes. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook covered until flowerettes are tender, about 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Adjust thickness with more broth if needed. Stir in cheese. Serve immediately garnished with additional cheese if desired.
Recipe Notes

-recipe yields 5 1/2- 6 cups.

-for vegetarian option, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

-if serving to guests, cook and cool 1 cup of flowerettes separately. Stir into soup to warm just before adding cheese.  This provides wonderful colour and freshness.