Grown Up Snow Day – Chai Infused Chocolate Chip Pancakes

QUICKLY WANING is the of excitement snow days once brought.  Happiness for my 5 year old, and not having to bundle her up like a marshmallow to go to school.  Not so much joy flowing for mama and daddy.  Snow days mean plowing and shoveling and keeping everyone generally occupied;  cabin fever at bay.

Snow Covered Roads Keep Us Inside Dreaming Up Tea Inspired Recipes

Snow Covered Roads Keep Us Inside Dreaming Up Tea Inspired Recipes

ENTER: Baking.

But, oh, so tired.  The 5 yr old’s internal alarm clock still went off at 6:30 A.M.  No sleeping in for the weary.

So pancakes it is..but how do we improve on our favorite griddle cake?  Hmm.  Chocolate + Tea.  A personal favorite combination of mine. (TIP: melt a couple chocolate chips in a spiced rooibos this Valentine’s Day.  A low-cal dessert to follow the romantic meal that can not be beat!)

Back to pancakes, try this recipe.  Pancakes for adults and the kiddos will love them too!

First,  brew up 16 ounces of simmered stove top chai tea, recipe here. Be sure your liquid is 1/2 water and 1/2 milk (soy milk, etc, whichever you prefer. Make a little extra to sip while you cook.   Cool the rest.

PANCAKE RECIPE:

2 Cups of your favorite mix  (its ok, it really is, you just brewed up some authentic chai… no need to prove anything by making your own pancake mix.)

1 local egg

1 tsp. organic vanilla extract

1 tablespoon local honey

2 cups cooled chai tea brew

Handful of chocolate chips

Organic raw coconut oil.

DIRECTIONS:   Add mix to bowl.  Use a small bowl to beat egg, honey and vanilla extract together, add to dry mix.  Pour in cooled chai tea, stirring as you go, until you get desired pancaked consistency, a little liquid-y with lumps, may need all 16 ounces of tea.  Add chocolate chips.  Stir.  Or get your assistant to stir.

Let the kids help!

Let the kids help!

Pour by 1/4 cup fills onto hot griddle prepped with coconut oil.  (This is truly the secret to ANY special pancake made in my house)  Flip when bubbly.  Don’t press. Stir batter again and continue.  Makes 16 medium sized pancakes.  If needed…drizzle with a bit of local maple syrup.  Your bliss awaits.  Now you are ready for a snowball fighting/fort building/sledding extravaganza like no other!

PSST…   This is the PERFECT Valentine’s Day Breakfast!!!

***Updated photo coming soon, via my new mini food photography studio!

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Cooking with Tea – Venison Fall Chile with Green Tea and Maple Syrup

trekkers-above-2

Trekker’s Reprieve, a blend of gunpowder green tea, citrus and spices, gives a smoky depth to this venison chili.

THIS IS AN AWESOME RECIPE I just developed and got the approval of the husband and the 4 year old, so I must share!  Its quick and uses 1 pot! There are so many ways to incorporate the seasonal fall veggies and farmers markets finds along with delicious, healthful green tea.  Best of all, this is also gluten free!  The shining tea star for this recipe is Organic Trekker’s Reprieve, which adds a little somethin-somethin to the chile that you just can’t put your finger on.  The smokiness of the gunpowder green tea with the spices in this blend are a perfect match for this hot dish.  (Kinda like me and my hubby….)

***Looking for photos?  I will be updating shortly, with photos taken in my new food photography mini-studio!

You will need the following (I used all organic or homegrown ingredients tonight).

1 tablespoon of EVOO

1 pound of ground venison provided by your strapping hunter husband if possible. (Replace with extra veggies if you are not a meat eater.)

2 Onions, chopped

2 Green peppers, chopped

2 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 medium squash, diced

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can red kidney  beans

2 small cans of tomato sauce

2 cups of chicken (or veggie) broth

3 heaped teaspoons of Trekker’s Reprieve.  (It is blended with cinnamon, orange peel and mint) Sounds crazy, but it adds an incredible flavor.

1 tablespoon of organic local maple syrup

1 tablespoon each of cumin and coriander, both ground

Salt and pepper to taste

To cook:

1.  Brown onion, garlic and green pepper in olive oil. (about 10 min)

3.  While veggies are browning, bring 2 cups of broth to boil, take off heat, and steep tea.

4.  Push veggies to perimeter of pan, add venison and spices,  brown and stir well. (another 10 min)

5.  Add diced squash and cook (about 5 min)

6. Strain tea infused broth into mixture.

7. Add tomatoes and sauce, cook for 5 minutes, add kidney beans.

8. Stir in maple syrup, salt and pepper, bring to low boil then back down to a simmer.

9.  Simmer for 10-15 minutes (the longer the better)

10.  Serve over brown rice pasta along side a glass of fresh pressed apple cider for a gluten free, hearty, healthy, and most importantly DELICIOUS MEAL.