Spring has been officially announced, the signs are everywhere, you just can’t miss it. The clear streets, the numbers of people with kids and dogs on the streets, music coming out cars, bars with terraces .. you name it.
Just like everybody else, I celebrate the arrival of spring my own way: I have set my bicycle free from the confinement of the attic, I keep the door to my apartment open in the morning while I have breakfast, I go out for longer walks, I smile more often, and I make frozen yogurt milkshakes!
This spring’s inaugural milkshake is a strawberry one, very refreshing, not too thick, not too sweet, just the perfect mix of flavors.
To make 3 glasses of milkshake, you need 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of vanilla frozen yogurt, 1 cup of strawberries (I used frozen), and 1 Tbsp of sugar. And a blender of course. It’s easy to remember: 1 of each ingredient.
It might not be the right weather for this drink in most parts of the world, but I’m sure there is a place right now where the weather permits to enjoy this iced coffee drink!
Ingredients (for one mug):
- 2 scoops of coffee-flavored ice cream (or vanilla ice cream if it’s easier to find)
- 1/2 cup cold milk
- 1/2 cup strong coffee, two times stronger what you’d usually brew
- 5 ice cubes
- Sugar to taste (I don’t usually add sugar to my coffee so I didn’t use sugar in this recipe)
Put all ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth and homogeneous. ENJOY COLD!
Can anything be simpler and more delicious?!
It was cold outside and we were gathered with a group of friends in our living room discussing our favorite books and listening to music. I got up to prepare hot drinks for everyone and asked for specific requests. Some wanted hot chocolate, others wanted tea with cinnamon and a few chose mocha; however, R. was in a special drink mood and so he asked for chai masala. Chai masala, I thought, mmm… I’d like to try my hand at making that from scratch. And I did! With all modesty, here’s a very successful recipe for chai masala or spiced tea with milk.
CHAI MASALA (for 2):
- 2.5 cups water
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 tsp crushed cardamoms or cardamom powder
- 5 cloves
- 3 whole black peppercorns
- 1 Tbsp black loose tea
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar (or 1 heaped Tbsp white sugar)
- 1/2 cup hot steamed milk (or to taste)
1. Pour the water in a small coffee pot or rakweh (check Taste of Beirut coffee post and see the rakweh she used to make coffee) and add the 5 spices. Bring to boil then lower the heat and simmer for ten to twelve minutes.
2. Now raise the heat, put the loose tea in and the sugar and stir. Count to ten and then turn off the heat.
3. Using a strainer, pour the tea into coffee cups and then add hot milk. Adjust the sugar to taste.
Very easy to make using fresh spices that you would probably find in your pantry right now! Get up and get warmed up with a cup of chai masala!
I never thought I could replace a dinner meal with a smoothie, but here I am having a different smoothie every night for dinner! The smoothies I make have 2 or 3 portions of fruit and 5 almonds, which is basically all the nutrition I need daily from fruits and nuts.
Strawberry and Apple Smoothie (1 glass, as seen in the photo above)
- 4 strawberries
- 1/2 apple
- 5 almonds
- 150 ml of soy milk (you can use regular milk)
- 1.5 tsp of brown sugar
In an electric blender, whizz together all the ingredients into a smooth smoothie!
Kiwi milkshake? YES, Kiwi milkshake! What a beautiful tangy milkshake it was!
For one glass of this deliciously thick milkshake, you need:
- 1 kiwi fruit
- 1/3 cup milk
- 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream
- 1 Tbsp of sugar or honey
Method: Blend everything in a blender. Pour into a glass and gobble down like I did :)
Tonight, I did one right thing and one wrong thing. The right thing was making this hot mocha drink. The wrong thing? Drinking it at 11 pm on a working night! What was I thinking?! I totally forgot about the espresso shot that I put in there, hard to believe I know, considering that I was the one who prepared this drink, but really I totally forgot about it.
Anyway, this is what you need to make one cup of Hot Vanilla Chocolate Chip Mocha:
- 1 cup milk (I use low fat)
- 1 Tbsp dark cocoa powder
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 hot espresso shot
- A few drops of vanilla
- A few chocolate chips
- Heat the milk. Add the cocoa powder and sugar. Stir well until the milk is hot enough but not boiling. Add the drops of vanilla and espresso shot and turn off the heat. Pour into a mug and then drop the chocolate chips in. The chocolate chips will not float, but you will enjoy them melting in your mouth when your drink is nearing its end!
As promised, here is my second contribution to my Hot Drinks Week. This black tea with spices and nuts is usually eaten/drunk in the mountain areas of Lebanon during the cold winter season. You immediately warm up the moment you take a few sips from it. It also makes a very nice night-in-with-friends-playing-games drink.
For one cup, you need:
- 1 Tbsp of loose black tea
- 1 Tbsp of dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 5 almonds
- 5 walnuts
First, soak the cinnamon stick and cloves in the hot water for a few minutes before adding the loose tea. Brew tea like you would usually brew tea: loose tea leaves in a strainer in hot water. Infuse for a few minutes. Take out the tea strainer and the spices and add the sugar. Stir. The tea will darken in color, it will become almost black because of the dark sugar. Finally, add the nuts (you can also add pine nuts and pistachios) and serve with a spoon. Beautifully and literally heart warming!
Boo hoo, I sort of have the flu. My nose is congested and I feel like having soups and only soups! But I am not complaining, because this is the perfect excuse to finally start the Hot Drinks Weeks that I’ve been meaning to do! And the first drink for you is this yummy spiced hot chocolate drink:
To prepare two small cups, you need:
- 1 cup milk
- 3 leveled Tbsp dark cocoa powder
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
Put the cinnamon stick and cloves in the milk and warm the milk in a pot over medium heat. When the milk starts getting warm, add the sugar and cocoa powder and stir well. Make sure the cocoa powder does not form lumps. Turn off heat before boiling hot, when the milk develops steam but is not boiling. Perfect hot drink for a cold night in!
If I had a garden with a white fence, a bed of flowers and a pergola, I would spend a lazy Sunday afternoon there and have a glass of minted lemonade, the minted lemonade that my teta (grandma) used to prepare for us grandkids every time we visited her. In reality I don’t have a garden and my teta doesn’t live where I do, but I could try putting together a jug of minted lemonade! And I did just that! The result? This jug that was gobbled down before I could take proper pictures of it!
MINTED LEMONADE (for 6):
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 cups cold water
- 16 Tbsp of sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 Tbsp rose water
Combine the lime juice, lemon juice and mint in a blender. Blend to shred the mint leaves. In the jug that you’ll be serving with, place the cold water and sugar and stir well. When the sugar has dissolved, pour the lemon juices with the mint into the jug and add the rose water. Stir well. Serve chilled.
NOTE: Sugar does not dissolve well in lemon juice, so make sure you dissolve the sugar in water before adding the lemon juice.
Useful confession: I love glass jars.
And to make a glass jar look its best, I filled it with one of my favorite summer drinks: ICED TEA! I had leftover Earl Grey tea from the night before, and knowing me, I do not like to throw what I can easily reuse, so I chilled the tea overnight, and the next morning I added a little bit of brown sugar, a squeeze of orange juice and a few mint leaves. And what a result! One of the best thirst-quenching drinks you can have on a 40C-hot afternoon!
Not the perfect photography, but this milkshake is a great dinner replacement. The blueberries are fierce antioxidants, the banana is rich in potassium and … milk is milk!
Blueberry Banana Milkshake
BLUEBERRY BANANA MILKSHAKE (makes 2 small glasses)
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 Tbsp frozen blueberries
- 1/2 a banana, sliced
- 2 tsp brown sugar
-5 ice cubes
Put everything in a blender, blend well until smooth and creamy. Enjoy cold. You may want to add more sugar. I personally don’t like sweet drinks, so 2 tsp were enough for me.