Homemade Chai and an Awesome Cookbook

Winter is full of warm scents.  I love clove and everything cinnamon at Christmastime (and beyond.)  It’s just so cozy! Like the aromatic equivalent to a blanket. (Is that weird?) And considering the amount of snow that’s fallen in the past month, I need all the cozy blankets I can get.

One drink that encompasses all the spicy, comforting goodness of the season is chai.  A delicious blend of spices and tea.  A little spicy.  A little sweet.  All good.  Sure, you could go to Starbuck’s or your local coffee shop, but making your own is even better.

I have an amazing book called Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects by Karen Solomon.  It was a birthday gift from one of my very best friends and came with a set of Weck jars similar to these.  She knows me so well!  It’s filled with recipes for everything from Condiments to Homemade Marshmallows to Gravlax! I've had fun trying a number of recipes and have been impressed with each one.

This chai was no different.  Consisting of vanilla, ginger, a blend of spices, tea, sugar and milk this chai is fairly simple to put together and it doesn't require more than basic kitchen skills.  If you can boil water, you can make this drink..and you should!

Photo Source 

Chai from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects by Karen Solomon 3 cups water 4 large slices fresh ginger ½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise 1 (2 inch) piece cinnamon stick ½ star anise 4 cloves 8 cardamom pods, cracked ½ teaspoon black peppercorns 2 tea bags, black or Darjeeling 1 cup milk, cream or soy milk 1 tablespoon white sugar 2 tablespoons brown sugar Pour water into a saucepan and add the ginger, vanilla bean and cinnamon stick. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the star anise, cloves, cardamom and peppercorns and continue to simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Turn off the heat, toss in the tea bags, cover and steep for 3 - 5 minutes. Remove all the solids and squeeze out their liquid. Stir in the milk, granulated sugar and brown sugar. Stir to combine and return to medium-low heat, just until heated through thoroughly; don’t let it boil. Garnish with nutmeg and serve immediately. Also delicious served over ice. (Makes about 3½ cups)
Get yourself a copy of this book [buy it here] and have fun playing in your kitchen.  Stay warm and cozy out there!

..  Laura  ..

Reprinted with permission from Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It: And Other Cooking Projects © 2009 Karen Solomon, Ten Speed Press.


  1. Ooooh yum! I love chai, and making it yourself sounds like such a good idea. Also, that book looks incredible. I'm looking it up right now!

  2. I LOVE cinnamon as well. And spicy. :)
    And this books looks amazing!

  3. amazing!


  4. I highly recommend it!! So many fun recipes. Love the Pickled Green Beans!


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