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chai

Last night, I had a friend over for dinner that I haven’t seen in almost 20 years.  We had a hearty soup for dinner so I wanted something for dessert that was only mildly sweet  – and not too heavy. I came across this recipe for chai in the Culinary Institute of America’s Breakfast & Brunches.   I typically shy away from store-bought chai because it is most often overloaded with sugar. This was my first time making it, and it was delicious.  To be honest, I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I took my first sip….here’s my adaptation.

4 cups water
4 rooibos tea bags
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tblsp sliced fresh ginger
1 tblsp cardamom pods
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp whole cloves
1/8 tsp whole black peppercorns
1 vanilla bean, split down the middle
1/4 cup honey (4 tblsps)
3 cups non-dairy milk (I prefer almond milk here)

  1. Bring water to a boil in a larger size saucepan.
  2. Measure out spices and when water is at a rolling boil add them to the pot. Immediately reduce heat to low and let gently simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large stainless steel bowl. Using some potholders strain chai mixture into bowl. You may have to do this twice to catch the fennel seeds. Pour back into cooking pot.
  4. Add the honey first then the milk. Bring to a boil, stirring so that it doesn’t burn. Turn off the heat and serve.  Makes about 6 adult servings.

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international celiac awareness

October was formerly recognized as North American Celiac Awareness month. In order to be aligned with  the international celiac community, both Canada and the United States recently began recognizing May. It was viewed to be critical that celiac disease be higlighted internationally in May, a month in which other autoimmune diseases linked to celiac (like lupus, arthritis, diabetes, food allergies, etc.) are also noted.

In 2006, the United States Senate designated September 13 as “Celiac Awareness Day.”  Irrespective of when celiac awareness “day” or “month” takes place, it presents itself with an opportune moment to stop, and reflect about how we can spread the word about celiac disease, its symptoms, and how it affects so many unsuspecting Americans. There are a number of ways you can help: talk to your local grocer, media outlets, school districts, local leaders and doctors offices. There is a truly inspiring story about the difference one person can make here. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently launched a website for celiac awareness – a huge step toward promoting a source of information for those affected by the disease.  You’ll find the link here.  It’s good and straightforward information.

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