Lavender Chai


I have had some major migraines this week and yesterday on my personal blog, I posted my natural remedies to relieve them, but I saved the recipe for here. I love having a bag full of French Lavender and have been stressing out just thinking about it one day being empty. Lavender is such a great herb to have on hand and helps you in so many ways from relaxation, headaches to sleeping better.

It combines well with allspice, bay leaves, cardamom, celery seeds, cinnamon, ginger, parsley and thyme. This chai is a great remedy for all kinds of things plus it tastes great. Although, lavender has a light smell it can smell overpowering if you think of cooking with it, but it cooks very light so do not be afraid to use it. I use the frother of my espresso machine to heat and froth the milk if you do not have one you can heat it on the stove and mix in a jar or with a hand frother.

3 cups cold water
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon dried lavender
6 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon loose black tea
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup frothed milk

1. In a small saucepan, add cinnamon, cardamom, lavender, ginger and 3 cups water into a small pot and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to let steep for 5 minutes.

2. Return pot to the heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add tea, cover and set aside to let steep for 5 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh sieve, then return liquid to the pot. Stir in sugar and heat over low heat for 1 minute. Pour into cups, add frothed milk into cups, then serve.

Yields: 4 cups

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Zebra Cake


While my husband is at work he always sends me links to recipes that he sees online. Yesterday he sent me a link to a zebra cake and while I have seen it around for several years now it has always been on my to do list. I immediately got up to make it so we could have after iftar. As usual, I scaled it down to small batch using my 8-inch cake pan. I noticed that the pictures I saw online of the cake had a high dome in the middle, which means they used too much batter so it already need to be scaled down for that alone. My little baker helped me mix everything up and it ended up being a pretty simple recipe and turned out pretty. I sprinkled a bit of powdered sugar on top and decorated with fresh mint and strawberries.

2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Dash of salt

For the chocolate batter:
1-1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350! Grease an 8-inch cake pan with olive oil, set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, add sugar, flour, baking powder and salt. Mix butter with sugar until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Add vanilla, eggs, butter and milk. Mix well!

3. In another bowl make the chocolate batter. Add cocoa powder, sugar and milk, mix well.

4. Add half of the batter into the chocolate batter and mix well. Use one tablespoon for each batter to create the layers of batter on the prepared pan. Begin from the middle of the pan, take one spoon of white batter then over it, add a spoon of chocolate batter and repeat these steps until all batter has been used.

5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.

Yields: 4 servings

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Orange Blossom Popsicles


My chocolate qashta pops were so good that I could not wait to try some new recipe using qashta. Qashta is a thick cream, you can buy in the Middle East that is used in Arabic sweets or ate alone. You can find all kinds made by big brands next to the condensed and evaporated milk here in Saudi. Since qashta already has a creamy sweetened flavor, adding sugar is not nessecery. I decided to leave the flavor intact while adding a few small ingredients and wow this one ended up being my favorite yet.

2 (170 gram) cans of qashta
1/4 cups milk (I used full fat)
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
6 dates, chopped (I used dates that are half ripe and half not)

1. In a mixing bowl add, qashta, milk, orange blossom water and dates. With a hand mixer mix, well.

2. With a small spoon, carefully fill popsicle molds to the top. Place tops, then place in freezer overnight.

Yields: 6

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