Chai Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches

Dairy Free!

I'll be honest, I don't usually post dairy free or gluten free recipes because it's not something that is part of my diet and my family and I are the ones who eat the end products of these blog posts. BUT, I found an easy dairy free ice cream recipe and decided to give it a try :) 

The Chai Box sent me this blend called sweet monsoon and I was so intrigued because there are mango and coconut pieces in it! A fun twist on traditional chai. 

It's a beautiful and fragrant blend!  Opening the package I was engulfed in the sweet aroma of the blend and it was teasing me throughout the whole ice cream making process!

You may have noticed I used the entire sample of the blend in my recipe because I wanted the flavor to stick out among the coconut milk and cashews which can be overpowering! 

I don't have a fancy or high powered blender but it worked fine! I suggest crushing up the cashews a bit first then adding in the other ingredients. The cashews should be soaked overnight so they are soft and shouldn't be a problem to blend. 

Do you see the frost on the container? I like to freeze the container beforehand to speed up the process of the ice cream making. I don't have an ice cream maker to use and my process is noted in the recipe below but if you have an ice cream maker this recipe is even easier!

I HAD to roll the sides of the sandwich in chocolate chips because it reminded me of the chipwiches you get from the icecream truck! I made these chocolate chip cookies but you could easily just buy chocolate chip cookies for this purpose. 

It's best if you let these sit out for a few minutes to let them soften. After assembling each sandwich I wrapped it in plastic wrap and kept it in the freezer so when you first take it out it will be hard. Once the ice cream softens a bit it has a similar texture to regular ice cream. 

The chai adds a wonderful flavor to the cashews. If you're not a fan of cashews this may not be the recipe for you because there is definitely a strong flavor of cashews that comes through.

 Coconut and cashews is such a delicious combination, I will definitely be making this again! Have you ever tried dairy free ice cream? 

Turmeric Rooibos Chai Ginger Ale

Spicy Ginger!

I had the chance to try the Turmeric Rooibos Chai from Liquid + Leaf. This blend contains Organic rooibos, organic turmeric root, organic cinnamon, organic licorice root, organic black pepper, organic bourbon vanilla pieces, organic clove buds, organic cardamom seed, and organic marigold flowers. 

These liquid leaf loose leaf tea bags are easy to infuse into anything you want to make and would be great if you're on the go. I like to bake and cook sometimes with tea bags because they make less mess and removes a few steps from the process. 

I've recently been itching to make my own ginger ale and I found an easy method making syrup that is mixed with seltzer water. I thought that turmeric ginger chai would be an interesting flavor to add to the ginger ale. 

This is a very simple recipe and if you're a ginger lover this is for you! The ginger simmers so long in the water that this syrup turns up being very potent and delicious! 

I use a suggested amount of syrup but it's really your own preference. I think it will turn out best by using a tall glass or pitcher and adding in the syrup first and then filling it with the seltzer water. 

A note about this ginger ale. If you don't like the taste of turmeric, you may not like the taste of this drink. Turmeric is a heavy flavor in this drink along with the ginger. 

Have you ever made your own ginger ale?! 

Oolong Granita

Shaved tea!

Granita is a classically Italian ice dessert that is similar to sorbet but made by hand and therefore flakier. The granita I made kinda reminded of the "shaved ice" we use to get as kids but instead of being flavored with artificial sugar color, it's flavored with delicious Shangri-La oolong from Nepal Tea! 

It's summer so the majority of my Sips by teas are going to be turned into some sort of cool treat! 

The Shangri- La oolong is described as "spicy" and full bodied so I decided to add some cardamom pods to intensify the flavor but in a sweeter way. Green cardamom pods are so easy to incorporate into teas. For a stronger flavor, crack open the pods and throw them in the brewing tea. It will get strained anyway so no harm done if seeds sneak out of the pods!

It's important to use a container that is able to go in the freezer without cracking. I bought this glass bread pan from the grocery store and it can handle both hot and cold! I let the tea cool down in this dish. 

I wasn't able to get good photos of the progress but basically if you check on the granita every 20-30 minutes you will see it starting to harden. Make sure to push the edges of the granita into the center every time you check on it. 

What this will do is start creating the flaky type texture you see here. After there is no water left and all of the granita is frozen, scoop it out and enjoy! I missed a few chunks that were larger and they froze but I was able to run a fork along the chunks to shave them down. 

Do you have a favorite summer recipe that you want me to incorporate tea into? Share with me in the comments or contact me!

Bliss Tub Tea

Blissful Relaxation.

In my latest Sips by box I received some Bliss Tea from Higher Tea. This blend includes St. John's wort and Zhen Mei Green Tea. 

St. John's Wort is known to have benefits such as treating depression, reducing inflammation and anxiety! Those sound like the perfect ingredients for a bath - I was sold!

I decided to add in some epsom salts and lavender to help your skin feel smooth and the aroma from the lavender is so wonderful! 

One of the perks of the Sips by box is that it comes with these bags to have your tea on the go but they are also perfect to make the tub tea!

It's important to use a bag with a drawstring or some sort of closure to reduce the mess in the bathtub!

I filled my bags about 3/4 of the way full. Leave enough space so that the tea can infuse the bath water. 

These make a great gift for any bath loving friends or family! 

Would you try these in your tub?! 

Blueberry Basil Bourbon Cocktail

Bulleit Tea.

My friend Brittany over at Wight Tea Co. sent me this wonderful tea called Blueberry Basil! Blueberry basil is a mix of South African green rooibos, blueberries, lemon peels, and basil.  

Look at these whole blueberries in this tea! I love when teas have REAL ingredients. 

You're always welcome to cold brew your tea but I like to brew it hot and let it cool down before mixing everything together! 

Bulleit, bulleit, bulleit! Why is this girl so obsessed with bulleit you may ask? One of the reasons I love bulleit is because it's so delicious to have on it's own but it's also great as something in mixed drinks. Bulleit has a great flavor and I knew it would taste great with the flavors of the tea. 

Angostura bitters add a hint of the "old fashioned" and so does the brown sugar. I give a range for the bourbon and sugar in this recipe because I think it's best to add in each little by little and make the drink as strong or as weak as you'd like. 

I'm personally usually on the higher end of bourbon and lower end of sugar ;) 

I chose blueberries due to the name of the tea but they really go well with bourbon! Have them as a snack as you enjoy your drink or place the blueberries in the drink to soak it up! 

What's your favorite cocktail?! 

Holy Basil Pesto

Tulsi Pesto. 

Tulsi tea or "holy basil" is a sacred herb of India. Due to it's nickname, I thought it would be fun to include it in recipe that is majority basil! 

These tea bags are very easy to incorporate into an already simple recipe. All you need to do is cut them open and use what's inside! 

The flavor of the tulsi blended perfectly into the basil. You wouldn't even be able to tell that you're having a pesto with a superherb packed into it!

Sorry for anyone with a nut allergy but I really love the hearty taste that pine nuts add to the pesto. I've made pesto without pine nuts and it's just not the same!

Feel free to use whatever salt you'd like but I actually used a salt that I brought back from my trip to Italy! I bought this salt in Amalfi. The salt is from the mediterranean sea and it's flavored with lemon and herbs grown on the Amalfi coast! 

One tip for the pasta is to stop the blender or food processor and mix up the pesto to make sure that all the pieces get blended well. 

Fusilli is one of my favorite pastas and I like to buy this vegetable infused fusilli from my local grocery store. 

In terms of the amount of olive oil used, I put a range because I think the wetness of pesto is a personal preference. I put more olive oil because I like to be able to toss the pasta and have it be coated easily in the pesto. 

This recipe makes about 1 1/4 cup of pesto and is a great gift to give to family and friends. I made a batch to give to my family and it was a huge hit! 

The tea used in this recipe is a Pukka tea which I received in my Sips by box! Sips by is adding new brand partners all the time and I highly suggest the box to any tea lover. I've given my preferences and haven't gotten a tea I didn't like yet! 

Do you have a favorite pesto recipe?! 

Tea Pop Sampler!

Creamy Pops. 

In my last Sips By box I received two different chai teas. I was so excited because the flavors in "chai" are amazing. I love the combination of spices used. I was really excited because these chais were slightly different and it gave me an idea...a sampler! 

I had a chai blend from Cozy Leaf and also another tea blend called white chocolate samoa that I added to the sampler. 

Here are the 4 teas I used. I used 2 teaspoons of each tea. I think if you use a tablespoon the pops will taste even better!

  1. Cozy Leaf  Country Chai Spice
  2. Zhi Tea Cacai Chai
  3. Rishi Masala Chai
  4. The Necessiteas White Chocolate Samoa

Although chais tend to have similar characteristics, each of the 3 chais I used have something that stands out. The Zhi Tea has Peruvian cacao nibs, the masala has black pepper that is very prevalent in the flavor and the cozy leaf has anise! 

I added in the White chocolate samoa because it has coconut, caramel, and chocolate which I think can compliment the other 3 chai teas well without straying too much from the classic chai flavor. 

With these simple popsicles, feel free to add toppings or things to dip them in. I added coconut to some and also melted some salted dark chocolate to dip the popsicles in!

The milk in these blends gives the popsicles a creamy and more substantial taste than if it was the brewed tea alone. I think you easily substitute cow's milk here for any other type of milk you like. 

Each of these popsibles had their own flavor. As shown in the photos above, they all had different colors. I liked them each individually for different reasons but I think the Rishi tea was my favorite because of it's spicy flavor. It was a bit heavier than the other popsicles and I loved it! 

I had 8 mold and the tea was enough to fill 2 molds. I have to say that covering the popsicles in coconut flakes was my favorite. The white chocolate samoas had coconut in them but still taste great with a boost of coconut. 

Next up...boozy popsicles! What are your favorite types of popsicles?!

Wuyi Oolong Lamb

Lamb Tea.

I was super excited to get an oolong tea in my Sips by box. I've been wanting to cook a savory dish with a good oolong tea. I've experimented with chicken, shrimp and tuna. I had some lamb in the freezer and decided to give it a shot! 

First things first, white2Tea has such cool packaging :) The clover patch tea that was in my box is described as having an intense floral fragrance and a mineral mouth feel. Growing up in an Iranian household, lamb is very familiar to me and I like it very much. Lamb is very intense because it's rich and fatty. Although this oolong is also described as intense I thought that the floral fragrance and it being a rock tea would be a great addition to the lamb. 

I went back to my roots a bit and combined some of my favorite flavors for this marinade. Turmeric and dill are central to many Iranian dishes and I love how they taste on meat. 

This tea can be steeped 5x so after my steep for the marinade I decided to steep the leaves a few more times for myself! P.s. this GORGEOUS, hand painted dish is something I scored in Amalfi. It's actually an olive dish but I thought this was a great way to show off it's beautiful design. 

A warning about turmeric which you may or not know: do not overdo it. Turmeric has become really trendy due to it's health benefits but on meat too much can be a bad thing. It has a potent flavor and you don't want it to take over all the other flavors! I used a bit more than a teaspoon in my recipe but I think that's a good amount to use. 

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This is a quick rice called "cateh" that I eat with most of my meals. I think I'll share the recipe one day but because I don't do much measuring except with my eyes and nose it's hard to explain how to cook it!. Also, I know this is like the third recipe I've posted with green beans. I don't just eat green beans, I actually love all vegetables it's only a coincidence! :) 

The tea is very subtle in this recipe and If I were to do it again I think I may steep the tea several times and compare the bases! All in all, it was delicious and a simple dinner for any lamb lover!

Bangkok Popsicles

Bang! 

May's Sips by box has some delicious tea in it! It's been super hot since I got home from my trip to Italy and I thought that tea popsicles were the perfect solution! The Bangkok tea blend from Harney & Son's that was in my box has green tea, coconut, ginger and vanilla. Um.....can you say YUM or what?! These are all light, summer time flavors in my opinion that would go perfect as a popsicle. 

Part of me wanted to just brew this tea, let it cool and then freeze them because it has so many wonderful flavors. BUT, I decided that I needed to add one ingredient to spice things up.   

I chose cardamom because it's not only fragrant but also very flavorful. I used to eat these sugar candies that had whole cardamom seeds in them and they were one of my favorite things to have with tea! Even though cardamom is potent I think it goes well with a lot of different flavors. 

I've seen so many posts about ice cream that have fancy styled shots and I was on the hunt for popsicle sticks and metal molds. My local grocery store didn't have what I was looking for but something even better! These colorful popsicle molds are so cute AND do you see that straw? You can sip the melting popsicle so it doesn't run into your hand, it's awesome!

I let my tea brew for a bit longer than I said in the recipe and they were quite potent but I liked them. I wanted to make sure that they got a nice color because splitting the tea between all these mold would certainly weaken the flavor. 

These are great ice pops, they have a wonderful flavor and aren't heavy. The only thing I didn't like which I'll have to find a solution for is that the bottom of the mold and what turned out to be the top of the popsicle were much more flavorful than the rest of the popsicle. 

I've been enjoying these the past few nights and really like how light and refreshing they are. I didn't use very much honey but they still have sweetness to them to make them feel like dessert. 

Watch out for another ice cream/popsicle recipe coming very soon! Do you have a favorite tea pop?!

Peach Matcha Cake

Peachy Cake.

Are you sick of the matcha recipes yet? I don't think I ever will be! Something new I've come across is flavored matcha! The Matcha Reserve provided some peach matcha to experiment with. 

I was a little skeptical at first about flavored matcha. Matcha is known for it's health benefits so the idea of adding flavor worried me a bit. I was pleased to find out that the flavoring is natural and sugar free! What the flavoring did do was add a wonderful fragrance and taste.  

I used a very basic cake recipe here because I wanted the peach flavors to come through really well. I placed almonds on top of the heavy cream in the center and on top but that could easily be replaced with fresh fruit to pair with the peach flavor!

My parchment paper wasn't smooth around the edges to give the cake a little texture. If you want them perfectly round you can follow this tutorial on cutting the parchment paper or simple butter and then flour the pans, making sure to tap off excess flour. 

As you probably can tell I'm very fond of almonds. As mentioned before, I think fresh fruit would also go well in the middle. The cake was very tender and what the almonds do is give the cake a nice crunch. 

On top, I was more delicate with the almonds. I tried to sprinkle them gently and some ended up sticking up which I really liked the look of. This matcha is so good I sifted some extra powder on top of the cake. Not only does this give you an extra punch of matcha but also a lovely aroma of peach for the whole cake!

The heavy cream was not super binding but it did the job. It almost turned out like a matcha sandwich! 

What I really enjoyed about this flavored matcha was that the peach flavor wasn't overbearing. It lightened the taste of the matcha which is nice because matcha can often have a heavy flavor. Peach flavor is such a wonderful summer flavor and as summer approaches, you want this cake in your oven! 

The matcha reserve has 8 different flavors to choose from. You can find flavors from peppermint to blueberry! I think any of their flavors would taste great tn this cake! You can use code NAZANINMATCHA for 15% off your purchase on the matcha reserve website.