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Entries in beverage (6)

Wednesday
Apr102013

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi

Lately I have been feeling trapped, confined within the white walls of my apartment, as the wind outside howls and the cold, winter weather lays an oppressive hand over the land. Spring has been lost, mysteriously misplaced, forgotten by Mother Nature. Instead, there are cloudy skies, a dirty snow-covered landscape, and a thermometer registering temperatures below freezing. There is a long standing joke that the Midwest has two seasons—winter and road construction—but this year it rings true. Winter arrived in October and is refusing to leave seven months later, like a bothersome friend overstaying his or her welcome.

All I wish is to trade in my heavy winter coat for a light jacket.

Mango Lassi

It is hard for me to appreciate the subtleties of life, to find the magic in everyday moments, when the weather has put such a damper on my normally cheery disposition. I find myself in sour moods for no reason at all, occasionally perked up by a loved song or silly comment, but the lack of sunny vitamin D eventually pulls it back down. This feeling is electric, affecting the people around me. They talk about spring with an infectious enthusiasm and discuss mowing lawns with an unusual fondness, staring out the windows at the winterscape with a heavy sigh.

No one, it seems, is immune from a case of the mid-April winter blues.

Mango Lassi

My boyfriend has recently become infatuated with Indian cuisine, tackling Indian dishes with a large frying pan and little success. After tossing another half-finished dish into the trash, he set his sights on something simpler—a Mango Lassi. He had enjoyed several at the local Indian restaurant over the last month and we set out to create one together. Our joint effort was a smashing success, evidenced by the fact that he made five more over the course of the next few days.

In some ways, the simple blend of a few ingredients brought a brightness into the kitchen and sparked a light into my weary soul. It was a hint of the magic I have been searching for, the beginning of a journey into the rebirth of a new season.

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi is a refreshing, cold beverage originating from India. Lassi is a yogurt-based drink blended with a bit of spice and ice which melts quickly to cool it down. Mango pulp (pureed mango) sweetens and flavors the drink while a sprinkle of cardamom adds warmth. A lassi has been described as a lighter, healthier version of a milkshake (or a smoothie without the blended ice). This mango lassi is lovely when dreaming of hot afternoons and cool drinks in the sun.

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Monday
Jun042012

Lavender Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade

The heat of the summer sun feels like a light kiss in the cool morning air. The bright rays land lightly on my skin, feeling warm and rosy against the crisp breeze fading away from the rising sun. Morning light makes me want to lie in the dew-kissed grass, ignore the damp clothes sticking to my skin, close my eyes, and revel in the warmth of the beginning of a new day. I want to take in these small moments—indulge in their sweetness. Even though I'm given a new opportunity each morning to do so, I don't take it.

Instead I spend my morning on the couch, behind glass, only noting the sun's presence from the glare across the television screen. I greet the sun in late morning as I walk to my car, not out of choice, but out of necessity. It leaves me wondering: where did I go wrong?

Lavender Lemonade

I have dreams about the person I wish to become one day. I want to be the woman who keeps a clean house (and doesn't let the dishes pile up on the countertop). I want to be the woman who keeps wildflowers in a vase by the window. I want to be the woman who listens to jazz music instead of watching reality television. But mostly, I want to be the woman who reads on her porch in the morning sun with her bare toes digging into the cool grass.

Maybe someday I will be all of these things... or maybe I will ever stay the same, not quite finding my way out of this groove. Until then, I may not enjoy the sweetness of the morning sun, but I can get sullied up in the afternoon heat and be glad I already am the woman who can make the perfect summer lemonade.

Lavender Lemonade
Lavender Lemonade

Lavender Lemonade is tart, tingly, and deliciously pink. The flavors of lemon and lavender come together so seamlessly, so effortlessly, that one sip will convince you they were meant to be together. Fragrant and fruity, this lemonade has made a home in my heart. It will be certain to cool you down on any warm summer's day.

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Tuesday
Dec272011

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

As the holiday season is winding down, our bellies are comfortably full, and the new "toys" we received are demanding a place to call their own, I can't help but feel sated with my surroundings. Christmas break comes but once a year and this time I'm taking full advantage of these short days of freedom. I've slept for what feels like the first time in months. I've taken the week off from work to do what I haven't done since this summer—take a break. My batteries need recharging, time with family and friends needs to be spent, and I have glorious plans to finish reading the book I started back in October.

I need to rediscover me again.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Yesterday I took out my camera and dusted it off from nearly a month of disuse. I feel almost ashamed to admit that I've neglected it so long. My camera and I are often inseparable during my culinary triumphs and defeats; the feel of the camera back in my hands was a welcome familiarity. With newly found time on my hands and a longing to hear the click of my camera's shutter, I took it upon myself to recreate one of my favorite winter drinks—a warm mug of Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

When the weather gets cold and frost begins to gather on the windowpanes, this is the perfect drink to bring life back into the limbs of a tired, chilled soul.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Over the last few winter seasons, I've been on a simple, yet difficult quest to find the best coffee house version of the Peppermint Hot Chocolate. However, the longer my search goes on, the less confidence I have that the rich, silky smooth version whirling and twirling through my mind truly does exist.

Throughout the sampling period, I've had more than my fair share of chalky hot chocolate (and I ask you, is there little more disappointing?). More often than not, the maker has a heavy hand when adding the peppermint flavoring (or such a light hand, the taste is more imagined than real). They are often good or just okay, but the genuinely sinful version from my daydreams has eluded me.

As I've realized this past autumn, when coffee houses fail to deliver (as in the case of the Pumpkin Spice Latte), it's time to look to my own kitchen to produce what my taste buds most desire. Using whole milk, real chocolate, and a good dose of crushed candy canes, my futile coffee house search is over.

This is the Peppermint Hot Chocolate swirling throughout our dreams.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Peppermint Hot Chocolate

This Peppermint Hot Chocolate is richly decadent. Whole milk, intense chocolate, and crushed candy canes come together to deliver a little sip of heaven to your taste buds. If you have leftover candy canes to use from the holidays, this is a perfect method to clean out the cupboards. Alternatively, peppermint extract can be used in place of the candy canes if they are not readily available. I fully recommend using whole milk for a richer, more sinful experience, but lighter milks (or almond milk) can be used in its place. Drink up, my friends. We've survived the holiday season once again.

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