Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

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Posts Tagged ‘ginger’

Short Straws

Posted by terrepruitt on September 9, 2019

Every once in a while I like to have a cocktail and usually cocktails include ice . . . at least the one I drink.  (Hubby’s Moscow Mule)  But I don’t like to drink out of the glass and have the ice get on my lip or smash into my face. I like to use straws. Well, I have A STRAW. I think it was long, but I cut it to fit our copper mugs. I have been using it for over a year. I decided I wanted to get some reusable straws to that I don’t have to keep using the same ONE STRAW. I had been looking at them, but then it occurred to me that I don’t want a long straw, I wanted a short ones. So I jumped on good ol’ Amazon recently and bought some.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit, City of San Jose Exercise Classes, Cambrian Yoga & Cardio Dance, CYCD, Yin YogaI was not really paying attention to what I was buying because they were pretty affordable so I just ordered them. I hadn’t seen the listing show that it came with a brush as did a lot of the other ones, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I read the box when it arrived and it said it included a brush. I also hadn’t seen that the bottoms were angled . . . also a big plus.

Well, so far we have used them once and we both liked them. See, normally my husband doesn’t even get a straw because we have ONE STRAW, but now we have enough for him to use one, too. He was rather happy about that. And I think he really enjoyed drinking his cocktail via straw.

He was pleasantly surprised that it was sturdy enough to use as a stirrer. It really turned out to be necessary because we were sprinkling powdered ginger into our drinks.  We weren’t drinking Moscow Mules at the time.

Anyway . . . I am just sharing another purchase that turned out really good so far. Granted, we have only used them once. So we will see how they hold up.

They are not the prettiest of colors, but . . . I wasn’t really concerned about that. I was looking at length and material. I wanted to be able to put it in the dishwasher and these are able to be run through.

Do you prefer to use a straw when drinking a drink with ice?  Do you have straws at home?

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Chicken and Vegetables Stir Fry

Posted by terrepruitt on February 1, 2017

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitAs I have said over and over, I tend to cook the same things over and over.  It is so much easier to just cook what you know than to have to do something new.  Half the annoyance with doing something new is shopping for it or making sure that you have it.  But I decided to cook a stir-fry.  Not that I haven’t cooked it before or not that I don’t stir-fry meat and veggies.  But this time I decided to try to give it that stir-fry flavor.  Ya know, I really just wanted to use the cornstarch.  So, last week I made stir-fry chicken and veggies.  My hubby liked it.  I will make it again, but next time I will plan better.

This time I thought I had planned well.  I spent an hour cutting up the meat and making the marinade and cutting up all the veggies BEFORE I went to teach my evening yoga class.  I thought I would come home and cook it up fast.  But it took longer than I thought.  I had meticulously planned on how I was going to cook the veggies.  The idea is to cook the ones that take the longest to cook first.  Now we might not agree on cooking times because I like my mushrooms a little caramelized . . . and my carrots, broccoli, and bell peppers a little raw.

When I cut up the veggies I put them in the bowl in the order in which I would cook them.  So while I was driving home from class I was thinking about throwing the stuff in the pan in the order in which I put them in the bowl.  Then it dawned on me that I had not even thought about when to cook the chicken.  That threw a little wrench in my wok.  😉  I ended up cooking the mushrooms and chicken in one pan while the remaining veggies cooked in another.  It was just faster.  So here is what I did:

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Chicken and Vegetables Stir Fry

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 + lb chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
garlic salt
1/4 onion
6 mushrooms
1 small baby bok choy
2 bunches of broccoli
4 small carrots
handful of snow peas
1 bell pepper (red)
rice

Mix the cornstarch in the water.  Stir until it is completely dissolved.  In a dish that will fit all the chicken, add the cornstarch water, the soy sauce, the brown sugar, the ginger, garlic powder, vinegar, and the teriyaki.  Mix it up.  Cut the chicken into about bite sized pieces.  You want to cut them up so they are all about the same size so the cook evenly.  Put the chicken in the dish with the marinade.  Put the dish aside.

After you wash the veggies.  Chop the onion.  Slice the mushrooms.  Cut up the baby bok choy.  Chop up the broccoli.  Slice the carrots.  (I just sliced the ones I had because they were small, so they were little rounds).  Slice the snow peas.  Chop up the bell pepper.  Decide which veggie you like cooked the most and start cook them first.

I cooked the mushrooms first.  I put a tablespoon of oil in the pan.  Let it heat.  Then added the onions.  Cook the onions.  Then add the mushrooms.  Add some garlic salt.  When the mushrooms are almost cooked to your liking add the chicken.  Add some of the marinade.

When the chicken is almost half of the way cooked, heat up the olive oil in another pan.  Then when the chicken is half cooked put the bottom part, the white part of the baby bok choy in the pan (the one with out the chicken and mushrooms).  Then add the broccoli.   Add some of the marinade to the pan.  Add the top (the green part) of the baby bok choy.  Let things cook a minute.* Then add the snow peas.  Add more marinade.  Let it cook a bit.  Then add the carrots.  I don’t like cooked bell peppers so I add them last.

*In between the veggies cooking add almost all of the marinade to the chicken and mushrooms.  Save just a little to use for cooking the veggies.

Make sure you cook the marinade with the chicken or vegetables.  Since the raw chicken was sitting in it you don’t want to pour it over your rice without it having been cooked.

Once everything is cooked to your liking serve it over rice.

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My pictures show all the veggies in two bowls, that is because I prepped everything, then had to leave to teach yoga.  I would not have piled everything in bowls if I were just prepping and cooking.

I loved all the veggies in this dish.  This might not be a typical stir fry.  Not even sure what that is.  But it was good.  We will be having it again!

What do you think?  Does it sound good?  Does it look good?

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit

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Roast Pumpkin Soup, My Way

Posted by terrepruitt on December 12, 2016

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitOh, it has been too long since I posted on Monday.  Just so much to think about right now it is difficult to focus on what to write for a blog post.  I was busy with another project today so I was barely thinking about dinner much less a blog post.  I had a sugar pie pumpkin that needed to be used.  Normally with sugar pie pumpkins I make Pumpkin For Dinner but I didn’t feel like making that.  I don’t know why.  I LOVE that.  But I just didn’t want to make it.  So I thought I would make pumpkin soup.  I have never make pumpkin soup before.  I was certain there was a recipe online I could use.  But when it came time to make dinner I didn’t feel like looking at a bunch of recipes to figure out which one to make.  Or which ones I could use to make soup so I just made up something.  For me . . . it was too bitter, but my husband loved it.

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitPumpkin Soup

1 sugar pie pumpkin
olive oil
garlic salt
1/2 large onion
32 ounces veggie broth
1 pumpkin beer
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle of nutmeg
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Wash the pumpkin, then cut it up in quarters.  Removing all the seeds.  Rub the pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle both sides of each quarter with garlic salt.  Then place the pumpkin – outside up – on a parchment paper lined baking pan.  Then bake it for 30 minutes.  Take the pumpkin out of the oven and turn each piece over, bake it for about 20 minutes more.  This is where you have to decide if it is done in 20 minutes or needs more time in the oven.  Use a fork, if needed, mine was kinda brown.  It might have been more than 20 minutes.

While the pumpkin is roasting.  Heat up some olive oil in your stock pot or soup pan.  Chop the onion.  Then cook the onion.  Then add the broth.  Then add the beer.  Add the salt and all of the spices.  Just let it barely boil.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhen the pumpkin is done roasting put it in your super blender (or perhaps you have an immersion blender*) and blend it until you have a pumpkin puree.

Add the pumpkin puree to the liquid in the soup pot.  Stir until incorporated.  Then serve.

*with the immersion blender add the pumpkin to the liquid then blend until smooth

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Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo, I didn’t have anything to serve this with.  I think I would have put some creme fraiche on top or some cheese.  But I wasn’t sure.  Strangely I didn’t taste it before I served it.  As I said, I have a lot of things on my mind and I was doing three other things while I was cooking, so dinner was super late in the evening, and when I first tried to taste it, it was too hot.  I didn’t try again.  But it was ok.

My husband really liked it.  He said it had a finish that tasted like Taco Bell’s Hot Sauce.  Can’t say I am happy about that exactly, but then again, it allowed him to like the soup, so ok.  But to me, it was too bitter.

So, help me out.  Why was it bitter?  Is cardamom bitter?  Is cumin?  Would cutting back on either of those help with the bitter?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Light Ginger Marinade

Posted by terrepruitt on March 14, 2016

Unfortunately I don’t always measure when I am cooking or making a marinade.  I actually hear a lot of people say that.  When you are cooking you just pour and sprinkle and shake, right?  It makes it very difficult to share recipes.  Normally I don’t even remember what I put in a marinade and every once in a while I wish I had.  This one was a little different from my normal marinades and I really liked it.  I liked it so much that in the middle of eating I jumped up and wrote down what was in it.  Then later that same week I made it again.  The first time I used it with boneless pork chops.  It was really good.  Then second time I used it with boneless chicken breasts . . . just as good.  I have not used it with beef so I don’t know if it will be as good with that as it was with pork and chicken.  I’m calling it Light Ginger Marinade.

I put in:

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Light Ginger Marinade

sherry  (1 1/2 cup)
teriyaki (1 tbsp)
soy sauce  (1 tbsp)
worcestershire sauce  (1 tbsp)
garlic powder  (1 tsp)
ginger (powder)  (2 tsp)
dry mustard (this is a powder) (1 tsp)
ground thyme  (1 tsp)
and chopped onions  (1/4 to 1/2 of a medium sized one)

Put it all in the dish you (or even a zip lock bag) are going to marinate the meat in and let it set for at least an hour.  I like mine to marinate at long as possible.

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I have guesstimated the measurements because, as I said, I didn’t measure.  But I really liked it.  Ha, as I look at it I realized it really is not all that different from my normal, but it is — in my opinion — really good.  And that is really all that matters when I am cooking to eat it, right?  I need to think it is really good.  Ok, well, yes, my husband has to at least like it or why would I make it again, but I am the one that needs to think it is good.  But I still felt I needed to type that.

I think the difference is that instead of using a lot of the teriyaki, soy sauce and worcestershire sauce I only used a tablespoon of each.  Usually I use a lot more of all of those.  Or I make the base the teriyaki.  But this time I was trying to just add those flavors a little bit.  That is why I am calling it “light” because it is not as dark as the other marinades.

I am going to use this recipe the next time my hubby makes a Costco run.  We can do some of the chicken AND some of the pork in this.

Of course, when you make it, adjust it all to your liking . . . and to the amount of meat you are trying to juice.  Perhaps adding some salt and pepper?  For me, everything needs salt, but not pepper.

I bet it would be really awesome with fresh ginger!

Do you have a “go to” marinade you always make?

 

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A Possible Help For Alzheimer’s

Posted by terrepruitt on July 12, 2014

I recently came across some information I thought was interesting.  I had heard it before, in fact I mentioned it in my post Turmeric – Flavor With Benefits, but this time I decided to look into a bit to see what is being said.  One of the compounds found in turmeric is curcumin.  Turmeric is a product of a ground root of the Curcuma longa plant.  It is a relative of ginger.  The curcumin is what gives turmeric it’s yellow color.  So basically it is the stuff in turmeric that stains everything it touches.  While in the middle of typing this I needed to make dinner.  I used some turmeric.  This spice has been used in other cultures as a spice to flavor foods, and a medicinal spice.  It has been used as a dye.  It is a subject of study and research as it is thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.  There is information that has been published regarding using curcumin as a possible prevention and treatment for Alzheimer’s.  The National Center for Biotechnology Information,  U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website has information regarding a paper disclosing such information.  The UCLA Alzheimer Translation Center website also has information regarding how it might help prevent Alzheimer’s.

Alzheimer’s is thought to begin with inflammation.  So, as I have stated often in my post, I believe that chronic inflammation in the body is a disease catalyst.  It is as if the body is so busy fighting the inflammation, other things go wrong.  Chronic inflammation is being viewed as a serious health problem.  So again, as I have stated before, things, foods, that can reduce inflammation can be good to add to our diets.

The NCBI article states that the idea that curcumin might help with Alzheimer’s comes from the fact that it is less common in India where they eat a lot of food with curry with turmeric.  This idea was supported by a study in which macrophages (A type of white blood cell that ingests foreign material) was treated with curcumin.  The white blood cells treated with the curcumin were able to clear the type of plague that is thought to contribute to Alzheimer’s.  The article also indicates that since curcumin can pass through the blood brain barrier it can help at the neurological level.  Also, neurotoxicity caused by cadmium and lead was prevented.  Additionally, curcumin might help lower cholesterol.

The bioavailability of the curcumin is not very high.  So eating enough and getting enough could be an issue . . . especially at this point there might not be enough information to know what amount “enough” is.

Another post on The National Center for Biotechnology Information,  U.S. National Library of Medicine’s website claims that three patients with Alzheimer’s showed significant signs of behavioral and psychological improvement after being treated with turmeric powder capsules.  A change was seen after just 12 weeks, but a large improvement of recognizing family members was seen after a year.

There is always risks with anything if one is to use it as a treatment for a specific condition, so before you go out and purchase curcumin capsules please do some research and seek professional advice.  I do think that my adding it to my food would not be a problem.  I know in my post about turmeric I said I would, but I really dislike that it turns my dishes yellow.  But I really think the possible benefits outweigh that.  I prefer to try to use food, herbs, spices, and movement to provide nutrition and health benefits so that I can keep it healthy and hopefully not need medication.

Do you like curry dishes?  What type of curry dishes do you make?  What do you add turmeric to?  Do you have a trick to keeping it from turning things yellow?

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Accidental Lunchtime Zing

Posted by terrepruitt on April 16, 2013

One day I was having my Chai Tea Latte (you can check out that recipe I got from a fellow Nia Teacher here:  Venting Gets Me Good).  Even though the tea needs to be stirred constantly, the spoon I was using to stir the tea ended up on my plate with my turkey sandwich.  Some of the ginger from the tea came off the spoon and I ended up taking a bite of sandwich with ginger on it.  “Oooooo!”  I thought.  That was good.  So I got up and sprinkled more ginger on my sandwich.  Right now the lunch meat we have is sliced turkey breast from Costco and it is a sweet flavor so it was nice to have the little bit of spicy from the ginger.  I don’t know if other sandwich meats would taste as good.

Since then I have been making our sandwiches with ginger on them.  I don’t know if my hubby has even noticed . . . .well, in all fairness, I have not been doing it on his everyday lunch sandwiches.  Just on the weekend sandwiches.  I know the poor guy eats a sandwich every day for lunch and then on the weekend I make him yet ANOTHER sandwich.  Ahh, but yes, thank you for the reminder (I heard your future thoughts, he COULD make something for himself).  But since I am making a sandwich I just make two so we can each have one.   With each sandwich I make I get a little more bold and add more ginger.  So far I have not made it too hot or spicy for me.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI really like the little drama that the ginger adds to the sandwich.  This is really funny to me because two years  (maybe about that long) ago if you would have asked me if I like ginger I would have said no.  But then again, I always thought of that pink slimy stuff that comes on a sushi and sashimi plate as ginger.  I mean, it IS ginger, but it is PICKLED ginger.  I hadn’t known that fresh ginger or even powdered ginger can add just enough of a zing to food to make it a nice change of pace.

Like many things I post, some people might be reading this and wondering why I am doing an entire post on adding ginger to my sandwich and it is for the others saying, “Oh, I would have never thought of that.  I bet it IS good.  I’m gonna give it a try.”  I can’t take for granted and/or assume that everything I know other people know.  That is ridiculous.  And just because it is simple doesn’t mean that it is not worth sharing.

And here is a picture of my lovely half eaten sandwich.  There is turkey, cheese, mayo, bell peppers, and ginger on the sandwich!  Pretty good.
Remember that ginger is a digestive aide and can help relieve nausea. It is also considered an anti-inflammatory root/herb/spice.  So in addition to adding a little zip to your sandwich ginger could add some health benefits!

Are you a ginger fan?  What do you put it in?  Have you tried it on a sandwich?

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Chakras And Single Essential Oils

Posted by terrepruitt on April 13, 2013

In my post Balancing The Chakras With Essential Oils I shared a technique for balancing chakras that was adapted from a specific essential oil company using their specific blends.  It seems like most companies that sell essential oils have their own blends with their own cute little names.  As I stated in that post, I have a sample of one of the blends and it smells terrific, I really like it.  In case you are not interested in buying the blends that are named in that post I did a little research on the internet about single essential oils that associated with balance and/or unblocking the chakras.  Just like with pretty much everything there is a ton of information out there.  I am not an essential oil expert nor a chakra expert.  I created this list off of various websites.  I picked the oils that I saw associated with each chakra on multiple websites.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaAs all oil is not created equally I would use these oils topically with a carrier oil or diffuse them.

•   Crown chakra:  sandalwood, lavender, jasmine

•   Third Eye chakra:  sandalwood, frankincense, sweet marjoram

•   Throat chakra:  bergamot, chamomile

•   Heart chakra:  peppermint, eucalyptus

•   Solar Plexus chakra:  peppermint, ginger, coriander, rosemary

•   Sacral chakra: sandalwood, bergamot, ylang ylang, orange

•   Root chakra:  sandalwood, frankincense, ylang ylang

As you can see sometimes one oil can help with multiple chakras.  So that is helpful in itself.  Instead of buying seven different blends you can buy one oil, say sandalwood, and use it for four of the seven chakras. Using that formula, you could buy peppermint for another two, and then bergamot or chamomile for the last one.  That would be only three oils.  Since good quality essential oil can be expensive, to me it helps to figure out a way to get more uses out of one oil!  That is just an example.  I am sure there are many more combinations.

Of course, you might find that you use one oil more than another and you just want to have it on hand.  There are many ways to use essential oils so I am sure you can find other uses.

Here is a little bit of information on the oils, herbs, scents, etc. listed:

Sandalwood is actually fragrant wood from specific trees.  Thought to have a calming effect.

Lavender is a plant used both as a flavor in food and a scent.  It is believed to have a calming, relaxing effect.

Jasmine is also a flowering plant, that is very fragrant.  It is said to help relieve tension.

Frankincense is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia (from Wiki).  It is claimed to help many things including over all health.

Sweet marjoram is an herb, I use in cooking quite often, the oil is said to relieve pain.

Bergamot is a type of orange the color of a lemon, good for treating skin ailments.

Chamomile a daisy like flower that is commonly used for tea.  Especially tea that is promoting relaxation and even sleep.

Peppermint, most people are familiar with this flavor or scent.  Peppermint has an invigorating effect.

Eucalyptus from the Eucalyptus tree, very aromatic and believed to promote healing.

Ginger, this root is used often in helping with motion sickness and nausea and digestion.

Coriander to me are the little seeds used for cooking . . . doing the research for this post, I learned that the LEAVES are what I know as cilantro!  It has a calming effect.

Rosemary an herb used for cooking.  Kind of like tiny twigs.  It’s oil can be used to stimulate and help with concentration.

Orange, a fruit that which the oil is from the skin.  Orange sent can be uplifting!

Ylang ylang, this oil comes from the Ylang Ylang tree/plant blossoms.  Thought to help relieve stress.

Do you use essential oils?  What do you use them for?

Posted in Chakras, Essential Oils | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Chai Tea Latte For Me

Posted by terrepruitt on April 2, 2013

So in my post Venting Gets Me Good I explain how my complaint about Starbucks’ Chai Tea Latte landed me a great Chai Tea recipe AND cardamom, one of the spices used to make it.  Well, the original recipe calls for “pinches’ which didn’t seem like enough to me and is difficult to translate in a recipe.  So I decided that a pinch would be about an 1/8 of a teaspoon.  I felt that made a bit of a weak tea.  So I have increased the measurements and changed the water to milk ratio.  Also, lately when I have been in the mood to make this tea and have actually had the time and the milk I have not had fresh ginger so I have been using ground ginger.  It works for me and I am not left chewing on ginger.  While my fabulous Nia friend who gave me the recipe pointed out I could use a tea strainer to get out the ginger and the cloves, one reason I like to drink the tea is to drink the ginger and get the benefits from it.

Like many recipes SOMEONE has to have created it.  Then others morph it into what works for them.  I keep telling one of my friends about this recipe and that I made adjustments.  She seems excited to try it so she says, “And you put the adjustments on your blog?”  I had not so that makes it difficult for her to make the tea with my adjustments when I have not noted them.  So I decided to do it.  Plus it helps me.  I use my blog as my recipe book and when I have to keep remember to adjust it is not as helpful as when the measurements are just documented accurately.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaHere is the recipe I have been using and I think it is very lovely.

Terre’s Favorite Chai Tea Latte:

2 cups of water
2 tea green bags
10 cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 (heaping) tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 cups milk

Boil the water then add the tea bags.  Let simmer for a few minutes.  (Here is where you decide how long according to how strong you like your tea).  Squeeze out the tea bags and remove them from sauce pan (or whatever you are using to make the tea). Then add all the spices.  Allow it to sit and simmer a bit.  Then add the milk and let it simmer gently.  Add sweetener of your choice. Serve and enjoy!

The original recipe said to use “2 tea bags (black, green, redbush, etc.)” so I it seems you can use whatever you like.  If green does not agree with you, then don’t use it.

I think this makes a very yummy tea.  And I call it Chai because that is what the recipe said when I first got it.  One thing I do like to do while drinking this tea is stir often.  I want to drink the spices and get their flavor.  When all the spices end up at the bottom of the mug it is not as flavorful a cup of tea.  Plus in order to get the benefits from the spices you need to drink them.

One day when I tweeted out that I was making Chai someone responded that she makes it every day and she adds fennel.  I have yet to try that.  I don’t see why you can’t add anything you want.  This is just a starting place . . . .

So . . . . . tell me what you think?  Do you like it?  What changes did YOU make to make it “Chai Tea Latte For You”?

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Venting Gets Me Good

Posted by terrepruitt on January 31, 2013

I go to Starbucks when I have a gift card.  I like Starbucks Chai Tea Lattes.  When I first started getting them they were almost too spicy for me.  Then they seemed to change a bit.  They got less flavorful.  Then one time I got one at a store I don’t normally frequent and I thought my teeth were going to fall out.  It was soooooo sweet.  Yes, I know that the fancy drinks at Starbucks and other coffee houses are a huge source of sugar.  That is ONE reason why I don’t buy them.  I DO have them on occasion when I am blessed with receiving a gift card.  To me they are a nice treat.  But this one hurt my teeth and my stomach.  I chalked it up to this store making them different.  But then I went to the store I usually go to and it was the same thing.  Ugh.  I posted a Facebook status asking if they had changed their recipe.  I know places and manufacturers do that all the time.  One of the responses I received was to make my own Chai.  The response even included the recipe.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaA few days after that I was in the grocery store and I actually remembered while I was in the spice aisle that I needed cardamom to make the chai.  I looked and looked and when I finally found it I almost choked.  It was $12.99.  I didn’t realize it was that expensive.

So, again, I posted on Facebook, I said that I would stick to using my gift cards at Starbucks instead of spend $13.00.  And again the replies were awesome.  People near and far reminded me that I live in an area rich with many cultures and that I could find cardamom at Indian Spice stores.  The major benefits to that would be that it would be cheaper and more than likely better.

But before I could remember to get to a store one of my amazing friends brought me a little box of it.  She is awesome like that.  She frequents an affordable spice shop so she picked me up some.

Here is the recipe that Danielle Woermann (a Nia Black Belt) posted for me on Facebook.  I am unaware of where she got it.

Masala Chai. Serves four.

Boil 3 cups (.7 liters) of water with
4 cloves
2 pinches ground nutmeg
2 pinches ground cinnamon
2 pinches ground cardamom
1/2 inch (1.27 cm) piece of grated fresh ginger

Add 2 tea bags (black, green, redbush, etc.) and simmer for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup (.2 liters) almond milk or milk of your choice, and heat until hot, but not boiling. Add sweetener of your choice. Serve and enjoy!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI decided to measure my “pinches” so that I could have a more accurate measure and adjust accordingly.  I used an 1/8 of a teaspoon as a “pinch”.  I think that I need to work on it a bit.  Either the person doing the pinching who created this recipe has REALLY LARGE pinches or they like a more mellow tea.  I think that this might be really good if I made it ahead of time and let all the flavors really seep into the water.  The time that is stated in the recipe didn’t seem to do that.  Also it does help if, when you are drinking it, you actually get some of the spices in your mouth . . . . which also makes for an oddly textured and a bit chewy tea.  But I’m ok with that.

I think I might experiment with chopping the ginger.  For some reason I don’t might little tiny chunks of fresh ginger as opposed to what came off my grater . . . . it was odd.

That is a GREAT thing about recipes though, right?  I love to try them the way they are then adjust them to my tastes.  Maybe this is one that you can make and enjoy — either adjusting or not.

Do you like Chai Tea?  Do you have a recipe?  Doesn’t this one sound yummy?

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Baked, Split, and Broiled Eggplant

Posted by terrepruitt on May 5, 2012

The past two Thursdays have been pretty cold here and since I don’t teach Nia on Thursdays evenings I have been cooking soup.  One Thursday I had it planned so I actually did go to the store after my Nia class on Wednesday to buy the ingredients I needed, but yesterday it was cold so I just decided to use what I had, which was not much.  While I think that a bowl or two of soup can easily be a meal, I like to serve something else with it.  When I looked in my fridge I saw the eggplant I had bought.  Yay!  Perfect.  I saw a recipe on icancookstuff that sounded interesting.  While I do not eat spicy hot food I thought I could use the garlic and the cummin.  But it turns out I don’t have any cummin.  So I decided to use ginger and turmeric.  I have them in powdered form so I got the bottles out of the cupboard and set them on the counter.  Then I put the eggplant in the oven to bake it.Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,

The recipe said to bake it at 200 degrees for 45 minutes.**  I didn’t think I had 45 minute so I put the temperature up to 300 and left it on for 30 minutes.  I didn’t feel that the eggplant was cooked enough so I turned the convection oven on and set the timer for 30 more minutes. I turned it four times because it was getting flat on the pan side.

In the meantime I was cooking my soup.  I only had one bunch of baby bok choy, a bunch of kale, and some broccoli.  I swore I wasn’t going to put broccoli in a soup again, but . . . I didn’t think the rest would make it.  So while I was trying to fake making soup I wasn’t really paying attention to the eggplant.  My soup finished before the eggplant.

By the time I finally thought the eggplant was cooked enough to split I split it.  I was thinking that I would make one half for me and one half for my husband.  I salted it, I put a bit of garlic on it, I put a little bit of parmesan cheese on it.  Then I looked over and I saw the onions I had chopped to put on it.  And the kale.  So I decided to put the onions and kale on one half and hubby and I would just get a half of each half making a whole half.

I put it back in the oven and let it bake for a bit more.  Half way through the end of baking portion I saw the ginger and turmeric on the counter.  Snap!  I forgot to put it on.  So I sprinkled a little turmeric on both halves.  I put the broiler on for about 10 minutes.

Here is the result.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia,

From the time I thought to cook the eggplant to the time I put it in the oven to finish baking I had thought of three different ways to flavor it.  I had originally thought to use garlic, turmeric, and ginger, then I thought of garlic, onions, and kale, then I thought of garlic, and cheese.  That really is not a big deal the big deal is that I forgot one each time I thought of the new one.  Geez!  What I ended up with was ok.  I think it needed a little bit more flavor.  I will work on that.  I don’t even think I tasted the turmeric.

I like cooking eggplant this way because it is much less time-consuming than turn the slices all the time.  But I think I like the roasted slices better.  But I will continue to experiment with this.  I might try slicing it into three pieces next time.  Although a baked eggplant is not easy to slice.

**It just dawned on me that the 200 degrees was probably Celsius and not Fahrenheit.  So it would actually be about 400 degrees F.  Ha!

I can’t wait to try this again!

What do you think of this way of cooking eggplant?  What would you put on the eggplant?

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