Dirty Chai Frappé & Hamilton Beach Blender Giveaway

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I’ve been shopping around for a blender for a while. And I have to admit that I’ve been considering some of those super high-priced blenders like Vitamix and Blendtec. So when Hamilton Beach emailed me and let me know about their new Wave-Action blender, the timing was spot on.  I wasn’t sure what to expect. I looked it up and it had some decent reviews. It’s a $50 blender though.

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I have a good track record with Hamilton Beach products. I’ve tried their food processor and coffee maker, so I know that they have some great budget-friendly products that perform well. But could this blender compete with some more expensive blenders? Could this blender work in my kitchen?

I typically use a blender for a morning smoothie and occasionally some soup or even a frozen cocktail. Each year I commit to using the blender more though.

One of my favorite drinks in the summer is iced coffee. Another favorite is an iced chai latte. I make iced coffee at home all the time, but I’m ashamed to admit that the majority of my iced chais tend to come from places like Starbucks. I always tell myself that I should be making it at home. I shouldn’t be paying five dollars for a drink.

When I do get an iced chai, I often ask for it with a shot of espresso  – which is often referred to as a dirty chai latte. So I decided to pull this blender out of the box and make myself a dirty chai frappé.

I boiled some water and seeped the tea bags in a cup of water to make a strong chai concentrate. I also frozen some cold brew coffee in some ice cube trays.

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When the tea and coffee were ready, I blended both with some maple syrup and almond milk. I had myself a vegan dirty chai frappé! And it took me all of two minutes!

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This blender worked wonders on my iced chai cravings. It’s Wave Action technology easily pulls everything in to the blades. The blender does include a stirring tamper piece, but I didn’t have to use it on my frappé. I imagine that it will come in helpful with soups or veggie purees. But I was very impressed with it.blender-out

And thanks to Hamilton Beach, you also have the opportunity to win your own blender! Awesome, right? So check it out and enter.

And try my dirty chai frappé.



Dirty Chai Frappé
 
Author:
Serves: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup cold brew coffee
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 chai tea bags
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
Instructions
  1. Freeze the cold brew coffee in ice cube trays
  2. Boil the water and brew the tea in the water. Stir in some maple syrup and chill.
  3. When both the coffee is frozen and tea is chilled, place in blender and blend with some almond milk.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

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Chilled Pea and Basil Soup

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This month’s Kosher Connection link-up features chilled soups.  It’s June, and the weather is heating up. Always happy to have a cool treat.

I love challenges like this. I never really make cold soup. I do love a good gazpacho every so often, but chilled soups don’t really happen in this kitchen. If I made hot chicken soup every week in the summer, nobody would complain. We’re just a warm soup kind of family and a little heat doesn’t usually stop me. Myself excluded that is. I’m not in to warm soups on a hot day.

This challenge got me thinking about different flavors that I love. I wasn’t going to do a gazpacho. That’s been done. I have several friends that love chilled fruit soups, but that’s just not me.  I thought about the various herbs that I have growing on my deck and then looked to the beautiful early summer veggies I’ve been seeing at the farmer’s markets. I knew I had to focus on some seasonal vegetables and herbs. At the market today, I came upon some beautiful peas. Yum! These English peas were amazing and so sweet. I then turned to my favorite herb  – my basil plant. I had to turn these two in to soup.

I began by sauteeing up some shallots and garlic in a bit of butter and olive oil. I then added the peas and the chopped basil. After they cook for a few minutes, I added in some vegetable broth and let the soup cook a bit.

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Once the peas were sufficiently cooked, I pureed the soup with my immersion blender and added some Greek yogurt to the soup.

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I removed the soup from the heat and then began to cool it down. If you’d like, you can transfer the soup to a bowl and then sit it over a larger bowl of ice for a quick chill down.

I served the soup chilled with some additional Greek yogurt stirred in. Love the flavor. The sweetness of the peas combined with the basil really work well together. Will definitely make this again.

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Chilled Pea and Basil Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Summer Soups
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ pound English peas (or use frozen petite peas)
  • 1 cup chopped basil
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp. Greek yogurt or sour cream (plus extra for garnishing)
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat up the butter and olive oil in a medium-size pot.
  2. Add in the garlic and shallot and saute until soft.
  3. Stir in the salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the peas and the basil. Saute or a minute or two.
  5. Add in the vegetable broth.
  6. Let the mixture come to a boil. Cover the pot and turn down the heat.
  7. Cook for about 7 minutes.
  8. After about 7 minutes, the peas should be cooked enough.
  9. Use a standard blender or an immersion blender to puree the soup.
  10. Stir in some Greek yogurt.
  11. Taste the soup a bit. Add additional salt and pepper as needed.
  12. Serve the soup garnished with additional basil and yogurt.
  13. Enjoy!

 

Don’t forget to check out some of the other great cold soups as part of the Kosher Connection link-up!

 


Strawberry Balsamic Yogurt Popsicles

As the heat wave continues, I realize that I have to get creative in the kitchen. I am grateful that I bought that Popsicle maker. It continues to be such a hit, and I can make a variety of yummy frozen treats.

This week, I turned to the strawberries. They were on sale and had to be used up. I love a strawberry salad with a balsamic dressing, so I decided to see if it would work in a Popsicle. As my picky daughter can testify, it was a success! She gives it two thumbs up!


Strawberry Balsamic Yogurt Popsicles
Ingredients:

3/4 pound of fresh strawberries
2 tbsp. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar (always use the good stuff)
3/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt

Directions:
Slice up the strawberries and place in a non metallic bowl.  Sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries and put them aside for 30 minutes to an hour to let them macerate.

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With an immersion blender, puree the strawberries. It can be chunky, but not too chunky. Mix in the rest of the ingredients.

Pour mixture in to Popsicle mold and freeze.

Eat them quickly before they melt.  Enjoy!

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Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles

It’s been something like 100 degrees here every day this week. Every single day with no break. Yes, I sit in air conditioning all day. I don’t have it all that bad, but it’s disgusting the moment you walk outside.

When I was pregnant with my older daughter,  I lived on popsicles. We went through box after box.

Last year, I came across this popsicle mold on a similarly hot day. It appeared on the perfect day. I have made popsicles a few times since, including these.

While not pregnant, I am still a big fan of popsicles. Today, I was in the mood for something fruity. I turned to pears and ginger because I love that combo. I’ve become a bit of a ginger addict when it comes to flavoring foods. That or garlic or both – and I don’t think garlic tastes good in popsicles.

I was so excited for these popsicles to freeze up so I could taste them. I wasn’t disappointed.


Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles
Ingredients:

5 pears, cored and cubed
1/2 stick butter, unsalted is better
1/2 cup brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2.5 tbsp. chopped ginger

In a large saute pan, melt the butter. Add 1 tablespoon of the chopped ginger. Keep it going until the butter starts to foam. 

Stir in the brown sugar. Let the brown sugar melt a bit.


Add in the rest of the ingredients.  Let the pears caramelize and get soft.


The pears will start to give off it’s own juices. This is good. This should take 5-10 minutes.


Let the mixture cool a bit. 


Transfer mixture to a bowl and blend using an immersion blender. You could also transfer to a standard blender.


Chill the blended mixture in the fridge for about half an hour.


Pour in to popsicle molds and freeze overnight.


Enjoy!




Caramelized Pear and Ginger Popsicles
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