Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas in the Park

Lauren and I try to cram in as many Christmas activities as possible in December, which can prove difficult with finals in full swing. When we were living together we would pick a day to wake up, have tea, go Christmas shopping, come home and wrap presents, and then finish the day off with a trip to Christmas in the Park. The tradition is continuing despite no longer being roommates! 
Christmas in the Park is a San Jose tradition, Caesar Chavez park is lit up with hundreds of Christmas trees, props, rides, and carnival snacks. There's ice skating, and caroling, and their "Loaded Hot Chocolate" is so rich I can never finish one on my own. We get dressed up in festive attire every year, but this year we just forgot to take any pictures of our outfits at all, so I drew them! 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Tree

This past weekend Keith and I went out and got our very first Christmas tree. The Christmas Tree is always my favorite part of the season, and I traditionally like to do it as soon as possible once Thanksgiving is over. This year we went out on Black Friday to get it! Since we were pretty limited on decorations, our families donated some of their ornaments, and it filled out our tree so nicely! Since our apartment is so small, we got a shorter tree and put it up on the dining table. This is by far one of my favorite trees so far.
I hope your season is off to a bright start too!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Chai Spice Scones

As it is now December, I will be baking like a mad woman. I like to make the usual Gingerbread, Sugar Cookies, Fudge, etc for the holidays, but I always love a good scone, and they are such an easy thing to whip together last minute. Anything with Masala spices automatically wins my heart, so these scones are a personal favorite of mine. A cute idea to try: Mini Scones as gifts!
This recipe is the result of boredom and curiosity. Whenever I have some downtime at work, I try to think of new recipes to try, with as little cost as possible. The smell of chai is just so warm and inviting, and we were due to have some scones for sale. So TA DA! The Chai Spice Scone was born. If you really love Masala Chai, pair one of these babies up with a Chai Latte, and you're set.
Note: Brew a 1/2 cup of tea with 2 chai tea-bags or 2 tsp loose leaf chai for 5-10 minutes. This will make a strong enough brew.
Makes 6-8 scones
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup strongly brewed masala chai
  • 1 large egg
  • 2-3 tablespoons loose leaf chai tea
For the Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup concentrated chai tea
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
Begin by preheating your oven to 350˚F.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, loose leaf tea, salt, and baking powder.
Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles dry bread crumbs.
Make a well in the center of the mixture, and pour in the heavy cream, concentrated chai tea, and the egg.
Mix together, and on a lightly floured surface pat the dough together into a 1" thick round, and cut into desired shapes.
Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 15-18 minutes.
While the scones are baking, prepare the glaze. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the chai tea and powdered sugar until it forms a smooth glaze consistency, add more tea or powdered sugar as needed.
Once the scones are cooled, drizzle the glaze generously over the scones and enjoy!