Borage (which really has nothing to do with chai)

Cardomom, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Cloves, Star Anise, Orange Zest, Honey, Ginger, Vanilla! Oh My!

I have been somewhat obsessed with the flavors of chai lately. First, I discovered that you can premake a Chai Tea Concentrate to keep in mason jars in the frig. It's delicious, but expensive to add all those spices. Then I figured that I could make it with chai tea bags, which would cut down on the cost, and add some fresh ginger while it simmered and splash it with vanilla when it was done. I liked being able to pour it straight into my cup, add some milk and microwave for a minute.  

THEN, I found a recipe for Condensed Milk Chai Concentrate. It doesn't take up as much room in the frig. Make a regular cup of black tea and add a little of the concentrate. Viola!

Another of my favorite chai ideas is inspired from Fine Cooking magazine--Chai Soaked Fruits:
Steep 2 chai tea bags in 2 cups of boiled water for 5 minutes. Throw out the tea bags. Stir in 3 Tbs. honey, and 2 cups of chopped dried apricots, pitted prunes, golden raisins or dark raisins. Bring to a boil, then simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid turns to a light syrup(18-20 minutes). Keep in a jar in the frig to add to oatmeal or yogurt, spread on french toast or waffles. Remember to sprinkle on toasted almonds too. Oh, how about making a puff pastry tart and spreading it on there? LOVE it!

And, homemade Chai Spice Granola:
(adapted from Blog Aid: Recipes for Haiti)

Wet Ingredients:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup agave syrup (or skip the agave and use 1 cup honey total, OR use 1/2 c.brown sugar)
1 cup water
3/4 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 tea bags

Dry Ingredients:
6 cups rolled oat flakes
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup pumpkin seeds (or sunflower)

1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup diced candied ginger
1 cup raisins
1 cup diced dried apples
1 cup golden raisins

Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare 3 large cookie sheets with a sheet of parchment or non-stick spray.
Steep tea bags in 1 cup of boiling water. Remove tea bags after 5 minutes. Mix in the honey, agave, oil, and spices in a small saucepan.
Heat until sugar is dissolved, stirring occasionally. It’s okay if it comes to a boil, but don’t keep it at a boil.
Stir together dry ingredients, except for the coconut, raisins and apples, which will be added later. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Split between the 3 sheets.
Bake at 300°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 275°F and rotate pans. Use a spatula to turn the granola and scrape any darkening bits off the bottom of the pan. Bake for another 15 minutes.
Add dried fruit and coconut, turn off oven and leave granola in oven until completely cool.
Store in an airtight container. Makes 2 quarts.

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