Monthly Archives: April 2012

Masala Chai

Almost every Sunday, the parents come over to visit the baby during the early evening.  While we are still in the beginning stages of this tradition (if it has reached tradition status), I relish tea time with the family. While, tea is a regularly scheduled program for most Indian families, it’s a rarity in mine.  Binks does not like milk tea, and the inconvenience of making two separate teas is obviously enough to preclude me from making tea everyday.

Everyone makes masala chai differently, using varying levels of spices based on your preference.  Cardamom and ginger are a must.  A must.

Serve alongside some biscotticookies, or cake, and savor this most special time of day.

Masala Chai

Yields about 2-3 cups


  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cardamom pods, cracked and seeds separated (keep it all though)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 1-inch stick of cinnamon
  • 3 peppercorns
  • 1/4 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 cups milk (preferably whole)
  • 2 tbsp black tea


  1. Bring water, cardamom pods (all of it), cloves, fennel, cinnamon, peppercorns, and ginger to boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Once boiling, add the tea and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  3. Once it’s boiling again, add milk, reduce heat to medium and bring to a simmer and finally until it’s boiling again.
  4. Remove from heat, and pour the tea through a seive.
  5. Serve hot.


Filed under Indian, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Nutella? Yes.

Chocolate Chip? Oh yes.

Cookies? Good gracious yes.

The aforementioned was my mental dialogue as I decided the type of dessert I wanted to make for our recent all-nighter work session. With days spent working on one motion with a strict deadline, I look forward to the breaks to do anything but work, including but not limited to work work, house work, family work, administrative work, and anything with work attached to the end of it.

Baking is anything but for me. I spend other break times to determine what to bake during my breaks.

Using Nutella in the dough gives you a soft and smooth consistency. You shouldn’t expect an overwhelming Nutella flavor. Rather, what you get is a layers of flavor in the different chocolates. Use good quality dark chocolate chips to really increase the depth of chocolate you can experience in this cookie.

Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Everyday Italian
Yields about 3 dozen cookies


  • 1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 dark chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, cream together the Nutella, butter and sugars.
  4. Add in the egg and vanilla extract until fully incorporated.
  5. Mix in the chocolate chips by hand.
  6. Drop by scoopful onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.
  7. Bake for 8 minutes. Once you remove from the oven, keep on the sheet for five minutes. Then, remove to a cookie sheet to cool.


Filed under Cookies, Desserts, Uncategorized

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my favorite cookies is the chocolate chip coconut cookies from Paradise Bakery.  Have you had them?  If you have a Paradise Bakery near you, I highly recommend it.  I have had it exactly two times.  I was pregnant for both of those times.

Time #1:  Random day wherein we passed Paradise Bakery on the way home and happened to stop by for a treat.

Time #2:  (Later on in the pregnancy where food was on my mind constantly)  A long day after coming back from a court hearing where I talked about the cookie and how wonderful of a treat it would be after the long day.  So, Binks (probably sick of me talking about the cookie) said he would take me, despite the fact that the bakery was not at all on the way home.

We got the cookie.  Delicious, especially paired with a cup of decaf coffee with tons of milk.  I devoured it in the car while Binks looked on (probably waiting for me to offer him a bite).  Five minutes after I finished the cookie, and while we were driving home, the car starts coming to a slow stop.  I quickly realized that I had ignored the empty gas light for a couple of days.  ‘Twas my car and Binks had no clue.  It was quite hot that day.  Unfortunately, my iPhone was dead and Binks’ phone was on the verge of dying.  Both our computers and important case-related documents were in the car.  “Luckily” we were near a local library.  Unfortunately, the entrance into the library required us to push the car up an incline.  At my 8-month pregnant stage, any ability for me to push was to be saved for another month.  Binks was left with this task.  “Luckily” some police offers came by after an hour of just being on the road and helped Binks pull the car into the parking lot.

Well, turns out that the police officers could only do that much, for which I’m grateful.  When we asked them to take us to the gas station, a mile away, they said they couldn’t.  So, Binks walked it.  In the heat.  And walked back.  In dress clothes – suit and uncomfortable dress shoes.  I waited in the library.  I made myself useful by perusing the movie section.  I also observed this random guy managing his online dating account using the public internet.  A much more interesting selection than the movie section.

Binks came back, sweaty and cranky.  He put gas in the car and we drove home.  On the way, he turned to me in disgust and said, “your cookie better have been worth it.”

It was.

Ever since that day, when we drive by Paradise Bakery, I hold back from any urge to say, “let’s get a cookie.”

Instead of dealing with the wrath of Binks, I decided to replicate this beloved cookie.  And, believe me – this cookie is worth it.

Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookie

Adapted from Allrecipes
Yields about 2 dozen cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup sweet flaked coconut


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg until incorporated.
  4. Add vanilla and mix.
  5. In another bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  6. In three portions, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until it’s all mixed together well.
  7. Fold in the chocolate chips and coconut.
  8. Drop onto parchment lined cookie sheets.
  9. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
  10. Take the cookies out of the oven and let it sit for another 10 minutes on the cookie sheet.  After 10 minutes, remove the cookies to a cookie rack for complete cooling.


Filed under baking, Cookies, Desserts