Homemade Chai Keurig Pods

I had a taste for Chai the other day but didn’t want to go through the work of simmering, steeping, and straining  the tea mixture. The method I came up with using my Keurig machine was quicker and easier and yielded a cup of pleasing chai.

Here’s how I did it:

  • I put a heaping tablespoon of my homemade dry chai mix in the refillable Keurig cup that came with my single-serving machine and placed it in the pod holder.
  • Meanwhile, I had about a third cup of vanilla soy milk with a two or three teaspoons of honey mixed in warming in the microwave (about 30 seconds on high power), then I put the mug of hot soy and honey on the cup pad of the my machine. (The machine doesn’t work if it doesn’t sense a cup there.)
  • I filled the Keurig’s reservoir with cold, filtered water, closed up the reservoir and the pod holder, and hit the power button.

Although the resulting cup of chai wasn’t as strong as I usually drink it, it was still a nice hot pick me up on a cold winter day. You could probably play around with the amount of soy or milk, how much water you put through the machine, and how much chai you pack into the pod, but I think what I’ve described here is a good start. Enjoy! Begonia

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The First Christmas Tree Is Up

I’ve been working on this little tree for the last few weeks. The tree is in the entry way of my home year round dressed in white lights to brighten overcast days. At this time of the year, though, it takes on greater glory!

This tree can never be dressed in anything that might break easily because Samwise, our cat, likes to pull it over with his teeth when he is feeling the need for extra attention. I learned this lesson the hard way when Sam broke a vintage tree topper (West German) I had topped it with two years ago.

It also became the tree that my granddaughter liked to decorate when she came to our house to celebrate Christmas. My granddaughter has never broken an ornament but Sam and I sure have!

This year the tree is topped with a vintage Halo topper that I bought at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift store Christmas event in November ($6.00). The rest of the tree is decorated with plastic canvas and more modern plastic ornaments from the same source.

I hope that you all are enjoying putting up your trees if you have them. I’ll be posting each tree as I get it decorated. Yahoo! Begonia


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Holiday Marinated Vegetable Salad

There is a ban on Romaine lettuce again. If you had planned to bring a fresh salad to one of your holiday functions, here is a nice alternate recipe to substitute for that leafy salad that is still fresh and healthy.

I got this recipe from someone I knew in 4-H in my late teens. I was digging through my recipe box looking for my cranberry bread recipe and discovered this recipe all over again. I served this salad on Thanksgiving along with a fresh fruit salad and all the other trimmings.

Marinated Vegetable Salad

  • 1 cup stuffed green olives
  • 1 cup small black olives
  • 3 cups raw broccoli flowerlets
  • 3 cups raw cauliflower flowerlets
  • 1 8-oz pkg. fresh white mushrooms (sliced)
  • 3 ribs of fresh celery (sliced)
  • 2 medium-sized carrots (sliced)
  • 2 medium tomatoes or 1 cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)


  • 1 cup salad oil (I use canola–olive oil congeals when cold, so I don’t use it for this salad.)
  • 6 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dill weed

Cut or slice all vegetables into bite-size pieces. Combine dressing ingredients and pour over vegetables. Mix and allow to marinate for 12-24 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally so that all vegetables soak in the dressing. Add tomatoes at time of serving. Serve cold.

This salad just gets better the longer in marinates. (Yes, you bet I ate that dish of salad pictured above!) It is a nice complement to a rich meal. It is also colorful and festive looking. Happy Holidays! Begonia

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