Archives for December 2012

Christmas Tree Vegetable Tray

Christmas Tree Vegetable Tray

Here’s a simple idea for making vegetables the star of your holiday party. All you need is:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Red Pepper
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Mini Pepper

Chop your broccoli and cauliflower into florets. Layer on tray in shape of tree. Use red pepper strips as garland and cherry tomatoes as ornaments and tree topper. Cut the top off a mini pepper and use as the trunk (You could also use carrot or celery sticks for a trunk – whatever you have on hand.)

This simple tray was the hit of my Bunco party. And it took me no time at all to assemble.

Do you play Bunco? I’ve got some other quick decorations and recipes here.

Chai Tea Recipe: Mix for Hot Masala Chai Tea

This Chai Tea Recipe, a concentrated mix for Hot Masala Chai Tea, is a great gift for giving neighbors, hostesses or tea-loving friends at Christmas or anytime of year!

“Masala” means spices and “Chai” means tea. This recipe for a concentrated mix steeps milk with the traditional spices. This is then added to a hot cup of brewed black tea and sweetened with honey to taste.

If you have a coffee grinder, it is a great tool for crushing the spices.

Giving these as gifts? Please see the resources below for FREE printable labels with instructions, like the example below, on how to make your Hot Masala Chai Tea.


Chai Tea: Recipe Mix for Hot Masala Chai Tea


  • 20 whole, green cardamom pods
  • 20 whole cloves
  • 20 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled
  • 4 cups milk (may try substituting soy or almond milk)


  1. Crush the cardamom pods, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice berries with either a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. (You will be straining these out, so do not crush too small.)
  2. In a medium saucepan, warm the milk. Add the crushed spices, cinnamon sticks and the piece of ginger.
  3. Allow to simmer 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and strain the milk using either cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.
  5. Cool immediately. This mixture will keep 7 to 10 days in the refrigerator.


  • If you are packaging the Chai for gift giving, you can print FREE labels with instructions.
  • Here is where you can find the colorful bakers twine – perfect for adding that homemade look!
  • Find vintage glass bottles perfect for packaging/storing your Chai Tea!
  • If you choose to use Starbucks Frappacino bottles (like I did in the picture) the labels are really sticky. I find this non-toxic product gets rid of it easily!

If you like Chai, be sure to try my Chai Tea Smoothie Recipe