Cinnamon Bourbon Green Tea

Sri Lanka Tea at Ramsi's Cafe On The World

Sri Lanka Tea at Ramsi’s Cafe On The World

I realized I never actually blogged about the time we met up with Johnna and her favorite fella last August while they were in Louisville working at the Kentucky State Fair. I have no idea how that happened.

We met at Ramsi’s Café on the World in the Highlands area. Ramsi’s is one of my favorite choices because I know they can handle my multiple food allergies and intolerances. I know our server didn’t give Johnna a lot of confidence, but she was the exception. Every other server I’ve had there has been excellent. It’s also helpful I give them a written list to give to the kitchen.

I was so busy writing my list while she was taking drink orders that all it took for me to pay attention was for Johnna to say, “…with Basil Hayden.”

What was that?

She had ordered a Sri Lanka Tea, which sounded delicious when I read what it was on the menu and order the same. With Basil Hayden. Of course.

Me and Johnna. Together again at last!

Me and Johnna. Together again at last!

It was as delicious as it sounded and I vowed to recreate it.

We enjoyed some fresh tomatoes to start off. Johnna and her favorite fella also has the Desert Jewels. I couldn’t have dates at the time, but I am definitely giving them a try next time I’m there.

Cinnamon Bourbon Green Tea 3

I had a hard time deciding what I wanted and eventually chose the Fish Tacos.

Cinnamon Bourbon Green Tea 4

After all that good food, we set off on a walk up and down the Highlands. We peeked in shop windows and stopped at a couple of places for a drink. Even got into an educational discussion with a server about how Omission beer technically isn’t gluten-free. Yes, we did.

All too soon, it was time for us to drive back to Cincinnati and long for our next meeting. Which I’m happy to say is coming up soon!

Since then, I’ve been working on that Sri Lanka Tea. I always get close but never where I want it. Either I let the tea cold brew too long or there wasn’t enough cinnamon. Or I thought there was enough cinnamon but couldn’t taste it once the bourbon was added.

I finally hit the mark and had to text the picture to Johnna. That’s how ecstatic I was. Trust me, this is tasty. It’s not a heavy cocktail. It’s fairly light. Also, I’m sure Ramsi’s probably used a simple syrup in our drinks, but there is no added sugar in this.

Cinnamon Bourbon Green Tea

Cinnamon Bourbon Green Tea

1 gallon filtered water

2 green tea bags (I used decaf)

8 cinnamon sticks, plus more for garnish if desired

Bourbon (I used Basil  Hayden)

Ice

Fill a pitcher with water and add the tea bags and cinnamon sticks. Let it cold brew for one hour. Remove the tea bags. Leave the cinnamon sticks in for at least another hour, longer for stronger cinnamon taste. Remove the cinnamon sticks and fill a drinking glass (fourteen to sixteen ounce glass) with ice. Pour in one ounce of bourbon then pour the tea over, filling the rest of the glass. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve.

 

 

Cinnamon Hot Cocoa with Bourbon

Hot Cocoa 2It’s March and I still long for Spring. The polar vortex dipped us down into freezing conditions yet again and though the next season is around the corner, it feels like it’s a lifetime away. One week it warmed up enough for me to wear one layer of clothes instead of three. I was actually happy with the laundry that week. I’m back to wearing layers and Chaz teasing me for wearing three pairs of socks.

Really, I just want to be able to go for a walk without all the layers and without my exposed skin freezing. Is that too much for me to ask? It is? Then what’s a tropical gal to do in these conditions? Make hot cocoa!

I’ve made it all winter and last week I decided to get a little creative with it because I knew the freeze was coming again. Everyone seemed enamored with it on social media, so I made it again to share the recipe.

Note that you can make this with real milk or with dairy-free milk. If you use full-fat coconut milk, I would recommend a bit more cinnamon if you don’t want the coconut taste. If you don’t keep raw cacao powder in your pantry, but you have dutch processed cocoa powder, you can use that instead. Also, the quality of your bourbon does matter in drinks. Cheaper bourbons tend to be more like fire rather than smooth like quality bourbon. We keep Wild Turkey and Basil Hayden in our bar. Four Roses and Woodford Reserve would be other bourbons I would recommend. I know other friends who would recommend Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark, and Evan Williams. Given a choice, I prefer Basil Hayden. Yes, living in Kentucky for thirteen years turned me into a bourbon snob.

Cinnamon Hot Cocoa with Bourbon (serves 1)

1 1/2 – 2 cups milk or dairy-free milk

2 tablespoons raw local honey (or other sweetener of choice)

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (or more if you like it heavy on the cinnamon)

1 teaspoon maca root powder (optional)

1 ounce good quality bourbon (I used Basil Hayden)

In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, honey, cacao powder, cinnamon, and maca root powder over medium low heat. Do not bring it to a boil. You want it to warm up enough that you can see the steam coming up from the hot cocoa. Once you see it (you might have to run the whisk through again to do so), add in the bourbon and whisk one last time. Pour into a mug. Garnish with marshmallows and more cinnamon if desired.

 

 

Chocolate Cinnamon Chia Pudding

I want to share something real quick before I get to the recipe. As some of you already know, May 1st kicked of Celiac Awareness Month. I plan to make a conscious effort to pose a question on the Facebook page daily regarding symptoms and experiences. Make sure you stop in there to join the discussions.

Gluten Dude put out this wonderful infographic for those of us who like something visual. I compiled a list of symptoms a while back for an article I did for a friend’s newsletter. I realized the other day that I never shared that list here. They are listed in no particular order.

  • High/low blood pressure
  • High/low body temperature
  • Migraines/frequent headaches
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (or frequent stomach aches, diarrhea, and/or constipation)
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Abdominal pain/distension, bloating, gas/flatulence
  • Neuropathy/ataxia/Alzheimer’s/restless leg syndrome
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoporosis
  • Osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vertigo
  • Heart palpitations/chest pains
  • Mood swings/Diagnosis of a mood disorder
  • Brain fog/inability to concentrate or focus
  • Difficulty remembering things, especially if you used to be able to remember a lot
  • Fatigue/Adrenal Fatigue/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Rapid weight gain/loss
  • Inability to lose weight with exercise
  • Family history of colon cancer, stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, lymphatic
  • Other food allergies/sensitivities (lactose intolerance is common)
  • Diabetes/hypoglycemia
  • Gall bladder issues
  • Eczema, rosacea, dermatitis herpetiformis, or other skin issues
  • Anemia/iron deficiency
  • B vitamin deficiency
  • D vitamin deficiency
  • Diagnosis of Sjogren’s, Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s, Hyper/Hypothyroidism, or other autoimmune disorders
  • Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  • Diagnosis of ADHD/ADD
  • Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Family member diagnosed with Celiac or gluten sensitivity
  • Epilepsy/seizures
  • Acid reflux/heartburn
  • Environmental and seasonal allergies
  • Frequent infections/colds/flu
  • Asthma/respiratory problems
  • Other joint/bone/muscle pain not listed
  • Infertility/miscarriages
  • Dysmenorrhea/other pre-/menstrual issues
  • Failure to thrive/developmental delays in childhood
  • Hair loss/thinning/alopecia/balding
  • Dental enamel deficiencies/irregularities
  • Canker sores
  • Bruise easily
  • Nosebleeds
  • Inflammation not listed already
  • Night blindness

If you are new to this blog, newly diagnosed, or still trying to find the right diagnosis you should know that not all people who end up diagnosed with Celiac present with gastrointestinal symptoms. I had thirty-two of the symptoms above. THIRTY-TWO. Looking back once my symptoms started resolving themselves I realized that I had ataxia from childhood but no one ever picked up on it. I was labeled a clutz and my mother, thinking it was funny, would call me Grace whenever I tripped over air. I think being a gymnast and involved in a lot of active/sports play and later, martial arts, helped prevent ataxia from becoming as bad as it could have been. Right before I discovered the gluten connection it got really bad and I realized some of my tripping over air was really my right foot not fully coming up while taking a step and instead the ball of my foot would skid across the ground causing me to trip. I was walking into walls more frequently than before which was a great laugh for everyone because there is nothing like walking a straight line down a hall then BOOM! Oh, hello wall. So nice to see you again.

My earliest memory of tripping over air was at about six years old. I was in 1st grade and we were living in an apartment in Beaverton, Oregon, waiting for our house in Aloha (not the Hawaiian aloha, but American Indian. The h is silent) to be finished. We were close to a K-Mart and my dad walked me over there to get an Icee. We were walking on a dirt path along the road and either on the way there I tripped over air and stumbled. I looked down as I tried to catch myself with the stumble steps and spotted a snake curled up in the grass. I screamed and bolted. I was freaked out walking back because I knew the snake was there. Even if it was only a garter snake, to the six-year-old me a snake was a snake was a snake was a snake and snakes were no good.

I bring up my earliest memory because looking at all my symptoms it is the one I remember before all the tummy aches started in the mornings. I say tummy aches because it started as a kid. Not feeling well in the morning after eating breakfast (usually cold cereal) then trying to convince my mother that although I was ready for school, I was too sick to go. I was forced to go to school feeling ill more often than not. Once I was in college I wasn’t eating cereal for breakfast. It was usually Spam, eggs, and rice for breakfast and it was several years later after graduation when I was working for the YMCA that IBS symptoms started and about five more years before I was actually diagnosed with IBS.

These days my breakfasts are full of protein and vegetables like my Winter Hash. In my egg eating days it would be Black Bean Breakfast Tacos, Gluten-Free French Toast with Blueberries, Bananas, Walnuts, and Pure Maple Syrup DrizzleEggs en Cocotte, or an Omelette with Veggie filling. Sometimes a smoothie was enough for me (Banana Papaya, Chocolate Cherry Almond, Green Chai, Mint Chocolate Chip, Make It A Meal, Peachy Keen Cinnamon Toast Crunch, or my favorite, Super Berry).

Choc Cin Chia Seed PuddingOne of my favorite additions to breakfast is chia seed pudding. I use it like a breakfast side. Or a snack. Or dessert. It’s versatile enough to be any of the three. I like it as a breakfast accompaniment because I can shake it up in a mason jar the night before and it’s ready to go in the morning.

My love for pairing chocolate and cinnamon is no secret. Before I discovered all the new alterations I would have to make to my diet I was making this chia seed pudding.

If you have a mason jar with measurements marked on the side, you will save yourself from washing a measuring cup. I have one that I use just for chia seed pudding because it makes it even easier because I can pour my dairy-free milk right in the jar without measuring it out first. Also, there is no sugar added in this recipe. If you need to add a sweetener, feel free to do so. Chocolate Cinnamon Chia Seed Pudding

Chocolate Cinnamon Chia Pudding – serves 3 to 4

1 1/2 cups dairy-free milk

4 tablespoons chia seed

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Add all ingredients to a mason jar, cover tightly then shake vigorously with both hands for five minutes. This will help keep the chia seeds from clumping together. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Top with fruit of your choice if you choose. It will help add some natural sweetness without adding sugar if you need the sweet.

See how easy it is?

This post is linked to Raw Foods Thursday at Gluten-Free Cat, Whole Foods Fridays at Allergy-Free Alaska, Wellness Weekends at Diet, Dessert and Dogs, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.