I saw the weather forecast. We’re in for 90+ degrees this weekend. It was hard for me to believe that as I wrote this, while the chilly rains pelted the earth and I shivered in my sweatshirt and slippers, but that’s what they say. If they’re right about the coming heat wave, it means you won’t want anything that’s hot, like soup or hot drinks (except morning coffee, of course—I’m not a monster). Just as a hot drink warms you on a chilly day, a frosty one cools you on a scorcher.
Yes, I complain about the cold weather, then when it warms up I complain about the heat. To be fair, I don’t gripe unless it goes into the 90s. As a resident of the 42nd parallel, I live for the warm weather, brief as it is, and I absolutely adore 80-degree weather. In fact, I’m one of the last holdouts to crank on the air conditioning in the summer. Just ask my kids.
At a recent family party we had a sundae bar. I’d recommend this, by the way, if you need an easy summer dessert for a crowd. A few different kinds of ice cream, syrups, and toppings, and everyone’s happy.
As well as the sundae bar went, we ended up with lots of leftovers. I know what you’re thinking— what a chore, figuring out what to do with leftover ice cream, cookies, and candies.
I had an idea for the vanilla ice cream. My family happens to be chai tea latte fans. Some like it hot. We do. We also like it iced, made with regular milk or even soy milk. I had never heard of anyone whipping up a vanilla ice cream chai latte shake though, so I naturally had to give it a go.
If you’ve never tried chai, it’s a sweet and spicy tea, full of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, pepper, and other spices. When it's mixed with milk, it becomes a delicious and satisfying treat. It's a nice choice for people who like lattes, but aren't huge coffee fans.
The chai mix we prefer is the liquid Tazo mix, available in a quart-size box at many grocery stores in the tea aisle. There are other brands, to be sure. If you’ve never made a chai latte at home, the general idea is to mix equal parts chai mix with milk of your choice. Then you either add ice or heat it in the microwave. That’s it. That’s even how they mix it up at Starbucks, but you’ll pay the same amount for one serving there as you’ll pay for a whole quart from the grocery store.
I mixed ½ cup of the chai mix with the same amount of ice cream. There wasn’t enough ice cream—it tasted good, but it wasn’t thick enough to call a shake. Yet. I added more ice cream until it had the right consistency. It took 1 cup of regular vanilla ice cream, and ¾ cups of soy ice cream (for the non-dairy version). If you decide to try it, I suggest playing with the ice cream amount until you achieve the thickness that you like in a shake.
I added whip cream and an additional sprinkle of cinnamon. Mmm.
Whether you decide to have a chai tea latte on ice, or whip up a Chilly Chai(cago) Shake--that's two more ways to beat the heat!
Chilly Chai Shake
½ Cup liquid chai mix
¾ - 1 Cup vanilla ice cream of your choice
Spritz Whipped cream (optional)
Dash Cinnamon (optional)
Combine chai mix and ice cream. Blend with immersion blender. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon, if desired.
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