Whew! It has been way too long since I last posted. I just haven't had the ambition. My life of leisure has turned into a life of slackery. Slackerness? Slackerosity? Laziness.
The hostel is booked for my trip to Chicago! Just one more week! I still have to decide on the show(s) I want to see and get those tickets. My friend Marcy is going with me, and since it's just the two of us, we splurged on a private room. We still have to use the communal shower, but we won't have to sleep with 7 strangers, and we have a private half-bath. I'm so excited! This week, I think I'll print out directions from the hostel, to all the places I want to go. That way if we can't find something, we'll at least know how to get there from where we're staying. The fat kid in me is most excited for deep dish pizza.
It's also just one more week until the Apple Butter Festival. I have about half the stuff made that I want to get done. I need to step it up this week. I'll do all the baking the day before. I want to do a minimum of 2 dozen S'mores and Whoopie Pies, and half a dozen each of the breads. If I happen to have more time and ingredients, I'll make more. Speaking of baking, I tried the Chai Tea-Spiced Bread. It's pretty much awesome. Oh, and there are no tea leaves in it... like my mom thought. There's prepared plain tea, and then the Chai tea taste comes from the cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon.
Chai Tea-Spiced Bread
3/4 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter - softened
1/2 C. prepared tea
1/3 C. milk
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
-Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease bottom only of a loaf pan with shortening or cooking spray.
-In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter with an electric mixer on medium speed, until fluffy. On low speed, beat in tea, milk, vanilla, and eggs until combined. (The mixture will appear lumpy/curdled.) Stir in the remaining dry ingredients until just combined. Spread the dough in the prepared pan.
-Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (Do not underbake.) Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen the sides and remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
In a small bowl, stir together 1 C. powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp. vanilla, and 3 Tbsp. milk. Add more milk by the Tbsp., until the mixture is a spreadable glaze. (Do not add too much milk, it will be runny.) Spread glaze over the cooled bread, and sprinkle with extra cinnamon.