Cinnamon Cardamom Cafe Au Lait

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I love coffee.  After years of experimenting with coffee on my own, including a brief stint as a barista many years ago, I’ve finally settled on my favorite way to prepare it.  Coffee shop blends often include premade powders filled with corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and other nasty stuff, but this is an “all-natural” recipe that uses spices, milk, and optional blue agave syrup.  It’s very simple and can be prepared quickly, unlike, say, Turkish coffee, which takes time to settle.

Ingredients:

Ground cardamom
Ground cinnamon
Optional: blue agave syrup (or a healthier sweetener, such as honey)
Coffee
Low-fat (1%) milk (or milk substitute)

Preparation:

Brew coffee and pour it into a cup. If you’d like, add blue agave syrup (I use 1/4 teaspoon) or other sweetener. Sprinkle enough ground cinnamon to lightly cover the surface of the drink. Then, sprinkle enough ground cardamom so that the aroma of the cardamom comes through clearly without overpowering the cinnamon. Pour in as much milk as you prefer (I usually pour in half as much 1% low-fat milk as coffee).  Stir.

Enjoy!

Variation:

The cafe latte version of this drink, using espresso, might be even more delicious!

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Homemade Quince Jam

Before my mother was an ICU nurse, she was a homemaker.  Her cooking and baking skills are unbelievable!  I’ve decided to publicly document as many of her traditional Persian recipes (and delicious improvisations!) as I possibly can.  Let’s start with her homemade quince jam.

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Quinces for sale at my local grocery store

Quince is an interesting fruit.  According to Wikipedia, it originated in Iran and other countries in and around the Caucasus before being introduced elsewhere.  Not a very palatable fruit to eat raw, it’s nonetheless high in pectin and delicious as a jam!  Okay, here we go:

Ingredients

8 quinces
3/4 cup organic pure Florida cane sugar (or some other cane sugar)
2 envelopes (14.4 grams) of plain Knox gelatin
1 teaspoon powdered vanilla
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup water

Preparation

Wash and slice quinces.  Remove the seeds.  Put the cut quince in a pot and then add all the other ingredients to the pot.  Cook on low heat until the quince turns red and the syrup thickens.

This is what the jam looks like:

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Homemade quince jam, in a jar

I’ve discovered that it’s particularly delicious with almond butter atop my mother’s home-baked bread, with plain homemade yogurt, or just straight out of the jar!

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High-fiber home-baked bread with almond butter and quince jam!