Have you every gone shopping with a tiger and a superhero princess? I have, and let me tell you it was a one-of-a-kind experience. We had driven to Kouvola, about ten minutes away and parked our car on a lot that is on the roof of the shopping center. We had several errands, an eye check-up for one, a new lense cap for the camera as I had lost it in the field earlier in the morning and a little something for our new little niece. I had four with me and everything had gone just fine until the last stop. Maybe I should have been smarter and known to stop earlier but I decided that since we were out and about we might as well get the last thing on the list taken care of. We entered a clothing store that has cute little things for babies and for bigger kids and my two little darlings age three and five transformed into a tiger and a superhero princess, as they called themselves.
Here they are helping in the kitchen but as we went into the store, the superhero princess ran off with squeals and the tiger was soon after her with growls that only tigers know how to make. Pretty soon they were under a rack and another customer at the counter was giving me The Look. I gave her an apologizing look and proceeded to remove the tiger and the princess from under the hangers full of new clothes. For a few minutes the situation seemed to settle down and so we moved on to the baby section. As I turned my back to them, they started touching everything and suggesting what we should buy for cousin Alva. As I turned around there they stood right next to each other with a gleeful expression. They were having a squealing contest. At this point I decided that it would be in everyone’s best interest to exit the store as soon as possible. We headed to the cashier who was so very friendly and said that there is always room for noise in the world. We paid and left. Once we made it to the elevator, they had a little tussle over who gets to push the button. Fortunately there are two buttons to push, the up-button to call the elevator and the P-button inside the elevator for the parking ramp. I was glistening by the time I got everyone into the car, but as I put my seat belt on a large smile spread over my face and the frustration melted away as I realized that this would make a great blogging tale. Made up stories rarely beat real life. And so I sat by myself in the front seat of our Volkwagen Transporter with seats quite high that separates the front from the back quite efficiently, turned the radio on and secretly chuckled to myself.
When I came home I thought I had earned this homemade chai latte and a spelt cookie with dried cranberry, dark and white chocolate and rough chunks of walnuts. The latte is made from a strong chai tea and fluffy milk using the trick I learned from Saskia at One Equals Two, and a bit of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It is an occasional treat perfect for dreary November afternoons, when the outdoors is drizzly and gray. The cookie is great because the balls of dough can be frozen and then baked off in a mere 8-9 minutes. The trick is to not over bake. Don’t mind it if the center looks still a bit undone when removing from the oven.
Homemade Chai latte
Brew a strong chai tea, using your favorite kind. ( I have been using Mokkamestarit brand sold at Punnitse ja Säästä )
Heat milk in a pot so that it is hot but not scalding. This is the crucial step to making your own frothy milk. I take it off the heat as soon as it is steaming just a bit and forming a couple of bubbles on the sides. Pour the heated milk into a French press, filling only half way. Place the plunger on top and move it up and down incorporating air into the milk. Once the milk has doubled in volume set aside for just a moment. Pour the tea into a warmed cup so that it fills one-third of the cup. Add a teaspoon or two of honey and gently stir. Remove the plunger from the French press and pour over the tea. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with a bit of honey.
Double chocolate Spelt cookie with cranberry and walnut (inspired by the recipe found on Sally’s baking addiction blog)
170 g/ 3/4 c (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
150 g/ 3/4 c dark brown sugar
50 g / 1/4 c sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
250 g/ 2 c flour (one third spelt and two thirds white flour)
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
100 g/3.5 oz dark chocolate, roughly chopped
100 g/3.5 oz white chocolate, roughly chopped
60 g/2 oz dried cranberries
60 g/2 oz roughly chopped walnuts
Beat the softened butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat strongly until incorporated. Mix the spelt flour, white flour, corn starch, salt and baking soda in a separate bowl and fold into the butter mixture. Last add in the chopped chocolate, cranberries and walnuts. Using a cookie scoop make small balls and place into a freezer container or bag. My scoop makes a 30 g/1 oz cookie which I find to be the perfect size. Place the freezer bag or container into the freezer. If you desire a thicker cookie, allow the balls of dough to freeze. Heat oven and place the pre-made balls of cookie dough on a lined baking sheet. There is no need to thaw them out. I usually make a double batch to have some cookies ready to go for any surprise situations.
Bake at 175 C/ 350 F for 8-9 minutes.
Along with my rare quiet moment in my Movember kitchen is a stack of mustache kitchen rags that I found at Tiger (4 for 2 euros) and copy of the newest Kidd.o magazine which is a Finnish lifestyle magazine. It is thick and with filled with wonderfully inspiring photography and interesting articles. Glorious!
This post is part of Celia’s In My Kitchen Series. Visit her site for a collection of blogs that showcase their kitchens every month.
You made me laugh, just seeing those children in the shop is quite funny, I could visualize the one customer that game you the “look”. Your cookies are wonderful as is the chai and I am going to try the frothing method. Love my coffee or tea with foamy milk.
I’m quite addicted to this frothing method since I don’t own an actual steamer. It works so much better than the wand frother and works every time if the milk does not get too hot. Yes, the moment in the store was certainly not one of my best as a mother, but on the other hand it certainly is imprinted in my memory now and I do have to hand it to them, they have wonderful imaginations. 🙂
I can just picture you chuckling, glad that a tiring afternoon makes for a great blog post! Love the froth on the latte here 🙂
Yes, something positive from a rather challenging shopping trip. I usually do not take my five-year old shopping and take care of errands while he is in kindergarten in the mornings. But this time I had to…and running errands is incredibly boring to him 🙂 Hope you have a chance to try out the frothy milk.
My girls are always superhero princesses too! And we are followed by looks wherever we go because apparently I live in a place where no one has young children but me;)
Yes I can imagine that your girls are superhero princesses…good for them! I often pretend to not notice the looks, especially if I’m out and about with everyone. We’ll just have to pretend that they are admiring our little superhero princesses or tigers. 😉
Great post Laila! Thanks for the shout-out! So pleased you’re loving the fluffy milk. Timely post as I just received a beautiful chai tea blend in the mail from a friend yesterday – I am definitely topping it with fluffy milk. Great idea! Those spelt cookies look like the perfect accompaniment too.
Oh I know ‘the look’ very well, having two tigers of my own! I always have to stifle a giggle. Just checked out Kidd.o – what a beautiful mag. Wish I could read it, but the imagery is just beautiful. Love the paper sword activity!
Thank you Saskia…and thank you for the wonderful frothing idea. I have been using it regularly. The kids have begun to request it for their hot chocolate. 🙂 Yes, I thought the paper sword was great as was the cat mask to go with it. Our Tiger often asks the superhero princess to play war with him. Her answer is yes, IF she can be a cat soldier or a princess soldier. His answer is that real soldiers are not cats or princesses but being the nice guy he is, he usually always agrees to her suggestion because it is the only way he can get her to play his game. 🙂
Meeting a Tiger and a super hero Princess would make my day if I were out shopping. Perish that LOOK. Anyone giving that LOOK should be asked to leave. 😉
I think it would make our day to meet you while shopping with our little ones with giant imaginations! 🙂
We actually had no trick or treaters (Halloween is so small in Australia) but a tiger and super hero princess would be more than welcome to take all the candy at my place 😛
As for your cookies, they look absolutely delicious – healthier with the spelt flour and so addictive as well!
Choc Chip Uru
I am sure that Tiger and Superhero princess would love the candy. 🙂 We didn’t have any trick or treaters here in Finland as well. Similar to Australia it is not such a big holiday.
I’m one of those fortunate mothers who never minded the noise, so I love to see children having fun, no matter how much noise they make.
I think I’d like to drink that chai latte!
I can handle noise during the day, but once 8.30 pm arrives, my noise tolerance level really dips. I enjoy the quietness of the house as most of the kids are in bed and try to unwind a bit. Usually the two youngest still putter around for a bit as our superhero princess has always been a night owl.
That top photo of the two kids is great! By the way, it’s me, Janet, from “an artist creates” and “chef janet rorschach”. New blog, new concept. Have a wonderful day!
Hi Janet…nice to bump into you again. I will have to introduce myself to your new blog. 🙂
Beaurtiful photos, as always, and a lovely story! Makes me miss having children. Although I love having adult children too…
Thanks Mimi. I bet having adult children is great in a whole different way. Each age has something special about it.
What a cute story, how adorable! We’ve all gotten “the look” at some point in time 😉 These cookies sound rich and decadent. I’ve never baked with spelt before, I’d love to learn a little more about it. Does it have a distinct flavor?
Spelt is an early wheat species that traces back to 5000 bc. It has a lot of fiber and is richer in nutrients when compared to a regulary white flour. I have been experimenting with spelt lately and it works wonderful in breads, cookies, muffins and pie crusts. It does not have quite as much gluten so it does not give the dough quite as much elasticity. My ratio that I have been using is 1/3 spelt flour and 2/3 regular flour. I personally do not find the spelt flavor to be overly strong, rather I think it gives the baked goods a hearty flavor. But of course this is a matter of taste 🙂
Oh goodness this looks so inviting. I love how you made your froth. It all looks perfect. I’d like to have this cookie and Chai tea for a mid-morning snack.
Your children are beautiful!
Thank you so much Vicki! The frothing method seems to work everytime like a charm without the fancy machines 🙂
I remember those days of shopping with little ones in tow so well, even though it must be close to twenty years ago now. Wonderful smile and giggle inducing post. 🙂 And that latte…it looks heavenly. And yes…you earned it!
Hi Nancy…I think those shopping trips remain quite imprinted in our minds. Once after a rather eventful trip to the grocery store full of all sorts of mishaps that would require a whole post to itself, our superhero princess decided to climb on the conveyor belt at the cashier and crawl up to the cashier. I was just punching in my pin code for my debit card and could not really interupt the transaction. Meanwhile we had a whole line of people behind us as our audience. But we made it to the car that time as well! Life is never really boring! 🙂
This sounds like a story that needs to be told. 🙂 I’ll look forward to the possible, future post Adventure’s in Shopping with Children!
Oooh, that latte sounds great!
It really was delicious…hope you have a chance to try it when you need a little pick-me-up 🙂
I can’t wait to try this frothing method. Glad I stumbled on to your sight after seeing it on fig jam lime cordial thanks Celia
I hope you have a chance to try it out…as it has become a favorite method for me. I should see I could learn to make some latte art with the fluffy milk 🙂
G’day! Gorgeous photos and your little ones are cuties!
Thank you also for this month’s kitchen view!
Thank you Joanne so much!
I wish I could have been in that store. Your kids sound adorable and were enjoying themselves, nothing more. Too bad you had to run into a sourpuss.
Although I’ve a little frother that I got from a give-away a few months ago, this method of using a French press to froth milk is genius! I’ll be sure to pass it on. Thanks.
Perhaps the lady was having a bad day 🙂 and my kids were definitely enjoying themselves even if their mother tried to slow them down a bit! After this, I did however vow to always try run my errands in the morning hours as it goes so much more smoothly with only two along and the baby being in the stroller and with only one walking on their own there is much less commotion. 🙂 Hope you have a chance to try out the milk frothing method…it’s my favorite nowadays.
Those spelt cookies sound like something perfect for holiday gift giving. Thanks so much for sharing them and for all the care you take with your kids. They’re so lucky to have you and you them as well. Great weekend to you 😉😉;)
Thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, the spelt cookies would be perfect as a small gift and easy to bake off from the frozen dough balls in the freezer…ready in a flash!
At least your were able to laugh about it! With three boys I know all about running errands with kids. It’s always the longer trips that put them over the top. Luckily two are in school now so I can get a little more done. You deserved the chai and cookie! That method is how we also froth milk and it works like a charm!
🙂 After it was all over I had a little laugh. I suppose these errands are what will make up the memories that we have of the time they were little and life was a bit busy. I can imagine that this is all so familiar to you with your busy boys! Thank you for leading me to your blog.
Now I’m hannging for a cup of that Chai with the frothy milk!
Oh Francesca, I hope you have a chance soon to make a cup of the chai…it’s heavenly! 🙂
Love this…you are way more patient than I ever was… It is wonderful for them to have such imaginations, useful tool in life. Maybe I would like chai with the frothed milk, have to try that…and the cookie:)
I’m not always patient…I have my moments as well. But I have noticed that when I loose my cool nothing good comes out of the process. I usually end up feeling like I lost the match as everyone ends up crying together…Mom included. So we try not venture into that territory if at all possible 🙂 I wish you could stop over, as I would make you a cup of the chai.
Love how you de stressed in the car by visualising a blog post…and so true that real life happenings have another edge to them-that spark!….our two grandson , cousins of nearly the same age are the same when they get together – LOUD and full of action
Must have a look at the frothing method mentioned.
Thanks again for a lovely post and recipes
Alexa Blogging from Sydney, Australia
I can almost imagine your two grandsons together…do they ever pretend to be middle-age knights? It seems to be the game of choice at the moment and it creates loads of noise! 🙂
Thanks for sharing a snippet of your life along with your kitchen!
You made my morning a little brighter and the recipes are definitely a bonus!
Thank you Heidi for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment…so glad the post brightened your day.
love the frothing idea. shopping with kids along? eek!
Eek is right 🙂 but sometimes there just is no other option. It’s an adventure each time as you can never know in advance how exactly it will go.
You definitely deserved a treat after that! But oh, how gorgeous they must have been! I desperately miss the days of having small people around. Thanks for the lovely story, Laila!