Friday, June 29, 2012

chai rice pudding

I am a total tea girl. Green tea, white tea, black tea, chai tea. In addition to drinking the stuff, I am drawn to pretty much any food that is flavored like some type of tea. Chai tea is usually something that gets me through the cold, winter months. I love drinking a huge mug of it with a splash of soy milk before crawling into bed at night, or while snuggled up on the couch watching movies.

Well I finally figured out a way to incorporated the spicy zest of chai into my summer cuisine. This rice pudding is the perfect blend of sweet and spicy, and a delicious way to cool off on a hot summer night. This recipe makes a big batch that can be stored in the fridge so you have a sweet little something at-hand for the next few days.

2 chai tea bags (I used Tazo Tea brand)
3 cups non-dairy milk (I used a mix of almond milk and soy milk)
1 cup water
1 cup jasmine rice, dried
3/4 cup light coconut milk
1/4 cup honey
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cinnamon


1. Bring 3 cups of non-dairy milk and 1 cup of water to a boil. Steep the chai tea bags for 4-5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook the jasmine rice according to the directions on the box.

3. After rice is cooked, add the chai tea, coconut milk, and honey, and bring to a boil. Add the spices, then simmer on medium-low heat until the rice thickens to your liking (this should take about 30-40 minutes).

TEA-licious. And easy as pie. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, June 8, 2012

{Fashion Brand Spotlight} Etrican

A few weeks ago I had the honor of speaking with Dragos Necula, co-founder of the responsible fashion brand Etrican. Etrican is the pioneer of sustainable fashion for its local community in Singapore. All clothing is made from 100% organic cotton or recycled materials. The company is also involved with local projects that raise awareness about environmental sustainability, and donates a percentage of its profits to similar initiatives. The current collection of women's apparel is fun, light-hearted, and most importantly wearable. They offer both men's and women's apparel, as well as bags and wallet. 

What really sets Etrican apart from other socially and environmentally conscious fashion brands is its reasonable price points, and thus its accessibility to consumers of many income levels. Dragos really struck a chord with me when he said 'environmental responsibility should not only be accessible to the rich. All consumers should be given the option to make ethical choices.' I have always found this somewhat disturbing- that in several instances only the higher classes have accessible means to contribute towards environmental sustainability. Recycling shouldn't cost money, and blouses shouldn't cost $300- organic or not.

Etrican's tagline- 'Change is Simple'- could not be more fitting. In the company's beginning stages. it accepted lower profit margins and a slower rate of growth in knowing that it is doing what's best for consumers and what's best for the environment. This attitude and the founders' passion and hard work are paying off, too. I'm excited to see what the future has in store for this brand and I can only hope that other fashion brands will follow suit.

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