Thank.ful - Give Thanks, Shop Small.


Thank.ful - A deep appreciation for food, and for those who create beautiful meals: expression of gratitude towards small businesses.

Hello, Hello, and welcome back to The Chai Bar Blog, the one-stop-shop for tea'rrific Chai and uplifting blog posts. 
Since we are a woman-owned small business, we love collaborating with other boss babes who are following their passion. This week, we have collaborated with Jenna from Basil & Bloom 
(Find a discount code towards the end of this post.) 
Basil & Bloom is a small business based in Ohio. 
Jenna makes some tealicious baked goodies to order in and around Troy, she can also be found at the local farmers market every spring-summer. 
Jenna says, "My dream is to grow and create products that bring joy and pleasure to people. I hope to convey whimsy and beauty in all of my creations.
I started the idea of Basil & Bloom back in 2018. I wanted to quit working in an office 40+ hours a week. I had become unhappy sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day, every day. I knew I needed to do things that I loved & that made me happy, like gardening & being in the kitchen. The transition to working for myself has also allowed me to spend more time with my senior dog, who needs a little extra attention. I can travel more often to visit family & friends. And I have the freedom to apply my creativity to new projects when an idea strikes me. I think that when I worked for other people, my creativity wasn't utilized as often as it should have been. I think it's one of my best attributes & it was going to waste. 
I think one of my favorite things about starting basil & bloom is that I get to create new flavor combinations & challenge people to step outside of their comfort zone. Especially when it comes to using fresh herbs.

Using herbs can be intimidating, but I strive to showcase all of the different ways they can be used on a daily basis. I post recipes about how to use them in beverages & cocktails, how to cook with them, etc. I like to incorporate herbs into my baked goods, too. Aside from enhancing the flavor of everything, they also have a lot of health benefits."

We are so lucky to have met Jenna through one of our previous collaborators, Marinda Mucci from Mucci's Sweet treats. Marinda made Chocolate Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies to pair with The Chai Bar Summer Masala Chai

Other collaborations we have done with small businesses are Tummy Tales with Sudha. @tummytaleswithsudha.

Sudha came to the United States of America in 2016, a techie turned baker in the land of dreams and opportunities.
Sudha bakes a wide range of mouth-watering cakes that you cannot stop eating. She took our Pink Chai and transformed it into a tea-licious Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert with an Indian twist. Find her on Instagram to view this delightful creation of perfection.


Here is the Recipe for Pink Chai Panacotta.
Brew the Kashmiri Pink Chai as per the provided recipe then follow the steps below.


1 tsp Agar Agar to make it as Panacotta.

I prefer using Agar Agar instead of Gelatin.

Brew Chai as per instructions.
After Chai pulling, transfer the pulled chai to medium size pot. Add Milk, Heavy cream, Sugar, Rose Essence

Once Sugar dissolves, add 1 tsp Agar Agar powder and whisk the mixture completely.

Turn off the stove, transfer the mixture to Glass cups.

Let it set in the refrigerator for a minimum 4 hours or overnight.

Serve by Garnishing chopped Almonds, Pistachios and crushed Rose Petals on top.

Earlier this month, we collaborated with Vindhya, founder of Styl Zycia
You can read all about it here
Last month, we collaborated with Zenwadi Gifts, by Viral -Stress-Free Gifting 🎁 You can find her on Instagram @zenwadigifts 
We know it has been an especially difficult year for most small businesses. With the current economic situation due to Covid19, not to mention the personal loss many have faced. This year, for Thanksgiving, we want to focus on giving thanks to our small business owners. Many of these small businesses are the soul of our cities, towns, and communities. They spotlight local produce, flavor, and more with their skills and talent. 
While doing a bit of research on thanksgiving day meals, we realized there is a need for vegetarian meal options for those with varied dietary preferences. Jenna pointed out that, there is always a need for alcohol-free thanksgiving beverages for those of us who do not drink or are the designated driver for the night. #dontdrinkanddrive #teantravel 
So, we offered Jenna a "blank canvas", The Chai Bar Original Blend i.e. Astitva
In the true sense of the name, Jenna did Brew her own blend, and it is tealicious. 
Read our blog for more BYOB ideas.
Jenna was wonderful enough to prepare a tas'tea thanksgiving en·trée that is Vegetarian and pairs phenomenally with Rosemary Clementine Astitva. 
Astitva is a robust blend. It represents the very identity of Chai. 
Our tea leaves are hand-picked in Assam - the land of tea gardens. Our tealicious chai is synergistically sourced, we aim to cultivate environmental stewardship and respect cultural identity. 
Gluten-Free; Fat-Free; All Natural; Women-owned 
Blended and packed in Philadelphia.
With a deep, earthy aroma, Bold and malty headnotes, full-bodied grassy body, and brisk tail notes, this rich brown tea pairs well with hearty, rich foods. 
Usually, in the western world, one would pair green tea with a vegetarian dish, but Astitva pairs beautifully with both Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian mains. 
Jenna from Basil & Bloom has paired Astitva with a Vegetable Galette. 
This is a vegetarian-friendly pie, it can be made vegan as well with a bit of substitution here and there. 
The Astitva tea itself is prepared to complement the meal with its earthy, refreshing flavor. 
So let's get to it. 
1-2 tsp Astitva
1 Pie Crust or sheet of puff pastry (to fit an 8-9 inch pan)
1 medium onion (sliced)
1/2 cup roasted tomatoes (Roma/cherry/plum varieties)
10-12 oz peeled sliced butternut squash (or a similar squash), 
2 eggs 
1/4th cup shredded cheese (asiago, parmesan/ feta) 
2 Tbsp chopped fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme, sage)
Salt & Pepper 
Olive oil 
  • Roast the tomatoes at 375.F until skins wrinkle. Pull from the oven and remove skins when cool enough to handle. 
  • Slice butternut squash very thin. Coat in oil, season with Astitva tea leaves, salt, and pepper, set aside. 
  • Slice onion and saute in oil until lightly golden. Add chopped herbs, salt & pepper and saute an additional 2- 3 mins. Remove from heat. 
  • Whisk 1 egg, cheese, salt & pepper together in a bowl. 
  • Spread pie crust/ pastry into an 8-9 inch pie pan. 
  • Spread egg mix on the pie crust. 
  • Layer with tomatoes, onions, and squash 
  • Fold pie crust over the top of the filling 
  • Whisk one egg in a bowl, brush the egg wash over the exposed pie crust 
  • Bake and 425.F for 20-30 mins or until golden brown, make sure the filling is tender by piercing with a fork. 
Astitva Tea 
Spring of Rosemary 
Clementine Peel & Slice
  • Brew Astitva - as per the instructions on the tin. Skip adding milk and sugar.
  • Strain 
  • While the tea cools add rosemary springs, a dash of clementine zest, and a few slices of clementine to the tea 
  • Strain 
  • Make a rosemary simple syrup: In a saucepan add 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1/8-1/4 oz rosemary springs, heat over medium heat, and reduce down until sugar is dissolved. Strain all rosemary springs and leaves from, the syrup. Store syrup in the fridge. 
  • Mix the tea with as much syrup as desired. 
  • Add 1/2 cup of ice to a glass and serve the tea with a spring of rosemary. 
Sip-sip, Hurray. 
We hope you make this delicious meal this holiday and enjoy the festivities from the comfort of your home. Do share your photos with us on Instagram and Facebook. 
Jenna has been kind enough to share this recipe with us, so tremendous gratitude to Jenna and Basil & Bloom 
This holiday season, we can enjoy preparing this Thanksgiving feast with our loved ones over video-call. Madura and I are sure going to be doing something like that. Hope you all stay safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving during this unique time of social distancing. #stayhome
Don't forget to give Thanks to your local small business owners this holiday season! 
Co-authored by Sargam Merchant and Madura Chaudhari

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