The Perfect Kava to Kick Any Cold

Last year’s flu season in NYC was brutal. It was reported to be one of the deadliest on record. My family and I always get flu shots and try to implement healthy habits, especially as the weather gets worse. Simple things like washing hands with soap as soon as we come in, drinking lots of water and orange juice, eating fruits loaded with Vitamin C and taking our multivitamins every morning.

Even after all that, my husband still came down with the flu. My first instinct was to make kava.

Now, I didn’t really grow up drinking kava. Rather, my mom always made plain English tea for me when I was sick. I learned about kava when I was going to school in Pakistan and my Nana and Nani would make it whenever someone was sick.

I sent my husband to bed as soon as he showed me his diagnosis form from the urgent care and went straight into the kitchen. Luckily, I had everything I needed on hand.



Here’s the recipe:

4 cups of water

4 black tea bags

1 lemon sliced

2 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 inch piece of ginger chopped

1 tablespoon of honey (to taste)

Add all ingredients to the pot (excluding honey) and boil for 10 minutes. Take out all ingredients and strain. I poured the kava into a carafe to keep warm and to have on hand. Add honey (or sugar if you prefer) to each individual cup.

My husband didn’t love the taste of this kava, but I thought it was yummy. And it made the whole apartment smell like fall. Who needs a candle when you have homemade kava brewing? I even gave a cup to my neighbor, who said he enjoyed it as well. And he’s not Pakistani.

What are some of your favorite recipes during flu season to help you keep healthy? Share in the comments!

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Chicken Stock for Beginners

With two daughters who are constantly getting sick in the winter and me trying to stave off whatever they have, soup is a staple in our house.

I have been trying to perfect my chicken stock for years. While it’s always been delicious, I’ve always craved that delicious golden color, much like the chicken noodle soup found in old-school kosher delis in Brooklyn.

I finally got it!

Chicken Stock
It’s taken me years to get my stock this color!

My local butcher shop had wings and I ran to get about 8 lbs. My family loves chicken wings, and I often marinate and freeze them for a quick weeknight dinner. This time, I saved all the wing tips for a special stock that I had been craving for over a week.

Want to know how I got this color? Read on:

2 lbs of wing tips, cleaned and dried

2 stalks of celery, including the leaves

2 carrots, peeled and washed

1 onion, peeled

2 tablespoons of Vegeta

Place all the ingredients in an 8 quart stock pot. Fill with cold water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer.

I cooked the stock for 6 hours, but you can always leave it on longer.

Once the stock was done, I strained it, taking out the wing tips and veggies. When it is cooled, I pour into disposable soup containers (you can also use yogurt containers!) and freeze. (Be sure to only fill the containers 3/4 of the way, leaving room at the top.)

The taste was so rich in collagen and chicken-y goodness, I think it knocked out whatever was ailing my husband. Plus, it makes you feel all warm inside.

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