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Perfect Iced Coffee

2 Oct

I am ADDICTED to iced coffee. And I am mostly addicted to Dunkin Donuts coffee…hot OR iced. Most mornings in the summer, you will find me with a large iced coffee cup from D&D glued to my hand until about 10am.

This is my favorite coffee….La Colombe. It’s a treat for me whenever I’m in Philly!

I realized that I didnt want to pay for iced coffee every single morning, but needed to know it would come out delicious if I did it myself. I tried making coffee the night before and putting it in the fridge – blech. I looked into cold brewing iced coffee. I knew THAT would be the ticket!

Coffee grounds with 2 gallon pitchers…..Ready to get started

Cold brewing leaves you with a smooth, acid-free coffee base that serves as a refreshing cold drink. It wont taste bitter.

Ready to strain the coffee over cheesecloth layers into the pitcher

This definitely takes a little bit of work ahead of time, but it leaves you with a gallon of iced coffee to pull from in the fridge for up to a month!

View from the top of the pitcher!

It is messy work separating the coffee liquid from the grains, but it’s well worth it for tasty iced coffee! Having a funnel is the BEST tool to use here…..just line the funnel and pour on through!

Pouring strained coffee back into the jug for decent storage in the fridge!

I re-used old water jugs that I get from the store – they were the perfect thing to store the coffee in the fridge.  Dont pay any attention to how much is LEFT….I should have taken the picture when I first made it.

Here is how I like to take my iced (or hot) coffee – just with cream. At home I use fat-free cream.

Ahhhhhhhhhh nothing like homemade perfect iced coffee!! I am so happy I did a little bit of research and tried this way……

Perfect Iced Coffee

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon water (I buy a gallon of drinking water)
  • 1 lb bag of your favorite rich coffee (course ground if ya can get it)
  • Coffee filters or several layers of cheesecloth
  • a large bowl (or just 2 pitchers)
  • pitcher (big enough to hold a gallon)
  • Funnel is very helpful if you have it

Pour coffee into the large pitcher or  arge bowl and cover with 4 quarts (1 gallon) filtered water.  Stir so that all the grounds are submerged, cover, and let sit for 8-12 hours.

Strain over cheesecloth or paper towels into a pitcher, cover and put it into the fridge.  This will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.  Everytime you want fresh iced coffee, just pour and fix it as you like!

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Blueberry Streusel Muffins

30 Jul

Robbbb was craving blueberry muffins. I was craving an upgrade to blueberry muffins.

Ingredients

I settled on these Blueberry Streusel Muffins.

Muffin mix and Streusel mix

They were so moist and delicious.

Mmmmm collective yum

And the streusel topping was the perfect mix of sugar and spice.

Cracklin’ with Blueberries

Sooooooo chock full o’blueberries!

What a fine specimen

Take a BITE

I definitely recommend these muffins – they are suuuuuuper yummy and they freeze well, too!

Blueberry Crumb Muffins

For the streusel:

  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cubed

 For the muffins:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pint blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

For the streusel topping, mix together all ingredients with your fingers, rubbing to make a coarse meal. Set aside.

To make the muffins: Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on medium speed until pale in color, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the flour mixture then the milk and finally the remaining flour mixture, beating only until just combined.

Scrape the sides of the bowl then add the blueberries, folding them into the batter. Divide the batter evenly among the wells of the muffin pans, filling each about 3/4-full. Break the crumb topping into small pieces and scatter over the tops of the muffins, pressing lightly to adhere.

Bake for about 22 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the muffin pans to a wire rack and let the muffins cool for a few minutes before removing them from the pan to the rack to cool completely.

Healthy Peanut Butter Bars

25 May

My sisterinlaw, Julie, passed this recipe along to me – and I am soooooo glad she did! My mom has been cleaning out old cookbooks and Julie snagged one that is all about meals that provide energy for your body. Julie is always on-the-go and looking for healthy snacks – and it doesnt hurt that she is a fabulous baker, too!

Ingredients

She emailed me the recipe as soon as she had made it and vouched for its excellence. She uses golden raisins and craisins – and mentioned a week or two later that she started to put some chocolate chips on top after they came out of the oven. That sounds amazing – cant wait to try! These are versatile with regards to the types of dried fruits and extras you can add.

Mixture

Word of caution: I got so excited about trying them immediately, that I thought I could just use my 2-minute quick cook oats in place of the rolled, non-quick……I was wrong. They came out so crumbly that we had to eat them with a spoon. But they still tasted so good that we knew it was simply a matter of getting the correct oats and re-making.

Fresh Baked

This is a nice sweet snack that deems the phrase “Oh, those dont stand a chance against me” from Robbbbb. They are THAT tasty. And the great part is that they are so versatile – you can use any mixture or type of dried fruit and make it to your liking. They are portable and good for you – perfect to take to work, too! What more could you ask for in a fabulous treat?

Nutty Oaty Texture…so good!

Healthy Peanut Butter Bars

  • ¼ cup crunchy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats (not the quick cook kind)
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins (or dried cherries or cranberries)
  • 1 tablespoon stoneground whole wheat flour

Put peanut butter and honey in saucepan and heat gently until melted, about 4 minutes. Be sure not to burn! Add oats, raisins and flour and stir well until thoroughly mixed and has consistency of crumbs.

Pack into a 6 x 9 no stick pan and bake at 375 for 15 minutes. And take out of the oven to cool.

IMPORTANT: Leave until completely cooled before cutting/removing. Can be stored in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Individual Pancetta and Spinach Egg Cups

15 May

I found this recipe in Coastal Living magazine….totally random, I know! But it grabbed my attention because it looked SO EASY and tasty. And they are crustless.

Ingredients

For Mother’s Day every year we plan a potluck brunch at my brother’s house and I am always looking for something unique to bring. This year, Mother’s Day fell on the day after my huge Supper Club Greek Feast. I knew I would be cooking for a couple days and wouldn’t be able to handle anything too crazy.

Pancetta-lined muffin cups

Spinach and Cheese in the cup

Voila! Pancetta and Spinach Egg Cups! These puppies are SO easy and take literally minutes to prepare. And they look so fancy when they are finished!

Egg inside, ready to bake!

Oh, the original recipe called for Prosciutto, but I thought it said Pancetta when I quickly looked at it  so that’s what I bought. It turns out that it doesn’t really matter! Pancetta was super good and bacon-y  so when I make them again, I will stick with it!

All baked!

Cross section – you can see the gooey cheese and spinach in there

It was a great Mother’s Day Brunch! My sister-in-law, Julie, made her famous french toast; I brought the egg cups; my brother, Jerry, made a nice salad and breakfast sausage; and my mom brought the fruit salad. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there 🙂

Mother’s Day Spread

I gotta show this picture again – it was soooooo good.

Yum

Individual Pancetta and Spinach Egg Cups

Ingredients:

  • 12 thin slices Pancetta (about ½ pound or so)
  • 10 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Dash of milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach, stems trimmed and roughly chopped
  • ½ cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan (or 12 ramekins).

Place pancetta slices into bottoms and up sides of cups, overlapping. I used 2 slices per cup – you can just use 1 slice and be fine if you like.

Divide spinach first and then cheese among muffin cups.

Combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper as you would if you were preparing scrambled eggs. Then pour evenly into muffin cups. Don’t fill all the way to the top.

Bake muffin cups 14-16 minutes or until just set. Using my brother’s convection oven, it took more like 25 minutes – but I would start out with 15 minutes and play it by ear to see if it needs more time or not.

Let stand about 5 minutes. Then loosen cups by running a knife around the edges of each cup, and lift out of the pan with a small spatula. Serve immediately. Makes 12 servings.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

19 Apr

Have 1-2 old bananas to use up? Want a quick sweet treat? I think these are solidly the best chocolate chip banana muffin out there.

Ingredients

My old work-friend, Alli Braus, posted these on facebook over a year ago. They looked so easy and delicious – and she vouched for them saying they were excellent. The recipe comes from AllRecipes.com!

Muffin Cups

These are so moist and fresh and delicious. And the greatest part is that you can stick them in the freezer for later and just pull one out when you want one!

Yummy

Ingredients

  • 1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1   teaspoon baking powder
  • 1   teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1   egg
  • 1/2  cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2  cup plain yogurt (I use greek yogurt)
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1  cup mashed ripe bananas (about 1-2 bananas)
  • 3/4  cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil, yogurt and vanilla.

Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas and chocolate chips.

Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

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