Friday, July 10, 2015

How to make Iced Coffee

I would like to start this blog by saying my bad. Life has a way of sneaking up on you and you are unable to do the things you love or you neglect them. For example I love reading, writing, and cooking. However, when I am feeling down I have a hard time reading novels and I will read short stories because they are easier to get through. I will half ass my cooking, I mean who really cares right? Then writing? Well that gets delegated to the back burner where I have several blog entries started or made up in my head that never make it further than that. I currently have 6 blogs on my phone (pictures and recipes) ready to go. I have yet to do anything further with them. They are there. That’s my outlet but putting it out…it’s not working out so great. For those of you who don’t know (probably most of you), I suffer from depression. Not for the normal reasons, mine is because my doctor pulled out my ovary. I have had hormone imbalances ever since. Specifically causing me to be depressed. It is super fun! Yes that is Sarcasm! Therefore, allow me to apologize if I do not update as often as possible. No, I do not want to talk about my depression. I do not want to go to therapy I want to see where this new medicine will take me, thus far it’s just made me sick.

Moving along! As I have told you before, I have recipes that never turn out correct, for example my fried pork chops with soy honey glaze…never…right. I have tried that recipe four times, I have never had that one work out! That being said another recipe I have never had turn out correct was iced coffee, not like normal brew coffee and pour it over ice. No not that. I mean cold brew this coffee add milk and sugar kind of stuff! That being said third time is a charm! I got it this time!

What you will need:

1 Cup of Ground Coffee
4 Cups of Filtered Water (no I didn’t used filtered because I don’t care)
10 Cups of Milk (ish kind of I’ll explain later)
Simple Vanilla Syrup – recipe next
Any other flavoring you want
Simple Vanilla Syrup:
1 Cup of Sugar
1 Cup of Water
1 Vanilla bean or 1 Tbsp of pure Vanilla Extract

Okay so in order of how I made this was as followed. I bought vanilla flavored coffee, because I was making caramel macchiato flavored iced coffee. I ground up one cup of coffee beans – rough grind and put them in a glass pitcher then poured water over top four cups actually. In all reality I doubled this recipe since I had a two quart pitcher I knew it would hold 8 cups of water, thanks gallon man! Yes
the coffee would displace the water some but I found this method easier. Now I covered the coffee water stuff with foil and popped it in the fridge overnight. Then that same night I grabbed my sugar and water and vanilla bean put them on a stove and brought them to a boil when it was clear I removed it from the stove top and let it cool – yes it is a simple syrup. Now if you don’t want to buy a vanilla bean or two when you remove it from the heat and it starts to cool down pour in straight vanilla extract about a tablespoon stir and let sit to cool overnight. If you want at this point you could brew some strong coffee, put it into ice cube trays and freeze for tomorrow.
Now fast forward 12 hours to the next morning. Grab a sieve (or colander whatever you have) place some coffee filters in it then place it over a large bowl or pitcher and start to pour the cold coffee mixture over the sieve and go until it’s all emptied out. Now normally I grab the left over grounds and pour them on my hydrangeas so I can make them blue but that’s another discussion. Once it is drained I wanted to make sure it was strong. It was. I grabbed a little cup poured in enough to swish around my mouth and regretted it. It was strong. So strong. But the flavor! It was perfect! Now this is the weird part. Depending on how strong you want this is how much milk you will add. I wanted it strong but not over powering (plus I had the coffee cubes) so I did for every one part of coffee two parts of milk, I used whole milk, but I like whole milk, you can use whatever you want. Meaning I guessed and tweaked till it tasted okay. Then I added my simple sugar, caramel, and stirred until it was mixed thoroughly (I ended up adding ¼ c. of simple syrup and about the same with caramel). Taste, add more sugar or milk to your liking. Now how to serve it up, toss your coffee ice cubes in the cup, pour drink over top, and sip! How did it taste? Test subject Steve made me make another batch because he liked it so much (a chocolate one). I made my coworkers drink it, they liked it! Go ahead and cold brew yourself some coffee! It’s totally worth it!


Saturday, April 25, 2015

How To Make Parmesan Pasta

Hello! I know I've been busy but I have a couple of great ones coming up so be excited. This one is a side dish, however, you could add some veggies to it or some meat and it would be great. Now are you ready for some yummy side dish?

What you will need:

1/2 - 3/4 c of Parmesan cheese (real not powdered stuff)
4 - 6 Tbsp of Butter
1/2 c of cooking liquid (from the pasta when it's almost done cooking)
4 - 5 fresh basil leaves - optional but I had them in my garden
1 - 2 cloves of garlic minced
1/4 c of roasted tomatoes - drained

Here is what you do. Start boiling some water and then toss your pasta in the boiling water and cook until done (make sure you add salt to the water). Meanwhile, grab your tomatoes and drain, chiffonade your basil (you remember how to do this right), and get your Parmesan ready if you have to shred it, dice your garlic too. Right before the pasta is finished cooking grab a mug and dip out some water you will need this. Drain your pasta and while it's sitting there draining grab your butter and toss it in the pan. Grab your garlic toss it in the pan and start cooking it. Toss the pasta back in, add Parmesan, tomatoes, and basil on top start stirring, add water as needed to cover I needed about a half of a cup. Now if you wanted something that was one dish meal you could add snap peas, asparagus, and some chicken (pre cooked everything of course) and it would be a one dish meal, although you would need more butter and Parmesan! Serve and enjoy. Pete, Steve, and Sara loved it, so how did I rate it as a side, loved it! Make it tonight!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

How to make Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake

Welcome back to this week’s most amazing post ever. For those of you who know me understand that I love chocolate for those of you who don’t know me let me explain. Chocolate anything is my weakness. You want me to do anything offer me one of the following items: Chocolate anything (no fruit flavors or mint with it), anything lemon based (lemon cookies, lemon cake, lemon etc.), and pork products. These three things are my weakness in food based items. Anyway, I love chocolate mousse cake, and that is what I decided to make last week. This is partly due to test subject Steve. He hates pudding, I love pudding, (okay he hates pudding cups not pudding). As I sat at dinner in total anger over him not liking pudding cups I thought of a couple of different things, one I love pudding, Two I need cake with pudding, and three I need it now! I realized that I didn’t want pudding so much as I wanted mousse about 25 minutes later but I thought man making a mousse cake is hard work! Maybe I could just make mousse? Or just cake. Then I decided why can’t I make mousse?! I’ve made French silk pie, which is mousse! How hard could this possibly be!? Then I googled it. Okay that was a lot more difficult than I imagined. Every. Single. Recipe. However, I decided to start looking at easy mousse recipes. Then I found one. It was amazing and I decided at that time I can totally do this! I will do this and it will be amazing. Here is the travel and the story!

Please note this recipe is easy!

What you will need:
4.5 oz of good Dark Chocolate
4.5 oz of White Chocolate
6 C. of Heavy Whipping Cream (1 Qt 1 Pint) – yes this is a lot (This will be separated out)
1 bag (12 oz) of Dark Chocolate Chips – I used nestle you can use whatever
1 Box of Cake mix – any kind I used Dark Chocolate
Any ingredients for the cake mix you will need
4 Tbsp of Powdered Sugar
2 Tbsp of Vanilla or any other extract you want
Patience – okay it’s easy I swear!

Okay first thing first make a cake! This recipe will make 2 of these cakes I don’t care if you cut it in half. I mixed up my cake and baked it then let it cool completely. Once it was cooled I wrapped in plastic wrap and popped them in the freezer. The point it so it is cool completely and ready for assembly. At this point I melted down my chocolate. The 4.5 oz of dark chocolate and white chocolate (separate) let these cool, you’re going to be adding whipped cream to it. Once they are cooled make some whip cream. I made mine in two separate batches. I added 2 cups of whipping cream, 1 tbsp of Vanilla or any other flavoring, and 2 tbsp of powdered sugar and beat until it makes almost stiff peaks, it should look like whip cream.
After that you are going to mix the whip cream into this. You take the whip cream and you are going to mix it into the chocolate in thirds, the first third just stir in until completely incorporated, don’t worry about folding. The next third you place i t right in the middle of the mixture and fold the chocolate into until completely mixed, now the last part, throw the rest in the middle of the mixture and just fold the chocolate into until pretty much incorporated, it is ok if there is some left over whip cream at this point you don’t want to over mix or else all the effort you put into making whipped cream will be a total waste.  Repeat this step with the next set of chocolate until complete then, place both of them in the fridge to harden.
After about an hour or so grab your cake and place it in the bottom of a springform pan (or whatever it was just easier) then grab your mousse I also leveled out my cake but you don’t have to. Now, add the dark chocolate mousse first and spread it out (remember I made two of these so I used half of my chocolate mousse at this point).  Then smooth it out and add the white chocolate mousse on top, make it smooth. At this point wrap it and place it in the freezer. Trust me. Now, make a ganache. Grab that package of chocolate chips and the rest of the heavy whipping cream (2 cups) and some vanilla, I also added a little bit of coffee to it but that is totally optional.  Just cook this until it’s fully melted and then remove from heat and let cool. After about 25 - 30 minutes it should be cool enough to pour, grab the cake out of the freezer, pour the ganache on top and pop it into the fridge. Let sit for another hour until it’s fully cooled and set and you can eat it now. However, if you make this a day in advance it is better the next day. I made one put it in the fridge then made the second one and fed it to everyone.
What I learned was each day it sat it tasted better, it softened the cake and let the flavors meld. Now this was so amazing and it was simple, yes it took a quick minute to make, but it was worth every delicious slice I ate. My co-workers ate some, the #BMS enjoyed some, Grace, Kyler, Mom, Tina, Dad, Peter (yeah he ate sweets), and Grandma. It was amazing it was worth every minute of time I put into it. It is light and fluffy and even rich. You could totally make this any way you want, you could add fruit under the chocolate layer, you could use a brownie layer instead of a cake layer (would make it more dense). It is amazing, you should make it...right now!

Yes my phone made a GIF ... epic