Monday, August 8, 2011

The absolute BEST ice coffee, ever!

So, you all know the Pioneer Woman, right?  Actually I just stumbled upon her blog recently.  If you haven't visited her blog I really encourage you to do so as she has some amazing recipes and other great stories on her site.  If I am not wrong I believe she published a cookbook. 

The reason I ask is because I found the BEST, and I do mean the best, ice coffee recipe on her site.  Check out her recipe here.  I loved her recipe but that is just too much coffee, even for me, so I've tweaked it for my own taste. 

I absolutely adore coffee and most likely consume more than I should.  I always start with a hot cup in the morning, no matter what the temperature is outside.  And, I always enjoy hot coffee after dinner as well.  But, in between it's all ice coffee, baby!  While I am generally a Starbucks girl, I have found that Dunkin Donuts makes a pretty good ice coffee.  I swear, they knew my order the second I pulled up and started to order in the drive through.  While I am digging my own ice coffee, I do miss my friends at DD, ha!

Anyhoo, here's my tweaked recipe of the PW Perfect Ice Coffee Recipe.  This really couldn't be any easier, btw!

Ice Coffee
Yields approximately 1 Gallon

~16 oz of a rich, flavorful coffee (I of course used Starbucks, which you can find in your grocery store)
~8 Cups of water

~Large pot or container
~Mesh Strainer
~Cheese cloth

In your large pot combine the coffee and water, stirring to cover all of the grounds. Cover and let set about 8 hours though I usually like to do it over night.

Once your coffee is ready, strain your coffee into a new container.  Make sure you put cheese cloth or a napkin (which I use with great success!) in the strainer before you begin to ensure no grounds seep through the strainer.  This may take a few minutes but it is well worth the wait.  Now be sure to chill this lovely beverage since it is, well, ice coffee! 

In reading the comments on PW's blog, a seemingly simple yet crucial comment was made.  Make sure you freeze some coffee in ice cube trays so you won't have that dreaded melt, ruining your perfectly created coffee!  Genius, right?

To serve:
Once your coffee is prepared and chilled you are ready to create your very own ice coffee masterpiece.

Here's what I do for my perfect cup - I fill my cup with about 2/3 full of coffee and 1/3 with cream (I use fat free) and add 2 tsp of sugar.  Many times I will also add a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk (also a PW recommendation) and I am in heaven!  Don't forget to mix well and add your coffee ice cubes!  A paper straw adds a nice touch too.

Just think of all you can do with this coffee base. 
-drink it straight up black
-add flavored creamers
-add flavored syrups
-add chocolate or caramel ice cream toppings
-keep it low calorie/low fat by adding artificial sweetener and skim milk
-if decadence is what you're looking for I would suggest adding whole cream
-add whipped topping and drizzle chocolate or caramel on top and don't forget the sprinkles!

Don't forget to make sure you have a "to go" cup as you will not want to part with this as you head out the door!

I would love to hear how you take your ice coffee.  Now go, make, and consume!


Monday, August 1, 2011

It all started with this...

(sorry about the picture quality)

WARNING:  Picture intensive post!!!!!  (I think I got a tiny bit over zealous!)

So a couple of months ago I decided I really hated my kitchen curtains and needed some new ones.  Simple right?  Ha, wrong!  I then found a burlap table runner that I loved and it was so easy for me to make that I had to run out to Joanne's right then and get the burlap.  Then I discovered that burlap is often used in French Farmhouse decor.  Well, after searching French Farmhouse, I stumbled upon French Country and it was love, instantly!  You see how a total kitchen re-do can occur because of new curtains right?  I am not crazy or anything, right?

What I discovered was that French Country includes roosters (which I adore), natural materials such as burlap, striped or checked fabric, colors such as yellows, blues, and even soft ocean tones, sunflowers, grapes, toile designs, displays of flowers, fruits and vegetables, and lavender.  Plus, the point of the kitchen is to have things handy.  Thus, baskets and displays of kitchen objects are useful!  Oh, did I mention I am in LOVE?!

We completely remodeled our kitchen several years ago which included knocking out a wall to combine the kitchen and dining areas, getting new oak cupboards, and new laminate flooring.  Plus, we just painted the kitchen yellow last year and I already had cobalt blue accents and roosters.  Some how, I just never tire of roosters, ha!

So here's some of what I have added:

 new clock and a vintage inspired rooster print

 a lovely french sign from this Esty seller

 French Farmhouse baskets from my site filled with faux pears and lavender (I hand made the burlap rosette)

 vintage inspired wire basket filled with new and vintage cookie cutters

 a wire basket center piece with apples and Fleur DE Lis votive holders from Yankee Candle (though I often fill them with flowers)

 love, love, love these farm house prints from this eBay seller

 burlap pillows on my new bench - see that number 3 pillow - if you read my blog regularly you know I have triplets and I couldn't turn down this muslin pillow - it spoke to me, ya know

 toile ware juicer and salt and pepper shakers - I actually use that juicer quite often - who knew

 enamelware utensil holder with a Graphics Fairy silverware transfer using the Citrasolv method which I will share in a later post (super, duper easy)

 a cluster of French Country adornments - I made the chalk board myself and I will share that too - of course you can find that all over blog land

 more GF graphics inserted into a frame I painted and distressed

 a nice vignette of more FC decor including roosters and paper hydrangeas

 more roosters of course

 a view of my table with my homemade burlap runner

 fresh fruit to add to that FC feel

 vintage blue ball jars filled with silverware

so  I could do this with my spices - no more endless searches, yay~

 rooster canisters because what else would you expect, ha

and of course some fresh flowers in a vintage ball jar.

Thanks for taking the tour today.  I just realized that I didn't add pictures so you can see the entire kitchen.  Sorry about that.

Have a wonderful week!

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