Wednesday, November 30, 2011

K Cup Review: Barista Prima Italian Roast

I recently signed up for Green Mountains Cafe Express Coffee Club so that I never run out of K Cups again.  I found their prices to be comparable to the cups I buy at Target and I'm hoping this will save me money in the long run because I won't run to Target for a $12 box of coffee and then spend $100.

I know this happens to people other than me.  Target is a money suck!

I was really excited to see what all of the buzz was about with this new line of K Cups called Barista Prima.  They are a little bit more expensive than my old standby but I don't mind for paying more for a really great cup of coffee.  This will be my weekend coffee.  Because I deserve it.

The website describes the Italian Roast as robust, heavy-bodies and very dark.   The first thing that I noticed was that it is very smooth and even though I did add a little bit of half and was really creamy.  It makes me want to sit in front of a fireplace with a book.   I'm telling instantly gave me a homey feeling.

Coffee should make you feel good.  I believe this is THE perfect cup of coffee.

**disclosure: Green Mountain and Barista Prima didn't pay me for this review.  I just love coffee and sharing my finds with my friends and readers.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pintervention: Chai Tea Concentrate

I'm joining the Pintervention Party with Stephanie and Nicole because I think I have a problem. A Pinning Problem!


I have tried several things on Pinterest, a couple recipes and a scarf.  The scarf didn't turn out well.  It always surprises me when I'm craft challenged because I'm normally pretty crafty!

Last week....I had a sick little boy at home and in between cuddling him and checking on him while he slept, I spent time on pinterest.  I must have pinned 500 things!

I saw the pin for Homemade Chai Tea and I thought to myself....SELF, I could really go for some CHAI right now!

I checked out the recipe and remembered that I'm a Martha Stewart Wannabe and realized that I had all of the ingredients.  Yes, I had cardamon pods and star anise.  I'm a foodie!  I save jelly jars and they were the perfect containers because then they are easy to share with friends.

Homemade Chai Concentrate from Tasty Yummies
makes approximately 4 cups

4 1/2 cups water
8 bags black tea – I used orange pekoe
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla bean, split in half (or 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract added at the very end)
1/2 cup raw cane sugar (you can add more or less depending on how sweet you like your chai)
1 – 3-inch section of fresh ginger, cut into pieces
10 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 whole star anise pods
1/2 teaspoon of whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 tablespoon raw honey
1 small square section of cheesecloth, approximately 6″ square (if you don’t want to mess with cheesecloth, make sure you have a good strainer you can use at the end)
kitchen twine

Remove the tags from the teabags and tie them all together. Prepare the spices, vanilla bean and orange zest by laying them in your cheesecloth, Leave the cinnamon sticks out to make the little pouch of spices a bit more compact. Tie the cheesecloth pouch shut with a small piece of kitchen twine. If you leave the cinnamon sticks out, just tie them together with kitchen twine.

Add the water and sugar to a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and put in the tea bags, cheesecloth pouch and cinnamon sticks. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat strain the concentrate through a sieve.  At this point if you want a bit more sweetness you can add a tablespoon of honey, stir to dissolve. I don’t always do this, but it is a really nice touch. Additionally, if you didn’t use a whole vanilla bean, add your vanilla extract now. Stir to combine.

Allow the mixture to cool before pouring it into an airtight jar or container. This amount fits perfectly into a 1-quart mason jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

** To serve, mix 1 part concentrate with 1 part milk of your choice. Heat for a warm beverage or serve over ice for a cold drink.

Are you addicted to Pinterest?  Have you made something and want to share it?  Join the party!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Match Made In Heaven

I think these two wines should get married.

In other husband kicked me out of the kitchen yesterday and made this. I don't have a recipe and it doesn't have a name....but it was amazing!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Homemade Marshmallows

Hey Everyone....and Shawn and Impulsive Addict.

You all really know me as Connie from The Young and The Relentless but today....I'm going to show another side of myself. My Martha Stewart inspired self. Except that bitch sometimes steers me a stray.

Several years ago, I tried her recipe for Marshmallows and it was a huge flop! I rarely have disasters in the kitchen but that was a huge one and it banged up my ego.

Two years ago, I was supposed to drive to the wilds of Utah to learn to make Marshmallows. I was so excited because I was going to be able to right a wrong.

Then if snowed. A LOT!

I was unable to attend Marshmallow Making 101 with Prairie Mama (also known as Kim).

So last week, I find myself in a meeting to plan my son's Kindergarten Winter Party and all of a sudden, my mouth is telling them that I will make homemade Marshmallows. My hand tried to cover my mouth but it was too late.

I raced home from this meeting and started searching for Kim's recipe and decided to make a test batch on Sunday to make sure that I could make them and not a fool of myself.

I think they turned out pretty great!

Homemade EASY Marshmallows
adapted from Brownie Points Blog

4 envelopes of gelatin
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Vanilla
3 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 1/4 corn syrup
1/2 tsp salt
Confectioners Sugar

Line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper (or wax paper).  Spray the paper with non-stick spray.

For the recipe you MUST have a stand mixer and a whisk attachment.  In the mixing bowl, combine the water (3/4 cup) with the vanilla  and then sprinkle the gelatin not dump the gelatin in.

Heat a saucepan over medium high heat and add the sugar, salt, corn syrup and other 3/4 cup of water.  Bring to a boil with the lid on and without stirring it.  When the mixture is boiling, remove the lid and stick your candy thermometer on the pan and cook until it reaches the soft ball stage, 234-240 F.

With the mixer at medium speed, pour all of the syrup slowly into the mixing bowl.  The syrup is very hot so be careful!  When all of the syrup has been added....increase the speed to HIGH!  Warning: Your mixer will sound like it's about to take off and you might think it's a bout to break. 

Whip this mixture until it is very fluffy and stiff.  This will take 8-10 minutes and will go by quickly because you're worried that your mixer is about to launch itself out the window. Pour the marshmallow into the waiting pan and smooth with an oiled up offset spatula.  This mixture now has to sit, uncovered at room temperture, taunting your family for 10-12 hours.

When you are ready to cut your marshmallows, sprinkle a generous amount of confectioners sugar (also known as powdered sugar) over the marshmallows.  Turn the slab out onto a cutting board, peel off the paper and sprinkly more sugar. Slice with a pizza cutter or a meat cleaver.  The meat cleaver worked great for me!  You can also use cookie cutters to make fun shapes. After cutting, dip the pieces in sugar and then tap off the excess.

This make a TON of marshmallows and will keep  for several weeks in an airtight container.

Tips before making Marshmallows:

Make sure that your children are either entertained, or duct taped to the couch before starting this. You will not be able to leave the kitchen and if they start streaking around your can't stop them.

Make sure you have used the restroom before starting this recipe because of the same reason above.

Realize that you will have powdered sugar everywhere.

Be prepared to threaten family members with their life if they touch your curing marshmallows before they are ready.