8.12.2014

Homemade Iced Coffee Drinks - Mr. Coffee Frappe Maker and Caramel Macchiatos





It's late afternoon, I need a pick-me-up but I am not in the mood for hot coffee.  It's 90 degrees out and an iced coffee sounds great, a caramel macchiato version even better.

So I made it.

Much easier than running to the local coffee shop and having to spend 5 bucks on a drink.  And... I get to make it my way, with my ingredients.  Sugar free syrups, flavored coffees. Mixtures of ingredients I want to put together without being charged an extra $.50 per addition.  Whipped cream, skim milk, coconut milk, sugar free vanilla syrup, caramel..  I chose!

This is one of those small appliances that so many people don't even know exist unless someone tells them.  So I am telling people!  It's the Mr. Coffee 20-Ounce Frappe Maker and it's an appliance I am still using about 2 or 3 times a week after about a year.  I use it for iced coffee drinks of all kinds, but I also find myself using it to crush ice for homemade icee's as well as making frozen margaritas and more.  It's a coffee maker and a blender all in one.



  

Details & Features

No need to have barista know-how to create a gourmet frappe. With Mr. Coffee® Café Frappe, you simply add ground coffee or teabags to the brew basket, place ice and additional frappe ingredients into the blender jar and, with the touch of a button, your frappe is blended. The brew basket and blending jar are dishwasher safe, so clean up is quick and easy too. More selection than the coffeehouse menu, the Mr. Coffee® Café Frappe recipe book (included with purchase) features over 20 delicious and decadent recipes for coffee and tea-based frappes and even ice cream frappes.
  • Brew and blend with the touch of a button
  • Removable brew basket for easy cleaning
  • 20 oz dishwasher-safe blending jar
  • Convenient pulse button for smooth consistency
  • Fast, 3-minute blend & brew cycle
  • 20 recipes included
It comes with a booklet of recipes (as you saw above in the description)but once you use it a few times you'll find yourself improvising your own drinks.  And if you need a little more help - check out all the recipes on the Mr. Coffee site - recipes.







8.01.2014

How I easily clean my aluminum camping coffee pot from soot and discoloration from the camp fire and coals






I have had this 9 cup Coleman coffee pot for quite some time.  Although I don't particularly care how sparkling and clean it is, I do try to keep it somewhat clean as I don't want the blackened soot from campfires and coals to get on the other things it is packed with.  People with sparkling, shiny camping equipment are much like people with sparkling, shiny baking pans and cookware;  they don't actually use them much! 

In the past I've done what most campers tell each other to do.  Rub the bottom and sides with soap to keep it from getting especially bad, and then scrub it off with hot soapy water later.  Except, it really doesn't work all that great and I really hate to scrub pots and pans of any sort.  Still, that's what I've done for years.

After my solo camping trip this weekend, I had a very dark colored camping coffee pot.  When I took it off the campfire, poured the remaining bit out and rinsed it well, I used my finger and fingernail to rub the side.  This discoloration from the flames was not going to go anywhere without a fight.  It was 100 degrees outside, I had to pack up camp and return home... and I refused to sit and scrub this pot at the campsite.  Being it was not 'rubbing off' it went into my pack for later, after I had returned home.

"That afternoon I kept eying the coffee pot
sitting on my counter, waiting for me to scrub it...
but I was loathe to do so, so I kept ignoring it"


That afternoon I kept eying the coffee pot sitting on my counter waiting for me to scrub it... but I was loathe to do so, so I kept ignoring it.  Finally, I don't know what made me think to do it, but I grabbed a large plastic bowl, filled it with some water, added about 1/2 cup ammonia (cheap, regular bottled ammonia I had bought at Walmart for less than a dollar), immersed the pot, filled it with water to keep it in place vertically, and went about the house doing other things while I forgot about it.

When I cam back about 1 1/2 hours later I used my fingernail to test if it was helping at all.  A perfectly clean path appeared.  From there, I grabbed a simple scrub brush with stiff bristles, gave it a couple swipes and it was coming right off.  Right off without any real work or scrubbing at all. 

Here is a photo I snapped on my phone immediately after running the scrub brush over it.  You can see exactly where the pot was immersed in the water/ammonia mixture and where it wasn't.

I then laid it down as you see in the photo below, left it for another hour or so, rolled it over to the other side and did the same.  Then I used the scrub brush, washed and rinsed it in hot, soapy water and packed it away for my next trip. 






What I'm using:   I have the Coleman version, but as you can see, the Stansport brand looks to be remarkably similar.



Coleman 9-Cup Aluminum Coffee Pot

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Rust-resistant
  • Bail handle for easy pouring
  • Replaceable clear glass knob lets you see the strength of your coffee as it percolates
  • Easy to clean



Stansport Outdoor 277 9 Cup Aluminum Camper-Feets Percolator Coffee Pot
  • Made of durable, rustproof, high gloss Polished Aluminum
  • Percolator stem and basket included
  • Comes with top and side handles
  • Easy pour spout
  • Heats quickly





August - National Coffee Month! Recipes by Alie and Georgia feature 'coffee cocktails"

Cooking Channel hosts Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark are known for cocktails that are as tasty as they are daring. The duo has come up with some new and interesting combinations in honor of National Coffee Month in August, and have a few tips to share when concocting with coffee.



Carajillo 43
Alie and Georgia say: Simple but delicious. That’s why we love this one. Licor 43 is sweet and has wonderful vanilla notes, making it a great complement to so many cocktails. This makes a great after-dinner drink.

  • 1-1/2 oz Licor 43
  • 3 oz Espresso, chilled
Directions:
~Pour ingredients in a glass over ice and serve. Pretend it was harder to make.



~ ~ ~ ~


Limoncello Iced Latte
Alie and Georgia say: This playful cocktail brings that sweet tartness of limoncello together with coffee and trust us: your Sunday brunches just went next-level delicious.

  • 1 oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz Villa Massa Limoncello
  • 2-1/2  oz coffee
  • Splash of cream
  • Whipped cream
Directions:
~Pour Limoncello and Grand Marnier into glass coffee cup or mug, over ice. Top with coffee and cream, stir well, then garnish with whipped cream -- because you deserve it.


~ ~ ~ ~


Orange You Glad It's Got Tequila?
Alie & Georgia say: The reposado tequila gives this cocktail some oaky depth, but the orange liqueur lends brightness and sweetness. The espresso has a smoky complexity and when stirred over ice and garnished with an orange peel, you have a rich and sophisticated sipper.

  • 1-1/2 oz. Reposado tequila
  • 3/4 oz. Orange liqueur
  • 3/4 oz. Espresso, chilled (we used NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto)
~Add all the ingredients to a tall glass or a cocktail shaker. Add ice. Stir with a long spoon (don't shake) for 30 seconds to a minute, and strain into an up glass.
~Garnish with a strip of orange peel, spiraled inside the glass.


~ ~ ~ ~

Amaro Amore
Alie & Georgia say: Amaros are Italian herbal liqueurs, rich and syrupy, bitter and sweet with deep herbaceous aromas. We made this stirred drink and it turned out to be a perfect balance between the snap of the rye in the whiskey, the herbal sweet notes from the amaro. The slightly bitter and chocolaty espresso marries those flavors together, cuts the sweetness and gives it complexity. And Luxardo cherries are maraschino sophisticated older sister, so make sure you use these classy, dark red berries instead of the garish red ones you see at dive bars.  This cocktail would be perfect for sitting in a leather club chair after dinner, talking about your guests’ world travels. Or the latest Real Housewives episode.

  • 1-1/2 oz. Rye or bourbon
  • 3/4 oz. Averna amaro
  • 1/2 oz. Espresso, chilled (we used NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto)
Directions:
~Add first three ingredients to a tall glass or shaker. Add ice. Stir with a long spoon (don't shake) and strain into an up glass.
~Garnish with one Luxardo cherry.







Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark are best friends who, after posting their viral video for a cocktail called “The McNuggetini,” went on to take the libation world by storm and have since created more palatable beverages for both television and the web. Their web series, “Classy Ladies With Alie & Georgia,” appeared on CookingChanneltv.com for two seasons, and their debut TV show, “Tripping Out With Alie & Georgia,” premiered last year on the Cooking Channel. They write about cocktail trends for KCET, and can also be seen on Cooking Channel's “Unique Sweets.”

7.29.2014

7 Highly Rated 'Camping' Coffee Pots - My Personal Favorite is the Coleman 9-cup Aluminum Coffee Pot


This morning's post comes naturally as I have coffee pots on my mind for a couple reasons.

First, I mentioned previously my excitement over my French Press Style travel mug (the GSI Outdoors Java Press) that I purchased online last weekend and ironically was just delivered while I was typing this post.  And second, I just returned yesterday afternoon from a quick camping trip - just me and my 2 dogs.  I of course had my trusty and favorite camping coffee pot with me.  With these two things fresh in my mind today, it's only fitting I would decide to post about them.

When finding a link to my coffee pot online, I decided to link to a handful of other brands or styles that were highly rated by users.  In some cases, over 1000 reviewers had chimed in.  They all received very high reviews and stars.  All of the 7 I chose are basically the same style and are used the same way, are non-electric and are not French Press style (which I will be discussing after I try mine).   

Here is 'my' personal favorite camping coffee pot: the Coleman 9-Cup Aluminum Coffee Pot

  • Lightweight and durable
  • Rust-resistant
  • Bail handle for easy pouring
  • Replaceable clear glass knob lets you see the strength of your coffee as it percolates
  • Easy to clean

When it comes to traveling, camping, hiking, etc. everyone is going to have different 'favorite' coffee pots based on their own personal preferences and reasons. 


When I decided to buy my coffee pot years ago,  my three top priorities were this;

1)  Serves 1-2 people morning coffee
2)  Quick and easy to use
3)  Must be light weight and easy to pack

Because our kids were too small to care for coffee, only my husband and I would be drinking it, and more often than not, my husband wasn't with us (he actually hates camping) so it was just me wanting coffee in the morning.  My kids don't drink tea or hot cocoa and we don't like soup while camping so coffee was the only thing I was using this for.  (You can heat water in it to wash dishes or yourself as well, but I have a large bowl for 'family' camping I use this for task; heating and washing in the same container.)


It is feather light!  This not only helps the water to heat quickly (boiling and percolating away in about 10-12 minutes average depending on the heat of the coals or fire) but for packing, it's light weight makes it first rate.  I chose this style with wire handles again for packing.  The fact it does not have permanent handles that stick out makes it fit easily into a backpack or camping bin easily.  When taking it off the fire I usually just use a stick to take it off the fire.  Sometimes I use a towel as a hot pad if I have one right there, but I always have a fire stick sitting there anyway.   The bail handle is used to tip the pot to pour your coffee out.  It's piping hot and brewed to perfection as you let it 'perk' from a light color and flavor to a darker bold taste and color depending on how you like your coffee.  You simply watch the color of the coffee bubbling up to the glass top to see how dark your brew is getting.  You can pour off a lighter brew for your camping partner and let it percolate 3-4 minutes longer for a bolder brew for yourself.

This size works great for us because we aren't serving coffee to a small group.  Although it's labeled as a 9 cup pot, all coffee makers recognize 6 oz. as a standard 'cup' of coffee and all coffee drinkers laugh at that.  But you could easily serve coffee to 3-5 people with this pot. For a larger group or if you are going to sit around for a few hours drinking coffee continually I might go with the larger size.

Percolator style is easy to use.  You open the top, fill the base with water, put the stem back in and put a couple scoops of coffee grounds in the basket, replace the top, put the lid on and set it over a fire or hot coals.  You have great tasting coffee in as long as it takes to boil your water and then let it percolate a couple minutes to the desired 'boldness' of your preference. 

Lastly, I personally like using a paper filter in mine.  You don't have to and unless your coffee is boiling like crazy, you won't have too many grounds in it, but with a paper filter it's not only a great way to keep grounds from the brew, but clean up is SO easy.  Just pull it out and burn or toss.

When I pack for a trip I griund the beans (because I haven't yet got the budget available to purchase the manual coffee grinder I covet and is on my wishlist at Amazon).  I pack the ground coffee (in a Ziploc) along with a few paper filters (also in a separate ziploc to keep clean) into the body of my coffee pot.  On last weekends trip I just grabbed the 1/3 of a bag of pre-ground coffee I had in the cupboard in it's original packaging and packed it inside the pot on the size of the stem.  Everything you need is inside the coffee pot, the wires fold down flat and it takes up very little space or weight in your pack.

Something to note:  It seems to me the Stansport and Coleman are pretty much the exact same style.  The other ones have obvious style differences.  But again, the reviews were all primarily glowing for the following products.



Farberware Classic Stainless Steel Yosemite 8-Cup Coffee Percolator
  • Polished stainless steel for beauty and durability 
  • Permanent filter basket - no messy paper filters 
  • Easy care - fully immersible and dishwasher safe 
  • Lifetime Limited Warranty




Granite Ware 6006-1 3-Quart Coffee Boiler
  • Porcelain fused to a steel core
  • Durable and energy efficient
  • Easy clean up
  • Made in USA





Coleman 14-Cup Enamelware Coffee Percolator
  • Enamelware coating
  • 14-cup capacity
  • Clear-glass percolator knob so you can see the coffee as it brews
  • Large, easy-to-hold handle
  • Easy to clean





GSI Outdoors 8 Cup Percolator, Red #01254
  • Beautiful red enamel percolator makes 8 cups of great coffee.
  • Made of steel construction with a classic red enamel coating for extreme durability
  • Dishwater safe and perfectly suited for indoor and outdoor use.
  • The Lexan dome to view the perc is unbreakable and safe
  • Great for outdoor use at the campsite.





Coleman 12-Cup Stainless Steel Coffee Percolator
  • Generous 12-cup capacity
  • Durable stainless steel
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Clear-glass percolator knob so you can see the coffee as it brews
  • Large, easy-to-hold handle





Coleman 9-Cup Aluminum Coffee Pot
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Rust-resistant
  • Bail handle for easy pouring
  • Replaceable clear glass knob lets you see the strength of your coffee as it percolates
  • Easy to clean







Stansport Outdoor 277 9 Cup Aluminum Camper-Feets Percolator Coffee Pot
  • Made of durable, rustproof, high gloss Polished Aluminum
  • Percolator stem and basket included
  • Comes with top and side handles
  • Easy pour spout
  • Heats quickly

7.25.2014

80 percent of adults in the United States consume caffeine on a daily basis, and they take in an average of 200 milligrams (the equivalent of two five-ounce cups of coffee) per day.


From the Yahoo Health News feed July 25, 2014:

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), 80 percent of adults in the United States consume caffeine on a daily basis, and they take in an average of 200 milligrams (the equivalent of two five-ounce cups of coffee) per day. 

A recent survey of over 7,000 people found that most of them said they’d prefer coffee over sex.