8.27.2014

Sipping Cura Coffee from my Hotel.... so I'm donating to a good cause AND enjoying good coffee


http://curacoffee.com/

I am on the road right now and believe it or not, I do actually carry my own coffee maker.  True story.  Hotel coffee isn't known for being good coffee.  Although you CAN get lucky and stay in a hotel with a good brew, most taste like cigarette ashes.

I travel with an individual cup Keurig (I bought this one from Best Buy but they offer it on Amazon too - Keurig MINI Plus Brewing System). It's the small brewer that often is called the desktop version because it's mini in size and only holds enough water to brew 1 cup of coffee.  You add the water and your coffee, brew it, and it's ready to go for the next one, or in my case, it's easy to pack in my suitcase without worrying about the size, weight or how to get the excess water out.

This morning my brew of choice is Cura Coffee in k-cup form.  They offer ground as well (click on the image for all their product choices).  I can choose Cura Coffee because it's a good tasting brew, but it's also a 'coffee for a cause' and they like to use the phrase;  "beyond the cup" because a portion of all sales goes to help bring free dental care to those who need it in Nicaragua.   


http://curacoffee.com/collections/all#_l_1r

Click on the image for information about how you can help fund their cause - and with a click through the link above, any sales will also benefit the college fund of my daughter as well.

8.21.2014

Reusing Burlap Coffee Bags for Home Decor, Art Work, Tote Bags and More.....




My love of vintage looking burlap coffee bags goes back... almost forever.  I am not even sure where I managed to get my hands on them, but years ago, I managed to procure a few of these and made them into throw pillows for our Living Room couch.   Time went by, our little toddlers weren't conducive to them and they were a little scratchy for tiny little toddler heads that wanted to lay on them so they soon found a new home.

Lately, they've been on my mind again!

There are SO many awesome fun things you can do with them.  Here are just a few I've brainstormed;
  • Curtains
  • Hats
  • Accent Pillows
  • Tote Bags
  • Chair cushions
  • Smaller coffee bags for 'goody' bags
  • Christmas Stockings
  • Backpack
  • Wall decor (canvas covered)
  • Wall decor (framed)

Because visuals are always nice, I did a quick internet search for images that were labeled free for reuse, and here are three that popped up right away that give you an idea what I was thinking of in my list.





 They are very affordable as many coffee shops resell dirt cheap and some (if you ask nicely) may even give them to you for free.  If you can't find any locally, I did a quick search of Amazon and found packs of 10 bags for under $20 and sometimes even under $10.  That's about a buck a bag.  LOVE the look of decorating with burlap and my current living room (and lack of toddlers) would do well with a few awesome throw pillows.


You can find an assortment of bags available on Amazon among other sites;


Premium Used Burlap Coffee Bags (10 Pack)
Used Burlap Coffee Bags (10 Pack)
Used Burlap Coffee Bags
Group of 4 Assorted Style Burlap Coffee Sacks for Home Decor, Primitive Accents and More


Caramel and Coconut Milk Shakes with Somoa Flavored Coffee Creamer

Updated 2017:  I don't believe this product is made any longer but you can use a blender and adapt recipes to whatever machine you are using.  I also updated 2 links at the bottom of the post to similar items currently available through Amazon instead of the Frappe Maker.


(This is my Mr. Coffee Frappe Machine... but you can use a blender!)

I love finding new recipe ideas but I can go through printer ink like there is no tomorrow printing all the recipes off, so sometimes I scribble them down by hand.  Other times I copy them to a word document to 'print later when I have plenty of ink to spare' (which is never) and still other times I bookmark the site in my browser under a file "recipes" so I can go back to it.

And do you know what happens about half the time?  I go back to the recipe and it's GONE.  The website has moved or deleted the page so I get a 404 page not found.  There went a recipe I wanted. I have to be honest, I didn't recall saving this one, but I saw it in my files, saved from the Coffee-Mate site.

BUT the reason I had an interest in this one was that I was going to tweak it to a COFFEE DRINK.

By using these basic ingredient ideas but tweaking it with 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee or espresso in my Mr. Coffee Frappe Maker,I was going to have a yummy Caramel and Coconut Coffee Milk Shake.   And just in case they take the recipe off their site, I didn't want it to get 'lost'.  And if they don't have the coffee creamer, no worries.  Torani Syrups work wonders and make amazing drinks, and as of today's posting I did find the powdered Girl Scout Coffee-Mate online at Amazon (see the bottom of this post for the link).


Caramel and Coconut Milk Shakes

2 cups vanilla or chocolate light ice cream
1 cup refrigerated unsweetened coconut milk (not canned) or lowfat 1% milk
2 tablespoons NESTLÉ® Coffee-Mate GIRL SCOUTS® Caramel & Coconut Flavor Liquid Coffee Creamer
1 tablespoon caramel syrup or NESTLÉ La Lechera Dulce de Leche (squeezable bottle)
Toasted coconut flakes (optional)
Chocolate shavings (optional)

Place ice cream, milk and Coffee-mate in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Swirl caramel syrup around inside of 2 glasses. Divide milk shake between glasses. Garnish milk shakes with coconut and chocolate.
*I will be adding 1/2 cup strong, black coffee or espresso to make this a yummy coffee version!!!






Torani Sugar Free Coconut Syrup, 750mL Nestle Coffee-mate Girl Scouts Caramel & Coconut Powdered Non-dairy Creamer 15 Ounce
Torani Caramel Sauce, 16.5 oz Squeeze Bottle
Torani Caramel Syrup, 750 ml










You might also be interested in similar items available though Amazon as the Mr. Coffee Frappe Maker is getting very difficult to find.  I don't believe they make it anymore.  (2017)


Mr. Coffee Iced Cafe - Iced Coffee Maker

Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In Frother

 

8.12.2014

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

UPDATE:  I don't believe this product is being made any longer so I found a couple similar items currently available on Amazon and have linked them at the bottom of the post.  You can also make this drink with a good quality, powerful blender and some brewed espresso.  Adapt! 



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.  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.



  

Cappuccino Frappe

  • 2 cups crescent-shaped ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole or other milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons ground espresso or other dark roast coffee
Place ingredients in blender compartment in order listed
  • 2 cups crescent-shaped ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole or other milk
Prepare coffee using amounts below
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons ground espresso or other dark roast coffee

 

 

Grasshopper Fudge Frappe

  • 1 cup ice cubes (7 to 8 each)
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 3 scoops) mint chocolate chip ice cream, slightly softened
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
Place ingredients in blender jar in this order
  • 1 cup ice cubes (7 to 8 each)
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 3 scoops) mint chocolate chip ice cream, slightly softened
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
Coffee & water in brewer
  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water

Peppermint Frappe

  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red and white candy canes or hard peppermint candies
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 cup whole or other milk
Coffee & water in brewer
  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
Place ingredients in blender jar in this order
  • 2 cups ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red and white candy canes or hard peppermint candies
  • 1/4 cup chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 cup whole or other milk
Tip: To crush candy, unwrap and place in heavy-duty re-sealable storage bag; pound lightly with meat mallet or rolling pin to form small pieces.

Death By Chocolate Frappe

  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup ice cubes (7 to 8 each)
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate ice cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 3 tablespoons whole or other milk
Coffee & water in brewer
  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
Place ingredients in blender jar in this order
  • 1 cup ice cubes (7 to 8 each)
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chocolate ice cream
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 3 tablespoons whole or other milk

Hazelnut Mocha Frappe

  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) or 1 teaspoon hazelnut syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole or other milk
Coffee & water in brewer
  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
Place ingredients in blender jar in this order
  • 2 cups ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) or 1 teaspoon hazelnut syrup
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons whole or other milk

Chocolate Caramel Swirl Frappe

  • 1/3 cup butterscotch-caramel dessert topping
  • 2 cups crescent-shaped ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 3 tablespoons hot fudge topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole or other milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons ground espresso or other dark roast coffee
Place ingredients in blender compartment in order listed
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch-caramel dessert topping
  • 2 cups crescent-shaped ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 3 tablespoons hot fudge topping
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole or other milk
Prepare coffee using amounts below
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons ground espresso or other dark roast coffee

 

Gingerbread Latte Frappe

  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cups ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 to 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 pinches ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup half and half or whole milk
Coffee & water in brewer
  • 3 tablespoons ground dark roast coffee or espresso
  • 1/2 cup water
Place ingredients in E18 E17blender jar in this order
  • 2 cups ice cubes (14 to 17 each)
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 to 2 pinches ground cinnamon
  • 1 to 2 pinches ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup half and half or whole milk

Frappe Affogato

  • 1 cup crescent-shaped ice cubes (7 to 8 each)
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 3 scoops) vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons ground espresso or other dark roast coffee
Place ingredients in blender compartment in order listed
  • 1 cup crescent-shaped ice cubes (7 to 8 each)
  • 1 1/2 cups (about 3 scoops) vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
Prepare coffee using amounts below
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 5 tablespoons ground espresso or other dark roast coffee



And if you need a little more help - check out all the recipes on the Mr. Coffee site - recipes.




You might also be interested in similar items available though Amazon as the Mr. Coffee Frappe Maker is getting very difficult to find.  I don't believe they make it anymore.  (2017)


Mr. Coffee Iced Cafe - Iced Coffee Maker

Ninja Coffee Bar Single-Serve System with Built-In Frother

 




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