Archive for the ‘Drinks’ Category

The Perfect Mojito

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

I am often inspired by my travels to create dishes and drinks that replicate the flavors of some of my favorite vacations. If there is one drink that simply screams, “VACATION,” it is the Mojito.

I indulged in a poolside mojito this summer and it was a deliciously minty lime indulgence that I couldn’t wait to replicate. The price tag for this delicious poolside drink was a whopping eighteen dollars! The price tag on my version is a mere two or three in supplies per drink and will make you feel like you are on vacation…even when you are only in your own backyard.

The trick to creating a great mojito is all in using the freshest ingredients, selecting a great white rum, and taking the time to prepare a simple sugar syrup that you can have on hand for all of your drinks.  Having a few fun straws or paper umbrellas can up the wow-factor on this and will let your whole family know that you will be on vacation for the evening.

The Perfect Mojito
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
An overabundance of mint in the garden is the perfect excuse to make these perfect mojios!
Ingredients
  • 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 3 tablespoons of prepared simple syrup (see directions below)
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • ½ cup club soda
Instructions
  1. Place mint leaves and 2 lime wedges into a sturdy glass jar.
  2. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice. If you don’t have a muddler like me, just use the end of a wooden spoon.
  3. Add 2 more lime wedges and your prepared sugar syrup, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture.
  4. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice.
  5. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water.
  6. Stir, taste, and add more prepared sugar syrup, if desired.

How to Prepare Your Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the peppermint extract. Cool to room temperature and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to three months. This same syrup is great with a little peppermint added for my infamous peppermint mochas.

 

Find this and many other fun recipes & ideas in the summer issue of Splendidly Homemade Magazine!

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Homemade Butterbeer Lattes

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

My son and I have been happily reading away at the Harry Potter books for a couple of years now. Although we have been reading the books, we have yet to dive into the movies and a recent dreary day seemed the perfect movie day excuse. To really round out the movie though, we wanted to try the infamous Butterbeer that Harry and his friends seem to enjoy so much in the books.

I had the kids help me in the kitchen to create these together. They loved helping with the scooping, measuring, and stirring. It only took a few minutes to create this easy and delicious afternoon treat.

The Butterbeer Lattes were absolutely out of this world and the kids said that they think they love this as much as our favorite homemade cocoa and chai tea recipe. These tasted a lot like butterscotch and a little bit like a cookie.

Want to create your own Butterbeer Latte. Snag the recipe over here!

Gain some summer inspiration on our Pinterest 100 days of summer (’12) edition where you can get another amazing round-up of 100 ideas to inspire your summer bucket list. 

This list has everything from making homemade butterbeer drinks for those Harry Potter enthusiasts, to making homemade shrinky dinks, to getting back to the basics with great dinner discussions with great family conversation starters.

There is something for everyone on here- boys and girls of all ages and craft levels. The best part is that they are ALL budget-friendly and will cost you very little in supplies.

If you are on Instagram, you can join in on the fun by taking pictures and sharing all of your summer adventures through there. Let’s use the hashtag #100summerdays. My username is momadvice and I am happy to have you follow our adventures and follow along with yours!  

By tagging your photos, it will make it easy to find each other in the group and share the projects we are tackling together. You can add the tags to your caption or you can add them as a comment later. In either scenario, the tag will pull it into our summer group.

Happy summer to each of you!

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Splendidly Homemade: The Perfect Mojito

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Today I am looking forward to sharing my recipe with you for the perfect mojito that I have created.  Splendidly Homemade Magazine is a beautifully designed magazine filled with great tutorials and pictures showcasing some amazing bloggers crafting and sharing their recipes for the perfect summer.

I had a blast contributing to their last issue with my Peppermint Cheesecakes in a Jar for the holiday season. When I was asked to create a fun summer drink, I knew the perfect drink to share with their readers. After all, what says summer more than sipping a mojito?

The inspiration for this issue happened to come from a trip to Miami I got to do in May with ALDI Supermarket. After working and networking throughout the day, I could not wait to plop into a chair and sip a mojito in the sunshine. When I received the tab for my first mojito of the afternoon, I almost fell over at the $18 bill. You can bet, I made the most of my drink and kept thinking how I couldn’t wait to replicate this drink on my frugal budget.

As soon as I got home, I set to creating the perfect mojito that you can enjoy right in your very own backyard. If you have a garden, these mojitos are the perfect way to use up some of your mint. It also happens to be the perfect summer drink to entertain with and cost pennies to create at home!

There is so much in this issue including how to dress your home up with Hampton style on a thrift store budget, how to create the perfect s’more push pop, make black raspberry chocolate chunk ice cream, and create a fun summer sewing project.

To view my recipe for the perfect mojito, head on over to take a peek at the latest issue of Splendidly Homemade! It is available for free online and a Kindle version of this is available for a mere, $.99 cents.  Give them a Like on Facebook and follow their latest news on Twitter.

 

 

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Homemade Mint Truffle Coffee Creamer

Monday, February 27th, 2012

I can admit that I am a coffee addict. Coffee without good coffee creamer though makes me a little sad. My refrigerator is usually fully stocked for lots of coffee sipping, but I also love knowing that I can whip up a batch of homemade coffee creamer in my blender if I run out. Homemade coffee creamer is one of those recipes that you will find yourself relying upon when you have impromptu guests or when your grocery day is nowhere in sight.

The big joke in our house is that everyone is always praying that I run out of coffee creamer so that I will go to the grocery store. Frankly, we could run out of all of our food and as long as I still can have a good cup of coffee in the morning, then I am pretty much set for the entire day. I will just make do with what we have until the creamer runs out. About seven years ago, I ran across this recipe for making coffee creamer out of pantry ingredients. This was probably a very sad day in our house for the rest of the family because now I never have to go the grocery store.

Before I figured out how to make my Homemade Peppermint Mocha Drinks, I relied upon this delicious coffee creamer to satisfy my Peppermint Mocha cravings at home. This Homemade Mint Truffle Coffee Creamer has all of those elements that I love- chocolate, mint, and a rich creaminess. Of course, the creamer recipe can be modified for those of us that like to add half a cup of coffee creamer to every cup of their coffee to make the recipe more calorie conscious. Simply replace your regular sweetened condensed milk with the fat-free version and use skim milk instead of a fuller fat version of milk.

The recipe includes adding Peppermint Coffee Syrup to your creamer, but that is something that is easy to create with pantry ingredients and the recipe is available on the site. You certainly don’t have to create the peppermint syrup yourself, although it is really easy to do and made from pantry ingredients.  Simply call ahead to your favorite Starbucks joint and ask if they have a spare bottle of Peppermint Syrup that you can buy or if they can order it for you. Split a bottle with a friend if you don’t picture yourself using the whole bottle or save it for this summer to make my favorite DIY Peppermint Mocha Frappes that I make with frozen coffee ice cubes in the summer months.

Below I have provided a few other variations on this coffee creamer recipe to help you create other delicious coffee creations in your kitchen.

Homemade Mint Truffle Coffee Creamer
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Skip the store the next time you run out of your favorite coffee creamer and whip up this easy homemade creamer made from pantry ingredients.
Ingredients
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1½ cups nonfat milk (or you can use prepared powdered milk)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 Tablespoons peppermint coffee syrup (see above for a link to our homemade version)
Instructions
  1. Blend all ingredients together in your blender.
  2. Pour into a mason jar or your old coffee creamer dispenser. This creamer will keep up to two weeks in your fridge.
  3. Variations:
  4. French Vanilla Creamer- omit cocoa and peppermint syrup & add 1 tablespoon vanilla.
  5. Chocolate Almond Creamer-omit peppermint syrup and add 1 teaspoon almond extract.
  6. Amaretto Creamer- omit cocoa & peppermint & add ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 teaspoon almond extract.)

I am participating in Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale.

Are you a coffee creamer addict too? What does your favorite cup of coffee look like?

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“Save Your Green” Green Smoothie

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Everywhere I turn, I am seeing green smoothie recipes. Green smoothies have filled my blog reader and my Pinterest wall. My girlfriend first jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon and I shortly followed behind her. We would chat in the mornings, trying different fruits, different ratios, and then deciding the order that everything should go into the blender for the perfectly blended drink. Yes, our conversations tend to be quite fascinating only to us. That being said, I became hooked on green smoothies and I feel so much better about my day if I have had one of these in the morning.

That being said,  I did not want to spend our entire grocery budget on green smoothie ingredients or run from store to store to get ingredients that I couldn’t find at my usual store. Sure, I want to be healthy, but I also like to stay under my grocery budget. I decided to create my own version of this smoothie using ingredients I could find at ALDI Supermarket.

I always hate to list prices for items because they can become out-of-date by tomorrow, but I do want to share with you the rough cost of the items I found at the store.

Flat Leaf Spinach (9 ounces)- $1.69

Vanilla Soy Milk (half gallon)- $2.39

Mandarin Oranges (3 pounds)- $2.49

Fage Greek Yogurt (17.6 ounces)- $1.99

Bananas- $.45 per pound

Frozen Strawberries (2 pounds)- $3.49

It is hard to estimate the price per smoothie because items like the yogurt go quickly while other ingredients (like the fruit) can last for a couple of weeks for me. Regardless, I love that I can make one of these green smoothie creations on my budget and not have to shop for more obscure or expensive ingredients.

Why would anyone ever want to drink a green smoothie? It is packed full of fruits and vegetables that can be the perfect workout treat or a fun way to start your day. I worried that the smoothies would taste like spinach, but the spinach blends right into the fruits and I can’t taste it all once it has been blended well. As a busy mom trying to get my kids on the bus every morning, I don’t make eating breakfast a priority. Doesn’t coffee count as a healthy breakfast? This smoothie is helping me do better about putting good things in my body while we are getting ready for the day.

 

A few years ago, I decided to make the investment into a blender that would really last after burning up my blender every summer making the kids slushies and other frozen treats. My Krups blender is going on its third year with me and has been one of the wisest investments for smoothie creations in my kitchen. If you use your blender often, I encourage you to get one that has some power behind it especially when blending ice and frozen fruits like this smoothie.

After trying different variations of layering, I find the spinach pulls in the best when it rests in the middle. On the bottom I pour my soy milk, my Greek yogurt, my frozen strawberries, and my ice. Next I put in my layer of spinach. I add a banana and a segmented orange or clementine to the top. This seems to be the best technique for smooth spinach blending for me. You may want to experiment in your own blender and see what works best for you.

This smoothie makes a really giant smoothie for me and one small smoothie for my daughter for our breakfast in the morning. When my daughter brought home her, “sh” words from her kindergarten class, my husband handed it to me and proclaimed that I have officially brainwashed my children. She thinks her green smoothie is a “sh…ake.”

I love this child.

You will love this smoothie. I hope it transforms your morning as much as it has transformed mine!

4.0 from 1 reviews

“Save Your Green” Green Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Drink
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
A green smoothie made from inexpensive ingredients to jump start your day!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • ½ cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ a banana
  • 1 orange or clementine, peeled and segmented
  • 1 tablespoon honey (optional, but can help add sweetness)
Instructions
  1. Place ingredients in your blender as listed.
  2. Pulse or use the ice crush feature on your blender to break down the ice and frozen fruit.
  3. Blend well.

Have you jumped on the green smoothie bandwagon? What are your tricks and ingredients for making your signature green smoothie?

Linking up to Mouthwatering Mondays on A Southern Fairytale

 

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Homemade Gingerbread Latte

Monday, December 5th, 2011

I absolutely love anything that has gingerbread flavors in it and I had a reader request that I share a recipe for their favorite Starbuck’s treat, the delicious Gingerbread Latte. Always up for a challenge, I went on a search for a recipe for this yummy Gingerbread Latte treat to create at home.

This drink tastes like gingerbread itself and is filled with ginger, molasses, and cinnamon within the gingerbread syrup you create for your latte. I found that if I mixed the latte together with the syrup and let it sit for a minute or two and then stirred it again, that the flavors came together more fully than if I drank it right away as the spices seemed to blend in better.

This gingerbread coffee syrup does not look like the usual simple syrup gingerbread coffee syrup that I had originally thought I would create. To me, the most important flavor is the molasses in the gingerbread though and without it, I don’t think it would taste like a true gingerbread treat. If you are looking for a simple syrup version though, I found this Gingerbread Coffee Syrup that would fit the bill beautifully.

So this holiday season whether you are sipping a Peppermint Mocha, a Salted Caramel Mocha, a Pumpkin Spice Latte, or this little version of a Gingerbread Latte, I hope you enjoy saving a little extra cash and can enjoy these homemade treats to unwind with during this busy time of year.

Recipe:

Homemade Gingerbread Latte

Ingredients:

1 cup milk, steamed
1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, I prepared this in my French Press, but you can brew a strong drip pot if you prefer)
1 tablespoon white sugar (can omit if you prefer a drink that is less sweet)
1 tablespoon gingerbread syrup (you can use the recipe provided below)
Whipped cream (optional)
Ground Cloves (sprinkled for topping, optional) or Festive Sprinkles (sprinkled for topping, these just aren’t optional)

Directions:

Prepare your hot water in a kettle. Add four tablespoons of your favorite coffee grounds to your French Press. Pour 1 cup of hot water over them and allow the coffee to steep for four minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming. Froth the milk with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until it is nice and foamy.

In your coffee cup, add your coffee syrup and white sugar. Pour your coffee over the gingerbread syrup & sugar and then stir well with a spoon until the gingerbread syrup dissolves and the spices are incorporated well. Pour the milk foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture and stir again to incorporate. Allow it to merry together for a minute or two and then mix once more. Top with whipped cream and festive sprinkles or a dusting of ground cloves.

Drink.

Be Merry.

Note- This is just a base recipe that can be played with to your own tastes and preferences. It is meant to be personalized depending on how you like your latte!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 1

This Gingerbread Syrup is thicker than a traditional simple syrup so this can be stored in a jar rather than a pour spout container. The molasses combined with the brown sugar, ginger, and cinnamon make it a rich and decadent treat to add to your latte.

This Gingerbread Syrup would make a fantastic gift to give to a friend or loved one. Place this syrup in a jar and tie with festive ribbon. In a basket add your syrup, coffee, and a shaker of festive sprinkles, along with this recipe. So easy and a great way to start anyone’s day.

Recipe:

Homemade Gingerbread Coffee Syrup

Ingredients:

1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

In a jar, mix together your molasses, brown sugar, baking soda, ground ginger, and ground cinnamon until well incorporated. You can store this mixture in a jar in the refrigerator for two to three weeks.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 8-10 drinks

Recipe Source: Latte courtesy of MomAdvice, Gingerbread Syrup from AllRecipes.com

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Homemade Peppermint Mocha

Monday, November 7th, 2011

DIY_Starbucks_Peppermint_Mocha

With the holidays just around the corner, the one treat I love to indulge in while doing my holiday shopping is a delicious Peppermint Mocha. I was ordering these year round until they came out with the Salted Caramel Mocha, which seemed to satisfy my out-of-season mocha cravings. Of course, wouldn’t it be lovely to be able to make these at home and save your money for your Christmas presents this year?

I hit the kitchen to try and whip up a batch of these at home. Once I had my basic mocha recipe down from my DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte & my DIY Salted Caramel Mocha, it was just a matter of figuring out how to create the peppermint flavor at home out of ingredients I had in my pantry.

You don’t have to create the peppermint syrup yourself, although it is really easy to do and made from pantry ingredients.  Simply call ahead to your favorite Starbucks joint and ask if they have a spare bottle of Peppermint Syrup that you can buy or if they can order it for you, if they happen to be running low. A bottle runs less than $10 or approximately the cost of two of those coffee drinks that you would buy. Split a bottle with a friend if you don’t picture yourself drinking one all winter long or save it for this summer to make my favorite DIY Peppermint Mocha Frappes that I make with frozen coffee in the summer months.

These are every bit as good as Starbucks, but costs a lot less than your coffee shop ones. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as you have enjoyed the other coffee creations from our kitchen!

DIY_Peppermint_Mocha_3

Recipe:

Homemade Peppermint Mocha

Ingredients:

1 cup milk, steamed
1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, I prepared this in my French Press, but you can brew a strong drip pot if you prefer)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
2-3 tablespoons peppermint syrup (you can use my recipe below or ask behind the counter at Starbucks for a prepared bottle that you can use all winter long)
Whipped cream (optional)
Chocolate Syrup (optional)
Crushed Peppermints (optional)

Directions:

Prepare your hot water in a kettle. Add four tablespoons of your favorite coffee grounds to your French Press. Pour 1 cup of hot water over them and allow the coffee to steep for four minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming. Froth the milk with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until it is nice and foamy.

In your coffee cup, mix together the prepared coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and peppermint coffee syrup until the sugar and cocoa powder are dissolved and there are no lumps. Pour the milk foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture and stir to incorporate. Top with whipped cream, a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup, and crushed peppermints.

Note- This is just a base recipe that can be played with to your own tastes and preferences.  It is meant to be personalized depending on how you like your latte!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 1

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DIY_Starbucks_Peppermint_Mocha_2

Simple syrups are just as simple as their name to create. It is just a matter of dissolving sugar into water, reducing it a bit,  and then adding your flavoring of choice for your favorite beverages. Once you get this technique down, you can create a variety of coffee drinks and cocktails for the holiday season.

This Peppermint Syrup would make a fantastic gift to give to a friend or loved one. Place this syrup in a jar and tie with festive ribbon. In a basket add your syrup, a good quality coffee, cocoa powder,  a festive mug, and candy canes to stir, along with this recipe. So easy and a great way to start anyone’s day.

Recipe:

Homemade Peppermint Syrup

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons peppermint extract

Directions:

In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the peppermint extract. Cool to room temperature and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to three months.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 5-7 (depending on how much you add to your coffee)

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Homemade Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

My new favorite drink at Starbucks is their Salted Caramel Mocha Latte. One sip of this delicious goodness had me daydreaming about how I could replicate this delicious salty caramel goodness at home. Coffee drinking is, after all, one of my favorite hobbies, but a girl has to do it on a budget.  A DIY version of this Salted Caramel Mocha Latte was definitely in order.

I am no stranger to the sweet and salty combination. My Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Brownies may have made me a celebrity in very tiny circles of friends. I am also no stranger to replicating Starbucks treats. My homemade pumpkin spice latte has been shared over 1,500 times on Facebook (you guys are the best) and I am proud of all of my pinning glory that has happened thanks to my friends who have pinned it on Pinterest. These two things I am most proud of had to come together for this fun treat.

Lattes are an easy creation to make at home and I put my French Press to work in the winter by creating the strong brewed coffee needed for a delicious latte at home. In the summer, my cold brewed coffees are made with this little gadget and over the years it has paid for itself over and over again.

One rainy day last week I decided to replicate my new favorite Starbucks treat. I sipped lattes, tested combinations, whipped, brewed, drizzled, sipped,  whipped, brewed, drizzled, and sipped. As I tried to hold my camera steady to take pictures of my coffee glory, I realized I had a horrible case of the shakes. I also realized I may have overdone it with the sipping part of things. When I came to get my children at their bus stop still wearing my pajamas, with my rubber rain boots, bearing crazy caffeinated eyes, and shaky hands… I had to wonder what the bus driver thought of this crazy woman who hadn’t even brushed her hair that day.

I think it was all worth it though. I hope you will think so too.  Save your $4 and make this little treat at home whenever you want. Just take my advice and try to do it in moderation.

Recipe:

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

Ingredients:

1 cup milk, steamed
1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, prepared in a French Press)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons caramel coffee syrup (I bought mine at our local superstore in the coffee aisle or you can pick them up at your wholesale club for cheap. I accidentally bought sugar-free and it worked like a charm. Feel free to use either variety and adjust to your taste)
Whipped cream
Caramel Sauce
1/8 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Directions:

Prepare your hot water in a kettle. Add four tablespoons of your favorite coffee grounds to your French Press. Pour 1 cup of hot water over them and allow the coffee to steep for four minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming. Froth the milk with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until it is nice and foamy.

In your coffee cup, mix together the prepared coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and caramel coffee syrup until the sugar and cocoa powder are dissolved and there are no lumps. Pour the milk foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture and stir to incorporate. Top with whipped cream, a generous drizzle of caramel sauce, and your pinch of salt.

Bask in your ability to make all good things at home.

Note- This is just a base recipe that can be played with to your own tastes and preferences.  It is meant to be personalized depending on how you like your latte!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 1

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Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Monday, September 5th, 2011

Hello, Fall. Hello, warm drinks. Hello, Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I humbly admit that I have been taking up side knitting jobs all summer and taking photos for friends just to cover my Pumpkin Spice Latte addiction for the fall season. Of course, making homemade pumpkin spice lattes would allow those earned gift cards to stretch into the Peppermint Mocha season, which is another admitted addiction I have. Thankfully, over the years I have mastered this little gem of a recipe and if I close my eyes, I swear I am in my favorite coffee shop sipping my favorite drink.

Lattes are an easy creation to make at home and I put my French Press to work in the winter by creating the strong brewed coffee needed for a delicious latte at home. In the summer, my cold brewed coffees are made with this little gadget and over the years it has paid for itself over and over again. Reserve a little pumpkin in your fridge when making your favorite pumpkin recipes and you can create one of these for a wonderful midday treat.

A batch of this simmering away on your stove will bring the scent of the Fall season right into the room. This milky coffee treat tastes just like a little pumpkin pie with a hint of cinnamon spices throughout. Top the latte with a little fresh whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon to round out these beautiful flavors.

By making this at home, it is one homemade treat you can enjoy guilt-free as often as you like!

Recipe:

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Ingredients:

2 cups milk
1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water)
2 tablespoons vanilla
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon spice
2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin

Directions:

Pour all of the ingredients into a pot and heat over medium-high heat until the coffee is steaming hot, whisking with a wire whisk until the ingredients are incorporated and a little frothy. Pour into mugs and top with fresh whipped cream & cinnamon. Enjoy!

Note- If you are not a fan of the cinnamon texture, I am seeing in the comments and through Facebook that adding a cinnamon stick to the coffee mixture while heating it can be a great remedy to the cinnamon texture. This way you get all of the cinnamon taste, but none of the grit!  This is just a base recipe that can be played with to your own tastes and preferences.  It is meant to be personalized depending on how you like your latte! Thank you all for trying and sharing this recipe! The response has been overwhelming on this one!

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: 2

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8 Inspirational Recipes for the Blueberry Season

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

8 Inspirational Recipes for the Blueberry Season

Blueberry season is upon us and today I wanted to share with you our favorite blueberry creations that you can use those fresh picked berries for. Our family is looking forward to an evening of picking this week and these are the recipes that we will be using to create our favorite blueberry dishes.

blueberry pancakes 2

A pancake laced with fresh handpicked blueberries seems the perfect occasion to break out the old griddle and spatula for a fun and inexpensive weeknight meal. These blueberry pancakes are a delicious way to use a few of those berries and I promise that they will be a hit with your family too!

I love that with this batter it is encouraged to mix the batter up ahead of time and allow it to rise for a bit on the counter. What happens is that this seemingly unimpressive batter is magical as it puffs up beautifully once placed on the griddle. Once poured on the griddle, I sprinkle the blueberries into each pancake individually as they become golden. The pancakes are then served with a little syrup and another generous handful of fresh berries on top.

Recipe:  Blueberry Pancakes

Blueberry Iced Tea Syrup

Making homemade syrups for drinks is something that I love to keep in our refrigerator to fancy up a glass of iced tea or a mug of coffee. Making homemade syrups does not take a lot of time, but it can make a regular glass of iced tea go from a standard glass to a fantastical gourmet treat.

This is a my favorite recipe for making Blueberry Drink Syrup that can be added to your iced tea, your coffee, or even your margarita! Whatever gets you going in the morning, I promise not to judge!

Recipe: Blueberry Drink Syrup

Blueberry Muffins

It is the berry season and nothing says summer to me like a big blueberry muffin. These blueberry muffins are laced with the juice and zest of one lemon, which cuts through the sweetness and makes a perfect balance of flavors. I dust these with raw sugar and they make a fantastic snack to eat and to share with neighbors and friends.

Recipe: Lemony Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Cobbler

Last year I decided to give a blueberry cobbler a try for a book club meeting and this recipe pulled together so easily that I shared it that evening and then later, as a special birthday treat for my mom. With all of the ingredients coming straight from the pantry, it was a fun and frugal dish to share and everyone I shared it with really seemed to enjoy it. If you are looking for a fast and satisfying dish to bring to your next gathering, I highly recommend this delicious blueberry cobbler for a perfect way to end any meal.

Recipe: Fresh Blueberry Cobbler

Blueberry Muffin Cake

Looking for a recipe for a few blueberry haters in your family? This is the one that is sure to convert them and just a peek inside this cake shows why anyone can eat it. The cake only has one cup of blueberries in the whole thing. This handful of berries makes a beautiful stripe down the middle and adds just the right balance of blueberries and cake instead of the overwhelming amount of berries that can be in other cakes and muffins.

The blueberries are suspended in the batter with the help of a little reserved cake mix and a quick toss to coat them. The cake mix has added flavor boosts from the addition of cinnamon, vanilla yogurt, and a little vanilla pudding mix. The resulting cake is moist and absolutely perfect. This is truly my favorite blueberry recipe and I promise it will be yours too!

Recipe: Blueberry Muffin Cake

Blueberry Pancake Syrup

It is amazing how sugar, water, a little vanilla, and fresh berries make such an incredible difference on a plain old waffle, but this blueberry pancake syrup proves that simple ingredients can create something outstanding.

The burst of flavor, the happy dance in my mouth, and the smacking of lips at the table make me so incredibly joyful when we eat this syrup over our waffles. The berries coat the waffle perfectly and add a little sweetness to my waffles without a sugary overkill.

This is really and truly a fantastic indulgence that takes about the same amount of time to cook as it does to make up a batch of waffles. Fast and delicious!

Recipe: Blueberry Pancake Syrup

Berry Trifle

One thing I have wanted to try is a trifle and for my son’s birthday this year, I had the perfect opportunity!  With berries in season and a store-bought angel food cake, this dish isn’t only affordable, but easy too!

The white chocolate pudding set this trifle apart from any other I have ever eaten because it adds a richness and unexpected layer into this berry trifle. Not only does this dish taste rich, but it is perhaps one of the lightest desserts I have ever made where I felt full and satisfied, while feeling like I indulged.  Of course anything with pudding, cake, and berries is a winner in my book.  I would highly recommend giving this recipe a try for your next get together!

Recipe: Red, White, & Blueberry Trifle

How to Freeze Blueberries

After all of this inspiration, if you still have some berries left, I highly recommend the Cook’s Illustrated technique for freezing your berries for optimal flavor. I tried this last year and last month we ate berries that tasted like they had been freshly picked after almost a year of storage.

In years past, I just threw the berries on a cookie sheet, froze them, and then tossed them into marked bags for later consumption. Cook’s Illustrated is my Bible for cooking and they claim that the best consistency for blueberries is if they have been frozen with sugar. They froze six different kinds of fruit, tried seven different methods of freezing on each fruit, stuck them in the freezer for six months, and then tasted them. I certainly don’t have the time or inclination to take on a task like that and that is why I absolutely love Cook’s Illustrated!

If you are worried about the sugar, it is just meant to help keep the fruit’s shape and texture. When you want to eat the berries, you just rinse the sugar off and enjoy the optimal taste of the fruit.

Freeze Blueberries in 3 Easy Steps

Our collection of recipes continues to grow! While I have you here, here are four more fun ideas to try this year!

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts

Baked Blueberry Doughnuts With a Lemon Glaze

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade

Blueberry Sangria Lemonade

Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins

Healthy Blueberry Banana Muffins

Fruit Infused Water Recipes

Healthy Fruit Infused Waters

Quinoa-Berry Breakfast Bowls

Quinoa-Berry Breakfast Bowls (sub with blueberries)

What are your favorite blueberry recipes? How do you freeze your berries? Feel free to share links and recipes here for even more inspiration for our readers!

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