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Entries in Drinks (7)


Cold Brew Iced Coffee

Diy cold brew coffee

Have these hot summer days been leaving you needing a pick-me-up? I have just the beverage for you! While I've always preferred tea, this past summer I've been enjoying my fair share of iced coffee. When coffee is cold brewed, it loses the bitterness that hot coffee typically has, which is part of its appeal, in my opinion. The smooth taste of this cold brewed coffee makes it delicious in an iced latte or even by itself. Now that I know how easy (and cheap!) it is to make my own iced lattes, maybe I can save a bit of money the rest of the summer by making them at home instead of going to overpriced coffee shops!

16 ounces Coffee, freshly ground
12 cups Cold Water

Combine coffee grounds and water in a large container. Stir well to wet all of the grounds, then cover and steep at room temperature for 8-12 hours, or overnight. Line a fine mesh strainer with a coffee filter and place it over another large container (it would be helpful if this container had a pour spout) and pour the coffee through it. Discard the grounds (or use them in your garden!). Line the mesh strainer with another coffee filter and set it on top of the container that you wish to store the iced coffee in. Pour the coffee through the strainer once more. Measure your coffee concentrate and dilute with additional water, as desired. Store in the fridge and serve over ice, adding a splash of milk or flavor syrup, if you wish!

*I halved the above recipe, using 8 ounces of coffee and 6 cups of water, which left me with 4 cups of coffee concentrate. I diluted my concentrate with about 4 1/2 cups of cold water. I have been mixing my iced coffee with skim milk and vanilla syrup to make iced lattes.

SOURCE: Cook Like A Champion


Mango Jalapeño Margaritas


Whenever I make cocktails at home, tequila is generally my first choice for liquor, so it is no surprise that I love margaritas. While the frozen kind was my favorite back in the day, these days I prefer them to be made on the rocks. Since yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, I wanted to have a Mexican meal, complete with margaritas. We made carne asada tacos, and while the steak was marinating in the fridge, I whipped up a batch of these delicious, sweet-and-spicy margaritas to enjoy in the yard. The jalapeño infused tequila gave this drink some heat, while the mango simple syrup added the perfect amount of sweetness. I love the fact that the recipe for the syrup and the tequila made more than enough for 2 margaritas. I'll definitely be enjoying these again, and often!!

For 1 Margarita:
2 ounces Grand Marnier
1 1/2 ounces Jalapeño Tequila, recipe below
2 ounces Lime Juice
2 1/2 ounces Mango Simple Syrup, recipe below 
Lime Wedges

Rim the edge of a glass with a lime wedge, then dip the glass in salt and fill it with ice. In a cocktail shaker, combine the grand marnier, tequila, lime juice, and simple syrup with ice and shake. Pour over the ice in the glass and garnish with a lime wedge and some jalapeño slices from the tequila.

For the Mango Simple Syrup:
1 cup Sugar
1 cup Water
1/2 Mango, peeled and cubed

Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and let the sugar dissolve, then turn off the heat and let it cool completely. Combine the cooled syrup and the mango cubes in a blender and puree until combined. Keep sealed in a container for a few weeks, preferably in the fridge. 

For the Jalapeño Tequila:
1 1/2 cups Tequila
2 Jalapeños, sliced

Add the jalapeño slices to a large jar and pour in the tequila. Let it sit for 24 hours, then strain before using. Keep sealed in a container for a few weeks, preferably in the fridge.  

SOURCE: How Sweet It Is


Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Banana Smoothie


Pb smoothie

My blender spends most of it's life in a cabinet in our kitchen, but this month, it has found a permanent spot on the counter top. I've been going smoothie crazy, thanks to a little help from Laura at A Healthy Jalapeño, my assignment for this month's Secret Recipe Club! Laura is an Army wife who likes to live a healthy lifestyle. She has tons of delicious smoothie recipes on her site, and while I planned to try them all, I fell in love with the first one I tried and have been enjoying it regularly ever since! Now that the weather is warmer, a hot mug of tea doesn't sound appetizing in the morning. This smoothie is such an easy grab-and-go breakfast that keeps you full until lunch. I look forward to trying many more of Laura's appetizing flavor combinations in my morning smoothies throughout the spring and summer! Thanks for getting me out of my breakfast rut, Laura!!

1 cup Chocolate Almond Milk
2 tablespoons Peanut Butter
1 Banana
1/4 cup Ground Flax Seet
Handful of Ice Cubes

Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Makes one large or 2 small smoothie. 

SOURCE: A Healthy Jalapeno

*Sorry my posting time was a bit off. I apparantly had a few glitches with my scheduling.


DIY Coconut Coffee Creamer

Coconut creamer

While I am more of a tea drinker, I still enjoy the occasional cup of coffee. No matter which beverage I choose, I'm a sucker for those flavored creamers. It never occurred to me that I could make my own creamer, so I just continued to purchase the plastic containers at the grocery store. Then one morning I was scrolling through Pinterest (surprise, surprise) and found a recipe for homemade flavored creamer. It seemed way too easy not to try. Rather than using dairy milk, like the original recipe called for, I decided to use coconut milk because I had an open can that I had used for a different recipe, and I thought it would add some flavor. The result tastes just like the Almond Joy flavored creamer you can buy from the store! I'll probably continue to buy the pre-made flavored creamers from the store from time to time, but it is nice to know that there is a homemade alternative that takes absolutely no effort to make. 

14 ounce can Sweetened Condensed Milk
14 ounce can Coconut Milk
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

Pour the ingredients into a quart-sized jar with a tight fitting lid. Screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously until well combined. Keep refrigerated.

SOURCE: Slightly adapted from Mrs. Happy Homemaker


Hot Cocoa Mix

Hot Cocoa

I had every intention to make a salted caramel hot cocoa mix for all of the people in my department at work this holiday season. However, the day that I sat down to do some homemade Christmas gifts (I've been told that I am NOT crafty and I tried to prove people wrong…), I also chose to make the mix. I managed to burn the caramel, and my finger (don't touch scalding hot melted sugar), and that batch quickly went into the garbage. I started to search for an alternate recipe and decided that plain hot cocoa mix was the way to go. I whipped up the mix, put it into 8 cellophane bags, and realized that I would probably have to make 3 more batches in order for everybody to have more than 1 mug worth of hot cocoa. Well, it never got done, so instead, I put it all in a jar and gave it to my mom for Christmas. It worked perfectly because we had bought her a new tea kettle {and so did my brother and sister-in-law…oops!}, so the hot cocoa kind of went with the theme. I even tried to etch a star into the jar, and painted a mug. Let's just say that the crafty parts of this gift look very juvenile, but rest assured, the hot cocoa mix is delicious!

2 cups Powdered Milk
2 cup Cocoa (dutch process is preferred, but I used regular)
2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Cornstarch
1 pinch Cayenne Pepper, or more to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and incorporate evenly. Seal in an airtight container. Keeps indefinitely in the pantry.

To make hot cocoa: Fill a mug halfway with the cocoa mix and pour hot water over the top. Stir to combine. This also works great with warm milk.  

SOURCE: Alton Brown