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Posts Tagged ‘coffee’

25 Ways to Use Coffee for Mother’s Day

Moms are the toughest cookies out there. They manage to do everything and still have time to hang with the kids. How does she do it? No one really knows, but it starts with a cup of coffee. In honor of all the superhero moms running on coffee and love alone, I bring you coffee-filled recipes that are sure to please.

A few of these recipes call of instant espresso powder, which is a type of quick-dissolving coffee crystals. Check your grocery store; they’re often in the coffee section in little glass jars. Instant espresso is richer and darker than instant coffee, but you can use the coffee in a pinch — just add 1 1/2 times the amount of espresso called for.

This Mother’s Day treat your mom to something special, but first make sure she’s caffeinated.

  1. Turn your kitchen into a French bistro with Laura Calder’s Coffee Eclairs (filled with vanilla pastry cream and topped with a coffee glaze.) Get crazy with your eclairs and fill them with Coffee Pastry Cream instead.
  2. The dieting mom’s delight: Coffee Angel Food Cake (pictured above) with sweet coffee glaze.
  3. It’s a dessert and a cocktail at the same time, Giada’s Mexican Coffee is a drink your multitasking mom would be proud of.
  4. Take the ultimate combo of Coffee and Doughnuts to the next level. This doughnut dough proofs twice for ultra light texture, just be sure to start this project a few hours before you want to eat.
  5. So your mom’s more into savory? Singaporean Coffee Ribs are the way to go. Marinated and then fried, these ribs are tossed in a coffee-oyster sauce glaze and finished with some ground cinnamon. Nom.

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Thirsty Thursday: Choco Mocha Mint Cocktail

It’s more than just alliteration; it’s a statement, a proclamation that Thursdays are when the weekend should really start. Kicking it off right is the key, and what better way than with a cocktail that not only takes the edge off, but tastes good too. A hard thing to disagree with, we know. Drink up, get down and go to sleep happy.

‘Tis the season for a warm chocolatey drink spiked with some Christmas spirit! The holidays (and all those ugly-sweater Christmas parties) really wouldn’t be complete without some festive libations. So put on your puffy-painted sweater and join in the reindeer games by whipping up this Choco Mocha Mint Cocktail. Think of it as Irish coffee’s holly-jolly cousin.

Chocolate liqueur and peppermint schnapps add a touch of sweetness to this warming coffee-based cocktail. Top with a generous dollop of whipped cream, and adorn with crushed candy canes or a fresh mint leaf for the perfect festive touch.

Here’s to some holiday cheer! Bottoms up, folks!

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How Bad Are Pumpkin Lattes for You Really?

This will be my last post in the name of pumpkin mania. Really. But before I continue writing about other good-for-you (and not-so-good-for-you) foods, I had to answer the burning question: How bad are pumpkin lattes for you really? I mean, they’re becoming as big of a symbol of fall as apple pie. So how do they rank nutritionally?

The Good
The base of the pumpkin latte — espresso and milk, better known as a latte — is arguably not bad for you. Coffee in moderation has some health benefits. And milk has benefits, too, especially if you’re going for low-fat or nonfat (it delivers protein, calcium and some other vitamins).

The Bad
Unfortunately, the thing that makes a pumpkin latte pumpkin-y is syrup. One variety of syrup that I looked at is made from condensed milk (pre-sweetened milk), two kinds of sugar (sugar and high-fructose corn syrup) and caramel coloring (which is linked to an increased cancer risk). A couple pumps of the stuff will add 106 calories and 24 grams of sugar (which is equivalent to 2 tablespoons of sugar!) to your latte.

The Verdict
It’s clear that the pumpkin latte is no health drink. But what really determines whether it takes a toll on your health and waistline is how big and how often your order it.

Size really does matter when it comes to sweetened beverages. Whether you choose skim or whole milk also makes a difference. A totally reasonable 8-ounce pumpkin latte with skim milk has 130 calories and 24 grams of sugar — some of which is from the natural sugars in milk. While a 12-ounce beverage usually clocks in at less than 200 calories (100 for milk, 100 for sugar), go up in size and you’ll start to see those numbers rise. A 16-ounce drink with whole milk has about 440 calories and 66 grams of sugar (that’s 5 tablespoons of sugar!). One more tip adds 60 calories, which might not seem like much, but it all adds up.

The second factor is frequency. Treat a pumpkin latte like dessert — a treat to have and enjoy once in a while — rather than make it your everyday coffee order (even if it’s just every day in the fall). Or you can take my route: Order your plain latte and celebrate pumpkin season with one of these healthy pumpkin recipes.

Kerri-Ann is a registered dietitian and nutrition coach who writes on food and health trends. Find more of her work at kerriannjennings.com or follow her on Twitter @kerriannrd or Facebook.

Director David Lynch Now Sells His Own Coffee

Have you ever had that dream where you’re drinking coffee in a red-curtained room and a backward-speaking dwarf starts dancing to dreamy sax for no discernible reason whatsoever? Sometimes dreams do come true! Sort of. The outré Twin Peaks director David Lynch is now selling his own coffee — an organic house blend, organic espresso blend and a decaf house blend — at a few Whole Foods in Southern California.

You might give your own left arm to drink a coffee with a cult director’s name on it, but a pound of the beans will set you back only the price of a couple damn good slices of organic cherry pie — $10.90 to $13.10. Be advised: do not attempt to drink a cup with imperfect courage, for if you encounter your own shadow self, it will utterly annihilate your soul. Enjoy!

How to Throw a Coffee-themed Dinner Party

When it comes to potlucks and dinner parties, we’ve never met one we didn’t like* ‑ and we’ve never liked them more than when there’s a theme.

*see here, here and here for proof.

Seeing as how coffee is the life force that gets you through your day, may we suggest it as the main ingredient in your next potluck? With a strict rule of “no coffee cake” you’re sure to see some interesting dishes. Just be sure to supply your guests with a sleeping pill on their way out, lest you want your friends to rue the day you were born as they lie wired in bed that night.

Below are four coffee-centric courses and some interesting recipes for each. But remember, just as you wouldn’t use a cheap wine to cook with, you shouldn’t use crappy coffee either. Sticking to the rule “If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it” also applies to java.

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Vietnamese Ice Coffee Reinvented as Panna Cotta

Ice Coffee Panna Cotta Recipe

This panna cotta is inspired by Vietnamese ice coffee, my favorite summer time drink. Take strong coffee, mix it with sweet condensed milk and pour over ice. I’ve taken those simple flavors and created an elegant, no-bake dessert. I like my panna cotta with as little gelatin as possible, just enough to keep it together. This version requires even less, because I leave it right in the glass.

Vietnamese Ice Coffee Panna Cotta
Makes 6 to 8
Prep time: 45 minutes
Refrigerator time: 2 hours
Skill: Easy, but several steps

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day: Drink Like You’re Irish

Make Your Own Irish Coffee

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This year, skip the green beer (go for green cupcakes instead!) in favor of a real Irish drink. You’ll forget all about emerald-hued light beer when you taste this traditional Irish coffee. Here’s how to make it, plus recipes for cocktails featuring Irish whiskey, Guinness, Irish cream and more.

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Confessions of a Coffee Fanatic

Ken Nye, owner of Ninth Street Espresso, is one of New York City’s most prominent coffee people. Since opening his specialty coffee store in 2001, it has expanded to three locations and become a mainstay for coffee purists. Ken believes in elevating the standards of coffee, while shedding it’s often snobby reputation.

MANY YEARS IN THE MAKING, my personal coffee brewing ritual has undergone lots of fine-tuning, and become an intimate part of waking up each morning. The sound of boiling water poured over ground beans,  the astringent aroma of steeping coffee, the dark liquid pouring into my cup — it’s all a lead-up to the coveted first sip.

Here’s the obsessive, step-by-step coffee-brewing routine of a self-described coffee fanatic:

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Brew a Better Cup of Coffee… Part 2


Whether you’re looking to get serious about your cup o’ joe, or just want to sip on something richer and more full-bodied, you don’t have to leave home to make it happen. Good things may not always come easy, but brewing a better cup of coffee can.

Last week we talked about how the right equipment and fresher beans lead to a better cup of coffee. Today, it’s all about the brew.

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Brew a Better Cup of Coffee… Part 1

Refine your morning ritual.

There’s nothing like holding a warm cup of coffee in the morning. The heat against your hands and sweet smell rising from your mug come together like an auspicious sign of good things to come. But once the coffee hits your lips, it’s all about the flavor. While some prefer their coffee bold and others might favor something more subtle, everyone wants the most flavor from their bean.

Brewing good coffee is an art. In my ten years as owner and operator of three popular New York City coffee shops, I’ve learned a good deal about how to consistently brew a great cup of coffee. From the beans you choose to the filters you use, almost everything affects the flavor. Let me share with you some insider advice and helpful tips, and you’ll be brewing better coffee in no time.

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