October 16, 2015

5 Min or Less: Quick Coffee

  • 3-4 drops vanilla extract
  • milk (if you use milk instead of cream, but I wouldn't advise it)
  • cream, use generously (until light)
  • light brown sugar
  • hot water, medium amount
  • instant coffee, medium amount (about 1-2 spoons)
  • nesquik, to taste
  1. Put coffee in mug, pour hot water over coffee
  2. Mix all ingredients together and

Scriptina Regular
Once done, the coffee should be sweet, creamy, coffee-cocoa like. It should taste like coffee and cocoa. And this recipe was on a slip of paper, very vague, without any measurements so all measurements are my very own. I'm guessing, here.
P.P.S. This makes the 15th coffee recipe! Aren't we loaded... or about to be!

October 14, 2015

Lipton Latte

Today I made tea.

Which isn't unusual, I make tea all the time.

But I wanted a different sort of tea and I found one!

I don't remember what I looked up on Google but I had told someone that I would make them tea that was different and had a "secret ingredient". It was vanilla. That was what I was planning on. What I wasn't planning on was making something like this!

Though let me just tell you right now so you won't be disappointed later on: this is like every normal tea except it has a different taste. But just barely. It's good though, try it, see how you like it.

Anyway, click here for the original. I made the "tea latte" but I'm calling it "Lipton Latte" because that sounds better. And I'm thinking of making the "milk tea the british way" because I'm curious to see how that turns out!

Here's the original recipe:

1. Add the teabag of your choice to a cup.
2. Boil water, then pour over the teabag.
3. Let the tea steep for at least 5 minutes to get the strongest flavor possible.
4. While your tea is brewing, heat a half cup of milk either by microwaving for 45 seconds (settings vary between machines) or by heating in a pan until it’s steaming.
5. Transfer the hot milk to a jug, and use a milk frother to get that extra-fluffy, foam effect. The desired amount should be about ½ inch thick on top of the milk.
6. Remove the infuser or teabag from your cup and pour in the milk.
7. Add an optional dash of honey or sugar for extra sweetness.

Here's my recipe:

Serves: 1-4
Time: 3-5 min

  •  2 teabags (I use Lipton black tea)
  • 4 spoons sugar, white
  • 4-6 drops vanilla (extract, I believe...Kirkland brand)
  • 1 pint water, hot (I use a little more...more like 3-4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 dashes milk (dashes as in I poured a little bit in, two times)
  1. pour hot water over tea bags, steep 3-5 min (I steeped it 3 min, because I didn't have the recipe, but someone had already thrown the tea bag away when I came back to add 2 minutes to it...too bad)
  2. heat milk for 1 min in microwave, froth with milk frother, whisk, or hand mixer. Milk froth should be about 1/2 inch high. 
  3. pour hot milk into tea, leaving behind froth (I didn't mean to...but I was using the thing for gravy, as seen two posts ago -- the-directions-the-way-I-did-them #6) for later.
  4. put cream, sugar, and vanilla in tea. The tea should be a light tan now. If not, stir the milk in so that it is. Stir until cream and vanilla is distributed, and the sugar is dissolved.
  5. spoon froth on top, sprinkling either white sugar or brown sugar on top for decoration, serve immediately and
Scriptina Regular

October 13, 2015

Easy Cinnamon Bread | Buttered Side Up

Today I went to Buttered Side Up. Like I do a lot.

What else is new?

But she had a new post (wow, yes, a new post! Who'da thunkit) and it was fairly recent (being posted yesterday). "Easy Cinnamon Bread". That was it.

Guess what caught my attention.

You guessed it. The word "easy" never fails to do that.

So, I read over it. Doesn't seem to hard. Sounds pretty simple, but then, so did the Cafe Mocha (previous post), and heaven knows that wasn't.

But I think that was just a bad luck day.

This may be different.

So, Buttered Side Up links back to a different blog, "The Best Remedy".

The Best Remedy links to allrecipes*spoon-here-just-so-you-get-the-mental-picture*.

allrecipes*spoon* doesn't link to anything.

sigh of relief.

So, here are the different links just so you can take your pick and choose whichever one you want to follow. Me, I'm going to follow Buttered Side Up because none of the others I follow fairly regularly. Also because Buttered Side Up is the more familiar of the three.

What? Different people have different opinions.

(also, The Best Recipe's directions were a little confusing)

Easy Cinnamon Bread (Buttered Side Up)
Cinnamon Bread (The Best Recipe)
Cinnamon Bread I (allrecipes*spoon*)

Also, all the links open up to new tabs, so you don't have to ctrl+click like I do a lot. Takes so long. Errr.

But, I'm not going to make it today. I'll make it when the sink vamps up it's cooperation, because right now who knows what it's doing.

Not working, I know that much.

So no cinnamon bread because no sink. There's a sink in the laundry room but that's a pain. You have to lean way over. Actually I don't know because I haven't been washing dishes lately (yay and also oopsie-doops). But I don't want to know, so I'm not going to make the bread just yet.

Maybe for a future breakfast.

Mmm, my stomach is saying yes.

As is everyone else who will get a slice of this.

October 9, 2015

How to Make a Cafe Mocha | Buttered Side Up

So you thought you knew how to make mocha, did you? Good news, so did I.

Me, I normally pull out the instant coffee, pour hot water over it, dump in some Nesquik or a cocoa packet and there's my "mocha".

But this! Now this is going the extra mile!

I stumbled upon the recipe a while back when I happened to glance at the computer in passing and this recipe was open. I read it and looked at the pictures.

Boy do pictures help!

This recipe (or, the pictures in this recipe) looked absolutely delicious! I decided this would definitely be on my "To Try" page.

And it's about to stop being on my "To Try" page.

Or at least moved to "Already Tried" page.

Just kidding, don't have one of those.

So, anyway, I was thinking about a good, strong cup of coffee. Well, as you most likely know, instant just doesn't meet those standards. So I got to thinking and then I thought hey you know what shine Google, I don't need to look up "delicious simple coffee"! ...or something along those lines (yes, I admit it, that was what I was going to do if I couldn't think up a recipe)...

because I had a brilliant idea!

Or something along those lines.

Well, I knew I hadn't made a "To Try" page for nothing. I just looked through the list but do you know, I only have two recipes (coincidentally both from Buttered Side Up) with a coffee base!

Like, woht.

So, ok, at least I have two, even though that's not much. But my resolve: to get more coffee recipes on my "To Try" page that are actually doable and makeable and yummyable!

No, not "yummyable".

Forget I said that.

So, that was my big ordeal to find a recipe, and then there was my big ordeal to make the recipe, which is a totally different story.

As you should know if you've read the Buttered Side Up post, she lists two options for this drink: one that is milder and sweeter and one that is more intense. I thought I would try the more intense one because, well, that is what I was looking for in the first place. But then I thought about it (yes, I actually thought about it) and realized that it was probably harder or longer or required more equipment that I don't have (and probably never will have) so if that was the case, I would make the milder, sweeter version. *tear*.

More about that later.

Another thing she has is a notice sort of thing. She likes her coffee frothier. Because who doesn't. But she actually as equipment and I do not. So, instead of buying something on Amazon and waiting two days for it to arrive (two days is a long time for a coffee drink that was supposed to be quick), I decided I would just use a whisk. Yes, whisks do work because I used to always drink a frothy coffee and I would just dump in a bunch of cream and whisk away.

No, I was not fat. I just liked fat.

Or, fatty foods. Same difference.

And I don't have chocolate syrup so I'm using unsweetened cocoa because believe me I've got plenty of that. And maple syrup? Have that too. And since I'm not using chocolate syrup, I don't have to cut down or take away the maple syrup. *oh joy*.

She also says "I actually don't use a recipe most of the time when I make a mocha: I make it up as I go. Think of this recipe as a starting place and customize to your liking!"

Will I ever!

And no I don't have a coffee maker because I barely have any equipment.

Having second thoughts on the easiness of this recipe...

But I chose it so I'll stick to it.  I wish I weren't so sticky.

These things decided, I headed to the kitchen, recipe in hand. Well, no, not recipe in hand because I'm using a computer. But same thing, right. As I've always said (as of today): "I came, I saw, I conquered!"

Also, can I just say right now as a side note, I love her dishes.

There. That over, let us go, prepared, into battle!

Boy was it a battle.

First, let me list for you the ingredients and those that I have or don't have (including equipment!).

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons half and half (in the negative)
  • 1/2 oz. espresso, fresh or cold (no)
  • 1/2 oz. maple syrup (HALF OUNCE!?!? HOLY SMOKES! and NO! at least, not for JUST ONE drink!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (yes)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (yes)
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa/cacao powder (positive)  

  • 3/4 cup half and half (no)
  • 3 teaspoons cocoa powder (yes)
  • 4 teaspoons espresso, fresh or cold (neither)    
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup (that's more like it! *sigh of relief* YES!)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (yes)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream (yup)  

So, looking at all that, it seems a little obvious that I will, in fact, be doing hers. The stronger version. Yay! So, no, I won't be doing his, I'll be doing what I set out to do in the first place. Which is very nice.

The directions and the way I did them:
  1. I made myself some coffee. I had to make it instant *tear* because it's a big ordeal to make espresso, and I wanted quick, fast, easy, and making espresso doesn't fall under any of those categories. But since it's supposed to be strong, instead of dumping in one spoonful, I dumped in two. Smart thinking am I right? So I made that, covered it with a cloth so that it wouldn't cool off, and set it aside for later.
  2.  Also, I decided that since I had cream and milk, why not mix them? So, I did half and half my way: I made 1/2 cup mixture of milk and cream and then poured it into a measuring cup. Apparently my math is wrong. I've known it for a long time, actually. But it didn't quite fill the 3/4 cup measure. So I had to make more. This time I was tired of it and had no clue how to make it full, so I just used my eyes. Apparently my eyes are wrong too, because there was still a little bit left in the measure. One half of me said oh well and good riddance! the other half said but that's not 3/4 of a cup. My second half won. I mixed up a teeny bit more (splash of cream, dash of milk). Had to do the procedure two more times! After doing that fun process, I dumped it into a small saucepan, and let it get hot.
  3.  While the half-and-half-mixture-made-by-me was getting hot, I was too. I put the cocoa in a mug, poured 4 teaspoons of the instant *errr* over the cocoa, and stirred it just like she said. Of course, being instant, it's not thick at all, so I stared sadly into my thin mix. Oh well. I'll know better in the future if I don't forget.
  4. Then I stirred in the remaining ingredients. No problem-O! And actually 2 1/2 tsp of maple syrup is a lot more than you think so, feeling guilty, I poured about 6 drops back into the container and 2 drops into my mouth. That made me feel better.
  5. Looked at the directions. "Froth milk with hand frother". Or, in my case, a whisk. Check! But I couldn't really froth half and half when it's that shallow, so I poured it into my now-empty instant coffee mug (ha. ha. No, I had wayy over-calculated so I had a 7 oz. cup of coffee. errr. Instead I just poured it into a custard cup, and then a mug because it just barely fit into the custard cup, spilling half of it, and then I had to run and get a rag to mop it all up while it cooled. Errr. Should have used a custard cup to measure the half and half. So then I started to froth it and it splashed onto my arm. Apparently it didn't cool while I went to get a rag. Boy was it hot. All pretty handy dandy right.) and frothed it until my arms called a halt.
  6. As slowly as I could, I poured the frothed milk into the mix of instant coffee, cocoa, and all the other ingredients that I'm not going to waste time listing, but I couldn't pour it slowly without half of it spilling down the sides, onto the counter! So then I just put it into a measuring cup with a spout (I think you use it to do something with gravy...?) which would have been VERY convenient for frothing (all the things I could have done to save time and extra dishes! *groan*) which stinks. Arrrgh. This better be fabulous is all I'm sayin'.
  7. And, since I didn't have whipped cream and probably won't until Thanksgiving (not far off, thank goodness, because I make a special *booze* mixture! ...or, Mom does. but still...), I just drank it without the whipped cream which won't be as good, of course, but it's the next best thing.
  8. Anyway, a couple minutes and a couple hundred dishes later, I sat down to enjoy my mocha. I would have enjoyed it better with whipped cream on top, but what can you do? I know what I can do--make some! Since the cream's best-by date is TOMORROW I decided why not use some of it up today. Better, right. So I made whipped cream (thank heavens not as complicated as the mocha) and sat down once more to fully enjoy my mocha. HA. HA. and more HAs. I didn't make any whipped cream because unfortunately, we were having ice cream sundaes, so no peace. Also, no whipped cream. Sigh.
My thinking: 
even though this was way a pain, it wasn't supposed to be and it was only because of me. I just made it a pain. And it really is delicious, even though it has a weird aftertaste. But I can endure that. I can endure anything, as is apparent after all the stuff I went through to get a cafe mocha.

Anyway, this was pretty good, even if it did have a weird aftertaste.

Also, relations make perfect guinea pigs don't you think?*

Anyway, I urge you to try it and see how you like it.
Scriptina Regular 
P.S. looked at this today (today being the 15th of October) and realized that I've posted 14 coffee recipes! That's ok. More coffee recipes, the better.

*if you don't know what I mean, Google "definition of guinea pig" and read the 2nd definition Google gives for a guinea pig. That's right: "a person or thing used as a subject for experiment."

October 7, 2015

Easy Pop-Off Mocha

Easy because you only need a few minutes, and you're sure to have the ingredients, pop-off because I always imagine the words "pop-off" when I think of going to sleep or just relaxing.

Don't look it up on Google.

...and mocha because Google's definition of the word "mocha" is "/ˈmōkə/ noun noun: mocha 1. a fine-quality coffee. 2. a soft kind of leather made from sheepskin." and since I know that this isn't a soft kind of leather made from sheepskin, I can pretty well call this coffee "mocha". Well it is a fine-quality coffee (if your coffee is fine-quality).

  • 7 oz. coffee (dbl strength is great, inst. is fine, fine-quality is just right)
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened baking cocoa
  • 1/8 (or 3-4 drops) vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbsp fast caramel sauce (see "Add-Ons" page for fast caramel sauce recipe)
  • 1/2-1 c milk
Also, a better (newer, updated) version will be arriving relatively soon only this time it will be called a relatively better name, "Caramel Mocha". Sounds more like something you would get at Starbucks than something that you would get from, say, a blog.

This blog.

Too bad. I like having my recipes ("my") sounding like they just stepped out of a 5-star restaurant. Like that's going to happen.

Another thing, this coffee isn't sweet at all, so the following is for your convenience.

for a creamier version:
  • 1-2 Tbsp cream or
  • 1/2-1 c whipped cream stirred in until dissolved
for a sweeter version:
  • 3-5 Tbsp fast caramel sauce
  • 1-3 Tbsp brown sugar dispensed directly into coffee or
  • sweetened to taste (though not too sweet--this recipe isn't supposed to be very sweet)
for a creamier and sweeter version:
  • 1-3 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • add 1 Tbsp cream if it's still too milky
  • sidenote: add 1 tsp inst. coffee if it's too milky, creamy, sweet, or all three
  • Add all ingredients, make sure it's dissolved.
  • Make whipped cream (homemade is always the way to go unless you're pressed for time and then just don't make it at all--wait until you have the time to make whipped cream. You'll thank me one day).
  • Put whipped cream on top of mocha.
  • For fancier style, add chocolate or cocoa shavings or (and this is more preferable) drizzle caramel sauce on top
  • Serve immediately (or whipped cream will start to melt) and
Scriptina Regular
P.S. the not-sweet part has been tasted and thoroughly enjoyed by someone other than me (I didn't exactly enjoy it because I have been either blessed or cursed--depending on who you ask--with a sweet tooth) but I'm sure the sweet part will be just as good. Maybe. Because I haven't tried it I can't say for sure. But I will be able to say for sure during 2016's YRT. So yay. Also, if you've tried the sweeter version, comment below and tell me which sweet version you tried and if you liked it or not. And if you found this post confusing (I know I did), comment below. Tell me. ~grey