Blue stained wood with crimson carnations

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Foodie Friday: Iced Caramel Coffee

And we're back!

Long time no recipe huh? Well, this week I have a cool (haha) recipe that hopefully will hit the spot! I've never been one who liked- much less loved- coffee but when I was in Culinary I started drinking Strabucks Frapps as it was my sole means of caffination! ;) Since my Culinary days I've been an occasional coffee sipper and have grown to the point of enjoying a cup- hot or cold- under the right coffee-to-additions circumstances! I have also become totally converted to Dunkin Donuts coffee- a phenomena that does (believe it or not) predate my sister working there... 
Speaking of, now would be the time to let a bit of a cat out of the bag *ahem* - Unless you buy Dunkin coffee at Dunkin it's not real Dunkin. That's right that stuff in the orange bags on the grocery store shelves is not real Dunkin coffee- it's Folger's.
So- buy the good stuff and make your taste buds happy!

Without further ado...

Iced Caramel Coffee 

8 cups cold water
1/2 cup ground Dunkin Donuts original coffee
1 cup + 3 T. sugar

2 tsp. caramel sauce (I'm using Smuckers Plate Scrapers dessert sauce but you can use any ice cream topping sauce, etc.)
Cream, to taste (I've used about 1 T. per glass) 

Begin by setting up the coffee maker with the ground coffee in the brew basket and the water in the reservoir. Brew the coffee to your taste and your coffee makers instructions.

(For me I brew on the strong setting and then fill the reservoir with the brewed coffee and run it through again. This is just because the coffee maker in question is not mine and simply does not heat the water hot enough to produce a decent cup. By the time its gone through twice I'm in business! This step is of course not needed if you have a good coffee maker ;) )

While the coffee is brewing add the sugar to a sealable pitcher. I use Lock & Lock because it's awesome and airtight!  Once the coffee is brewed add it to the pitcher and stir to dissolve the sugar- this will only take a minute because the coffee should be piping hot! 

From here you have two choices- the wise thing to do would be to stash the hot coffee in the fridge and chill it down- but you may be impatient like me and be dying for your cafination- so let's charge ahead!!

Get yourself a nice glass (because a nice glass always makes a happier drink!) and fill it up all the way with ice cubes. I'm a firm believer the secret to a good iced coffee is getting it as cold as possible- and that means as much ice as possible! Add the caramel sauce on top. Now if you are not a caramel person and you want you can certainly change it up here and add your favorite flavored coffee syrup or a shot of chocolate syrup- go for it and make it your own! 

Add the coffee and then top it off with a bit of cream. (Right here it looks like a ton of cream but it just spread out a lot in the coffee!) Give it a stir and pop in a jaunty straw and you're ready to go!  Stash the rest of the cold coffee back in the fridge and use it for drinks throughout the week- it should keep about that long and make about another 6 drinks depending on how big a glass you use and how much ice you use!  

Eat Well!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

"The Man on the Moon is Dead"

Photo by: Hannah L.F. August 1, 2012

 "The man on the moon is dead."
So proclaimed Doug Philips in his heartfelt and inspirational blog posting almost two weeks ago when famed astronaut and national hero Neil Armstrong passed away.

I have always been in love with the stars, the heavens, space. I truly is the 'final fronteer'. I hope I live to see it explored, and even colonized. It would be a truly remarkable feat! If I'm not too old I'd love to take a ride on one of those future commercialized flights around the Blue Marble. I would be awesome!
I don't know as much about Mr. Armstrong as I would like to but I do know what an amazing impact he had on a generation, or two, of Americans- and of people around the world. I know his impact on me. Today it seems that impact and that legacy has been forgotten- or more likely- never taught to the current generations. Following the news of Armstrong's passing is has been reported that a rash of posts on Twitter asked the question- "Who is Neil Armstrong?" -a question that boggles my mind!

Another thing I heard reported was a positive story, a story about a letter that Neil Armstrong wrote a number of years ago to a couple of siblings. The letter is great and full of history and promise- and really- a passing of the torch to a younger generation. The full text can be read here but I would like to quote a bit of it here in tribute to an amazing man.

May he rest in peace.
May we learn to guard our most precious possessions.
And may we someday reach for the stars once again.

"When I was your age, I read about fantastic voyages to the moon in books by H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, but they were just fantasy. I never could have guessed that people would fly into space during my lifetime. Even as a young adult, I would not have believed it. And you will not be able to predict the opportunities that you will have in your lifetime. Preparing yourself so you can take advantage of the changes you cannot predict is difficult. It is probably best to learn about a lot of different things.

In my work, I depended on many people. In spaceflight, whether it be a fellow crewman or flight controller in Mission Control on Earth, I was often trusting that person with my life. When you depend on others you want to be able to trust them. You will want to know that they say what they mean, and they mean what they say. And they will want to feel the same way about you. Your word should be beyond question.

There is much uncertainty to life. Good health may be taken away from you without warning. Material possessions may be lost due to circumstances beyond your control. The one thing that cannot be taken from you without your consent, is your character, which includes your beliefs, your ethics, and your principles. So guard them with care. They are your most valuable possessions.

The 21st century has much promise. Remarkable things may be created and achieved. And each of you will have the opportunity to play a role in achieving and creating a better world. I know you will try. Good luck!! I wish I had your future.

Neil A. Armstrong" 

Photo by: Hannah L. F.
Taken August 24, 2012 the night before Armstrong died.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Convention Roundup: Part One, The GOP

This is a bit later then I thought I'd be posting this but I want to get it in before the end of the week so here I am! Instead of blathering about how great the speakers at the GOP convention were last week I thought I'd let you see it for yourself and take a look at a few of my favorite speeches from the week!

This is Mia Love who is running for congress from Utah.

And here is the companion piece to it that ran before she came on stage:

 After Mia's speech at the convention her Wiki page was vandalized by leftists who painted her with an ugly bigoted brush as she is a Conservative Black Woman.

Next is Condoleezza Rice who is communicates a wonderful vision of America and what it means to be American:

One of my personally favorite people and politicians is Rick Santorum who gave his usual strong message on how family effects everything else:

Then came our VP nominee Paul Ryan who had a good solid speech on what has happened the last four years and what we need to do in the next four years:

Lastly, was the Senator from Florida Marco Rubio who I think had the best speech of the night and of the week! It was the first time that I'd heard him speak outside of an interview and I was as impressed with him as everyone said I should be! He is so strong and so in tune with what Conservatism is and what an America guided by Conservatism looks like that he speaks directly to the heart and soul of Americans. Be as impressed as I was.


Final Thoughts

While quite a number of the people who came to the podium and addressed the delegates were just plain terrible and in some cases utterly out of touch I actually came away from the convention as a whole- hopeful.
I am hopeful because I sat there watching and realized just how much has changed in the last four years. I don't mean the things that Obama has "fundamentally transformed" but the people who have been fundamentally changed because of him. What Obama has done is bad- evil even- what hes has inspired others to do in reaction to him is good.
Four years ago we saw the McCain/Palin ticket defeated and sat back thinking 'Well, there you go, that's it. It's over and I can't possibly think of who will possibly stand for us in the next election.'
Wait, you didn't? Humph. Well I did.
My point though is this- Though many things disappointed me with the convention I walked away hopeful because I realized in these past four years we have been- and are being- revitalized, reformed and restored and those 'coming up the ranks' aren't waiting quietly in the wings to grow cold and old and fall in line with the party but are being vibrant and setting aflame the detritus of old bones which will allow for the resurrection of a new man.
In four more years I expect to sit down and watch a Republican Convention that is filled with the brightest, most passionate Conservative ideologues that will we have seen in a generation and will espouse a genuine Constitutional Conservatism that will as Ronald Reagan said show 'We have met our rendezvous with destiny'...and 'have done all we could do.' 

It's great going to be a great 2016!

So keep fighting, keep hopeful, and meet me there.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Meme: Question Six

I'm really glad that this question is one of the final ones of this meme because it's taken me all this time to puzzle over and think over and figure out the answer!

Question #6

"If you could invite five people to dinner, living or dead, who would they be and why?"

  1. Patrick Henry- Founding Father, exceptional Christian, wise and gentle man, all around amazing statesman. I think he would be a great cornerstone to any dinner party! He would be a total gentleman in manners and conversation but he would also be a great person to talk to about politics- past and present- and I think he would have much to say on the state of things in 2012! I would also like to have him as a first person witness and story teller about life in the late 1700's- an era I really enjoy!
  2. Jane Austen- Sharp-witted female writer of the late 1700's whose six published novels inspire devotion in many who see the foibles and virtues of her characters reflected in their own lives today. Jane is one of my all time favorite writers so I would love to have her to dinner! She would be an interesting counterpart to Henry as they come from the same era (an ocean apart)- but are both fiery people and I think no matter her being a woman they would get into a heated conversation provoking some interesting responses and interactions! I think Jane would be greatly surprised (but pleased as punch) to learn that her books have survived and that her writings of plain everyday life and family are as true today as they were then! 
  3. John Calvin- Pastor, author, Christian apologist and linchpin of the Reformation; his clear articulation of Scriptural principals in the study notes for The Geneva Bible were the foundation for the Pilgrims and then the Founders establishing a new country based on the Bible. I would want to invite Calvin because I could pick his brain on how Scripture and faith integrated into one's everyday life and politics. I think he and Henry would have a great conversation together but I don't know how he would like the 'combustable' women at the table!
  4. Julia Child- American cook and foodie who 'Mastered the Art of French Cooking' teaching and inspiring (probably) millions of people to experience food and cooking in a new way; also, was a spy during WWII. One of my favorite quotes from Julia says:“Maybe the cat has fallen into the stew, or the lettuce has frozen, or the cake has collapsed. Eh bien, tant pis. Usually one's cooking is better than one thinks it is. And if the food is truly vile, then the cook must simply grit her teeth and bear it with a smile, and learn from her mistakes.” It's such a true thing! Julia and I would have a great time discussing the food and I'm sure that she would point out ways to make things better and would just love the Pavlova, or chocolate cake, or custard that I would serve for dessert! 
  5. Stephen Bly- American writer of historical and contemporary westerns, and Christian living books; pastor, small town mayor, guy I would have liked to meet. I started reading Bly books when I was young and never looked back! Mr. Bly had an exceptional style when it came to writing his characters- I really do think they spoke to him because dialog in his books was never forced and stilted but reflected the characters as true people- and he had an uncanny ability to write female characters accurately! He would be a great addition to the dinner party because he could talk writing with Austen, politics/government with Henry, Scripture with Calvin, and a little bit of cooking too with Julia and me! He had humor and heart and wisdom- and that is never something to turn down at any dinner table!

So, who would you invite for dinner?