5 Coffee Drinks to Make at Home on Christmas

1:21 AM officenekomedia 52 Comments

Coffee has become recognized as a human necessity. It is no longer a luxury or an indulgence; it is a corollary of human energy and human efficiency.

 William H. Ukers, All About Coffee (1922)

  Coffee is a truly wondrous and magical thing that many of us rely upon to make it though the day and Christmas is no exception, especially with all the extra boozing in the run up to and after the big day.

Gingerbread Latte
Ingredients
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp molasses - blackstrap or regular
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp strong coffee
  • 1 cup milk of choice - almondmilk, coconutmilk, etc.
  • sweetener of choice, to taste
Mix everything together in a small pot or in a mug. Then heat until desired temperature is reached. Alternatively, if you want a foamy latte: Mix spices into coffee. In a big measuring cup, heat or microwave the milk until foamy. Then pour the milk into the coffee mixture.

Pistachio Rose Latte
Ingredients

  • 1 oz. pistachio paste;
  • 1.5 oz. honey syrup; 
  • .25 oz. rose water;
While good lattes should be silky and creamy, this one is downright velvety, and manages to achieve a delicious thick texture without being too rich. You won’t feel heavy or guilty after drinking this special drink, I assure you, but it tastes so good, you’ll feel as if you’ve cheated. Nut-lovers everywhere take note.


Irish Coffee
Ingredients
  • 1 jigger Irish cream liqueur 
  • 1 jigger Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream
In a coffee mug, combine Irish cream and Irish whiskey. Fill mug with coffee. Top with a dab of whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg.

Hot Coffee Masala
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 cumin seeds, or to taste 
  • 1 whole star anise pod 
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules 
  • 2 teaspoons nonfat dry milk powder 
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, and stir in the cumin seeds, star anise pod, and cinnamon stick; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the instant coffee, and allow the drink to simmer gently for 2 more minutes. Pour the drink into mugs, straining out the spices, and stir 1 teaspoon of nonfat dry milk powder and 1 teaspoon of white sugar into each mug.

Christmas Coffee
Ingredients
  • 1 (16 ounce) container powdered non-dairy creamer 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup instant decaffeinated coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar substitute
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
Mix creamer, brown sugar, decaffeinated coffee, sugar substitute, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container.

52 comments:

Thanksgiving Idea Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie

10:54 AM officenekomedia 0 Comments

  The single most requested dessert at our Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie.
  To concentrate the flavor of pumpkin pie, the pumpkin flesh is roasted before being pureed. Fresh whipped cream is a cool counterpoint to the filling's ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie just wouldn't feel right. Here is our version of the classic pie, plus a few tricks to help you make it the best one you've ever had.
  Canned pumpkin puree is quick and easy to use. Don't substitute fresh pumpkin puree; it will be too watery.

Ingredients For the Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons milk





Ingredients For the Filling:

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or all-spice
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the Pie Dough: 
  1. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and mix to combine. Add the butter and continue mixing until the mixture holds together when you clump it, and there are pecan-sized lumps of butter still visible.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and milk in small bowl.
  3. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap well and store in the refrigerator for several hours.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll half of the dough into a 11 to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Line the pan with the dough and crimp the edges. Chill the pie shell for about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Line the pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake the shell until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and beans.
Make the Filling: 
  1. Combine the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and spices in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend continuously until the brown sugar is completely mixed in and the puree looks glossy.
  2. Transfer the puree to a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until you see wisps of steam rising from the puree, then stir continuously until the mixture is very steamy and "plops" when you pause for a second. The mixture will also start to smell like spices and cooked pumpkin. Total stove time will be about 5 minutes.
  3. Off the heat, whisk the milk and cream into the pumpkin puree. To warm the eggs and ensure that they don't cook when you add them to the pumpkin mixture, whisk them together in a separate bowl, then whisk in a few spoonfuls of the warm pumpkin mixture. Slowly whisk the eggs into the saucepan with the pumpkin mixture. Whisk in the vanilla.
  4. Place the partially-baked pie crust on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set it near the stove. Carefully pour the warm pumpkin mixture into the warm pie crust. If it looks like there's too much filling for the crust, stop when you come close to the edge of the crust.
  5. Carefully transfer the baking sheet with the pie to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 375°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes — until the pie is puffed in the middle, but still jiggles when you gently shake the pan. You'll also see small cracks form in the outer part of the pie and some bubbling around the edge. Check the pie every 15 minutes or so and cover the crust with a ring of foil when it becomes deep brown.
  6. Let the pie cool before serving — it will continue to set as it cools. This pie can be baked a day or two ahead; wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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How to Make the best Frappe

1:03 PM officenekomedia 9 Comments

  During warm and sunny days and especially in spring and summer, I prefer to drink the cold Frappe instead of the warm  coffee.
  How about a sweet, cool frappe to refresh you on a summer's day? In this instructable I'll show you how to make an iced coffee frappe at a fraction of the cost to buy one at coffee shops. Here's how to make a single frappe to enjoy. :)

What do you need!


  • Instant coffee in granule or powder form (any brand will do)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Cold water
  • Cold milk (optional)
  • Ice cubes
  • A frappe mixer
  • A tall glass
  • A tea-spoon
  • A drinking straw
  • Frappe drinkers :)
Step by step



1. Measure the coffee. Put two to three teaspoons of high-quality instant coffee into a shaker.
2. Add sugar. Depending on your personal preference, you can add anywhere from one to four teaspoons of sugar, or none at all.
3. Add water. Next, add a small amount of water: two to three teaspoons (10-15ml). It's important that your coffee and sugar be covered with water, but too much water will decrease the foaminess of the drink.
4. Blend . Place the ingredients in a blender and pulse until they become smooth and frothy.
5. Pour the frappe into a glass. Use a chilled glass or mug to keep it cold for a longer period.
6. Add ice. Add some ice cubes to the glass, filling it up half to two-thirds of the way.
7. Add milk, if desired. Some people like milk in their frappé, while others find it more refreshing without.
8. Add water. Add cold water to fill the glass.
9. Stir with a straw. Always serve with a straw, as the drink will need to be stirred periodically during consumption to combine the froth with the liquid.
10. Enjoy!


9 comments:

Reasons to Drink Green Tea

11:12 AM officenekomedia 0 Comments

 Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.
 Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat everything from headaches to depression.
  The leaves are supposedly richer in antioxidants than other types of tea because of the way they are processed.
  Green tea contains B vitamins, folate (naturally occurring folic acid), manganese, potassium, magnesium, caffeine and other antioxidants (notably catechins).
  All types of tea (green, black and oolong) are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant using different methods. Fresh leaves from the plant are steamed to produce green tea, while the leaves of black tea and oolong involve fermentation.
  Green tea is alleged to boost weight loss, reduce cholesterol, combat cardiovascular disease, and prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Overview
Tea has been cultivated for centuries, beginning in India and China. Today, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. Hundreds of millions of people drink tea, and studies suggest that green tea (Camellia sinesis) in particular has many health benefits.
There are three main varieties of tea - green, black, and oolong. The difference is in how the teas are processed. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals - damaging compounds in the body that change cells, damage DNA, and even cause cell death. Many scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, practitioners used green tea as a stimulant, a diuretic (to help rid the body of excess fluid), an astringent (to control bleeding and help heal wounds), and to improve heart health. Other traditional uses of green tea include treating gas, regulating body temperature and blood sugar, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.


Help prevent multiple cancers
The study of green tea and cancer prevention is still in early stages, but the results are promising. Researchers suspect that polyphenols in green tea help kill cancer cells and stop their progression, an important role to prevent various cancers. 
In a study of 472 women with breast cancer, those who drank the most green tea experienced the least spread of the disease. Researchers also found that women in the early stages of breast cancer who drank at least five cups of green tea every day during their diagnoses were less likely to have the disease recur after the completed treatment. 
• In looking at more than 35,000 women in the Iowa Women's Health study, those who drank two or more cups of tea a day were almost 30 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who rarely drank tea.
 • One Chinese study found that men who drank more than three cups of tea a day reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 70 percent. In another study funded by the National Institute of Health, 79 men with prostate cancer were told to either drink 6 cups of green tea a day or 6 cups of water. After 3 to 8 weeks, the levels of prostate-specific antigen, a protein that may indicate cancer, were lower in the men who drank green tea than those who drank water. An indicator of inflammation, nuclear factor-kappaB, linked to cancer growth, was also lower in the men who drank the green tea.
 • In skin cancer studies, lab animals that were given green tea developed 1/10th as many tumors as animals that were given water. The EGCC in green tea inhibits the production of urokinase, an enzyme that cancer cells need in order to grow. It also seems to stimulate the process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in cancer cells.

Make your heart healthier
Green tea contains significant amounts of flavonoids, antioxidants that protect against heart disease by slowing the breakdown of LDL cholesterol, preventing blood clots, and improving blood vessel function. Green tea is also associated with lower cholesterol and lower rates of artery blockages.
 People who drink a cup or two a day have a 46 percent lower risk of developing narrowed arteries. Upping that to three cups a day lowers the risk of having a heart attack by 43 percent and of dying from a heart attack by 70 percent. 
It can even help prevent a second heart attack. In a study of 1,900 patients recovering from heart attacks at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the death rate among patients who drank at least two cups of tea a day was 44 percent lower than among non-tea drinkers.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that green tea consumption is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes, including cardiovascular disease.
The study followed over 40,000 Japanese participants between the ages of 40 and 79 for 11 years, starting in 1994.
The participants who drank at least 5 cups of green tea per day had a significantly lower risk of dying (especially from cardiovascular disease) than those who drank less than one cup of tea per day.
Another study found that consuming 10 cups of green tea per day can lower total cholesterol, however, consuming 4 cups or less had no effect on cholesterol levels.

These are some of the many benefits but the reality is one cup of tea a day will not give you all the abundant gains. The jury is out on how many cups are necessary; some say as little as two cups a day while others five cups — and more still say you can drink up to ten cups a day. If you are thinking of going down this route, you may want to consider taking a green tea supplement instead .
However, as a social drink, it appears to be safe in moderate amounts, so lovers of green tea can continue to enjoy it.

0 comments:

Earl Grey Hot Chocolate Recipe

7:18 AM officenekomedia 0 Comments

It’s so cold outside! We are having some really cold weather. This hot chocolate is flavored with Earl Gray tea. The tea gives it more depth of flavor, and scent of bergamot. I can’t think of a more comforting way to warm up at home.
Earl Grey tea is often used to infuse chocolate truffles with citrus fragrance and flavor. Why not use a similar technique to make tea-infused hot chocolate?

Ingredients
1½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons Earl Grey Tea
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar or more to taste

TOTAL TIME: 6mins
PREP: 5 mins
COOK: 1 min

Bring milk just to a boil in a saucepan. Add the tea, turn off the heat (but keep the pan on the warm burner), cover and let stand to steep for 3 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate and sugar until melted and dissolved. Pour through a fine strainer and into a mug and serve immediately. *You can serve topped with whipped cream.

Tips
Loose tea, which is generally of a higher quality than tea found in tea bags, will give you the tastiest hot chocolate blend.
Bergamot is a fragrant orange and the essential oils in the rind are used in perfumery and for culinary.

Drink and enjoy! Get cozy!

0 comments:

What Does Your Coffee Reveal about You?

2:38 PM officenekomedia 0 Comments

I drink coffee. I love the coffee. 
The type of coffee you order may reveal more about your personality than you think.
Having a good cup of coffee is more than just about milk or sugar; sometimes it is a whole ritual passed on from mother to daughter, from father to son. From the Ethiopian countryside where coffee was first discovered, to the baroque cafes of imperial Europe and the office streets of Tel Aviv, coffee has adapted to almost every culture, infiltrating even tea-loving countries such as India and UK.

Coffee is the world’s second most popular drink after water, with over 2,611 billion cups of coffee consumed daily worldwide. Within this framework, each one of us still has his/her own way of drinking their cup of coffee.
Clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula recently conducted an observational study of 1,000 coffee drinkers. The survey assessed numerous common personality styles and psychological traits including introversion and extraversion; patience; perfectionism; warmth; vigilance; sensitivity; and social boldness, among others.
In the survey, which is described in Dr. Durvasula’s book entitled You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life, people were given common scenarios that we all find ourselves in: how we approach waiting in long lines, how we plan dinner parties or what our typical weekends look like. Participants were asked to choose from a series of approaches to these scenarios. The survey also asked if they drink coffee and what they typically ordered. The results were not that surprising.

Research found that the black coffee drinkers were straight up, straightforward and no-nonsense individuals. The double decaf, soy, extra-foamy folks tended to be more obsessive, controlling, and detail-oriented. The latte drinkers tended more toward neurotic and people-pleasing, while the instant coffee drinkers had a greater likelihood of being procrastinators. Finally, those individuals who order sweet drinks were the overgrown kids who retained the taste buds and sensibilities of children, while being young at heart.
In a larger sense, though, the choices we make in life often speak volumes about us. Sometimes we make “choices” without thinking like robots. Sometimes our choices in life essentially shape who we are for better or worse. People pleasers, who may try to manage the bitterness of coffee with a little milk, may also try to please others, which can be dangerous if one is always selfless and unassertive when communicating their needs, wants and desires.
Our personalities influence all spheres of our lives — our relationships, our jobs, our perceptions, our attitudes — and obviously will influence our choices. Some people are afraid of making the wrong choice, so in the interim feel safer choosing inaction, which speaks louder than any potential decision rendered.
So stretch out your psyche from time to time, and become a little less resistant to change. Perhaps a great, albeit small, place to start is changing up your usual order next time you go out for coffee. Or, the next time you are in the driver’s seat, don’t be so quick to fire up your GPS.
No matter how different we are, how our history and local culture vary, our love for coffee has no boundaries. It is the most common denominator. When it comes to coffee, we are all big fans, everywhere. Coffee is an important part of our life, and so many beautiful and memorable moments are formed over a cup of coffee, that I am sure each one of you has such a moment to share! 
And if you wonder what good coffee tastes like, an old Turkish proverb says “Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love”


Now tell me, how do you drink your coffee? :)

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