French Press Coffee

French Press Coffee-1

Recipe courtesy of Le Creuset

The NFL season kicks off tomorrow.  With college football already under way, this may be my last stress-free moment until February.  I took advantage of this time to pull out my beautiful Le Creuset French Press.  It seems like I hardly ever take the time to truly enjoy a cup of coffee.

Out of convenience, I fire up the coffeemaker every morning, which shoots a direct line of caffeine into my IV.  It tastes good, I get a buzz, and the fog clears from my sleepy head after about 3 sips.  However, there is nothing that can compare (in my humble opinion) to the taste of a cup of coffee that has been steeped in a French Press, especially when said French Press is part of the spoils of a winning football bet you had with your husband.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

fresh, coarsely ground coffee

fresh boiled water

cream and sugar, optional

 

Directions

  1. Break out your tea kettle, or a pot if you do not have a kettle.  Go old school; this is one of those times that I would suggest that you do not take the path of using the microwave.  Add water (filtered is best) to kettle and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, fill your French Press with very hot tap water and cover.
  3. When water comes to a boil, dump the hot water out of your French Press.
  4. Add 2 heaping Tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee to French Press for every 8 ounce cup of coffee you are making.
  5. Pour the freshly boiled water over the coffee grounds; stir.
  6. Cover the pot with the lid and plunger, keeping the plunger/screen in the up position.
  7. Steep for 5 minutes.
  8. Slowly push plunger down until the coffee is trapped at the bottom of the pot.
  9. With your finger on the plunger, pour a cup of the best coffee you will ever drink (in my humble opinion).
  10. To keep remaining coffee hot until you are ready for a second cup, wrap the French Press with a thick kitchen towel, and place another thick towel on top of the French Press.

Watermelon-Raspberry Lemonade

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon

recipe courtesy P. Allen Smith Garden Home

adapted from Chef Chris Green’s recipe from The Viking Cooking School in Memphis, Tennessee

When the temps creep up past 90 degrees, there are few things more refreshing than a tall glass of lemonade, or a big slice of ice-cold watermelon. So why not combine the two?

The recipe is quite simple, but let me tell you…it is messy to make, or maybe I’m just messy.  Have a trash can or a couple of plastic shopping bags nearby to toss all the rinds in, and a sink of hot soapy water ready to wash all the sticky watermelon mess before it gets out of control.  The recipe suggests a blender to do the puree work, however, my food processor also has a juicer attachment that I used to juice the 10 lemons.  So I used the food processor to puree the fruit as well.  Why make yet another mess, right?

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon-frappe

If you plan on making this, do it early in the day and pour a little of it into ice-cube trays.  Then you can serve it with ice cubes that will not dilute the drink as they melt.  It looks pretty with a few frozen raspberries thrown in right before you serve it, too (plus they help to keep it cold).  This recipe makes 2 pitchers of the best lemonade you will ever drink…we had it for dessert…in front of the fan.  Enjoy!

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon-and-lemons

Ingredients

1 large watermelon, cubed

10 large lemons, juiced

1 cup raspberries, plus extra for garnish

club soda

simple syrup: recipe follows (I used 2 cups sugar to 2 cups water)

 

Directions

1. Make the simple syrup and refrigerate it.

2. Place cubed melon and raspberries in blender, or food processor and puree.  You will have to do this in batches.

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon

3. Pour mixture into a fine-mesh strainer to strain out the raspberry and watermelon seeds (yes, even seedless watermelons have seeds).  Use a spoon to move the pulp around, to allow the liquid through.

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-watermelon-frappe-in-sieve

4. Into a pitcher, pour the raspberry-watermelon mixture and the fresh lemon juice.  Sweeten to your taste with the simple syrup.  At this point you have the basic lemonade.  Refrigerate at least one hour so it’s nice and cold.

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-glass-with-pitcher

5. When ready to serve; place ice cubes in glass, drop in about 4 frozen raspberries, pour lemonade about 3/4 of the way up and top the glass off with club soda.  Add a straw (and a parasol) and you’re good to go.

Watermelon-Raspberry-Lemonade-Bobby-and-Danielle-in-bw

Simple Syrup: A syrup made of equal parts water and granulated sugar.

1. Mix the two together in a saucepan. Place over med heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  You now have simple syrup, refrigerate and use in teas, lemonades, etc.

Protein Smoothie

protein-smoothie-raspberry-smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Woman’s Day Magazine

Hearst Communications, Inc.  New York, N.Y.

 

Ingredients

1 cup frozen fruit

1 cup skim milk

1/2 cup ice

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions 

protein-smoothie-goodies-in-the-blender

 

1. Pour all the goodies in a blender.  Process until smooth.

 

protein-smoothie-raspberry-smoothie

 

2. Pour smoothie into glass.  This smoothie tastes like a milkshake…Yum!  I added some Splenda to the mix because raspberries tend to be a little tart. Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-latte

Recipe courtesy of

Confessions of a Bright Eyed Baker

Pumpkin Syrup Ingredients

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground all spice

Pumpkin Spice Latte Ingredients

3/4 cup milk, steamed or foamed

2 Tablespoons pumpkin spice syrup, or to taste

2 shots espresso, or 1/2 cup brewed dark coffee

whipped cream for topping (optional)

pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon for topping (optional)

Pumpkin Syrup Directions

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-simple-syrup

1. Combine water and sugar in a saucepan set over medium heat and cook, stirring frequently, until sugar dissolves.

Pumpkin-Spice-Latte-add-pumpkin-and-spices

2. Add pumpkin and spices, and whisk until smooth.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent boiling. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Pour into container, straining if desired. Store in the fridge and shake well before using.

Pumpkin Spice Latte Directions

1. Place desired amount of pumpkin syrup in a large thermos or mug. Add espresso or coffee and stir to combine. Pour frothed or steamed milk on top and stir lightly. I do not have a milk frother, so I used my immersion blender.  Top with whipped cream and a dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.  The leftover syrup is delicious on ice cream or waffles, too.  Enjoy!