If you know me, you know I love coffee. I mean I LOVE coffee. I cannot function without coffee each morning. I've given up MOST of my vices. I stopped smoking (ten years ago as of July 15, by the way), I eat healthier than ever, I exercise... a LOT. I don't drink very often anymore, and when I do it's usually no more than two drinks - usually only one (except on the rare occasion - and mostly because I'm not willing to deal with the excess calories). Coffee is my last vice - and by God, I'm not giving it up.
|Wedding Cake Coffee in New Orleans - and yes, they were both for me.|
My old standby, Starbucks skinny vanilla latte, in Louisville.
I love iced coffee (New Orleans again) just as much...
|I consider the first day of Pumpkin Speice availability at Starbucks a national holiday.|
I'm not kidding, folks - coffee is a very important part of my life. For Christmas last year, Mom gave me a Keurig and I use it every morning - and it gets a heck of a workout on the weekends. I have an espresso maker that my father-in-law gave me for Chtistmas the year before and it's my favorite for making treats for myself - mochas, lattes, etc. I also have a grind and brew Cuisinart coffee maker that comes back out to play whenever we have company that is smart enough to want a cup of coffee.
But there was still something missing - I can make all of my favorite coffee treats at home... as long as they're hot coffee based. But I really love iced coffee and frappucinos. I've tried a million "knock-off" recipes to make my own frapps at home, and some of them were pretty good - but they're just not the same. If you just make coffee and pour it over ice you get coldish watery coffee. Which is not yummy. Making a pot of coffee, allowing it to cool and then sticking it in the fridge will get you cold coffee - but hot brewed coffee that is then cooled tastes... off. Not sure how to describe it, but it has something of an muddy taste? Does that make sense? I used to keep a pitcher of coffee in the fridge, but I never finished it because it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be - it was more or less good enough for making a frapp if it was a flavored frapp. But a good strong iced coffee? Fugettabout it - gotta head to Starbucks if that's what I want. And that's what I want when it's a hundred fricking bajillion degrees out.
So imagine my unbriddled joy when I saw this post on The Pioneer Woman's blog. (She has great recipes and witty observations - but really I go there to check out her photography. It makes me want to live on a ranch. Okay - not all of them do, but most do.)
So I gathered my supplies - not much to it, a pound of coffee and a large container. I poured the coffee into the big container...
|Every last little bit...|
And then add 8 quarts of water - you can mess with the ratio of water to coffee to suit your tastes. This is PW's suggestion so I went with it. I may make it a bit stronger next time, or try with a darker roast coffee. Or even a flavored coffee.
Anyway - when the cold brew process is complete, you'll need to strain it into a container. Of course, I took this opportunity to buy a beverage dispenser that will sit in the fridge dispensing cold coffee all day every day!
Put a strainer over your container, and then cover it with a couple of strong paper towels or cheesecloth.
The BEST part is that I now have iced coffee sitting in my fridge, patiently waiting for me every morning. I don't have to make coffee, I don't have to rush through Starbuck's drive-through, I don't have to settle for the yucky coffee at work. It's AWESOME!
|(Note the bottle of Skinny Girl Margarita in the bottle holder, J brought that home for me the other day after I passed on margaritas for dinner the night before because they were too high calorie. Good husband, huh?)|
|Here it comes...|
|I LOVE YOU, PIONEER WOMAN!!!|
But now I have a pound of used coffee grounds. I hate to just throw them out. Does anybody have any suggestions on what I can use them for? I know they're good for plants, but I'm not growing anything this year... so any other creative suggestions?