I love love ice coffee. Zoey and I take a walk to our neighborhood Philz coffee almost every day to indulge in their famous mint mojito iced coffee and pick up a green chile burrito for Jeff. The problem with most ice coffees though is that its usually brewed hot coffee poured over ice. The problem with this method though is that it dilutes the drink and the ice melts quickly so then you are left with lukewarm bland coffee. Enter cold brewing coffee. Have you ever tried it? It’s seriously like magic. It’s so yummy and so easy to make. I usually have a jar of it in my fridge and on days when getting out of the house in the mornings just seem impossible and I am in desperate need my caffeine pick me up, having this magical jar of coffee saves me. It’s like nectar from the gods.
I first discovered magic cold brew coffee when my friend Joy first blogged about it here. Its since become a staple in my fridge. I just make a batch before I go to bed at night and it’ll be ready for me in the morning. One batch will last me a couple days. When Zoey was a newborn, I lived on this stuff. What I love about this recipe is that there are so many variations. This recipe is more like a base that you can tweak to your liking. I like adding a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg to it, but you can also add vanilla, ginger, cardamon pods or any other spice that you like. You can also use any of your favorite milk, half n half, or flavored creamers. You can also use condensed sweetened milk for a yummy Vietnamese coffee twist.
- 2/3 cups coarsely ground coffee (a strong, rich roast)
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or any other spices)
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- milk, half and half, condensed milk or creamer
- Combine coffee, sugar, spices and water in a quart jar and stir
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours
3. Pour mixture through a sieve, coffee filter, cheesecloth or strainer into a bowl, then strain back into mason jar. What I do is strain the grounds through the filter of my coffee machine that I place over the top of my coffee pitcher, then its easy to pour back into the mason jar:
To prepare each glass, fill cup halfway with ice and then pour coffee over it. Mix in your favorite creamer and you’ve got yourself the perfect cold brewed ice coffee!! Vital for any new moms out there!
(tutorial for the straw tags here)
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Last week, I shared how I made a (fake) beehive cake for a bumblebee-themed baby shower I helped host a few months ago. The cake was fake because I made honey cupcakes for everyone to enjoy instead. I figured it would be easier for guests to nosh and nibble on cupcakes than to serve slices of cake at the party. It just seemed more cumbersome to have to cut and serve cake than for guests to be able to pick up cupcakes from the dessert table:
Plus, everyone likes cupcakes, right? For these cupcakes, I used local farm fresh honey that my dad got in quarts from the farmers market. I also added honey to the cream cheese frosting. By the way, can I tell you how much I looooove cream cheese frosting? It’s my favorite frosting! I use it on pretty much all the cupcakes that I bake, including these green tea matcha cupcakes and red velvet cupcakes. I swirled the frosting and piled it on really high on each cupcake, they kind of resemble beehives that way. The little edible sugar bumblebee toppers were bought from Amazon.
Honey cupcakes (makes 2 dozen)
- 2 sticks of butter at room temperature
- 1.5 cups of white sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tsp vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- In medium bowl mix together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and salt
- In small bowl mix together wet ingredients: buttermilk, honey and vanilla
- In bowl of stand mixer cream butter and sugar together on medium speed until combined
- Add eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed
- Gradually add the dry and wet ingredients, alternating starting and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until combined
- Line cupcake pans with cupcake liners. Using ice cream scoop, fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees
- Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to finish cooling.
Honey Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- yellow gel food coloring
1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in honey, then gradually stir in the confectioners’ sugar. Add more sugar if the frosting needs to be thicker. Stir in small drops of food coloring until you achieve the desired shade of yellow. Store in the refrigerator after use.
Enjoy these sweet as honey treats!!
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Back in March, I flew down to southern CA because I had the honor of hosting a couple baby showers on back-to-back weekends: one for my sister and one for my dear friend Melissa, both of whom were expecting daughters and only 4 days apart. My party-planning group of friends and I have hosted so many bridal showers, birthday parties and now baby showers together over the past few years that we always joke that we should start an event planning business because we LOVE planning and hosting parties. Not only that, but we also work so well together and have fun doing it. For my friend Melissa’s baby shower, we went with a “baby bumblebee” theme because her name “Melissa” means “honey bee”. For this tented garden party, we made a delicious “sweet as honey” dessert table:
The bee-utiful dessert table had honey cupcakes, honey popcorn, oreo cake pops and honey lemonade. We divvied up the tasks: my sister made the beautiful signs and poms while my friend N made the popcorn and cake pops, as well as the giant hanging paper mache bumblebee. My friend K got the flowers and balloons. My job was to bake the cupcakes and make the fake beehive cake centerpiece. Why fake, you ask? I needed something that would be fast/easy to put together the morning of the shower since I also had to bake and frost three dozen cupcakes that morning, all in between nursing Zoey who eats every 2 hours on the dot. Plus, serving and cutting a large conical-shaped cake could get messy and require plates and forks as well. I figured no one would really want to eat it either with all the other yummy options!
My original plan was for the beehive cake to be made of styrofoam with a layer of frosting over it, like most fake wedding cakes. (Did you know you can also buy a fake wedding cake on Amazon or even rent one? I also considered making a real cake using this cake mold) When I went to Michaels to purchase the styrofoam though, I was surprised to find that styrofoam was kind of expensive! It was $20 for the largest sphere, which at 10″ in diameter, was going to be too small for the centerpiece anyways. Stumped, I started walking up and down the aisles, looking for something that I could use as the base of the cake. Lucky for me, it happened to be the week right before Easter and I found this GIANT plastic easter egg. It was perfect!!!
The top part of the egg was the perfect beehive shape and it was just the right size, about 12 inches tall. I got the color yellow in case you could see through the frosting. The morning of the shower, I spackled some creamcheese frosting on that plastic egg, stuck on a little “door” made of melted white chocolate and dotted it with these adorable little edible sugar bees (bought on Amazon) and it was done! The final result:
A picture of me at the shower with my masterpiece!
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