gingerbread espresso latte

Don’t let the “stuff’ of the holidays get you down…

…follow the Star
(“for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him;” Matthew 2)

2 tablespoons gingerbread spice simple syrup

add 3 oz steaming espresso

and the best part…steamed, fluffy, light and airy whole milk

dusted with cinnamon
Gingerbread Spice Simple Syrup
(adapted from here)
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 thinly sliced pieces of fresh ginger 
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
Mixing:
  1. Mix all ingredients together in pan
  2. Heat slowly to melt sugar
  3. Bring to rolling boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, strain into container, and cool
  5. Store covered in refrigerator
Gingerbread Espresso Latte
  • 2 tablespoons gingerbread spice simple syrup
  • 3 oz espresso
  • 4 oz whole milk, heated and frothed
  • dusting of cinnamon
  • (add a drizzle of chocolate syrup if you need an extra ahhhhhh……)
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Cookie recipe can be found HERE.
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from www.coffeefacts.org
(maybe this recipe is cappuccino and not latte; it’s good by either name)

Cappuccino

This blend is basically a mixture of 1/3 of espresso, another 1/3 steamed milk and the rest of the ingredients are frothed or foamed milk. It is known because of its thick layer of milk foam which is its significant identifier. Compared to its latte counterpart, this blend is quite stronger in terms of its taste. You could actually order two sub-types of this blend which are the wet or dry. Dry blends have more foam mixture rather than the steamed milk while wet blends are those with more milk than froth.

Latte

There are different foreign term for this blend specifically in French, German and Spanish which means it is likewise known and loved worldwide. This coffee type is often a great breakfast beverage. The recipes on how to make this blend include double shots of espresso and garnished with steamed milk and NOT foam or froth.  This is actually a very filling drink due to the generous amount of milk in its serving. In some baristas or cafĂ©, you would see froth or foam on top of the coffee which is only used for presentation sake. The usual artistic toppings for latte are the leaf or heart shape.

gingerbread

Do not underestimate this light and fluffy, spicy, gingery Gingerbread due to its simple appearance.
It looks plain and homey, you say. 
I say it needs nothing more than an accompanying cup of hot tea.
Notice the dark square within the larger square of the bread.  The top of the bread is crusty and chewy just removed from the oven.  After resting for a day, the top crust of the Gingerbread become soft and a bit sticky, yet equally as delicious as the chewy version.
Gingerbread Square
(adapted from here)
Ingredients:

  • 1 c butter
  • 1/2 c water
  • 3/4 c molasses (I had mild; use blackstrap if you want a stronger flavor)
  • 3/4 c honey
  • 1 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 c all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 2 t ground ginger
  • 2 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/8 t ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 c whole milk
  • 1 T grated fresh ginger
Mixing:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
  2. Place parchment in 9x9x2″ baking pan, allowing overhang on sides for easy removal of baked Gingerbread
  3. Combine first 5 ingredients in pan. Place over low heat; stir until butter is melted; remove from heat to cool
  4. Sift flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon,allspice and cloves into a bowl; sit aside
  5. When butter mixture cools to warm, add eggs one at a time beating after each addition.
  6. Add the milk to the butter/egg mixture
  7. Fold dry ingredients into wet and pour mixture into prepared pan. (This is a very liquid batter and fills the 9×9 pan almost to the top.
  8. Bake for 60 – 70 minutes, until the gingerbread tests done in the center (toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; bread springs back when touched)
  9. Allow to cool in pan 15 minutes then turn out of pan and cool on wire rack
  10. Store at room temperature for 4 days or refrigerated for a week (I wrapped tightly and froze most of the bread; it’s delicious removed from freezer and thawed; serve at room temperature)
  11. Add whipped cream and a dusting of cinnamon to serve (or, as I did…serve the bread simply cut into squares)

fall spice coffee

Let me begin by saying I am not a coffee drinker.  Coffee, with it’s many roasts and blends can be as intoxicating (or confusing) as chocolate, wine or cheese.  They all offer varied colors, tastes, textures and aromas.

During a class at CIA, I did taste a wonderful French Press coffee along with a rich, buttery, chocolate croissant.  At that point, I decided that maybe I do like coffee…

Crisp morning air, cloudy days, and leaves falling – who could resist a drink named ‘fall spice coffee?’

I wasn’t sure about the coffee, but the spices and zest……yes!

stir dry ingredients and add zest

waiting for 200 degree water
dripping for 6 minutes

 waiting for the 6 minutes to pass
(The coffee mug belonged to my Grandfather; remembering him on Veteran’s day weekend.)

reflecting the morning sunlight

 cream or sugar?

cream

The spices added depth to the warm morning mug of fall spice coffee.  I think the water dripped to quickly, leaving behind some of the flavorful oils of the coffee bean.  Also, even though the water boiled in the tea kettle, it only registered about 170 degrees on the instant read thermometer.  And, since the mug is not heated, the coffee cooled somewhat quickly.

Thus…opportunities to improve upon the drink when I brew my next cup of fall spice coffee.

Fall Spice Coffee
(adapted from Dessert First)

Ingredients:
(yield: one 6 oz cup of coffee)

  • 2T ground coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 6 ounces boiling water
  • sugar and cream as desired (or sweetened whipped cream topped with a dusting of cinnamon and a spiral of orange rind-how festive that sounds!)

Mixing:

  1. I used the unscientific/’what I had in the kitchen’ method of brewing this cup of coffee.
  2. I doubled the coffee filter, hoping to slow the drip
  3. My antique funnel had too large of an opening; a smaller opening would have slowed the drip.
  4. Stir together all ingredients except water
  5. Pour into coffee filter
  6. Add boiling water and allow to drip brew.
  7. I added 1 teaspoon of cream and no sugar. (For variation/research, next time, I’ll skip the cream and add raw sugar-smokey, brown crystals of sweetness.)
I found a funnel with a smaller opening that I will use in the future.
The picture below is simply comparing the variety of funnels….really….

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pumpkin spice latte

First, make the pumpkin spice syrup —
While this is simmering, your house will smell WONDERFUL!!!!!

Pumpkin Spice Syrup
(adapted from here and here)

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
Mixing:
  1. Combine all ingredients in small saucepan
  2. Heat and stir until sugar is completely dissolved
  3. Allow to cool, then store in airtight container in refrigerator
  4. Use within 3 weeks
Now, let’s mix the syrup with something rich and aromatic – -
Pumpkin Spice Latte
(makes one cup)
Ingredients:
  • 4 oz whole milk, heated and whipped to add air
  • 1 oz boiling water poured over 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (dissolve powder)
  • 2 tablespoons Pumpkin Spice Syrup, warmed
Mixing:
  1. Pour all ingredients together
  2. Whip to mix and add more air
  3. Pour into your favorite fall tea / coffee cup
  4. Top with Real whipped cream, sweetened with a dusting of powdered sugar and a few drops of vanilla
  5. Sprinkle all with cinnamon
even when the day is stressful…
….life is good…..
iPhone 4 & Camera +
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artistic espresso

My co-worker B let me borrow his European Espresso pot.  I’ve never made nor consumed espresso…ever.
I bake with espresso, so I decided to give this a shot, no pun intended.

the espresso pot is quite small, and makes only 1 or 2 servings

 the pot is sleekly designed, and begs to be photographed

 oh, the reflections–I had to move high and low to prevent my face, body, and camera from reflecting in the pot

sleek in design

 dreaming of the aroma soon to be filling the kitchen

I’m adding a square of 70% Lindt chocolate to my little cup of espresso, along with a splash of heavy cream and a dusting of cinnamon

 steam!

chocolate is melting into the hot espresso

 artistic interpretation

 cinnamon dusting

Yes, I could learn to drink espresso…
Thanks, B, for sharing the little espresso pot.

not popcorn, but POPCORN

I’m warning you, as I was warned by blog posts from ‘Love Your Mother Earth‘ and ‘Our Best Bites.’
(You can find the recipe on either link above.)
I didn’t believe them, and you may not believe me-

This is ADDICTIVE.  One bite leads to – ten bites – leads to twelve cups.
Yes, over a period of days, ‘I ate the whole thing!’  And-it-was-delicious.

The popcorn was at it’s absolute peak of flavor just out of the oven and slightly cooled; however, it’s flavor and texture were great days later.  The outside of the popcorn was sweet and crunchy, and the inside of the popcorn kernel was soft.