Recipe

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Starbucks Schmarbucks! Make at home Frappe.

Published May 3, 2014 by Ashley Townsend

I have been craving iced beverages lately, what with the weather being about a BAGILLION degrees for a solid week in San Diego! Okay, more like 103 degrees, but with no air conditioning inside, it definitely feels like it’s in the bagillion digits. Anyway, my heat-stroked mind convinced me that a Starbucks frappuccino would be just the thing to cure me of my delusions of cheeseburgers dancing Zumba on the beach. And it was tasty. . . For about five minutes until it separated and I was sucking on nothing but milky foam. Ick! Since most of you know I can’t just sit idly by and not cook or concoct something, I was desperate to find a solution to my parched pallet and discovered a recipe online for the Starbucks Java Chip frappuccino. I was, however, a little disappointed to discover it was nothing but chocolate and ice and milk and sugar. 

So, of course, I had to make a couple minor adjustments. . . Like freezing coffee cubes instead of ice, using dark chocolate sauce inside the drink, nixing the white sugar, adding plenty of vanilla, and just a plash of milk to keep it smooth. The result is delicious! And it doesn’t get that funky separation because it’s nothing. but. COFFEE! Try it and see for yourself.

Oh, yeah, and we have also been remodeling our kitchen for about a week, which means we’ve been without a kitchen sink and counters for several days. . . which also means getting very creative with what we cook and where we do so. But it led to a great discovery! If these suckers can be made in a bathroom (I’m a germaphobe, so it’s completely sanitary), then they can be made anywhere. I.E.: Yes, YOU, dormroom kiddos, campers, etc. So long as you have a blender, you’re good to go! I mean, I guess if you were desperate enough, you could go all caveman on the cubes and chips and use a rock or something. *shrugs* If that’s your only option, then I would definitely explore it, because you don’t want to miss this. Be sure to check out my recipes on the upper left of the site.

The Step-Aside, Starbucks! Choco-Chip Frappe:

frap

 

2 C frozen coffee cubes, apx. 16 cubes for an ice tray (any type of coffee it great!)

1/4 + C milk (add 1 TBS at a time, if you need more for smooth consistency)

1/3 C chocolate chips

3 TBS dark chocolate syrup

1 tsp vanilla (1/8 tsp of anything is an insult to extracts)

Caramel sauce for decoration

Dump everything in a blender or food processor (sans caramel sauce) and pulse it up to break up the chips and cubes, then blend smooth. I like adding everything in this order because sometimes the fudge sauce will solidify if dumped directly on top of the frozen cubes. If it’s too icy for your liking, just add a splash of milk at a time and then pulse until you get the right consistency (I like it pretty thick, because I enjoy eating it with a spoon). Drizzle a glass that has been in the freezer for 10 minutes with a little caramel and fudge for decoration. When the frappe is ready, pour into glass and drizzle the chocolate sauce and then the caramel over the top. And this tasty beauty melts slower than your favorite Starbucks frappe, too, because there’s no water added! The trick with the frozen glass helps a little, too. ~_^ Enjoy, and stay cool, my very cool friends!

NOTES: I used World Market brands for the caramel and chocolate sauces. They have great, smooth flavors. I make my coffee the day before and let it freeze in the trays overnight–that way you get a really yummy frozen texture and don’t have to deal with half-frozen cubes or excess liquid.

 

 

 

 

 

Coconut Orange Cake

Published December 31, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

This is honestly the best cake you can possibly imagine for us coconut lovers. I found the recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens last year, and it’s quickly become a crowd favorite. The best part is that the longer you let it sit, the better flavor it has. It also freezes amzingly well. Enjoy! And don’t be afraid of a little effort!

5

½ C cranberry juice

1 ½ C dried cranberries

1 C walnuts, toasted and chopped

1 C flaked coconut, toasted

2 2/3 C flour

2 ¼ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

¾ C butter, softened

2/3 C sugar

6 egg whites

1 ½ tsp vanilla

½+ tsp orange extract (can substitute for coconut extract)

¾ C buttermilk (or half & half, or even plain yogurt and milk)

Boil juice in a saucepan. Add berries and boil 1 minute more. Let stand while you combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. (You can also toast the coconut and walnuts at this point) Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together. Add whites, vanilla, and orange extract on low. Beat in flour, alternating with buttermilk. Divide batter evenly among 3 greased (sides too) 9-inch round baking pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Do not expect cakes to turn golden; they stay fairly pale. Cool for 10 minutes and drain berries.

For Frosting:

Beat 3/8 C softened butter and slowly add 1 pound powdered sugar. Then beat in 1/6 C coconut milk (or a thicker milk product so it doesn’t get too runny). Add 1 ¼+ tsp orange extract for desired flavor.

Place first cake on a plate or platter. Spread with 1/3 of the frosting. Top with ½ of the swollen cranberries and 1/3 of the toasted walnuts. On the underside of the next cake layer, spread a very thin sheet of frosting, just so that the layers don’t separate when you cut it. Top with next layer and spread with 1/3 frosting. Top with remaining berries, 1/3 nuts, and ½ of the coconut. Thin layer of frosting on the underside of top layer before topping. Cover uppermost cake with a liberal layer of frosting on top, making sure the frosting at the edges is slightly higher so the goodies don’t tumble overboard. But DO NOT frost the side of the cake. Top with remaining nuts and toasted coconut.

Serves about 12-16

Wintery Orange Mocha

Published December 5, 2012 by Ashley Townsend

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Happy December! Even though it isn’t nearly as chilly as I would like it to be, I was craving a wintery Orange Mocha and made up a batch last night. As always, I played with this recipe a bit and love the addition of cloves and the cinnamon stick because they add so much extra flavor. I also made my Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti the other day to go with it. I forgot to pick up cranberries and really wanted some extra pizzaz, so I added a ½ tsp of orange zest to go better with the mocha, and boy was that a tasty experiment! So put on your favorite Christmas CD, grab a pair of freaky animal slippers, and snuggle up while you enjoy this tasty spin on your typical hot cocoa. Who knows? Maybe this recipe will turn into a Christmas morning tradition for you.

1 orange, washed

5 C strong coffee, leaded or unleaded (note: you sacrifice flavor if you make it too light!)

7 cloves (the whole thing! They sort of look like tiny wooden screws, if you aren’t sure)

1 whole cinnamon stick

½ C unsweetened cocoa powder

½ C brown sugar (you can substitute ¼ C of it for honey)

½ tsp ground cinnamon (for more flavor, leave the stick in longer, don’t add more pwd!)

½ tsp vanilla

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Use a vegetable peeler to remove the peel from the orange in wide strips; it makes it easier to remove them from the pan later on. In a saucepan, combine peels, cloves, cinnamon stick, and coffee; let stand over medium heat for 5 minutes. Discard orange peel, cloves, and cinnamon stick using either a sieve or a slotted spoon.

  

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together cocoa powder, brown sugar, and ground cinnamon. Whisk into coffee to combine.

 

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Stir in cream and vanilla; the vanilla sometimes gets bitter if added earlier (also, you would add the honey in this step, if using as a substitute). If you have one, you can use an immersion blender to froth the mixture. Ladle into mugs and top with whipped cream, sprinkles, and a curled orange peel. Works best as a hot drink. Serve with my Chocolate Cranberry—and orange!—Biscotti. And best of all, relax.    

Jeneca Zody

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