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Monthly Archives: July 2012

Sometime this past spring, I discovered cold-brewed coffee, and it was a miracle.  I’m sure everyone around me must have gotten tired of hearing me go on and on about it endlessly.  But it really is pretty brilliant.  Making it involves nothing more than mixing up some coffee and water and letting it all sit at room temperature for a while.  It’s a lot smoother and less bitter than coffee made with hot water, and it is mainly really excellent for iced coffee, because it makes a coffee concentrate that you can just store it in the fridge for whenever you want to drink it.  It’s also, apparently, really good in ice cream.

When a friend and I decided (sort of spontaneously) to make ice cream the other day, coffee seemed like a good choice because of the cold brew we had in the fridge.  And I’m happy to report that it was a good idea!  A very very good idea.  This ice cream contains not just cold-brewed coffee, but also some coffee-steeped milk.  It’s nicely coffee-flavored, although to give it a stronger flavor you could increase the coffee/milk steeping time (we only left it for about 45 minutes, the time it took us to go buy some cream), or the amount or strength of the cold brew.  I also really like that it’s not too creamy; instead, it’s light and just a little bit icy from the milk and water, which makes it more refreshing like iced coffee.

Cold-Brewed Coffee (from Smitten Kitchen)

The general ratio for this is 1/3 cup of ground coffee to 1.5 cups of water (adjust to make the amount of coffee that you want).  Combine the coffee and water in a jar, and let it sit at room temperature for 12 hours.  Then strain and filter it, and store it in the fridge.  This makes a coffee concentrate; to drink it, dilute it half-and-half with water or milk.

Cold-Brewed Coffee Ice Cream

2 tbsp. ground coffee

1 cup whole milk

2 cups heavy cream

1/3 cup cold brew concentrate

About 1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Combine the coffee and milk in a bowl and let it sit in the fridge for 45 minutes to an hour (or longer, for a stronger coffee flavor).  Strain the milk and add the sugar to it, whisking until the sugar is dissolved.  Whisk in the cream, cold brew, and vanilla, and then freeze in an ice cream maker.

This would be good with heath bars mixed in, or anything else chocolatey, really.  I haven’t experimented yet with different coffee strengths, but you could adjust the amount and/or strength of the cold brew, as well as the milk-brewed coffee.  Depending on how you adjust the coffee, you might also want to adjust the amount of sugar.

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Many of you reading this blog already know that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my jaw.  Sometimes it works just fine and chews [mostly] without complaint, and other times (like now, as you might have guessed) it refuses to do much of anything at all.  I realized yesterday that I’ve forgotten how to bite things — hopefully biting is the sort of intuitive motion that will come back automatically once I regain some mobility.  But until then, I’m on the mushy foods diet — no chewing (and especially no biting) necessary.  And despite how much I love yogurt, I could only go so long without trying to get a little more creative with the soft food, so I’m here to share a little of it with you.

One of the few side benefits of not being able to chew is that you get to eat more ice cream than usual.  Other benefits include, and are perhaps limited to: discovering the joys of mixing mashed banana into five-grain hot cereal; breaking strawberries into bite-size pieces on the walk home from the farm stand and getting juice all over your fingers; regularly eating spoonfuls of peanut butter and hummus; and treating pesto as a standalone food in its own right, rather than just a sauce or condiment.

I’d been wanting to try kale pesto for a while, and this was a perfect time for it.  Not only did we have a bit of an excess of kale from the farm share (I know, I know, “excess of kale” is an oxymoron…just bear with me), but chewing kale leaves is currently out of the question for me.  I followed this recipe from TasteSpotting, substituting pecans for the walnuts because that’s what we have around.  And let me tell you, if there is one thing you should take away from this post, it’s that you need to make kale pesto.  It is really delicious and can definitely be eaten on its own, not just used as a sauce for pasta or whatever else you tend to do with pesto.  My current favorite no-chewing-necessary meal is a plate of kale pesto, sweet potato, hummus, some chopped tomato, and plain yogurt sprinkled with za’atar (a middle eastern spice blend, if you’re unfamiliar).  It is a meal worth trying even if you can chew — although I wouldn’t blame you for adding in something a little less mushy, like pita or cucumber.

Despite how much ice cream I’ve had license to eat lately, I’ve only made it once since my current jaw troubles began (all you Valley folk out there have probably guessed already that the whole no-chew thing is a pretty excellent excuse to get lots of froyo from GoBerry).  Given how much rhubarb we’ve had this year, I had been wanting to try putting it in ice cream.  I used this recipe from the New York Times, omitting the caramel swirl and using yogurt instead of sour cream, but pretty much following the recipe otherwise.  I do wonder if it’s a little too sweet, but obviously rhubarb has to be sweetened quite a bit and the yogurt did give a nice contrasting tang. I still might cut down on the sugar a little next time, although it really is a nice ice cream.

The next few posts on here will probably all be mushy ones…I’m thinking of trying some new kinds of pureed vegetable soups with all that we’re getting from the farm share.  So keep an eye out for that!  Chewing is so unnecessary, folks.  (Well, sort of.)

(p.s. If you didn’t know, “Eat More Kale” is a reference to this guy in Vermont who makes t-shirts.  He sent me a free shirt once because I wanted a sticker, so that was pretty cool.)