Saturday, January 18, 2020

The BEST Cold Brew Coffee Featuring the Toddy Cold Brew System

Back in December, my pal Ginger and I had our Annual Holiday Pop-Up Shop where Mr. Devilish Dish was kind enough to teach a workshop on how to put together a charcuterie board for the holidays.  He also demonstrated the Toddy Cold Brew System for making cold brew coffee.  We purchased this system earlier this year and he has been hooked on this coffee ever since! Iced coffee is brewed hot and served cold. ... Cold-brew coffee, however, is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in room-temperature water for six to 24 hours. This creates a coffee concentrate you mix with hot water, cold water or milk.  The biggest benefit to cold brew is its acidity level. As one study points out, cold brew is almost 67 percent less acidic than hot coffee, which means it's better for your teeth as well as your stomach. There's a taste benefit to this type of coffee as well.  I'm not even a huge coffee drinker and I love this coffee.  It is so smooth and tasty, it really doesn't even require a lot of cream or sugar (bonus if you are watching your calories) BUT, I especially enjoy it as an after dinner Carajillo Cocktail when it's mixed with Tuaca or Licor 43.  One of the biggest things we enjoy about brewing our coffee at home this way is the savings.  The coffee concentrate lasts us about ten days or two weeks using only 3/4 pound of coffee, which is a big money saver compared to buying expensive coffee drinks.  I should let you know at this point, that I have not been compensated in any way by the Toddy folks, we just really like the coffee made this way and I thought I would share it with you! 
The BEST Cold Brew Coffee.
There is the finished concentrate.
Ready for hot or cold water.
We use about 3/4 pound of coffee (coarsely ground)
per batch.  Mr. Devilish Dish
likes to weigh it out.
Place the coffee in the filter.

Add water.
We use filtered or bottled water here.
Brewed coffee is only as good as the
quality of coffee beans and water
you start with! 
Now sit it aside and let it steep anywhere
from 6-24 hours.

Mr. DD prefers 24 hours.
Now you've got several days worth of
concentrate.  At this point you can introduce
hot water if you want a cup of hot coffee, we
love it with cold water as a Cold Brew Coffee Drink.
There are endless amounts of recipes on the Toddy Website,
using the concentrate.  We also like the sparkling version below!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Gran Gran's Apple Dumplings

It's January 8th, surely those New Year's Resolutions have been blown by now right?  If not, then everything in moderation because you MUST try these!  I was asked to bring a dessert to Thanksgiving Dinner and Mr. Devilish Dish said, "Anything but pumpkin or pecan pie." (I know, I know *gasp* we don't like pumpkin or pecan pie) I rattled off several suggestions and we settled on Gran Gran's Apple Dumplings.  I cannot believe in 25 years of marriage I have NEVER made these for Mr. Devilish because I've made lots of her recipes over the years including Chicken Spaghetti (one of his favorites) and of course her famous Apricot Nectar Cake.  He was so intrigued when I made this.  In fact he said, "Who came up with this dessert and then said, 'You know what would make this better?  Let's pour a can of Mountain Dew over the top!" I'm not sure what the Mountain Dew actually does for the recipe, unless it helps create the sticky, syrupy, gooey goodness of a sauce.  I can honestly say I haven't bought a Mountain Dew since the last time I made this recipe, but I never omit it. These dumplings are incredibly rich as is, but you can up the indulgence factor by adding a scoop of ice cream or homemade whipped cream.  Bonus factor they are simple, travel well, and everyone loves them.  Just like the rest of Gran Gran's recipes. 
One of Gran Gran's Favorite Recipes!
So simple and delicious!
Peel and cut the apples into 8 wedges each.
Microwave for 2 minutes to soften.

Roll each apple wedge into a crescent roll strip.
You'll have 16 total.

Combine the granulated sugar, melted butter,
cinnamon and vanilla and pour this mixture
over the rolls.

Now pour a can of Mountain Dew
over the whole thing.
I know it's crazy but it's delicious.
Check out that golden, delicous
goodness.  Really indulge and add a
scoop of ice cream or whipped cream!

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Peppermint Foot Soak

I mentioned in my last post:  Christmas Charcuterie Board about the great place I work.  It has been my hometown's gourmet and kitchenware destination since 1978.  Without admitting my age, I can honestly say I have been shopping at the international pantry since I was in kindergarten.  It is my favorite place.  What's not to love about quality cookware and gadgets, gourmet foods and cooking classes???  Well walking around on your feet, that's what!  Obviously holiday time is our busiest time and I know like me, my co-workers go home to aching feet at night, so I whipped up a refreshing little foot soak to rejuvenate their tired tootsies!  With all natural ingredients and an invigorating peppermint scent it's just the thing to get us through the countdown to Christmas.  I shared them a few days early so they could enjoy them after a long day of work. This would be a great gift for anyone, but especially teachers, hairdressers and ANYONE that spends a lot of time on their feet.  I was able to whip up 8 gifts with one batch of ingredients in just a few minutes.  If you're looking for a quick, economical last minute gift that is both useful and thoughtful, here you go:

A relaxing gift for friends with tired feet!
Peppermint is not only rejuvenating for sore feet,
but it's also refreshing and smells like Christmas!
I hope you whip up a batch of these to share
this holiday season.
Click on the image to enlarge.
Right click and save to your computer.
Open with the software of your choice
and print onto cardstock.

These images are my exclusive artwork.
Please be courteous when using these printables
and remember they are for personal use only.

Peppermint Foot Soak

2 cups fine sea salt
2 cups Epsom salt
4 cups baking soda
Peppermint Essential Oil (I used about half a bottle-you want an obvious peppermint scent but you don't want the mixture to be wet or clumpy around 30-ish drops)

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir drops of peppermint oil in a little at a time unti you have an obvious peppermint scent.  You want the peppermint to be there, but you don't want the mixture to be wet or clumpy.  I was able to get 8 (half-pint) jars with this amount.  I found the little wooden scoops at Hobby Lobby and tied them on with baker's twine.

I hope you love this little homemade gift as much as I do.  Make some for yourself too.

Merry Christmas Foodie Friends!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Christmas Charcuterie Board

As you may know, my other hobby besides cooking is sewing.  I make scarves from repurposed threads.  A lot of team shirts, but if I can put a needle through it I'll try to make just about anything.  For the last 7 years, my childhood friend Ginger and I have hosted a Holiday Pop-Up Shop at the international pantry where I have worked on an off since 2002.  It's Norman's Gourmet & Kitchenware Destination Since 1978 and features kitchenware, gourmet & gifts.  It also boasts a large kitchen area where they host cooking classes and we host our Pop-Up Shop.  As I've probably told you before Mr. Devilish Dish is quite the cook and he has even taught cooking classes at the international pantry many times.  Every holiday season, Ginger and I rope him into giving a food demonstration during our Pop-Up Shop.  He always features some kind of delicious food item or kitchen tool available at the international pantry.  This year we decided to do something different.  As our gift to our loyal shoppers who come to our holiday show every year, we decided to have him teach a little workshop and our theme was Charcuterie Boards & Cold Brew Coffee.  The cold brew coffee was amazing and I will feature it soon in another blog post, but I wanted to share the charcuterie boards just in time for Christmas.

Charcuterie is the craft of preparing smoked and cured meats for preservation and flavor. Typical charcuterie meats are salami, ham, bacon, sausages, and pates. A selection of meats and cheeses are often accompanied by other yummy bites such as crackers, olives, pickles, jams, spreads, fruits and vegetables.  Think of it as the modern relish tray!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Banana Colada Plus A Big THANK YOU to Yummly & KitchenAid

One of the awesome perks of being a food blogger (besides eating, playing in the kitchen and meeting so many nice people like all of you) is networking with folks to share recipes.  This includes sites that share recipe content and companies with awesome kitchen products both big and small.  Recently the Yummly platform partnered with KitchenAid to reward some of their content creators with the wonderful gift of a blender! I'm so delighted they chose little old me here at The Devilish Dish.  All of this just in time to share a new cocktail with you: The Banana Colada.  If you aren't familiar with Yummly, it is the smartest and most helpful food platform in existence, and I'm proud they share several of my recipes.  You can choose recipes based on your personal preferences, tastes, allergies and more.  As part of the Yummly Pro community you can learn to cook with some of the world's best chefs.  There is even assistance in scheduling meal calendars and creating grocery shopping lists, all from the ease of their website or app available for IOS, Ipad and Android.  It's a very helpful foodie community to be a part of, so you can see how overjoyed I was to receive a new blender.  I'm sure you are familiar with the quality of Kitchen Aid products (I have been in love with their stand mixer for years!) so I so excited about the new K4000 BlenderDesigned to deliver the perfect taste, this variable speed blender easily blends even the toughest ingredients from kale to almonds and more!  The Ice Crush, Icy Drinks and Smoothie setting are absolutely perfect for the Banana Colada!  Do you like Pina Coladas? (Yes now that will be stuck in your head too.  Sorry!) You'll love them even more with the creamy addition of a fresh banana.  This is of course a terrific Summer drink, but it's delicious anytime, especially since Fall and Winter weather are upon us and we're all dreaming of somewhere warm and tropical for the holidays. A great way to entertain AND knock out those holiday fruit baskets at the same time. so enjoy: 

An old favorite gets an update from
a fresh banana!

Thank you again to Yummly and KitchenAid
for this awesome blender.
I'm so grateful for their support.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Braised Beef Ragu with Parmesan Polenta

Braised beef is simply beef that has been browned, and then allowed to stew slowly in a closed container.  It is the ideal one pot meal, making serving and clean up a breeze.  This Braised Beef Ragu combines a few simple ingredients for a rich, hearty, elegant meal.  Served over a pile of cheesy, creamy polenta you'll have a simple but sophisticated meal that is worthy of any Sunday Supper or dinner party.  Last holiday season when I was busy sewing away on scarves and pillows, I tasked Mr. Devilish Dish with preparing this meal.  We had made it once before and I knew with some tweaks it was something I wanted to share with you.  The first time he made it, he left out the tomatoes.  Oops.  They are a pretty integral part of the dish.  We added them at the end, and although we didn't get to experience them completely cooked down with full flavor, it was still delicious.  The second time he made this (unsupervised again) he accidentally added the water that is used to cook the polenta.  We able to rescue it with extra wine, tomatoes and tomato paste.  It was still delicious.  See where I'm going with this?  It is foolproof.  Recently, I decided that I would make this without his assistance so it would be perfectly blog worthy for you, and here it is: 
This hearty flavorful meal cooks slowly
and comes together for a rich,
elegant meal worthy of any guests.
Allow the beef to braise at a low temperature
until it is falling apart tender.
Serve over creamy Parmesan Polenta.
Where I live they're normally called "GRITS"
but doesn't Polenta sound fancier?

Monday, November 11, 2019

{Copy Cat} Ghirardelli Sea Salt Hot Chocolate

Every time we visit San Francisco we hit the Ghirardelli shop and my favorite treat there is the Sea Salt Hot Chocolate.  I actually love the location in Monterrey because it's like a little second floor ice cream parlor.  You can take your treats outside and sit on the balcony overlooking the Pacific.  How delightful is that?  Last year we decided to have our Valentine's Day dinner at home.  Changing things up from the usual steak and salad we opted to make breakfast for dinner.  That's kind of romantic right?  We enjoyed Monte Cristo Crepes (since I have a great Gluten-Free Crepe recipe) and my Mom's Fruit Salad.  All the great flavors of my Monte Cristo Sandwich recipe, but gluten-free this time.  I was trying to come up with a clever dessert to go along with our "breakfast" theme.  Since I haven't mastered gluten-free donuts yet, and I didn't think something like Creme Brulee was an appropriate breakfast-type dessert (Is there such a thing as a breakfast dessert? There should be!) this hot chocolate came to mind.  It was thick, rich, and over the top.  Make sure you use lots of caramel and whipped cream.  Splurge like you're on vacation.  Or having breakfast.  Or celebrating Valentine's Day.  Yes to all!
Here's my Valentine's Day Version
Here is the one I ALWAYS enjoy when in the bay area!
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