Friday, October 27, 2017

coconut hazelnut chocolate iced coffee


HHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII-eeeeeeeeeeeee! I'm back again. Twice in a week! Maybe it's because I'm all hopped up on coffeeeeeeeeeeee! I may have had enough that I thought my eyeballs were going to vibrate right out of their sockets yesterday.  Random fact about me, I very, very, very rarely drink hot coffee anymore. I'm iced coffee all year round. This one is a definite favorite of mine.  And, this flavor is one that works, year round too.


Now, you're going to think I'm nuts, but there is a serious flavor difference between cold brew and hot coffee that's been cooled then iced. For whatever reason it's seems sweeter and less acidic. At one point, I couldn't drink any coffee, because I became so nauseated, I could barely eat for the rest of the day. For whatever reason, cold brew usually does not affect me that same way. Maybe it's all in my head or maybe there is a reason to it, but for what ever reason, this is my go to coffee method. I just bought this cold brew maker a couple of weeks ago and I love it! I definitely recommend getting one if you love iced coffee year 'round.



Coconut Hazelnut Chocolate Iced Coffee:
serves 8-12

For Coconut Chocolate Hazelnut Syrup:

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
1 teaspoon coconut extract

Combine all ingredients, except extract, in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling remove from heat and stir in coconut extract. Allow to come to room temp before refrigerating.


For Cold Brew Coffee:

Use a 4 to 1 ratio for your brew.
For example, I use 4 cups water to 1 cup coffee for a small batch.

Place your coffee and water in a pitcher or jar and allow to sit at room temp for at least 12 hours. I tend to go a full 24. Then strain through a fine mesh strainer lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Be careful not to let any grounds through. I find it keeps up to week just fine.


For the Iced Coffee:

Pour coffee over ice, stir in syrup to taste and top off with coconut milk.



Monday, October 23, 2017

Ahi Tuna Sushi Bowls

I told you I'd be back! This is the post I had originally planned on being my first post back. That was before I made those cute little graveyards and I changed my mind.



So, I decided to make a new series called "Week Night Dinners". They'll all be things that I make regularly during the week, that are easy and usually quick. Most won't have a ton of ingredients. Like this recipe it'll probably be photos from my phone, that aren't styled much at all. It's about real life and what we eat and what I can make that's easy and fits our schedule.

 This one is a favorite of mine and my youngest, Liam. The kid loves sushi! His favorite is Salmon Nigiri or, as he calls it, Nemo Sushi, because it's orange with white veins and reminds him of a clown fish. He is not a normal kid, that's for sure! He rarely eats any sushi other than nigiri and it stumps all the waiters when we let him order a plate of nothing but nigiri. I've made sushi at home before but my oldest, Caleb, won't eat fish unless it's been cooked. He also doesn't like 99% of the veggies out there. When I make this he eats, rice, tuna(well done) and eel sauce, and if I beg he'll eat some carrot ribbons. My husband and I, on the other hand, love to eat this loaded with all the veggies and so does Liam.


Add some rice to this spread plus about 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cooking and plating and you're done. I like to prep the eel sauce and spicy mayo ahead of time, so the flavors mingle and it takes some time off my cook time. If you do weekly food prep, you can cut the cucumber and carrots ahead as well. I try to do this as often as possible and it makes life so much easier. I used the microwavable rice pouches for this but it would be even better with actual fluffy sushi rice or any short grain rice.




Ahi Tuna Sushi Bowls
feeds 4

4 4 oz Ahi Tuna Steaks
1 tablespoon soy sauce
drizzle of olive oil
8.8oz Microwavable Rice Pouches
1 small or 1/2 medium cucumber, julienned
1 medium carrot, cut into ribbons with vegtable peeler
2 avocados, cubed
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Eel Sauce, listed below
Spicy Mayo, listed below

Heat rice according to package instructions. Dish out into 4 bowls and allow to cool. Heat large skillet to medium-high heat, add oil to pain. Once its hot add 2 tuna steaks to pan. sear on both sides but do not cook through. Just a couple of minutes on each side is plenty. Remove from pan and cook the next two. Allow them to cool while you cut the veg. Slice tuna and place on top of the rice, add your veggies, drizzle with eel sauce and spicy mayo. Eat up!

Eel Sauce
2 Tablespoons Mirin
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sugar

In a small sauce pan, whisk together all ingredients and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Cook until just slightly thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and and allow to come to room temp before refrigerating.

Spicy Mayo
3 Tablespoons Mayo
1 Teaspoon Sriracha

Whisk together in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.



See you soon!!
xoxoxo,
Ashley

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Spooky Graveyard Puddings

I'm back WITCHES!!!! Get it, get it, huh??? Lame? Ok, ok, I know. After a two and a half year hiatus, I'm coming back! Why? Well, I missed my creative outlet and the drive it gave me to stretch and push myself and my skills. Plus, it was just plain fun. Two years ago I needed to eliminate anything that wasn't necessary for me to give my time to, but now both boys are in school and I'm ready to start investing time into something I enjoy again.


 I planned on coming back to you with a delicious sushi bowl, but I made these cuties and knew I had to share. They're easy, delicious and kids (and husbands) lose their minds over them!


I made these for our Friday family movie night. We were watching Hocus Pocus and these made me think of Billy. The boys loved it and I of course loved re-watching something from my childhood. It truly is a classic, at least in my opinion. Anything with Bette Midler is instantly a win in my book. 



Can't keep their hands off of them!!!


SPOOKY CHOCOLATE GRAVEYARD PUDDINGS
makes about 12 1 cup portions

Chocolate Stout CakeThe best one bowl chocolate cake in the history of the universe

Make 2-3 dozen cupcakes
or 3 8” round cakes
or 2 9” Round cakes
or 1 9x13 cake
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
1 cup dutch process cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs beaten
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup stout beer (Terrapin Liquid Bliss is my fav)
2 tablespoon espresso powder
½ cup vegetable oil
Preheat over to 350 F. Line Pans with parchment or butter and flour.
In a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, beer, espresso powder and oil. Whisk wet into dry. Pour into pans and bake. Bake 30-35 minutes for round pans, 35-40 minutes for rectangle pans. Once cool, crumble the cake and set aside.
*To make it non alcoholic- omit espresso powder and swap beer for strong coffee.  
(I did this this time)

Faux Chocolate Mousse 
aka secret ingredient instant pudding

2 5.9 oz boxes instant pudding
3 cups whipping cream or heavy cream
In a large bowl, whisk both ingredients together.  Refrigerate for about 3 hours to overnight. That's it. No really. Yes, I'm serious. Oh, and don't tell anyone so they'll think you've made this goodness from scratch.


Gravestone Cookies

1 log of sugar cookie dough
1 tube of black decorating gel

Roll log into a tombstone shape, slice into cookies and freeze cookies for a minimum hour. (I totally forgot this step this time and they all lost their shape, baked into a huge blob and I had to cut them into the shape by hand) Bake frozen cookies according to regular directions. If you need to make any adjustments to the shape, do it while they're still warm on the pan. Allow to cool completely before decorating.

zombie hand cupcake toppers (these are the ones I ordered)
gummy worms (I used these because their our favorite)

Then, just layer them into the jars, starting with the cake crumbles, then pudding and more cake. Top with cookies, worms and hands. Refrigerate until ready to serve.




That's it! Easy and delicious!
I'll be back Monday with more deliciousness!!!
Happy Haunting!!!