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Posts tagged ‘Easy’

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

BEEP BEEP BEEP. Your alarm clock goes off at 6AM. You sleepily reach across your bed and aimlessly start hitting your nightstand. You’re aiming for the alarm clock but at 6AM your aim is slightly off and it takes you a few tries to 1) find the alarm clock and 2) successfully hit the snooze button. Then, just as you’ve started to drift back into a semi-sleep state of mind, it goes off again. This time your aim is slightly better but you’ve resigned yourself to getting up and starting your day. As you force yourself to sit up, all you can think about is that first cup of coffee. You can practically taste it in your mouth and just thinking about it gives you something to look forward to.

Does this sound familiar? I hope it does. If not, I have a serious addiction to caffeine and will probably need to seek professional help. Getting up every morning for work is not something we (i.e. I) look forward to, but it has to be done. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I do need coffee to get my day going, but what non-coffee drinkers don’t understand is it’s not just ANY cup of coffee that will get me through my day. It has to be the PERFECT cup of coffee.

If you’re making coffee at home it may seem like a no brainer, but I’m going to blog about it anyways today because after years of drinking coffee, 3 different coffee makers and countless different brands of coffee, I’ve learned what the formula is for coffee. You’re in luck, because I’m going to share it with you 🙂

Ingredients:

– 1 heaping tbsp of ground coffee – I go for hazelnut or chocolate raspberry but choose whatever works for you

– 3 tbsp half and half

– 1 tsp sugar

– 2 cups water (measured in the coffee pot)

Instructions: 

So this recipe is for 1 cup of coffee. Your coffee maker will have lines in the pot to use for measuring water. As a general rule of thumb, every 2 cups of water you measure with the pot will only yield 1 cup of coffee. I learned this the hard way, so take note of this!! If you want 2 cups of coffee that means you have to measure 4 cups of water with the pot and so on.

The next step is measuring out the coffee. For every cup of coffee you’re serving, you want 1 heaping tbsp of coffee. This may seem like a lot, but once it gets diluted in the water and you add half and half…it’s really not.

Add the water to your coffee maker and the coffee to your filter and hit that start button. You should be able to smell the coffee as it’s brewing and once its done, a quick glance at the pot will usually tell you if the coffee is good or not. A good pot of coffee will be a dark, rich brown color. If you hold the pot up to the light, it will be difficult to see through the coffee. A weak (i.e horrible) cup of coffee will be light brown in color and you will be able to see through it. When you pour the coffee into a cup and add half and half, a good cup of coffee will slowly take a creamy, light caramel color. A weak (i.e horrible) cup of coffee will turn an odd slightly grayish color and if you taste it, it will be bitter.

So there you have it guys – not a very traditional way of getting my recipe across but just remember that every 2 cups of coffee pot water = 1 cup of coffee  to drink and for every 1 cup of coffee you want to drink, you need 1 heaping tbsp of ground coffee to add to the filter. If you remember those 2 things you will ALWAYS have a perfect cup of coffee.

Also, as you may have guessed, I haven’t yet jumped on the K cup band wagon. I may make my way there at some point which would eliminate the need to try to make the perfect cup of coffee. For now, I’m good with my pot. It makes it easier to make multiple cups of coffee at once and if you have people over it makes it a little easier to make coffee for everyone.

Happy Sunday everyone! Hope your day starts off with a great cup of coffee 🙂

Sauteed Spinach with Garlic

Looking for a healthy and easy side dish for your perfect meal? I’ve got one for you here and just because it’s healthy and easy doesn’t mean it’s lacking in the flavor department (which is usually what it feels like when you put the words “healthy” and “easy” together in the same sentence). Pair this with my steak with gorgonzola butter and you’ve got yourself an amazing, delicious meal!

Ingredients:

– 4 cups fresh spinach

– 1 tsp salt

– 1 tsp black pepper

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 2 garlic cloves

– 2 tbsp fresh parmesan cheese

– 1 tsp crushed red pepper (leave out if it’s too spicy for you)

Instructions:

I think I said a few posts ago that I didn’t think I was ever going to have a recipe as easy as gorgonzola butter. I may have lied – making a side of sautéed spinach with garlic is pretty easy and my recipe is foolproof.

To make this, heat up the olive oil in a sauté pan on low heat. While the oil is heating, chop up the 2 garlic cloves. When the pan is hot, add the garlic. Allow the garlic to begin to cook and turn golden brown. At this point, add the spinach, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Mix together with the oil and garlic in the pan and continue cooking over low heat for 1-2 minutes. As soon as the spinach has wilted, turn the stove off and mix in the parmesan cheese.

Hostess with the Mostess Tip: Make this ahead of time! You can either leave it in the sauté pan to re-heat directly in there or plate it in your serving dish and warm it up in the microwave before serving.

Dress to Impress Tip: Place parmesan shavings on top of the spinach before serving. It adds a little something to the dish and makes it look like it came from a restaurant 😉

I mentioned this is a super healthy dish, right? You won’t feel it, since your taste buds will be so overwhelmed with the garlic and parmesan cheese. You might even be able to trick your kids into eating this one!

Buffalo Chicken Nachos

It’s almost game day!!! As fun as it is to watch the game, you all have to admit that the snacks that go with the game are something to look foward to as well.

I’m a huge fan of ANYTHING with buffalo chicken in it (stay tuned for some more neat ideas with buffalo chicken) so I thought why not add them to nachos to make the ultimate game day nachos? They’re so good that your friends may ask to take some home with them (be nice and let them).

These are ridiculously easy to make (a theme with my blog incase you hadn’t noticed) so you can make them anytime you’re craving a yummy snack.

Ingredients:

– 8 oz boneless chicken breast

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1/4 cup hot sauce

– 4 oz reduced light ranch dressing*

– 3 oz reduced fat cheddar cheese*

– 3 oz reduced fat monterey jack cheese*

– 1 bag of tortilla chips

Instructions:

Pre heat oven to 375.

Dice the chicken breast into small cubes. In a saute pan, heat up the olive oil over medium heat and add the chicken and 2 tbsp of the hot sauce. Continue cooking until the chicken is cooked all the way through (about 7 minutes). There’s no need to season the chicken with salt since the hot sauce already has salt in it.

In an oven safe dish, or a baking sheet that has been greased, arrange 3/4 of the bag of tortilla chips. Once this is done, sprinkle half of the cooked chicken, montery jack and cheddar cheese. Create a second layer of chips by putting the remaining tortilla chips on top of the first layer and then add the remaining chicken and cheese. Drizzle the remaining hot sauce (adjust to your liking) and the 4 oz of ranch dressing over the top.

Place in the oven for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and SERVE!

Hostess with the Mostess Tip: If you’re doing this for a party, make it easier for yourself by cooking the chicken ahead of time and setting it aside in a bowl (I try to use paper in these situations so that I can toss the bowl vs. having dishes pile up in the sink). If you’re not buying pre-shredded cheese, then make sure you shred the cheese beforehand. That’s really it…this is a super party friendly dish for both the hostess and the guests!