Best Iced Coffees to Make at Home

Iced coffee is always our go-to refreshment, especially when it’s hot outside. There is just something special about the combo of toasted, roasty coffee with ice and creamy sweetness – which would never fail to give us excitement the moment we take the first sip. However, drinking the same cup of iced coffee every day could get boring, so why not spice things up a little bit? Get creative and be your at-home barista with these simple, amazing iced coffee recipes that will leave you always wanting more.

Creamy Iced Coffee

The original iced coffee, but it is not like your typical one. In this variant, the coffee combines with milk, half-and-half, just a little sugar, a bit of vanilla, and of course, chocolate syrup! Yet, if you want it to have more kick to it, you can opt on chocolate liqueur instead.

Ingredients:

1 ½ quarts room temperature brewed coffee

One cup of milk

One cup of cream (half-and-half)

⅓ cup of white sugar

One teaspoon of vanilla essence

Two tablespoons chocolate syrup or liqueur

How to prepare:

  1. Mix the brewed coffee, milk, and half-and-half in a pitcher.
  2. Add in the sugar, vanilla, and chocolate syrup and stir thoroughly.
  3. After everything is compiled well, keep the pitcher in the refrigerator to make it cold and it’s ready to drink.

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

If you’re the type that prefers a rich but sweet iced coffee now and then, yet you don’t feel like going the extra mile to make one, then this two-ingredient coffee recipe is for you. Sweetened condensed milk is used in this Vietnamese iced coffee to give it a great taste with little effort.

Ingredients:

4 teaspoons of coffee (preferably Trung Nguyen coffee)

Sweetened condensed milk

How to prepare:

  1. Bring a kettle of water to a boil first, you can use an electric kettle to boil it faster.
  2. For this version of coffee, you will need to use a Vietnamese coffee filter to have retained its original taste. Pour a bit of hot water through the filter and your cup to warm it up.
  3. Discard the steel filter and add four teaspoons of coffee to the pot. 
  4. Gently twist the filter around until it stops. If your filter appears not to have screws, place the filter on top of the coffee.
  5. Pour a small amount of water into the filter to moisten the grind and allow it to expand a little and get rid of any little grinds. If you notice any grinds that past the filter, chuck it out.
  6. Fill the filter to the brim and set it aside to drip. The brewing duration is between 3 and 5 minutes, so put the filter appropriately. Because the filter will get hot, adjust it with something to avoid getting burnt. Put the lid back on and wait for it to drip.
  7. After it’s done, add about 2-3 teaspoons of condensed milk into the coffee. But if you’re not a fan of sweet coffee, then one teaspoon would be sufficient.
  8. Allow the coffee to cool slightly before pouring it into an ice-filled glass.

Iced Salted Honey Latte

Salt and honey may seem like an odd pairing, but that makes it unique. The fusion between salt and honey with the slight bitterness of coffee makes it mesmerizing; you would have regretted not having tried this earlier. This handmade latte does not necessitate the use of an expensive espresso machine.  All you need is just a microwave and a jar with a lid.

Ingredients:

1 cup of milk

1 cup of room temperature espresso or coffee

1/2 teaspoon of sugar (add more or less depending on your preference)

1 teaspoon of honey

1 teaspoon of sea salt flakes

How to prepare:

  1. Pour the milk into a lidded jar and shake rapidly a minute or until it is frothy. Then, take off the lid, place it in the microwave to heat for 15 seconds.
  2. Get two big glasses and fill them with ice. Distribute the coffee evenly among the glasses and add a pinch of sugar.
  3. Hold back the froth with a spoon and add a bit of milk to each glass. Scoop a spoonful of the froth and place them on top of the latte. Drizzle a little of honey (or more) and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt flakes on top of each latte.
  4. Stir everything and it’s ready to serve.

Gourmet-style Iced Coffee

Hitting the coffee shop for premium iced coffee all the time can hurt your wallet in the long run, so why not make your gourmet-style iced coffee at home? Simply prepare your coffee the night before with high-quality coffee beans. This way, the coffee will be at room temperature when morning arrives.

Ingredients:

1 cup of room temperature coffee

Two tablespoons half-and-half (or more, depending on your preference)

For the syrup:

½ cup of sugar

One cup of water

½ teaspoon of vanilla essence

How to prepare:

For the syrup:

  1. Get a medium saucepan, heat it over medium heat, and combine the sugar and 1 cup water, constantly stirring until the sugar has fully dissolved. 
  2. Allow it to cool fully before stirring in the vanilla essence. Refrigerate until it’s ready to be served.

For the coffee:

  1. Brew a cup of coffee in your favourite coffee machine
  2. Once it’s done, fill in a glass with ice cubes, syrup and half-and-half. Then, pour the coffee into the glass. Add 1 teaspoon of syrup at a time until the desired flavour is achieved.

Caramel Iced Coffee

Source: unsplash.com – Kari Shea

Unique iced coffee recipes are always great to have, but nothing beats the original caramel iced coffee. Caramel is a traditional taste found in some of the greatest coffee blends available. The bitterness of the coffee combined with the sweetness of caramel would give a zap on your tastebuds the moment you take your first sip.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of brewed coffee

One tablespoon of caramel sauce

1/2 cup of milk

Sugar (optional)

Ice cube and whipped cream

How to prepare:

  1. Fill a jug halfway with your freshly brewed coffee and add caramel sauce and sugar.
  2. Store in the fridge until it is cold.
  3. Fill your favourite glass with ice cubes and pour the chilled coffee.
  4. Pour in your milk and finish with a dollop of whipped cream and drizzle a bit more caramel sauce.

Is A Mocha Different From A Latte?

Selecting from the varied specialty coffee drinks available in most shops or cafés can overwhelm even the keenest enthusiast. It takes studying to learn the differences between a cappuccino and an espresso, Americano, macchiato, and the latte and mocha. Still, these are merely a handful of a very long list of options.

Many people have the misconception that the latte and mocha are the same. These two are very similar since they have a primary ingredient of coffee, but otherwise, they are unique. There is only a slight variable, but it is enough to designate them as two different drinks.

With mocha, there is chocolate in the blend. A latte does not have this ingredient; instead using steamed milk, foam, and espresso. Mocha will also have espresso along with the chocolate, a lesser amount of steamed milk, and topped with some of the foamed milk.

One has chocolate, and the other has a greater amount of steamed milk. For someone with a sweet tooth, mocha would be the preference. In the case of those who want the authentic coffee experience, the latte is just a step-down from an espresso. Even coffee and mocha are dissimilar; check out how at http://www.differencebetween.net/object/comparisons-of-food-items/difference-between-mocha-and-coffee/.

How Is A Mocha Different From A Latte?

Walking into a coffee shop or café facing a gigantic menu of specialty options can be daunting. You can narrow those choices down somewhat if you want an authentic coffee taste or are leaning more towards a sweet, kind of “dessert” coffee creation. Two espresso drinks that fit into these categories are the latte and the mocha.

These are distinct drinks that often get confused, and for those who want to become familiar with the differences between the items on the menu, you genuinely should know what’s in the drink you’re having. Let’s look deeper into each of these options.

** Mocha

When you think of mocha, the ingredients that come to mind are chocolate and coffee. These are the primary components that bring the drink its distinction. It is a choice more for those who enjoy a sweet taste since it satisfies that craving. The coffee flavor is slight, with the highlights being creamy milk and chocolate as the central ingredient.

The espresso shots go in the mix initially when making the drink, followed by the chocolaty sauce, and then steamed milk is poured over it. In some cases, depending on where you go, there will be additional accompaniments of chocolate shavings and perhaps whipped cream. Read how mocha can improve mood better than either chocolate or coffee alone.

The variations are many when it comes to mocha drinks with the opportunity to add flavorings like with the “salted caramel” version.

** Latte

Lattes don’t intend to be sweet but strive more for the coffee flavor, which is why there’s no chocolate in the ingredients. These develop with more steamed milk than a mocha, up to eight ounces, plus shots of espresso and foam for the topping, which the creator typically does in a design.

Typically, no flavorings are a standard option to change up the variety with lattes. That means you will get an authentic espresso taste instead of a sweet flavor. There are no rules in cafés that say you can’t ask the barista to add a flavoring to your latte to make it custom just for you, and many people do take advantage of this benefit to suit their specific tastes.

 

Excusing Yourself From The Café

Many people are hesitant to create their favorite drinks at home instead of spending the extra money each day at their local shop or café. The thought is overwhelming and intimidating. But given the appropriate equipment for espresso-making, especially with the advances in technology, the machines are more user-friendly, leaving enthusiasts with less apprehension to try.

You can create lattes and mochas at home with the potential for some slight variations from what you might receive from a professional barista. After making the espresso for the latte, hot milk is the next ingredient. Usually, a frothier produces the milk, but it’s okay if you don’t have this capability.

The milk can warm on the top of the stove, or you can even use the microwave. That’s the extent of the work required for creating the best latte in the comfort of your home.

A mocha might be a little bit more involved due to the extra ingredients. You can either make chocolate sauce or buy some. Again, you’ll make the espresso and heat your milk as you would with a latte.

Place the espresso first and then add the sauce blending them together and complete the process by pouring in the milk to create the optimum flavor. If you want to mimic the decadence of a café product, add toppings of shavings and whipped cream for presentation, particularly if you are serving friends.

Final Thought

Now, when perusing menus in shops anywhere, you will know what a mocha consists of precisely and what the latte offers. The insight into these two drinks can narrow down your choices quite a lot because you either want a sweet, subtle coffee-flavored drink with a bit of decadence or prefer an authentic espresso taste with no hint of sweetness in the mix.

That does not mean there aren’t options in either category. There are flavorings in the mocha family to produce a plethora of drinks intended to suit a particular preference. And while it is not standard with a latte, baristas will add flavors to lattes to give just a hint of flavor to the distinct coffee taste.

Now you merely need to move on to the next few out of the great mix of options available to choose from so you can ultimately know what exactly the differences are with each specialty drink available. How about cappuccino or macchiato or perhaps an Americano? Sampling each is one step in the process, but to fully understand the nuances, you need to learn what they are.

5 Ways To Make A More Relaxing Cup Of Joe

Coffee has been a drink for many occasions and moods. It’s been typically cast as the speed drink as it gives us a lot of energy and helps us throughout the day. However, it’s not all that it does. It is also known as one of the best relaxants in the world because it can be changed to a different type of drink with a few small things. These are things that you can add yourself at home to make your coffee session a little calmer and more enjoyable.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is known to have a lot of good qualities such as relaxing your muscles. The additional cocoa in dark chocolate bars, has more flavonoids than some other foods. It will lower your cortisol levels which is the main component of stress. Dark chocolate is also great for your anxiety, as it’s known to have a slower release of energy and helps your digestive system to be more stable. To get the benefits from dark chocolate in your coffee, make sure it’s above 70%. Preferably you will have access to 80% cocoa with low sugar.

pixabay

Honey 

Rather than using sugar to sweeten your cup of Joe, we recommend you try honey. Honey is naturally good for your stomach and immune system. It can also help to soothe anxiety levels. It’s also common to have honey with a spice such as cinnamon. It tastes amazing and it gives your coffee a natural sweetness, with no way near a rise like sugar will give you. You won’t get such a high spike in sugar and that can only mean your system is not artificially boosted to a more active level.

Full fat

Full-fat milk is very good for you. You shouldn’t drink it all the time, but it’s definitely worth putting into your coffee at moderate levels. The full-fat milk has anti-inflammatory qualities, and lots of vitamin D. It’s something that rarely gets mentioned, but it can also help you if you have any kind of panic disorder. Lower levels of vitamin D have shown to increase stress and anxiety in people with a loose emotional balance. So next time you’re at the store, grab the kind with the most fat in it for your coffee.

A drop or two

CBD has been known to be one of the modern leading supplements in anti-inflammatory treatment. It can also lower your anxiety levels, especially useful after a tough day at work. These Vegan CBD Oils are just the right kind of concentration to be used every day when you feel like it. Just add one or maybe two drops to your coffee and you will feel the effects within a few minutes or so.

Oat milk

Oat milk is taking over from soy and almond milk because it has a great silky taste but with clearly better effects. Oats have complex nutrients and minerals that heal the body and slow your metabolism down a little. This makes for a slower energy burn and more stable system.

Coffee isn’t just tasty it can be very helpful too. These are just some of the things you can put into your cup of hot Joe to relax your mind and body after a busy day.

 

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 405

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great Christmas, and though it’s a few days early I wish you the best of luck in the new year.  Next week the party will be back in its usual format with features from each of our hostesses, so please be sure to link up your recipes and projects!  Till then, I hope you enjoy my feature pick for this week.  It is a creamy apple mock-tini for kids (and maybe for some of you adults too)!  Hope you enjoy!

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Celebrating College Football with Dr Pepper® and HOT POCKETS®

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollegeFootballChampSweeps

celebrating-college-football-with-dr-pepper-and-hot-pockets

I love this time of year.  Where I live, the temperatures were in the upper 80s and low 90s throughout September, so it didn’t feel like fall weather, but football season is definitely in the air, and that is a great thing! Dr Pepper®  is a sponsor of college football and the college football championship, and they are teaming up to offer shoppers great deals at Publix for all their football watch party and tailgating party needs.  Since our Saturdays are filled with football, family, and food, I have to keep a lot of drinks and snacks on hand, and I’m always happy to find deals on the snacks we love.  Today I’ll be sharing a few of my ideas for how you can take advantage of these great deals at Publix and make Dr Pepper and Nestle HOT POCKETS® brand sandwiches a part of your football celebration.

dr-pepper-special-edition

Prepare to take your college football experience to the next level! Dr Pepper®, DIGIORNO®, HOT POCKETS®, EDY’S® and STOUFFER’S® are giving you the chance to win tickets to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship game in Tampa, Florida! Three lucky winners will receive two tickets to the game, airfare and hotel accommodations! In addition, Publix gift cards will be awarded to several other lucky winners. Don’t miss out! Visit CollegeFootballChampSweeps.com for your chance to win. Enter between 10/1/16-10/21/16.

Dr Pepper can be found in the drink aisle at Publix. Be sure to be on the look out for the special limited edition 2016 College Football Packages. Publix also has great deals on HOT POCKETS® and other frozen snacks from Nestle.  Look for these in the freezer section.

dr-pepper-float-bar

You will be the star of your own football party when you create your very own Dr Pepper Floats Bar.  This is such a fun and delicious idea!  You’ll of course need some and a couple of flavors of ice cream for the main ingredients of the floats.  Here I used French vanilla and butter pecan, but I have to tell you that chocolate ice cream is great for  Dr Pepper  floats as well!

And of course, you will need glassware.  I like to put out a couple of different sizes and types of glasses out, simply because in our family one person may want a large float, while someone else may want just a small serving.  You should also have some toppings and add-ins like chocolate syrup, whipped cream, cherries, and candy toppings.  And if you’d like to give your guests the option of blending their float, you should have a blender or hand blender on hand.

As you can see, it is a very simple, yet nice and presentable set up.

making-dr-pepper-floats

Apart from floats, I absolutely love blended floats and shakes.  Today I’ve got a very simple recipe for Dr Pepper Shakes.

dr-pepper-shake

Recipe for Dr Pepper Shakes

Ingredients:

1 cup french vanilla ice cream (or other flavor of your choice)

2/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

1/2 cup Dr Pepper

splash of Dr Pepper to create foamy top (optional)

Directions:  Blend together ice cream, milk, and chocolate syrup.  Mixture should be pretty thick; if it seems thin, add additional ice cream and reblend.  Next blend in your Dr Pepper.  Pour shake up into a glass and add a splash of Dr Pepper to create foam at the top.

Other Topping Options and Substitutions:

  • Whipped cream and cherry.
  • Whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.
  • Whipped cream with chopped candies or sprinkles.
  • You can also leave the chocolate syrup out and go with plain vanilla, or use other syrups like caramel, butterscotch, and strawberry.
  • To change this recipe from a shake to a blended float, leave out the milk and add extra Dr Pepper.

dr-pepper-floats

hot-pockets-bar

Just as the Dr Pepper can be used as part of a float bar, the HOT POCKETS® brand sandwiches can used in a bar of their own.  This works out great for us, because we  like to put out a number of finger foods and snacks so that everyone can come, eat, and go, as they please, and making your own HOT POCKET® is as easy as you can get!

Simply lay out a few of your favorite HOT POCKETS® flavor options.  I love Ham & Cheddar, but the rest of my family love the Cheddar Cheeseburger and the Pepperoni Pizza varieties.

Then add a few dipping sauces to add on the side.  A few suggestions I have are ranch dressing, ketchup, mustard, honey mustard, and barbecue sauce.  You’ll also need some ramekins for your sauce, food plates, and forks.

ham-and-cheese-pocket

In about 2 minutes anyone can fix up their own snack. (That means it can even be done during the commercials!)  And the best part is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time in your kitchen cooking while everyone else is enjoying the games.

dr-pepper-can

For more fun ideas for the college football season from Dr Pepper and Nestle, check out visit this site.

Photobucket

Friday Favorites – Week 322 – With Morning Delight Breakfast Recipes

Hello Friends! Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Favorites. This week I have a collection of posts to share that I’m very excited about.  I’m excited because they all involve two things I love: Breakfast and Something Sweet!  I hope you’ll go over and check out these delicious looking recipes!

And as always, I invite you to share your recipes and projects using the linky at the end of this post.  If we like your post, you could be featured here or at one of the other host blogs!

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Friday Favorites – Week 308 – With Hot Chocolate Recipes

Greetings! Welcome to this week’s edition of Friday Favorites. Before we get to this week’s party, I have a quick note. You may recall that we published an application last week to apply to be a Friday Favorites Co-Hostess.  If you applied, thank you so much!  We have some great bloggers who have applied, and so I’m still looking over all the applicants.  So if you applied, please watch your inbox for an email from me very soon!

Now on to this week’s party!  This week we have some delicious hot chocolate recipes! Hope you enjoy!

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Vanilla Hot Chocolate and a Valentine’s Day Hot Chocolate Party

Valentines Day Hot Chocolate Party

Today you are in for a treat…literally!  With the winter season in full swing and Valentine’s Day right around the corner, it is the perfect time to have a Hot Chocolate Party!  Hot Chocolate is a delicious winter time drink, and thus, it is the perfect menu item to put at the centerpiece of a winter gathering for kids or adults.  Today I’m going to show you some simple ideas and tips for putting together a fun and sweet hot chocolate party! [Read more…]

Friday Favorites – Week 301 – With New Year’s Foods + My Thoughts for the New Year

Happy New Year!  And welcome to our last party of 2015 and our first party of 2016.  Woohoo!  In honor of the new year, today I’ve got some foods that are perfect for your New Year’s celebrations!

But  first I have a few thoughts on the new year and what’s to come.  First off, I want to say thanks to everyone who’s linked up here at any time during 2015.  Whether you’ve come by each week or just a time or two, your visits are much appreciated!

Secondly, although I’m proud of the work I did on my blog in 2015, and I feel I accomplished a lot, I have to admit that I feel like I slacked a bit on parties this year.  My husband was in the hospital last spring, and I had to help him in his recovery time.  And then we also had a number of household projects to tackle and other things that came up.  Long story-short, even thought I managed to get a party post up each week, I felt like some of them were just “thrown together” and I didn’t get to visit you guys and comment nearly as much as I would like.  BUT I promise I will be getting back on track with that in the new year, as well as some other things that I feel I’ve “slacked on.”

Now in honor of me “not slacking” I am planning some posts for January, which will be on setting goals and getting things done in the new year.  In fact, my words for 2016 are “simplify” and “focus,” which I will be posting about this weekend.  So you can expect to see a lot of posts on my blog this year that revolve around these two things, especially “simplify” because simplicity is at the heart of my blog, hence the name “SIMPLY Sweet Home.”  So if you love simple solutions or feel you just want to get back to the basics of life and homemaking, please join me here in 2016.  And as always, I invite you to subscribe to my feeds and allow along on all my social media pages!

And last but not least, you can expect to see a bigger and better party this year!  Soon I will be posting a call for new party hostesses, and anyone who’s interested in being a Friday Favorites host will be welcome to apply.  And I’m also doing a little brainstorming with the current hostesses to see what we can do to make the party better.  If you have any ideas for me, or if you may be interested in being a hostess, feel free to email me.  Cheers! [Read more…]

16 Favorite Foods of 2015

16 Favorite Foods of 2015

At the end of each year I like to look back and revisit some of my old posts, and one thing I always like to do is share a round up of some of my favorite food posts from the year.  Everything looks delicious, if I do say so myself, so I had to hard time picking these out, but finally I came up with 16 goodies!  I have everything from breakfast to dinner, snacks, appetizers, and of course, dessert.  Hope you find something here that you’d like to try for yourself in 2016!  Cheers! [Read more…]