At the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve, when 2011 becomes the past and 2012 lies before us, with only possibilities, I will be toasting, with my other work cohorts, with sparkling grape juice. Sparkling grape juice out of plastic cups or maybe my coffee cup (if it is clean). Oh so fashionable. Oh so chic. Oh so sexy.
What are your plans?
A perfect New Year’s celebration in my mind would be dinner and then dancing. Dressed to the nines. Gowns and tuxedos. Heels and cuff links. And real dancing. Dancing, like how our grandparents used to dance. To be twirled around the dance floor and then when the song is through, head back to the round table with black and white linen napkins and champagne flutes and other beautifully dressed people. To sip my cocktail and to laugh with my friends. And wait. And wait for the countdown to midnight. 10, 9, 8, 7, ….
Wait to be kissed at midnight. Wait to shout “Happy New Year” as the clock strikes midnight. And then begin to dance again and continue to sip champagne and continue to have a grand time. Ringing in the New Year with love and laughter.
Does this happen? For normal non-celebrity people? I hope it does. You know the final scene of ‘When Harry Met Sally’? That is what I am talking about. A huge ballroom, tons of lovely people, and dancing…..Oh and champagne. Lots of champagne.
If you are heading out to said shindig or if you are staying in and playing Monopoly with your family, you will need a drink. A cocktail to raise at midnight. A drink to ring in the New Year. Something with champagne. Champagne is a must!
To be honest, cocktails are not my strong point. I am a bottle of beer or glass of wine gal. My cocktail of choice is a gin and tonic or maybe ginger ale and bourbon. Nothing crazy. No fancy names. I have never stumped a bar tender. So I had to do a bit of research on champagne cocktails. This website offers a whole catalog of choices. So, if a French 95 doesn’t do it for ya, then pick another and let me know how it goes!
Makes 2 cocktails
1.5 ounces Bourbon
2 ounces Orange Juice (pulp free)
1.5 ounces Lemon Juice (freshly squeezed if possible)
1 ounce Simple Syrup
Champagne (≈ 12 ounces)
Combine the bourbon, orange juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, and a few ice cubes in a shaker and give a quick shake to mix. Stain mixture evenly between 2 champagne flutes. Top off flutes with champagne of your choice. Enjoy immediately.
Here is to a happy and healthy New Year!
I love coffee. I enjoy it for breakfast, I enjoy it mid-day, I enjoy it after dinner. I like it black. I like it with cream. I like it with cream and sugar. I like it. A lot. You know what I don’t like? Hot coffee on a hot summer day. Ugh. I can’t do it. I miss my coffee in the summer. Or I should say missed.
I have always been a fan of iced coffee. However, until recently I couldn’t get my iced version to taste anything like that of any coffee shop. What were they doing differently? I don’t like mine stuffed with heavy artificial sugar loaded syrups, so that wasn’t the problem. Mine seemed bitter and well, gross. So, I was driven to spend my hard earned money on overpriced iced coffee if I wanted to indulge. It really gets my goat when I spend $3 to $4 on basically a cup of ice with a splash of coffee. Anyone with me? Well, that ended earlier this summer. Dear Starbucks, please return my goats ….
While reading The Pioneer Woman blog. – quick note here, take a minute to read a bit of her blog. She is awesome and their ranch is amazing. It makes the country girl in me want to run out and buy a farm and a few horses, a cow, a pig, goats, and a few dogs…and then I wake up and find myself in Cleveland and I give a little sigh. Oh! and she has great recipes, swear. And her photos are top notch. All in all…great. Anywho…she is a lover of iced coffee too and she discovered a method to making this wonderful elixir that is comparable if not better than say Starbucks…
The trick to it all? The grounds are never heated. Ever. Heating the grounds creates that unwanted bitterness that is quite evident when the coffee is cooled and poured over ice. Eck…Gross.
So are you ready to brew some of your own? Lets roll…
First, get yourself some coffee…Notice how it says 12oz…that used to say 16oz or 1lb. I don’t like change.
Mix it into some cold water and stir…
Until it looks like the above…now we wait. Cover and let it sit on the counter for at least 8 hours. Takes forever and is kind of messy, but totally worth it!
And 8 hours later…voila.
Prepare your strainer, line it with cheese cloth and place over a large container.
And you strain. I like to ladle at the beginning rather than pour because I am clumsy.
Final product. Hooray!!!
Transfer the glorius liquid to your best pitcher. If you are like me and do not have a fancy schmancy pitcher, drop by Target and get yourself one of the above. I only spent 5 bucks on it, it looks hideous, and it works like a charm. Let this chill in the fridge before you make your first glass.
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman/Imbibe Magazine)
Double this recipe if you are a serious coffee fan. Just remember that many coffee brands have decreased their pound coffee bags to just 12 ounces…so beware! ARGH! There goes another goat…
1/2 lb Ground Coffee – strong and bold works best. I prefer a french roast.
1 Gallon Cold Water
1 +1/2 to 2 Gallon container w/ lid
Another large container – no lid needed
Fine mesh strainer
Into a large container ( 1 + 1/2 to 2 Gallon is a must), combine ground coffee and cold water. Stir to combine. Cover and let sit on counter top for at least 8 hours. I prefer mine after 10 hours, it is strong and glorious. The longer it sits, the stronger it will be…
Line fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth (2 layers works well) and place strainer over large pitcher or another large container. Pour coffee/water mixture through cheesecloth lined strainer and let drain completely. Discard grounds.
Transfer to dispenser or pitcher and refrigerate until chilled. Drink whenever you have the urge.
Pink straws make everything better…fact.
To prepare iced coffee. Fill glass/mason jar with ice. Pour chilled coffee over ice. You can dress this up as you like. I prefer mine with a splash of half & half and a packet of Truvia. If I truly want to indulge, a spoonful of sweetened condensed milk in place of the Truvia is quite tasty. Or for a nice weekend brunch…add some Bailey’s Irish Cream. Make it your own and enjoy!Read More