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Friday, September 30, 2011

Starbucks Salted Caramel Mocha

You have no idea how happy this makes my heart!  With the help of my dearest friend (who used to work at Starbucks), we figured out the combination and I'm telling ya'll, if I were blindfolded and had one cup of Starbucks and one cup of one made from home, I COULD TELL NO DIFFERENCE!

So, here it is!

Now, before I start, sorry for the poor photography.  Drinks I've found are awfully difficult to take pictures of!

 Again, sorry for the not so great picture! :(
This doesn't do it justice! :)

For the homemade mocha additive:
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 c dry cocoa
3/4 c sugar

In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cocoa until there are no more lumps.  Slowly add the can of evaporated milk using a whisk and whisk until everything is completely combined.  Refrigerate any leftovers (which you'll have tons unless you're feeding an army!)

Homemade Mocha!! MMMM!

Salted Caramel Mocha (Hot or Iced)
2 shots espresso
4 pumps Toffee Nut Syrup (FROM STARBUCKS)
2 T mocha
1 - 1 1/2 c milk (steamed for hot version)
Caramel Syrup (ice cream topping)
Coarse Sea Salt

Mix espresso, syrup and mocha until it is blended.  Add the milk and stir.  Top with whipped cream, some caramel syrup and coarse sea salt!

You'll notice the chocolatey look here.

NOTE:  Starbucks sells the Toffee Nut syrup to any customer for $7.95/bottle.  $1 for the pump (this is important cause it's calibrated specifically for the drinks).  This will last you MANY drinks.  You pay over $5 for ONE drink, so think about how much you are saving by just making them at home!  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shepard's Pie

My dear hubby, though not a stitch of Irish in him, LOVES him some SHEPARD'S PIE!!!!  This is a very common "meat and potato" recipe at our house!  My kids too inhale this stuff, and it's SO NICE cause it's "all in one" so I don't have to cook any veggie sides, etc!  What could get better than that!? :)

So, here it is! :)

1 lb ground beef
1/4 c Worchestershire Sauce
1 packet Brown Gravy Mix
2 T flour
1 c water
1-2 bags frozen mixed vegetables
2.5 lb potatoes (red are the best, but russet will do)
1 stick butter
1 c Cheddar Cheese, shredded

In a frying pan, brown ground beef in the Worchestershire Sauce.  When the meat is done cooking, add the dry packet of Brown Gravy & flour and coat the meat.  Add 1 c water.  Simmer a few minutes until the gravy has thickened.  Mix the frozen vegetables (don't need to heat), and hamburger mix together in a 9x13 pan.  Peel and boil potatoes and mash either by hand or in a food processor or in a Kitchen Aid with a stick of butter.  Layer potatoes on top of the meat/veggie mix and top then with cheese.  Bake @ 350 for 40 minutes.

Note:  I DO make a double batch and freeze this dish just before the bake time.  On dinner day, I just set on the counter in the morning and bake as instructed above.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Chewy Soft Pretzels

 Roll about 20" wide.

 Swing right side to the middle.

 Swing left side and cross over the right side.

 Cornstarch bath in HOT water and cornstarch.

Bake & top with melted butter and whatever toppings you like.

4 t yeast
1 t sugar
1 1/4 c warm water
4 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 t salt
1 T olive oil
1/2 c baking soda
4 c hot water
1/4 c kosher salt, for topping
Dissolve yeast and 1 t sugar in warm water. Let stand until it foams and bubbles, about 10 minutes. In your bread machine bowl, put in 1/2 c sugar, salt, olive oil.  Measure 4 c flour on top of the moist mixture and start the dough cycle.  When the timer goes off, divide the dough into 12 equal parts.  Roll each out like a snake about 20 or so inches wide.  Form into a pretzel.  Dip into baking soda warm water (I mix soda and water and JUST bring to a barely simmer and turn the burner off) for about 30 seconds and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.  Bake in a preheated oven of 400 degrees for 8 minutes, until browned.