Would you Like Some Coffee with That?


Coffee with That? Cooking with Coffee

Photo by Crew on Unsplash

Would You Like Some Coffee With That?

When it comes to cooking, it’s great fun to experiment with new ingredients – ingredients that are new to you and new to your recipes. One ingredient that fits the latter description is coffee.  Now, there are sure to be those among you who have a great coffee cake recipe that is no doubt delicious and a family favorite. But, there are a number of other ways to add coffee to a variety of recipes and enhance their flavor, for your family’s collective palate.

Indeed, now that research has shown the benefits of coffee in reducing your mortality rate – that’s a pretty big bonus for coffee drinkers and a great reason to start including it in some of your home-cooked recipes.

As a Rub

Adding coffee to your home-made meat rub mix, as a minor element or a major one, can work really well. And, it’s quite a simple way to include coffee into your cooking. You can just use the ground coffee you have at home and add it as a meat rub you think can handle the coffee hit.

If you’d like a little more guidance, then a rub with paprika, chilli and a touch of ginger would work well on beef – joints or burgers. And, if you need any more encouragement, it’s easy to prepare, rub onto the meat and even gives the joint you choose a nice little shine to it, once its cooked.

Eat it For Breakfast

Don’t just drink coffee at breakfast – eat it too! It can be combined with butter and spread atop your pancakes. Or, if you’re in the mood for fried eggs with a homemade sauce, stir some home-brewed coffee into it, for an enjoyable and tasty kick to get you going in the morning. If you’d rather stick with drinking your coffee for breakfast, there are ways to make delicious tasting coffee without a machine. Sure, it might take a little time, but the results will be worth it. Trust us.

Caffeinate Your Desserts

Aside from adding coffee to cake mixes, there are other ways to enjoy the flavor of your favorite beverage while enjoying a delicious dessert. If you’re ever making a chocolate dessert, then some coffee will probably work well too, as the two flavors complement each other. Or, for something a little different, how about adding some ground coffee to your oats when you’re making up a batch of granola? It will give an energy boost and flavor kick, too.

Coffee is a great ingredient that can lift your dish – provided you use it in the right quantity and with the right ingredients. But, with a little experimenting, we know you’ll enjoy a coffee kick with many of your home-made delights.

Guest Post by Jess Walter.
Jess Walter is a freelance writer and mother.  She loves the freedom that comes with freelance life and the additional time it means she gets to spend with her family and pets.

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Fast Favorite Homemade Bread and Butter Pickles

Favorite Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe

I’ve always been inspired by people who can their own produce.  While I haven’t had the close-up experience of watching someone do that in person, my little bit of exposure to the process had left me feeling a bit overwhelmed by all that work and “just right” temperatures, heating and precise parts of the process.  A bit ashamedly I admit, I like for things to be simple.

In light of that, I haven’t attempted making my own pickles, either.  (Truthfully, the few Mason jars I owned were more likely to be used for decoration!)

Then recently a friend gave me a package of HomeBrew Bread and Butter Quick Pickle Mix.  It only required adding cucumbers, vinegar, sugar and water, cooking a little bit, and refrigerating for 24 hours.  Weeelll (in a southern drawl), that, my friend, I can do.  (And I liked that their mix was Vegan, Non-GMO, Gluten-free, and had no MSG).


Wavy Sliced Cucumbers with Crinkle Cutter


So, I pulled out my handy-dandy Pampered Chef crinkle cutter tool (yes, I love to use that to make my vegetables look all dressy and fun) and set to work slicing up some fresh cucumbers.

Per the package direction, I also tossed some water, vinegar, and sugar into a saucepan with the pickle mix seasoning, heating it thoroughly before setting aside.


Wavy Cucumber Slices, Pickling Mix, Mason Jar


I was so relieved not to be required to heat the jars or rings or lids to a certain temperature and set everything “just right”. Nope – I simply grabbed the pint mason jar I had on hand, placed the sliced cucumbers inside and poured the hot liquid over them. After placing the lid on top, I popped them in the fridge overnight.


Homemade Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles in a Jar


Whew! Even for me, that wasn’t too much work.

Now, to see how they tasted – since I like for my pickles to taste “just right” – not too sweet and not too sour. Voila! The next day, when I gently unscrewed the lid, and pulled out the top pickled cucumber slice, it was delicious! Just the perfect blend of seasoning, and I was so excited to have fresh homemade pickles with this little effort.


Refrigerator Bread and Butter Pickles in a Dish


Of course, if you prefer to make yours from scratch, I noticed the BrownEyed Baker has a simple recipe for them that looks terrific (I haven’t tried it yet).

To recap, the simple recipe is as follows:

1 package HomeBrew (or your favorite brand) Quick Pickle Mix

2 cups of cucumbers (or your favorite produce), sliced into disks

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup water

1 pint Mason jar with seal and lid

Clean and slice cucumber (or other vegetables such as mini bell peppers, onions, etc) and pack into pint glass jar.  In a small saucepan, combine packet with sugar, vinegar and water; bring to a boil and quickly remove from heat.  Pour the liquid into the pint jar over cucumbers; seal tightly and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Enjoy! (Best when eaten within a week or so of opening up the jar).

I’m looking forward to many more fresh made pickles in the days ahead.  I’ll have to try some refrigerator dill pickles next since these Bread and Butter ones turned out so well!

How about you?  Have you made refrigerator pickles or do you have a huge garden and enjoy canning enough to last for the year at one time?  I’d love to hear about your pickling adventures and any tips or suggestions you have for us as well.



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Recipes for Cooking in the College Dorm


Recipes for Cooking in the College Dorm

If you find yourself or a family member living in a dorm room as a college student, there are plenty of options for eating well even if you are only armed with a microwave, toaster and small refrigerator as is the case in many dorm rooms. (For instance, you could toast a slice of bread, mash avocado to spread across it, and top with either a poached egg or hard-boiled egg slices – both easy to make in the microwave).

We love helping people find creative ways to eat well without breaking the bank or relying on junk food and a drive-thru.

So we have rounded up a bunch of recipes perfect for dishing up in your college dorm room with friends – with options for everything from breakfast to dinner to snacks and dessert.  No more settling for unhealthy or boring food options just because you’re living in the college dorm without access to a full kitchen.

Of course, the below meals can be added to simple easy options (not requiring recipes or directions) like:

• Sandwich fixings (deli meat, cheese and rolls – with lettuce, pickles, peppers)

• Yogurt with fruit or granola

• Bagged salad mixes (add a can of tuna or chicken, if desired)

• Packaged cups of soup or Ramen noodles

Take a look at these easy recipe options and let us know in the comments below which ones are your favorite.

(Download our e-book of recipes for cooking in the college dorm).


Omelette in a mug | microwave college cooking

Omelette in a Mug

Mix a couple of eggs, milk, chopped ham, grated cheese, peppers (or other vegetables), salt and pepper
in your favorite mug and microwave for a couple of minutes for a delightful meal (top with salsa, more cheese or avocado).


Caprese Wraps with Chicken
These wraps are delicious and so simple to make with some flatbread, cooked chicken, lettuce, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes.


Cake in a Mug - Unsplash | Cooking in college

Microwave Cupcake in a Mug

Yellow cake mix, vanilla yogurt and sparkling water make a delicious quick cake; top with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips.
(Above photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash)


Bean and Rice Burrito Bowl | Cooking in College

Black Bean and Rice Burrito Bowl
With microwaveable rice, beans, corn, cheese, salsa, and optional fresh tomatoes or avocado, this filling and tasty meal is quick to make any time of night or day.


Pizza in a Mug
Thought you could only have pizza if you ordered take-out? Think again with this quick and easy recipe for your own personal pizza in a mug.


Popcorn | Cooking in College

Healthy Microwave Popcorn
With a paper bag, popcorn kernels, and some salt or popcorn seasoning, you can have yourself a popcorn party any time!


French Toast in a Mug
Not to forget breakfast recipes – especially nice on a lazy weekend morning – a few simple ingredients like bread, egg, cinnamon, butter and sugar (with some syrup) make a sweet breakfast treat.


You can also “friend” our Cooking in College cookbook to view these recipes and more online any time from your computer or mobile device (check out our app, too).  When viewing recipes, you can add the ingredients to your shopping list for your next grocery store trip, too.