Caramel Blended Iced Coffee

I loved a certain coffee chain’s blended iced caramel coffee beverage, but with going dairy free & the cost, I knew I needed to re-create a similar beverage.  When I found Avenue Sweets caramel sauce on Amazon, I knew this was the recipe for the delicious caramel.   It took 2 tries, but I’m very happy with this delicious iced beverage & will be making it several times over the hot summer!!

This should make approximately 4 one cup servings.

 

Tips:

HOT coffee

Caramel at room temperature (at least 30 minutes before blending)

 

 

1 cup strong hot coffee (I used Coffee Beanery‘s English Toffee & Cream*)

1/3 cup Avenue Sweets Dairy Free Sea Salt Caramel Sauce

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used almond because that’s what I had, but any ND milk should work)

3 tablespoons sugar (you could try less if you don’t like it overly sweet)

2 cups ice cubes

 

Put caramel in a blender (I’ve a Ninja) & pour hot coffee over & blend; scrape down sides & blend again.  Add sugar & blend; add milk & whirl once; finish by blending in the ice until smooth.  Serve & enjoy!

 

* This would also be great with Coffee Beanery’s Butter Rum, Cafe Caramel Cream or Sea Salt Caramel coffees.  I did check with them & they stated that all of their coffees are dairy free.

(If you get a chance, try their Michigan Cherry or Fiesta Mocha coffees…they are yummy.  If you use creamer, try French Vanilla with the Michigan Cherry! Divine!!!)

 

 

Note:  I am only recommending Coffee Beanery coffee as it is my favorite coffee – I receive no compensation to promote them.  I also don’t receive any compensation from Amazon or Avenue Sweets at this time – just sharing their link.

 

(Yes, I re-used a Starbucks bottle – shared this with my Aunt who also is dairy free – she gave it a thumbs up!)

Do you have a favorite coffee beverage?  Comment & let me know.

Happy Mother’s Day (Breakfast/Brunch)

Today we celebrate our Mothers; in addition, in our family, we are also celebrating my mother’s birthday – it is tomorrow, so we have an extra special Mother’s Birth Day celebration.  This year, with my youngest brother and my sister-in-law in town (they lived out-of-state since they married almost two years ago) it will be the first family celebration with the new family structure.  I’m going to share my menu in just a minute, but the inspiration comes from when our family would visit from out-of-state; my mom would fix what we came to call “Company Breakfast”.  Usually included bacon and/or homemade sausage, “glorified scrambled eggs” (eggs w/cheese, onions, peppers, sausage – sort of like an omelet in ingredients), orange and/or apple juice and pancakes or waffles.  Most of the breakfast items are “special” items that we didn’t have everyday.  Us kids really liked when family visited because we had “Company Breakfast”.

For the special day this year, I am having a “fancy-smanshy” “Company Breakfast”.

Instead of waffles/pancakes, I’m going to attempt crepes with sweetened creamy center and fresh strawberries (glad I live in CA – they are in fully season right now – plump, juicy, delicious!) & chocolate sauce for drizzle.  

For the “glorified eggs”, I’m going to create “Egg Omelet Muffins” – with turkey sausage, asparagus & non-dairy cheese (no meat for my SIL – that’s the great thing about this is that you can custom for each guest).

Beef bacon (or veggie bacon for my SIL)

for beverages I’m going to have apple & orange juice & milk for those who want it (cashew or almond for me!).  I’m also going to have my mom’s two favorite beverages – Martinelli’s sparkling cider (YUM!) & “Pink Ladies” (non-dairy for me & raspberry sherbet for the family – click beverage title for the non-dairy recipe) & we can’t forget to have coffee (non-dairy creamer for me – see here)

Are you drooling yet?  Here are the recipes:

Egg Muffins

(I made for 7 people – approximately 2 “muffins” each)

@14 eggs

1 bunch asparagus, in small dice

2 lbs turkey breakfast sausage, cooked & in small pieces

non-dairy provolone cheese, I used 2 packages, shredded – set aside about 1 cup or so for sprinkling on top

salt (I use pink Himalayan sea salt)

pepper

garlic powder

onion powder

 

(See photos below)

Scramble eggs; add a bit of salt, pepper, garlic powder & onion powder; set aside.  combine asparagus pieces, sausage & shredded cheese & season with salt, pepper, garlic & onion powder.  Place about 1/4 cup or so of sausage mix into a muffin tin (large muffins, not standard muffins).  Slowly, pour eggs over, just until you see the eggs starting to come up the sides of the muffin cups – don’t fill to to top (it will make a huge mess!).  Sprinkle a bit of extra cheese on top of each “muffin”.  Bake in 350* oven until set – about 45-60 minutes.  Serve warm.

These can be cooled complete & frozen for individual servings for a quick breakfast on the go or as a make-ahead for a party – that’s what I did.  Defrost in refrigerator & re-heat in low oven until heated through – 10-15 minutes or so.

To customize – you can change up the meat or eliminate completely; use any vegetable you desire & you can use more than one – I have some in my freezer with tomatoes, sausage & green peppers.  This is such a versatile recipe since you can customize to each person who will be eating these.

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Crepes

(Due to an unforeseen issue, I wasn’t able to make the crepes this weekend – I will make them in the future & share the recipe then – we are having waffles instead) 

 

 

How do you celebrate Mother’s Day?  Do you have a special story about your mother?  Comment & let me know.

Comparison ~ Non-Dairy Milks

April’s comparison is non-dairy milks.

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These can be found at most stores ~ I buy mine mostly at WinCo.

I keep shelf stable boxes in my pantry for storage & I purchase the ½ gallons from the dairy case for immediate use (until this month I was grocery shopping once a month & needed to have some for the end of my shopping month ~ these work great).

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How I use non-dairy milks:

I like Cashew to bake & cook with & to drink; very light flavor; blends well & takes on flavor of what making; a slight sweetness in cooking ~ for savory dishes I usually go heavier on the seasonings, especially if using garlic and/or onion powder.

I drink Almond mostly; it has a stronger flavor than the cashew & a defined sweetness; I do cook and bake with it if I don’t have cashew or coconut

I bake with coconut (boxed vs. canned*); definite coconut flavor, great with chocolate. For Hot Chocolate ~ Coconut milk (or Cashew) & non-dairy chocolate chips (see below).

*For “cream” I use the canned full-fat coconut milk.

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Favorite “cream” brands ~ A Taste of Thai (found at Walmart) & the Parrot brand (Walmart) & the Chaokoh brand, which I usually find it at S-Mart. My least favorite it Thai Kitchen. It just doesn’t have the body the other brands do, it has larger pieces of the coconut & it separates when used in cooking/baking; I feel it is just not as well made as the others.  However, for coffee creamer – Thai Kitchen is a good brand to use.

For specialty “milks” I like the So Delicious Brand ~ in the fall/winter, they offer various coffee creamers (pumpkin spice, peppermint); they also offer “Nog” which is the non-dairy/vegan version of Egg Nog. YUM!!

Homemade:

I have not tried homemade yet, but I’ve heard it is better than store-bought (definitely has less ingredients & is probably better for you).  I’ll update once I try homemade.

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What is your favorite non-dairy milk?  How do you use them? Have you tried homemade?  Which do you prefer (store-bought or homemade).  Comment & let me know.

Waffles

This week’s recipe is a versatile recipe.  Waffles.  Most would see waffles only as breakfast food, however there are many possibilities for waffles ~ sweet or savory.  I’m sharing a basic recipe with a few options that I have tried & love.  Another way waffles are versatile is that they can be made ahead of time, frozen & re-heated in the toaster for toaster waffles.  I hope you enjoy!

 

My favorite:  Coconut Chocolate Chip.  Oh My Yum!!

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Basic:

2 cups flour

teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs (OR 1 cup egg whites, OR 2 tablespoons applesauce OR 2 flax eggs*), beaten

1 1/2 c warm milk (Cashew, Coconut, Almond)

1/3 cup butter, melted (Earth Balance, Coconut Oil)

 

Combine dry ingredients;

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combine wet ingredients (beat well);

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combine the dry with the wet,

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beat until well blended.

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Pour onto pre-heated grill;

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cook until golden & crisp.

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Note:  I use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to pour over.  Test your waffle iron to see how much you’ll need.

For maple-flavored syrup:  click here

 

Options:

Garlic-Dill Savory:

(Picture to follow)

1-2 tablespoons dill weed

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

salt and pepper, to taste (just a pinch or so)

Add to dry ingredients.

Recommend:  Cashew or Almond milk (I also used egg whites ~ 1 cup & Earth Balance)

This is delicious with poultry.

 

Coconut OR Coconut Chocolate Chip:

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1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to wet ingredients

 

1/2 to 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I use Good Life brand); add into batter just before pouring on griddle.

Recommend:  Coconut milk, using coconut oil & 2 tablespoons applesauce for “eggs” in main recipe (If you don’t like the taste of coconut with chocolate I recommend Cashew milk & Earth Balance in main recipe).

 

Bonus Recipe:  

Coconut Syrup:

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon coconut extract

 

Dissolve sugar in water over low heat; stir in extracts once dissolved.

 

Serve with toasted coconut & additional mini chocolate chips

 

Pumpkin Pie:

(picture to follow)

Use flax egg

any milk (I used a combination of coconut & cashew to use the end of the milks in my fridge)

To wet:

1/3 cup pumpkin pie mix

tablespoon Earth Balance

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

To Dry:

teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ginger

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon cloves

 

Bonus Recipe:  

Caramel Syrup

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

1/2 teaspoon caramel extract

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Dissolve sugar in water over low heat; stir in extracts once dissolved.

 

 

 

*Flax Egg:  1 tablespoon ground flax meal & 3 tablespoons water, combine & let set 10 minutes.

 

If your waffles begin to stick to the iron, brush lightly with earth balance/butter/etc just before adding batter.

 

 

I hope you enjoy!

Do you have a favorite waffle or syrup flavor?  Comment & let me know.

Creamy Pasta Primavera

Recipe

Here is a recipe that I tried this past week.  I didn’t have the protein almond milk; I used cashew milk.  I also made a couple of of changes – see below.

Changes

Pinch of cayenne

2 tbsp garlic powder

This was yummy.  One additional note – When re-heating, add a bit of liquid to keep from drying out.

If you try this, let me know if you like it.  Did you make any changes?