National Sandwich Day

Friday, November 2nd, 2018 by

You know those awkward, eye-roll inducing “ice-breaker” activities instructors and teachers use before their classes? I have an exercise people may actually warm to. Ask them what their favorite sandwich is. Being perpetually hungry and obsessed with food in general, I often ask this question. National Sandwich Day is November 3rd and it’s a great opportunity to get to know people in a new, more intimate way. You can learn everything you need to know about someone from their response. Some go simple. A grilled cheese or a turkey and swiss. Those people are generally laid back, uncomplicated, purists. Chicken Parm? You lead with your heart. Peanut butter and jelly with trimmed crusts? You’re type A.  If the Gobbler is your favorite, you are a full-fledged psychopath. Just kidding! You’re a person after my own heart.

 

The Gobbler, aka the Pilgrim, aka the Puritan, has an endless number of stage names and variations that revolve around the same concept- pile all your Thanksgiving leftovers on a sandwich and chow down like your life depends on it. It’s not dainty, and it’s not something you eat on a first date. It’s an amalgam of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, gravy, maybe even mashed potatoes and a whole lot of shameless savagery. This ultra-loaded, juicy, sweet, salty combo may actually put the integrity of Thanksgiving dinner in question. Ask around. A lot of people love Thanksgiving dinner even more in its reincarnation the following day, or what I like to call “Second Dinner.”

This seasonal treat has gone from an exotic novelty to a fall staple, but it is no spring chicken (spring turkey?). I first learned about the crazy combo twenty years ago on a summer trip to Cape Cod. We celebrated our arrival at a little deli that served “The Pilgrim” piled high on fresh bread year-round. This version included muenster cheese and lettuce and could be served in wrap form upon request. I ordered mine on fresh sourdough and was presented with a full loaf of bread busting at the seams with sweet and salty goodness. Cape Cod and other areas of Southeastern Massachusetts claim ownership of this gem which is served year-round at deli’s and restaurants. After all, the oldest town on Cape Cod is the aptly named Sandwich, Massachusetts.

The first known recipe emerged in the 1950’s although the dish was likely around undocumented well before that. The original sandwich was considered a refined treat, eaten with white gloves, and perhaps even a raised pinky. Sandwiches did not transform into a messy Jenga of glorious ingredients until much more recently. Nowadays, we embrace the mess and shovel as many flavorful components as possible into our melty, gooey creations. Table manners have taken a back seat to flavor in the current manifestation of sandwiches, and the Gobbler is a prime example.

If you haven’t tried this dream of a sandwich, please, let National Sandwich Day be your catalyst. We love building our own because we can customize them to perfection. While we usually adopt a “the more the merrier” attitude about food, we don’t use mashed potatoes on ours. The pairing of fresh turkey, a spicy sage stuffing, turkey gravy and thick layer of whole-berry cranberry sauce is too perfect to mess with. Make yours with all your favorite Thanksgiving components and lots of napkins handy. Here’s to the Gobbler and all its sandwich ancestors this holiday season. Now that is something to be thankful for.

 

Try out our favorite fall recipe and let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

 

Ingredients:

1 white or wheat roll (we used honey wheat for a dash of sweetness)

1 tsp butter

4-5 oz turkey, broken into smaller pieces (this helps ensure turkey in every bite)

1/4 cup sage or cornbread stuffing

4 tbsp cranberry sauce (whole-berry or jellied based on preference)

3 Tbsp gravy

 

Directions:

Cut the roll in half and spread with equal amounts of butter. Place cut side down on a warm grill pan and toast. Remove from heat.

Coat both sides of your roll with cranberry sauce. Add a layer of stuffing and top that with pieces of turkey. Add gravy on top (dripping is encouraged!). Top with the top piece of the roll.

SNACK LIKE YOU MEAN IT!

National Dessert Day

Friday, October 12th, 2018 by

Food is love. There is no way around it. There’s a reason they put plump, sweet-faced grandmas on food labels. Love is the secret ingredient in any true home-cooked meal. The holidays are the perfect time to come together with family and friends, fill our homes with aroma of fragrant, slow-cooked treats, break bread, and be together. Food unites us and requires a pause in the frenzy of daily life. It’s time to slow down, to savor, and indulge.

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To be fair, not everyone agrees with this sentiment. We all know someone who implements rigid meal prep, Tupperware after Tupperware of bland, monotonous rations. Their calories and protein are in line with the daily recommended value, their blood pressure is pristine. The creator of the food pyramid would love these people, but those meager little meals just make us sad. Someone once told me “food is strictly sustenance,” and I balked at the thought. I’m all for balance, and I love nothing more than a good salad some days, but where is the love in unseasoned, broiled chicken, day in and day out? Is that a life worth living? We think not.

The thought came back to me months later, meeting a friend at our favorite little Italian bakery. The spot was abuzz with conversation, friends catching up at the end of the work week, milk being frothed for cappuccinos, orders being filled. It wasn’t a fancy place, but there was always an aura of merriment and the food was out of this world. I ordered my favorite, their Italian Rainbow Cookie Cake, to go with my latte. If you haven’t tried this, please, scour the baked goods in your area until you find one. I sat and savored the lush, homemade chocolate ganache, the smooth, dense almond cake, the fresh, tart raspberry jam oozing from between the layers. This was no meal of sustenance, but rather a festive departure from the mundane. Dessert cannot be rushed through or thoughtlessly devoured. It must be savored alongside a steamy mug of coffee on a joyful little floral plate with friends. Dessert is not a food, it’s an experience.

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The ideal holiday requires no travel, no cleaning, no gift-buying, just really good food. National Dessert Day just might be that holiday, and who doesn’t need an excuse to celebrate? You can even get away with skipping dinner if you want. Sustenance is cool and all, but today is a day to eat the kind of foods people daydream about.

We took a look back at our favorite dessert recipes and put together this handy little list for you. We’ve got everything from 2-ingredient, no fuss recipes to romantic, shareable items, and desserts that will impress the snootiest of foodies. You can even observe the holiday in pajamas, eating gooey Hot Fudge Pudding Cake for dinner with your cats. Now, that’s a holiday tradition we could get behind.

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Try out one of these amazing recipes and let us know what you think in the comments below!

No-Churn Coffee Fudge Ice Cream

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Vietnamese Coffee Pops Recipe

The Perfect Two-Ingredient Dessert

Apple Berry Pie

Chocolate Lover’s Coffee Shake

The Ultimate Coffee Lover’s Cheesecake

Green Tea Mojito Bars

Earl Grey Truffles with Orange & Lavender

Coffee Smoothie (for Two) Recipe

Matcha Cheesecake Recipe

Peppermint Bark Recipe

Crème Brulee Recipe

French Onion Soup

Friday, October 5th, 2018 by

Nothing says fall quite like a smoldering bowl of soup. There’s nothing like those chilly days, filling up on rich, aromatic dishes. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I love any opportunity to try out new recipes, especially if they include my other passion: good coffee. This fragrant, cheesy, broiled recipe for French Onion soup is cool weather joy, epitomized.

French Onion Soup

I have always been a huge French Onion soup enthusiast. There was time when it was the only thing I would order when I went out to eat. I’ve always had an affinity for the savory and this was a special treat I could never get enough of. I remember my mother making this recipe for me on snowy days. She used the ceramic two-tone brown bowls allotted for this dish and this dish alone, broiled the cheese, and left the whole house smelling like heaven. My stomach would growl while I waited impatiently for my mother to call me for dinner.

Just like French Onion soup brought my family together on snowy days, the famous dish served as a unifying force in Paris as well. While onion soup had been around for ages, it was considered a food of the poor- many could only afford broth, bread, and onions. This staple was born in the restaurants surrounding les Halles, the only area open to a late night/early morning crowd at the time.

The addition of “gratinee,” or cheese, served as a hearty, affordable breakfast for the blue-collar workers seeking early morning fare or after a hard-partying evening at the cabaret. French Onion soup bridged the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots,” as customers poured into doors of these little cafés. Inebriated socialites in tuxedos sat beside bloody-aproned butchers at the end of their shifts, indulging in the irresistible late-night fare.

Nowadays, French Onion soup is less culturally charged, but it still is tasty enough to appeal to people from all walks of life. In France, they’d often add caramel and burnt onions to soup to add flavor. We added coffee, brown ale, and unfiltered apple juice, layering ingredients slowly to add to the depth of flavor in this recipe.

We recommend a coffee with some bite, as flavor is the name of the game for this treat. We love the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, light or dark roasted, depending on your preference. If you want a smokier flavor in your soup, go for the dark roast. If you prefer a nuttier, sweeter taste, go for light.

Simmering onions in brown ale and unfiltered apple juice as well as fresh-roasted coffee adds a sweet/salty/tart richness that will make this recipe a go-to all fall and winter. This makes for the perfect Sunday dinner as the days get shorter and cooler. Maybe even try it out as a hangover cure. We’re not saying it’ll work, but it’s worth a shot.

Give this recipe a try this fall and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Ingredients:

Serves: 4 to 6

 

6              medium sweet onions (we used Vidalia)

1              teaspoon dried thyme

1              teaspoon salt

1/2         teaspoon black pepper

2              tablespoons salted butter

8              ounces mild brown ale

16           ounces unfiltered apple juice

32           ounces brewed coffee

1 1/4      tablespoons mushroom or beef bouillon

2              bay leaves

1              fresh baguette, sliced

4              slices Swiss cheese

Directions:

Thin slice onions and add them to a soup pot on medium-high heat. Add butter, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir frequently while the onions reduce and caramelize. Add the brown ale (Newcastle is a great choice!) to deglaze the pan and let the onions reduce again until there is no visible liquid. Add apple juice to deglaze the pan a second time and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes on medium. Combine 32 ounces of fresh brewed coffee (preferably with some acidity, such as our Ethiopian Yirgacheffe) with the bouillon. Add the coffee/bouillon mixture and the bay leaves to the pot and simmer for an additional 20 minutes. Broil the baguette until golden. Remove the bay leaves and ladle the soup into oven safe bowls, top with two slices of toasted baguette and a generous slice of cheese. Place in the broiler until the cheese melts/bubbles.

Taco Day

Thursday, October 4th, 2018 by

We love anything that brings people together in a universal cheer. Coffee is most definitely one of those things, but tacos are a close competitor. Every dog has his day, but we think tacos deserve at least two. Thankfully, National Taco Day s coming up, and we can’t wait to celebrate. Since there’s only one day allotted to this joyous food, we have a proposal for you: have your tacos for dinner AND dessert. Is that not genius? You’re welcome.

Dessert Taco

We all remember being little kids and the thrilling jingle of the ice cream truck. I could hear it from a mile away. My parents would always hope I’d be distracted or out of earshot but nope-not me! The kids from the neighborhood would pile out into the streets, racing joyously toward that merry little bell. As an 80’s baby, I had come into existence a mere two years after the Choco Taco had become a regular on those ice cream trucks. The unique treat fused ice cream, chocolate, nuts, and sugar cone in taco form, yielding a full spectrum of flavors in each bite. The surrounding buzz did not fall on deaf ears.

The inventor of the Choco Taco, Alan Drazen, was inspired by the fastest growing facet of the food industry in the 80’s: Mexican food. He made his debut in the biz while still in college, driving an ice cream truck in Philadelphia. From there, he brought the wonders of the Choco Taco to the world!

What was once an ice cream truck only treat has now been adapted by chefs across the country, copied, and remixed more times than we can count. As DIY enthusiasts, we decided to take matters into our own hands and make our spin on a dessert taco recipe at home!

Whether you’re celebrating Taco Day out on the town or at home, end your day with this tasty dessert taco recipe. You deserve it. Try out our creamy, frozen treat and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Coffee Fudge Ice Cream Recipe

Ingredients

½ cup cold, dark roast brewed coffee (we used Medium Roast Espresso)

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

2 cups cold heavy cream

Hot fudge (well, warm fudge)

Instructions

Pour the sweetened condensed milk into a large bowl and whisk in the cold coffee (or other flavoring), set aside.

Whip the heavy cream until peaks form. We used a hand mixer on medium-high.

Add whipped cream to the condensed milk mixture and blend by hand or on the low setting until combined.

Blend again on medium until the mixture is just thickened.

Pour mixture into a freezer-safe container (we used a standard size loaf pan) and cover with wax paper.

Freeze overnight or until firm

Dessert Taco Recipe

Ingredients

Frozen or homemade waffles

Fudge

Chopped nuts (we used honey roasted peanuts)

Parchment paper

Baking sheet

Instructions

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Let ice cream thaw for about 10 minutes

Scoop the ice cream onto waffles and refreeze for about an hour to set the shape

Using a teaspoon, spoon the warm (not hot!) fudge into the taco shells and transfer to the baking sheet

Transfer the tacos to the freezer for about 1 hour

Enjoy!

Coffee Rubbed Steak Recipe

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by

As Labor Day approaches, cookouts are the perfect activity to kick back with family and friends. The recipes of summer should be fresh, bright and juicy. As relentless coffee lovers, we sought to find a way to fuse our favorite ingredient into the mix with this delicious coffee rub.

Coffee Rubbed Steak Recipe

Why coffee? Believe it or not, in this rub, coffee does not yield any bitterness. It adds a rich complexity to the sweet and salty kick you get from its other ingredients. We experimented with roast level and settled on a French Roast for its robust flavor. When selecting your bean of choice, take into account that the darker the roast, the stronger the flavor. The ideal grind size is the same as what you brew in your Autodrip pot. The grounds have just enough surface area to contribute flavor without dominating by sticking to the meat more than the other spices.

Coffee makes a truly unique seasoning. Adding the bold, earthy flavor of a ground dark roast to sweet and savory spices will make any steak sizzle. This warm, zesty rub goes with just about anything, but it doesn’t get any better than on your favorite cut of juicy steak. Whether you’re manning the grill, prepping the food, or buying the ingredients, you’ll be the barbeque boss once you break out this spiced, tangy rub!

Try it out this Labor Day. Let us know any modifications you made and how it turned out in the comments below!

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground dark roasted coffee beans (regular or decaf)
  • 5 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1½ teaspoons black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1½ teaspoons ground mustard
  • ¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 of your favorite cuts of beef

 

RECIPE PREPARATION

  • In a small bowl, whisk all of the dry seasonings until evenly blended.
  • Rub mixture evenly on all sides of the ribeye steaks (approximately 5 tsp. per steak) and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Pre-heat grillon high heat.

Grill 4-6 minutes per side for medium-rare or longer to taste.