Special Iced Coffee

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In summer, a proper iced coffee is a beautiful thing. It can also be an expensive thing. Very often, it’s a necessary thing.

I wrote about cold-brewed coffee eons ago – the kind you make in a jar – which is smooth and not at all bitter, and intended to be used as an iced coffee concentrate. And then I came across a similar version on Food 52 that was sweetened as it brewed with dark brown sugar, and spiked with cinnamon. They call it magical coffee, contributed by someone who had it at her local coffee shop.

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I embraced the opportunity to use my instant-filter method, in which I mix up the water, coffee, sugar and cinnamon in a jar with a chopstick (or whatever), then cover it with a double layer piece of cheesecloth and screw on the ring. That way, it lives in the fridge and can be poured directly into a glass filled with ice, rather than rummaging around for a filter.

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Add milk or cream to taste, and yes – it will make you, and anyone you’re with, very, very happy.

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Special Iced Coffee

The original recipe calls for a teaspoon of cinnamon, which I find too much – I add just a shake, which although I’d never think to add to my coffee at the coffee shop, adds a touch of warmth that goes well with the dark brown sugar and coffee and coldness. Give it a try – or leave it out.

3 cups water
2/3 cup freshly ground coffee
3 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
a shake of cinnamon

milk or cream, to taste

Mix the water, coffee, brown sugar and cinnamon together in a jar, cover and refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days. Pour through a filter or cheesecloth-lined sieve (or put a double thick square of cheesecloth over the jar and secure it with the ring) and use to make iced coffee: pour over ice, and add a big splash of milk or cream, to taste.

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June 16 2015 | beverages | 14 Comments »

Mona’s Mother’s Mother’s Best Friend’s Favourite Cookies

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I feel like I’ve been neglecting you guys as much as everyone-thing else these days, and I want to bake you a batch of cookies.

Perhaps it’s because the days are so long, the nights so hot and short, the birds holding their morning raves outside the window promptly at 5 am, that makes June seem so manic. I’ve had more projects on my plate than usual lately, and wound up on crutches last weekend – a totally undramatic injury triggered by standing up from the table out at Mount Engadine Lodge after dinner of bison short ribs and crispy, cheesy polenta. They’re known for their moose population out in the marsh between lodge window and Rocky Mountains, and I kept jumping up, hoping to catch one in the setting sunlight. So when people ask how it happened, rather than tell a tale of cycling or mountain climbing, I have to confess that I indeed injured myself (torn tendons or something in my knee – I’ll know more next Tuesday) over food and Instagram. Typical.

(On the upside, the emerg at the Canmore hospital is very empty on Saturday mornings, and the drive to it is beautiful past the Spray Lakes.)

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I wasn’t in the market for a new cookie recipe, but as I’m sure you’ll understand, I was lured in by the name. How could I not make them? They come, of course, from an old Best of Bridge – Enjoy! I believe – the yellow one. I have to confess they didn’t call for chocolate, but oatmeal chocolate chip cookies are the very best (or can be – love the one you’re with, right?), and the coconut was even more reason to go that route. But like any great drop cookie, you can add what you like or what you have. I’ll further admit that this week, hobbling around on a swollen leg, trying to maneuver crutches (which has high entertainment value for those in sight of me), Mike cooked dinner twice (hot dogs + egg sandwiches) and last night I ate Rice Krispies.

This is the sort of cookie recipe that has the potential to become a resident cookie, a know-by-heart formula that’s standard for camping and lunchboxes and end-of-year school parties.

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And also, on some days, dinner.

Mona’s Mother’s Mother’s Best Friend’s Favourite Cookies

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
3/4 cup coconut
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup raisins, chocolate chips, chopped chocolate and/or nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugars until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

Add the flour, oats, coconut, baking powder, baking soda and salt (stir together first if you like), and stir just until blended. If you like, add some raisins, chopped nuts, and/or chocolate chunks or chips as you mix.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen large cookies.

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June 11 2015 | cookies & squares | 11 Comments »

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