Allegro, Kenya Grand Cru

I'd say 4 out of 5. (I'm saving 5 for the ultimate coffee, I expect I'll know it when I sip it)

My sister, Abi, picked this one up last time she was at Whole Foods in KC.
     Sometime or another, I must have gotten a cup of this particular kind to sip while I strolled around the store, because the aroma immediately reminded me of being at Whole Foods.

It said on the package 'light roast', I usually don't like light, but this was quite nice. I'm not fond of anything too bold, but also not too mild either. Happy medium.

I prefer to have plenty of cream and a little bit of stevia with my coffee. I told Susi one time that if someone is drinking their coffee black than they are only drinking it for the caffeine. Okay, I know it's a bad idea to make sweeping generalizations like that. So I take it back.
     But are their people out there who actually like the taste of black coffee? Tolerable, maybe, but not exactly enjoyable. Okay, I know there is some who say they do. But did they start out liking it that way? Acquired taste? :P :D


St. Dalfour, Organic Golden Peach Tea

Peach. I love the smell, the taste, everything! Pie, yogurt, the fresh fruit. I love peach.

But I don't like ginger, why it's so often in peach teas, I don't know. I find that it completely over powers the peach flavor.
     I'm always on the look out for a peach tea without any ginger in it. I picked this one up at a local grocery store in the international foods section, but you can also find it various places online.

I liked this tea cold better than hot, with plenty of sweetener (sugar was preferred) and maybe a little bit of milk.
     On the box it said that if steeped too long it can get rather bitter, which I found to be true. Just a couple minute max.
     I thought the best way to enjoy this drink would be to make a larger batch and then store it in the fridge, let it get plenty cold, could be sweetened before or each glass individually. I usually don't like using ice to chill a drink, especially with the peach teas, because the flavor is rather mild, and any dilution can ruin it.


Sweeteners: Stevia

Stevia is my choice sweetener. I really prefer it in drinks over all the other sweeteners I've tried.
I prefer the liquid form, in the bottle with the dropper. It takes an average of two spoonfuls of sugar to sweeten a cup of coffee, were only a couple drops of stevia would suffice. Apparently it's 30-45 times sweeter. It also can be found as a green powder, and a refined white powder. I usually purchase mine at a local health food store. But you can also get it online at several different places, I like the NOW brand, nowfoods.com.
It does have a particular taste, which has kinda grown on me since I started using it. Though my Mom and sis, Abi, are dead set against it. Mom says it gives her a headache, and Abi doesn't like the taste. But I feel I need to mention, Abi also likes to drink watered down apple cider vinegar, sweetened with honey, so you can just keep that in mind. (I have a deep dislike for apple cider vinegar)


Penzeys Spices: Hot Chocolate Mix, with a hint of mint.

I just love chocolate and mint. I'd be happy to replace a regular cup of hot cocoa with this any time. And it has very simple ingredients, which I appreciate.

Their website is not the easiest to navigate, I think might be geared more towards the retailers. http://www.penzeys.com

On the side of the jar, they recommended adding a spoon full of this mix to your morning coffee, which I did try, very yummy.

And you can actually see the sugar granuals in this.


Recipe Review; Mock Champagne

I'm not really into making the non-alcoholic versions of alcoholic drinks. But I found recipe in an old Betty Crocker cookbook, and the name 'Mock Champagne' just caught my fancy.
It was nice. If you like apple juice and bubbles, than you would probably enjoy this. It's a very simple recipe and the soda pop could easily be substituted with carbonated water for a little healthier version.
The only thing is, it needs to be enjoyed right away, the bubbles soon expire. But a possible solution would be to store a pitcher of plain apple juice in the fridge, and then whenever it's wanted you could fill a glass, 2/3 soda pop - 1/3 apple juice.

Mock Champagne Cocktail
Betty Crocker's Cookbook; Text Edition
7 oz. lemon-lime carbonated beverage, chilled
1/2 cups apple juice
3 thin slices lemon
Just before serving, mix carbonated beverage and apple juice. Serve in stemmed glasses with lemon slice in each.
3 Servings.

I used a can of soda pop, and it was actually 12 oz., so I just doubled the apple juice and made 6 servings.

We really like our old cookbooks. They're like a history book, you can learn so much about past cultures from them.


Recipe Review; Picnic Punch

Ahhh, pineapple and orange juice. I simply love good pineapple and good oranges. I like it so much, sometimes I get sores in my mouth from (I think) too much vitamin C.

The cranberry, pineapple and oranges all went well together. I think I might skip the lemon next time, and add a little bit of sweetener. I really want to try stevia. Also, carbonated water might be something to try, instead of the ginger ale.
Of course, after adding the ginger ale, gotta serve right away, otherwise the bubbles get spent. But if you mix just the juices then it could be stored in the fridge and a cup could be mixed anytime desired.

Picnic Punch
(I have forgotten what recipe book this was from, but as soon as I figure that out, I'll mention it here)
2 qt.. cranberry juice
3 cups pineapple juice
3 cups orange juice
1/4 cups lemon juice
1 liter ginger ale, chilled
1 medium navel orange
Combine the juices in a large container, refrigerate. Just before serving stir in ginger ale and orange slices.
Yields: 5 qt.

Special Teas; Cocoa Cardamon Tango

In my Grandm's kitchen there is a basket full of small packages of teas from this Special Teas company, I'd never heard of them before, so I checked out their website and found they sell all kinds of different loose-leaf teas, among other tea related things.
Grandma had some larger packages and some of the smaller ones, which I really liked. Just the right size to try a blend out, without committing to a bunch of it.

Cocoa Cardamon Tango is the one I decided to try first. I would say that it was more on the cocoa side, then the cardamon, and I liked it that way. When sipped plain it's kinda bitter, I liked it best with plenty of cream and sweetener.


Recipe Review: Columbian Chocolate

I would give this recipe at least four out of five. Often hot chocolate is just too sweet for me. But this was really nice. And when I was melting the chocolate with the coffee and cinnamon, the smell was simply wonderful.

Columbian Chocolate
Betty Crocker's Cookbook, Text Edition
1 pkg. (60z) semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup strong coffee
1 t cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/2 t vanilla
In lg saucepan heat chocolate, coffee, cinnamon and salt over medium heat, stirring until chocolate is melted and liquid is smooth.
Add milk, heat through, stirring occasionally, but do not boil. Stir in vanilla. Just before serving beat with hand mixer until foamy.
10 servings, about 2/3 cups each.


Recipe Review: Two Fruit Smoothie

I can't say that I'd make this drink again. I didn't like the nutmeg and cinnamon at all. Though it was in a contest winners cook book, so I guess some people do.
I usually like a smoothy, so I'd definitely like to try just the peaches and blueberries together. I had another recipe lined up to make, but it also has cinnamon in it, and now I'm not so sure I will enjoy it. About the only place I really like cinnamon and nutmeg, is in a pumpkin pie.

Two-Fruit Frosty
Taste of Home, Contest Winners - 2006
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or huckleberries
1 cup frozen peach slices, thawed
1 cup milk
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 to 1/3 cups honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Cinnamon sticks, optional
1. Combine blueberries, peach and milk in blender; cover and process on high. Add yogurt, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg; blend well.
2. Serve immediatly. Yields: 4 (1 cup) servings.


Bigelow; Mango Chamomile Herbal Tea

I've tried other mango teas, and just didn't like them. But after having a hot cup of this one, I wondered what it might be like cold, so I got out a cup of ice and tried it. It was really nice. So, I like cold mango, not hot. :)
Just make sure to let the tea cool off, before adding the ice, otherwise it melt and dilutes the tea. Also, you might want to add a little extra sweetener. I think that because its cold, your taste buds get a little numb.


Ashby, Vanilla Spice Tea

More tea from Rebecca! :D

This one was really yummy! I liked how it's a little like chai tea, but not so spicy! :P the flavor is nicely balanced between Black tea, Vanilla and Spices.

Ashby Tea has been around since the 1850's so it would be great for taking along for re-enacting events, etc.


Recipe Review: Hot Mocha Drink

This was probably the best tasting homemade mocha drink that I've had yet. And I think the difference is the use of un-sweetened chocolate.
Now, I would tweak the recipe a bit, less chocolate, more sugar, and skip the water and instant, using fresh brewed coffee in it's place.

Hot Mocha Drink
Companies Coming Cookbook
2 cups water
1 - 1oz. Unsweetend Chocolate Baking Square
1/4 cup Instant Coffee
2 T Sugar
2 cups Milk
1/2 t Vanilla
Some sort of whipped topping (I chose to use the kind that comes in a can) or marshmallows
Chocolate curls (garnish)
Stir first 6 ingredients in small saucepan. Heat slowly, stir often, until chocolate is melted and mixture is steaming hot. Pour into mugs. Add more sugar if desired.
Top with a dollop of whipped topping. Garnish with chocolate curls.
Makes 4 cups.

Recipe Review; Orange Lemonade

This is a super nice summer time drink. Tangy and sweet. Lemonade, with a orangey twist.
I would definitely make this again. Grandma Lulu said it was wonderful and Grandpa Bob said "Great for a hot summer day" and that he would prefer it over a coke or pepsi, I took that as a compliment. :)

Orange Lemonade
Taste of Home, Contest Winners - 2006
1 3/4 cups Sugar
2 1/2 cups Water
1 1/2 cups Fresh Lemon Juice
1 1/2 cups Fresh Orange Juice
2 T Grated Lemon Peel
2 T Grated Orange Peel
1. In medium size saucepan, combine sugar and water. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Cool.
2. Add juice and peel to cooled sugar syrup. Cover and let stand at room temp for 1 hour. Strain syrup, cover and refrigerate.
3. To serve, fill glasses or pitcher with equal amounts of water and syrup. Add ice and serve.
Yields 12 servings.


Recipe Review: Coffee Cooler

I loved the orange in this drink. I was unsure about the pineapple juice in it before I had tasted it, and I have say, next time I make it would just leave it out. It's not gross tasting, just kinda off, in my opinion. Plus is curdles the milk a little. I also had my Grandma Lulu, Auntie Marlys, Grandma Evi and Auntie Carol try some, and they all said it was interesting, and not bad, and Auntie Carol said it got better as she sipped it.

Coffee Cooler
A tall frosty drink is always welcome on a warm summer day. Serve this to your afternoon callers and yours is sure to be the most popular house on the street!
1/2 cupful of sugar
1/4 cupful of water
1 teaspoonful of grated orange rind
3 cupfuls of freshly made coffee, cooled
1 cup of chilled pineapple juice
1/2 cupful of light cream
Combine the sugar, water and grated orange rind, and simmer together over low heat for 10 minutes. Then cool, strain if desired, and add to the cooled coffee. Just before serving combine with the pineapple juice and cream. Serve in tall glasses with plenty of crushed ice or ice cubes. This makes 4 tall drinks.--J.R.H., Escondido, Calif.

When we brewed the coffee we made sure the make it dark, with the ice and all, we didn't want it to get watered down.

This Recipe is from my sister Susi's "Sunset-Kitchen Cabinet Recipes-volume two"


The Republic of Tea, Earl Greyer Black Tea

Rebecca (who's visiting Grandma and Grandpa) sent Abi and I some tea to review on Sippen.

She bought it from a little store called "Bread and Honey" (bakery and health food store) in Mora Minnesota, if you happen to be near, I highly suggest stopping there, it's such a neat store.

Earl Grey is my favorite black tea, I love the citrusy smell of bergamot! This Earl Grey was delicious, I especially liked it brewed very strong :P Being out of stevia :( I used honey and added milk too :D

Here's The Republic of Tea's website www.republicoftea.com


Teeccino, Mocha, Herbal Coffee

Teeccino is a caffeine free blend of roasted herbs, grains, fruits and nuts. They say on the can that it is high in potassium, and inulin.
It can be enjoyed on its own, or mixed with your regular coffee to reduce caffeine and acidity.
It's brewed just like coffee.

And can be served hot...

...or cold.
I can't say I loved it; you just can't beat good old coffee!! :P But as an alternative, it's pretty good. It looks like coffee, brews like coffee; really the only thing missing is the "caffeine".

I've also tried these coffee substitutes: Postum and Celestial Seasonings "Roastaroma" Of the three I think Roastaroma tastes the best and Teeccino is most like coffee. I just read that Postum has been discontinued! That's too bad!

I think it would be fun to compare all the substitute coffees and see which one is best.


Simple Stevia Lemonade

Lemonade—sweet, sour, sitting-under-a-tree-on-a-summer-day lemonade.

A pitcher of lemonade doesn't last long around our family. But I don't think anyone enjoys it more than I do. If we happen to have lemons on hand, I'm sure to make a gallon of it and drink it all up! At least that's what I have in mind.

Since we're on the health conscious side, we use sweeteners like honey, or our latest favorite, stevia.

And here it is! "Susi's Yummy, Dummy, Healthy Lemonade" also known as...

Simple Stevia Lemonade
Makes 1 gallon

4 Lemons
1 tsp. Liquid Stevia
Ice, enough to half fill a gallon size pitcher.
Water to fill

Cut a few lemon slices and put aside for garnishing (optional). Cut lemons in half and squeeze into pitcher. Slice squeezed lemons and add to the juice. Add water, then stevia. Stir. Use more or less lemons or stevia to get it just right. Garnish glasses with lemon slices. Serve immediately....before the ice melts!

Enjoy your lemonade-Susan


Recipe Review: Orange Juice Cocktail

Now this is a teetotaling blog! We don't tolerate any recipes with alcoholic beverages! So don't stop reading at "cocktail" Hehe! :D

Orange Juice Cocktail
2c. orange juice
1/2c. sugar
2T. lemon juice
Ginger ale (iced)
Mix sugar, orange juice and lemon juice and freeze to a mush.
When ready to serve, half fill fruit juice glasses with frozen mixture. Open a bottle of Ginger ale and pour over the frozen fruit juice, filling the glasses. Serve immediately as the first course for luncheon or dinner. It may be served in the living room.

Both Rebecca and I thought this would be a terrific substitute for dessert, on a hot humid day etc. (I was imagining a barbecue :D) It's like a float with, the pop and how the frozen orange juice rises to the top.

Ginger ale is good, but I'm curious to try club soda or sprite? I imagine the club soda might need more sweetening. Going along on that train of thought, wouldn't substituting the orange juice with grape be good?! There are many possibilities.

I think this cocktail is better served to small groups, since the frozen juice melts quickly.

You don't need to worry about it being a mush when you are ready to serve. I let it freeze for most the day. The juice was solid when I took it out, all I had to do was scrape it with a fork, It wasn't difficult! The juice could probably be frozen for a week or more, just take it out when ready.

Isn't Rebecca a great photographer?

Note: This delicious recipe is from Everyday Foods. The same book as below! :D