How to Make the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee at Home

How to Make the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee at Home

It’s summer and sometimes I just don’t crave hot coffee in the warmer months but yet still want my coffee. Everyone always says, oh just our your coffee over ice. NO, this is just not the same as what you get at Starbucks and I actually think its kinda gross. When I discovered cold brew several years ago I knew that did that trick! In the last year Starbucks has actually released at home cold brew packs. They are really great, however at a $11.95  price point to make 2 pitchers it still wasn’t as budget friendly as I wanted it to be though I do still buy them on occasion. If you want to go that route however you can find them here. 

I started reading up on the cold brew process, looked at special pitchers and things and decided I would just make my own. It it actually really simple and only take a large jar, mesh strainer and cheese cloth, most items in which I already had at home. 

I’ve been using the Seattle’s Best Dark Roast and we have been really big fans of it, but you can use any brand you choose. For us we like darker more full bodied coffees. 

Pour your coffee grounds into a large jar. You will want a jar that can hold about 160-200oz. I’ve been using already ground coffee but if you buy whole bean don’t grind it super fine, leave it more coarse it will work better. After coffee is the jar add 10.5 cups of water and stir. The coffee likes to build up at the top so you need to mix it around. Place jar, closed in the refrigerator for no less than 12 hours and no more than 24.  

Once coffee has set overnight you will need another container to strain it. I use a large bowl that my strainer fits nicely on. Place strainer on bowl, and then top with 2-3 layers of  your cheese cloth. Begin to pour contents of the jar slowly  into the strainer, allowing the liquid to seep through. I sometimes have to stop half way and empty my full bowl. You can push and squeeze the coffee in the cheesecloth to get in any extras. Pour your liquid into an airtight container. I use Mason jars. 

This is is a coffee concentrate so unless you love super super strong coffee you will want to make sure to mix with water. We drink this every day so I like to make pitchers of it. You can also make it by the glass. My concentrate filled 4 of my mason jars. 

To make a pitcher I poured 2 Mason jars of the concentrate into the pitcher and added equal parts water. If you still feel that’s too strong or not strong enough you can do less or more. One batch I added more because it tasted extra strong. 

The concentrate can last about 3 months if sealed in your fridge. If you make a pitcher it’s good for about 6-7 days. It does tend to separate some so I stir it good each morning. I like to enjoy it over ice, with stevia in the raw and Califia Farms vanilla almond milk creamer.

Coffee comes first thing each and every day in this house, does it in yours?

I like to enjoy it over ice, with stevia in the raw and Califia Farms vanilla almond milk creamer. Coffee comes first thing each and every day in this house, does it in yours?


Dairy Free Dole Whip Inspired Popsicles

Dairy Free Dole Whip Inspired Popsicles

*this post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commision for products purchased through my links. I do not recommend products I don’t love myself 

So here I am again with another popsicle recipe! Popsicles have been a saving grace through toddler teething and these already hot summer days. They seriously make my child so happy. When we are at Disney I love to a Dole Whip or Dole Whip float is my absolute FAVORITE treat, and my favorite part is they are dairy free. With a daughter that has a dairy allergy when I decided on these Dole Whip inspired popsicles, they had to be dairy free too. We had tried some homemade dole whip recipes so those helped create this inspiration a bit.

So here is what you need:

1 bag of Frozen Pineapple

1 can of coconut cream

12 oz of pineapple juice ( I used 2 of the small size cans like these)

1 – 2 TBS of Honey or Agave Nectar to taste

Popsicle Molds


 

Use a blender and add in frozen pineapple, pineapple juice and the coconut cream. You could also use a large  can of pineapple with the juice if you wanted I just don’t love canned pineapple. Once it is mostly blended add in honey or agave nectar ( I used agave and did 2tbs, I tasted until it was just right).

After all ingredients are blended together and consistency is to your liking pour mixture into your popsicle molds. Let the popsicles freeze for at least 24 hours. I had to run under warm water over them get them out. I have a small skinny freezer so it was easier to wrap in wax paper and store in a  freezer bag. My husband and I even used them in our own version of Dole Whip floats on our Magic Kingdom Inspired Date Night which you can find here.These made 4 of the bigger popsicles and 8 smaller ones, and left enough for my daughter to drink like it was a smoothie. If you are limited on popsicles molds you might want to cut the recipe in half.

These don’t taste just like my beloved Disney Dole Whip however they do hit the spot. Any recipe I have found for Dole Whip just isn’t the same but at least they can fill the void in between trips. You will get a bit of a coconut flavor but I honestly couldn’t tell all that much. These went fast, and yet again I can’t seem to keep any popsicles we have been making stocked in the freezer. I’m thinking about trying these subbed with other fruits, maybe some strawberries. What do you think?

How to Plan a Magic Kingdom Inspired Date Night

How to Plan a Magic Kingdom Inspired Date Night

 

*this post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commision for products purchased through my links. I do not recommend products I don’t love myself 

 

I can’t believe we are already on week 3 of  my Date Night series! It has really been so fun and this weeks was no exception. One of our absolute favorite things to do when at Disney is eat. Ya we love the food. We used to head out after to work to the Magic Kingdom for some Casey’s mini corn dogs, dole whip floats, and other things get a spot for the night time parade and then watch Wishes. We would literally didn’t even leave the Main Street area. While I could not completely recreate this exact date you better believe I did the best I could!

The first thing I wanted to figure out was a fun activity to add in other than just eating. I remembered we had Disney Scene It game ( you can get yours here) , and I knew that trivia was the perfect addition to the evening. While Hub Grass was not really a thing when we lived there, it is now so the best I could do to recreate this was a picnic on the ground with a green ( ya I know it’s mint green) blanket.



Casey’s Corner mini corn dogs are my favorite, even though I sure do miss the “plastic” cheese that made them taste even better! While I could have made them myself and they would have tasted much better there were just other things I wanted to make. Also I am a toddler Mama my time is very limited. The nuggets we used are just the State Fair brand mini corn dogs. Trust me they are not Casey’s mini corn dogs and I will be working up a recipe for these puppies so I can have them at home. We also made some shoe string fries to go along with the Casey’s theme.

It’s just not Magic Kingdom to me without a Dole Whip float. I recently came up with a recipe for a Dairy Free Dole Whip inspired popsicle (coming to the blog on Monday) so we did miniature Dole Whip Floats that way. They were so good, and of course easy!

Once I was completing things I realized we had way too many sweet treats! Those seem to be our favorite in the kingdom. We added some delicious homemade Mickey Rice Krispy treats dipped in chocolate and M&M’s just like our favorite from the Main Street Confectionary.

When I was walking through Trader Joe’s one day I came across these mini churros and knew they were also perfect for this date night. Of course my husband insisted on some chocolate sauce too. I’m more all about eating them as they are, but to each their own. Also if you love churros these did not disappoint so head on over to your local Trader Joe’s!

Magic Kingdom makes me think of all the Disney classics. Playing the Disney Scene it Trivia game and eating all our favorite Magic Kingdom snacks helped in making it almost feel as if we were HOME. Plus who doesn’t love to get competitive with their spouse, it’s fun right? Make sure to share with me your at home Disney dates. Happy Planning!

 

 

Last Minute DIY Father’s Day Gift

Last Minute DIY Father’s Day Gift

Father’s Day is this weekend and if you are like I am sometimes you are scrambling for a last minute gift. Year after year for holidays I say I will do better and well let me tell ya, it hasn’t changed.  Adding a child to that mix has not helped things at all. I continue to say I’ll do better, sometimes I do but you know what as Mom’s we just do the best we can.

The first idea I have for you is a Star Wars inspired craft with Yoda. For this you will need craft paint in green, brown, black, and white. You will also need paint brush or brushes and a canvas or sturdy paper. I went with a smaller canvas, If you have a young child you will need an incredible amount of patience. Super easy, place green paint on the bottom of the child’s foot and place upside down on your canvas. If the child is old enough let them do the remainder if not the rest is up to you. Paint arms and ears in the green and let dry. Add in some white in the ears, for eyes. Place black dots in the eyes. Use the brown paint to paint the stick Yoda holds. You can use the brown or black to write the words ” Yoda the Best Daddy.” You could also do Yoda the Best Dad in the Galaxy, Yoda the best Dad Ever there are many variations. Once its dry your all done, and have completed a fun father day craft. I put our daughters name and year on the back of the canvas.

 

The second craft is a grill tray. We did this gift last year. I had planned to do a white ceramic tray but I wanted something practical that could be used and also wasn’t going to break. After lots of searching I found a clear tray at Target for about $10. The tricky part is you have to basically do this backwards or mirrored so it shoes through correctly. I so wish I had my silhouette cameo when I did this. If you have one you could so use this and mirror your words. We used a foot print and a hand print for this one. Once I got everything on the tray and dried, I sprayed a clear sealer over the back so  the paint wouldn’t chip. You could also use clear modge podge. If your giving Dad a new grill for Fathers Day this is the perfect addition. My husband got one last year for his April Birthday so we gifted the tray with some new grill utensils.

 

So if your running around looking for a last minute DIY for Dad these are 2 great projects that will be super easy for you to throw together quickly. These gifts are sure to make the Dads in your life smile!

 

THREE Ingredient Dairy Free Yogurt Popsicles

THREE Ingredient Dairy Free Yogurt Popsicles

We are all about some popsicles around here lately  so I have been trying new recipes  once or twice weekly! My Daughter has a milk allergy, and I am mostly dairy free except for cheese and the occasional ice cream because well… With that said  I am always looking for new favorites when it comes to dairy free options.

We have really grown to love the So Delicious Coconut Milk yogurt. They have a good variety of flavors out there, though sometimes they seem hard to find in my market and it still taste good. Actually I think the flavored and sweetened ones are almost to sweet so I opt for the Plain Unsweetened and add to it myself. This also of course eliminates some of the extra added sugars. Its hot out so I thought why not freeze some yogurt into popsicles to make it seem like she is getting an treat at snack time. Let me tell you my daughter was a big fan! These are super easy and took me less than 10 min to make!

1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk Yogurt

1 Cup Fruit of choice

1 Tablespoon of honey

4 part Popsicle Mold ( you may need more or less depending on your molds )


Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend together, this way the fruit can mix in well also. Pour into popsicle molds and pop in the freezer. I decided to do 2 different flavors so I spilt the recipe into 2 blenders. I made one blueberry and one strawberry. This made 1 individual blueberry and one individual strawberry popsicle and I layered the other 2. The layered ones are fun so next time I may just layer them all. You could also mix more than one fruit into the blender. The recipe is so easy to just swap around and try different combinations.

You can pull the popsicles out and wrap in parchment, that way you can use your molds again to make some more with just regular wooden popsicles sticks. I love these Reynolds individual sheets you can find here. One sheet was enough for all 4 popsicles and then I just tossed them in a freezer bag. These sheets are also great to line all your pans when cooking, they fit so perfectly.

After my daughter had her first one she asked for one daily when she got up from her nap. I love that they are just plain yogurt and fruit that she would usually make a disaster with so I didn’t mind letting her have them. They went super fast and I need to make another batch, and she thinks she is getting a special treat!

So what other flavors should we try next? Do you have some favorite dairy free recipes we should try this summer?

*this post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission off any products purchased through my links. I do not recommend products I do not love!

How to Plan the Ultimate Beauty and the Beast Date Night In

How to Plan the Ultimate Beauty and the Beast Date Night In

Today marks week 2 of my Date Night in Series. This week my husband and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary.  Our Anniversary being this month is what made me decide to do this Date Night in series in June specifically. Since it fell in the middle of the week we decided on a date night in, and to go out and celebrate over the weekend. The date also just happened to be the release date for the Beauty and the Beast live action film to come out on Blue Ray. I saw the movie in theaters but he had not. When  I saw the announcement I knew that  was exactly what our date night in would consist of. Here are some things to do to create the Ultimate Beauty and the Beast Date Night In.

When you think of dining for Beauty and the Beast what comes to  my mind is the Be Our Guest Scene. This is the ultimate scene from the movie and they over exceeded my expectations in the live action film. I knew when planning our menu we had to have The Grey Stuff for dessert. I did this dessert differently in more of a no bake cheesecake type dessert. They were so good, and you can find my recipe for them here. 

So the Ultimate Beauty and the Beast date night needs more than dessert right? Absolutely. If you have ever dined at Be Our Guest at Walt Disney World you would know an appetizer on their menu is a charcuterie board (It is actually called assortment of meats, no cheese but its a charcuterie board.)  This is such a perfect French themed appetizer and so easy to create. All you need is an assortment of meats, cheeses, crackers, olives whatever you want to add. These are typically mostly meats but I change it up. I kept it pretty simple since there was only 2 of us. I went with a fig and honey goat cheese, dried cranberries, salami, and cheddar cheese. We also did some French loaf with Olive Oil. My favorite place to get meats and cheeses is definitely Trader Joes. They have a fantastic selection of affordable cheeses.

We wanted to do a nice dinner so we got some bacon wrapped filets, and asparagus for the main course. I suppose pommes frites would have made it a little closer to the steak on the Be Our Guest menu but not everything needs to be perfectly the same. Another great option is a Croque Madame, Cheese Soufflé, or even FrenchOnion Soup. Make this night you own, its is totally up to you but the theme is part of the fun!

We decided to set up a little cozier on the coffee table instead of setting at the dinner table. It made the date itself feel more intimate rather than a big table for only 2 people. You could even picnic on the living room floor! I grabbed disposable plates that were a little more fun at Target because I don’t have fancy plates, fun napkins, and my ice bucket for the wine. It is really simple to not only make this themed but also affordable for very little. I even created a small menu for the evening.

After our daughter went to bed my husband got the grill going. I got everything else set up, including a bottle of bubbly. (Prosecco we aren’t big champagne fans) We dined, and chatted and watched the new movie and just enjoyed a quiet relaxing evening together with very little clean up.

Remember how important it is to make the time to Date Your Spouse. The last few weeks have been crazy in this house. My husbands business travel, toddler changes, among other things have made for little time together. However one thing remains constant, we do everything we can to make a date night in happen to reconnect since we cant get out as often. However I sure cant wait for us to get out on an actual date this weekend!

If you still have not snagged your copy of the new Beauty and the Beast Film can you do so right here.  I have also created a FREE printable menu for you to use for when you plan you date night in.  Sign up here to receive your FREE printable.

*this post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission off any products purchased through my links. I don’t recommend products I don’t love.

 


“Grey Stuff” Inspired No Bake Cheesecake

“Grey Stuff” Inspired No Bake Cheesecake

 

The Live Action Beauty and the Beast movie comes out on Blue Ray/DVD today! If you have yet to see it go out and get a copy because Disney did an absolutely amazing job with this LIVE action remake of an animated classic. You can order it here. I also happen to be celebrating my 8th wedding anniversary with my husband today so I have a little Beauty and the Beast date night in planned for the evening. I am excited for him to see the movie for the first time.

With the Beauty and the Beast theme in mind I wanted to whip up a dessert for the evening. Of course the “Grey Stuff”came to my mind but I wanted to play a twist on it a bit. After much thought and looking through my dessert board on Pinterest to see if anything gave me that inspiration, I decided on a Grey Stuff Inspired No Bake Cheesecake.

This was super easy to make, and I really enjoy the flavor of it more than the cool whip flavored recipe that is floating around, and is used in the park.

Here is what you need:

18 Oreos

10 oz of cream cheese softened

1.5 oz of milk ( I used Ripple Milk( dairy free(

1 packet of Simply Jello Vanilla Pudding

wine glass, jars, or whatever you would like to serve it in

Lay your cream cheese out to soften. Mix 1 cup of the milk with the pudding mix until it thickens, then add in  12 of the crushed Oreos. You can crush Oreos by placing in a baggy and using a cup or rolling pin. For the first 12 I left the cream in the center. Mix together. Remove the filling from the remaining 6 Oreos and add to the mixture, with the cream cheese. Mix all together and then refrigerate for one hour. Crush the remaining 6 Oreos, divide and place in bottom of your serving dish of choice. Top with the cheesecake mixture.

You can spoon it in or use a pipping bag which I found much easier with using wine glasses. Place back in the fridge for a few hours before serving. Mine made these 2 huge wine glasses and 2 small cheesecakes, which we enjoyed as soon as they were set. You could definitely get 6-8 servings out of this depending on how you portion them.

Pop in the animated classic or the new LIVE action film, and enjoy this tasty treat with the entire family, or just your significant other!

*This post may contain affiliate links, that means I may receive a small commission. I don’t recommend items I don’t personally love.


Disney’s Toy Story Date Night In

Disney’s Toy Story Date Night In

 

Today starts my Date Night In Series.  Dating your spouse is so important! When you add a child into the mix, the dynamic of things change. Those weekly date nights, time alone with just your spouse become few and far between. By the time bedtime rolls around for the kids you are just plain exhausted. Budgets can be tight not allowing for a date night and a sitter, and even schedules can get crazy. However you can’t let that foundation you set for your marriage fade. That is why date nights even if they are not out of the home are so important.

We are lucky that we have grandparents that watch our daughter about once a month so we can get out. Otherwise we would not have nights out very often at all. Not everyone has that option, and lets be real leaving a young child with a sitter is hard. Because of this and our need to make sure we are creating that time more than once a month we started Date Nights In at our house.

I am not talking always starting up Netflix and getting cozy on the couch more often. I am talking really creating a night where you can talk, dream, and inspire each other and have that one on one time without the distractions. That can even be tough on a real date night out. Find things to do that maybe take you back to things you used to love to do together.

I love to create things with a theme.  These date nights at home give me the ability to do so. When my daughter is old enough to watch and enjoy these things I can see many family themed date nights with movies in our future. I love to plan also, and as a Mom I’ve lost the ability to be creative as often as I would like to be so this gives me the ability to do it a few times a month.

A lot of this all started when I created our 12 Dates of Christmas.Something that has been a tradition of ours for the last 6 years or more. I’ll share more about that when Christmas is closer. I’ve been picking my brain for sometime about the things we loved to do and a lot of our most favorite dates night take us back to Disney Date nights from our time in Florida. The first date night in My Date Night In series, is Toy Story themed.

When we lived in Florida we absolutely loved hitting up the parks for really fun yet simple date nights. One of our favorites was to hit up Hollywood Studios for Pizza Planet and Toy Story Mania. (It was best during the non busy times.) Of course we would hit the other parks too. The goal was to create that at home for us and I did just that!

So the making of this date night was combined of homemade pizza, a Sheriff Woody inspired drink we called ” There’s a Snake in my Boot”, White Chocolate Chex Mix, and the Nintendo Wii Toy Story Midway Mania game. We also decided to pop in Toy Story 3 when we tired out from the game.

The Sheriff Woody inspired drink was actually fairly simple. Add 1.5 oz of Bourbon into a cup, top with  Ale 8 One which is a soda from Kentucky that is kind of a mix of Sprite and Ginger Ale. You can find it here. The glass bottle is better if you just want to drink it but we stock up when we go to Kentucky. These are a tad pricey to order online but you can sometimes find them at a local Kroger or Harris Teeter. Even Cracker Barrel sometimes has them as  they have started to expand outside of Kentucky! Add a few gummy worms and you have a “There’s A Snake In My Boot.” If you don’t have these just use ginger ale.

The recipe for the White Chocolate Chex Mix can be found here. Its super easy and the perfect movie snack!

We had the best time being competitive with each other playing Toy Story Mid Way Mania. Sometimes it is easy to forget how much fun you can have. For the dinner portion we decided it would be a non family dinner  night. We were more than ok and we would have dinner just the 2 of us after our daughter was in bed. It was the perfect time for conversation which does not happen much at dinner anymore. We are both are lucky enough to eat while trying to make sure our daughter is fed, not attempting to find a way out of her high chair, or dumping her plate on the floor.

There are so many ways you can create these great date nights at home. Most of this one with our grocery budget or things we already have in the house so this can definitely be done on a budget. Make sure to stay tuned as more Date Night In’s are coming every Friday in the month of June!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase something through my link I may  get a small commission from it.