Cold-pressed coffee

Have you ever wondered why the iced coffee you get in a pro shop tastes so good? I always thought iced coffee was just that… take some hot coffee and pour it over ice. How wrong I was! Now that I’ve made cold-pressed coffee a few times, I’m ready to share this super easy method with you. If you are caffeine dependent like me, and cannot, or should not, be out in public, let alone drive a car without it — even on days that are way too hot and humid for a steaming cup o’ joe — listen up.

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I’ve been thinking about high-speed photography with foods and drinks for a while now. Last weekend, I finally set up a little outside space to shoot some messy liquid. I’m so in love with my new discovery of iced, cold-pressed coffee, that it became my first subject. Not what I had originally imagined my first subject to be. After all, it’s no easy feat keeping ice clean when brownish liquids are flying. I wanted to make the completed images look like I captured it on the first shot, before the coffee turned the ice into a muddy shade of brown. That’s where post-production work comes in. I set my camera up on a tripod, and took a shot with the glass in place and beautiful, clean ice around it before I went crazy flinging ice cubes to create the splashes you see. Then I went to work in Photoshop combining the muddied image with the clean ice image. The result was much more labor intensive than I had anticipated, but I learned a whole lot in the process.

Making cold-pressed coffee is far less complicated than the process involved in photographing it.

The first thing you need is a bit of time. Plan accordingly. You will need to make this 9-12 hours before you plan to drink it. You also need a French press. You can probably use a strainer or coffee filter, but a French press is really easy, and certain things in life need to be easy.

Cold-Pressed Iced Coffee
1 cup coarsely ground good coffee beans
2 cups cold water
In a French press, add coffee, water. Stir well.
Plunge part way to seal in the coffee. Refrigerate for 9-12 hours.
After the brewing is complete, plunge and pour the rich liquid goodness into a glass container that you can seal and drink from for a few days.
This will provide you with a concentrate. Fill a glass with ice and a few ounces of the coffee. Add milk or half and half… you can also enjoy it straight, maybe with a little sweetener… but it’s so smooth and acidic free, you won’t need any. Notice how all the bitterness of coffee is gone? Pure, smooth goodness!
Store remaining concentrate in a covered glass container in the fridge.

You’re welcome! I have to go clean the coffee splatters off my house now…

CoffeeSplash

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Salsa season is here!

My teen is bored, the dogs are hyper with anticipation of a fun activity, probably involving balls, frisbees or sticks. My husband is on a month long working trip. I’m trying to keep up with all things involved in being a business owner, mom, homeowner, activity director, pet owner, and daughter. Yay. It’s summer.

What are you doing to celebrate the season? If it involves food, salsa is a great way to enjoy some of the seasonal fresh veggies out there.  With sweet corn currently priced in my local stores at 5 for $1, and cilantro at 2 bunches for $1, my frugal self is delighted. My daughter told me she could live on this stuff.

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Corn Salsa
4 ears of fresh, grilled sweet corn
1/2 red onion, diced small
2 avocados, diced
1 jalapeño, minced
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
Juice of 1 lime
Lots of chopped cilantro
Grill corn with husks on for 10-15 minutes (see below). Cut corn off the cob, and combine with remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate before serving.

My favorite way to grill corn: Pull the husks back to the corn stalk, but don’t remove. Pull off the silks and discard. Return the husks back to their original position, and tie with string. To keep the husks from burning on the grill, soak the corn in cold water for about 10 minutes. When they’re sufficiently soaked, fire up the grill, and roast uncovered on medium high for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally.

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Up next: tomato season. Tuck this one away, it’ll be here before you know it…

Garden Tomato Salsa
Start with 9-12 medium sized ripe tomatoes
Cut them in half and take out the seeds.
Chop them coarsely and throw them into a food processor
Add:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup of cilantro
3/4 cup chopped sweet onion
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 spicy pepper (I used an ‘Italian Roaster’ because there were some ripe ones in my garden, but you could use jalapeño or serrano, if you want extra spice)
1 teaspoon coriander (you could also use cumin if you like the flavor… I don’t)
Blend until the salsa is a slightly coarse consistency. Not too chunky, not too pureed. Perfect for scooping up with a corn chip. Place in a sealed container and refrigerate for several hours or overnight so that the flavors have a chance to mingle.

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After all the salsa ingredients have gotten to know each other, call a few good friends, blend up some margaritas, grab a bag of corn chips… and all the good things summer has to offer!