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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Royal Baby Pictures

I admit it I was pulled into the Royal Baby Fun. lol.
I was able to get a few snapshots of the first royal appearance to share.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Frozen Coffee Fun

I love the Caramel Frappe from McDonald's.  However, I don't like the $3 price (or the excess calories).
My husband loves frozen and iced coffee drinks, but Dunkin Donuts isn't close to us.
We recently had a graduation party with a Bubble Tea bar and one of the flavors we used was coffee, the whole thing was a big hit and we enjoyed using the coffee powder on it's own for frozen coffee drinks.

But eventually, we ran out of the powder, and I wanted something a bit cheaper; so I went looking for recipes.  I came across several Frappe recipes and iced coffee recipes, etc.  Finally I just used those as idea points and played around until I found one I liked.  FYI - this is not quite as creamy as the Frappes at McD's because I use whole milk and no thickeners.  You could substitute half-n-half for part of the milk if you wanted it creamier, but you are adding calories.

Brewed coffee
Milk (I prefer whole milk, but you can use 1 or 2 %, just be aware that it will be "thinner" in flavor)
Whipped Cream (optional)
Caramel syrup (or whichever flavor you prefer, optional)
International Cafe Powdered mix (optional)

Brew a pot of coffee, I like to make it stronger for more coffee flavor.
Next, pour into ice cube trays and freeze.  If you are impatient, you can use it once it has cooled down.

Make a simple sugar solution - 1 cup of boiling water, to 1 cup of sugar.  Allow to cool.
(You could mix the sugar into the coffee before freezing, but this allows you to adjust the level of sweetness to each person)
If you do not "do" sugar, I'm sure you could use a substitute without mixing it with water, but I only use sugar.  I don't do artificial sweeteners at all.

In a blender, combine 1 cup of coffee (about 1.5 cups of frozen coffee cubes), 2 cups of milk, about 1/4 cup of sugar solution, and 3 cups of ice.  Blend.  Add ice as needed until desired thickness is reached.  Taste for sweetness and add additional sugar solution as desired.  Top with whipped cream if desired.
This makes 2-3 large cups of frozen yumminess.  I use the double wall tumblers, with lids, because it keeps it frozen longer, and colder.  Perfect for the hot summer time by the swimming pool.

I will sometimes add the International Cafe mix and/or Caramel syrup - depending on my mood ;)

After playing around to get this recipe just right, we discovered the entire family likes the base recipe the same way, so I mix up one batch of 3 cups strong coffee and sugar and keep it in a container in the refrigerator.  Whenever we want a "fix" for each person we pour out 1/2 cup of coffee and 1 cup of milk into the blender, add ice and blend.

I haven't done a complete price breakdown, but I do know that it is under $0.75 per drink, even with caramel syrup, whipped topping, and International Cafe mix.  YMMV depending on the prices where you live.

Monday, July 8, 2013

SVG Cuts Purse Challenge and GC Giveaway!

Here is a picture of a purse I created for a challenge on the SVG Cuts blog.   I based my design on an Aigner purse I once owned. 
They have a post challenging you to Make a Luxury Handbag, Earn a Free Gift Card! 

They even give you the file to use for the purse, for FREE!!  You do have to register on the site in order to download the file, but still!  So jump on over there and get in on this great deal!  You have until July 12, 2013 to get it uploaded to them.

Basically, create the purse and upload it to them using the form they include on the blog post. Easy!
Everything you need to know is on that blog post.

I did redo the file a bit as I wanted to use only one sheet of 12x12 for the entire purse, so I welded and resized.  I also created a liner to wrap around the outside of the purse.  I changed up a couple of other things, but the overall design is the same.