Monday, November 26, 2012

Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee

Dear World,

Here is a secret about me:  I don't like football.  And I sit here silently typing this startling fact as my husband switches between the Ole Miss-Mississippi State game and Notre Dame-USC game, and these after he watched the Alabama-Auburn game earlier. 

But I have no complaints about him watching football, because my fine specimen of a man offered to watch our three year old grandson all day on Friday while my daughter and I made our way south to Mobile to hit some Black Friday sales. 

(He offered himself, I might add, and stayed home from hunting on his vacation day to do it.  How grateful am I for this guy?  XOXOXO!!!!) 

They had quite the exciting day starting with Bray giving Pop a fun little lesson on how to properly brush teeth.  ("Not that way, POP!  I DO IT!  Lemme do it!")  

I'm not sure that he combed his hair or put clean underwear on him, BUT he was called into the bathroom to aid in some teeny, tiny, hiney clean-up.

"Pop, I'm thwoo-oo, come and wipe me!  Pop?!  POP!"

Oh. My.  I think we may have conveniently forgot to tell him that Bray occasionally poops for fear the whole deal would be off.  But he handled it like a trooper, or so he let me know.

So daughter and I had a fun day, and by fun I mean we had to leave the house at 4 AM and drive for an hour and a half, stand in lines that rival Disneyland, and create a plan of attack to decide which eight items could be taken into the dressing room to be tried on first and which of the remaining 32 items should be left behind to be tried on during the second through fifth rounds. 

And this: 

My daughter made me take this picture on the very back aisle at Academy Sports.  I normally don't post pictures of myself unless they have been heavily Photoshopped, but this was our special bonding day so I made an exception.  I think we look pretty, don't you?

 Okay, enough about my life.  This iced coffee recipe is my favorite and I made it a little bit different this time by using a real vanilla bean.  Yes, I debated and debated on whether to do this or not as vanilla beans are precious commodities in my house (thank you, Rodelle!), but when I made this I was having a very stressful ten-day stretch and I just needed a little bit of pampering.  This did the trick.

Here are my notes:

-You should try this:  blend one cup of the iced coffee mixture, 1 medium frozen banana and 1/2 cup crushed ice or ice cubes.  You can thank me later.  Heaven.  I forgot to take a picture of it but it is sooooo good.

-I think this would be a good base to blend with some other flavors--butterscotch, chocolate syrup, cinnamon, etc.

-You can use instant coffee granules in place of the espresso.

-You can leave out the vanilla bean and add vanilla extract to your liking.

-The amount of espresso can also be adjusted for a more powerful jolt.

Vanilla Bean Iced Coffee

1/3 cup instant espresso granules
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup boiling water
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups cold water
4 cups milk
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract (for extra vanilla-y punch)

Place the espresso granules and sugar in a bowl and stir in the boiling water until dissolved.  Stir in the vanilla bean seeds. 

Whisk in the sweetened condensed milk and cold water until combined.  Pour the milk into a pitcher.  Stir in the espresso mixture and the vanilla extract.  Chill in fridge for about an hour.  Serve over ice.

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