Fall Is Here And So Are the Spices

And just like that....Fall is here. At least for me here in the Pacific Northwest. Actually on the Eastern side of WA. This is all new to me (Johnny has lived here before years ago) and exciting. 

We downsized quite a bit and really embracing the tiny living. We are enjoying new changes that are happening with Johnny Lolita's (we will keep you posted) HOWEVER...Fall hit us and I was walking around shocked at how cold it is now in the mornings. In the mid to upper 30's...thats C-O-L-D!!! Especially for someone that has spent their life in the Southwest and living in AZ for over 15 years. I'm certainly not used to the cooler temps and my "thin blood" from the hot desert has not adapted just yet.

On the plus side, I am really embracing the Fall weather and thinking of my favorite hot things to drink with "Fall style" spices. Of course it's coffee based...with some spice. 

I am sharing my recipe for Pumpkin Spice Crock Pot Latte again, however I am also going to share a simple recipe for Maple! Yes...maple! It's becoming very popular this season and something you should definitely try.

Here's the Recipe for Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte:

pexels-photo-362137.jpg

Which is great for large gatherings. However, you can cut the recipe down as well. 

Ingredients  

  • 6 cups of whole milk (you can use 2%, soy or almond milk)
  • 6 cups of strongly brewed coffee (Johnny Lolita's Brazil Dark or Lolita's Blend would be awesome) 
  • 1/2 cup of Pumkin purée  
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of sugar ( depending on how sweet you want it)  
  • 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks  

Directions 

  • Combine coffee and milk in your crockpot.
  • in a separate bowl, whisk/whip together the pumpkin, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon and pour into crockpot. 
  • Mix all ingredients well.
  • Add the cinnamon sticks. 
  • Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2 hours. If it seems like it's been boiling for a long time reduce the heat. 
  • Ready to serve and enjoy. 

This recipe will serve 15+ people. For the adults you can offer your favorite liquor to their spiced latte. 

Simple Maple Latte

maple-2232088_1280.jpg

When purchasing maple syrup...go for the pure ones. I've read that pure maple syrup contains antioxidants, minerals. vitamins and 13 other antioxidant compounds (chemistry verbiage) many of those compounds exclusive to maple syrup. 

Its a great alternative to honey (at times if you wish). Bottom line its packed with nutritional value and tastes great too! There is a lot of info on pure maple syrup, you should take some time and read up on it. I've eliminated most artificial sweetener and turn to stevia and maple syrup. 

Here's a simple recipe for a Maple Latte

Ingredients

  • Strong coffee Johnny Lolita's Brazil Dark is a great choice
  • Milk of your choice 
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of maple syrup (depending on the size of your mug)
  • pinch (or two if you have a large cup) of ground cloves
  • pinch (or two if you have a large cup) of allspice
  • pinch (or two if you have a large cup) of nutmeg

Directions 

  • Add maple syrup and spices to the bottom of your cup and stir
  • Heat up your milk (whole, 2%, almond, cashew, soy etc) 
  • Add about 1/2-3/4 coffee in your cup to the maple mixture and stir
  • Pour hot milk and top with foam

A short cut to foamy milk

Another quick way to achieve hot foamy milk if you don't have a frother. Take your milk and add to a mason jar. Whatever size mason jar you are using, do not fill to the very top...leave some room. Place in microwave without lid or ring (no metal in microwaves). Heat milk...do not boil. Use an oven mitt if you need to remove mason jar. Add the lid and ring (tightly, I've learned the hard way) and shake vigorously. You will see that the milk gets foamy. Voila!!!! Instant foamy milk.  

Just writing these recipes is cause for me to go grab a cup and start making a latte. Let me know your thoughts or any ideas you'd like to share on making your favorite coffee drink at home. 

Lolita💋

 

 

 

Making Espresso Based Drinks With a Moka Pot

IMG_2558.JPG

Since the beginning, I've been a big promoter of enjoying coffee at home. With family and friends...getting together over a cup of coffee and something sweet...always made for a good time!

I also believe that you can make a lot of great tasting coffee drinks at home AND they might even taste just as good (or better) than when you head out! I'm not saying to never go out and enjoy coffee, just like I would say to never go out to enjoy a wonderful meal. People tend to go out every day for coffee and spending a lot of money. Instead enjoy coffee out every once in awhile...purchase great, fresh roasted coffee from your local roaster and make great tasting coffee at home. 

However, I wanted to talk about a great little piece of old school/workhorse/simple & easy equipment to make coffee or rather espresso right on your stove top.  Then... you can use it to make other great tasting espresso based drinks. (wink wink smiley face)

A Moka Pot, sometimes called macchinetta del caffè (means small coffee machine) is a stove top coffee maker. Whether you use gas, electric or right on a campfire...this is a great little coffee/espresso maker to use anywhere. 

The basic function is that it works similar to a pressure cooker. It has a valve that goes down to the small water tank to build up pressure to go through the grounds giving you coffee brewed at a higher temperature and a higher pressure delivering more of an espresso. 

There a several sizes to choice from...I have a 6 cup (which is literally 6 espresso sized cups). This is the one I sell online as well. However they have some that are smaller such as a 2 cup or bigger like a 10-12 cup. 

The great part is that you can make some great drinks right at home with this gem. Here are some ideas. 

  • Basic Espresso-Right out of the pot right into your espresso cup. Its short but strong. Enjoy straight up. What's nice is that you will get a bit of the crema like you will see when making from a big espresso machine. 
  • Americano- The name comes from WWII when the American soldiers were in Italy and requesting coffee from the Italian coffee houses. Italians don't drink brewed coffee like we do...it's espresso. So when the soldiers didn't like the strong taste, they asked them to add some hot water. Since then when a solider came in the coffee owners and staff called the drink an AmericanoPour your espresso into a standard size mug and add hot water (close to boiling or from a kettle) up to the rim. Depending on your personal taste, add some creme or sugar or both!
  • Latte- A latte s basically 1/3 of espresso and 2/3 hot milk. Depending on the size latte cup you are using, fill 1/3 with espresso and add 2/3 heated milk (whole, nonfat, 2%, almond, soy, cashew, etc). There are several ways to create the froth such as a steamer/frother, microwave can give you that effect or take a whisk and stir in air quickly to give you the billowy froth. Now you have a latte. Add a flavor such as cinnamon, or a couple of drops of extract such as vanilla, maple, eggnog, hazelnut OR add some pumpkin Spice...YUM! Remember, you can pour this over ice for a cold version too.
  • Mocha- It's a latte with cocoa. In your latte cup, add some cocoa powder. Or add a square of 100% cocoa chocolate. I like it to be richer with a less sweet taste and if I need it to taste a little sweeter, I might add some stevia. However, you can use chocolate syrup/sauce, a Hershey's kiss (or two), whatever "floats your boat". Finish off by adding your espresso and your hot milk and you have a wonderful tasty treat. Just like the latte, enjoy it hot or over ice. Who loves chocolate? This GAL! 

The Mocha Pot, which has been around since 1933, is a great addition to your home brewing accessories. I do have some in stock, however, check out Amazon or look up Moka Pot or Bialetti and check out all the sizes available. 

Price point is NOT expensive. (6 cup runs about $39.99) and a great way to enjoy some of the espresso based drinks you love to order out and enjoy! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to comment or right me directly shawn@johnnylolitas.com

Lolita💋

 

 

Milk & Honey Latte Via Cold Brew

Milk & Honey Latte

Milk & Honey Latte

Since we relocated to the Phoenix AZ area, we are enjoying...scratch that enduring...scratch that one too....tolerating the summer heat! I've decided to do some research, creating and massive taste testing on some cold/iced/frozen coffee infused drinks to share in the coming weeks.

We have a simple one to start with...it's one I drink when I want a little iced treat during the day and love to share with my friends when I have them over. What's great is the milk you choose can be any kind...I like to use soy milk but you can use almond milk, skim, 2%, whatever you want. 

I have the recipe for Cold Brew Coffee available in a previous blog. To get the recipe, click here. Here's the quick and simple recipe;

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 cup of cold brew concentrate  
  • 1 cup of cold milk (whole, skim, almond, soy etc) 
  • 2 teaspoons of honey

Directions: 

  • Pour your cold brew coffee in a tumbler or glass of choice
  • In a small microwave safe cup of bowl, heat the honey. Shouldn't take long to heat such a small amount. 
  • In a separate cup or small glass, add your cold milk. Start stirring the milk and add the heated honey. By heating the honey it will help prevent it from hardening in the milk. (Honey will dissolve much easier in the cold milk than it will in the cold brew coffee or the coffee and milk)
  • Once dissolved add the milk and honey mixture to the cold brew coffee.  
  • Chill in the fridge if needed or enjoy! 

Having friends over?... Make a head of time in a large container and simply double or quadruple the recipe in a pitcher. Set in the fridge and when your guest arrive...wonderful chilled milk & honey lattes.  

I tend to use coffee ice cubes to enjoy it sooner with added coffee flavor from the ice cubes OR use regular ice cubes should you wish to put together and serve immediately. There really is no wrong way to make it. 

I hope you enjoy. Be sure to comment and let me know your thoughts and how you made yours,  

Lolita 💋 

You Know What? That Would Be Great With A Cup Of Coffee!

My whole life...I've been surrounded by that wonderful cup of java. I'd hear it (and smell it) in the morning....the Corningware (with the blue cornflower design) coffee pot "sputtering, hissing and percolating" our morning coffee. That was our cue to get up out of bed. 

Coffee goes great with???Everything! 

Coffee goes great with???Everything! 

Another thing that was very big in our family is what would taste great with that cup of coffee. Especially Phyllis, my beautiful Mom. it was really funny actually...we would see some commercial on TV about a new cake mix, recipes or anything chocolate and my Mom would say "Oh, I bet that would be great with a cup of coffee." 

We all did it actually. We would be out to dinner and when we finished our meal the waiter would offer up the dessert menu. He would leave us to our devices to discuss options and choices. Many times we would order one or two pieces and take home because....It would be great with a cup of our coffee at home!" 

Our life did surround that cup of coffee...typically with great conversation and a little sweet, but we needed that balance of rich chocolate or fruity pie with our wonderful perculated coffee. We'd search recipes just to find "the one" that would taste great with???? You got it...a cup of coffee. My brother Kim has become an excellent cook. I'd like to call him a Chef... he says "I just love good food...nothing fancy or gourmet, I'm not a chef, but I disagree. He creates fabulous pies from scratch. Right down to the crust. From fruit to chocolate, lemon or whip...they are De-lish! Of course when he's ready to unveil his latest creation....enjoying the pure sweet aroma...he turns to me and says "You know what? This will be great with a cup of coffee! Let me get some going." I know our Mom is smiling down on us and I know she's holding a fork in her hand to steal a bite. 

So in honor of our family tradition, I've enclosed a simple recipe that I know would be great with a cup of coffee. A Johnny Lolita's coffee blend would be best, wink wink smiley face  

  Soft Sugar Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks) Salted Butter softened
  • 1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup of sugar (for rolling dough) 

Prep

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking soda and baking powder and set aside.  

In another bowl, add sugar and butter and cream together using an electric mixer. Add egg yolks and vanilla continue mixing. Add flour mixture and continue mixing until combined but don't over mix. Scoop dough into balls and roll in sugar and place on cookie sheet.  

Bake 15-18 minutes or until tops of cookies start to crack. Cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before moving to wire rack. Now make a cup of coffee and enjoy!  

Lolita💋 

Your Coffee Is Out For Delivery

I love reading those words on my computer. Well....the United States Post Service doesn't know that the packages I'm shipping contain coffee, but I know. And the only thing the USPS emails me is "Your package is delivered"...but I know better.

image.jpg

So does the postman that comes to pick up the orders and so does the postal guy at our local counter. With all theses boxes filled with fresh roasted coffee, you can't miss it.  My one friend at the post office loves to take a deep breath in and inhale all that coffee goodness. Of course there is typically a line of people watching as I pass them by and pile all the packages on the side counter. (No, I'm not cheating...I've created and paid for my labels online so all I have to do is drop off) however, people do wonder of this odd relationship I have with the postal guy. But we don't care....we both stick our faces in all the packages, inhale together and just smile. We then part with a wave and say "Until next time." And he says "I'll be waiting." 

We roast our coffee fresh on Monday and Thursday to ensure that all our customers receive the freshest batch of roasted coffee. So if you order online or for local delivery Thursday through Sunday, we will roast Monday and ship out Tuesday. If you order Monday through Wednesday, we will roast Thursday and ship out Friday. 

Head to Johnny Lolita's online and check out our latest coffee offerings. Order your next bag of coffee...delivered fresh to your door. 

Lolita💋