I am from the South, born and raised, a true GRITS (Girl Raised In The South- You know it :) WORK IT! - That was for you Heidi- haha!) And I do LOVE grits by way and so does Drew- it runs in the blood :) Ok, anyways I will get back to my post about coffee :) When I moved up here 9 years ago in the middle of the winter I was in complete shock about the weather. Salvation Army made some money off of me as it was the only place I could afford, and I needed a new wardrobe! I quickly noticed that every where I went people were carrying little travel mugs and disposable cups filled with warm goodness. I began to realize why so many people up here drank coffee, that is the only way you can stay warm!! I decided to try some, DISGUSTING!! OBVIOUSLY it must be an acquired taste- It is!
So I had to work my way into it. The first drink I had that started to bridge the gap between non-coffee lover to now drinking it everyday BLACK (of all things) was a Vanilla Cooler from Caribou Coffee. Just a hint of coffee flavor and icy deliciousness. I started my coffee journey :) I began trying different kinds of coffee, always with lots of sugar and creamer. Eventually I married into an AMAZING family of coffee LOVERS. My in-laws are a couple who have at least 2 pots on a day, 1 in the morning, 1 after dinner....maybe other times during the day as there is a "need". My husband, and both my mother in law and father in law drink theirs black. Oh the pressure!! Just kidding, I still added my cream and sugar and didn't care in the slightest how others drank their coffee. My sister-in-laws Juliet and Heidi are with me on the sweetness, in fact Heidi has her own blog where she has a very humorous post about a coffee experience, check it out: http://dearlylovedmist.blogspot.com/2011/10/4-cream-4-sugar.html
Anyways, I always heard the "black" drinkers talk about how good a cup of black coffee is with dessert. I decided I would give it a try and see for myself. I can remember how the dessert experience that evening went down. It was October and I had made a fresh pumpkin pie. I served us up some slices of orange colored wonderfulness and topped it with fresh whipped cream. I poured my cup of black coffee and sat on the couch, weary of what was about to happen. (Such drama for me- haha! Obviously very momentous for me because I remember all the details.) I took a bite of pie, and washed it down with a sip of medium-hot black strong coffee. OH MY WORD! It was SO WONDERFUL. The sweetness of the dessert paired with the strong taste of the coffee made the best combination! What had I been missing?! And a few days after that I found out I was pregnant with Emma, so I could only drink decaf, SO not the same intensity as regular. The memory how good black coffee was with dessert was burned in my mind :)
I have really grown to love my coffee black- it was a process, took me years to acquire a taste for it. If I am having black coffee with dessert I ALWAYS leave the sugar out, I just can't do sweet coffee with sweet dessert, I need something to balance and cut all the sugar. However if no dessert is present you will catch me adding some heavy cream and sugar- it becomes my dessert.
I recently met a wonderful friend, Bonnie, her and her husband have both worked at Starbucks, and they have actually had us over for a coffee tasting, Morning Cup of Joe paired with a Cappucinno Cheese Cake (Recipe at:http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/cappuccino-cheesecake.html?cm_src=RECIPESEARCH) - to die for! I hope to have a coffee tasting of my own soon!
So I love most things that have to do with coffee now, and recently I made Coffee Gelato, AMAZING! Here are some pics of the process and recipe. It really is fabulous, and pretty simple to make! If you like consuming organic dairy, this is a super cheap way to have organic ice cream.
3 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
30 dark roast coffee beans
pinch of salt
6 egg yolks, slightly beaten
Add milk, cream, 1/2 of the sugar and the coffee beans to a heavy sauce pan. Cook on medium-high, whisking constantly until small bubbles appear around the edge of the pan. In a separate bowl add the remaining sugar and egg yolks, whisk together until incorporated. When the pan mixture begins to form the small bubbles take a ladle, fill it up with the milk mixture and pour it into the eggs & sugar and whisk quickly, then pour the egg mixture into the bowl. Continue heating complete mixture, whisking constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it. Remove from heat, and allow to cool to room temperature and place in the fridge, or if it is really cold take it out in the snow like I did :) Cool in refrigerator at least 2 hours. Pour through sieve once completely cooled and place mixture into an ice cream maker. Follow machine's instructions and you will have GELATO in no time. Very yummy!
I was cooking, so of course my helper came to my aid!
Original Recipe I based mine off: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/coffee-scented-custard-gelato.html?cm_src=RECIPESEARCH