Thursday, July 28, 2016

Finally! A GREAT homemade Iced Coffee!

It's no secret that my husband and I are coffee "snobs".  We are absolutely in love with good coffee and  espresso based drinks!  Our oldest son loves going to Starbucks as much as we do (he orders his own tall ice water), and our 4.5 month old made his first trip to one when he was just a few days old.  

I often joke with my mom (who is as addicted as we are, so she GETS it), that we could afford a decent vacation every year, if we gave up our coffee habit...but that I am totally okay with giving up a trip, if it means I get a mini vacation each time I get to sip on a latte.  In all honesty though, the cost does add up.  I have often found myself trying to find homemade alternatives, that are as satisfying as my coffee house drinks; the at home versions of lattes, as well as different brew methods have never been just right though.  When it comes to iced coffee, I prefer to drink it black and unsweetened, which means the coffee it self, has no room for error; it has to be just right, since I can't adjust it with cream, sweetner, or flavored syrup.

FINALLY!  I have found my method for a delicious, homemade iced coffee!  This has taken trial and error, and adjustments to recipes I have tried.  This completely satisfies my Starbucks cravings.  This recipe uses the cold brew method, and makes a strong cup, which is great because it can be watered down to meet individual tastes.  It is very smooth, and not as bitter as the hot brew methods I have toyed with.

If you give it a try, let me know how you like it!

Homemade Iced Coffee
Makes about 8 cups (full strength ) or more (if watering down a bit more)


  • 1 1/2 cups ground espresso (I used my grocery store brand, which saves even more price wise!)
  •  8 cups water (I used filtered, for a cleaner taste)
  • Additional water, to taste preferences 


  1. In a large container, stir together coffee and water.
  2. Cover and brew for 24 hours.
  3. Filter the coffee through a strainer lined with a coffee filter and into a pitcher.
  4. Add water to taste now, or leave strong so each drinker can adjust as needed. (I like to add about 1/2 a cup to each cup, while hubby likes about 3/4 water to each cup of coffee)
  5. Refrigerate (which keeps it from getting bitter)
  6. To make a perfect glass of homemade iced coffee:
  7. Fill a tall glass with ice.
  8. Add your coffee, and add water to taste (if needed)
  9. Add in half and half or sweetener if you are like my husband.
  10. Enjoy the smooth and delicious iced coffee (which you made, instead of a barista!)

Espresso, measuring cup for water, and jug to cold brew in. 

All mixed up and ready for the fridge!

Straining the coffee grounds, after 24 hours in the fridge.

Looking good!

And time to enjoy!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

That boy can dance!

Nolen just finished up his first dance session through our Parks and Rec program, this past week.  I have said since he was a baby, that I wanted to put him in dance.  Ever since he could first stand, he would bounce around to music, and even now that he is four, he still loves to dance to the music on Pandora ("Uptown Funk", being his go to dance favorite!).  

When we first signed him up for the summer session, there weren't many options for pre-school aged boys for any summer programs in our county.  We decided on one science camp, and one session of dance.  The dance class we signed him up for, was basically the only one for his age that didn't also have "princess" in the title.  I saw that a mom in my playgroup, was actually the teacher for his class, so I messaged her to ask some basic questions (what would he need to wear, what shoes and so on) and to give her the heads up about him being in there.

 About a week after talking with her, she posted in our play group, asking if any other boys would be interested in an all boys dance class.  My response was a huge "Heck yes!", and we signed him up for the all boys class too.  

At this age, it's mostly creative movement.  At the end of each class, Nolen would run out of the room, so excited and red in the face.  It was a great way to burn energy and also help him work on his gross motor skills.  He loved both classes, but the boys class was by far his favorite.  When we asked him if he wants to continue to dance, he excitedly told us yes!

Unfortunately, the programs has to be submitted spring for the upcoming year, and it looks like we may have a year before another all boys class is offered.  In the meantime, we will keep him in his little dancers class, and down the road we hopefully get him into hip hop classes....because who doesn't love a boy who can dance ;)