Kitchen Pinspiration

Today we’re going to participate in a very special edition of “Two Wins and a Fail”… it’s sort of like that game “Two Truths and a Lie,” except it’s about things I made in the kitchen.  All inspired by Pinterest, of course.

We’ll go positive-negative-positive so we start and end on a high note and don’t focus on my baking flops.  It’s like a compliment sandwich.  First win:


I’ve been wanting to try cold brew iced coffee ever since my friend Andy made some last year.  It’s so much richer tasting than regular cooled-down coffee (Sarah and I tend to dump the end of every pot of hot coffee into a pitcher, so we end up with a batch of iced coffee made from the dregs of every morning that week… delicious).  It’s so lovely and smooth that I can even drink it black, although I usually still prefer it with something to make it nice and creamy.


  • 1 1/4 cups ground coffee (I used Kill Devil Coffee’s Sulawesi which is so good I think it might be magic unicorn dust)
  • 4 cups water



1. Combine the coffee grounds and water in a mixing bowl; stir so the coffee is saturated.  Cover and let sit for 8-12 hours.


2. Drain into a pitcher or container using a coffee filter, very fine sieve, cheesecloth, or any combination.


3.  The end result isn’t straight iced coffee – it’s more like a coffee concentrate that you can dilute to your desired strength.  After a little experimenting, I found that my perfect ratio came from a full cup of ice, about three-quarters of coffee concentrate, and just a splash each of water and half-and-half.

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Beautiful, no?  Okay, on to the fail.

Dried Strawberries

I will admit, this pin sucked me right in.


I mean, that sounds awesome, right?  So I picked up a quart of Currituck strawberries from Ed’s produce stand and gave it a whirl.

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Things seemed to be going pretty well for the most part.  The strawberries started leaking juice and shriveling up after an hour or two, and eventually came out looking like this:

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Kind of gross, but kind of like they’re supposed to… I think.  They even tasted right at first.  The problem was that they lasted approximately four minutes before they got super mushy again.  They were also unbearably sour.  Overall, Pinterest fail.  I carry on.

Fig Sorbet

All right, this was another win, but you’re not getting a recipe because I have to have another go at it first to get things right.

This one was born out of a desire to put our long-forgotten but dearly beloved ice cream maker to use, and the fact that I got the very last pint of fresh figs that Ed had.


Stewed them for a while with honey, water, and brown sugar…

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And then added the cooled mixture to the ice cream maker.

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Action shot!

It was very tasty, but the honey taste was a little overpowering.  Sarah actually liked it more than I did.  I might try again, but figs might be done for the season.  We’ll see.  Still counts as a win!

The kicker?  I was making all three of these things AT ONCE!  I pretty much overtook the kitchen with random and obscure cooking experiments that day.  At least two thirds of them paid off…

Watch These Maybe

Starting to crave summer desserts yet?  Go check out my recipe for kiwi pavlova that’s up on Around the World Food!  Be sure to browse Lauren’s other awesome recipes while you’re over there for some kitchen inspiration.

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My last post was a little heavy.  It was something I was really inspired to write about, but I think we need to return to a happier vibe.  How about a good dose of internet humor to lighten things up around here?

First, if you haven’t seen the video of the Harvard baseball team’s dance routine to “Call Me Maybe”… a) you are the last person in the world who hasn’t, and b) watch it now.  Their dance moves are not the most original, but I am impressed by their synchronicity as well as their ability to cram like thirty dudes in that clown car.

EDIT: Watch this, it’ll make you smile.  Whoever makes these videos probably got made fun of for having the most pointless idea ever… but it’s so funny.  What a rad president!

Shall we stay on the subject of the latest pop culture fad?  Let’s.



A little somethin’ for the Arrested Development fans out there…


Watch this, it’ll make you dance.  In contrast to the Harvard baseball boys, this guy has the widest variety of dance moves known to man.

Watch this, it’ll make you be amazed.  I know it’s been making the rounds, but I’m just so impressed.  Seriously – twelve and eight years old?!  They also did a really lovely version of “When Your Mind’s Made Up.”

Watch this, it’ll make you laugh.  I love Ellen’s hidden camera pranks – there are more recent ones, but I think this one is still my favorite (besides David Beckham gets a massage).  I can’t watch it without getting hysterical.

I’d say we’ve successfully brought back the levity!  Any other awesome YouTube vids I should know about?

Healthified Reese’s Eggs

HOLD THE PHONE.  While attempting to organize my photos from the last few months this evening, I realized that I’ve been holding out on you guys.  I never told you about the ridiculously tasty Easter dessert I made last month.  It involves chocolate.  And peanut butter.  And is definitely worth sharing.

It all started when I had a hankering to make something fun and festive as an Easter treat to give to friends and coworkers.  I was imagining something along the lines of cupcakes with bunny faces on them or bird’s nest cookies, but a quick browse on the Google machine led me to this recipe for chocolate-covered peanut butter eggs.  My mind was made up.  Of course, I made a few tweaks, so here’s my version:


Healthified Reese’s Eggs

(adapted from Breakfast to Bed)


  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 6-12 oz. milk, dark, or semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Combine the almond milk and chia seeds and set aside for 10 minutes.  The mixture will thicken and gel slightly.
  2. Heat the peanut butter in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-60 seconds or until slightly melted.
  3. Stir the milk and chia mixture into the peanut butter.  Add the oats, maple syrup, and vanilla and stir until blended.
  4. Scoop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper and form into eggs.  Chill for 1-2 hours.
  5. Melt chocolate in microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring in between.
  6. Dip eggs into chocolate using a fork, or spoon over top.  Set back on baking sheet.
  7. Sprinkle with colored sugar, candies, or sprinkles.  Chill until chocolate is hard.


A few notes about the ingredients… this recipe already contains some of my own changes from the original, and it turned out just fine.  I’m sure it would work with a few more adaptations of your own.  For example, I happened to have almond milk on hand because my roommate drinks it, but regular milk would probably work just fine.  I also happened to have chia seeds because I’ve been putting them in my oatmeal lately, but they’re sort of random and obscure and might not be necessary at all.  I’m not sure, try it.

Finally, the only thing that is totally non-negotiable is the maple syrup.  It says real; it’s gotta be real.  No Aunt Jemima rubbish up in hurr.  I lived in Vermont for the first six years of my life, and the concept of artificial syrup mortally offends me.  Don’t get me started.  Just make these tasty chocolate eggs.


Uh… YUM.  I want to eat these again just looking at the pictures.  Unfortunately, I dropped the ball on this one and you’ll have to wait until next year to make them as Easter treats, unless you wanted to take a leaf out of the Mad Hatter’s book and proclaim it a very merry un-Easter.  Actually, you could just make them into little balls instead of egg shapes and call them chocolate peanut butter bites.  There’s an idea!

Anyway, they were a big hit.  I packaged them up by twos in little cellophane bags and tied them with a ribbon.  They made perfect and fun little Easter gifts for my work buddies, next-door neighbors, and even the milkman!

Try ‘em out and let me know!  You’ll be hooked… I am.  I could write a sonnet about your Easter bonnet chocolate eggs.

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