Thursday, May 6, 2010

cupboard cleaning recipe #1: iced coffee...

the adventure in cupboard cleaning launches with this post.  aren't you excited to see how to use the random assortment of odds and ends that seem to accumulate in the back of cupboards, freezers, and fridges?

why would i be motived to do such a thing?  well, it's simple: i am moving in a month and though the move is just across town, i still do not want to pack the odd accumulation of strange ingredients that have invaded my cupboards.  a fresh start is desired.  and let's face it, a new place just isn't home until after the first grocery-run!

so here we go, on a varied adventure of miscellaneous recipes.  first off: iced coffee.  how is iced coffee weird?  well, you know that pound of coffee you bought, made one pot, and thought "hmmm, it's okay, but i certainly don't want to drink that every morning."  it wasn't terrible, but it did bring a furrowed brow and a second thought.  but rather than toss it in the trash, you toss it in the freezer and forget about it.  THAT is a great coffee for this recipe.

iced coffee is your answer!  the beauty of iced coffee is two-fold:
1) it uses a lot of grounds in one fell swoop
2) the cold water brewing tames down some less desirable flavors if you don't like that coffee, and
3) you can store it in the fridge for many days...

yeah--the beauty turned out to be three-fold!  plus, it is WAY less expensive than buying the same at your local coffee shop.

take about a cup of grounds and toss 'em in a glass pitcher.  i use glass rather than plastic simply because the coffee smell tends to infiltrate plastic--and can you imagine making lemonade in that coffee-smelling pitcher later in the summer?  ick.  however, if you're committed to iced coffee enough for an identified coffee-only pitcher, plastic would work fine.

then cover the grounds with cool to cold water (NOT hot or warm.  warm-brewed creates that old-coffee taste later.  cold brewed does not.  it's a beautiful thing.)  the grounds will float around--i use a large spoon to push the grounds around, but this is not necessary.  the water will saturate them throughout the process.

then, cover the pitcher with plastic wrap and let it sit on the counter for 24 hours.

after 24 hours, unwrap the plastic wrap (you can save it) and grab your favorite slotted spoon to scoop out the majority of the grounds:

you won't be able to get them all, which is where your good ol' coffee maker comes into play.  DO NOT DUMP THIS IN THE WATER RESERVOIR.  sorry--needed to get that out.  instead, put a coffee filter in your coffee maker as you normally would, then slowly pour this directly into the filter:

i repeat: NOT the water reservoir (as if you were making a normal pot of coffee), but straight through the filter.  you may have to take a break or three depending on how quickly the water drains through the filter and into the coffee pot.  once the pitcher is empty, you'll need to clean out your pitcher:

one note: be wiser than i and refrain from slathering your hands with lotion during one of the filtering breaks.  washing a soapy glass pitcher with freshly lotioned hands was quite the slippery adventure!  lotion can come later.

once all the happy filtering is complete, dispose of the grounds-filled filter as you normally would and pour the coffee back into your pitcher.

now you can pour yourself a lovely cup of iced coffee and dress it up however you desire...i like mine with cream and sugar....oooh, creamy swirls:

just a reminder for you sugar-users--regular sugar takes a little bit to dissolve in iced coffee.  it will dissolve, just stir a few extra times.  quicker mix-ins would be agave, sugar syrup, or coffee flavorings.  regardless, it's tasty stuff.  and it will keep, plastic covered, for a week or more in the fridge, so don't be afraid to make a full pitcher.

iced coffee
1 cup coffee grounds
enough cool water to fill a pitcher (5-6 cups)

put coffee grounds in the pitcher and fill with cool or cold water.  cover with plastic wrap and let sit on counter for 24 hours.  using a slotted spoon, scoop out as much of the grounds as you can.  then run the rest through a filter in a coffee maker (NOT through the water reservoir).  pour filtered coffee into cleaned pitcher, cover with plastic and store in the fridge.

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