Friday, June 17, 2011

Vanilla or Hazelnut Iced Coffe Recipe :)

My dream come true... A Mc Donald's in my own home!!! Ok, not really. But the next best thing, a copy cat recipe of a Mc Donald's iced coffee! Yup, it's true, I finally found and tweaked an iced coffee recipe that tastes just like my new favorite drink. :) The secret is to cold brew the coffee because then it doesn't get that acidic taste when you try to drink it cold. So, if anyone else out there shares my obsession, here is the recipe!

~Vanilla or Hazelnut Iced Coffee~

* Mix 2/3 cup of coffee grounds with 1 1/2 cups of room temperature water. Cover and let sit AT LEAST 12 hours. I think it tastes best at about 14 hours.

* 1 14oz can of sweetened condensed milk

* 4 Tablespoons of either hazelnut or vanilla syrup. (Once I used vanilla imitation extract and that was amazing too!

Step 1

*After your coffee water mixture has sat and cold brewed for 12-14 hours, separate the coffee from the coffee grounds. The best way I have found to do this is to take a coffee filter, place over a glass cup and secure in place with a rubber band. Pour the coffee and let it strain through the filter. When it starts to get too full of grounds, very carefully take off of the cup and replace with another filter. I usually go through 2-3 filters and gently squeeze the last bits of coffee out after removing each filter. (Does this all make sense? I can see myself doing it in my head, lol )

Step 2

* Mix the coffee with one can of sweetened condensed milk and add your flavoring. Be careful not to splash your very concentrated coffee concoction!

Step 3

* Pour into a pitcher and add about 11 cups of icy cold water. Park in the fridge and let chill! When your ready for your coffee, pour over a big glass of ice.

And Volia! You now have a perfect iced coffee! A word of caution though, all that sweetened condensed milk makes it a high calorie dessert like treat. So, after you get over how great it is, this is best for a once in awhile treat. And don't make the mistake of what I did, drinking 3 glasses before bed. All that caffeine and sugar had me running on a super sugar high and added to my horrible sense of dry humor, lol :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Monday, June 13, 2011

Treasuring Every Moment, our Time in Indiana. Post 2 of 2

Morning came bright and early! The birds were singing and the sun was shining. We walked inside to the house and just felt that warmth you feel when family is gathered.

The days before Grandma had gone shopping for breakfast and in the morning Grampa ran out for more and Jimmy cooked it all for us. It was all wonderful! Ellie just loved it, she ate as much as me! Somehow though, the Dodo got away with having nothing but a cookie for breakfast.

After breakfast we all gathered in the garden to talk and enjoy our time together.

Soon the excitement wore down and there was a quite lull in the day and exhaustion set in. Big time. Randie, Jimmy, Hubby and I ran out to get some emergency energy drinks. Tammy stayed back with the kids, we didn't have to twist her arm to much ;)

Blah! To many choices!

This Calypso drink was AMAZING! It's my new favorite drink! Aside of course from the hazelnut iced coffee. It's my new favorite non java beverage. :)

We found a little friend in the tire rim!

After refueling, we spent some more time fellowshipping in the garden, which was breathtaking.

Randie is in the far left, drinking some sort of energy drink I believe, Tammy is doing something on her phone and Hubby's uncle Todd is letting Didi play with his phone. VERY dangerous!!! But, since he has 2 children of his own, I concluded that he already weighed the risks of letting a 2 year old play with his phone. lol :)Grampa and Grandma are on the right and Ellie is sitting in a garden wagon just taking it all in. I know they loved being outside in the pretty sunshine.

As long as we were outside, I took the opportunity to photograph the full bloom garden, it was ever so beautiful. :)
I was enjoying the beauty of the garden until I came to photograph the little water spewing turtle. I raised my camera to start taking photographs the same time Hubby and Jimmy walked over by me. "So, the turtle is still puking water?" Jimmy said. I just furrowed my brows and tried to ignore the comment for the most part, as to not take away from any of the beauty. But them Hubby had to add in, "So, what is that hooked up to him? A colonoscopy bag? It looks like a colonoscopy bag. That's pretty gross!" To which I could not help but to burst out laughing. Silly, goofy hubby. :) The turtle just did not look the same after that, lol :)

Todd having a conversation with the little ones...

Diana picked flowers to share with her great grandmother. Because of that I found out that Daniel used to around picking all the flowers from her garden to give to his mom. Aawwhh! What a sweet hubby I have. :)

It was soon time to leave for the Memorial service. I was not able to get any photos of the many family members because everything went so fast. But I can say that everything was simple, beautiful and a joyful rememberence of a great woman. Elsie and her husband were both very much in love their entire lives and it showed in their eyes, just like their love for Jesus. Because of them they had a little girl, who got married and had another girl, who got married and had a little boy, who married me, and now we have 2 more little girls and another Elsie added to the family. Wow, what a heritage.

I didn't by any means know her well, I only met her twice. But, I'll never forget the joy and life that shone through her. Nothing but an unshakable faith can produce the type of light and kindness that she had. I'll also never forget the look in her eyes when Daniel and I told her I was pregnant again and that we planned on naming our next little daughter after her. Her joy for children was apparent and the love she had for all was inspiring. I thank God for the Godly heritage that He established so many years ago, and that Diana and Ellie will be brought up in His love and truth.

We were able to meet many extended family members and that was a blessing I shall cherish. All too soon though it was time to say good bye. :'( There were tears but we all look forward to seeing each other later this summer. But for now, it was time to go home

Just the start of a long drive home.....

Toll booth!

Oh yes... the grass felt much greener in Indiana!

The drive really didn't seem quite as long coming home. Hubby and I talked about all that had happened over the past two days, reflected on God's goodness, held hands and sang along to the radio. Although the circumstances surrounding our arrival in Indiana were sad, God blessed our time tremendously. I pray that the rest of the family left the weekend reflecting on the person Elsie was, the legacy she left behind and God's gift of life to us. We praise you Lord!

Treasuring Every Moment, our Time in Indiana. Post 1 of 2

This past weekend was filled with joy and bittersweet moments. Last week Daniel's Great Grandmother Elsie left this earth to be forever with Jesus. She lived a long and very full life, touched many peoples hearts and her legacy will always be remembered by her family. In fact, our little Ellie was named after her Great, Great Grandmother Elsie. I made sure to ask for photos, listen to stories and find out little things about Great Grandmother Elsie. That way, one day when Ellie gets older and wants to know more about the woman she was named after, we can share those stories with her.

God blessed us just in time with our Jeep, because we were able to go down to Indiana for the memorial and visit with family. All in all, it was a very joyful weekend! It's not very often that Daniel's side of the family is able to get together, so we treasured each moment that we got to spend time with family.

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, we blinked and it was over. I was able to get many snapshots, but there never was a moment to get more formal photos. But thats ok, becuase I treasure all the little moments and those are the type of photos I like to get.

Anyway, I was up until 2:00am Friday packing and doing all that last minute prepairing. Despite the late night though, we still got up at 5:30am and didn't actually leave until almost 7:00am. But that's ok! It felt good to be on the road and we looked forward to seeing everyone. :)

My newest drink obsession, Mc Cafe hazelnut iced coffees :)

It's been about 8 months since we have seen Hubby's parents! Only my mom in law was able to make it, everyone else had to stay home. It was great not only that we got to see her, but that the girls did. They have grown so much in the last 8 months! It was really great to be able to share them with her, she just soaked up every second with the little ones and they loved it!

Hubby and his sister Randie, having a moment, but Im pretty sure they were just trying to ignore the camera in hopes I would go away. Come on guys! Memories! ;)

Diana and Ellie were the only children in the house and were doted on by all, they just soaked that all right up! And rightly so to.. children should feel loved :)

Daniel's grandparents are the ultimate host and hostess. They treat you like royalty and feed you like a king, yet you feel comfortable and so apart of the family. Right after Daniel and I got married I noted how much his family not only accepted me with open arms, but treated me just like one of their own! I think I feel just as excited about seeing his family as he is!

His grandparents have an RV and had it all opened and prepared for us. Randie and Jimmy (her hubby) got one half, and our little family got the other half. It was kinda nice to have our own space so they kiddos could unwind a bit easier. We even had our own bathroom, mini kitchen and fridge! Grandma even made sure to have snacks, drinks, cards, extra towels and all the little extras you could possibly need! That really touched my heart because I know this week was very busy and there was a lot to organize, but she took the time to make sure the rv was just as ready for us as just as much as the rest of the house.

Here is little bitty Ellie next to our bed, ready for a much needed night of sleep!

After saying goodnight to all inside, (Grandma, Grampa and Tammy) Hubby and I just sat back and talked a bit with Randie and Jimmy. That didn't last long though because we were all pooped!

It was a long and full day. We slept great and were able to see fire flies. It was a very peaceful and sweet evening. We needed that, because the next day was even busier than that.