It’s hot out there and you would probably pay a million dollars for a cool iced coffee. Have you ever thought about how much you are paying?At $3 a pop that regular trip to the coffee shop might be putting a bigger dent into your wallet than you think. Why not try brewing your own cup at home. Making cold brew is as simple as mixing cool water and ground coffee,  but keeping these basic parameters in mind will help you along:

Iced_Coffee

1) Time: Cold brew requires 12 hours to steep. This seems like a lot of time but really you can make enough coffee for the week in one go. You can store the mixture for 10 days if refrigerated.

2) Ratio: Since you are making a concentrate the ratio of coffee to water is high. Roughly 1 part ground coffee to 4.5 parts water (hot brewing is 1:16).

3) Mixing: When you are adding the water add the coffee then water in alternating halves. Resist the urge to stir.

4) Cover and wait 12 hours.

5) Filter: You can use your french press to filter out the grounds or you can use a sieve.

6) Cut the concentrate with one part water and serve over ice. Add milk or sugar to your liking!

Basil grows best when it is HOT HOT HOT and this summer has been nothing short of HOT. If your herb garden is anything like mine then you are probably fearing that the Little Shop of Horrors has taken over your backyard and everything is growing out of control! Fresh basil is everywhere but what to do with it?

Pesto:

index

Pesto goes  way beyond the pasta bowl. You can spread it on sandwiches, marinate meats, dress cold grains and so much more. Use it fresh or store it for dreary winter months. Here is one of our favorite pesto recipes from the Food Network

Ingredients

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

Directions

Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

Caprese Salad:

SA6594
Here is a great caparase salad recipe from Eating Well

Ingredients

  • 2 medium red tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 2 medium yellow tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation

  1. Gently toss tomatoes, mozzarella, parsley, basil and salt together in a large bowl. Season with pepper.

Basil and Strawberry Sorbet

strawberry-basil-sorbet3
It is so hot out there that it’s time to harvest some of your fresh basil and cool down with this great sorbet recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod.Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh strawberries, rinsed, hulled, and sliced
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions:

1. In a mediium bowl, toss teh strawberries with the sugar. Stir until all of the strawberries are well-coated. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, stirring every so often.2. Puree the strawberries and their liquid with the basil and lemon juice in a blender or food processor until smooth.3. Chill the mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.