“Hello Darling” Kahlua Coffee Comfort drink

Well, that name pretty much describes it.

But let me start over.

Today I could use some comfort to ease the madness I’m going through now. You see, I just found out that my other design blog which I’ve been working on so hard (like the rest of us), for a few years now, is hacked. I do not know how long but I believe it’s been hacked for a while and I do not know how much damage has been done.

Maybe it’s my fault that I haven’t written on that blog for a couple of months since life became so demanding and I did not have a chance to change password or give the website a routine checkup. So yes, I could use some comfort here because just the thought of damaged files…what a headache.

As my eyes scrolled down the strange-looking page of what is supposed to look like my design blog , I immediately thought about my other blog, this one, and rushed to log in making sure everything is o.k. and everything here is o.k. thank god.
So I took a deep long breath even though deep inside my heart swirled in one big storm.

We can all use a bit of comfort when we get distracted by something so unexpected and because it happened during the day and I was home alone, I walked away from my computer to put some thoughts together but also felt the need to make something. To create. I ran down stairs and spontaneously made this creamy delicious winter drink. It made me feel better, way better. It was a combination of a lot of things: the delicious taste of freshly brewed coffee, the soft texture of the cream, the process of making something, and the insane aroma that followed. Sip by sip I had to sit, enjoy the drink and slow down. Really slow down – Hello Darling – what a treat.

hello darling creamy kahlua coffee drink

Regardless of our mental being at certain moments in our lives this delicious hot Kahlua coffee is so grown up you’d want to have it any time of the day especially you, night owls out there.  And it’s perfect for cold winter days our country is suffering from as I write this post. But again, here in South Florida, it’s always beautiful and never freezes, which is a problem because I can’t wear my favorite fake fur coat.

hello darling creamy kahlua coffee drink

hello darling creamy kahlua coffee drink recipe

I made my full cup-load of creamy Kahlua coffee drink using fresh ground whole coffee beans. If there’s one think I’m happy to own in my kitchen is this amazing cappuccino machine that basically does almost everything but walk.  More on that in another post.

hello darling creamy kahlua coffee drink

hello darling creamy kahlua coffee drink

This drink recipe is perfect for girls night in, Men’s night in (maybe it’s not such a good idea), or any excuse you wish to use.

Don’t wait, don’t answer the phone, don’t watch T.V., don’t Instagram –  just make “Hello Darling” and drink.

ingredients:

1 cup freshly brewed coffee
small shot of Kahlua (I used 2 tbsp for this recipe)
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1 vanilla pod, scraped
Cinnamon stick
pinch of cardamom powder

******************

Make your own coffee with freshly ground beans. If that is not possible then any good freshly made coffee will do.

Combine the heavy cream and the scraped vanilla and whisk on low then high speed for 3 minutes, until softly whipped. Do not over-whip.

Pour the hot coffee into a pretty glass coffee mug about 2/3 full, add the shot of Kahlua. Top it off with a dollop of the freshly whipped cream. Inset the cinnamon stick and sprinkle with cardamom powder. Damn delicious.

p.s.:

If you’d like to make more then one cup simply double the amount called in the recipe.

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Poached pears in spicy Moscato and silky chocolate ganache

What matters to you most when having dinner with others –  great food or a great company?

I’ve been asked that a lot, so the situation is usually something like this: When I’m invited to dinner I always bring something I cooked or baked. My mother has taught me to never visit friends or family empty-handed.

delicious poached pears with chocolate glaze

So good friends of ours invited us for Thanksgiving dinner and here is the problem:  I usually eat at home before I go. I am not being rude, I simply do not eat the food that’s been served because…well…some of my friends, as hilarious as they are, simply don’t know how to cook. I’ll nibble here and there sure and I will also admit, that while I’m very social and love to meet people, I find myself hard to impress when it comes to food. Wow! I think I just became my mother.

delicious poached pears with chocolate glaze

Listen, cooking is not everyone’s cup of tea I get that (my oldest daughter knows how to boil water really well), but if I had to switch great company with so-so food I rather keep the company. We have hilarious friends we can laugh with on anything, sometimes I wish the food was just as funny. And this Thanksgiving has been filled with reminders that we have dear friends who care enough to remember our own holiday celebration, Hanukkah, when they decorated the dinner table with chocolate money and Hanukkah gifts just for us. I am more grateful today then I was yesterday.

Back to the million chocolate money question: great food or great company? I choose the last two. Great company compensates on a lot of so-so’s…great company makes me forget I’m hungry…great company makes a so so food and life – awesome.

delicious poached pears in chocolate ganache

The poached pears dessert I made for Thanksgiving dinner was an absolute treat and my mouth thanked me when I had one at the time of the photo shoot. Yours will too. A treat I tell you.

poached pears in moscato wine

Easy, delicious and guess what? low in fat. The big deal here is Moscato wine. I use it for its unique fragrance, light-body and low in alcohol. Moscato is refreshing and crisp and makes any dessert feel good.

delicious poached pears

So…shall we:

ingredients:

5 medium firm pears, peeled, halved while stem still attached and cored
1 cinnamon sticks
3 c. Moscato wine
1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 c. white sugar
5 cloves

chocolate ganache:

2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla

garnish:
sprinkles “cookies and cream”

*     *     *

In a heavy pan combine pears, liquid and spices. Bring to a boil then cover and simmer on low, occasionally turning them over, until pears are fork tender. Let pears cool in the syrup.
At this point, you can refrigerate the pears in the syrup for a day or 24 hours. The pears will become darker and much richer in flavor.

Meanwhile, on low heat bring heavy cream to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and add the vanilla and chocolate chips, let sit for 3 minutes then stir to combine until the chocolate melts. Whisk to smooth. Pour sprinkles on a plate. While chocolate is still warm, gently deep each pear in the ganache, then in “cookies and cream” sprinkles and arrange on a serving dish. Serve warm or chilled.

Do not discard the pears’ syrup just yet. Add hot water and you got a new hot beverage for those cool long nights. Take a sip……Ahhhhhhhh…….

No bake cheese cake

delicious no bake cheese cake

delicious no bake cheese cake

delicious no bake cheese cake

You aren’t really surprised are you people?

This is the easiest most delicious cheese cake you’ll ever make.

Would you be surprised if I told you that I grilled the grapes for extra super flavor? good heh? or would you be surprised if I told you there is no cream cheese involved (the “usual stuff”) in my recipe? Would you be even more surprised if I told you that the cake didn’t have a chance to chill long enough before “hungry for dessert mom/honey I’m desperate” kinda mouths gobbled it? (well, maybe not on that one). Continue reading