Sunday, July 4, 2010

Coffee, Books--and some UNUSUAL recipes!

For those of us who love to read, it usually goes hand in hand with a nice cup of coffee, tea or hot chocolate late at night when everyone else is asleep, the house is quiet, and we can lose ourselves in the vivid imagination of our favorite author.

I love coffee. All hours of the day. For years I’ve listened to the media, and health professionals tell me over and over again—you’re killing yourself. And my family—you drink way too much coffee. I don’t see how you ever go to sleep.

I do sleep, though. And usually all night, just like a baby. So, coffee does not have the same effect on me that it does on some. In fact, according to recent health studies and research, coffee may very well have a different effect on every individual who drinks it. And for some—hey, guys, this is good news—it has health benefits.

According to the new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers Prevention, regular coffee drinkers have a 39 percent decreased risk of head and neck cancer and those who drink four or more cups a day have a decreased risk of cancers of the mouth and throat cancer. Don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m standing up cheering.

Coffee may also be good for memory, according to a study by neuroscientists at the University of Lisbon. It can help prevent the neural degeneration associated with brain disorders and aging. Hey, I'm upping my morning dosage. Maybe then I can remember what I'm supposed to be doing right now.

As I stated in the beginning—I love coffee. Good, old fashioned coffee brewed just to the right flavor. And because I love coffee so much, I keep an eye out for the occasional odd coffee recipe. Below are just a few I’ve found.

Not sure what to call this one.

4 tbs ground coffee; ½ tsp grated orange peel, dried; ¼ tsp cinnamon; 1 inch piece of vanilla bean; 1/8 tsp ground cloves. Blend all ingredients well and brew by your usual method. Makes about 4 cups.

I love coconut, but in my coffee? I called this one Hawaiian treat.

1 whole coconut; 2 cups milk; 4 cups strong coffee; 1 tbs sugar. Punch holes in the coconut and drain the liquid into a small saucepan. Bake the coconut in the oven (300F) for about half an hour. Use a hammer to break open the coconut, and scrape out the white coconut meat. Mince finely. Add the meat and milk to the liquid in your saucepan. Heat over low until thickened and creamy. Strain out the coconut pieces. Add hot coconut milk to coffee and sugar.

Anybody for some Halloween coffee?

1 tbs canned pumpkin; 2 tbs vanilla extract; ¼ tsp cinnamon, ground; 1 cup milk; ½ cup of strong coffee or ¼ cup of espresso. In a saucepan, heat milk and pumpkin until steaming. Stir in vanilla and cinnamon. Put mixture in a blender, and blend for 15-20 seconds until thick and foamy. Pour into tall glass, then add coffee (or espresso). Top with a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice or ground nutmeg.

Think I'll try that one on a paranormal investigation. See if it opens up any new activity.

That’s just a few of the odder ones I’ve run across. Might work well in the evenings, but early morning coffee for me had better be quick and strong. And before we jump right in to--"but it's healthy" I’m not so sure this was the type of coffee the studies were referring to above.

Have an odd coffee recipe you’d like to share? I’ve love to hear it. I may even try it on one of those cold, dark nights, wrapped in a warm snuggie reading a good thriller or mystery.

Oh, and of course, if you’re a mystery lover looking for a good mystery to go with that good cup of coffee, I encourage you to take a peek at the Jacody Ives Mysteries now available on Amazon Kindle.

The Gifts:

Sacred Secrets:

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