Spiced coffee

Now that fall has made itself known, it’s time to spice up your morning brew. Add a few shakes of cinnamon or a tablespoon of mulling spices to plain coffee grounds before you set it to brew. Yum, yum, and yum.


Iced coffee

So of course our air conditioner went out during these last few hot days. Coffee is one of the things I really look forward to every day, but with no artificially cooled breezes in the house, it was just to hot to drink it. So I tried it iced.
I made a pot of strong coffee (with a few shakes of cinnamon in the grounds), then let it cool off. I put a few handfuls of ice cubes in the blender, some sugar, some half and half, and the coffee. I blended it all up, and poured it over ice.
I’m sure it tastes better in a Newcastle Brown Ale glass, if you have one.

How do you make iced coffee?

entwine wines, by Food Network

On August 1, Food Network introduced its very own wine, called entwine.

Which lucky, food-loving writer do you think had an opportunity to help launch the brand? Me, me, me! This is definitely one of the most fun projects I’ve worked on. We helped with the web site and in-store materials (all the fun little tags and recipe cards you’ll see hanging from the bottles).

Today, I spotted it on display right at my local Giant Eagle.

(you can see it’s on sale for just 9.99.)



Last week, our lovely Food Network client was in town to train Columbus area distributors. She invited us to join her.

We got to try each of the four wines, paired with a simple, off the shelf food.

That’s chips and Chardonnay, parmesan and Pinot Grigio, blue cheese and Cabernet, salami and Merlot.

The pairings were so good together, I’m going to have a little entwine party of my own soon.





Kitchen Lab: Kombucha Tea

I’ve got this new thing for Kombucha. It’s fermented tea. Sounds weird, I know. I swear it’s good, though. The big downside is that the only place I can find it locally is Whole Foods (which I don’t visit on a regular basis) and that it costs $3.39 a bottle. Ouch. Not exactly a money saving beverage. I did find several sites (like this one) that detail how to make it, so here goes. See how I am being frugal?

The first step is to make a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast–SCOBY for short. I’d liken this to creating a starter for sour dough bread.

Basically, you take some Kombucha that already exists (GTs is good) and let it sit out at room temp in a cheesecloth covered jar (this one recycled from Zapico’s is working well) for 10 days. I’m on day 5 of SCOBY building. Yesterday, I “fed” the SCOBY a cup of black tea with sugar. Now, more waiting.

Next Kitchen Lab episode: Does this thing actually grow a SCOBY or not?


Cocktails for breakfast? yes, yes, yes.


  • Orange juice
  • Champagne

Pour equal parts orange juice and champagne into glasses, and serve.

A note on ingredients: I like pulp free orange juice for this. The bubbles from the champagne seem to push all the pulp to the top and create a weird layer of pulpyness that you have to break through before you can get to your drink. On the champagne, I’ll admit to never buying actual champagne to make these. Any similar dry bubbly stuff will do.

Citrus Sangria

I’m sure purists have a real definition for what Sangria is, but to me, it’s wine and fruit. Any wine and any fruit make a nice cocktail, as you can imagine, but this one is nice for the citrus coming in season.

Citrus Sangria

  • 1 lime
  • 1 orange
  • 1 bottle Pinot Noir
  • Sugar, to taste (optional)
  • Sparkline water for serving

Cut your lime and orange in half. Juice one half of each and put the juice in a pitcher. Slice the other half as thinly as possible and add to pitcher. Pour in your wine. Taste it, and if you like it sweeter, add some sugar. I like it a little dry. You can serve it straight like that, or serve it in a glass with half sparkling water, half sangria.

Tonight, I had a half a pomegranate hanging around, as I had grown tired of eating it straight, and added those lovely little ruby seeds in too.