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DIY Olympic Torch Cupcake Toppers

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We love the Olympics. My husband and I have both had our brushes with the games and the athletes.

We watch the backstories and cheer for our teams; the U.S. for me, Ireland for him, and when in doubt we always cheer for the underdogs.

This year after more than a decade in the sub-tropics we have returned to the frozen North Shore of Lake Superior.

I have taken up cross country skiing.

My girls are working on figure skating and the louge.

We are prepped and ready to watch the Winter Games with a great deal of ambiance.

The XXII Games are going to be great.

What makes the this year’s Winter Games even more exciting for our family is the location.

My father immigrated to the U.S. from the host country when he was just a toddler.

He came via boat with his sister, brother, parents and  grandmother.

It’s the classic immigrant’s tale.

This past weekend with Olympic Fever and Family Heritage cursing through our veins our family got together to prepare a Great Russian Feast to be held during the Opening Ceremonies.

On the menu: Piroshki, Pelemani, Borscht, Flavored Vodka for the adults and for the kids sponge cupcakes topped with Olympic Torches.

The food we prepared including the these cupcakes have all been carefully bundled into our freezer to keep until the games.

My young daughters are going crazy with excitement.

These petite sweets are fueling their curiosity about the games, it’s symbols and Russia itself.

Which after all, is the goal.

Too add a little color and enthusiasm to your Olympic Viewing party you will need 3 simple ingredients to make these Olympic Torch Cupcake Toppers.

  • Carmel Flavored Bugles
  • Candy Melts
  • Fruit by the Foot

Dip Bugles in blue candy melts.

I prefer blue over a more authentic gray tone.

It’s prettier and in this case it’s also a nod to the host nation’s flag.

Shake to remove excess chocolate.

Set on parchment paper to dry.

Cut a roughly 2 inch strip of red Fruit by the Foot.

Wrap around the wide end of the Bugle and pinch closed.

Fruit by the food easily forms into flame like folds.That’s it simple, festive fun.

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Raspberry Cranberry Jello Salad

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My sister made a Raspberry Cranberry Jello Salad for Thanksgiving that I thought would be perfect for Christmas because of the beautiful dark red or burgundy color.

After I received the recipe, I was also impressed with how easy it is to make.

It only takes 3 ingredients!

My sister put it in a circular mold that she had sprayed with cooking spray.

We still had a hard time having it slide out of the mold, so we slid a knife around the upper edge to loosen it from the mold and then let it sit in warm water for probably about 30 seconds.

I was nervous that it was too long in the water, but when we turned it upside down, it slid out perfectly.

Also make sure that you put it right on the plate where you want it before you tip it upside down as you will not be able to re position it.

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5 Tips to Make Delicious Cold Brew Coffee at Home (#5 Is the Best)

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If you have the best coffee grinder for cold brew, then every season is cold brew season.

And every day is cold brew day. I’m sure you would agree with me.

When you can stay cool and satisfy your caffeine cravings without stepping foot outside, why not do that!

So here are 5 tips to make delicious cold brew coffee at home.

And let’s not forget about the money you’d be saving too! An exquisite cup of homemade brew, served with ice, might not be easy to prepare.

So a little help at such times can go a long way!

You can take my word for it. Words in the form of 5 Tips to Make Delicious Cold Brew Coffee at Home!

But before that, let’s set the foundation right.

What is Cold Brew Coffee?

More often than not, iced coffee is either brewed slowly in the refrigerator or cold brewed.

The result of both methods is a cup of cold, low-acid, and smooth coffee.

In short, a perfectly delicious brew! But many people like brewing it hot and quick. Using the coffee maker or French Press of course!

The best part about cold brew coffee is that it’s an ideal drink for summer.

Here are the cold brew coffee benefits I think you should know.

Although don’t forget to set limits regarding the consumption.

The coffee might be deliciously cold on a hot day.

But you can’t and shouldn’t drink too many cups.

Also, only coffee lovers know how expensive it is to support the cold brew habit.

Now there’s no denying that professional cold brew coffee offers an unparalleled taste.

5 Tips to Make Delicious Cold Brew Coffee at Home

Cold brewing appliances are one too many.

So you can easily buy such a device for preparing homemade cold brew.

But, to be honest, a fancy arrangement is not necessary.

Instead, you can do a lot with just a sieve, coffee, and water.

But if you want my honest opinion, here it is.

The French Press technique is the easiest. The method is very simple.

All you have to do is grind the coffee and add cold water. Then let the French Press sit overnight.

But there are always ways to up your cold brew game at home.

So to expose your taste buds to the exact flavor and taste, why not infuse these tips into the procedure too!

#1 Tweak the Water to Coffee Ratio

A strong brew is how it should be. Cause you might want to add milk or cream later.

You probably already know that the water to coffee ratio varies.

But you can stick to a ratio between 8:1 and 4:1. Feel free to tweak this ratio based on your personal tastes and preferences.

#2 Experiment with Different Types of Coffee

Trying different beans is no harm.

Most cold brew coffee recipes have you reach for the medium or dark roast.

But that doesn’t mean you cannot experiment with other kinds of coffees and roasts.

After all, it’s the only way to figure out what you like. Even if that’s the light roast!

However, keep in mind what you’re brewing. So you don’t forget what you’ve already tried.

#3 Experiment with the Grind

Do you know what’s the common denominator between cold and hot brew? It’s a well-balanced grind. And this brings the burr grinder into the picture.

Grinding your coffee fairly coarse is a norm for most people. But don’t hesitate to play around a little in this field.

There’s no harm in experimenting here. To achieve the taste your taste buds are waiting to appreciate.

Just keep this mind though. That when the grind is too fine, the taste becomes more sour and bitter.

#4 Filter the Cold Brew

Delicious cold brew coffee is silky smooth and dark.

So when using French Press, filter the brew just one more time.

Pour it through the device’s coffee filter. This makes sure that all the coffee ground sediments are eliminated.

#5 Add Coffee-Infused Ice Cubes

The thing about cold brew is that it’s cold already.

But you can always have it the colder way too. In that case, why not add some ice cubes!

However, wouldn’t that dilute your cup? Of course, it would. So how about adding some coffee-infused ice cubes instead?

When it comes to coffee, there’s always room for this kind of experimentation.

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Cooking Recipes

Easy Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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An easy Mini Pumpkin Pie recipe which is perfect for the holidays or anytime you want some (pumpkin) spice in your life.

With the holiday season around the corner, I wanted to share a few of my favorite recipes.

Pumpkin pie is a holiday tradition in our home, but I don’t wait to serve it just for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

No, I make it all year round.

I love it that much!

My favorite thing to do is to make mini pies, as the kids love them, and it’s an easy dessert for them to help make!

This recipe is very simple, and is very delicious.

Easy Mini Pumpkin Pie Recipe

What you will need:

  • 2 can Pumpkin puree (not the pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 each ground ginger & nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups of half & half
  • 24 – 36 mini tart shells

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