In the summer months, there is little as refreshing as iced coffee. Mint iced coffee ups the ante in a big way.
I always forget about iced coffee. It’s great and I love it in the summer months but most times, I instinctively head towards the hot pot of coffee or espresso. My body is trained to prepare coffee in that way, so I look towards weekends when my eyes aren’t so bleary to make iced coffees.
Mint iced coffee is definitely my summer staple this year, if only because my mint plant has grown ridiculously out of control. I have googled a million different ways to use fresh mint and tried a ton of different recipes and STILL have a ton of it. I just keep making mint syrup to spoon over everything and especially into my coffee.
The method here is simple. Mint syrup, coffee or espresso, ice, cream. I know a lot of people use cold brew during the summer but I stick to normal coffee or espresso, it’s less time-consuming. Throw it all together in a glass or jar and you’re good to go. Enjoy, friends!
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
- 2 shots of espresso
- Plate water, sugar and mint in a saucepan over medium. Bring to a boil, then reduce and cook ten minutes until sugar has dissolved.
- Strain out the mint and place the mixture in a jar.
- To prepare the coffee, place 3 Tbsp. mint syrup in the bottom of a glass. Top with espresso then ice. Pour cream over top.
Homemade kettle corn is so easy to whip at home, it allows you to avoid all the loud chewers and mouth breathers at the movie theater!
Ah, popcorn. The world’s most perfect snack food. And yet, completely polarizing. You either love popcorn or you hate it. Some can’t stand the smell of cooking popcorn – burning popcorn is worse. Others conjure up vivid memories as soon as they get a whiff of buttery kernels popping away. I fall into the second category, thinking about movies of my youth and time spent with friends every time I smell popcorn, hear popcorn, see popcorn. It’s a snack food I can never resist.
My most favorite type of popcorn is – and if you know me, this shouldn’t be a shock – kettle corn. A slightly sweet, slightly salty popcorn snack is always a welcome treat as far as I’m concerned. I knew I wanted to make it for The Leftovers Club as soon as I saw my match. Elizabeth is our leader in sending back and forth delicious treats. She organizes, puts up with all of our issues and works tirelessly to make this fun for everyone. It means that she needed some kettle corn – the best snack ever – in her life.
A word on making popcorn at home: there are multiple ways in which to pop kernels. You can heat a bit of oil in a pot over medium heat, then add the kernels and a lid. They’ll pop like crazy, it will be good fun. But I had trouble making the kettle corn this way. I followed the instructions exactly and each time, the sugar burned in the pot and it was disgusting – to say the least. My sure-fire, never-fail method is cleaner, neater and easier. Fill a brown paper bag with popcorn and toss it in the microwave. It acts exactly as a bag of popcorn would. After it’s finished popping – use the same guidelines you would on a normal bag of popcorn, listen for the popping to cease – pour it in a bowl and coat it with sugar. The sugar will stick to the hot popcorn and you’ll have this fantastically easy snack ready to go!
Be sure to check out the other Leftover Club recipes, too! Head over to Elizabeth’s blog to sign up!
- 1/2 cup popcorn kernels
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- Place the popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag. Place it in the microwave and microwave it for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes. You should no longer hear kernels popping.
- Place the popcorn in a large bowl. Sprinkle sugar and salt on top then toss to coat.
Turkey taco lettuce wraps are a healthier version of the classic weeknight dinner we all know and love.
Tacos are one of my go-to dinner ideas when I’m in a pinch. Or when I’m not in a pinch. Basically, I could eat tacos of all sorts at any time. Tacos = love. My most favorite is a classic beef taco, slathered with cheese and sour cream and guac, all piled high in a crispy, crunchy shell. If it’s a Dorito shell, it’s even better.
But I can be a realist sometimes and admit the tacos of my youth aren’t the best for me, health-wise. I honestly can’t remember the last time I used sour cream. It’s all Greek to me now. And beef has been swapped for ground turkey. These little differences make tacos better for me without sacrificing flavor. To me, there is no real difference.
Giving up the hard shell, now that is a struggle. A serious, serious struggle. I live for the crispiness of a good, fried corn shell. The Dorito taco speaks to me in a way I can’t even explain. I’m a big texture person so having that lovely crunch mixed in with the flavorful ground turkey and the creamy Greek yogurt and guac is imperative.
Enter lettuce. It might not pack the serious crunch that a fried shell would, but it certainly makes a decent stand-in. It’s crisp and cool, which nicely offsets the spicy flavors of the taco meat. And because you are using a lettuce wrap, it’s ok to eat more of these, right? It’s what I keep telling myself.
Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
- shredded cheddar cheese
- Greek yogurt
- romaine lettuce leaves
- Place the ground turkey in a skillet over medium high heat and crumble it with a fork.
- Cook until it is no longer pink. Sprinkle on the taco seasoning and stir well.
- To assemble the tacos, place some of the meat onto a lettuce leaf, followed by cheese, Greek yogurt and guacamole.
Ice cream is a basic necessity during the summer months. And with any good ice cream, you’ll need this sugar cone magic shell.
When I was a kid, we used to go over into Burlington, New Jersey for different things – mainly trips to my aunt’s house. And often times, especially during the summer, we’d stop at Dairy Queen on the way home. To this day, I associate that drive with Dairy Queen, right there on the main drag into and out of Burlington. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to Dairy Queen but man, I am basically always craving a dip top cone.
These days, it’s known better as magic shell. It’s a hard, shell-like topping on the ice cream flavor of your choice that is sweet, slightly crispy, melty and wonderful. As a kid, I’d always order the chocolate dip top – a vanilla cone with chocolate magic shell. But now, you can try a million different magic shell variations! I considered what flavor to make when I set out to make my magic shell and briefly considered chocolate pretzel. But I took my favorite childhood treat and made it into a more current, fun dessert by adding crushed up sugar cones into my magic shell. It’s getting the best of all worlds in one dessert.
For any magic shell, you’ll need coconut oil. Coconut oil is what gives it that hard shell. But from there, you can have fun! Chop up some pretzels, add in some peppermints, swirl in a little peanut butter. Do what makes you happy and what reminds you of being a carefree kid!
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 2 cups chocolate chips
- 2 sugar ice cream cones, crushed
- Place the coconut oil and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir.
- If not yet completely melted, place back in the microwave in 30 second increments until fully melted.
- Stir in the crushed cones. It is now ready to use.
Cotton candy may be trendy, but it’s popular for good reason. This cotton candy milkshake is sweet, festive and fun.
For years, Brian and I talked about opening up a little shop strictly dedicated to milkshakes. Then a friend got involved and we started throwing around the idea of having a milkshake truck instead. Something that could make milkshakes easily available on the spot for the masses. Obviously, it was just fun talk, not an actual idea we were hoping to accomplish. But I always thought if we ever really did do it, we’d call the place “Milkshake.” Just simple and fun.
If we ever opened up Milkshake., it would absolutely feature this cotton candy milkshake on the menu. I hesitated at first, cotton candy is so trendy. I hate falling into trends too heavily. But when I saw the cotton candy flavoring* at our local baking supply store, I couldn’t help myself. I went easy at first, testing it a little here and there. And then I cotton candied all the things. Whipped cream, cheesecake, ice cream, a million different desserts. This milkshake is the crowned jewel of my cotton candy escapades.
It’s easy to whip up, just some ice cream, milk, a little cotton candy flavoring and some blue food dye. The result is sweet, creamy, reminiscent of being at a carnival or fair. It screams summertime and parties and celebrating
*The cotton candy flavoring was available in my local baking supply store but you can also order it online. It has no color to it, so I added some blue food dye just to give it a nice, festive appearance.
- 1 cup vanilla ice cream
- 1 - 2 cups milk (depending on how thick you like milkshakes)
- 2 tsp. cotton candy flavoring
- blue food dye (optional)
- Combine ice cream, milk, cotton candy flavoring and food dye in a blender and blender until smooth and well mixed.