Monday, August 20, 2012

How To Reroast Coffee Beans to Dark Roast

Let me start off with a disclaimer....  I am no expert at roasting coffee beans.  That being said, let me tell you what I am.  I am a stay at home mom who LOVES dark roast coffee and likes to buy locally roasted beans.  I love a nice, bitter dark roasted coffee with sweetner and cream.  Well, our local roaster who made my favorite beans, The Darkside, went out of business.  They sold their equipment to someone else.  I am trying the new roaster's beans and hoping to find one I like, but at $12.50 per pound, this can get expensive and I refuse to not drink the coffee I paid for.  In order to LIKE the coffee I paid for, I had to come up with a way to fix them.  Months ago, I looked online to see if it is possible and there are all kinds of sites who talk about roasting your own beans.  A lot involve special contraptions which stir for you.  Give me a break... it is so much easier than that.  As a matter of fact, all I use is a frying pan and a wooden spoon for stirring. 

See these light roasted beans?  They are dull and not dark at all.  Booo!  This picture is taken with a flash, so you can see that they are really dull or the light from the flash would shine off of the beans!

In preparation for re-roasting your beans, get a cookie sheet and set it beside you.  This will be used once you reach the darkness you like.  The beans will cool on this cookie sheet.

So, next put the frying pan on the cooktop, turn on the overhead fan, set the heat to med-high and dump the beans in the pan and let it all heat up together. 

Get ready to start stirring.  Once you start hearing crackling sounds, start stirring.  Not just moving the beans around the pan in circles, but I flip them a bit so the tops of the beans as well as the bottoms roast.  Keep stirring non-stop!  Now this is when it gets a little freaky.  Beware that they start smoking. 

Seriously smoking.  If the overhead fan isn't on.... turn it on now or your smoke detecors will go off.  But keep stirring!

They are getting darker and smokier!  Keep stirring!  Once they reach the darkness you like, remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring.  Stir until you dump them onto the cookie sheet and then keep stirring them until they stop smoking.

Here they are on the cookie sheet. 

and here is what they look like after they are done.  This is taken with a flash, so you can see, they are all nice and shiny and most are black which is how I like them.  The oils have surfaced and the coffee is nice and dark.  I hope this helps you rescue your lifeless, dull beans!

The end product is soooo much better!  Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Canned Salsa

I have vivid memories of my mom canning when I was a kid.  It seemed like a huge process.

My Mr. and I went to a great fresh produce stand bought a huge bunch of tomatoes which were perfectly ripe, jalepeƱos, huge onions and cilantro. I decided I would make salsa and can it.  It really was a lot of work, but in the long run, it will save time and clean-up and money.

I started by making two batches of my favorite salsa recipe.  I have posted the recipe before and you can find it here:
Salsa Recipe

I roasted the vegetables on the grill this time.  It added nice smokiness.  This is the first time I have done it this way.  Give it a try!

You will notice that there are warnings on Jeff's Salsa.  This is because this batch has 8 or 9 habenaros and 10 jalepenos!  Yikes.  To be honest though, even the mild is very spicy.  You really have to taste the peppers before you use them to determine how many to put in.  Depending on the time of year, they seem to be hotter or more mild.

So, I found out that canning was much easier than I remember. Just boil the jars, fill them with the hot salsa, clean the mouth of the jar, top it with the lids and boil the jars for the amount of time indicated on the jar box. As a matter of fact, I just followed the directions on the back of the jar box.

Summer Birthday Cupcake Wrapper Freebies

Summer is almost over, but I know there are some of you who would love some summery colors for your birthday celebration, so I made some pretty cupcake wrappers just for you!  Next up... Fall!  Can't wait.
Enjoy these.  If you need to know how to print & use these, LOOK HERE!

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