Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's have a SWEET Link-Up Party

Starting next Thursday we'll have our official SWEET THURSDAY Link-up Party... But I want to have a "Party rehearsal" today! What do you think? Would you like to Join us? I will share a "dessert" recipe and then you'll just LINK UP those great Sweet Recipes (desserts only) ... This is your "Virtual Coffee Shop" You don't need to leave your home to have the whole "Coffee Shop" experience! We'll all bring our desserts to your home! I think our Thursday link-up parties won't only be yummy but they'll be all beautiful too! don't you agree???

Please grab our button to share about it!
The Coffee Shop

Here is my recipe:

Pay (PIE) de Queso (Mexican Version of the famous American Cheesecake)


Ingredients:
1 (14oz.)  can sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
6 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 prepared graham cracker crust (I use 2 cups of crushed honey graham crackers, 6 tbsp. melted butter and 1 tbsp. sugar. All mixed, pressed into the pie dish and baked for 6 min @375 F -cooled-)

Directions:
Preheat oven at 350F. In the meantime pour both condensed and evaporated milks, eggs, cream cheese and vanilla into the blender cup. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Bake @ 350 F for about 45 minutes or until center is set. (Do not overbake)

Remove pie from oven; let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate pie at least 3 hours before serving.





© Paloma King

Monday, September 26, 2011

Brownies and Coffee

Hello everybody! How are all of you doing? I am here, don't think I will be MIA again! :) I've been baking, cooking and baking some more! Taking pictures and everything... so yesterday I was wondering what I should make for dessert... I had just made "Pay de queso" (the Mexican version of  "cheesecake") and we loved it, but were craving some chocolate.... I had some chocolate chips in the refrigerator but didn't feel like making chocolate chip cookies and I found a great recipe that instead of cocoa powder uses chocolate chips... I wasn't sure how it would turn out but the reviews were really great... Hubby doesn't like really "fudgy gooey brownies" he likes them with that thin flaky kind of crust on top and I thought this would be it! I am glad I wasn't wrong... I think this will be "our brownies" from now on...

So... these are really Great (and very VERY easy) brownies! - Gotta love Allrecipes, don't you think???-

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 inch square pan.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, butter and water. Cook over medium heat until boiling. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until melted and smooth. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the chocolate mixture. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies set up. Do not overbake! Cool in pan and cut into squares.
Can you notice where I "pushed the crust down" with my finger? flaky goodness

Enjoy them with ... a cup of coffee if you love coffee just as much as I do... or with a cup of milk if you wish! ....

And since you are already here... why don't you leave a comment... come on! don't be shy!

© Paloma King

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gevalia BeanChat and more...

Hello friends! I am really excited to let you know that I've been invited to host the next BeanChat at the Gevalia Coffee Facebook Page!  It would be really cool to see some of my great friends from The Coffee Shop in the chat! (And Gevalia will be having some giveaways LIVE during the chat! isn't that neat??) To join you just have to visit Gevalia Coffee Facebook Page LIKE them and then on the left sidebar you will find the Beanchat Tab which you will be able to click and join both through facebook or with your twitter account! I am very happy for this and it will be great if during the chat you mentioned you knew about the beanchat through this post/blog! I will be very happy to chat with you and say hi to you LIVE! Wherever you are! The Beanchat will be on Thursday 9/22 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. (EST) So, what do you say? Will I see you there?

Something else that I am very happy about is that I was as a baker on The Cake Slice , this is a group of bakers that basically bake a cake each month and blog about it with pictures and everything! I thought The Coffee Shop had to be the perfect place to have scrumptious and beautiful cakes! so... I joined and I am very excited to start this new project! Don't forget to start sending your pictures for our Coffee Fridays to my email love.for.coffee@gmail.com . We will re-start our Coffee Fridays on November this year! There are great things coming! You will see!


Lots of love!

 © Paloma King

Monday, September 19, 2011

Coffee with friends!

As a mom and living in new city/State I don't really get to share with "grown-ups" very often (except for my husband when he comes from work of course) but during the day is usually just my girls and I... so having coffee with a group of ladies during the week is really something not only refreshing but energizing! It was so nice to attend the Mom2Mom class in our church last week, there was coffee and breakfast but most importantly we had great fellowship and I got to know more moms who are right where I am at... and just hearing their stories, anecdotes, things that they find challenging, etc... is very encouraging! So! I had a great coffee time! Coffee even tasted better in such great company!


What's your favorite way to drink coffee? On your own or with someone else?

More recipes and announcements are coming! Stay tuned!

© Paloma King

Friday, September 16, 2011

Gigi's Cupcakes Reviewed

Good afternoon everybody! How are you doing? Ready for the weekend? Today is one of those last Friday's where we are not featuring our old "Coffee Friday" tradition! But it is coming back soon! And we'll be very happy to be featuring your pictures/blogs as long as the pictures you share are coffee-related... so, if you have any picture you would like us to publish please send it to love.for.coffee@gmail.com. Ok, back to our original topic. Today I am reviewing "Gigi's Cupcakes" Have you ever had one? I am interested in hearing someone else's opinion on them. I had never even heard about Gigi's cupcakes, but yesterday, a facebook friend posted a picture that looked soooo tempting! it was taken at Gigi's cupcakes and I KNEW RIGHT THEN AND THERE that tasting one would be my next thing to do! I went ahead and googled Gigi's cupcakes and I found their beautiful and well designed website. It is cute AND elegant which many times it is hard to find such a balanced combination, I loved the pictures on their website too and found all of their cupcakes very appealing (just the names are soo inviting!). Then I found Gigi's story and I felt deep admiration for such a hardworking, tenacious and persevering lady! (and pretty too) so as soon as hubby came home I told him about it and we went to visit Gigi's cupcakes store (which had just opened yesterday) to try them and here are my thoughts:

Place/Image
Just as their website, Image seems to be a priority for Gigi's cupcakes stores. The color selection, packaging of the cupcakes, items, logos, pictures, decor of the store, everything is just beautiful and inviting! The cupcakes are decorated in a way that you can't resist them at first glance! I also felt like Gigi has this "Martha Stewart" kind of look, not completely herself but the color selection, images. Everything also says "I am expensive!" and "I would make a perfect gift", It was a combination of elements that made it all feel "high quality and refined". If all of Gigi's stores are about the same size do not expect to be able to eat your cupcake there, it's basically "to go", fortunately it seems their locations make it easy for you to eat your cupcake right out of their stores (that if they are located, like this store we visited, close to other businesses, parks, etc)

My oldest daughter with a sample cupcake, those were really good!

Customer Service
The personnel was always smiley, happy and they also have BEAUTIFUL samples they are constantly offering to their customers. They are on top of things and seem to care a lot about having their customers leave happy.

Prices
I would say they are out of the normal price you would be willing to pay for a simple cupcake, their prices are around 3.50-3.97 per cupcake. You are basically paying for their image and the packaging, which is a beautiful box (1 per cupcake or bigger boxes for more cupcakes) but it is very unnecessary at the end of the day.  I think that's a price you would pay if you wanted to make a "sweet gift" to a special someone or if it was the "best cupcake you would ever had", for me, that was not the case.
 Flavor
 My review is based on my very personal experience and based on the ONLY cupcake I tried, I tried their  Midnight Magic Chocolate Chip (yum! right?) but once I had that big cupcake in front of me I realized that the "image" is more appealing when the cupcake is not in your hands, the amount of frosting is excessive (for me and my husband it seemed that way, even when he is a big fan of tons of frosting), I just thought it was way too much and not so inviting, the cupcake itself was good, moist, good flavor and fluffy as it should be but the frosting was heavy, too thick and I think it was just too much. As I mentioned, we only tried ONE of their cupcakes but I don't know when we would be trying more, at almost 4.00 per cupcake I wouldn't want to risk having another disappointment too soon when I can make my own cupcakes at home way cheaper. Maybe I will try their champagne cupcake (sounds good, huh???) I am really interested in giving it another try. I hope they keep growing and having a successful business. I think it's a FANTASTIC idea and I see lots of potential, it is just not very good when you get your expectations SOOO HIGH based on how good everything else seems to be (and how high their price is) and then have a cupcake that you find hard to eat for the amount of frosting and end up with at least 1/2 of it and a big beautiful box to throw away. It's like you have to really dig to get your money's worth back... and you kind of don't. Hubby and I even agreed that the best part of our experience was the "sampling" not because they were free but because of the size! Those little cupcakes were perfect! And you didn't feel like you had this big thing of frosting in front of you. So I think they definitely have something GREAT in their hands the thing is that it seems to be hidden under lots of frosting but for what I could read in Gigi's story she will definitely get where she wants to get with God's help.
Again, this was just our (hubby and I) very personal experience with Gigi's Midnight Magic Chocolate Chip cupcake...I know they also offer their cupcakes for weddings and events (everything looks so beautiful in the pictures) So I wonder if that's the strongest side of their business? I don't know. If anybody has tried them let me know what you think about them... if not, then give them a try and let me know how that went, will you? I might visit them again (on our next paycheck of course)

© Paloma King

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Your favorite Coffee Place

Hello everybody! How are you all doing? I hope some of you already tried the Cheesecake Cookie Cups of the previous post! If you didn't that's ok.... you can make them anytime you want... but something you DEFINITELY have to try soon are MY VERY own  Empanadas de Piña they are really great! I posted the recipe on my "Mexican Cooking" Blog because I think they are a Mexican dessert (and also because I had my dad to help me with it)

Today I want to ask you about your favorite place where you enjoy drinking your coffee (tea, hot chocolate, etc) ... and why you prefer that place! And I am not asking about your home (like in my case... I really love my coffee time at home with hubby) but that special place you found where you enjoy going to for "coffee". I think I had already posted about something like this... The reason why I am asking again is because, since we moved, my "favorite Coffee Shop" had to change... I loved "Alterra by the Lake" when I was in Milwaukee... but now, living in Texas I just LOVE Starbucks at Kemah! Just look at this:




 And... It is REALLY CLOSE to the ocean! Isn't that neat? It is still very hot in Texas right now... but hey! You can still have something cold to drink! I am looking forward to a date with hubby when it's not that hot outside and we can both have a good cup of coffee (venti please!) and we can walk by the ocean! -sigh- ... So, I do miss Alterra by the lake, but I am glad there is such a neat option for us to go to here, it is still pretty far from home (about 50 mins) so it's not like we can go there anytime we would like to but our coffee at home is pretty good for our daily coffee!

How about you? Is there any special Coffee Shop you go to? Why do you like it there? Because it's quiet? or because it's busy? You go there to study? relax? think? talk with friends? Share with us! And if you have a picture you can send it to love.for.coffee@gmail.com and we'll even post it on our next Coffee Friday we'll be giving you (and your blog if you have one) credit for it! We'll re-start our Coffee Friday tradition in November.

So... share with us!

Paloma.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Easy dessert - Cheesecake Cookie Cups

Good morning everybody! I hope you are all doing good today, hopefully had an enjoyable weekend and I also hope this week goes better than the previous one for all of you... and us!

We had colds and runny noses (isn't that great?) around our home last week, having a 3 yr. old and an 8 month old doesn't help make "colds" any better, they don't sleep well and especially the 3yr. old gets pretty cranky during the day when she is not feeling well. So... Saturday I felt tired and not very much into baking a whole lot but I still wanted to enjoy something sweet and homemade. Hubby suggested getting a box of brownie mix but naah! I still wanted to make something different, so I went online! (gotta love how easy it is to get recipes nowadays!) and I found this wonderfully easy and delicious recipe (from Nestlé)... I hope you like it too:


Cheesecake Cookie Cups:

Ingredients

* 1 pkg. (16.5 oz.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Refrigerated Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar Dough
* 2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, room temperature
* 1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
* 2 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling (I used strawberry pie filling because I do not like cherries but I still wasn't a big fan of the pie filling on top, I will be definitely using fresh fruit next time and just macerate it with sugar minutes before adding it on top, but you can just follow the original recipe if you like canned pie filling)

Directions
PREHEAT oven to 325° F. Paper-line 24 muffin cups. Place one piece of cookie dough in each muffin cup.


BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookie has spread to edge of cup.


BEAT cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and vanilla extract in medium bowl until smooth. Pour about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture over each cookie in cup.



BAKE for additional 15 to 18 minutes (I baked it for the whole 18 in my electric oven) or until set. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Top each with level tablespoon of pie filling. Refrigerate for 1 hour.


And the best part: Enjoy with a cup of coffee, cold milk, hot chocolate or what you prefer! Hubby and I had coffee of course, he is not a big fan of cheesecake but he loved these... so... give them a try!

And again, remember to send us your coffee related pictures to: love.for.coffee@gmail.com so we can display them on our Coffee Friday... of course we'll give you (and your blog) credit! 

Paloma.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We remember

Here, in The Coffee Shop and me, personally, remember the tragedy that happened on 9/11/2001 ...

I just wanted to say that We Remember. May God bless the families who lost someone that dark day, the children, now young people who were left without their moms or dads and May God bless the Heroes that give their lives keep trying to prevent something like this from happening ever again.

Paloma.

Friday, September 9, 2011

WE are back! ... announcements and CUPCAKE RECIPE!!!

Hello everybody! How is everyone doing? What have you been up to? The Coffee Shop is back in business! and I am sooo looking forward to hearing (or in this case... reading!) from all of you! I have some dear friends here that I've missed and I can't to know what your projects have been, what you've all been cooking, what's your favorite coffee place, anybody with new family members? books written or read? just give me a quick update if you can!

We have been crazy busy here... We moved!!! Yes, we moved from Cold Wisconsin to Hot HOT HOT Texas... I sooo miss Wisconsin's weather though... But I am happy to be here and thankful to be closer to my Mexican family and to have found a good church where my girls are really enjoying and learning!

So... we've been trying to establish a new routine, you know... so many changes at the same time can drive a mom of 2 little girls crazy! LOL! But it's been ok and I've been cooking/baking a lot! I've found it very relaxing... it actually helps me focus on "simpler" things... like "2 cups of flour and 1 cup of sugar"

Anyway... I hope I'll get my friends back... soon! I hope with each post I can start seeing all those familiar faces stop by again! I promise we'll have a lot of fun... and there will be some giveaways coming too... Please start sending pictures of your coffee/coffee mugs and everything where the star is COFFEE... to be featured on our "Coffee Friday". Coffee Friday will be officially back in November, I am trying to start my collection of pictures/blogs to feature now.

And now, as I promised...

Banana Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting



Ingredients:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 medium mashed ripe bananas (or 1 1/3 of a cup) - make sure you mash them with your hands not with a masher -

FROSTING
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, combine the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in bananas.
  • Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at 350° for 20-22 minutes (I bake them for 20 and they are perfect) or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small saucepan pour cream and bring it to a boil over low heat stirring frequently, as soon as it starts boiling remove from the heat, add the chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate chips are completely melted blended. Transfer to a small bowl; cool until mixture reaches room temperature.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add chocolate mixture. Beat until smooth light and fluffy. Frost cupcakes. Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.
 Enjoy with... a cup of coffee!

Paloma