Cold Brewed Coffee


Cold brew. You can have it in 12 hours if you leave it on your counter or 24 hours if you soak it in your fridge.

Add grounds, add water, steep, strain twice, add water, enjoy.

Not bitter or acidic, doesn’t need sugar or milk (unless you prefer).

Drink it hot (add hot water to the concentrate) or cold.

Here’s some info on the latest fad that is cold brewed coffee. 


Epicurious gives a fancy overview of cold brew.

The New York Times easiest instructions ever.

Expert reviews on the best pre-made brands.

Videos here and, even better, here.



Iced Coffee with Muddled Herbs option 2 / Photo by Christopher Simpson, Prop and Food Styling by Ali NardiIced Coffee with Muddled Herbs option 2 / Photo by Christopher Simpson, Prop and Food Styling by Ali Nardi1471554408-Coffee_AL007.JPG



Studying Art Makes Kids Smart

This just in!  Exposing children to art, in its many forms, can make them better thinkers. Art History is one of our favorite subjects, so we are happy to hear this news. I encourage you to visit a museum nearby – they often have days where you can visit for free. If there’s no museum in your location, try the library or even the Internet for art history ideas. I bet adults benefit from art as much as children!

Oozing Hot Fudge Cake

This dessert is similar to what you’d get in individual ramekin lava cakes – but on a grander, more decadent level. The end result is so rich you’ll want to cut it with vanilla ice cream, freshly whipped cream, or both!

Oozing Hot Fudge Cake

Oozing Hot Fudge Cake
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  1. 2 teaspoons instant coffee
  2. 1.5 cups hot water
  3. 2/3 cups cocoa powder, *divided!
  4. 1/3 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 cup sugar, *divided!
  6. 6 tablespoons butter
  7. 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  8. 3/4 cups flour
  9. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  10. 1 tablespoon vanilla
  11. 1/3 cup milk
  12. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  13. 1 egg yolk
  1. Heat oven to 325 and spray an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Stir instant coffee into water to dissolve.
  3. In a bowl, combine 1/3 cup of the cocoa, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup of the sugar.
  4. In a small pot melt butter then whisk in remaining 1/3 cup cocoa, and 2 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Cool slightly.
  5. In a bowl, whisk remaining 2/3 cup sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt. Whisk in the butter/chocolate mixture. Add the flour and baking soda and whisk till combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle the cocoa/brown sugar/sugar mixture evenly on top. Pour the coffee mixture gently over the cocoa mixture.
  7. Bake until cake is puffed and bubbling and beginning to pull away from sides of dish - about 45 minutes. Do *not* overbake!
  8. Cool about 25 minutes and serve with toppings of your choice, such as ice cream or freshly whipped cream.
  1. *Important! Be sure to note where ingredients should be divided.
The Excellent Wife

A Clean Toilet!

You know all those fancy websites where the bloggers have pictures of their beautiful homes and all the neat DIY projects they do, and of the decorating for different seasons, and of the creative ideas they accomplish for dinner and crafts? Well, this isn’t one of those blogs! (Though I enjoy learning from those sites very much) I’m happy when my head is above water, my house isn’t a disaster, laundry isn’t rotting piling in the hallways, and my family is fed.

Oh, and when the toilets are clean – which is what this short post is all about!

Goodbye toilet stains, hello new-looking bowl.

Scouring sticks.  They’re made of pumice and are the perfect non-abrasive rough surface for scraping off all that gunk that can build up in a toilet. Unfortunately you have to don a pair of rubber gloves and roll up your sleeves to avoid splashing yourself when you plunge your hands in the bowl. But with a little elbow grease you can pretty easily remove all the stains and build-up that have collected.

Pumice stone for multiple household uses.

First I cleaned the toilet with comet and a scrub brush so I wasn’t working in super gross conditions. Then I put on gloves and scraped away all of the toilet gunk. I had to flush a few times in between scrubs and then use comet once more, but eventually the bowl looked brand new!  Funny how little things can make us feel good.  🙂

If you have Amazon Prime you can have these little sticks in two days! If you have time, read some of the reviews for other uses. I’m trying them on my oven next.

I’d love your comments on how to get rid of that lingering smell from when boys “miss”. That’s my next problem to solve.


Salted Caramel Oatmeal Bars

Beware!  With over a pound of butter, salted caramel oatmeal bars are deadly to any diet.

Salted Caramel Oatmeal Bars

Salted Caramel Oatmeal Bars

These gems form a sugary, buttery crisp bottom that is topped with

oozy caramel and a layer of crumbly oatmeal goodness.  

Salted Caramel Oatmeal Bars
A crisp, sugar-butter bottom topped with ooey caramel and a layer of crumbly oatmeal.
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  1. 4.5 sticks of butter, melted
  2. 2 T vanilla extract
  3. 2-1/4 cups brown sugar
  4. 3 cups flour
  5. 3 cups oats
  6. 3 teaspoons baking soda
  7. 11 oz bag of Kraft caramel bits
  8. 1/2 cup heavy cream
  9. sea salt (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a 9x13 pan with greased parchment or foil.
  2. In a large bowl combine butter, vanilla, sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda.
  3. Spread 1/2 the batter on the bottom of the pan and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the caramel bits and heavy cream in the microwave in 30 minute increments until a creamy caramel sauce is made.
  5. Spread all of the caramel sauce on the cooked crust, then crumble the remaining batter on top of the caramel. Sprinkle with sea salt to taste.
  6. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. Bars must set before cutting or you'll have a gooey mess! (and remember that the caramel sauce will BURN you if you touch it too soon!). Setting can take up to 4 hours, or as little as one hour if you use the refrigerator.
  8. Cut into squares and enjoy.
The Excellent Wife









Wow, big hit here…




I made this version of goulash tonight that was pretty tasty. We even added it to our Thumbs Up List. My excellent husband would consider this combination of beef and pasta a comfort food .  I was quite comfortable eating it!  The meal could be made lower in carbs by serving it over spaghetti squash or some type of vegetable medley.

Fast & easy comfort food which uses beef and pasta.
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  1. 2.5 pounds ground meat (I used beef, but lamb or a combo would also work)
  2. 2 onions, chopped
  3. 6 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 2-3 T Worcestershire sauce
  5. 3 T paprika of your choice
  6. 2 t crushed rosemary
  7. 1-14.5 oz can beef broth
  8. 4 T tomato paste
  9. 2 red peppers, roasted and chopped in large pieces (or 1 jar roasted peppers)
  10. 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. In a large pot, brown the meat and drain. Remove meat from pot and saute onions till soft. Add garlic and saute one minute longer. Return meat to pot. Add Worcestershire, paprika, and rosemary. Stir. Add tomato paste and broth. Bring to a simmer, then add roasted red peppers.
  2. You can simmer the meat for 10 minutes and up to a few hours if you keep it low and mostly covered. To serve, add the sour cream and stir. Serve over buttered extra-wide egg noodles (or spaghetti squash) sprinkled with fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Pass extra sour cream on the side.
Adapted from Rachel Ray
Adapted from Rachel Ray
The Excellent Wife