Today’s Good Mood Sponsored by Coffee
Could there be a more universally adored drink than the first cup of dark and delicious coffee each day? Doubtful. But even if you don’t like a straight-up cup, you can enjoy the flavor–subtle or more pronounced–in other ways. Can coffee turn a grumpy gus into a happy cat or AT LEAST brighten their mood? It’s possible.
Tempting Scent. Heavenly Flavor. Pure Enjoyment.
Did you know… studies have been conducted showing the simple act of smelling coffee can cause better logical thinking? Now, I can’t say whether or not the results of those studies are true. I’m simply telling you what I’ve read. Because it’s interesting. And I WANT to BELIEVE it’s true.
So if simply smelling coffee can make us think better, imagine what DRINKING it will do!
Which camp are you in? Coffee haters or coffee lovers? If you’re on Team LOVE Coffee, then you’re in for a treat. If you WANT to like coffee, give these recipe ideas a try–they might give you the nudge you need. But if you truly hate it, we still love you, but you may want to take a detour and read a different Rada blog post. 🙂
“A yawn is just a silent scream for coffee.”
Hey, waking up in the morning can be hard! And for some people, that first jolt of caffeine in the morning is gold for the soul. An important tool to help get through the day. The glue that holds it all together. Relied on. Necessary. OH-SO NECESSARY.
That caffeine jolt? It doesn’t just wake us up. It improves memory, puts us in a better mood, revvs up our mental function, and more. YAY!
Plus, what do we make coffee with? Water! That all-important source of hydration. But we can only count cups of coffee toward our water intake to a certain extent. At some point, the negatives override the benefits. Bummer.
Coffee is a source of B vitamins, potassium, and riboflavin. Coffee BEANS are rich in antioxidants.
Now, I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, but I’m not making this stuff up.
Moderation is Key
You knew there was going to be a catch, didn’t you? Too much caffeine can:
- Cause dehydration
- Make some people jittery
- Keep us awake at night
The recommended daily amount of caffeine for most people is below 400 milligrams. Not all people should consume caffeine (you know who you are; if you don’t, ask the people around you). Thankfully, there’s decaf.
One more thing. Beware of add-ins like sugar, flavored syrups, creamers, and (yikes) sweetened condensed milk. Too much sugar and saturated fat can take a good thing down quickly.
Ready for Recipes?
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BBQ Chicken Pizzas
INGREDIENTS (makes 4)
4 bacon strips
1 small sweet onion
4 (6-7″) pizza crusts
1 C. Smoky Coffee BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
2 boneless chicken breast fillets or chicken thighs, baked & shredded
1 C. frozen corn, thawed
1 C. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C. shredded smoked cheddar cheese
Preheat your oven to 475°.
Dice the bacon and onion with a good, sharp utility knife. Cook the bacon in a skillet until crisp; drain on paper towels, leaving the grease in the skillet. Add the onion pieces to the hot bacon grease and cook 10 minutes, until golden brown and softened. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Arrange the pizza crusts on baking sheets and drizzle each with a little oil. Divide the BBQ sauce among the crusts and spread to within ½” of the edges. Arrange the shredded chicken evenly over the sauce, toss on the corn, drained bacon, and onions. Top with both cheeses.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted and gooey.
Smoky Coffee BBQ Sauce
Use a chef’s knife to mince ½ C. shallot and 1 tsp. garlic; toss them into a medium saucepan. Add 1¼ C. hot brewed coffee, 1 C. ketchup, ¾ C. brown sugar, ½ C. apple cider vinegar, 2 T. ground cumin, 2 T. chili powder, 2 T. soy sauce, and 1 tsp. Sriracha sauce; whisk together to blend. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 40 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use 1 cup sauce for the BBQ Chicken Pizzas and use the remainder on any recipe needing a smoky barbecue sauce. Makes 3 cups
If you love coffee and haven’t made Cold-Brew, give it a try. Cold-Brew is different than iced coffee. But plan ahead–it has to set at room temp for 12 hours and then chill before it’s ready to drink.
In a 2-qt. pitcher, whisk together 1 C. fresh ground coffee and 8 C. cold water until dissolved. Cover and set at room temp for 12 hours. After 12 hours, line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and slowly pour the coffee through it into a clean pitcher. Discard the cheesecloth and coffee grounds and chill the coffee. To serve, stir and pour over ice.
Redeye Gravy sounds like something from the Old West, and it’s just sort of fun to make. And it goes without saying that if coffee keeps you awake at night, you might want to eat this gravy early in the day. Redeye Gravy on sausage and eggs? You bet!
Whisk together 1 T. flour, ⅛ tsp. instant coffee granules, and a pinch each of ground thyme, ground sage, and cayenne pepper. Melt 1 T. butter in a skillet then whisk in the flour mixture until thick and smooth. Whisk in 2¼ C. brewed coffee and 2 to 3 tsp hot sauce, depending on your taste; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium for 10 minutes, until gravy is thick, whisking often. Remove from heat, whisk in 2 T. heavy cream, and season with salt and black pepper.
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