Friday, August 26, 2011

Mexican Mocha Iced Coffee

So after the last two weeks, I’m kinda thinking I might want to crawl under a rock and never come back out. 

It’s been hectic, and just plain old weird.

Exactly two weeks ago my 80 year-old grandmother had a dizzy spell & took a tumble in the middle of the night. She fell and hit her head.


Poor Grammy Vittles suffered from a broken nose, two black eyes (one eye was completely closed), a lot of bruising, and above all - a serious scare.

Well let me tell you. So did I.

My stepdad & I spent most of the weekend helping her until my aunt was able to get there Sunday afternoon.  I even had to call in the big guns (my dad) to convince her to get checked out at the emergency room.

Needless to say, it was a stressful weekend... and I was pretty freaked-out over those events alone.

But the freaking-out was actually just getting started.

A week later, Mr. Vittles and I were watching some TV in the living room.  We had crazy thunderstorms that night with a ton of rain (some towns in the area had serious flooding) and I was thinking how happy I was to be inside when I saw something flying out of the corner of my eye.

Initially I didn’t think much of it since, after all, we do have a bird that makes a habit of flapping around the house.  But when I noticed my husband was holding the bird next to me, I realized we had a little problem on our hands.

Yep.  It was a bat. the house...

...zooming around our living room.

Thank goodness for my husband, who put on some gloves, got a fishing net & a headlamp, and (about 10 minutes later) was able to capture the bat and let him loose back outside.

After the bat was out we had a pretty good laugh over the whole thing.  I was still shaken up though.

But the shaking-up was actually just getting started.

Tuesday I was out driving for work, and I wanted to run some errands on lunch so I decided to just grab a quick sandwich at a convenience store & eat in the parking lot.

As I was sitting there, listening to the radio, the car started shaking so noticeably that I thought something was wrong with it.

So I turned it off, but the car was still shaking. I heard the fluids inside sloshing around, and could not figure out what in the world was going on.

It stopped as suddenly as it started, so I turned the car back on & went about my munching. But via the radio I quickly learned that there had been a 5.8 earthquake in Virginia, and there were reports of people feeling the rumblings all the way up to Canada.

Now I know there are probably many of you who have experienced much more than a brief rumbling.

But guess what.  I live in New Jersey.

We don’t have earthquakes here.

So I was a little shocked.

But the shocking was actually just getting started.

There have been numerous mandatory evacuations of coastal & low-lying locations in NJ, including my town, due to Hurricane Irene - which (as of now) is supposedly heading right for us as at least a Category 1.

Now while our house is about 6 blocks from the beach, we also live very close to a lake.  So even if this just ends up coming through as a tropical storm, surges could pose a very serious threat to us - not to mention the effects of heavy rain and sustained high winds. 

And this month has already been one of the top ten wettest Augusts New Jersey has seen since the 19th century.

Umm... seriously?

I’ve lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida and also the Outer Banks of North Carolina, so as you can imagine I’m no stranger to hurricane threats.

But again… this is New Jersey.

New Jerseyans having to evacuate for a hurricane is about as likely as the Governor temporarily suspending the collection of tolls along the southern half of the Garden State Parkway (the North/South main artery of the state). 

Which he did starting at 8AM today, to help lessen the burden of evacuation.

In fact, in just a couple hours they are completely closing the southbound lanes of the parkway altogether, starting about 10 miles south of here.  No one will be able to travel south on that road after 8PM tonight.

So.  Now I’m waiting for a mudslide or tornado to happen next.  

Who knows, perhaps that's what awaits Mr. Vittles and me as we head west to my in-law's house!

Or, maybe all those wackos that thought the world was going to end a couple months back were actually on to something. 

(Side note:  I just Googled that out of curiosity, and in case you were wondering we are still on track for doomsday - it's now scheduled for October 21, 2011.  Which is conveniently my best friend Lauren's birthday! Guess we better celebrate early :))

But in any case, I’ve been too busy securing all my outdoor furniture, placing all the boxes in our basement on raised plywood platforms, removing air conditioning units from our windows, and reading news updates to make any new recipes.

So I went with the one recipe that I had already written in Blogger - Mexican Mocha Iced Coffee.

It's good.

And… that is all.

Wish me luck!

Mexican Mocha Iced Coffee

  • 1 T. chocolate syrup (if you want to make your own, try this one)
  • ice cubes
  • 1/2 C.cold café de olla (recipe below)
  • 1 T. heavy cream or half-and-half
  • pinch cinnamon

Drizzle some chocolate syrup on the bottom of a glass.  Add ice cubes, the shot of coffee liquor and café de olla.  If you'd like to create a floating layer or cream, carefully pour the cream over the back of a spoon on top of the drink (otherwise pour on top to mix it all together).  Sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon.  Makes one drink.

Serves one.

Café de Olla

  • 4 C. water
  • 1/4 C. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 t. molasses
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2/3 cup whole or coarsely ground coffee beans (not espresso)

Bring water, brown sugar, molasses, and cinnamon sticks to a boil in a large saucepan or pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Stir in coffee and boil 5 minutes. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof pitcher or clean pot, discarding coffee beans and cinnamon stick.  Serve hot or chill to make iced coffee recipe above.  Makes about 4 cups.

Iced Coffee Recipe Addapted from Girl Cooks World (who adapted from
Amor y Tacos); Cafe de Olla Recipe Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, via Epicurious


  1. What a two weeks you've had! I'm really sorry to hear about your grandma. I hope she is doing better! I live in NYC so I'm worried about the hurricane too. Hopefully it'll just be a lot of heavy rain and there will be no damage. On a semi-side note, your iced coffee looks amazing!

  2. Bats, earthquakes and now a hurricane...sounds like the world is ending! Sorry about your grandma. This drink looks wonderful, I love cinnamon with chocolate.

  3. I heard a comment on the radio the other day that the earthquake shook everything loose and now the hurricane is going to blow it all away! lol I live in MA, felt the earthquake and am now preparing for the hurricane! Hopefully it slows itself down before reaching us! I wish you the best of luck with everything and your poor grandmother too! Enjoy the coffee! It sounds fabulous!!

  4. Strongs for weathering the storm!

  5. This post stressed me out for you. Evacuating for a hurricane is no fun. Be safe. This coffee sounds amazing and just the perk you need.

  6. Im taking a deep breath for you. Im sitting in MD right now with the rain and wind, waiting for the worst to come. The earthquake was so weird - our entire building shook at work! We had no idea what was going on. But above it all, your grandmother. I would hate to have to see someone I love in such condition. Bless you and your father for helping her!!!

    I will make this iced coffee for you at this point if it would help your neres!
    Stay safe in this weather! I hope your home remains safe too!

  7. You have had quite a time. Stay safe and we're thinking of you...

  8. Oh my thats quite a week! I hope things get better this week for you! This looks delish! Oh and I hope grandma is feeling better and recovering well!!

  9. Did the storms from the hurricane reach you, too?

  10. Hope all is well. We've got lots of heat in Phoenix! I've had the Cafe de Olla in Mexico, so tasty!


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