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Being the mom of a 2 year old means sometimes needing an extra boost to keep up with the never ending energy of a toddler.   My mornings are pretty hectic; I’m usually making breakfast while still half asleep.   After all when I wake up in the morning is simply not up to me anymore.   While my son is munching on his breakfast, I brew a cup of coffee in my French press.    I will then sip on a hot cup at the kitchen counter; I’ve come to realize that I eat most of my meals standing at the counter.   When those 5 minutes of tranquility are over, I’m ready to take on any and every toddler antic that will be thrown my way throughout the day.  Mocha-1-15

I started drinking coffee after having my son, so I’m pretty new to the coffee game and cannot drink it dark and strong.  I always need a bit of chocolate in my coffee…make that a lot of chocolate, to make it go down smoothly.   Since I have no more than 5 minutes to get it all together I make a quick mocha using ready-made ingredients.   A few spoonfuls of rich hot chocolate powder, a dollop of sweet caramel topped off with whipped cream makes it all better.   I will mix it up a bit by using flavored creamers for a coffee house drink right in my kitchen.  Let’s face it, no one wants to spend more than a few minutes on coffee and that’s why this is the perfect at home brew.

The past week I swapped my regular brew to test three blends that I received from Puro Fairtrade Coffee.  I tested the Organic, Noble and Fuerte blend and was pleasantly surprised, I enjoyed all!  While I don’t typically drink dark roast, as it’s too strong for my palate, I found theirs to be quite smooth.  Let me tell you a little more about this company.  Puro Coffee, which is based in Belgium, is certified by the Fairtrade Organization, which means that they are ensuring that the small coffee farmers who they purchase their beans from are getting a fair price.   They are environmentally conscious and are actively working with the World Land Trust by giving money from every cup sold to help protect areas of the rainforest in South America.   This means that you can help save the rainforest from your kitchen.  Thanks Puro.

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Caramel Mocha

2 tbsp premium hot cocoa powder

2 tsp caramel(I used store-bought)

¾ cup brewed coffee

Whipped cream + caramel to garnish

Place hot cocoa powder and caramel in a mug then pour hot coffee and stir to blend.  Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel.

 

I received free products from Puro Fairtrade Coffee but the opinions are my own.

 

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Chick pea or channa curry is a very popular in Guyana and Trinidad where the cuisine has a heavy Indian influence.  This comes as no surprise as it’s often served with some of the most populist dishes like doubles and roti.

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Packed with protein and fiber, its a great side dish that’s also a great vegetarian or vegan main dish.   Did I mention that it’s gluten free also? Yeah, just about everyone can enjoy this.

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The strong spices compliment the silky texture of the chickpea.  I used canned chickpeas but dry chickpeas can be easily substituted.  Soak the dry chickpeas in water overnight, then drain and cook as directed. Channa-1-3Soaking the beans reduces the cooking time tremendously by softening the chickpeas so it is highly recommended.  You will enjoy this served with rice, roti or doubles!

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Chickpea Curry

15 oz can chick peas drained

1 tbsp curry powder

¼ tsp garam masala

¼ tsp coriander powder

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp green seasoning

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp canola oil

½ onion, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1 beef bouillon(optional)

3 cups water

In small bowl mix curry powder, garam masala, coriander powder, cumin, green seasoning and 2 tablespoon water to form a paste.   In a medium size pot, heat oil over medium fire.  When oil is hot add curry paste and onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the paste becomes dry, about a tablespoon of water to prevent it from burning.   Next add chick pea, salt and remaining 4 cups of water.  Cook until the chick peas are tender.   Add water as needed.

Notes:  Vegetable bouillon can be used in place of the beef bouillon.  You can also opt not to use any bouillon, but you will need to adjust the salt to taste.

Here are more great curry recipes for you to try, click on the link below the picture:

 

 

 

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Macaroni and cheese, or so fondly referred to as mac n’ cheese is a dish loved by one and all; it’s creamy, cheesy and comforting.   I’m a lover of cheese so this is right up my alley.

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This is a simple recipe that will be on your table in less than 30 minutes so it’s perfect for the midweek craving.   You know, when you just have to have it but you don’t want to spend an hour waiting for it to bake nor eat the box stuff.Mac-1-14

The combination of seriously sharp white cheddar cheese, creamy provolone and parmesan cheese was out of this world!   According to my husband, he didn’t even remember the rest of the meal, it was that good.

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Creamy Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese

16 oz box of macaroni, cooked according to directions

8 oz sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded

8 oz provolone cheese, shredded

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

3 tbsp butter

3 tbsp flour

2 cups milk

¼ tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp white pepper

½ tsp cayenne pepper

In a large pot over low heat, melt butter then add flour and stir to combine.  Cook for a minute stirring frequently then add milk slowly and whisk to combine until smooth.   Cook over low heat until milk thickens, about 3-5 minutes.  Add mustard, salt, white pepper, cayenne pepper, cheddar, provolone and parmesan and stir until it melts.   Add the pasta to the sauce and cook for an additional minute.   Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes so the sauce can thicken.   Serve!