Creative Caffeinations

Six luscious ways to spice up your morning (or anytime) cup of joe.

Sundae times
This is one to write home about. Plop two scoops of ice cream — we’re partial to traditional vanilla — into a low glass and top with four ounces of hot, strong coffee. Sip with a thick straw or enjoy with a spoon.

Ice, ice, breve
Brew a pot of your favorite coffee, chill and then pour into ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop them out, fill your vessel of choice and top with half and half for an iced coffee that won’t get watered down.

The caveman
For a cup that will keep you full until lunch, blitz together eight ounces of warm coffee and one tablespoon of butter in a blender (careful, hot liquids expand, so make sure to have plenty of room in the blender or use a milk frother for this step) for 20–25 seconds or until frothy. Add in a splash of vanilla extract and drizzle of honey if you’re feeling extra sweet.

Crema crema
A toasty (in more ways than one) take on the traditional Vietnamese-style coffee. Pour a healthy tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk into your mug, stir and sprinkle with a dash of cayenne for a real kick start.

Whip it
Ribbons of freshly whipped cream take the place of creamer for a subtly sweet take on the classic. Whip together heavy cream and a sprinkling of sugar until airy peaks form, then top your cup with a dollop or swirl in a spoonful.

Cocoa au lait
Recover from a tough workout with a jolt or just enjoy the benefits of mocha madness. Fill a to-go cup with ice and pour in equal parts chocolate milk and iced coffee.

Frozen Yogurt Bark

Start to finish: 4 hours
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
1 cup strawberries
½ cup raspberries
¼ cup honey
32-ounce container vanilla yogurt

Optional for topping:
½ cup granola 

Method
In a blender, combine strawberries, raspberries and honey until smooth. If needed, add in water, one tablespoon at a time until a thick, but pourable, consistency is formed.

Strain through a fine, mesh strainer or cheesecloth. 

Spread yogurt in a thin layer onto a large baking sheet. Drizzle with berry puree and using a toothpick, swirl to combine. 

Top with granola, if using, and freeze until solid, about 3½ hours. Break into pieces and keep frozen until ready to serve.

Molasses, Walnut & Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Start to finish: 12 hours
Makes: 2 quarts

Ingredients
6 egg yolks
¼ cup molasses
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup walnut pieces
3 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

Method
Place bowl from ice cream machine into freezer.

In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, molasses, sugar, vanilla and kosher salt over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. 

Whisk in milk and cream until combined. Add in walnuts.

Bring heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Transfer to a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove ice cream bowl from freezer and attach to churner. Turn on the ice cream machine and pour in chilled mixture. 

Churn until thick, about 25 minutes. Add in chopped dark chocolate and stir to combine.

Transfer to a freezer-safe dish, cover and freeze 4 hours before serving.

Strawberry & Basil Ice Cream

Start to finish: 12 hours
Makes: 2 quarts

Ingredients
1½ cups freeze-dried strawberries
6 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
½ cup fresh basil

Method
Place bowl from ice cream machine into freezer.

Blitz 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until a dust forms.

In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together strawberry dust, egg yolks, sugar and kosher salt over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. 

Whisk in milk and cream until combined. Add in ¼ cup basil leaves.

Bring heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Strain mixture through a metal sieve into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove ice cream bowl from freezer and attach to churner. Turn on the ice cream machine and pour in chilled mixture. 

Churn until thick, about 35 minutes. 

Crush remaining ½ cup of freeze-dried strawberries and add into the ice cream along with ¼ cup basil, thinly sliced. Stir to combine.

Transfer to a freezer-safe dish, cover and freeze 4 hours before serving.

Scotcharoo Coffee Sammies

Start to finish: 1 hour 45 minutes
Makes: 12 sammies

Ingredients
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
16-ounce jar creamy peanut butter
2 cups lightly-packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2½ cups rolled oats
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup butterscotch chips
½ cup semi-sweet
chocolate chips
½ gallon coffee ice cream

Optional for edges:
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
¼ cup mini chocolate chips 


Method
Heat oven to 350 F and prepare two cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, melt together butter and peanut butter. Stir to combine.

Mix in brown sugar, vanilla and eggs until smooth. Add in baking soda, salt and oats. Stir to combine.

Fold in walnuts, butterscotch chips and chocolate chips.

Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, scoop portioned amount of dough into your palm and roll to form a ball. Place on prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart.

Bake 11–13 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Remove from oven and let rest on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

To assemble ice cream sammies, scoop ¼ cup ice cream onto the flat side of one cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side down, and press to adhere the two together.

If desired, roll the edges in mini chocolate chips or finely chopped walnuts. Serve immediately, or freeze in an airtight container.

Red Velvet Freezer Cake

Start to finish: 6 hours
Makes: 8-10 slices

Ingredients
1 box red velvet cake mix, prepared to package instructions
½ gallon vanilla bean ice cream
10-ounce bag white chocolate chips

Method
Heat oven to 350 F and butter a cookie sheet with edges. Line buttered pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Spread prepared cake batter evenly onto cookie sheet and tap on the counter to remove any air bubbles.

Bake 30–35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

Once cooled, flip the pan over onto a clean work surface and remove so the parchment is on top. Peel the parchment back to remove.

Remove ice cream from freezer to soften. 

Pour chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl and heat in 30-second intervals stirring every 15-seconds until melted. Set aside.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper so the paper is overhanging on the sides. Using a sharp knife, cut the cooled cake into three equal sections, trimming as needed so they fit inside the loaf pan.

Add the first slice of cake to the bottom of the pan. Scoop in roughly half the carton of ice cream and spread with a flat spatula until smooth and distributed. Drizzle half the white chocolate over the ice cream. 

Top with the second slice of cake and repeat for the second layer, finishing by topping with the third slice of cake.

Freeze at least 4 hours before serving.

To serve, remove cake from pan by rubbing a hot towel on the outside edges of the pan to loosen. Pull on the hanging edges of parchment to remove the cake.

Slice and serve immediately. 

Cookies n' Cream Pops

Start to finish: 4 hours 15 minutes
Makes: 10

Ingredients
15 chocolate sandwich cookies
½ cup chocolate milk
1 cup chocolate ice cream
1 cup whole milk
2 cups cookie dough ice cream

Method
Scrape filling from each sandwich cookie into a bowl and set aside. Add cookies to a zip-top, gallon-sized bag and close shut. Using a rolling pin, crush cookies into small pieces. 

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon cookie crumbles into each popsicle mold. 

Add chocolate milk and chocolate ice cream to blender. Blend to combine.

Fill molds 1/3 of the way with chocolate mixture. 

Rinse blender before adding in whole milk, cookie dough ice cream and the sandwich cookie fillings. Blend to combine.

Fill molds the remaining 2/3 of the way with the cookie dough mixture before covering and adding a popsicle stick to each one.

Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Store in molds until ready
to serve. 

Special tools: Popsicle molds and popsicle sticks

Lemon & Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Start to finish: 12 hours
Makes: 2 quarts

Ingredients
6 egg yolks
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup lemon curd
¾ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
2 lemons, peeled

Method
Place bowl from ice cream machine into freezer.

In a medium-sized saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon curd, brown sugar and kosher salt over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. 

Whisk in milk and cream until combined. Add in lemon peels.

Bring heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Strain mixture through a metal sieve into a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remove ice cream bowl from freezer and attach to churner. Turn on the ice cream machine and pour in chilled mixture. 

Churn until thick, about 40 minutes.

Transfer to a freezer-safe dish, cover and freeze 4 hours before serving.

Chicken, Spinach and Tomato Mac n’ Cheese

Start to finish: 35 minutes
Impresses: 1

Ingredients
For the mac:
16-ounce box elbow macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup flour
4 cups whole milk
½ teaspoon garlic salt
4 ounces The Creamery Pepper Jack Cheese, shredded
8 ounces Cache Valley Creamery Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
4 ounces Cache Valley Creamery Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
2 cups roasted chicken, diced
2 cups fresh spinach
½ cup sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced

For the topping:
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
¼ teaspoon garlic salt

Method
For the mac:
Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook macaroni 1 minute shy of package instructions. Drain, toss in olive oil and set aside.

Return the pot to the stove over medium heat. Add butter to melt. Whisk in flour until absorbed by the butter to create a roux.

While continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the milk to ensure the mixture fully incorporates and is free of lumps. 

Reduce heat to medium-low and add in garlic salt. Cook to thicken while constantly whisking, about 5 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and stir in cheeses until fully combined and melted. Return noodles to pot and add in chicken, spinach and sundried tomatoes. Stir to combine.

Serve immediately by dishing into bowls and topping with bread crumbs.

For the topping:
Bring a skillet to medium-low heat. 

Add butter to melt then stir in panko, parsley flakes and garlic salt.

Toast, stirring constantly, until browned and aromatic, about 5 minutes. 

Set aside until ready to top the mac n’ cheese. 

Cheeseburger Flatbread

Start to finish: 45 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 white onion, thinly sliced
½ pound ground beef
2 flatbread pizza crusts
1 cup The Creamery Colby Jack Cheese, shredded
¼ cup thousand island dressing
½ cup dill pickles, chopped

Method
Bring a skillet to medium-low heat. Add in butter to melt.

Once butter has melted, add in onions and toss to coat. Cook slowly, stirring constantly until translucent and caramelized — about 18–22 minutes.

While the onions caramelize, brown the hamburger. Drain and set aside.

Heat oven to 450 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Set flatbread crusts on sheet pan. Build pizzas by dividing onions amongst crusts and top with hamburger, then cheese. 

Bake 10–12 minutes or until the bottom has crisped and cheese has melted.

Remove from oven and drizzle with thousand island and chopped pickles. Slice and serve.


Fried Curds

Start to finish: 8 hours, 25 minutes, Active: 25 minutes, Inactive: 8 hours
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
½ cup flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups panko bread crumbs
1 pound The Creamery Cheddar Cheese Curds
2 quarts vegetable oil
Honey mustard, for dipping

Method
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Add flour, eggs and half of panko breading to 3 separate shallow dishes. 

Add half the curds to the flour and toss to coat. Transfer to the egg mixture and toss to coat. Remove the curd in small batches to fully drain the excess egg. Add to the panko and toss to fully coat — gently pressing on curds so the panko adheres. Place in a single layer onto prepared cookie sheet.

Discard the panko and replenish with the remaining bread crumbs. Repeat with other half of curds.

Place pan in freezer and freeze at least 8 hours before frying.

When ready to fry, heat at least 2 quarts of vegetable oil to 350 F. Fry curds in small batches for roughly 1 minute 10 seconds, until browned, and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. 

Serve immediately with honey mustard or another condiment for dipping.

Margherita Noodles

Start to finish: 35 minutes
Impresses: 1

Ingredients
2 ounces soba noodles (also known as buckwheat noodles, available in the health aisle of your grocery store)
1 tablespoon pesto
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
¼ cup mozzarella pearls, halved
¼ cup grape tomatoes, halved

Method
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil and cook soba noodles to 1 minute shy of package directions.

Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together pesto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add in noodles and toss to coat. Add in mozzarella and tomatoes and toss again. Keep refrigerated until ready to enjoy.

Greek Potato Salad

Start to finish: 35 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
1 pound baby potatoes, halved
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces feta cheese, cubed
¼ cup kalamata olives
¼ cup green olives
¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
4 cups arugula

Method
Place potatoes and salt into a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until fork tender — about 13 minutes.

While potatoes boil, make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and pepper in a large bowl until emulsified.

Drain potatoes completely upon cooking and place immediately into the bowl with dressing. Toss to combine. Store in the bowl overnight or until ready to serve. 

When packing lunches the next morning, toss in feta, olives and dill. Place 1 cup arugula on the bottom of your containers and divide potato salad on top.

Tip: If you’re only making lunch for yourself, still prep four servings and store potato salad, tossed with mix-ins. Add arugula when packing lunch the day of.

Veggie Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Start to finish: 15 minutes
Impresses: 1

Ingredients
For the spring rolls:
2 sheets rice paper (available in the Asian food aisle of most grocery stores)
2 pieces lettuce or ¼ cup spring mix
¼ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ cucumber, cut into narrow spears
¼ cup shredded carrots
¼ cup shredded cabbage
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

For the sauce:
¼ cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons peanut butter
½ lime, juiced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce


Method
For the spring rolls:
Fill a shallow dish with warm water and set next to your prep area. 

Place a rice paper sheet into the water, fully saturating until the sheet softens and becomes pliable. Don’t soak too long, otherwise the sheet will become too moist to work with.

Remove from the water and lay flat on a cutting board or clean surface.

Begin layering on the vegetables on the bottom third of the sheet. Start with lettuce, place red pepper and cucumber on top of lettuce, then carrots and cabbage, then green onion and cilantro.

To wrap, fold the sides in, on top of the edges of the veggies. Pull the end closest to you over the veggies toward the opposite end of the rice paper. Tuck under the vegetables then tightly roll, just like a burrito. Cut in half crosswise. 

Repeat with the next sheet of rice paper and remaining vegetables. Serve with peanut sauce.

For the sauce:
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until fully combined. Serve with spring rolls. 

Tip: Buy pre-cut vegetables from the grocery store produce section for even quicker assembly. 

Churro Cheesecake

Start to finish: 1 hour 30 minutes
Impresses: 1 9-inch cheesecake

Ingredients
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), melted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1¼ cups sugar, divided
4 8-ounce blocks cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Mexican crema
4 eggs

Method
Heat oven to 325 F.

Mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon and ¼ cup sugar in a large bowl until combined. 

Press graham mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, using the bottom of a measuring cup to evenly distribute and press into the sides. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together remaining sugar, cream cheese, vanilla and cinnamon on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4–5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and add in crema. Beat to combine. 

With mixer on medium-low speed, add in eggs one at a time until combined.

Pour mixture into pan over crust and bake 50–60 minutes or until top is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before topping with raspberries and slicing.

Special tools: 9-inch springform pan

Roasted Cauliflower with Oaxaca Salsa

Start to finish: 45 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the cauliflower:
1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon oregano

For the salsa:
½ lime
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon celery salt
4 ounces Oaxaca cheese, diced
½ avocado, diced
½ jalapeño, thinly sliced
¼ small red onion, diced
¼ cup parsley, chopped

Method
For the cauliflower:
Heat oven to 450 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Set aside.

Slice cauliflower into four 1-inch thick slices, discarding or saving the crumble florets. Lay on parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

Mix together spices in a small bowl and sprinkle on top of cauliflower before rubbing in to evenly coat.

Roast for 25–30 minutes, until tops are browned. Remove and top with salsa to serve.

For the salsa:
Juice lime into a medium-sized bowl and whisk in olive oil and celery salt until emulsified.

Add in remaining ingredients and toss to combine.

Place a large spoonful on top of roasted cauliflower to serve.

Snappy Veg Toss

Start to finish: 35 minutes
Impresses: 6

Ingredients
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
4 large carrots
10 radishes
½ red onion
4 ounces queso fresco

Method
In a large measuring cup, stir together vinegar, salt and sugar until dissolved. Set aside.

Peel carrots and slice in half and then down the middle lengthwise before slicing each piece into thirds. Place into a shallow dish.

Slice radishes into thin rounds and onion into ¼-inch thick slices and add to dish with carrots.

Pour vinegar mixture over veggies and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge for 15–20 minutes, or until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, arrange on a platter and top with crumbled queso fresco. 

Note: If making in advance, you can pickle veggies separately in jars and store in the fridge.

Five Spice Turkey Meatballs

Start to finish: 25 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
For the meatballs:
1 pound ground turkey
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup 4% milk fat cottage cheese
½ cup plain, whole wheat bread crumbs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon Chinese five spice

For the sauce:
¼ cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon chili paste

For serving, optional:
Sesame seeds
Cooked white rice
Steamed green beans

Method
In a blender, combine all ingredients except butter and blend until smooth — about 30 seconds.

Bring a low-sided skillet to medium heat. Melt ½ tablespoon of butter in pan and pour ¼ cup scoopfuls of pancake batter onto skillet — cooking no more than three pancakes per batch. Cook 2 minutes, or until the top has began to bubble and is slightly set, before flipping and cooking a remaining 1–2 minutes.

Repeat process, including melting butter for each batch, until batter is gone. 

Serve immediately or keep warm in a 200 F oven. Top with sliced bananas, walnut pieces and additional syrup if desired.

Roasted Red Pepper Gnocchi

Start to finish: 35 minutes
Impresses: 4

Ingredients
8-ounce package gnocchi pasta
2 cups 4% milk fat cottage cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup roasted red peppers
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stem
¼ cup dry red wine
½ cup fresh mozzarella pearls, halved

Method
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil and cook gnocchi for 1 minute. Drain and set aside.

Heat oven to 400 F and spritz a baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Add cottage cheese, Parmesan, roasted red peppers, garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, rosemary and red wine to a blender. Pulse to combine before blending on high for 2 minutes, or until smooth. 

Toss cooked gnocchi with 2 cups sauce and pour into prepared baking dish. Pour remaining sauce on top and dot with mozzarella pearls.

Bake 15 minutes or until bubbly and cheese has melted. Let set 5 minutes before serving.

Steak N' Egg Burritos

Start to finish: 10 minutes
Impresses: 2

Ingredients
2 tablespoons light-roast coffee, ground
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt
8-ounce sirloin steak
¼ cup butter
1 russet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
½ red onion, diced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 eggs
¼ cup milk
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
4 large flour tortillas

Method
Combine ground coffee, paprika and salt in a small bowl. Rub seasoning on both sides of steak. Let set at room temperature until ready to cook.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat.

Once melted, add in potatoes, stirring to coat all potatoes with butter. Cover with a lid and let steam 5 minutes, stirring halfway through. 

Remove lid and add in peppers and onion. Stir to coat and let cook until potatoes are fork tender and onions translucent, about 8-10 minutes.

Remove from pan and place pan back on burner.

Raise heat to high and pour in oil. Place steak in hot pan and let sear — 3 minutes on each side for steak done medium temperature. 

Remove steak and let rest.

Wipe out pan and turn heat to medium-low. Add in remaining butter. 

Beat together eggs and milk and pour into pan once butter is melted. Scramble until eggs are soft set. Remove from heat.

Slice rested steak across the grain and start building your burritos. Place equal amounts potatoes, steak, eggs and cheese on each tortilla. Roll up by folding in the sides and the top. Pull the top and filling toward you before rolling taught.

Toast or serve as is.

Prepping ahead?
Prepared burritos can be wrapped in paper towels and stored in a zip-top freezer bag for up to a month. To reheat, place wrapped burrito on a microwave safe plate and cook for 3 minutes. Let stand 1 minute before removing paper towel and enjoying. Careful: Filling will be hot.