Pryce Fischer's Spiced Maple Coffee Cocktail

One of the things I appreciate most about coffee is its unifying ability, a quality that can't be said for all drinks. Despite the million different ways people like their coffee, there remains a mutual understanding among coffee drinkers alike that, no matter your preference for the drink, not a word shall be murmured until the first sip of morning brew lands on your taste buds.

You know those people who are able to tap out after one or two cups of coffee? I wish I could be one of them. For me, once the seal's been broken, it's nonstop coffee sipping all day long. And admittedly, I'm really not that picky. Whether it be a pot of the burnt sludge they serve in the break room or a delicately crafted cup, what I'm truly after is the simple sense of comfort that comes from having my gigantic hand clasped around a warm cup of joe.

Pryce Fischer is my friend and neighbor. He works at a local roastery and is someone who takes pleasure in the intricate and subtle nuances that can be extracted from coffee. Lately he's been working on coffee cocktails and I've had the pleasure of getting to be the resident taste tester.

What exactly is a coffee cocktail? Well, it's basically a gussied up mini version of a cold brew or iced latte that can be served with or without booze. They're refreshing, aromatic, and feel so darn classy.


Pryce Fischer's Spiced Maple Coffee Cocktail

Serves 1

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cold brew coffee
1 tsp simple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup
heavy whipping cream
cinnamon stick
fresh rosemary
fresh nutmeg

Method:

In a shaker, combine the vanilla extract and simple syrup with a few dashes of cinnamon. Add 1/4 cup of cold brew and a few ice cubes. Give it a good shake.

Drizzle the maple syrup on the inside of your glass and add two fresh ice cubes. Strain the contents of the shaker into your glass and add the additional 1/4 cup of cold brew. Top it off with a dash of heavy cream. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, fresh rosemary, and a few grates of fresh nutmeg over the top.

Thanksgiving Pt. 2 - Glazed Carrots + Green Bean Casserole
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Welcome to part two of my Thanksgiving mini series! This year I wanted to compile a few simple, delicious, and trustworthy recipes that anyone interested in hosting a Thanksgiving feast could look to for guidance. Today's post is about making glazed carrots and green bean casserole from scratch.

In case you missed it, here's Thanksgiving Pt. 1 - Coffee Cake + Roast Chicken


Glazed Carrots

Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1 by Julia Child

Serves 6

Ingredients:


2 lbs carrots, peeled
2 cups beef stock
3 Tbsp brown sugar
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut up
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Method:

For the carrots: In a saucepan that has a lid, place the carrots, pour in the beef stock, and sprinkle with brown sugar. Arrange the pieces of butter across the pan and add a pinch of pepper.

Set the saucepan over medium heat and cover. Bring to a boil and allow to cook for about 40 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a syrupy glaze.

NOTE: After the first 25 minutes or so, watch the carrots carefully to make sure they don't burn!

To serve: Turn the carrots into a warm platter or serving dish and sprinkle with chopped parsley


Green Bean Casserole

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Adapted from All-Time Best Thanksgiving Recipes by Cook's Illustrated

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

Topping
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp dried onion flakes

Green Beans & Sauce
2 lbs green beans, trimmed and halved crosswise
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb mushrooms, diced into 1/2" pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream

Method:

For the topping: In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, butter, salt, pepper, and onion flakes. Using your fingers, gently rub the pieces of butter into the mixture until all butter has been incorporated. Set aside.

For the green beans & sauce: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and adjust oven rack to middle position. Pour 4 quarts of water and 2 Tbsp salt into a Dutch oven or large pot and bring to a boil. Add green beans and cook until soft and slightly overdone but not mushy, about 9 minutes. Drain green beans into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside to drain and dry.

In a large 12 inch oven-safe skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once butter has melted and foam subsided, add the mushrooms, garlic, 1 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Cook until mushrooms have released their juices and the liquid has evaporated, about 6 minuted. Add the flour and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add the broth, stirring constantlyand scraping up any coagulated bits that may have adhered to the sides and bottom of the pan. Bring to simmer and add the cream. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 12 minutes or until sauce has reduced to 3 1/2 cups. Season with 1/2 tsp pepper and salt to taste.

To assemble: Add green beans to cream sauce and gently toss until evenly coasted. Spread evenly across skillet or if using a baking dish, turn contents into baking dish and spread. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb topping and baking in the lower third of the oven until the topping has become golden brown and the sauce is bubbling around the edges. Serve immediately.