Vanilla Coffee Creamer

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I love coffee in the morning. In our home, my husband is the one who gets up first and goes straight into the kitchen to grind fresh coffee beans, boil some water, and brew coffee in our French press. I love the smell that slowly makes its way into our bedroom, coaxing me to get up and embrace the day. I love sitting in a comfy chair by the floor to ceiling window in our living room and taking some time to sip my coffee and set my heart on Heaven as the day begins.

I want to be a black coffee drinker, but I’m just not. Even after working at a high end coffee shop for almost a year, I could never give up the creaminess of coffee. I’m long past the days of hydrogenated soy bean oil creamer (yuck!) but I do still enjoy the “natural” versions that have lots of sugar. That’s why I’m excited about this homemade kind, and will never go back!

Sweetened with maple syrup and honey, this creamer is delicious, cheap and easy to make. I’m never going back!

Vanilla Coffee Creamer

Notes:
*if this isn’t quite sweet enough for you, add more maple syrup
*if you’re looking for a dairy free version, this recipe was adapted from Against All Grain-her’s is dairy free!

Ingredients:
2 cups half and half
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

To make:
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil then turn heat to low immediately. Allow to simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Store in a jar in the refrigerator. Shake well before using each time.

Enjoy!
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Zesty Lime+Chipotle+Cilantro Vinaigrette

My mom always made homemade salad dressing. Her caesar dressing is absolutely delicious! She made it all the time when we were younger and when it was my job to make the caesar salad I added tons of dressing and tons of parmesan cheese with a little bit of lettuce. I’ve never been able to find a bottled dressing that tastes as good as homemade plus it is so much cheaper to make your own.

Ok, so on to the salad dressing for today. Guys, I really don’t think I’m exaggerating. This truly is the best salad dressing I’ve ever tasted. I discovered Lime-Cilantro Vinaigrette (is that really how you spell that word??) during the summer at a wonderful blog called Our Best Bites which has tons of great recipes. But don’t head over their quite yet as I want to show you a little spin I put on the dressing: I added a bit of chipotle in adobo sauce and OH MY GRACIOUS. Y’all, this is the tastiest salad dressing I’ve ever had! Zesty is the best word to describe it. Full of flavor but not rich or heavy. Tangy. Refreshing. Drinkable. Also it’s great as a chicken or vegetable marinade, a sauce for enchiladas, mixed with some black beans and guacamole, really anything. I even somewhat randomly poured it over a salad of spinach, roasted butternut squash and parmesan cheese. I could literally drink this stuff!

Just look at how lovely and green it is!

I recommend making this as soon as you can because it will add a zesty kick to whatever you choose to put it on.

Enjoy!

Lime+Cilantro+Chipotle Vinaigrette 

You need: 

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2-3 juicy limes)

2 tablespoons cup white wine vinegar

4-5 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup canola oil

1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro, stems removed

1 chipotle pepper-seeds removed + 1 teaspoon adobo sauce (add seeds or another half chipotle for more heat)

To make: 

In the jar of your blender, combine the lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, sugar, and chipotle with adobo sauce. Blend on high until everything is combined. With the blender running, pour the oil in as a steady stream. Add cilantro and blend until the cilantro has broken down but it isn’t completely pureed–you want to see some of the texture of the cilantro leaves.
Serve over just plain greens, a salad, or use as a marinade for chicken, beef, or vegetables.