Tag Archives: food

Sweet and Silky Coffee Creamer

14 Jan

Yes, I made coffee creamer and put it in tea. :)

Yes, I made coffee creamer and put it in tea. 🙂

Sweet and Silky Coffee Creamer


I know, I know. This is the third post about food in a blog of about five or six posts, which is surprisingly not a food blog. Truthfully, I do more than eat all the time. Granted, it may not be much more…but still. I guess when I get busy with “life,” one thing I can still count on myself to do is create new/delicious culinary experiences.


Alas, at least this post is in regard to beverages. That’s almost not a food. Right….right?




Oh well. It’s already done.


This week I have 5 am training for a new initiative at work. That means that, not only do I have to get up bright and early at o’dark thirty to get ready, I also have to be functioning and cognitive while I complete my 10-hour shift. In a classroom. Where it’s warm. And conditions just happen to be perfect for napping.

When I finish at work, I drive an hour and a half and sit in a new classroom. On campus. From 5:30 until 9:45. Where it is also warm, and conditions are similarly suited for napping.


Oh, it is such a perilous combination.


But since I love my job and I want to keep it forever, it is really in my best interest to stay awake and absorb all that knowledge coming my way. And I should probably stay awake for school too.


My plan? Coffee. Not that it’s a highly original plan. But it’s what goes in the coffee that makes it special. The secret ingredient is delicious, homemade, sweet and silky coffee creamer.


This is the basic recipe that I used…


Homemade Coffee Creamer


1 small can sweet and condensed milk

1 ½ cups milk (use non fat if desired)

1tbsp Vanilla extract, or extract of your choice


Just put all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together. Then keep the contents refrigerated.



Isn’t that easy?


Now, because I am not capable of following such a simple recipe without giving it my own twist, I switched up the extracts a little. And I loved it. Instead of using just vanilla, I cut back a little and added a touch of almond extract and just a bit more than that of cardamom extract. (FYI, cardamom is ridiculously expensive. Unless you go to the Indian market up I-35 where I buy it. Then it’s suspiciously cheap. And still tasty. I don’t know why and honestly I’m happy not knowing.)


I sincerely hope this stuff gets me through the week. I am ready to learn in a no-doze-zone!


Does anybody else out there have a good recipe for homemade coffee creamer that they’d like to share? Or stay-awake-secrets? Or really cool places like the Indian market where they get expensive goods for pennies on the dollar? Let me know, I’d love to try them!



Ellsworth Tater Tot Casserole

13 Jan


From the kitchen of Karen Ellsworth

Tonight, we made this for dinner. And it was fantastic, as usual.

To think, I dated Nathan Ellsworth for nearly three years before I finally tried this tasty dish. So many wasted dinner opportunities.

I grew up a little food spoiled, I think. Frozen foods definitely weren’t my thing and my parents never expected me to eat anything I didn’t like as long as I tried it first. So when Nathan would periodically suggested tater tot casserole for dinner, I would sort of brush him off the same way I do when my mom wants to cook frozen pizza again (I hate Red Baron! I will never convert. Ughhhhhhh.)

Anyway, a little over a year ago, when Nathan’s parents were down visiting us from Iowa, Nathan’s mom, Karen, offered to make us something we would enjoy for dinner. Needless to say, tater tot casserole was nominated and I am so glad that it was!

I think it’s the special way that Karen bakes the tater tots before they actually go on the casserole that makes it so delicious. Or maybe it’s the copious amount of cheese. Either way, I knew a good thing when I tasted it.

Below is the recipe as Nathan and I make it now. Tater tot casserole is a beautiful, evolving thing, and  this may be slightly different from the one that Karen originally wrote down for me. Regardless, it is homage to the classic, and definitely  hits the spot.

Now, when Nathan suggests tater tot casserole night, I am as excited as he is! We even scarf down the re-heated leftovers. 🙂

Ellsworth Tater Tot Casserole


1 lb. ground beef

1 small onion (chopped)

1 (10 ½ ounce) can cream of mushroom soup

½ cup milk

1 teaspoon pepper

garlic powder to taste

18 ounces tater tots (1/2 of a bag)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pre-cook tater tots for 5-10 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef and onion. Cook until the ground beef has browned.
  4. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
  5. Lightly grease a casserole dish. Add soup, milk, pepper and garlic powder. Add the ground beef mixture and mix well.
  6. Top with tater tots.
Cover and place into the oven.
  8. Bake covered for 40 minutes.
  9. After 40 minutes uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes (or until bubbly and the cheese browned.)

Mmmm, mmmm, MMMMMM!

Does anyone else have any family favorite recipes that they would like to share? I love collecting old family and community cookbooks and trying the things inside them. Don’t be shy folks, share the vittles!