Category Archives: Recipes

Recipes from The Zen of Making

Recipe: Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee

Recipe: Mason Jar Cold Brew Coffee | The Zen of Making

Cold brew coffee is my dirty little morning secret: It’s easy, it’s strong, it’s versatile, and it’s a whole lot smoother and less acidic than hot brewing methods. In short, served hot or cold, it makes a damn fine cup of joe with no fancy equipment needed. (Plus, cold brew concentrate is way, way stronger than regular coffee.) Intrigued? Give it a try!

This recipe will make about 2 cups of coffee concentrate, which, depending on how strong you like your coffee, will be enough for 2 to 4 drinks.

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Recipe: Awesome Vegan Alfredo Sauce

Recipe: Awesome Vegan Alfredo Sauce | The Zen of Making

I don’t generally post about food, but after receiving tons of requests on Facebook and Twitter, I’ve finally decided to share my recipe for vegan alfredo sauce! (I hope you’re hungry!)

Skeptical about vegan alfredo? Don’t be. I’d serve this recipe to my meat-and-potatoes-eating Midwestern family any day. It’s also tasty on its own, with bread, or spread on crackers. Even better: it only takes a few minutes to make!

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Tutorial: Cold Brew Coffee with Reusable Coffee Bag for CRAFT

My cold brew coffee recipe—complete with reusable coffee bag tutorial—is now up on CRAFT: Project: Cold Brew Coffee with Reusable Coffee Bag

Go take a look. You can thank me in the morning!


Project: Cold Brew Coffee with Reusable Coffee Bag

From the moment I saw this recipe in the New York Times, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with cold brew coffee. Not only is cold brew delicious and easy, it doesn’t require electricity or any special equipment, so you can make it just about anywhere—even when you’re camping or traveling!

I’ve spent a lot of time streamlining the process and perfecting my brew, so I’m really excited to pass my morning coffee routine along to you. In this tutorial, I’ll show you how to make your own reusable drawstring coffee bag, then I’ll walk you through the cold brew basics. When we’re done, you’ll be ready to make a fresh cuppa joe just about anywhere.

Step 1: Wash and dry the muslin thoroughly, then press with an iron to remove any wrinkles. Cut one 4" x 6" rectangle.

To begin, tape the wax paper to your workspace (just the corners will do), then use your ruler and a permanent marker to draw a 4½” x 3″ rectangle in the center.

Step 2: To prepare the coffee bag for sewing, fold and press the fabric as shown above.

a. Fold both 16" sides toward the center ¼", then press in place with an iron.

b. With the sides still folded from step a, fold both 4" edges toward the center ¼", then press the crease



Ready to make your own? Head over to CRAFT to see the full tutorial!



Tutorial: Make Your Own Vanilla Extract

Store-bought vanilla can get pretty fancy, but absolutely nothing compares to the real thing. Homemade vanilla extract makes for a perfect handmade gift, and with Mother’s Day right around the corner, now is the perfect time to whip some up!

Take my advice and get enough supplies for two batches—after you make one for mom, I guarantee that you’ll want one too!

Supplies:
* Mason jar, 8oz size with tight-fitting lid
* Vodka, 1 cup (Buy the cheap stuff; it won’t make a difference!)
* 3 vanilla beans
* Painting supplies to decorate jar (optional)

Tools:
* Kitchen scissors
* Measuring cup

**Please note that the links provided above are affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you choose to make a purchase after clicking through.**

Step 1
Using kitchen scissors, snip 3 vanilla beans in half length-wise, then place them in a clean mason jar.

Tip: I bought my vanilla beans in bulk from a local Middle Eastern grocery store for a fraction of the price I’d have paid at Whole Foods or my neighborhood natural market. Vanilla beans can be very expensive, so shop around a bit before you buy!

Step 2
Measure 1 cup of vodka, then add it to the jar with the vanilla beans.

Step 3
Secure the lid firmly on the jar, then store in a dark cool place for at least one month (2 months or more is better), shaking the jar periodically to mix. As the infusing process progresses, the color of the liquid change from clear to a deep, rich brown.

Step 4
If you’re planning to give the jars as gifts, you can give them an extra-homey feel by labeling them with acrylic paints.

The best part about making your own vanilla extract: As the jar empties, you can top it off with more vodka. The vanilla beans will continue to infuse for years to come!