My Perfect Iced Coffee

This morning, while perusing Facebook for interesting conversations, I stumbled upon Ree Drummond’s (The Pioneer Woman) post featuring “Perfect Iced Coffee.”

I’ve thought about making iced coffee before and even found a copycat Starbucks Frappuccino recipe on-line once which I saved and promptly forgot about.

So, I decided to try my hand at it today with this really simple, really yummy, perfect for hot summer weather recipe.

Her instructions indicated to add two quarts of cold water to a pound of strong coffee and let it cold steep for eight hours or overnight, no brewing necessary. I pulled a package of coffee out of the freezer (yep, that’s where I keep it for long term storage) and began looking for a suitable container.

Here, dear readers, is where I tell my story in “real” time (in case you are wondering why the verb tense change).

As I open my vacuum sealed bag of Folgers, I see that it’s not a full pound. (Oh, yeah, we used to be able to buy one pound bags of coffee, but now the portions are noticeably smaller, all done quietly behind our backs like we wouldn’t notice! What a rip! But, that’s a different story for me to rant about another day.)

So let’s see, this package is a whopping 10 and ¾ ounces. Ok, so now I have to do some math to get my proportions right. Let’s see, first, let me round my figure down to an even 10 ounces, which is easier to calculate. So, I’ve got 10 ounces rather than 16. Ok, so 10 goes into 16 once. Er, wait, I mean 16 divided by 10 is, is, is, what?  Grrrrr, this is getting way too hard for my math challenged brain to wrap around. Oh, wait. Let’s see…

One pound of coffee is 16 ounces and two quarts of water is eight cups, which is, 16 times 8, which is 10 times 8, which is 80 and 6 times 8, which is 48, which is 128 ounces, which divided by the 16 ounces of coffee is 8! Which means what? Two ounces per cup? How did I come up with that? Sheesh!

Somehow, I think this calculation is right and I can’t make myself start over, so my 10 ounce bag will make 5 cups of future iced coffee. Right?

What? WOW! If this package of coffee will brew 90 cups of coffee (it says so on the front of the package) and I’m using the whole bag to make 5 cups of iced coffee, this stuff is going to be super strong and super expensive or I’m doing it way way wrong!

Let me go back and look at her recipe again. OMG! Pioneer Woman’s recipe does not say eight CUPS. It says eight QUARTS!

Now, I have to recalculate and my brain is already fried! Hell’s Bells, this is a nightmare! I DON’T EVEN HAVE A CONTAINER THAT WILL HOLD EIGHT QUARTS! Which is, let’s see, 16 ounces in a cup, 2 cups in a pint, 4 cups in a quart, 4 quarts in a gallon,  OMG, I need a 2 gallon container! Er, wait, not a 2 gallon container since I only have 10 ounces of coffee. Um, so, I need a 5 quart container! Right?

Yes, I know what you are thinking, but I can’t make less as I already poured the whole bag of coffee into 5 cups of water and it’s been steeping for a couple of hours already!

I can’t find a large enough suitable container, so, I will have to use my sangria urn. It holds one gallon and maybe a few more cups if I fill it to brimming. My best guess is that it is about two cups short on the required water, but it will have to do.

Transfer of the original five cups of gloppy, soppy coffee grounds to the urn was a tad problematic with some splashing and staining my favorite pink shirt and spilling onto the counter and floor.

(This is my shirt, probably permanently stained. I tried to take a picture of it while still wearing it, but that didn’t work out.)

I’m not sure how long I should wait. Since my recipe is strong on coffee and short on water, maybe I should strain it at the minimum eight hours. And, too, I don’t know if I should count the time from when I first started it at 8 a.m. or after I corrected it at 10 a.m.

Tick tock. Tick tock.

Voila! At 4 p.m., I strained the coffee, washed the sangria urn and poured the clean coffee back into it for serving and storage.

I stuffed a glass with ice, filled it a little more than half full of coffee, added a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of cream. OMG! This is good!

It is now 4:30 p.m. and I am drinking my second glass. I’m feeling a bit wired already and I’m sure will not be sleeping tonight!

The recipe is as follows:

1 pound coffee mixed with 8 quarts cold water (OR, 8 ounces coffee and 4 quarts water, OR 4 ounces coffee and 2 quarts water – see how good I am at math?)

Steep for 8 hours or overnight. Strain. Keep chilled in the refrigerator.

Fill a glass with ice, add coffee, sugar, cream – whatever floats your boat!


Tommy Fries

There’s a restaurant chain in my neck of the woods called T Bonz Gill and Grill. One location is on Market Street, right in the heart of downtown Charleston. I’ve never eaten there, although, we did stop there once for a beer.

So, when one of the guys that I used to work with brought a food concoction for his lunch several months ago and said it was a copy-cat recipe from TBonz, I didn’t have a clue. Potatoes and ranch dressing and cheese and bacon, he said. He called it “Tommy Fries,” and frankly, I thought it sounded pretty damn good.

So, later that day I proceeded to search the internet to find a recipe. I checked TBonz’s website and although, it didn’t offer a recipe, it did list something sounding ridiculously similar on its Appetizer menu: Tommy Texas Cheese Fries, made from potato wedges, ranch, jack and cheddar cheeses and applewood smoked bacon.

Further internet searching did yield a copy-cat recipe, from someone named “Bogey’sMom,” so I used it for my own variation, I call “Tommy Fries.”

This dish is a definite hit with guests who always ask me to share the recipe. And, so today, I share it with you!

Use 5 or 6 medium to large potatoes. Use any kind you like!

Add a little salt and boil until just tender. You don’t want the potatoes to fall apart when you drain them. In the meantime, start frying some bacon.

After you remove the bacon from the skillet, add the potatoes to brown. This skillet is a tad too small for all these taters!

Browning nicely!

Pour some ranch dressing into the bottom of an oven safe dish and tilt the pan to get the whole bottom of it covered in ranch creaminess. Put the potatoes on top.

Add crumbled bacon.

Add cheeses.

Broil in oven until the cheese melts.

Scrape the bottom of the dish to scoop out all the goodies.

Tommy Fries


½ bottle ranch dressing
½ pound bacon
¼  pound shredded cheddar cheese
¼ pound shredded pepper jack cheese
(sometimes, I use shredded mozzarella. That’s the thing with cheese – it’s all good)
5 or 6 potatoes
Salt and pepper


  1. Peel potatoes and cut into large cubes or wedges and boil until just soft. (You can opt to boil the potatoes with their skins on and peel after they cool, if you want, or leave the skins on!)
  2. Drain and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In the meantime, fry bacon until crisp. Crumble bacon and set aside.
  4. Brown cubed cooked potatoes in the bacon grease until nicely browned.
  5. Pour ranch dressing into the bottom of an oven safe platter.
  6. Add potatoes on top of the dressing.
  7. Add crumbled bacon and cheeses.
  8. Broil for a few minutes in the oven until cheese melts and everything is gooey.
  9. Enjoy

A little food Inspiration

I’ve gotten a little food inspiration recently on Pinterest and have decided to share a few with you.

One thing that I make now – several times a week – is No Knead Bread. Most of you know that I although I love to cook, I’m not that great of a baker. Doughs that I have to knead or roll out into pie crusts are not my cup of tea. And, my lack of having the knack for it shows in my final results, ergo, I’ve quit trying. So, when I saw a Pin of a pretty loaf of bread with a caption underneath that read, “No Knead Bread” I figured it was worth taking a look.  The instructions seemed easy enough – as a matter of fact – the author demonstrated with photos of her four-year old making a loaf, just how incredibly easy it is. How hard could this be, I wondered?

After a trip to the grocery store to buy yeast (I had a package in my cupboard that was at least 50 gazillion years old, so thought better of using it) I tried my hand at it. My first loaf, although very tasty, didn’t rise as much as the one in the photo I had seen, and I guessed it was because I used rapid-rise yeast and not instant as the recipe had called for. No store in my little town had the instant in stock, and since I don’t know that much about baking with yeasts, I guessed there wasn’t such a thing, anyway. Turns out, there is a product called instant yeast, and the trick for using rapid-rise instead is to use more in your recipe. I doubled the amount in the next loaf, and voila, it turned out perfect!

Another recipe I tried was for crack-tastic crackers.  Saltine crackers, canola oil, red pepper flakes and a packet of dry ranch dressing. Simple! I use Keebler Town House crackers since I don’t normally keep saltines in the house. These are yum to eat as snack, but I also envision making them to use for canapes for guests, too.

Another wonderfully good find is the chicken and dumplings recipe, I found recently. I already have several recipes for this dish in  my recipe book. One calls for using one of those tubular cans of biscuits for the dumplings and another calls for making a quick dough out of Bisquick and dropping by spoonfuls on top near the end of the cooking process. My recipes are okay, but not great. My new recipe for chicken and dumplings  is FANTASTIC!  This recipe calls for making dumpling noodles, requiring rolling out dough and cutting into strips. Easy! I thought I took a picture of this completed dish, but cannot find one. Trust me when I tell you mine looked just like the picture here.

And, this broccoli dish brags that it is the best broccoli ever. I agree! I can’t find my photo of this dish, so I borrowed this one from the author.

I’ve also been inspired to made pumpkin cupcakes, Thai ribs, roasted green beans, and stuffed pasta shells.  I’ve “pinned” lots of other recipes to try, too – for soups, salads, appetizers, entrees, side dishes, desserts.

It’s so much fun to try new dishes!