I really had no idea what I was going to make for my side for this week.  Then, I thought about baked beans, and thought that adding a little bit of coffee to them might turn out good.  I was right. These are really, really good. Even though they take some time in the oven, it is well worth it.

3 slices of bacon, halved
¾ of a medium onion, diced
2 jalapenos, diced
2 (15 oz) cans pork and beans
3/4 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinear
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules (I used Starbucks Via)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup beer (I used Sam Adams Oktoberfest)

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Fry the bacon in a skillet until the bacon is partially cooked and the fat renders; you want about 2-3 tablespoons of drippings.  Take the bacon out of the skillet and set it aside.  Put the onions and peppers into the skillet with the drippings and sauté them for 5 minutes.  Add the beans and the rest of the ingredients and bring everything to a simmer.  Pour the beans into a greased 9x9 baking dish and top with the bacon slices.  Bake until the beans are bubbly and thickened, about 2 hours.  Let them stand to thicken slightly before serving. 

NOTE:  I found that my bacon didn't crisp in the oven on top of the beans, and I threw it out.  It may be that I didn't cook it quite enough first, next time I'll fry it longer in the skillet.

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   The minute October rolls around, everybody goes insane about squash and pumpkins. Well, I had never tried a butternut squash, so this was an experiment for me: I figured bacon and sage would be tasty with it. But I also had to incorporate the coffee. Not bad, actually. It gave it a deeper flavor, which was nice with the bacon. Some crusty, buttered sourdough toast accompanied the meal. But get this: it tastes just as good CHILLED. Serve it as a shot with a pinch of bacon and sage!

1 small-medium butternut squash (halved, seeded and roasted)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup prepared coffee
1/2 cup half of half 8-10 slices bacon, fried and diced
1-2 tbsp ground sage
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
2 tsp salt (or to taste)

Prepare squash: roast at 400 for about 20-30 minutes until a steak knife inserted enters easily. Set aside 10 minutes to cool, then cut in bite-size chunks. Put in food processor and blend, then add broth, coffee and half of half in steady streams. If mixture is too thick, add more broth. Transfer to saucepan over medium-high heat and add bacon, sage, red pepper and salt. Do a taste test and make adjustments where necessary. Serve with your favorite buttered toast. 

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I got this idea from a title of a recipe I saw on Food and Wine’s website.  The recipe was for some sort of burger with a coffee and Worcestershire glaze.  I decided to wing it and create my own version without even reading the recipe.  My basting sauce didn’t really have the consistency of a glaze, but the end result was still good.

1-2 pounds ground beef chuck or round (depending on how many people you’re feeding)
Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper
Montreal Grill Seasoning

For the glaze:
¼ cup brewed coffee
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar

Mix the ground chuck or round with Worcestershire sauce, grill seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.  Form the mixture into patties and grill, 5-6 minutes per side.  In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the coffee, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar until hot and sugar melts, 3-4 minutes.  Baste the burgers with the glaze 2-3 times while grilling.  Top with your favorite burger toppings.  I used lettuce, onion, sautéed mushrooms, a fried green tomato slice, ketchup, and spicy brown mustard.

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I knew right away when we chose coffee as a secret ingredient that I wanted to do something with chocolate covered espresso beans.  I’ve also wanted to try homemade caramel corn for some time, and the thought of mixing the two just sounded too good not to try.  Since I’ve never made caramel corn, I searched the web, and found several recipes. I tweaked some things in one of the recipes that I found, and it turned out great.  The combination of the caramel and the coffee beans is really, really good. Make it tonight!


Canola oil
1/3 cup unpopped popcorn (I got about 8 cups popped from this)
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup pure maple syrup
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate covered espresso beans (I used a mix of dark, milk, and white chocolate)
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  First, you’ll need to pop your popcorn.  Get a
really large lidded pot (if it has a glass lid it’s even better) and put about 1/8-inch of canola oil into it.  Heat the oil over medium-high heat.  When one kernel dropped in pops, the oil is ready; pour in the popcorn in a single layer and put the lid on.  Shake the pot back and forth while the popcorn pops.  Once the kernels stop popping vigorously, take it off the heat. When the popcorn has completely stopped popping, pour it out onto the baking sheet.  Measure out the baking soda and vanilla and set aside (they need to be ready to add immediately during the caramel making process).
In a medium saucepan, add the brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, salt, and water and heat, stirring occasionally, over medium-high heat. Simmer the caramel mixture, stirring often, until it reaches 250 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Take the pan off the heat, and immediately whisk in the baking soda and vanilla.  Then pour the caramel over the popcorn and stir to coat with a rubber spatula, making sure that the popcorn ends up in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake the popcorn at 250 degrees for an hour, stirring it around every 20 minutes.  If you want, sprinkle some extra kosher salt on it while it's still hot; the combination of salty and sweet is fantastic.  Let it cool completely, then mix in the chocolate covered espresso beans.  Store in an airtight container.

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   When thinking about what to do with coffee for a main dish, I immediately knew I would use beef. I considered a coffee rub, but I was scared the flavor would be too strong. So I opted for a marinade, searched the internet, and found one on Allrecipes.com. I made a couple tweaks, and it was juicy and delicious! My husband, the steak connoisseur, admitted it was a pretty good taste.     
   FYI: This MUST be a multi-hour marinade. Eight to 24 hours is ideal. 
   Try it this weekend!

2 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp hot sauce (I used Tabasco)
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 
2 lbs top sirloin steak

Saute sesame seed, onion and garlic in butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. In a Ziplock bag, combine coffee, soy sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire, sesame mixture and steak. Marinate 8-24 hours. Best when grilled medium or medium-rare.

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   Hello, and welcome to COFFEE WEEK! There really wasn't much forethought to this dessert. At first I considered a Cappuccino Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream, but I had other ingredients in the cabinet screaming at me to be used, and I had what could be my version of Hello Dolly Bars, so the Hello Coffee Bars were born. Instead of condensed milk, I used whipping cream and sugar and incorporated the coffee. I am also venturing into Gluten-free cooking, so this recipe also experimented with that. These were rich, gooey, and goooood!
--- Jenny

3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup prepared coffee or espresso
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 cups almond flour (Or you can use graham cracker crumbs)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoon prepared coffee
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate morsels
3/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Line a 9x13 baking sheet with parchment paper. In a saucepan, bring cream, coffee, sugar and cinnamon to a boil, stirring to dissolve all sugar. Once boiling, lower heat to medium and stir another five minutes. Allow to cool a bit. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine flour, butter and coffee and mash (but not too firmly) into baking sheet. Sprinkle chocolate chips, coconut and almonds evenly over flour mixture. Pour coffee mixture evenly over the whole baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Let cool, and freeze before serving.

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