Oct 8, 2010

IHCC Welcomes Giada

So I'm doing it.  I'm finally joining I Heart Cooking Clubs. 

I've been reading since they were Tyler Florence Fridays.  That's, what? A year and a half of saying to myself, "I should do this."  But that would mean more than 1 blog post per week.

I've been at this for 2 years now (today!) and I'm still n
ot the kind of blogger who can simply fire off a post and be done with it.  Oh no.  Last I checked, my name tag said:
Hello. My Name is
Worry Wart

Rough drafts--especially multiple ones--are my friends.  I tend to write something, think on it for a day or so, go back, make changes, think again.  It takes me almost a week to get a post done. 

I'd sure suck at Twitter.  (That's assuming what I think Twitter is all about is, in fact, what goes on over there.)

In fairness to me, because I think I darn well deserve some, sometimes my posts lead me to research food history/origins.  I'm (usually) not blowing smoke, people!  Often, they lead to childhood memories.  And those derail whatever train of thought I'm riding.

This week's IHCC theme is Benvenuto Giada!  Party Foods!  Joining IHCC means I'll need a shot of something to prepare me and get me going.  That's one reason my Giada welcome party will have:
Spiced Americano w/ Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Another reason for choosing coffee is because of how I react to parties.  Coffee is the perfect way to go.

At the first mention of throwing a party I suck in my breath.  I start to think about all the things that need to be done.  I don't want my guests to sit on a couch that smells like sweaty boy.  Don't want them to see the dead June bug in the light fixture or the empty wine bottle(s) on the counter (which sit there not because it's an art piece titled "Ode to College" but because we liked them and I need to one day, some day write the info down). 

Definitely don't want guests balancing plates on the pile of mail and school papers that never end.  I'll need to make sure The Boy gets his belt off the bathroom doorknob (because he thinks that's as good a place as any) and put it in his room.  And I'd just die if people knew that unless company's comin', I leave the spiders and their webs in the ceiling corners on purpose because they help get rid of mosquitoes. Oh and I should sweep off the deck in case we end up out there.  Now that I think of it, the lawn looks a little shabby and I should also fill in the hole the dog dug. 

Planning the food is even worse when your name is Worry Wart.  What do they expect?  Some authentic Cajun dish?  Or is that too obvious?  Something fancy?  Something healthy?  Decadent?  Is anyone allergic to seafood?  Does anyone not like seafood?  What if it's too spicy?  What if I make something less spicy than we'd normally eat in case my guests can't handle it, but they came into the deal expecting spicy food?  Will they think I'm a wuss?

There's so many things that need to be done.  When it' party time, I'm totally wiped out.  A nice coffee jolt is really what I need to start the party!

But what if my guests are into decaf?

All this party planning has me stressed out.  I need to sit down and relax.  That's what Giada always does.  Maybe take a few deep, cleansing breaths.  In...and out.  In...and out.  Just like Giada...

Ahhh, that's better.  Isn't it?

I may not have Giada's, ummm...assets, but my coffee has dark chocolate sprinkles.

The Husband and I both liked Giada's Spiced Americano w/ Cinnamon Whipped Cream. The spiced simple syrup smelled great and very fall-like while simmering. Will definitely make again.

Linked to:
Cookbook Sundays @ Brenda's Canadian Kitchen

Spiced Americano w/ Cinnamon Whipped Cream
from Giada's Kitchen: New Italian Favorites by Giada De Laurentiis

1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup boiling water
1 cup brewed espresso
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp confectioner's sugar

In a small saucepan, combine the granulated sugar and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium heat and reduce the heat to low. Add allspice, cinnamon, ginger, and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved. Take the pan off the heat and set aside.

In a heat-proof pitcher or measuring cup, add the boiling water to the espresso, then divide among four 6-8 oz cups. Add 2 tbsp of the spiced syrup to each cup and stir to combine.

Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Add the confectioner's sugar and continue to beat until stiff. Top each cup of espresso with a dollop of whipped cream. Dust with cinnamon and serve.
4 servings

* Also sprinkled shaved dark chocolate over the top.


  1. Michelle- I'm in a fit of laughter over here. First of all the pic of you holding your coffee with the purple shirt is so fitting for an introduction to Giada! I chuckled because I instantly pictured your husband trying to get just the right angle for the picture. (LOL) I bet that was a fun photo session!

    I'm so glad that you're joining us for IHCC. It's going to be so fun to read your posts and see which recipes you choose.

    I love the spicy Americano with the cinnamon whipped cream. Between the caffeine fix and the chocolate I would be a very happy party girl!

  2. Loved your post!! Too funny and that picture cracks me up. ;-) I am so glad you are joining us at IHCC--I am sure you will find we are a casual, laid-back bunch.

    As for the Americano you can't go wrong with coffee and cinnamon and of course dark chocolate sprinkles!

  3. That's a great post - I related to you on so many levels it scared me!! Love the coffee too.
    Sue :-)

  4. I am not a coffee drinker, so I haven't considered making this one, but seeing yours, I am thinking my husband and son would love to try this...thanks for choosing it and blogging about it. Great photo of it.

  5. Wonderful post!
    I love the spiced coffee, perfect for this time of year, and the "Giada shot"! ☺

  6. Still can't stop laughing. Just got my post up for IHCC and I mentioned something along the same line as you did. This expresso is going in my try file now. Sounds perfect for autumn/fall.

  7. Ciao ! This Americano sounds like a magic wand !!

  8. ha ha ha ha!! This sounds awesome...I almost made it this week, too. Wonderful choice :D

  9. Sounds great! I love the post, very funny! I know what you mean about not being able to just shoot off a post without giving it thought. If I do, it turns out pretty boring.

    Hey, we all can't be Giada!

  10. wow that coffee must be really, really sweet! I like my espresso plain with a tiny amount of sugar :) Can't live without the stuff.


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