Friday, December 30, 2011

Hottest Drink your New Year can't do without..

Welcome once again to another fantastically entertaining episode of Coffee Chronicles with the Java Joe Mamas.  As promised, we saved the best drink recipe for last and it couldn't be more perfect for your New Years Eve celebration. Because really, who doesn't want hot dick for New Years?  It obviously needs no further introduction so enjoy!

Hot Dick
·      2 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
·      2 oz Grand Marnier
·      4 oz hot Espresso
·      Whipped Cream
Pour Bailey's and Grand Marnier into mug, and then add espresso (hot off the machine). Top with whipped cream.

This drink was by far the hit of the coffee party not only because of the name but it was also pretty tasty and the flavors blended better than I imagined they would.  Here is the reaction from the peanut gallery aka my friends @JAG_III his wife and my husband...

Keep in mind it was also the last (we always save the best for last) of the drinks we tried which were featured all December long on Coffee Chronicles.  This month flew by like a flash - it's hard to believe we will be starting a new year let alone a new month..

Speaking of saving the best for last, you will be really glad you showed up today because we have another fun giveaway since it's the last Friday of the year!!  TWO Dunkin Donuts gift cards!


  • Leave a comment below with your coffee question for us to answer in the coming weeks.
  • Follow  @coffeeluvinmom and @therobotmommy (or leave a comment that you already do!)
Please leave separate comments for each entry.  
Two lucky winners will receive a Dunkin Donuts gift card in the amount of $17. (they were sent to me with $2 on each) The contest will end Friday January 6 at midnight, the winners will be contacted by email and announced.  You can enter multiple times daily.  Please include your email so we can contact you.

Just a little thank you for coming by each week for the love of coffee!   We really do appreciate you each week you show up here, we couldn't do this without you! Join us next week when the snark resumes in 2012! Happy New Year - enjoy your weekend!

Java Joe Mamas

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Of Christmas Present..

Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!!

Whatever you are celebrating this season, do it up good!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Chocolate Grasshopper and Homemade Kahlua

Welcome again to another edition of Coffee Chronicles! We are so happy you join us each week and Thank Coffee It's Friday! 

This week we are sharing a nice little number that will surely please your guests.  I had a couple friends come over to help sample all these drinks and this one came in second place overall.  It's got the mint chocolatey taste you will love!

Chocolate Grasshopper (cold)
1/4 cup strong coffee, cold
1/4 cup chocolate ice cream
1/2 ounces Creme de Menthe
Mix coffee, ice cream and Creme de Menthe in a blender.
Pour into wine glasses

My friend @JAG_III that I make mugs for

The texture of this drink took me by surprise because I expected it to be more like a shake and it came out smooth with a thick taste of peppermint patty - yumm!  Perfect for any holiday gathering!

I also got an email from Deann Barnett this week with a lovely homemade liquor that was inquired about a couple weeks ago:

Homemade Kahlua
6 cups of coffee
1 lb. brown sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla
1/2 liter vodka

Add brown sugar to hot coffee and stir well. When cool add vanilla and vodka.  Best when served cold.

I can't wait to try this - gotta stock up on vodka first!

Have a Merry Christmas from our kitchen to yours!  We hope you will let us know if you try any of the drinks we are featuring this month.  You will definitely want to join us next week when we feature the drink that was the ultimate favorite - it's called a Hot Dick!  Not even kidding, and yes we will remind you not to forget!  We saved the best for last ...

Keep your coffee questions coming in as we will get back to the regularly scheduled program after the new year.  Please leave them below in the comments or feel free to email us at :


Java Joe Mamas

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

I Don't Do Strong

This from the little girl who cried when Bert fell out of bed.

This from the little girl who bawled when Snoopy didn't come back home.

This from the little girl whose mom had to tell her Lassie wasn't on the air anymore because she would be so distraught with every episode.

This from the girl who spent half the Little House on the Prairie episodes in the bathroom because she couldn't get through an episode without crying.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmastime in a Can

Here's a sweet little short from the Girl Scout event Caroling for Cans last night. There were a ton of food donations given to a local church for a food pantry, the best part being that all the caroling was inside. I hope you enjoy as much as I did..the girls did great! (especially considering they only practiced twice)  My daughter was nervous about being on the "big stage" at the middle school.  I think she's preparing for can tell by how much she concentrates on her singing voice - and her diva bossy side at the end..

Enjoy your weekend - I hope you get your shopping done!

Mine is about done, I still have to get my husband - who do you have left?  If you say everyone, I wish you luck!  That's usually me!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Southern Coffee Recipe Santa Would Approve!

Thank coffee it's FRIDAY!!
Welcome again to your Friday fix here at Coffee Chronicles..
We appreciate you coming by every week!

This week we bring you a great little chilled number which even though served as a cold drink, will be sure to warm you up on a cold winter night.  We think even Santa would approve, as long as you are at the end of his shift!

Southern Coffee (cold)
1/2 cup coffee, cold
2 tablespoons Southern Comfort
2 tablespoons apricot brandy
1/8 cup heavy cream
Dump everything into a blender, mix well
Pour into glass

Please don't forget, we are still taking your questions and will start answering them again with the snark you expect once the rush of the holidays are over.  In the meantime, we will provide you with some interesting and delicious drink recipes for your holiday visitors!

Join us next week for another yummy recipe that won't disappoint!

Feel free to email us if there is something you would like to see:

Have a great weekend!

Java Joe Mamas

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Of Christmas Past...

My sister and I circa 1977

My cute little dad circa 1955

My great-great grandfather circa 1904 (we're guessing)
I have the last one as my background wallpaper on my PC - I love that my family has taken so many pictures over the years.  Rediscovering them is so much fun!  Do you have any old classics?


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Molluscum Contagiousum - Do you Know of It?

If you have school age children, especially those who take part in physical extra-curricular activities or children in day care settings, this is a "common" skin condition which is also a viral infection that my daughter mysteriously contracted that says it's common but contagious. Here's the facts (credit American Academy of Dermatology) then you can hear my story and why I want you to know...

What is  molluscum contagiosum?

This skin disease is most often seen in children. People who live in a tropical climate also are more likely to get molluscum. The virus thrives in a warm, humid place. Having atopic dermatitis, the most common type of eczema, also increases the risk of getting molluscum contagiosum.

What causes molluscum contagiosum?
A virus causes molluscum.

There are 2 ways to get this virus:
  1. Touch something infected with the virus. You can get molluscum by using an infected towel. You can get it from touching infected clothing or toys. Wrestlers and gymnasts get it from touching infected mats.
  2. Have direct skin-to-skin contact. Children often get molluscum because they have lots of direct skin-to-skin contact with others. People who participate in contact sports such as wrestling get molluscum from the direct skin-to-skin contact. Teens and adults often get the virus through sexual contact.

Molluscum Contagiosum Treatment

Dermatologists often recommend treatment for molluscum contagiosum. Treatment helps to prevent the virus from:
  • Spreading to other parts of your body.
  • Spreading to other people.
  • Growing out of control in people who have a weakened immune system.
  • Treatment, however, may not be best for a young child. Treatment can have unwanted side effects for a young child. And the bumps often go away without treatment.

Although the bumps often go away without treatment, most people should be treated. And people who have a weakened immune system should definitely get treatment. The bumps will not go away without treatment if a person has a weakened immune system.

There are many treatment options. The treatment your dermatologist prescribes will depend on your age, health, where the bumps appear on your body, and other considerations. 

Treatments that a dermatologist can perform in the office to treat molluscum contagiosum include:
  • Cryosurgery: The dermatologist freezes the bumps with liquid nitrogen.
  • Curettage: The dermatologist may use a small tool called a curette to scrape the bumps from the skin.
  • Laser surgery: A dermatologist uses a laser to target and destroy the bumps. This can be an effective treatment for people who have a weakened immune system.
  • Topical (applied to the skin) therapy: Your dermatologist can apply various acids and blistering solutions to destroy the bumps. These work by destroying the top layers of the skin. Tricholoracetic acid is often used to treat people who have a weak immune system and many bumps. 
    Our story starts back at the end of school year last year when we thought she had acne.  I know at the age of seven acne is not common but with the weather being warm and them being nestled on her neck where the sweat gathers, I treated it with an acne medicine that also had tea tree oil in it and they seemed to be going away.  I decided to get some good old Stridex pads like I used back in the day and they blew UP!  Which is when I took her to the dermatologist who told me it's this Molluscum Contagiousum which is common and that it could take up to a year to go away completely. (A year?!?) It was made out to be no big deal, had to run it's course, and her immune system had to be built up to fight it off.  Nobody else in the family has it including my son who will be 10 or my niece who is the same age as my daughter.  They all swam together over the summer and the girls change and exchange clothes eleventy billion times when they are together.

    A topical medication was prescribed obviously given her age I wasn't about to let them burn or cut them off. The cream burned her neck too badly to continue after a week - she had a large scab in place of one of the bumps that I'm surprised didn't leave a scar.  I decided to go back to the tea tree oil being all natural and it has been working.  She still has breakouts which was to be expected (a year, remember?) which brought her to the nurse's office yesterday and a frantic phone call to me about needing a doctor note so my child could come back to school and why wasn't it in her record?  To me, this is like putting on the record that she has herpes because she gets cold sores.  Who wants that advertised?  I was actually on the fence about it because as a parent, I would have liked to have known who it was that my daughter contracted this from.  Maybe if they had it on their record...

    Anyhow, I spent the rest of the afternoon on the phone between the school and the doctor's office which if you know about my phone skills or lack thereof...let's just say I was not a happy camper.  

    I gave the nurse the name to look up being that she's never heard of this "common" skin condition.  The elementary school nurse you would think should have a clue about this condition that's so common among children right?

    I left a message with the doctor's office who called back to say they want to see her again being that it's been a few months so I will be visiting both offices this morning to get things straightened out.

    Who knows, maybe the school nurse will be out of frantic mode or maybe the doctor will give us a different diagnosis altogether.

    Please tell me what you would do or would have done about this situation.  I know the doctor will be trying to talk me back into the prescription medication which I am against - this to me is a bigger issue than the school nurse needing a little education or acting like this would be a school epidemic.  

    So tell me, what would you do?

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    The Banana Bread that Broke My Oven

    So often times when we buy bananas there are at least a couple out of the bunch that start to brown. Now even though I don't bake, this being my grandmother's recipe is one that I have actually used more than a handful of time unlike most of the others I've tried only once or twice.  It is a simple recipe if I've tried it more than once, trust me.  I'm not big on bananas but this bread goes faster than hotcakes when we go to visit her which is why she always had some extra on hand in the freezer.  I can never get it quite the way she can do it but this time it turned into something different entirely...

    My Grandma's 
    Banana Bread Recipe: 
    Pre-heat oven to 350
    2 eggs
    2 Tsp sour cream
    3/4 Tsp baking soda
    1/2 Tsp Salt
    3 ripe bananas
    2c Flour
    1c Sugar
    1/2 c Crisco
    Pour into bread pan and bake for one hour.

    I set the oven on 350 while I put the ingredients together but when it came time to put it in the oven, the bugger was still cold...not even warm at all and certainly not the 350 I set it at.  I swore a little in my head and went to tell  my husband who kindly told me to "Try it again, will ya?" 

    Now I know most times it is operator error and I'm no oven expert but pre-heating an oven couldn't be done wrong could it?  Of course I took the manly advice and turned it off and back on again for a 10 minute pre-heat - which of course failed the second time as well..

    By this time, my husband was the one in the kitchen swearing and trying to take the oven apart to find out what the problem was, coming to the conclusion that we probably needed a new one.  So now I have the mix all ready and no oven so I go to find out if I could freeze the stuff..I texted my mom, aunt and sister and got these responses:

    Aunt: I would call grandma on this one..
    Mom: I don't know, you better call uncle Bob.
    I don't think my sister even responded - if she had it probably would have been some smart remark about me actually baking something..

    Which is why I also put the question to twitter and got huge responses about NOT freezing it and making pancakes out of it instead.  So I give you twitter inspired Banana Pancakes!  They were a bit dense for pancakes but the kids loved them..

    They might have made better pancakes if I thinned them out a bit with milk but I didn't want to start adding stuff only to have to throw it away.  Thick pancakes are better than no pancakes!

    So now I have a broken oven until after the holidays unless Santa decides to surprise me..this the first year I had an itch to actually bake some stuff for a change.  Let's just say I won't be entirely lost without it for a few weeks and yet I still find myself buying stuff like cornbread and cake mixes forgetting that it doesn't work.

    What recipe have you tried that ended up something other than what it was supposed to be?  Forgotten an ingredient or decided it wasn't necessary because you didn't have it?  I know you have...I want to hear about it!

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Saturday Shorts - The Boy Can Play

    This is from a recent Boyscout meeting - he was meeting his musical objective and did 4 songs, Jingle Bells being the only with both hands.  This is one of the reasons there is music in our house every single day..I love it that way!

    It was asked if he take requests - someone suggested Beethoven's 5th Symphony.  His response, "I don't know that Beethoven but I know this one.." , then he busted out the first page of Fur Elise by memory.  Melody only but still he has great responses..

    Happy Weekend!

    Friday, December 9, 2011

    Coffee Float

    Welcome to another fine edition of Coffee Chronicles where we break down the low down on your coffee inquiries and Thank Coffee It's Friday each week!  We enjoy your company as we hash out your questions and pull a little magic out of our sleeve like we are this month with the recipes.  You never know what other surprises we might pull out..

    This week, I made the recipe at my house and it was a big hit!  The kids insisted on ice cream (we used vanilla) one of the last times we went shopping so we had all the ingredients - we used root beer instead of coke and the kids portions were more soda than coffee.  It turned out to be a very easy and fun dessert!  


    Coffee Float (cold)
    3/4 cup strong coffee
    1/2 teaspoons sugar
    1/4 cup cream
    1 scoop of coffee flavored ice cream
    250 ml Coca Cola

    Sweeten coffee with sugar, and chill
    Mix coffee and cream
    Fill 4 glasses half full

     Add one scoop of ice cream to each glass

    Top with Coke

    So there you have a simple crowd pleaser that can only be outdone with whipped cream and sprinkles - one of which my husband added to it, not to try and outdo me or anything...

    Join us again next week where we give you more heated (in more ways than one) recipes that will be sure to keep you warm during these cold winter evenings..

    Is there a coffee recipe you would like to see?
    Do you have a burning coffee question you would like us to answer?

    Please keep your coffee questions rolling in by leaving them in a comment here or emailing one of us at:

    Enjoy your weekend and remember to Respect the Cup!

    Java Joe Mamas

    Monday, December 5, 2011

    Memories Captured

    My son has his first holiday concert this week for a singing group he actually had to try out for.  For this concert and their town tour, he needed to have black pants that weren't jeans and black shoes to go with the Nifty Notes logo shirt. I decided that this was going to be Dad's job - I think he did pretty well for someone who was very reluctant..

    He's pretty serious
    He loves this musical outlet and brings songs home some of which he can play on the piano.  He's really big into Legos and making origami Star Wars guys including Darth Paper.  He is a good Boy Scout, he's our recycler and I'm pretty sure he's the best person he knows..

    My daughter on the other hand is much less serious and loves to make silly faces most of the time. She has been doing it so much lately that I have told her to stop before her face gets stuck that way...and she has to grow into her big girl teeth. She sings a lot but only tries to carry a tune - she seems more about the cartwheels anyway so maybe that's a good thing.  She's a good Girl Scout and gymnast who would try to have her own web show if she could work it all..

    Linking up with Memories Captured with Alison and Galit.

    Friday, December 2, 2011

    Coffee Recipe and Mug Winner #ThankCoffeeitsFriday

    Welcome again to Coffee Chronicles where we Thank Coffee it's Friday and give you the down low on the coffee fun.  For the month of December, each Friday we will be bringing you some coffee recipes we think will keep you warm during this chilly month.  We decided to start with this hot number:

    Irish Coffee (hot)
    1 shot of Irish Whiskey
    1 teaspoon of sugar
    1 heaped desert spoon of whipped cream
    Hot strong coffee to fill the glass
    Add the whiskey.
    Add the sugar and stir in the coffee.
    Float the whipped cream on top, but do not stir.
    Drink it up! YUMMY!

    Lastly, the WINNER of the Coffee Whore Mug contest was Jennifer of Just Jennifer!  Congratulations to Jennifer and thanks to all who entered!

    Don't forget to join us each week in December for a hot holiday recipe you will be sure and enjoy.  If you have a specific recipe you would like to hear about, please be sure and let us know.  Also keep those coffee questions coming in, we will resume answering those the first of the year!  Thanks as always for joining us every week!!

    You can contact us for recipe requests or questions below or feel free to email either of us at:
    Enjoy your weekend!!


    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    I Have Been Diagnosed with a PITA

    I could not make this story up if I tried...well maybe I could but it's true..

    Sometime in late September I started having pain in my lower back which I reluctantly went to the doctor for who gave me a prescription to basically go away, which is exactly why I'm always so reluctant to go to the doctor.  That one week of meds didn't help so I went back, and an X-ray was ordered which determined that there were no bulging discs and the space between my vertebrates looked normal. So the doctor changed the meds, giving me an actual entire month's supply this time, and also prescribed physical therapy which I started today.  

    I went in to talk to the physical therapist describing my pain as feeling like a Barbie whose leg wasn't quite connected right - you know how she gets when her leg falls off and you can't quite get it back in the way it's supposed to be - that's how low the pain is...almost in the hip but not quite...

    Upon feeling me out (literally) and determining that it wasn't really the lower back or the hip joint itself, it wasn't a sciatic nerve or bursitis - between cheek rubs he said, and I quote:

    "This is what we lovingly refer to as a plain old PITA."

    I started laughing.

    "Oh you know what a PITA is huh?"

    "Well I do have a husband and two kids.."

    Best. Diagnosis. Ever!  I couldn't be more proud!

    Who knew that a PITA was an actual diagnosis?  

    Saturday, November 26, 2011

    Parade of Lights

    Our black Friday was all lit up with our local Parade of Lights led by the Grinch and included a group dressed up like KISS that went by wishing everyone a Merry KISSmas!  Since we moved here, we go every year, my sister and her family come down for the fun. Here are some of the highlights that came out on the camera.  The decorated horses are always my favorite..

    Some of the floats took you away because they didn't look like something sitting on the back of a truck..

    This would go quite nicely in my yard!!

    My son was reluctantly in the parade with his Boy Scout troop this year.  He's normally all about the candy so we had to convince him there wouldn't be much thrown out being that the parade was at night. As they passed, they invited my daughter and my niece to jump on their float - what a great way to kick off the season!  Sorry I didn't get a decent picture of the KISS people but they did give away commemorative cards.  The parade is usually what gets me going for Christmas so we are decorating the inside today with Chipmunk and Elvis music.  

    How do you kick your Christmas season off?  Are there certain traditions you do the same each year like music or cookies?

    Enjoy your weekend!!