Fall For Our “Special” Coffee Recipes



When I was 12 years old, my Grandma began taking me for dinner at Savalas, a local restaurant that became “our restaurant.” She would pick me up, leaving my parents and siblings behind in a cloud of dust as we headed off into the sunset for our night out. She told my family that my love of escargot was the reason she took just me, but I know it was because I was her second-born favorite (my older cousin holds the title of firstborn favorite.) We’d arrive at Savalas and she’d ask for a corner table. I don’t even know if I truly liked escargot in the beginning but I ate it like a champ just to spend that special time with my Grandma and, over the years, I grew to love the taste of those slimy little buggers. Grandma would order wine and I’d have a Pepsi. From our first dinner date at Savalas to our last, she’d sneak me sips of wine throughout our dinner. Every dinner was the same: we’d share an order of escargot, have dinner and then Grandma would order 2 “special” coffees. Each dinner featured a different type of coffee. Monte Cristo, Irish, Bavarian or Spanish. After the waitress delivered the coffees and walked away, my Grandma would slide one over for me to drink. Apparently, the liquor laws were either a little more lax back then and they didn’t give a shit or my Grandma knew the best corner table to sit at to avoid detection. Fall always reminds me of those moments and nothing warms you up from the inside out better than a hot liqueur coffee.


*When we made our “special” coffee at home, my Grandma told me to warm up the Irish coffee glass/mug before filling it with the ingredients to keep it warm longer.

  • Boil a kettle and fill the Irish coffee glass with boiling water while you get everything ready


  • Fill the Irish coffee glass with water and heat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes while you get everything ready.
  • Do not use chilled liqueurs as this will also bring down the temperature of the drink.

*For years we’ve used freshly ground coffee beans to make our coffee. I hate when my highly anticipated first cup of morning coffee looks and tastes like I’m drinking watered down cream with a little bit of coffee flavor. Good quality medium to dark roast freshly ground coffee beans that are brewed thick and rich is what we use – especially for our “special” coffee.


Spanish Coffee

  • 1⁄2 oz Tia Maria coffee liqueur
  • 1⁄2 oz Bacardi Rum
  • 6 oz thick & rich hot coffee
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherry
  1. Pour the liqueurs into a warmed Irish coffee glass
  2. Add the hot coffee
  3. Top with whipped cream and a cherry

monte cristo

Monte Cristo Coffee

  • Lemon juice
  • Sugar
  • 1 oz Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier liqueur
  • 6 oz thick & rich hot coffee
  • Whipped cream
  • Maraschino cherry
  1. After warming the Irish coffee glass, moisten the rim with lemon juice and dip it into the sugar
  2. Pour the liqueurs into the glass
  3. Add coffee
  4. Top with whipped cream and a cherry


Irish Cream Coffee

  • 4 oz thick & rich hot coffee
  • 1 1/2 oz ​Irish whiskey
  • 2 tsp ​brown sugar
  • 1 oz lightly whipped ​whipping cream – use a whip or fork and vigorously whip the cream until it’s light and fluffy
  1. Pour the sugar into a warmed Irish coffee glass
  2. Add the coffee
  3. Stir until dissolved
  4. Add the Irish whiskey and stir again
  5. Float the cream on top of the coffee by pouring it over the back of a spoon
  6. Do not stir again
  7. Drink the coffee through the cream


Bavarian Coffee

  • ½ oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • ½ oz Kahlúa
  • 5 oz thick & rich hot coffee
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Whipped cream
  • Grated chocolate
  1. Pour the liqueurs into a warmed Irish coffee glass
  2. Add the coffee
  3. Add the sugar and stir
  4. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings

peppermint patty

Hot Peppermint Patty

  • 1 oz Peppermint Schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Dark Crème de Cacao
  • 1/4 oz Crème de Menthe
  • Hot chocolate mix added to boiling water, to taste
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings or chocolate syrup
  1. Pour the liqueurs into a warmed Irish coffee glass
  2. Add hot chocolate
  3. Top with whipped cream
  4. Garnish with shaved chocolate or drizzle with chocolate syrup

~A wonderful Italian couple invited us for dinner this evening. After dinner she made me an espresso with a little something special in it. It was hands down the best espresso I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. I’ve never liked Scotch whiskey but this espresso was sweet, gently flavored and smooth. It was the perfect end to a wonderful meal.~


Spiked Espresso

  • Grant’s Scotch Whiskey
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 2 demitasse spoons of brown sugar
  1. Make the espresso
  2. Add just a taste of Grant’s Scotch Whiskey to a demitasse cup
  3. Add the brown sugar
  4. Pour the espresso into the cup and stir
  5. Serve immediately

~C. Dolly~


Best Cherry Pie


I came across this amazing recipe while searching for a way to use some of the fresh BC Cherries that I couldn’t resist buying at the local farmer’s market. I love fresh cherries but I always buy way more than my family can possibly eat fresh. Pie crusts have also been the bane of my existence. My usual recipe can have totally random outcomes for me so I tried the recipe Old-Fashioned Flaky Pie Dough Recipe, also by Stella Parks

I chilled it for the least recommended time and it turned out flaky and delicious. However, I also made another batch and left the dough sealed tightly in the fridge for a few days. Letting it sit in the fridge for the extra time made the layers on the bottom rise even higher and still kept the bottom crust crispy and brown. It made a fantabulous Banana Cream Pie.

I can’t wait to try out more recipes from the editors of Serious Eats


The Best Cherry Pie (With Fresh or Frozen Fruit)

Stella Parks

“This recipe changed everything I knew about pie. Before I sorted out a truly scientific ratio of ingredients, fruit pies seemed to be a hit-or-miss proposition: some days soup, some days gloop. But, after cracking open the mechanics of starch, I can count on a flawless cherry pie every time, regardless of whether I’m using fresh or frozen fruit! It’s always crispy on the bottom, flaky on the top, and nothing but sweet-tart perfection inside.

Why It Works

  • Tapioca starch forms a light, clear gel that’s never cloudy, slimy, or gloppy.
  • A 4:1 ratio of fruit to sugar raises tapioca’s gelatinization point so the filling and crust will cook at the same rate, meaning you never have to trade a thick filling for a soggy crust!
  • Tempered-glass pie plates conduct heat quickly and evenly to the dough, producing a far crispier crust than heavy ceramic or stoneware.
  • Yield:One double-crusted 9-inch pie
  • Active time:Between 5 and 30 minutes, depending on complexity of design
  • Total time:About 5 hours
  • Rated:


  • For the Filling:
  • 28 ounces pitted cherries (5 heaping cups; 790g), from about 2 pounds whole fruit (6 heaping cups; 910g) (see note)
  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice (2 tablespoons; 30g) from 1 small lemon
  • 7 ounces sugar (1 cup; 195g)
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
  • 1 1/2 ounces tapioca starch, such as Bob’s Red Mill (1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon; 40g)
  • Old-Fashioned Flaky Pie Dough, rolled and chilled as per the directions for a double crust
  • For the Egg Wash (optional):
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 ounce heavy cream (1 tablespoon; 15g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon (1/2g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
  • To Serve (optional):
  • Cherry Pit Whipped Cream


  1. For the Filling: Combine pitted cherries, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and tapioca starch in a large bowl, folding with a flexible spatula until well combined. Scrape into prepared pie shell and top with remaining dough, using a solid sheet, cutouts, or a lattice-top design. (Check out my tutorials here.) Trim away excess dough and refrigerate pie to ensure top crust is completely chilled, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 400°F.
  2. For the Egg Wash (if using): Whisk egg, egg yolk, cream, and salt in a small bowl. Brush over chilled top crust in a thin, even layer. This will give the crust a glossy, golden sheen, but it is not necessary in any way.
  3. Place chilled pie on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until crust is golden, about 1 hour, then loosely cover with tented foil. (Alternatively, an empty baking sheet can be placed on the topmost rack of the oven to serve as a shield.) Continue baking until filling is bubbling even in the very center of the pie, about 15 minutes more. If crust completely covers filling, bake until pie reaches an internal temperature of 213°F on a digital thermometer. The time can vary considerably depending on the thickness and type of pie plate, the amount of top crust, how long the pie was refrigerated, et cetera.
  4. To Serve: Cool pie until no warmer than 85°F on a digital thermometer, about 3 hours depending on the type of pie plate (at higher temperatures, filling will be runny and thin). Slice into wedges with a sharp knife, pressing firmly against bottom and sides of pie plate to ensure the under-crust is completely cut. If you like, serve with Cherry Pit Whipped Cream. Wrapped in foil, leftovers will keep up to 3 days at room temperature; warm 10 minutes in a 350°F oven to revive crust before serving.
Special Equipment

9-inch pie plate (preferably tempered-glass), pastry brush (if using egg wash), rimmed baking sheet, digital thermometer


Update: Due to disparate sourcing practices, tapioca starch manufactured in Asia may be derived from plants other than cassava, which have different gelling properties. Look for products that mention cassava by name on the packaging, such as Bob’s Red Mill. For the most flavorful pie, reach for a mix of sweet and sour cherries—a blend of fresh and frozen works just fine. Fresh cherries can be pitted (I love my OXO cherry pitter) and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance. Or, use an equal weight of frozen cherries, thawed until softened. If you like, reserve cherry pits for a batch of Cherry Pit Whipped Cream, the ultimate garnish for cherry pie.

Old-Fashioned Flaky Pie Dough

Stella Parks

This is the sort of recipe pastry chefs tend to favor, but it doesn’t require any fancy ingredients, equipment, or training. Just smash some cold butter in a bowl of flour, stir in a bit of water, roll it out, and fold it over a few times. It’s essentially a streamlined blitz, making an easy layered dough that’s supple but strong. That means it won’t slump out of shape in the oven, so it can support all types of complicated decorative techniques, but it’s wonderfully buttery, so it always turns out flaky and tender, too.

In summer months, warm pantry staples and equipment will raise the temperature of pie dough, causing the butter to melt. If it’s warmer than 73°F (23°C) in your kitchen, a few simple precautions will keep your dough happy and cool; more here.

Why It Works

  • All-purpose flour gives the dough strength to hold its shape in the oven, preserving any sort of decorative design.
  • A blitz-style ratio of flour to butter creates a dough that’s pliable but strong, making cracks and tears a thing of the past.
  • One round of folding provides eight major layers with minimal fuss.
  • Refrigerating the dough after shaping ensures it’s fully chilled and relaxed, preserving its flakes in the oven.
  • Yield:Makes 2 single- or 1 double-crusted 9-inch pie (regular or deep-dish)
  • Active time:25 minutes
  • Total time:2 1/2 hours
  • Rated:


  • 8 ounces all-purpose flour (1 2/3 cups; 225g), plus more for dusting
  • 1/2 ounce sugar (1 tablespoon; 15g)
  • 1 teaspoon (4g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter (2 sticks; 225g), cold
  • 4 ounces cold tap water (1/2 cup; 115g)


  1. For the Dough: Whisk flour, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes (this size is important, as smaller pieces will melt too fast) and toss with flour mixture to break up the pieces. With your fingertips, smash each cube flat—that’s it! No rubbing or cutting. Stir in water, then knead dough against the sides of the bowl until it comes together in a shaggy ball. Dough temperature should register between 65 and 70°F (18 and 21°C); if not, refrigerate briefly before rolling and folding (see note above).
  2. Make the Layers: On a generously floured work surface, roll dough into a roughly 10- by 15-inch rectangle. Fold the 10-inch sides to the center, then close the newly formed packet like a book. Fold in half once more, bringing the short sides together to create a thick block. Divide in half with a sharp knife or bench scraper. Dough temperature should still be somewhere between 65 and 70°F (18 and 21°C); if not, refrigerate briefly before proceeding (see note above).
  3. For Single-Crusted Pies: Using as much flour as needed, roll one piece into a 14-inch circle and drape across a 9-inch pie plate; it will be super easy to lift by hand. Dust off excess flour with a pastry brush, using it to nestle dough into the very corners of the pan. With scissors or kitchen shears, trim the edge so that it overhangs by 1 1/4 inches all around. Fold overhang over itself to create a thick border that sits atop the rim of the pan. Crimp or shape crust as desired. Repeat with remaining dough. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Use as directed in your favorite recipe.
  4. For a Double-Crusted Pie: Using as much flour as needed, roll one piece into a 14-inch circle and drape across a 9-inch pie plate; it will be super easy to lift by hand. Dust off excess flour with a pastry brush, using it to nestle dough into the very corners of the pan. With scissors or kitchen shears, trim the edge so that it overhangs by 1 inch all around. For a solid top crust, roll remaining dough as before, or roll into a 9- by 15-inch rectangle for a lattice-top pie. Transfer the entire sheet, uncut, to a baking sheet or parchment-lined cutting board. (The parchment will prevent dough from absorbing any savory odors from the board.) Wrap both portions in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Use as directed in your favorite recipe.
  5. For a Blind-Baked Pie: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat to 350°F (177°C). Line chilled pie shell with a large sheet of aluminum foil, pressing so it conforms to the curves of the plate (a second sheet of aluminum may be needed for full coverage). Fill to the brim with sugar, transfer to a half sheet pan, and bake until fully set and golden around the edges, 60 to 75 minutes. Fold long sides of foil toward the middle, gather short sides, and use both hands to carefully transfer sugar to a heat-safe bowl. Let sugar cool to room temperature. If needed, continue baking crust a few minutes more to brown along the bottom. A full explanation of this process can be found here.
Special Equipment

Rolling pin, 9-inch pie plate (preferably tempered glass; see note below), pastry brush


Compared to stoneware or heavy enameled ceramic, tempered-glass pie plates conduct heat quickly and evenly, so the crust bakes up light and crisp, never greasy or soft.

Update: When “room temperature” exceeds 73°F, you’ll need to take proactive steps to keep the dough temperature below 70°F; otherwise, the butter will turn sticky and soft (more information here).”

~C. Dolly~

Top 10

Top 10 Plants for the Modern Mixologist’s Garden

Mint – Mint is probably the most commonly used fresh herb for cocktails. Mojitos and Juleps are the most well-known mint drinks, but this leaf brings refreshing flavor wherever it’s used. Used as a garnish, muddled and for infused spirits, mint is an important part of a mixologist’s garden.

Basil – Varieties of the complex, aromatic herb can be sweet, peppery or citrusy with clove overtones. Basil is a great all-purpose herb that adds great flavor to gin, tequila, or rum drinks to name a few. Muddled, used as a garnish or used in a simple syrup, basil can give new life to your usual cocktails.

Cucumber – The mild, crisp, clean flavor of cucumbers is becoming increasingly popular for cocktails. Used as a garnish, fresh sliced, muddled and for infused and distilled spirits, cucumber is found in many cocktails including Pimm’s, margaritas and martinis.

Strawberries – Sweet strawberries, fresh and frozen, are great in drinks and are an integral part of any bar. They can be made into syrup, for infused and distilled spirits, strawberry liqueurs and as a garnish.

Blueberries – You may come across cocktails that feature the sweet-tart taste of those delicious little blueberries. They can be used fresh, as a juice, or in the form of a blueberry-flavored vodka or liqueur. The flavor is unique in mixed drinks and if you’re looking for a fabulous, fresh taste, give a blueberry cocktail a try.

Hot Peppers – For a spicy little cocktail, try making your own Tabasco/hot sauce for caesars with fresh hot peppers. These spicy little beauties can be used muddled, for infused spirits, syrup and as a garnish. Remember that different peppers offer different flavors and levels of heat.

Rhubarb – Sweet-tart rhubarb is usually made into a syrup before being added to cocktails or used for a garnish. It’s used in margaritas, paloma, mimosas, bellinis and can be mixed with other fruit flavors to create unique cocktails.

Raspberries – Easy to grow, raspberries add their incredible fruity flavor to cocktails. They can be muddled, made into a syrup, for infused spirits, as a garnish and in liqueur such as Kelowna B.C.’s Urban Distilleries Raspberry Liqueur, which is fabulous mixed with Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade.

Rosemary – For many people, rosemary looks and tastes like pine needles. The rich, woody flavor of rosemary can be added as a sprig or muddled in gin or vodka. You can also make a rosemary syrup for drinks like the “Rosemary Bourbon Sour.”

Borage – This cucumber flavored herb is also known as starflower or bee bush and has so many uses. It attracts bees for pollination and repels insects. It can be used in salads, jellies, soups, the flowers can be candied and it is used in many cocktails. Borage is also used in Pimm’s cocktails. Check out this link for more information on Borage.

~C. Dolly~


Roasted Marinara Sauce

Tis the season to wander aimlessly through farmer’s markets, buying more than you can possibly use within a week, because let’s face it, all of the fresh summer produce looks so good after a winter full of potatoes and carrots that tasted like cardboard. Then, come Friday, you clean out the fridge when no one is looking because you hardly made a dent in all that fresh spinach that you swore you would use. Saturday rolls around again and you pick up your basket promising yourself that this week will be different. This week you will get your act together and start eating healthy. This week I may even take advantage of the sunny weather and *gasp, exercise!

This scenario usually repeated itself thoughout the summer until winter rolled around and I was left with nothing more than my tasteless winter vegetables again. That is, until I was introduced to oven roasted marinara sauce. I was never fond of canning as a way to preserve my produce. I felt like I spent way too much time in the kitchen for way too few mason jars full of whatever I was making at the end. And it was messy. My mother-in-law actually was the one who introduced me to this method, and it’s the best piece of infomation I have ever received from her. The key to this recipe though is to always use produce that is in peak season. There is nothing quite like vine ripened tomatoes.



  • 20 Roma Tomatoes cored and halved
  • 1 small onion quartered
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine
  • 2 Tbsp fresh Basil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh Rosemary
  • 1 tsp fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

*seasonings are entirely arbitrary and I usually use whatever is looking good and I have on hand at the time. 

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF
  2. Line 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment if desired (I usually skip this as I like to blend right in the dish and have never had a problem with sticking due to the oil)
  3. Add all ingredients to the baking dish and bake for 2 hours. 
  4. Increase heat to 400 and bake for another 15 to 30 minutes to caramelize and increase flavour
  5. Use a hand held immersion blender to blend it all together. 

Keeps in fridge for a few days. Freeze extras for later use.

-R. Dolly



Monthly Articles

Beerlicious Volume 1, The Art of Grillin’ & Chillin’

BeerliciousCropI would like to start off by saying that my husband is a fantastic cook, but lately, due to our hectic lifestyle, his cooking hasn’t exactly been blowing my skirt up.  His dinners of glazed salmon with mushroom risotto and home made cream puffs have been replaced with kraft dinner, canned tomato soup, microwaved hotdogs and fried eggs.  Over the years, I have started buying him cookbooks that I thought might subtly drop the hint that I would like more than indigestion for dinner. Beerlicious Volume 1, The Art of Grillin’ & Chillin’ by Ted Reader was one of said purchases.

If you love eating meat and drinking beer, then you’ll love eating meat that has also been soaking in a lovely beer bath before being grilled to perfection (sometimes, I like to dim the lights, light a few candles and give the steak some privacy because, after all, a relaxed steak is a delicious steak). After leaving the book laying around on the counter for the prescribed period of time with no results, I decided to wipe the dust off and flip through it myself. There is not one recipe in this book that doesn’t sound over the top delicious, and I really really do want to eat some of them, but I am a super lazy cook and the 2 pages of instructions per recipe is a little overwhelming for me.  After discussing the book with my husband, he said he also had come to the same conclusion – hence the layer of dust on the cover.

I don’t like a purchase to go to waste though, so I have been slowly wading through the book. First, I read all of Mr. Reader’s tips at the beginning of the book in regards to grill, heat and cuts of meat and found it very informative.  Then, I started by making some of the rubs and sauces. All have been excellent, and my favourite so far is the Bone Dust. Just like Ethel Herman and her Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, I put that Sh*t on everything!

Overall, I would have to say that the majority of the actual recipes sound like a heart attack in waiting, and I think there’s a reason why none of the nutritional info has been printed in the book. The pairing notes from Roger Mittag for the beer makes for some interesting reading and I learned a lot about beer and grilling, even if I will never make a lot of the recipes due to their complicated nature. I have taken the basic tips (beer marinade, spices, rubs, etc…) and use them quite frequently. There are some interesting side dishes that I would still like to try and have added some of the simpler recipes into our dinner rotations, such as Diva Q’s Double-Grilled Jalapeño Beer Cornbread and Früli Apple, Rhubarb, and Strawberry Crumble

Bone Dust™ BBQ Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup Chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp dried coriander
  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 2 Tbsp hot mustard powder
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper

Combine spices and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place. Keeps for up to 3 months. (makes 2.5 cups) – R.Dolly