Coffee Cooks

Lives of Coffee


Lives of Coffee: The Hands That Feed

Argelia is a cook. Her life passes by peacefully, her days full of the greenery and joy that she provides the workers who arrive every day to eat her cooking. -no need for Prozac here. She works from Monday to Friday and rests Saturday and Sunday. She gets ready for the following week when she is told the number of people who will be working and eating her delicious stews and breads. She is a tall, dark-haired, handsome woman. Her house is white with red windows and door, and a tiled roof. There are flower pots all around it and near the house she has planted plantains, peppers, and lemon trees to make lemonade, wood for her kitchen and lots of love. There is also a cross, made of bamboo or what we call guadua, that is over two meters long and about which I’m embarrassed to ask, it is all about nature, the Lives of Coffee and those who live and die around it.


In her kitchen we find clean pots, shiny as mirrors, hanging on the wall, ready to be used. On the fire there are cast iron pots with steaming sancocho, rice, and thick red beans that she prepares daily, as they are a must for the evening menu. She looks out her kitchen window at her daughter while we talk. Then she comes out and offers us some guava juice from guavas picked from a tree in her garden, sweet and refreshing for an afternoon like today, when we have walked the field looking for ideal picture locations to show you about the Lives of Coffee. Her husband, silently sitting at a table, keeps her company today because he is convalescing. Her daughter helps her during the afternoon chores and is never far from her mother, whom we listen to and photograph.


Argelia cooks daily on a fixed schedule for seventy or so workers with big appetites. At dawn she offers them a tinto, a hot cup of aromatic black coffee to send them off to work. A couple of hours later, while it is still cold, it’s breakfast time. While she heats the water to make agua de panela and prepares thick, smooth chocolate, she bakes the arepas made of just-ground corn, which she will serve hot and golden. Thus concludes the first morning stage, of her Lives of Coffee, which gives the workers the strength to pick coffee until midday. When the sun hits strongest and the air has changed and become warmer, everyone returns to Argelia’s for lunch. She varies the menu every day; it can be asancocho with yucca and plantain, rice soup, pasta and meat, or other comforting and nutritious favorites from the land, that send the workers back to their daily tasks loaded with energy and vitality after having shared that touch of life provided by the kitchen’s boss. The sun sets, the daily tasks conclude, and once supper is prepared, the workers return. They remain at Argelia’s until late, resting or playing tejo or cards or merely chatting, before rising again the following day at 5:30 to enjoy the sendoff tinto. One day in the Lives of Coffee.



Cook with coffee -Salmon and Portobello


Cook with coffee -Salmon and Portobello

When you Cook with coffee -Salmon and Portobello you will be forever hooked to cooking with coffee. With the advantage of all the antioxidative properties of coffee and others, this will be one of your favorite dishes ever.

Balsamic Salmon and Portobellos

2 servings
Two 6-ounce or one 12-ounce salmon filletScreen-Shot-2015-04-11-at-10.24.30-AM1-300x225
1 large or 2 medium Portobello mushrooms, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1 teaspoon salt
3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fish stock
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon julienne basil (about 10 basil leaves; see Tip, page 000)
2 teaspoons freeze-dried or granulated instant coffee



  1. Cut the fish into 2-inch pieces and place them and the sliced Portobello in a shallow nonreactive bowl. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoons salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  2. In a bowl combine the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, stock, honey, mustard, basil, coffee, and the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Mix until the honey is well dissolved and pour over the fish and mushrooms. Refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
  4. Transfer the fish, mushrooms, and marinade to a baking pan.
  5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes for medium.
  6. Divide the fish and mushrooms slices onto 2 serving plates, and spoon over any sauce from the pan. Serve.

Eventhough the page translates, I decided to add it in Spanish simply because I already had it in my docs. All other recipes can also be traslated, and blogs, with the TRASNLATE button on the right hand side of the blog.


Salmón con Hongos al Café

2 porciones

Dos filetes de salmón de 6 onzas cada uno
1 a 2 hongos portobellos cortados en tiritas
1 cucharadita sal
3/8 cucharadita pimienta
1/2 taza jugo de naranja
2 cucharadas vinagre balsámico
2 cucharadas caldo de pescado
3 cucharadas miel
1 1/2 cucharaditas mostaza Dijon
1 cucharada albahaca en Juliana, aprox. 10 hojas
2 cucharaditas café instantáneo

1. Agregue al salmón 1/2 cucharadita de sal y 1/4 de cucharadita de pimienta.
2. Mezcle aparte jugo de naranja, vinagre, caldo, miel, mostaza, café y el resto de sal y pimienta. Mezcle bien y vierta sobre el salmón y los portobellos. Refrigere 10 minutos.
3. Precaliente el horno a 450ºF.
4. Pase el salmón y los hongos a un molde de hornear cubierto con papel de aluminio y engrasado.
5. Hornee de 10 a 12 minutos.
6. Divida en dos porciones y sirva.



Enjoy this amazing recipe….


Top 10 ways to bake with coffee


1. Always sprinkle instant coffee after the bread dough has risen.


2. Use coffee syrups in the dough or batter for a subtle taste throughout the food.


3. To bake with coffee, and for intense coffee taste, add freeze dried coffee in the cookie batter. After you bake with coffee, take the cookie and cover half of it with coffee frosting.


4. With cakes that use another food as favoring too like bananas or apples, bake with coffee that is part syrup and part powdered coffee.


5. Pie or tart crusts work best with any of the dried coffees; powdered or granular.


6. Concentrated coffee can be used in any of the recipes that call for liquid versions of  coffee: espresso, ristres or syrup, etc.


7. Beef, tuna, pork, shrimp and dark poultry can be seasoned with instant coffee or with fresh ground coffee beans.


8. Fruit sauces can be prepared with all the varieties of coffee.
9. Vinaigrettes work best with freeze dried coffee.

10. Quiche, soufflé and other baked egg products like the coffee syrups best.


La papita amarilla



Para mi la mejor forma de cocinar la papa es en agua que apenas la cubra y sal. Lleva el agua al hervor, tapas la olla y esperar que el agua se evapore toda y la sal se seque sobre la papa, se destapa la olla y listo. Si le llegase a faltar cocción, se lleva al horno en la misma olla con un toque de aceite de oliva y unas hojitas de romero hasta que esten suaves por dentro y tostaditas por fuera. Esto lo podemos lograr tanto con la papa grande, cortada en trozos de 1 pulgada o 2.5 centimetros aproximadamente, y sin pelar o con la papa chica.

La papa amarilla es una de aquellos alimentos que comemos con cascara y sin darle mayor cccc. Que tal si comenzamos a hacer esto con el resto de la gran variedad de papa que existe en America del Sur. Entre las mas de 4000 de nuestras tierras andinas, podemos hacer una diferente cada dia durante mas de 10 anos. Que tal la maravilla.


La papa es a veces vista con mal ojo, porque nos hemos acostumbrado a consumirla frita al estilo Franc’es. Porque las papas fritas que venden en los afamados restaurantes de cadena son de origen europeo… quien lo diría. Su nombre, FRENCH FRIES, o FRITES como dicen los franceses son un estilo de comer la papa que aunque llevan el mismo nombre no se preparan de la misma forma. Casi igual si, pero la papa francesa se frie una vez y la americana o de restaurantes de cocina al momento, son preferidas, congeladas y luego vueltas a freír una segunda vez. También se pueden ver muchas veces las “frites” que son servidas y por tanto cocidas con algo de piel.

en la piel de la papa es donde encontramos los minerales que tanto nos ayudan en nuestra digestion, belleza y energia. Ademas de ayudar con el mejorar el metabolismo, la piel es deliciosa, tostadita, ligeramente salada y caliente.

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Coffee Dotted Chiffon Cake

Vanilla and Coffee Dotted Chiffon Cake


There are some cakes that just remind us of childhood, home, the mother -specially my pastry chef mom- the smell of the oven, and a warm cup of café con leche. This is one of those amazing desserts that brings back the afternoons at home, in the kitchen table, a place where we would all sit, adjacent to the kitchen where we were not supposed to go to.

Memories to be made to last forever with this Vanilla and Coffee Dotted Chiffon Cake.


2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder 5 eggs, separated

3/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons freeze-dried or granulated instant coffee


1. Preheat the oven to 350oF.

Screen-Shot-2015-04-01-at-12.42.00-AM-300x198 2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, place the flour, 1 cup sugar, and the baking powder. Mix with a fork or whisk; make a well in the center and pour in the egg yolks, water, oil, and vanilla and almond extracts. Attach the mixer blades or paddle, and mix at medium-low speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until shiny.
3. In a clean mixer bowl, place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt, and beat at medium-high speed until frothy, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup sugar slowly, and mix in high speed for 8 minutes, until shiny and thick.
4. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture. Fold in the instant coffee.
5. Pour into an ungreased tube pan or 2 cake pans.
5. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the cake springs back when you touch it and feels sturdy.
6. Remove from the oven and turn onto a rack, top down.
7. Unmold when completely cold or the next day. Scrape the sides with a knife for the tube pan.

To a child and their memories.


Instant Coffee Cooks


How To Cook With Instant Coffee

Instant coffee cooks, it is  the most practical way to cook with coffee. We could say this because it keeps well on the cupboard and it sits there for immediate use. There are two types of instant coffee, the freeze dried variety and the powdered dehydrated instant coffee. There are also two styles of grain size and shape, a larger uneven grain and a completely pulverized grain. They each have their best ways to be used with and work wonders with our recipes so this is how Instant Coffee Cooks:

Freeze dried coffee is my favorite type of instant coffee to cook with. It keeps most of its aroma even after baking and is perfect to mix with dry ingredients. It will not mix well with syrups or a variety of wet mixes that have high sugar content or fat in them.


This can be good when you want to be able to bite the coffee and not so good when you want to dilute the coffee to prepare a sauce. Freeze dried coffee mixes fantastically with water or vinegars so it is the one I usually chose when preparing dressings or vinaigrettes. After the coffee is diluted with the water or vinegar then it will dissolve perfectly in the rest of the mixture. The flavor of freeze dried coffee will be transferred to the mixture even if it is not heated, making it great for beverages too. When baking cakes, muffins, tarts or pies in it is often interesting to be able to see the spots of the coffee. This is where I also use the freeze dried version of instant coffee, because you can bite into the crunchy dots with out breaking a tooth, which could happen if you crack coffee grains into a batter. Then the rest of the preparation can be reinforced with the coffee o not, depending on the taste and design you want to attain. When I need to add freeze dried coffee to a syrup, I first dilute it with equal amounts of water and then pour the syrup over the mixed diluted coffee; I pour the mixture into the mixed coffee because the coffee mixture is usually so much smaller in volume than the batter, that I would rather not loose any of this delicious flavorful concentrated coffee mix when transferring it into the larger batter or syrup. Keeping the bite in the coffee mixture is simple; it should be done at the end of the mixing time so that not much of the instant coffee dissolves and disintegrates under the friction of the mixing process. Then just enjoy watching the dotted coffee dots in a variety of beautiful breads, cakes and desserts as well as tarts and special sauces. This is the best way To Cook With Instant Coffee – granular freeze dried type.


Baking is the second favorite way To Cook With Instant Coffee; freeze dried instant coffee. I believe it keeps the aroma and flavors best over long periods of time under heat. It can also be used to replace other forms of prepared coffee your recipe asks for: concentrated coffee, concentrated coffee syrup for savory foods or concentrated coffee syrup for drinks. The only change that needs to be done is to evaluate if you need to sweeten the final product just a bit. Normally I don ́t change the recipe and all is fine. Depending on my mood if I wanted sweeter or stronger.

How Instant Coffee Cooks. Powdered or finely ground instant coffee is the easiest to use, it allows for perfect dilution in any type of mixture, at any temperature. It is wonderful to use as decoration by passing it along with powdered sugar or other ingredients through a sieve. You can use it over stencils to add your own special signature to your coffee dishes. I use it mainly for the later but it can also be used in dishes that do not need to bake for long periods of time. Sauces work great, seasoning meats too, it dilutes while infusing the product with the flavor and with the amazing properties of the marvelous red bean.

DECAF Instant Coffee Cooks! Instant coffees also lend themselves to be used in the decaf form. This is lifesaving for many because those people who must use decaf form of coffee can also cook with it. Decaf coffee has a lot of the same benefits and antioxidants that regular coffee does. This is established in many serious studies that can be found on university and government web pages.


So lets get going and get on with trying To Cook With Instant Coffee. oUse one of the blog’s or the books delicious recipes with instant coffee. To prepare the mixture you must to the following. When a recipe calls for a coffee syrup you must use that amount of water with half of the amount of freeze dried coffee or one fourth of the amount of instant coffee. If the recipe calls for freeze dried coffee, then use half the amount of powdered to freeze dried type. And you can also try using 1 to 1 freeze dried coffee to concentrated coffee or to espresso, it works wonderfully well.

Good luck, and write back on your experience.


Las 3 mejores recetas de ensaladas!

Lactose Free Banana Nut Bread/ Torta de Banano y Nueces SIN LACTOSA

Lactose Free Banana Nut Bread/
Torta de Banano y Nueces SIN LACTOSA


Lactose Free Banana Nut Bread/
Torta de Banano y Nueces SIN LACTOSA


Prepárala en un tazón con un tenedor sin necesidad de batidora.

torta de banano y nueces sin lactosa
8 a 12 porciones
1 y 1/4 taza harina integral
2/3 taza azúcar morena oscura
1/2 cucharadita canela
1/2 cucharadita bicarbonato
1/2 cucharadita polvo de hornear
1/8 cucharadita sal


3 banano maduros majados
3 huevos
2/3 taza nueces picadas
1/2 taza leche de almendra
1/2 taza aceite
2 cucharadas jugo de naranja

1.Mezcle todos los ingredientes secos en un tazón.Screen2BShot2B2015-03-252Bat2B12.56.202BPM

1.Mezcle todos los ingredientes húmedos en otro tazón.


1.Vierta los húmedos en los secos y mezcle con un tenedor.


1.Hornee en un molde engrasado y enharinado 45 minutos a 350F.



Prepare in a bowl with a fork!

Lactose Free Banana Nut Bread
8 to 12 servings

1 y 1/4 cupos whole grain-wheat flour
2/3 taza dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

3 bananas, very gripe, mashed
3 whole eggs

2/3 cup chapode walnuts
1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoons orange juice

  1. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Mix all wet ingredients in another bowl.
  3. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix with a fork.
  4. Bake in a oled and floured pan during 45 minutes at 350F.



Cooking with Coffeee


cooking with coffee saved my life?

How cooking with coffee saved my life is a story of struggle, companionship and even community. It happened when my two eldest daughters where out at college and the third daughter in her teens. I was working on a book for newlyweds; one which I will retake next month after the wedding of my daughter number 2. I was home alone, though not literally, almost, because my girl was out and about and my husband and I were getting closer to the empty nest.


As I kept working non-stop on this other book that was so exciting for me, because we were going to be there soon, either empty nesters sad and mean, bickering and boring, or newlyweds again, fun and feisty, sexy and ready to head out at night again. Then, in the middle of the project, my husband comes home with a magazine with an article about the expansion of coffee shops in the world and the way coffee was beginning to be the new WINE. He wants me to write a book on cooking with coffee. So, as the business mas he is, he suggested I should stop what I was doing and get to work on recipes made with coffee; cooking with coffee.


Here comes the salvation story? Well, there is nothing I dislike more than having my half orange- as we call our partner in Colombia- be right about something when it comes to my work. Mine is all about creativity, passion, color, desire, emotion. And his, an engineer, is about, numbers and efficiency. Anything and everything has to be on the positive side of the scale and measured. Simple as that, he is very very clear. This works, that doesn’t. So, even though this was the first time he had come up with any kind of suggestion for my books, and it was a first time book ever written on cooking with coffee, this time it was more an emotional order than a suggestion.


I think both my half orange and I are type A personalities, which have lived peacefully due to the different jobs we have. And now he wanted to come in and tell me what and when to do. Mmmm…. not something that goes well with me. So the emotion he had on how great this book would be, cooking with coffee, was taken by me with a surprise that is not that likable. Do you know when someone comes with a gift, something that you have at times said you don ́t need or like, but that person thinks he is giving you the panacea, and you don ́t know what surprised face to make? The feeling being so strong, it comes through and even though you don ́t want to ruin the moment, its stronger than you and it just turns out bad. Well this happened here, the only real problem is that I was sleeping with the gift giver, and wanted to scream and so much more. So the next days were a bit stressed, instead of full of thankfulness for the greatest gift, which was the idea of a book never written before, cooking with coffee, and one who would finally give me the biggest international sales, and two awards. All of that of course unknown and not even to be discussed at that point.


Next couple of days were practically not productive, to say the least. My couples book was at a physical stop, while still on the mental page very strongly and the cooking with coffee book buzzing on my head all day, like that bee that keeps coming back after your drink at a picnic. The biggest wall I had to break was that one that I had constructed myself. That wall that was simple an egotistic childlike aversion to having my husband being right. Actually after 28 years of marriage, there is still competition; like deciding who took the best picture that appears on the digital camera…hahaha. I still remember an amazing picture he took one early morning at sunrise, after discussing and saying I had taken it, he finally realized, it was a picture of sunrise at the beach! I have never been up before sunrise at the beach. He actually gets all his brownie or John Gray* points by bringing me coffee in bed after the gym or practicing golf. So… I didn ́t take the picture


Back to the book, I finally decided I would get into cooking with coffee and give myself a present for the huge emotional toll his idea had taken on me. So I flew to the coffee zone in Panama, as we have been living here for 15 years now, for 2 days and brought back with me some amazing fresh coffee, right out of the roaster and with an aroma that made me want to prepare everything with that particular coffee. At the beginning, being a Pastry Chef and the daughter of a Master Pastry Chef, I began my  cooking with coffee trials with breads, bars and cookies. As I went along into ice creams, cakes and desserts I was in the work kitchen almost 24-7 and producing so much coffee infused food that I was sending it out the the community where I lived. By the way, one time a lady came to say thank you and my husband told her that I gave all those divine goodies from  cooking with coffee trials away so I would ́t gain the weight, not totally untrue, but… By now you can imagine he is quite the character, dressed in a suit and tie, that confuses people with the way he looks and the things he says outside of his office.

DSC07717-225x300The following month I decided to fly out to Colombia with one of my daughters who was back from college for the summer and spent some days in the coffee zones of Viejo Caldas, in order to experience more the process of the good practices in the production of great coffee.

So a couple of years passed and finally Passion for Coffee, the book on cooking with coffee, had sold over 65,000 copies in Europe only and also sold in all Latin America, 2 awards, on in the US by the IBPA and one in Europe by GOURMAND.

The fact that the one bag of amazing fresh, just roasted dark brown coffee beans with its aroma that permeated the plane and my home for many days, kept the peace and saved my life and my husbands, indeed.

Carrying-coffe-bean-300x300John Gray* is the author and speaker of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus


Caramel Coffee Sauce Recipe


Caramel Coffee Sauce recipe, is in the BASICS chapter of Passion for Coffee. The basic chapter contains all the coffee recipes you will ever need to make great coffee desserts—from bases like meringue disks and crêpes, to toppings like rich ganaches, fluffy buttercreams, and airy meringues. Pie doughs in three varieties, to create from miniature to large, sweet to savory, coffee tarts,pies and more. The Caramel Coffee Sauce recipe and other Coffee Syrups in this chapter allow the cook to carry liqueurs, drench desserts, make and top ice creams, and coffee drinks. Pastry creams to flavor a complete array of extraordinary treats, and mix with the Caramel Coffee Sauce recipe and even with Passion Fruit Sauce, in the book too. Delicious coffee syrups and sauces to serve with the savory food recipes in the book, Passion for Coffee, as well as part of the array of desserts, infusions, ice creams, sundaes, bread toasts, biscuits, and incredibly delicious coffee good foods you can ever imagine.

The Caramel Coffee Sauce recipe and the 6 coffee syrups are all easy to prepare and produce an intense coffee taste and almost umami satisfaction.

coffee-concentrate-150x150Concentrated coffee syrups will be your key to successful coffee cooking throughout this book as well as any personal recipes you would love to experiment with. Prepare the Caramel Coffee Sauce recipe and other coffee syrups in minutes. They keep for a week and up if covered and refrigerated.



The practical tips at the end of the BASICS chapter in Passion for Coffee will help you craft these luscious coffee recipes and many of your own creation too.


This is the best caramel coffee sauce in the world! It brings out the best in anything you add it to and takes only seconds to prepare.



caramel coffee sauce recipe for 1/2 cup of caramel coffee sauce
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons brewed espresso or basic concentrated
coffee (pg 36), or freeze dried instant coffee
1 tablespoon butter

1. Combine the sugar, cream, and coffee in a small sauce-pan.
2. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, mixing continuously.
3. Turn off the heat, mix in the butter, and set aside to cool.