Three ways to beat the heat starting with iced coffee

Maxwell House International Coffee Pumpkin Spice LatteSo it was freaking hot today and tomorrow is supposed to hotter. I dont have air conditioning and all the fans are just pushing around hot air! I needed something to help cool me off but I didn't know what. There isn't much in my fridge. An onion and some frozen veggies. I went to the cabinet and it wasn't any better ... Soup -- SOUP!? -- I am not that crazy when it's 89 degrees in my apartment. Hmmm... Noodles... Rice... Spices... Coffee... Hold on, that's an idea. Iced coffee. So I  set out to make the best damn -- coldest -- iced coffee I could.

iced coffee

Here is how to make iced coffee.

Read Step Three first.

Step one: Make the coffee. 

Normally this entails grinding beans, filling up the coffee maker with water, brewing, etc., etc. But, tonight I have a shortcut. I have Maxwell House International Coffee Pumpkin Spice Latte.  It's a powder for mixing with hot water.  However, I have learned previously I can put it in room temperature water and mix it just as thoroughly. I made 32 ounces, per the instructions, in a Powerade bottle by shaking it vigorously. Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.... For about 2 minutes. Set the mixed coffee aside.

Tip: make the mixture a little light on the water. When it mixes with the crushed ice it will become more watery because ice is really water disguised as a solid. You can also substitute a little milk or half-n-half for some of the water. You shouldn't need any sugar using a Maxwell House coffee mix but go ahead and pour it in if you want to rot your teeth and get fat. Be sure to shake the living day lights out of your mixture to mix it thoroughly.

Step two: Crush ice.

I suppose one could take a bag of ice and crush it by pounding it with a hammer, or filling a high powered blender with ice, but I have a genuine electric Deni Stainless-Steel Ice Crusher. I also make my ice in reused Lean Cuisine plastic trays. But that is another blog post.

So you take your ice that's going to put the brrrry-delicious in your iced coffee and put it in the crusher. Turn it on -- zoom, grind, crush, whirl, and in moments you have a TON of crushed ice. 

Caution!  Watch what you are doing and don't get your fingers in the crusher. That  would totally suck: blood and chunks of flesh all over... No matter how good the iced coffee will taste (and in this heat it will taste down right heavenly) you won't be able get to your mind off your mangled hand (unless your are a vampire or zombie). You'll probably have to go to the emergency room, which takes, like, FOUR days, and when you get home your iced coffee won't have one frozen nugget of ice left! So pay attention. Follow the instructions for using the machinery!

Step three: Pour it in a glass

The best type of glass is a pint glass. You'll just have to trust me...  I prefer my Oakland Raiders pint glass but you could use any old pint glass. (That's not entirely true, but I don't want those of you without an Oakland Raiders pint glass to feel bad.)

Before you do any of the steps above: chill the glass. Go back in time, if you need to, and put the glass in the freezer yesterday. That is the preferred method for chilling a pint glass for iced coffee. If you find you are unable to time travel, fill your glass with some ice and water and put it in the freezer while you do steps one and two. This method will suffice for those who are limited to a linear timer line.

With your chilled pint glass positioned strategically in front of you and at a safe distance from the edge of the surface, fill it with your crushed ice. Next, carefully pour the iced coffee mixture into the ice filled glass. Be careful not to spill or otherwise waste a drop. Save the remaining coffee mixture for a bonus project.

Now go get a smoke and take your glass  on to the front porch and brag to everyone that passes by that you have iced coffee and  they don't. You might get shot, but at least you'll be cool. I don't think ambulances are air conditioned.

Special Bonus Project: DIY Popsicles

Zoku Quick Pop Maker

Step one: Buy yourself a Zoku Quick Pop Maker (click here to order one)

This gadget is the bomb for making flavored ice pops that taste like Otter Pops or any flavor you choose. You won't ever run for the ice cream man again if you own this. Travel back in time accordingly so that you have it here, ready, on this sweltering evening. 

Don't let the Zoku sit in the box until you really, really want a flavored ice pop. You literally should have thought of this yesterday because the Zoku needs to be frozen to make the magic happen, and that takes 24 continuous Earth hours.  If your Zoku Quick Pop Maker is ready, we can continue.

Step two: Put the sticks in.

You need to put the sticks in to get the pop out. Trust me, this is crucial.

Step three: Pour in a chilled juice mixture or any other flavored liquid. 

You can use thawed ice cream, yogurt, or whatever you can think of that won't make you sick or puke. The only requirement is that it has to have a good amount of real sugar in it. Chrystal Light will fail and you may even write me angry letters if you use it. Sugar enables the flavored pop to "pop" from the mold with the specially designed Super Tool (included in the kit).

Today, however, you are in luck. Your Maxwell House International Coffee has just enough sugar in it to work. A pint is 16 ounces so that means we have plenty left over.  Each pop is about 2 ounces  If you haven't put any sugar in the ice coffee mixture yet, put a couple spoonfuls in it now and shake that bitch up again.  Now pour it in the Zoku Quick Pop Maker. Be careful not to overfill it.

STAND BACK and watch the cryogenic magic happen!

Zoku Quick Pop Maker makes 3 pops in 7-9 minutes! It will take you at least 4 minutes to get to the front of the ice cream man's line and who knows how long I will take for you to decide what you want. With the Zoku Quick Pop Maker you will know what you are getting, get what you want, and feel like one proud mo-fo for making something delicious and fancy right in your own freaking kitchen.

And guess what, you can make NINE POPS before you need to freeze the Zoku again.

Step four: Ding! Your quick pops are done.

Remove your quick pops using Super Tool specially designed for removing Zoku Quick Pops. If you can get the lid off a jar, you'll be a flavored frozen pop star after turning the Super Tool clockwise a few times. (Turning it counter-clockwise would just be silly!) Once the pops are birthed from their maker, add an included drip cup to  it and share the the extra pops with a friend or your opposing hand.

Stopgap solution for staying cool on an outrageously hot evening.

I don't always have flavored ice on a hot day

Step one: Buy some Otter Pops .

Life without Otter Pops in the freezer would be unfathomable. Simply dismal. I don't normally eat flavored ice, but when I do, I prefer Otter Pops. Crazy-simple and no mangled fingers, nor lost chucks of flesh.

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