Friday Faves 01-04-13

Happy New Year! Here are a few new fundraisers worthy of your attention – but first, a bit of self-promotion:

As you may recall, following on some compliments about my non-fiction writing (especially from a successful fiction writer) I decided to attempt NaNoWriMo in November. I did “win” by completing 50,000 words of a novel – my first long form writing of any sort.

Enough people have asked to read it that I’ve decided to serialize as I complete editing chapters. I’ve set up a separate blog for my literary endeavors, – the first two chapters of Want It Back are posted now. You can subscribe to get notifications of new postings, or follow along via the Twitter acct @WhatBettyWrites and/or Facebook Page WhatBettyWrites. Feel free to leave feedback on that blog – most helpful to me would be things like “This chapter was interesting/boring/confusing because of ….”

And now on to other interesting links:

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Cold Brewed Iced (or Hot) Coffee

It’s been close to 100°F for the past couple days, so rather than use my trusty AeroPress to make hot coffee for mid-morning at work (this needs its own post to document the tweaks I use) I made a batch of cold brewed coffee.

Hot brewing heats up the oils and can result in a much more acidic taste that gets bitter as it ages – so unless you plan to drink it immediately over ice, making a large pot of hot coffee then chilling is not going to be great the next day.

Cold brewing is a great alternative to making hot coffee and then cooling it, as long as you remember to start your batch about 24 hours before you want it to drink. Soaking the grounds releases flavors without becoming bitter, and the resulting beverage can be refrigerated for several days without deteriorating in taste.

You can buy many fancy and expensive special devices for cold brewing, but all you really need is a large jar (e.g., a 32 oz mason jar) and something to strain the grounds through, which can be a paper coffee filter lining a mesh strainer.

My recipe:

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