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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thai Iced Coffee, inspired by Come Away With Me

Thai Iced Coffee, inspired by Come Away With Me
There's really only one thing that I didn't like about this book. It had nothing to do with the story, characters, or even the cover design—it was the particular review blurb they chose to highlight on the front cover. It says "Fans of Elizabeth Gilbert's EAT PRAY LOVE will flock to this novel." Well guess what? I was not a fan of EPL (the novel...the movie was just okay for me), so had I seen that before I read it, I may have cracked the cover a little less enthusiastically. Fortunately, I had an ARC, so I wasn't influenced by that little sentence, as  innocuous as it may seem. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the book itself, though.

I will admit that it is similar to EPL in that it deals with loss and heartbreak while transporting us to three beautiful locations through food and travel. But I enjoyed Brown's voice so much more than Gilbert's. Raw, emotional, and visceral, it wrenched my heart and filled my eyes with tears, and even made me chuckle out loud a few times.

From Chicago to Thailand to Italy to Hawaii...and back to Chicago again, this was a journey that I enjoyed taking. Growing up so close to Chicago, I could easily slide myself into the story and fold myself into Tegan and Gabe's luggage as they experienced loss, pain, grief, possibility, and love in this story about survival. Without giving any spoilers, I'll tell you that there's also a twist that you may or may not see coming.

With its vivid locations and bounty of food, Come Away With Me would fit comfortably on any traveler's and/or foodie's bookshelf. Although narrowing down what I would make inspired by the book was sort of actually wasn't. From Tegan's first sip of Thai iced coffee, I knew what I'd be making.

"I sip a "must have" Thai iced coffee, falling instantly in love with the sweet, cool beverage fragrant with spice and rich with condensed milk." p.92

Thai iced coffee has been on my to-try list for quite some time now. I'm not sure why I hadn't tried it before now, but I figured this would be the perfect excuse. Most recipes I found are basically the same—strong coffee and sweetened condensed milk over ice. But this recipe from Steamy Kitchen infuses the coffee with cardamom and some almond extract, which I thought echoed the description of Tegan's experience, so I brought those flavors to mine, as well. I'm so glad I did, because one sip and I could totally understand the allure.

So, grab a copy of Come Away With Me, make yourself a tall, cold glass of this Thai iced coffee, and then kick back and enjoy the ride.

Thai Iced Coffee
Thai Iced Coffee is a sweet, cold beverage that is fragrant with spice and rich with condensed milk.
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Thai Iced Coffee
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Keywords: beverage coffee sweetened condensed milk vegetarian soy-free Thai

Ingredients (serves 2)
  • 1/2 cup ground coffee
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 + 2 tablespoons cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ice cubes
Brew coffee with 2 cups water in your coffee machine to produce 2 cups very strong coffee. Pour into a jar; refrigerate until cold.

Combine milks, almond extract, and cardamom together in a small jar (1/2 pint measure works well) and screw on the lid; shake until well combined and then refrigerate until cold. You could also stir everything together in a small bowl.

When you are ready to serve, fill 2 tall glasses with ice and divide coffee between the two glasses. Divide the milk mixture evenly over that. Serve immediately.

-adapted from Saveur and Steamy Kitchen
Thai Iced Coffee

Come Away With Me

Come Away With Me
author: Karma Brown
publisher: Mira
source: TLC Book Tours
soft cover: 368 pages
"foodie" read: Yes, I'd say so.

random excerpt: "I nod and stay as I am, the sensation of Gabe's hand pushing away some of the sadness and leaving something in its place. Something I haven't felt in months—possibility." p. 72

teaser: A heartbreaking and emotional story of love and loss, COME AWAY WITH ME is one woman’s discovery that life is still worth living, even if it’s not the life you planned.

One minute, Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope for: an adoring husband, Gabe, and a baby on the way. The next, a patch of black ice causes a devastating accident that will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.

Tegan is consumed by grief—not to mention anger toward Gabe, who was driving on the night of the crash. But just when she thinks she’s hit rock bottom, Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity, a collection of their dream destinations and experiences, and so begins an adventure of a lifetime.

From the bustling markets of Thailand to the flavors of Italy to the ocean waves in Hawaii, Tegan and Gabe embark on a journey to escape the tragedy and search for forgiveness. But they soon learn that grief follows you no matter how far away you run, and that acceptance comes when you least expect it. Heartbreaking, hopeful and utterly transporting, COME AWAY WITH ME is an unforgettable debut and a luminous celebration of the strength of the human spirit.

Karma Brown
about the author: Karma Brown is a National Magazine Award winning freelance writer and journalist, and a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada. She lives just outside Toronto with her family and writes powerfully emotional upmarket women’s fiction, in the vein of Me Before You. COME AWAY WITH ME is her first novel.

connect with the author: website | facebook | twitter

recipe inspired by the book: Thai Iced Coffee


I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Thai Iced Coffee