While it isn’t time for St. Patrick’s Day, the frigid temps does lead one to begin thinking of warmer drinks and warmer days.

While a good cup of coffee is what many people enjoy on a very cold morning, coffee doesn’t have to be just plain or with a little cream. There are a couple of additions that change up the falvor and make one want to sit back and enjoy a little relaxation. So likely not what you want on a work morning but possibly on for a late afternoon brew on a cold day off.

It is funny that I would suggest coffee because anyone that knows me would say I take a little coffee with my cream. If you know the creamy taste of coffee ice cream you’ll understand what I’m going for.

In fact, I only began drinking coffee by accident back when I was in my early 20s. The family had gone north to New England for a vacation and we stopped in Dad’s hometown to visit my great aunt Ena. As this very proper New England lady served a meal to us, she poured the coffee first. My cup was filled before I could tell her I don’t drink coffee, as I had not by that time. I didn’t want to hurt her feelings by saying that I don’t drink this bitter brew but in asking Mom what I should do I was advised to add sugar and cream and drink it, which I did. That set the method by which I would drink regular coffee from then on.

Dad, of course, drinks his coffee black the same as he does his hot tea. I don’t fit the “true” New Englander since I add flavor t mine. That doesn’t really bother me because I enjoy the taste when I add cream/sugar or one of these other additions to my coffee.

I found these recipes among the ones Mom had collected over the years from relatives and friends and even friends of friends. I will admit in my 30s I had a hairstylist in Punxsutawney who would supply her clients with beverages and one of the ones I loved the most was a cup of coffee with a little Irish Cream added to it. Sadly, this talented lady moved on to a larger market area but I still remember that smooth, creamy coffee taste.

For those of you who like the taste of Kahlua in coffee, I’ve included a recipe for Kahlua as well. I’m not positive but I would think that either recipe could be made without the alcohol.

IRISH CREAM

1 can Eagle Brand (this is all the recipe says but I’m assuming it is sweeten condensed milk)

1 can evaporated milk

2 tsp. corn syrup

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tbsp. instant coffee

1 tbsp. hot water

1 1/2 cups whiskey

Blend and let stand one hour. Refrigerate.

KAHLUA

4 cups water

2 cups sugar

10 tsp. freeze dried coffee

5 tsp. vanilla

3 cups vodka

Bring water and sugar to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add the coffee. Cover and simmer 1 hour. Cool in refrigerator overnight and then add vanilla and vodka. Mix well.

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For anyone who may not care about adding such sweet liquids to your coffee, I’ve decided to include a recipe that made me think of warm spring weather –Hawaiian Cake. For as we all know, what goes better with coffee than cake?

HAWAIIAN CAKE

2 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup coconut

1 cup chopped nuts

1 20-oz. can crushed pineapples (with juice)

2 cups flour

2 tsp. baking soda

Icing (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together the eggs, sugar, coconut, nuts and pineapples. Then fold in the flour and soda.

Bake in a greased 9x13 pan for 45 minutes. Let cake cool completely.

Then cover with icing.

FROSTING

1 8-oz. package of Philadelphia cream cheese

1 stick oleo (butter)

2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

Beat all three ingredients until creamy and ice cake when it is cool. (The icing recipe did not list vanilla as an ingredient.)

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Joy Norwood has written this column in one form or another for 30 plus years. While over time it has changed in it’s format and information, it has always held to one overall theme – family. Whether looking back to days gone by or talking about the here and now, family has been her main overriding thought when writing this column.