Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Chai Latte With A French Press {Using Coffee}

So traditionally chai lattes are made with a spiced black tea...."Chai TEA latte" but we're getting crazy here with this recipe and using coffee instead! I made this yesterday and it was marvelous -- so much flavor! What a special treat to start your day off right!

Serves 2

1 cup coffee grounds
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
4 thin slices of fresh ginger
3 aniseed stars
1 tbsp. cinnamon + extra for sprinkling 
1 tbsp. cardamom
1 tsp. whole allspice
1/8 tsp. ground clove {whole clove optional}
pinch of salt
pinch of pepper

4 cups hot water
1/2 cup evaporated milk {=1/4 cup into each mug}
1/4 cup condensed milk  {=2 tbsp. into each mug}

Whipped cream

Combine coffee grounds and spices in a French press. Add hot water and give it a good stir. Let steep for 5 minutes. Then place the lid on the French press and gently push the sifter making sure the spices and coffee grounds stay below the seal. Pour the spiced coffee into drinking cups or mugs. Now add evaporated and condensed milk among the cups.

Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon.

* Honestly I like both chai {coffee or tea}...if you're looking for a bold flavor, you'll love this coffee version. If you prefer a smoother taste I suggest substituting 6 black tea bags in replace of the 1 cup of coffee grounds for a tradition chai tea latte.

Picture:French press with spoon

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dragon Fruit, Peach & Lime Smoothie

 Every now and then I like to try something new. I love going to our local Asian market and to pick up fruits like cherimoya, durian, mangosteen or this here dragon fruit. So I bought dragon fruit the other day and didn't know what to do with it. I embarrassingly admit that I had to google "how to eat dragon fruit". I decided to use mine in a smoothie with whatever I had around the house. It turned out amazing... I had to share it with you guys.

Serves 2
1 dragon fruit
1 cup frozen peaches
1 lime {juice}
1/3 cup condensed milk
3 ice cubes

Cut the dragon fruit in half and scoop the insides into a blender. You can pitch the pink skins {or use them as fun serving bowls later in the day}. Throw the rest of your ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.

Simple as that. So yummy and chock-full of vitamin C!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Life Lately According to Instagram

So much has happened in the past few months! I wish I could keep up with all these posts! Here is what we've been up to lately. Follow along on instagram if your heart desires.

~ Early morning Espresso con panna pick-me-ups. Dan and I love our espresso maker
~ I made some white ceramic branch spoons!
~ Diggin' my new wax stamp.
~ Enjoying our CA winter with some mango smoothies in the backyard...sorry North East.
~ Shenanigans at our friends wedding
~ Mom's tea roses and dragon fruit from our favorite Asian Market.
~ Hiking in Idyllwild and surfing in San O
~ A cooking class and the soco farmers market
~ Our new favorite breakfast recipe {eggs over sauteed kale, caramelized onions and sausage}
~ Avocado honey. Yum.
~ Cortaditos and beach camping
~ Rosemary cranberry skewers and painting with Mom

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day Ideas {Staying In or Going Out}

Are you staying-in or going-out for Valentine's Day? I put together a few ideas for both occasions! Dan and I are planning on staying home this year {just like our first year}. We're looking forward to playing some Bing Crosby and Gershwin records while we cook up some tasty cacio e pepe in our tiny kitchen. We can't wait to crack open a special bottle of Sicilian wine {that our friend Justin got us on his latest deployment -- thanks Justin}.

If you're looking for a fun sappy movie that both of you will enjoy, I would suggest Princess Bride -- it's pretty awesome. I bought my first box of Charbonnel et Walker Marc de Champagne Truffles for a Vday surprise. Ohhhh maw gawd. Officially hooked. Do you think Dan will notice that one is missing? The best chocolate I've ever had...literally fit for a Queen {of England that is}. They were Founded in 1875 and are one of Britain's oldest chocolatiers that are endorsed by the Royal Warrant as chocolate manufacturer to Her Majesty The Queen. Fun Fact.


^^^ For your night out ^^^

Sometimes it's fun to get dressed up and find a fancy place for dinner! I really want to try The Bazaar, Bottega Louie or Red O. I also heard of a restaurant called Perch that is located on the 15th floor of a high-rise with 360 views of Downtown LA. That would be so dreamy. 

Love this dress and I've really been diggin' the faux fur lately...

This perfume ^^^ Sexual Sugar by  Michel Germain is a thumbs up. So yeah... the name is a tad strange, but it smells amazing! Who cares what it's called! I've only tried a sample of it, but I've got to go get a bottle. Here's how they describe it --> 

Wildberries and orange zest with notes of passion flower and jasmine. Heart notes of fresh roasted almonds, vanilla creme brulee and sandalwood.

And as usual...I'm excited about more chocolate {notice that I have chocolate involved in both scenarios}. I first read about these beautiful little treats on OhJoy. They sound divine. GODIVA Truffle Flight six truffles, placed in a tasting order that build in flavor and intensity.  Inspired by the finest desserts from around the world with flavors like birthday cake, pineapple hummingbird, cheesecake, red velvet,  lemon chiffon, Aztec spice, chocolate eclair, crème brulee, chocolate, lava cake, tiramisu and strawberry crème tarte etc. 

You pick the flight...

Well that sounds fun.

Happy soon to be Valentine's Day to you all!