To Whip / Homemade Whipped Cream for Café con Panna

 
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     Good morning! I'm all for a new coffee drink, especially when it involves a pool of whipped cream. I was desperate to finish off a carton of heavy cream before it went bad (why don't they make smaller cartons?! Most recipes that call for heavy cream need about 1 tablespoon, not four cups!), so I researched what Italian spin I could put on whipped cream and delighted when I found the delicious sounding Café con Panna! 

    Café con Panna just means espresso with cream, and is basically an old-fashioned version of a latté. I didn't want to have any whipped cream left over, so I loaded up a little more than usual on top of the espresso (though, in my opinion, you can't have too much homemade whipped cream). Homemade whipped cream is very simple - it only requires patience and a little know-how to get a better result than what you could spray out of a can. Get the full recipe below!

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Ingredients: Homemade Whipped Cream

- 2 tsp. of sugar

- 1 cup of heavy whipping cream

Ingredients: Café con Panna

- 2 oz. (or half a cup) of fresh brewed espresso

- all of the whipped cream you want

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Directions:

1. Chill your mixing bowl in the freezer for 5 minutes (this will help the cream hold its shape once whipped). Once chilled, whip your cream and sugar in a stand mixer on medium-high speed for 8 minutes (or until soft peaks begin to form).

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2. Spoon whipped cream on top of your warm espresso (little fingers stealing your cream is unavoidable here). 

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3. Stir and enjoy! 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday! I'm headed home to Arkansas this weekend to spend quality time with my family before my birthday on Wednesday (25! Woo!!). We'll be spending a day in Bentonville, so I'll share about that excursion on my Instagram and here next week! See you then!

To Explore / Downtown St. Louis

 
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     Hi there! I'm fresh off a girl's weekend in St. Louis to celebrate my best friend Cat's birthday, and I have to share about our trip! One of the perks of living in Columbia is that we're about half way between STL and Kansas City. It makes getaways for the weekend really doable, and for an explorer like me, there are endless opportunities to take your time and get a feel for a place! Both KC and St. Louis are historical cities, with STL being the well-known "Gateway to the West" (the Arch, while not really worth actually going to the top of in my opinion, is pretty amazing to spot intermittently while driving around - it really is majestic!), and KC having some of the best BBQ around, for the last 100 years at least (which I found out when I moved here is because they had some of the biggest stockyards in the country - I had always wondered why KC BBQ was popular considering they aren't in the South, where BBQ reigns).

      The cities' histories shows potently through their architecture, where driving around you can see the eras each city has gone through reflected in their buildings. This is one of the things I loved about this particular trip! Before, I had the notion that KC was the "cooler" of the two cities. However, after driving through different neighborhoods to get from one destination brunch spot in the Central West End to the cutest little cafe in the Shaw area - I decided St. Louis' cool-factor was worth it's salt. Our first stop? The aforementioned brunch spot: Cafe Osage! Pictured above, the cafe is located in Bowood Farms greenhouse and shop building. Ya, it was basically a dream come true for a person who loves food and shopping equally. 

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      This is the dining room, and every little detail was as cute as can be! As far as the food goes, that was pretty perfect too. I had their omelette, which was loaded with herbs and was oozing (for lack of a better word) with whipped goat cheese. Accompanying my delicious meal was their Rose Colored Glasses cocktail - a gin and grapefruit concoction that hit the spot!  

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      After we finished eating, we perused their adorable shop and greenhouse. While I would've bought pretty much anything in there, I opted for a little crown for Bailey (her birthday is in 2 days!) and a beautiful set of well-made Japanese notebooks for me (which I actually needed - I try and stay practical in overwhelming shopping situations!). 

     This was their children's section - when shopping for Bailey, I've had to keep in mind the longevity of her enjoyment out of items. She loves books of course, but she already has so many I didn't feel like she'd think it was a very special gift (and this also goes for stuffed animals). Craft supplies I can get from anywhere, so again not super special. I landed on a little felt crown that you can clip to the top of her head! She loves playing princess with dress-up crowns, but they always fall off her head - so this seemed like a good upgrade!

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     After our brunch and shopping expedition, we drove through the St. Louis University neighborhoods to the Shaw area to visit the Fiddlehead Fern Cafe! I had read about it in Feast Magazine, and after seeing they serve a lavender rose latte, I knew I had to stop in. They're the first cafe in the city to use a Modbar (aka a modular system bar, where all of the machines are stored underneath the bar, similar to a tap for beer).

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        The latte was everything I expected, except better because it wasn't overwhelmingly floral like some drinks can be when using flowers or herbs as a flavoring. Everything about this neighborhood was fun - from the intentional murals and unintentional graffiti to pretty much every building being built with brick. After the cafe, we ventured to the Galleria for their Urban Outfitters. Normally, I would say to steer clear of a mall, but the UO there is so well stocked and actually has their home goods line - so I highly recommend it! That evening we went to Edgewild for dinner, and it's a must-stop dinner spot, so add it to your list as well! 

     Thanks for reading, and I'll be back next week with more recipes! Have a fun Wednesday!

For Morning Habits

 

     Hi there! I've been thinking about revamping my morning routine lately, and wanted to share some tips that I've found helpful for a relaxing and productive morning!

      First, I always start with a warm glass of water filled with lemon juice. It's super good for your digestive system, and gets your metabolism up and running first thing! Then, of course, I reach for the coffee, and try and limit myself to two cups per day. Some days are easier than others!

       After that, especially if it's a weekend morning, I like to chill in bed with said coffee and one of my many notebooks. I've found that my brain works best with a list, something tangible that clearly states what has to get done that day. Otherwise, there are just too many ideas and sporadic tasks that run through my head and I end up forgetting to do some things all together!

     Lastly, I do some light yoga to stretch myself out for the day, and mostly just to wake up my joints and muscles after sleeping. Stretching always feels the best in the morning after a good nights sleep! 

     Thanks for reading, and have a fun Wednesday!

To Make a Scrub

 

      Hi there! Winter means dry skin, and one of the best remedies for that is exfoliation. Coffee has an excellent amount of grit and nutrients for the skin, the most beneficial being circulatory stimulation. The caffeine of the coffee is absorbed into the skin, and literally speeds up the cells and blood flow. Not to mention that coffee also has great anti-inflammatory properties. Get the how-to for this coffee scrub below!

Materials:

- 1/2 cup of ground coffee

- 1/2 cup of brown sugar

- 1 tbs. of coconut oil

- 1 tbs. of olive oil

Directions:

1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Store in an airtight container, and enjoy!

For a Latte

 

     Hi there! A chilly day like today calls for a latte, and I've got a new flavoring to try: Salted Nutella! It's so so good, and I got to try making homemade nutella, which is delicious. Check out the recipe below!

Ingredients:

- coffee

- almond milk

- Nutella

- sea salt

Directions:

1. In a small pot, boil almond milk, then whisk in salt and Nutella.

2. Pour mixture into a cup of coffee and stir.

3. Froth in a blender, and serve hot. Enjoy!

Morning's at Home

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     Good Morning! It's finally Saturday!! For us, this means a trip to the farmers market + a jaunt to a little fall festival on a farm this afternoon. The Roots and Blues music festival is going on this weekend in Columbia, so we are avoiding the downtown scene at all costs. Luckily, there are always activities to fill our weekends with! What does your first October weekend look like? Leave me a comment below! Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend!

To Make Cold Brew

 

      Hi there! One of my favorite parts about summer is iced coffee. I'm a fan of hot or cold coffee, but cold-brew is always a bit stronger than your typical warm cup. Cold-brew coffee is essentially a coffee concentrate, and is made by brewing the coffee with cold water instead of hot. It's super simple to-do, and is made even simpler if you use a french-press like I do. You can make it without one, your just have to use cheesecloth or a regular coffee filter to filter it, and that can get a little messy. With a french-press, the filter is built in, so all you have to do once it's brewed is push the plunger down and pour. Get the how-to below!

Ingredients: Yields 4 servings of cold-brew

- 4 heaping tablespoons of coffee, or one for each cup, depending on if you want more or less

- 4 cups of cold water

Directions:

Step one - Scoop out your coffee into your vessel for brewing, and douse with cold water until filled.

Step two - Stir, stir, stir. You want to make sure all of the grounds get wet and aren't sitting on top of the water.

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Step three - Let brew in the fridge for twelve hours, or overnight. After it's done brewing, filter into a pitcher or jar and serve over ice. Enjoy!

Book of the Month

 
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     Hi there! It's the beginning of the month, and that means a new book to read! I chose Brooklyn by Colm Toibin, mostly because the film they turned it into caught my attention. I've decided to read it before I see the movie though, which is usually what I do in a book/film adaptation situation. I usually try to not hold it against the movie though, if they change things from the book. Also, I wanted to do a novel this month, since we took a break with a cookbook last month. I was looking at self-help and organizational type books for this month, initially. My interests wouldn't stray from the novels though! I kept looking at them more, so I just decided to throw in the towel and settle on one. Brooklyn has rave reviews, and it's really giving off A Tree Grows in Brooklyn vibes, for obvious reasons. This book tells of actual immigrants though, as opposed to the children of immigrants, so that will be a new perspective. I can't wait to get started! Happy reading!

To Make Some Coffee

 

       Hey guys! I thought I'd share the best way (in my opinion) to make coffee. You can't go wrong with a french press coffee maker. It takes more time than say a Keurig, but if you actually care about the flavor and smoothness of your coffee, than it's worth the extra minutes. I started using one a few years ago, and haven't looked back! I plan my morning around making my coffee, and I love taking a few extra minutes to make my coffee perfect. A french press uses a mesh filter plunger to filter the coffee post-brewing. Using this method gives your brew a smooth and bold taste. It's very simple, and I love that it's not electronic. I've actually traveled with it before, which is another great perk. Check out the process below!

Step one - Always start with ground coffee. With french presses, I like a coarse ground coffee, so that my cup of joe isn't too thinned out. I put two and a half tablespoons at the bottom of the pitcher, and then add two cups of boiling hot water. 

Step two - After you add your water, let the coffee brew for at least 5 minutes, and then push the plunger through. Now, you are good to go!

What We're Loving, #4

     Hi readers! It's Monday, so you know that means its What We're Loving day! Winter's starting to stick its head out of the ground and I think I'll be O.K. with it, as long as I'm prepared (hence the socks and hat). I literally don't take these socks off when I'm at home. We are both loving the Greek yogurt! They were cast offs from Brett's wisdom teeth experience, he's not a yogurt fan. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is excellent so far, I can see why it's a classic! Hope you all have an excellent week, happy Monday!

Wearing: My favorite socks/the only hat she can't remove in 3 seconds.

Eating: Greek yogurt/Greek yogurt, but by herself!

Making: Fun things with washi tape/scribbles, scribbles, scribbles.

Loving: This coffee Kristen brought me back from Vegas/my yak (white buffalo) that she's warming up to.

Weekly Moodboard, #2

     Guess what?! It's time for Weekly Moodboard #2, and I'm still stuck on fall. All aspects of it entice me, and I'm starting to realize it's my favorite season. Everything it represents are all things I get excited for. Pumpkin flavored things, cooler weather, sweaters for said cooler weather, Halloween and Thanksgiving, all things plaid, apple cider floats, the changing leaves, I could go on and on. I probably will in next weeks' mood board as well, but for right now, lets just peruse Pinterest for a moment and single out those images that bring up all the feelings.

     As you can see, the colors of fall are my biggest influence at the moment. Also, I'd like to point out that the chill of fall brings everything warm into the picture. Sweaters, hot drinks, and cozy throws. Yes, please.