Random fact about Angie: despite my general dislike of winter, I don’t think I could ever live in a place without it because I love the excitement and anticipation of changing seasons almost as much as simply enjoying the seasons themselves. For example, I love spring — the blossoms, sunshine, rainstorms, baby animals, the smell of new growth, and perfect temperatures that are not too hot or too cold. When it really comes down to it though, it’s the dramatic beauty of life coming back into an otherwise dead, ugly world that gets me excited every year. I love a good happy ending!
I know, you clicked on this article to read about iced coffee so you’re like WTF lady? But what goes with this transition to warm weather, fuzzy baby duckies, and sunshiney days better than your favorite cup filled with creamy, dark iced coffee bliss? Few things, my friends. Few things.
This time of year I always found myself pulling through the drive thru to indulge this love of iced coffee to feed my spring fever, but that got pricey over time. Over the last few years I have perfected my cold brew recipe to my liking and now make it a regular habit so I always have some stocked. I will make a big batch at a time and keep it in my fridge to last me 1-2 weeks. It makes filling up my cup so easy peasy in the morning and I can make it up to my liking while saving money from stopping at Starbucks or Beans and Brews.
The list of things you need and instructions may look long, but seriously do not let that stop you. Once you do it one time you will be able to do it again super speedily so don’t be intimidated! I will go into detail, but it’s basically three steps: 1) Mix water and coffee and wait a day. 2) Strain coffee. 3) Pour into a container. Done. This is the easiest, most worthwhile recipe ever.
What You’ll Need
1/2 lb ground coffee (I like dark roasts like French or Italian — but whatever you prefer)
16-17 cups water
2 large pots
plastic wrap or lid to cover pot
a circular strainer that fits into a pot
a sealable or screw top pitchers or large mason jars
Pour coffee grounds into a pot and pour room temperature or chilled water over the top. Stir with a spoon and cover for at least 24 hours (did I mention this is the easiest ever?). Prep the second pot and put circular strainer on top and cover with the cheese cloth. This will work as your coffee filter. Depending on your pot (and your strength) either pour or ladel the coffee from one pot to the other. Voila!
Now storage. I got these awesome screw top pitchers at Costco that are perfect since they seal in the flavor and can also be turned sideways so they don’t take up the entire top of your fridge. But since my toddler decided to break both of them, I actually just started storing in large mason jars which also works great. Now just pour, add in ice if you want, and cream, sugar, syrup — however you like your coffee. It’s almost too easy!
We can label springtime and brunch under “my favorite things” and since Easter brunch is coming up this weekend, I thought I would change up one of my favorites. I had a big bag of heirloom carrots that I didn’t want to go to waste, so I decided to use these sweet white and purple carrots in my carrot raisin muffins. They are not too sweet and with the cream cheese mixed right in, are moist with a nod to carrot cake. Perfect to leave for the Easter Bunny…that’s a thing right? Just like Santa? Because I could totally use these as a midnight snack. Ha!
2 cups grated carrots (the heirlooms are pretty, but this is also delish with regular orange carrots)
4 ounces softened cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 chopped walnuts or pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a grater or food processor, grate carrots in a bowl and set aside. In a mixer, blend eggs, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add in carrots, coconut and cinnamon. Stir in baking soda, then add in flour a little at a time until well mixed and stir in nuts. Fill muffin tins with liners and spoon in about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-20 minutes.Read More
I just signed up for my fifth half marathon — yay! When I am in training mode for a race or working out a lot, it’s all I can do sometimes to not constantly complain of being hungry. This is a good problem, right? But that being said, it can be a pain to constantly have this burden of needing to feed myself, so I look for high protein foods that are healthy, keep me full longer, and help strengthen the muscles I’m building. These banana protein muffins are an easy solution and I pop them all in a gallon sized bag in my freezer to make easy before or after workout snacks. YES!
2 1/2 cups oats
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 tablespoons flaxseeds, chia seeds, or 1/2 cup chopped nuts/raisins/chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together banana, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla extract until well blended. Add protein powder, cinnamon, and baking powder. Slowly add oats about 1/2 cup at a time until you get a good consistency. Stir in flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips. Pour batter into lined baking cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.Read More
My weekends always seem to fill up with one thing or another, so there are few things I love quite as much as just a lazy morning at home, rolling out of bed and making a homemade breakfast in my Jammies. Yes, I have a toddler, but this kid sure loves to sleep in. I actually think he would do it every day if I let him. Don’t worry, he makes up for that by not going to bed until 10:30 or 11 most days, but that’s another story.
Anyway so I decided this Saturday to whip up a little something special to celebrate the fact that we were at home and not going much of anywhere since we are attempting potty training this weekend. Eeek! These mixed berry muffins with crumble topping are divine!
Mixed Berry Muffins With Crumble Topping
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 cup mixed berries (I used frozen raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
Crumble topping ingredients
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix together eggs, oil, salt, baking powder and sugar. Stir in flour one cup at a time. Add mixed berries and fold into mixture.
In a separate bowl mix together butter, sugar and flour for crumble topping, using a fork to separate into clumps. Scoop into lined baking tins and sprinkle topping on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes.Read More
I’m always on the lookout for healthy versions of recipes. I’m not one to skimp on delicious treats, but healthy food means often I can eat more, and let’s face it, I love eating. This healthy cookie recipe totally delivers in the taste department compared to a lot of others I have tried that always seem to be lacking enough that they don’t really fulfill my craving (I may or may not have just eaten my fourth cookie as I’m writing this…) Beyond not having added fat and sugar, they also have healthy ingredients added in there so they are not just “not bad” for you, they are actually good for you. BONUS! Now whenever I have bananas that are a bit sad, this is my go-to treat! AND I don’t feel one bit guilty sharing these with my toddler or my husband who is trying to eat healthy.
4 over-ripe bananas
2 cups oatmeal
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1-2 tablespoons flaxseed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mash bananas and mix with egg. Add in oatmeal, coconut, seeds, and wheat germ and stir until well mixed. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Scoop onto a cookie sheet with a spoon and bake for 15 minutes.Read More
Spring is in the air. I can feel it! And with the warmer weather comes fresh smoothies. I love the cool, fresh flavor the cucumber adds. You’d think it’s so lacking in flavor, but somehow added to a smoothie, it adds so much. And if the color green of most green smoothies bothers you, this one turns out lovely lavender, so a good
starter. Love this smoothie!
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1 cup spinach
1/4 cucumber, peeled
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup water