There’s a brew making a pretty big splash lately and, it’s not a beer baby!Β 

Have you been wondering about this whole cold brew coffe trend? I have and I generally, along with most of you, need caffeine in my day. I picked up a few to see what all the hype was about exactly. I wanted to know. 

What is Cold Brew Coffee? 

Cold brew, or cold water extract, refers to the process of steeping coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for an extended period. Cold brew coffee is not to be confused with iced coffee, which generally refers to coffee that is brewed hot and then chilled by pouring over or adding ice, though iced coffee can refer to cold brew coffee served on ice.

Now I needed to know. What does cold brew coffee taste like? 

I grabbed a few at the local Met Market including the “everywhere” Stumptown Cold Brew original, the dairy free coconut version from Stumptown as well, High Brew from California and Tony’s Organic chocolate from Smith Brothers Farm. 
The Tonys was creamy, something like chocolate milk with a coffee kick. Same goes for the Stumptown coconut, creamy sweet coffee goodness. I love coconut, and don’t mind the ‘non-dairy’. The High Brew was salted caramel flavor…come on, yes! It was a little more intense and I didn’t get a full grip on the salted caramel flavor. It was a booster for sure though. The Stumptown original packed the most coffee punch, watch out, you can go too far!! All interesting, all pretty darn tasty. I feel like I have fulfilled my curiosity once and for all. And, found a few local companies in the process. 

So, after all this I wondered maybe like you too, can I make my own. Yes, yes you can. If you don’t want to drop thefough all the time and just simply have it on hand it’s fairly painless to try. Here’s the scoop…

Making your own Cold Brew…

Take one cup of beans and grind them. Go for a medium to large grind preferably.  Fresh is best but, store bought works too.

Next: Just add water and stir

Place the grounds in a large mason jar 40 ounces or larger jar or pitcher with airtight lid, and add 4 cups cool water. I have my canning jars lying around for this, easy peesy. Try to use filtered water if possible! And give it a good stir. Make sure and mix the two together well…

Finally: Put the lid on and sit it somewhere out of direct light/sun. And there it will sit at least 6 but, up to 12 hours.

Strain, a French press work great or mesh or fine strainer. You can pour over ice and add cream and simple as that you have made a coffee concentrate. It packs a punch. So, watch out! But, delicious for Summer and I think could be added to all sorts of recipes from baking to drinks! 

That’s it. I feel more knowledgeable and hopefully I have upped your coffee game too. I wanna hear what you think when you try these or making your own! Let me know. Have I missed your favorites? Come on! Share with me!! 

Foil wrapped cheeks…

Ever had Cheeks? Halibut cheeks. Get your minds out of the gutter. Geez. 

Anyway, I found them at fish market. And, they aren’t always available. Oh boy but, when they are. Yes, yes and yes. 

Seattle weather has been hot. Like 90s hot. And, the last thing I wanted to do was turn onthe oven. This worked for this fish but, why not others? We have all Summer people. 


Start with the foil, throw in some fresh veggies. These, are snap peas and onions then I added some chopped garlic, olive oil, capers, a little lemon squeeze, topped it with a bit of yummy, yummy Dungeness crab and sealed up that sucker for 15 on the BBQ! Hello delicious! 

It was truly outstanding and didn’t add one ounce of heat to the already hot little box called home, that was happening that day. I assume we will have a few more of those to come…

Try it you love it and let me know what you think, how it was and what you used! 

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

  
These are seriously the best! I get cravings for them. And, no animals were harmed, and that’s okay by me. I’m trying to eat less meat. 

If you haven’t heard of or tried these. It’s incredibly easy and perfect for an appetizer or snack with a salad, ah yeah! 

1 head of Cailiflower cut into bite size pieces

1 cup water

1 cup flour

3/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder 

1/4 teaspoon onion powder 

2 tablespoons butter

Ready

Pre-heat your oven to 450*

Spray a sheet pan with oil 

  
Mix the flour, water and seasonings in a bowl and mix

Coat your cauliflower and place on the sheet pan

Cook for 20 minutes, with 1 turn in between 

  
Mix your melted butter and sauce while those are cooking

Place in the mixture when done 

Garnish with celery and serve with sauce

  

25 Things to do on a Spring Day…🌿

 By Sonya Law  
Springtime is right around the corner. And, it’s one of my favorite times of year. There’s so many possibilities for fun and relaxation. But, if your also like me you forget to write all those things down and check them off your list. So, here’s a few ideas for you and I, to search out and live life to the fullest this coming Springtime…

  
1.) Visit your local farmers market. Or, make a trip to a local one you have always wanted to visit. My trick is to bring a cooler bag or an ice chest in the car to keep things like veggies and salsas. My favorites are the Ballard market (http://www.sfmamarkets.com/), Pikes place is open everyday of course, but, Spring is excellent and a day drive to Roslyn is gorgeous on a Sunday from 10-2 (Roslyn Market).

2.) Take a stack of magazines to your favorite coffee shop and have an iced green tea…or whatever’s your favorite. 

3.) Do some Spring cleaning and organizing in your closet.

4.) After you complete #3 go out and shop for something cute. Time for that new pencil skirt, bangle bracelet, sunnies or some sexy sandals. 

  5.) Take a class. A painting class, cooking class or flower arranging, for those stunning stems you just found at the market. 

6.) Pack a picnic and head out to a concert, or a park, or a lake. Try Experience Washington for some fun events.  Nothing wrong with a day in the grass. Don’t forget the frisbe, soccer ball and a blanket. 

7.) Get your nails done. It’s time for pretty pastels, think fresh. I love Essie’s “Pret-a-Surfer” or “Bikini with a Martini” right now. Think Pantones colors of the year…winning. 

8.) Deep condition your hair. It’s after winter, it needs it. Buy some Bumble surf spray and get ready for more fresh and sexy. All that spa stuff is good right now. I like some tanning towelettes, some fun pink or nude lipstick/gloss, and some BB cream and a good bronzer too. Let’s make it easy on ourselves, beauties. 

9.) Organize that book shelf and get ready for your Spring/Summer “reads”

10.) Research ways to Volunteer. There’s nothing better then planning on giving back. It’s easy with Volunteer Match. Plug in your interests and your zip and they find things for you. 

11.) Hit up some favorite new restaurant spots, yum. I have so many friends with new restaurants it’s crazy. And, so many more I want to check out. No Bones Beach Club and Gracia to name a couple. 

   
12.) Now challenge yourself to recreate a dish at home. You heard it. Shop all the ingredients and whip up something you have always wanted to try and make at home. 
  13.)Head out on a hike. Every Trail lists area, rating and time with pictures and a description. 

14.) Have a movie night. Redbox will be an influx of all the “noms”, nods and winners of the oscars. Grab some organic popcorn from Trader Joes and a blanket. Or, make a few different kinds and invite some friends. 

  16.) Grab your camera and snap some pics! There’s lots of gorgeous activity here in the #PNW. No better time then Spring to capture the beauty. 

  17.) Create something. Yes you can! Paint, write, sculpt. Creation is good for the soul and spirit. Make a small goal and have fun. No one is judging and don’t care if they were anyway.

  18.) Hit up that local brewery or winery you have been hearing about. 

  19.) Grow something like flowers or food. Nothing is more satisfying then having or eating something you tended with your own two hands. Not good at it you say? Try succulents. They are gorgeous with low maintenance and you can go as little or as big with it as you like. 

20.) Take a road trip. There are a dozen day trips that are beyond amazing in the Spring and Summer. Try Vashon, Coupeville, Port Townsend, Chelan, Levenworth, Walla Walla, Hood Canal, Gig Harbor…just to name a few of my favorite spots. You might want to stay.

21.) Have a friend Brunch. It’s wonderful to hit up a deck outdoors with friends and be sipping Champagne or Bloody Mary’s, come warmer weather time. Cheers! 

  22.) Tend to your pets. I have two dogs ready for some Spring cleaning themselves. Time for hair, nails and powder for them too. I love my lil’ “moostached” Lulabelle. Isn’t she cute? 

23.) Check out your local museums or go antiquing. Why not a great walk through the city? There are a ton of great antique shops in Washington and the Seattle Art Museum has discounts on every first Thursday. It’s enriching and it makes you look hella classy. That also have classes and speakers that are constantly changing to check it out here: SAM 

24.) Plan a checkup, a cleaning and do a cleanse. I know, I know. Let the grumbling begin. But, listen to this, you’ll be all “Spring cleaned up” too! What better way to start the season and head into Summer feeling tuned up and doing your best? Your teeth with shine, your face will glow (never mind beating that Winter bloat) and you will have peace of mind that your health is first. 

25.) Practice your “Rights of Spring”. No, I am not getting all earthy-crunchy on you. But, this is a great way to usher in the new, and let go of the past. A simple tradition practiced by me and some of my close friends, typically around a bonfire but, other means will work. It’s simple. Write down all of the things you hope for in the coming year (good health, a new job, a trip, good wishes for friends and family) and all the negative things you want to leave behind or want to change. Now, write them on a piece of paper and then throw it into the fire, or bury it in the ground (not condoning littering, make sure it’s biodegradable please). Get it? Starting fresh, renewed, just like Spring. Now your mind has practiced some Spring cleaning too. 

  
Let me know what you think! And, what your up to with Spring right around the corner. I would love to know and hear about what your up to and what you have checked off your list for this season.  And, no matter what, have fun out there beauties! 🌿

All Photos and Artwork: Sonya Law 

Mini Margaritas and Stuffed Bell Pepper Party🌡

 My parents owned a Mexican restaurant for 30 years. So, I sit around a lot thinking about things like margaritas, nachos and tacos. I can’t help it…

You know those adorable Patron nipper bottles? Ready to put those to fun things to use and have a fantastic, little,  Mexican themed party? A party complete with a mini stuffed pepper recipe and more. It’s super simple. And,  I thought so! 

First,drinks! Every great host or hostess starts with the best stuff first. Ever heard of these unusually flavored margaritas? Well, you have now! They are amazing.  Cucumber/jalapeΓ±o is fresh and spicy, chipotle/grapefruit-tart with a kick, grapefruit and limes are in season now. I save my lavender from the summer so, lavender/lime will knock “the girls” out of the water! Gorgeous, floral and tart. If you ever wonder about deep Mexico, mezcal reminds me of my trip to Oaxaca. Wow, that was a doozy. Smokey and gritty. Just like that trip. There’s just something cool about it though. 

What are you waiting for? This stuff is so great! Don’t be scared to switch it up, for petes sake. Blow your guests away already with these ideas. 

DRINKS…

CUCUMBER JALAPEΓ‘O MARGARITA

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 cup white tequila

1/4 cup orange liqueur, such as Grand Marnier

1/4 cup simple syrup, or more as needed

2 slices cucumber, diced

1 jalapeno, halved lengthwise

Ice, for serving

Salt for glass rims, optional

DIRECTIONS

For the rim: Serve with salt-rimmed Patron bottles or glasses. 

For the margarita: Mix together the lime juice, tequila, orange liqueur, simple syrup, cucumber and jalapenos in a large pitcher. Chill for at least 1 hour (the longer the margarita sits, the more the cucumber and jalapeno flavors infuse into the drink).

Garnish inside the bottles with diced cucumber. Or a cucumber wheel on the side of the glass. 


CHIPOTLE GRAPEFRUIT MARGARITA 

CHIPOTLE SALT:

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon chipotle powder

MARGARITA:

2 ounces fresh grapefruit juice

2 ounces silver tequila

1 ounce orange liqueur

1 small pinch chipotle powder

2 grapefruit wedges


DIRECTIONS 

For the chipotle salt: Mix together the salt and chipotle powder on a plate.
For the margarita: Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the grapefruit juice, tequila, orange liqueur and chipotle powder. Cover and shake until mixed and chilled, about 30 seconds. (In general, the drink is ready by the time the shaker mists up.)

Moisten the rim of the bottles or a glass with one of the grapefruit wedges and press the rim into the chipotle salt. Strain the margarita into the prepared bottle/glass and garnish with small dices of lime or a grapefruit wedge on the side of the glass. 


LAVENDER LIME MARGARITA 

2 oz. silver tequila

1/2 oz. Cointreau

1 oz. lavender simple syrup

1/2 lime

sugar

dried lavender

DIRECTIONS 

*Prepare basic simple syrup (sugar and water mixture). Then, while heating add in dried lavender. Strain to remove lavender then add to your drinks. 

For the rim: On a plate, mix the sugar and dried lavender and use it to rim the outside of the bottle or a rocks glass. 

For the margarita: In a shaker, combine 2 oz. silver tequila, 1/2 oz. Cointreau, 1 oz. simple syrup and the juice of half a lime and let sit with ice to chill. 

Shake and strain the contents of the strainer into the bottles or glasses. Drop dices of lime in for garnish in or a lime wheel on the side of the glass. 
MEZCAL MARGARITA 

2 ounces tequila 

1-ounce Triple Sec

1-ounce fresh lime juice

3/4 teaspoon simple syrup

Ice cubes

1/2-ounce mezcal (I recommend Mezcales de Leyenda)

DIRECTIONS 

For the rim: Lime and salt on your Patron bottles. Garnish inside the bottles with diced lime. Or a lime wedge on the side of the glass. The chipotle rim can be used on this one, as well. It’s tasty if you love some spice. 

For the margarita: Place tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker and shake until combined. Pour in the bottles or on the rocks in a glass and pour a float of mezcal on top of either preparation; do not stir the mezcal into the drink, as it should “float” on top of the rocks glass and in the bottles. 

Pull out the straws and start the party. Now, ready to get your “fast” food on? 

FOOD…

STUFFED MINI PEPPERS

1 avocado, finely chopped

3/4 cup rinsed canned organic

 black beans

1/2 cup organic frozen corn, thawed or organic canned corn

1/2 cup  Chunky Salsa/Pico de Gallo

1 lb. assorted sweet mini peppers, cut lengthwise in half, seeded

1 cup grated cheese (I use yogurt cheese slices and throw those in the food processor for my lactose intolerance) 

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

LET’S DO THIS…

Heat your broiler up on low 

Mix avocado, black beans, corn and salsa together. The flavor is in the salsa so, get your favorite. 

Stuff your peppers with your mixture. Top with cheese. Broil for 3-5 minutes depending on your oven. Plate and top with fresh cilantro for color.

For a spicy version add some Tapatio to your stuffing mixture or get a hotter salsa. 

So, not only is this fast and easy for friends and say a girls gathering, football party (Go Hawks!), or afternoon snack even. And, guess what? They are only about 40 or 50 calories each. 

OTHER STUFF…

Use your stuffing for mini or regular tacos too, by cutting out the centers for tacos for the littles and pinning them shut with a tooth pick. Or, serving up regular ones and garnishing with fresh cheese and sour cream. Those are crazy easy and FAST! I’m sure I don’t need to give anyone a huge run down on tacos. It’s been done. 

Speaking of fast, you could layer everything into little cups and make a layered dip out of those left over ingredients for another, stunningly,  quick pre-prepped treat. Just grab and go!!! 

Speaking of simple,pinto beans and delicious salsa in a crockpot on low is an outstandingly, insanely simple trick, my mom pulled off all the time with her signature salsa. A can and container on low an hour before is about as big a no-brainer as it can get. I serve organic chips and guacamole. Pickled, spicy jalapeΓ±o, carrot and onion is the trick of an authentic twist. 

Throw in some Mexican beer. Throw on Buena Vista Social Club for some tunes with your favorite colored tunic, jeans, flats. Throw a flower in your hair and welcome to maybe one of the simplest parties you have ever pulled off! 

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