Spicy Salty Dogsย 

Add a little chili ๐ŸŒถ and lime to the rim of a classic vodka and grapefruit cocktail to give it a kick for summertime! Delicious ๐Ÿ˜‹ 

Be Beary Brave๐Ÿป


I don’t know if you know this but, when you have a child, at the beginning of the new school year they ask you to make an emergency bag. You know, with food and things. In the bag, they ask you include a note. Now, I don’t know about you fellow parents or those without, using your imagination but, I’m like,what do I write in this damn card. I mean I hope he never has to be using the darn bag, let alone reading the card. That means the shit has hit the proverbial fan. Pardon my language. But, late last night and very free hand, I put together a little tri-fold on a section of leftover watercolor paper. I wrote the note and thought if I were a scared out of my wits, 5 year old, having to read this thing I would probably want to see something goofy and happy. You know, lighten the mood a bit…Well, there he is, WA-LA. One goofy bear with funny toes. Totally unplanned out and Jack saw him this morning and thought he was really cute, which made me smile. 

And, I hope we won’t be seeing you again bear until a school year is in the “books”, if you will. I am showing this clearly unperfected piece of work because, well, it’s a good and light adage for life? To all my TDLoves “Be Beary Brave”. ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿป

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

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!! 

Home Brew style Kombucha…๐ŸŒฟ

Those who know me well, know I love exploring the culinary world of making. I have tackled canning, pickling, and all sorts of new things. So, naturally I was more then excited when a neighbor asked if I wanted a SCOBY from her previous batch of kombucha. Of course I did. I always want to try something new. 

I also know that this beverage is a love or hate thing for most people. I personally love it and it helps my tummy. Those of you who join me in loving also know it is a bit of a luxury at typically $4.00 a bottle. 

So why not try it. I might not want to do this all the time but, I tackled it. It’s not to difficult and as with any prospect like this I recommend you work extra clean…hands, counters, bottles.And, you too can brew your own kombucha. It’s pretty interesting overall. I have three more days to give the bottles but, can’t wait! 

Supplies
1 cup sugar

4-6 bags tea โ€“ for loose leaf, 1 bag of tea = 1 tsp I used organic green tea bags 

Kombucha Starter Culture โ€“ SCOBY

1 cup starter liquid

purified/bottled water

tea kettle

brewing vessel

cloth cover/paper towels

rubber band

โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”โ€”

Steps
Boil 4 cups of water.

Add hot water & tea bags to pot or brewing vessel.

Steep 5-7 minutes, then remove tea bags.

Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

Fill vessel most of the way with purified water, leaving just 1-2 inches from the top for breathing room with purified cold water.

Add SCOBY and starter liquid.

Cover with cloth cover and secure with the rubber band.

Say a prayer, send good vibes, commune with your culture (optional but recommended).

Set in a warm location out of direct sunlight (unless vessel is opaque).

Do not disturb for 7 days.

After 7 days, or when you are ready to taste your KT, gently insert a straw beneath the SCOBY and take a sip. If too tart, then reduce your brewing cycle next time. If too sweet, allow to brew for a few more days. Continue to taste every day or so until you reach your optimum flavor preference. Your own Kombucha Tea Recipe may vary.

Decant & flavor (optional).

I bottled and added flavor. I placed bottles in the same warm place and they will stay for 3 more days. Be sure to “burp” the bottles to release the gasses so you don’t have an explosion from all the build up in the bottles. Then refrigerate to stop the process of fermentation. 

Drink as desired! Start off with 4-8oz on an empty stomach in the morning, then with meals to help with digestion or as your body tells you it would like some more! Drink plenty of water as it is a natural detoxifyer and you want to flush the newly released toxins out.
NEVERโŒโŒโŒโŒ
โ€ฆuse a refrigerator stored SCOBY to make Kombucha.

โ€ฆuse a dehydrated SCOBY to make Kombucha.

โ€ฆattempt to grow a SCOBY from a commercial bottle of Kombucha that:

has been pasteurized

has been flavored

has been filtered or reformulated

says anything less than โ€œ100% Kombuchaโ€ on the label

Alwaysโ€ผ๏ธโ€ผ๏ธโ€ผ๏ธโ€ผ๏ธโ€ผ๏ธ
โ€ฆuse a fresh, full-size Kombucha SCOBY to begin brewing.

โ€ฆstore your SCOBYs in a SCOBY Hotel in a dry and dark place.

โ€ฆpass along healthy, fresh SCOBYs with at least 1-2 cups of mature Kombucha Tea and complete, clear instructions to ensure success. If you cannot, recommend a reputable source instead.