Homemade Eggnog

Homemade Eggnog

Growing up, my mom always made eggnog around Christmas time. As kids, I remember going into the fridge to grab a snack, and then getting really excited when I saw the gallon jugs of milk replaced with gallons of homemade eggnog (non-alcoholic, of course).

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Peppermint Mocha Soap

Peppermint Mocha Soap 1

When the cold weather hits, you can almost always find me with a hot beverage in hand – cider, tea, hot chocolate and nearly any type of coffee concoction. One of my favorite wintertime treats is the peppermint mocha. It’s the perfect drink to kick off the Christmas season – chocolatey, minty and needlessly caloric. What more could you ask for?

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Winter Drinks to Keep You Warm

We’re hanging out again over at FOLK Magazine & Blog this week! We’ve got two beverage recipes for you that are perfect for this holiday season.

The first is a recipe for Tiffany’s Spiced Sweet Tea. A twist on traditional sweet tea, this spiced up version can be served warm or cold so you can enjoy it any time of year. Check out the recipe here!

The second recipe is for glogg – Scandinavian mulled wine. This recipe tastes best on cold, snowy nights by the fireplace alongside close friends and family. Click here for the glogg recipe!

With some spiced sweet tea and a little mulled wine, you may even find yourself looking forward to winter. See you over at FOLK!

Mulled Apple Cider

My husband and I just finished “winterizing” our yard – raking leaves, planting tulips (don’t forget to do this before the ground freezes!) and putting away deck furniture. I was rather thankful when the clouds started rolling in and I felt the first bits of rain, because we were forced to call it quits for the rest of the afternoon. No complaining here!

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Our Open “Haus” Menu

I recently shared a few creative and simple entertaining ideas inspired by my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. As that event was being planned I thought, “Why not make this a weekend event and host an open house at our place the next day?”

OK, I’ll admit it was quite busy cooking, cleaning and setting up for two consecutive open houses. But it was totally worth it! We had a great time on Saturday with FreshGround. Then on Sunday, my husband and I invited friends, family and neighbors to our open “Haus” (our play on words since our last name is Hauser).

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Creative & Simple Entertaining Ideas

Last Saturday, Tiffany and I hung out with my brother and sister-in-law at their open house for FreshGround Roasting. We had a blast preparing appetizers, decorating and learning about coffee. One of the things that I loved was how my sister-in-law, Krista, set out the food. We had hearty appetizers, local cheeses, amazing cupcakes from The Sugar Path and fresh fruits and veggies. Krista used vintage and household items to make the spread look as good as it tasted.

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Offbeat’s Picks: Pomegranates

Only recently have I started eating fresh pomegranates. It began about a year ago when my husband, Colson, and I were looking for an inexpensive date night idea. We decided we’d make dinner together but we wanted to add a little twist to it: mystery ingredients. We decided we’d go to the grocery store and each pick 1 ingredient without the other person knowing what was chosen. When we got home, we’d reveal our choices and cook one meal incorporating both mystery ingredients.

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Healthy Cocoa Banana Almond Smoothie

I don’t actually remember buying a truckload of bananas, but I keep finding more in the fruit bowl. What to do with a mysteriously never-ending supply of bananas? I already did bread so I considered doing cake, cookies or muffins, but I was in the mood for something quick. I decided to throw together a simple and healthy smoothie!

This would have taken me a total of 5 minutes if my blender didn’t decide to stop working. Thank goodness we keep a backup! You never know when you’re gonna have a blending emergency…

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Coffee Cupping and a Giveaway!

Have you ever stopped to truly taste your coffee? I don’t just mean taking a sip and commenting on whether you like it or not. I mean taking a sip and being able to identify whether it tastes citrusy, chocolatey, floral or earthy. Pondering how the coffee feels in your mouth and how the aftertaste differs from the first note of flavor.

Welcome to the art of coffee cupping.  Coffee cupping involves observing the taste and aromas of a cup of coffee. This practice is what the pros use for quality control as well as determining how to roast specific types of beans and creating blends. Even if you’re not a coffee expert, learning the basics of cupping will take your morning beverage routine to a whole new level.

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Ditch the Drip & Perfect the Press

So it seems like we’re unintentionally running with the coffee theme these last couple days! Between Tiff’s AMAZING soap recipe and the tutorial for today, I think it’s time to stock up on some coffee beans! Well, it’s always time to stock up for me…I just can’t get enough coffee! (Can you tell I’ve already had too much today!?)

Anyway, I’ve got to tell you my EXCITING news. I’ve reached a monumental moment in my coffee life. I’ve ditched the drip! Despite the fact that my drip maker has a wonderfully convenient timer that will automatically start brewing my morning addiction before I even make it downstairs, the reality is that’s it’s just not my favorite way to make coffee anymore.

My hubby and I have enjoyed experimenting with different brewing methods, and one that I love is using a French Press. You’ll get a bold brew that really highlights the natural flavors of the coffee. You can also get a press that makes a great looking pitcher. You’ll definitely impress your dinner guests when you pour this at your table!

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