Hello from stormy Seattle where I’m spending the next few days doing all kinds of fun things like working a coffee trade show (!!!) and researching the best whiskey cocktail in the city. The next few days will be absolutely crazy for me, because I get to see all the insane coffee companies I
stalk follow on Instagram and meet some really amazing people making strides in the industry! I’m going to drink twenty shots of espresso a day and then die by way of over-caffeination. After that’s over, I’m going to head over to the Upers and Downers section where they keep the booze, and I’m going to schmooze and pass out my business cards to anyone who will take them at the after parties! My first day back to work on Tuesday will be rough af, but that’s what sleeping on the plane is for right?
In other news, I think Seattle is the most wonderful place. It’s rainy in that romantic way where I just want to carry a really expensive umbrella and hail taxis all day. One of my favorite scenarios is when a bunch of lights reflect across the rainy ground, and the roads look like a van Gogh painting. I think Seattle in itself might have been dreamt up by van Gogh. Should I start a conspiracy theory about this??
For Christmas this past year, I got a jar of Coffee Blossom Honey from work, and for someone who has never liked honey, I’m actually a huge fan. The company works directly with farms to source raw coffee-flower honey from micro-lots to promote sustainability and transparency. Basically, the idea is that bees = pollenation, pollenation = more healthy coffee trees, healthy coffee trees = more coffee for us! I was trying to figure out something to do with it in relation to coffee, and then I thought of how toddies use tea, and I think you know where this is going.
(P.S. not a sponsored post, just really stoked on this honey).
Coffee toddies are for people who like the idea of drinking cocktails during Sunday brunch but also need black coffee in the morning. If you are someone that guffaws at anyone who orders cold brew or an iced latte in the morning, this is for you. If the idea of drinking vodka prior to espresso makes you want to die, coffee toddies are for you. If you just like the idea of coffee + alcohol, this drink is for you!! A coffee toddy essentially combines all of my loves, namely coffee + whiskey. I chose to add grapefruit juice rather than lemon juice, because I like how the flavor of grapefruit combines with coffee. However, any citrus would taste great; next time, I’m going to try orange. For the coffee, I would highly recommend getting something with brighter, citrusy, fruity, and/or floral notes; avoid anything too dark, chocolatey, and nutty, or you will end up with a strange flavor the combination that no one is asking for. I went with a Nicaraguan that has notes of orange blossom + peach, and it balanced really nicely with the sweetness from the honey and of course, the grapefruit juice.
On another note, I’m convinced that this coffee toddy is the best way to fight a cold. Coffee and honey have antimicrobial components, grapefruit juice has vitamin C, and whiskey cures broken hearts so … it’s basically a health drink! I know it’s spring and all, but it snowed in Reno this past week, so basically no one is safe from rhinovirus’s wrath. #science
16 oz. fresh coffee (I brewed with a Chemex)
Two 2 oz. shots of whiskey (I used Bulleit)
4 tsp. grapefruit juice
2 Tbs. honey
Grapefruit, for garnish
Add one shot of whiskey, 2 tsp. of grapefruit juice, and 1 Tbs. of honey to each mug. Add 8 oz. of hot, fresh coffee. Stir until honey is completely dissolved. Garnish with grapefruit. Serve immediately.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Lost my Head there by Kurt Vile
Yesterday, we had a rare March day with wonderful weather, and it was also the first day in three weeks that I haven’t felt like utter garbage. I am currently in the midst of the longest sinus infection of my life, but even so, it could not ruin my spirits prompted by warm weather. And by warm, I mean 45* F. But, still… the sun was out for a change! I had planned on spending the day cleaning my house after looking around and realizing that it looks like my closet threw up my entire shoe collection and I have a very impressive herd of dust bunnies breeding in my hallway. But life is short, and sunny, windless Sundays are rare in March, so I forced myself to put on pants and get out of the house. I got a coffee and took Bell to run around the dog park, and it wasn’t even muddy! It was freezing, but every once in a while, the clouds would clear for a minute, and the sun would warm everything up. The air smelled so good. I always forget how lovely early spring is until it comes back around again.
Other than toughing it through the freezing-warm weather for as long as I possibly could, I spent the whole day cooking up some new recipes. I love all the produce that’s out right now, and I’m taking advantage of it for as long as I can. It inspired me to make some roast chicken with lots of potatoes and fresh herbs and then watch Julie & Julia, because what else would you watch when food is inspiring you?
Another one of my spring favorites in the produce section is all of the fresh strawberries! Strawberry shortcake has always been a very Easter-y dessert in my family. We make our strawberry shortcake with biscuits instead of angel food cake, and I am convinced it’s the only way to even eat strawberry shortcake. Also, you have to absolutely drench it in whipped cream, it’s a rule.
Like I was talking about last week, I’m trying to take advantage of my very short weekends by getting up earlier and brunching more. Without some sort of goal, I have the tendency to sleep in and then lay in bed on my phone scrolling through embroidery instagrams for three hours. SO, instead of scrolling, I’m sconing. And eggs-benedicting. And waffling. If it’s brunchy, I want something to do with it.
But I digress. This is about scones. And strawberries. And mixing it all together to create some sort of strawberry-shortcake inspired scone. And also adding cardamom, because cardamom + strawberries = lalalala one of the best combos ever!! Why didn’t I do this earlier, it’s such a good idea? Cardamom is fairly expensive, but a tiny bit goes a long way, so you’ll definitely notice a little hint of it in these scones. The strawberry curd is a little extra step, but if you don’t want to go that far, you could always just serve these with jam or chop up some fresh strawberries to throw on top! These are perfect for Easter brunch, especially because they can be made a day in advance! Aaaaand they are best served with lots of fresh coffee, obviously.
Vanilla + Cardamom Scones with Strawberry Curd
3 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 sticks butter, cut in 1/2 in. cubes
1 egg, whisked
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/2 c. whipping cream + more for brushing
2 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 Tbs. milk or cream
Preheat oven to 375* F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Toss very cold butter in the flour. Using your hands, work quickly to break the butter into the flour until it is pea-sized. You may have some larger, flatter pieces.
Make a well in the center. Add the egg, buttermilk, cream, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Mix until just incorporated. The dough will be sticky.
Turn dough onto a floured surface. Press into a 1-inch disk. Cut into 8 sections. Alternatively, for smaller scones, you could press it into two 1/2 in. disks and cut each of those into 8 sections. Space on a baking sheet 2 inches apart. Brush each scone with cream. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar, 1 Tbs. of milk, and 1/4 tsp. of vanilla extract until smooth. Drizzle over scones. Serve with curd (recipe below).
1 lb. strawberries, finely chopped
Zest + juice of 1 lemon
1/4 c. sugar
1 Tbs. corn starch + 2 Tbs. water whisked
6 Tbs. butter
Combine strawberries, zest, lemon juice, sugar, and eggs in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, or until bubbling. Add the cornstarch slurry and stir until mixture thickens.
Remove from heat. Whisk in the butter. Cool curd and serve with scones + whipped cream.
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Let it Happen by Tame Impala
It’s a rare Sunday when I’m actually human enough to have a proper brunch before noon. Beyond the mandatory sleeping in portion of Sundays, I also have to lay in bed scrolling through my phone, drink a cup of coffee, and snuggle my dog on the floor for thirty minutes all before putting on my face and some real pants. Luckily, I think Sundays always feel like morning until it starts to get dark and the anxiety of the next work day looms over me. So, brunch usually happens anywhere between 12:30 and 3 in the afternoon which means I get to sleep in and skip all the Sunday-brunch crowds. Win-win!
On the off chance that I have my shit together before noon on a Sunday and don’t think I can handle the weekend brunch crowds, I make breakfast at home and eat while cuddled up on the couch watching Friends for the hundredth time. Usually, it’s just a bagel or cheesy eggs + lots lots lots of coffee. However, every once in a while I will have my shit so together that I even have ingredients at home for a fancy brunch! Those are few and far between, but they are sometimes totally real and make me feel like an actual grown up.
I think I would like to make it a new goal to get up at least one Sunday a month and have a fancy brunch. Maybe I’ll even get into doing yoga on Sundays?! Would that make me an overachiever? It sounds a little meta….
This past week(end), I had probably the worst cold of my life. I felt like one of those wavy inflatable tubemen, but instead of being filled with air, I was actually filled with mud and also I was at the bottom of a swamp. I practically drowned myself in cough medicine and Gatorade, and I ate whatever I wanted since I was feeling sorry for myself. After watching approximately 200 episodes of The Office, I finally peeled myself off the couch and managed to get out of the house long enough to get some good coffee. Also, I’m sending many blessings to past Sara, because when I opened my freezer, I had some of these mini galettes wrapped up! (Ugh, past Sara can be a real MVP sometimes). Since it was the first warm day we’ve had in ages, I swigged some Dayquil and enjoyed these galettes with plenty of fresh coffee at our local arboretum.
These galettes are super easy and a fun play on the French croque madame. When I was in France this past summer, I was utterly obsessed with croque madames and ham and cheese baguettes. Why is it that the French can make a ham and cheese sandwich so amazing and mine taste like they came out of a vending machine? Anyways, I decided to take these ingredients and combine them with another one of my favorite French treats – the galette. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’m totally obsessed with galettes, so it was about time that I made a savory version.
Oh, and I put everything bagel spice on the crust, because I pretty much want everything bagel spice on everything in my whole life.
Croque Madame Galettes with Everything Crust
Makes 4 large servings or 8 small servings
2 – 9 in. pie crusts, store-bought or homemade
1/4 c. dijon mustard
8 oz. ham, thinly sliced
6 oz. swiss cheese, sliced or shredded
1/4 c. everything bagel spice*
Sliced chives, for topping
Preheat oven to 350* F. Divide pie dough into 4 equal parts, and roll them out until they are about 6 inches in diameter. Spread 1 Tbs. of dijon in the middle of each crust. Place 2 oz. of ham and 2 slices of swiss (or 3 Tbs. shredded) in the middle of each crust. Fold the crust edges over. It doesn’t have to be perfect since they are supposed to be rustic!
Mix 1 of the eggs with about 1 Tbs. of water. Brush each of the crusts with the egg wash, and sprinkle each galette with 1 Tbs. of everything bagel spice. Bake for about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, and break 1 egg over the top of each galette. Bake for about 10 more minutes, or until the white is set and the yolk is still fairly runny.
Sprinkle each galette with the chives and serve!
*To freeze, wrap each galette in tinfoil and store in an airtight container in the freezer. To reheat, throw the wrapped galette in a 350* oven for about 30 minutes.
*I have a jar of everything bagel spice in my cabinet, but if you’re not one of those people, you can mix together 1 Tbs. poppy seeds, 1 Tbs. sesame seeds, 1 Tbs. dried garlic, and 1 Tbs. dried onion together. Sometimes, I use a mix of black and white sesame seeds for fun!
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the day: Heart in a Cage by The Strokes