It’s easy to take for granted the drink that wakes us up, gets us moving or sustains us through a road trip or a long meeting. But, in case you didn’t know, coffee has its very own holiday, so let’s take a moment to reflect on the many joys the revered coffee bean has given us throughout history.
Even if you prefer decaf, half-caf, or fully caffeinated, coffee is enjoyed the world over. People add cream and sugar, soy milk, almond milk, non-dairy creamers, caramel, vanilla… the list goes on. And if you only use coffee as a chocolate flavor enhancer (as we do in these Cafe Mocha Marble Brownies), there’s still plenty of reason to celebrate.
Here are just a few of our favorite coffee posts. There are enough recipes and tips contained in the links below to ensure your National Coffee Day is a perky one.
Pull on your favorite comfy sweater and great ready for pumpkin season. We’re rounding up our favorite groovy gourd recipes, from pumpkin donuts to pumpkin soup, so you can be prepared for the inevitable craving of pumpkin flavored food and drink. Yes, we even have a recipe for our take on the infamous PSL (pumpkin spice latte). Enjoy it while it lasts, because peppermint season is right around the corner.
April Aceto is the author of Food n’ Focus, a blog devoted to bringing a variety of cuisines together in one photogenic place. She works in advertising sales by day and behind her camera at night. Her passions for food and photography come from her extensive travel around the country and the world, exploring new cuisine and landscapes. April can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Flickr.
For as long as I can remember my mom has always been the type to put the needs of others before her own. She always is willing to lend an ear or hand when someone is in need and goes out of her way to make someone’s day a little extra special. I like to think this is a quality I received from my mom.
I think this character trait is what makes my mom really great at hosting and entertaining guests. When I was a child my mom would always throw the best themed birthday parties, paying attention to each and every detail all the way down to the smallest of details. I also like to think this is a trait she passed along to me.
1. Espresso drinks scream “party” for hot or cold drinks, cocktails and more. The Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker ($90, hamiltonbeach.com) is perfect for entertaining. 2. My mom always taught me a sweet smelling home sets the stage for the perfect party, so she’d love this Capri Blue Jar Candle in Volcano ($28, anthropologie.com). 3. My mom would love this Blanc Cake Stand ($30, surlatable.com), because every party needs dessert. 4. We’re from Wisconsin, so cheese served on a Slate Cheese Board ($20, 12” x 12”, crateandbarrel.com) is a requirement at any social gathering. 5. These Apilco Octogonal Porcelain Serving Platters ($60-70, williams-sonoma.com) are perfect for serving appetizers, entrees or desserts. 6. My mom could throw great summer parties on the patio with this book of 101 Sangrias & Pitcher Drinks ($17, worldmarket.com). 7. These Kate Spade Larabee Dot Balloons Wine Glasses in Clear ($50, set of four, katespade.com) would be perfect for cocktail parties. 8. Every hostess needs an apron as cute as this Botanist Knoll Apron in Multi ($28, anthropologie.com).
With Mother’s Day coming up I have been thinking about what the perfect gift would be for the mom that loves to entertain and host, must like my own mom does. Browsing the internet, I came up with a variety of pretty little gifts perfect for hosting any kind of party or event. On the top of the list is the Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker. Whether you’re hosting a brunch or serving cocktails at a party, this is the ideal gift for the entertaining mom. More on that later!
There are a few key items I think every host should have: a fancy set of wine glasses, beautiful serving platters and a pretty little kitchen apron. The apron should be something that puts you in the mood to cook and also looks cute even if you’re still wearing it when your guests arrive! Hosting to me is such an art. It’s not just about what you’re serving, it’s about how you’re serving it and your guests will notice if you put in the extra effort.
These Espresso Juleps were inspired by the Kentucky Derby this past weekend but I thought they would be nice to serve at a brunch or as an after-dinner cocktail if you wanted to include a coffee liqueur or vodka. The light flavors of mint and basil in the simple syrup make them the perfect summer sipper. By using the Hamilton Beach Espresso Maker, it was really easy to put together two drinks. Since you are serving these drinks chilled, you can easily make enough espresso ahead of a large group party and chill it in a pitcher in the refrigerator.
If you have a mom that loves to entertain much like my own does, you should consider some of the fun items included on my gift guide. And of course, if you get her the Espresso Maker she can try out these drinks for herself.
4 shots of espresso, cooled
1 cup whole milk, divided
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
¼ cup torn fresh basil leaves
¼ cup torn fresh mint leaves
1 ounce espresso liqueur or vodka (optional)
Mint and whipped cream to garnish
Prepare the simple syrup by heating the sugar, water, mint and basil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the sugar melts. Cool and strain the mint and basil from the sugar syrup and refrigerate until ready to use.
Divide the espresso and milk evenly between two glasses. Stir in 2 tablespoons of simple syrup into each glass. Add in ice cube to fill the glasses and garnish with mint and whipped creaming if desired.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/
Kris Jarrett of Driven by Decor is a home design and lifestyle blogger located just outside of New York with her family. She created her blog to share her DIY adventures, home tips and functional, affordable decorating ideas. Kris can usually be found hanging out with her sweet rescue dog or drinking a hot cup of coffee while she strolls the flea market, but she’s also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
Coming from a girl who loves a good cup of coffee, it’s no surprise that our coffee nook is my favorite spot in the kitchen.
Creating a coffee nook that’s both eye-catching and functional is actually pretty simple. In five easy steps, I’m sharing my how-to tips for creating your own!
- Start by choosing a coffee maker that fits both your space and your lifestyle. The FlexBrew Single-Serve Coffee Maker is a great choice if you’re creating a coffee nook in a space with cabinets above it because of two great features. One is that the water reservoir is removable. Instead of having to pull the coffee maker out from under your cabinets to fill it with water from the top, you simply remove the water reservoir from the back of the coffee maker and fill it in the sink. The second feature is that the coffee basket pops out at the front to fill with either K-cups or ground coffee instead of opening from the top:
And the FlexBrew is a great lifestyle fit if you have a family like ours where one person likes tall travel or ceramic mugs and the other likes smaller coffee cups – the FlexBrew easily accommodates both:
- Now let’s add in a few more of the basics! If you like to use non-dairy creamer, sugar, or spices in your coffee, place them in small containers or shakers to add to your coffee nook. I love sugar and a dash of cinnamon in my coffee so my coffee nook includes both of those in inexpensive salt and pepper shakers. You’ll also need an attractive, airtight container for storing your coffee beans or grounds. I use a small white canister for ours:
- Next, find a unique, decorative container for your coffee filters or K-cups. Our coffee nook includes a small trophy cup that can hold filters for a typical carafe coffee maker or K-cups for a single-serve coffee maker like the FlexBrew.
- Now’s the fun part! Add a few purely decorative items to personalize your coffee nook and make it your own. I added a small chalkboard art print, a woven tray to corral all of my coffee nook supplies, and a cute heart-shaped measuring spoon for scooping coffee grounds.
- The final step is to place your favorite coffee mugs nearby. I simply keep a few of mine on the countertop but you could also hang them on hooks or store your mugs in nearby kitchen cabinets.
It’s as simple as that to create the perfect coffee nook! Now you just need to find a few minutes of time to relax and enjoy your morning coffee. While I tend to grab my coffee and go on weekdays, on weekends I love getting snuggled into our living room couch with a cup of coffee and breakfast treat within reach.
Where is your favorite spot to relax and enjoy your morning coffee?
If you love indulging in flavored coffee drinks, but want to cut back on sugar, don’t feel like you need to compromise on flavor. Rather than deprive yourself, try substituting your regular coffee flavorings with a low- or no-sugar substitute. This way, you don’t have to give up the premium drinks made with rich, flavorful coffees and creamy milks, and you can still keep your bikinis for summer.
You can customize the Torani® Skinny Vanilla Coffee Latte to your diet by using a nonfat milk, a sugar-free or low-sugar whipped cream (or no whipped cream at all) and changing the flavor of the sugar-free syrup. In the summertime, experiment with new coffee beverages by pouring the skinny vanilla latte over ice to make an iced coffee or blending it with ice in your blender for a delicious low-calorie frappe.
Torani® Skinny Vanilla Coffee Latte
TORANI® is a registered trademark of R. Torre & Company.
8 ounces brewed coffee
1 to 1 1/3 oz Torani® Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup
Milk or cream to taste
Pour freshly brewed hot coffee. Add vanilla syrup and stir well.
Add milk or cream to taste.
Try this recipe using your Torani® Sugar Free Vanilla Syrup and other delicious flavored syrups. We recommend using the BOLD setting on your FlexBrew® for making stronger coffee that gives a more “authentic” coffeehouse flavor.
Everyday Good Thinking http://everydaygoodthinking.com/
For brewing a personal cup of coffee at home or on-the-go, nothing’s better than a single cup coffeemaker. The FlexBrew® Single-Serve Coffee Maker with removable water reservoir allows the flexibility of brewing freshly ground coffee one minute or a single-serve pack the next. Choose from 2 cup sizes or a travel mug, so you can enjoy maximum brewing flexibility. Use your favorite brand of freshly ground coffee or any K-Cup®* pack you like. A 40 ounce removable water reservoir lets you brew several cups without refilling with water every time.