DIY Cold Brew

Happy Friday! I usually do a fashion post on Fridays. However, because the Rana Plaza anniversary fell at the beginning of the week I decided to switch my posts and today I’m sharing how to make your own cold brew coffee.

Some of you might have tried cold brew from Starbucks or another coffee shop and you might not have realized that it’s actually really easy to make yourself. It is super easy to make with supplies you probably have at home and is a great zero-waste and time-saving coffee option.

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To start you need a jar with a lid, (I use a half-gallon canning jar but you definitely don’t have to make that much) and ground coffee. If you aren’t grinding your own coffee you don’t need to worry about this but if you are, set the grinder to the coarsest setting.

Using a 1-to-8 ratio, add your coffee grounds and water. You can use warm water (not hot!!) to make it brew faster but I just use lukewarm tap water.

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Put your jar in the fridge for at least 48 hours.

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When you are satisfied that your coffee has brewed long enough pull it out of the fridge to filter the coffee grounds out. You will need some kind of bowl, it’s easiest if it has a pour spout; and a filter, I usually just use a wire strainer like in the picture but this time I decided to try to use a paper coffee filter like for drip coffee. The paper filter ended up taking way longer but it filtered the coffee much more thoroughly.

Pour the coffee over the filter into the bowl. Dump the coffee grounds into another bowl to compost them. Pour the coffee back over the filter into the clean jar. Repeat that process one more time or until you don’t get any more coffee grounds in your filter. If you use the paper filter I recommend that you wait until the last time you filter it because it does take a while.

Make sure you end up with all the coffee back in the jar, pour yourself a glass, add your favorite milk/creamer/flavoring and enjoy!

Do you like cold brew coffee? Have you ever made it before? Tell me in the comments!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

Back to School: Healthy Lunch Ideas (That are easy to pack!)

Today I have two healthy lunch options. Both are much tastier than a sandwich and better for you than fast food and both are easy to pack and take to school.

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The first option is soup in a thermos. This is really nice when it starts getting cold outside and you just want to eat cozy food by a crackling fire (or is that just me?). It is a great way to use up leftovers or you can just make a pot of soup and eat it throughout the week. When I don’t have much time to cook I really like Bear Creek soups they have a lot of really delicious soup options that take harldy any time to make.

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The second idea is salad in a jar. Put some greens (I really like spinach) in a mason jar, add all your favorite toppings in pretty layers and then add your dressing. You can put the dressing straight into the jar but I don’t like when my salad gets slimy so I like to put it in a smaller jar.

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What is your favorite lunch to eat at school?

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t use all the time and think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

Vanilla Macaron Recipe

I found this delicious recipe from Sprinkles for Breakfast for Vanilla Almond Macarons. I didn’t have almond extract, or vanilla beans so I modified the filling and just made vanilla macarons. I also rearranged the steps according to how I actually did it. This is quite possibly my favorite cookie to make.

Ingredients:

Shells:

1 1/2  cup of powdered sugar

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of almond flour

3 egg whites

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

Food coloring of your choice

Filling:

1/2 cup of butter

1 3/4 cup of powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon of milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (You can switch this out for any flavoring like almond extract or orange extract)

Preparation:

  1. Prepare a piping bag with a 1/4 inch tip (Wilton tips #9, #10, or #11 should work well.), line a few baking sheets with parchment paper (Make sure its not wax paper), and get your butter for the filling out of the fridge so it can soften.
  2. Sift the almond flour and powdered sugar together. (Listen to music, turn on some YouTube videos, play an audiobook: this is going to take a while.)
  3. Beat egg whites on high speed using a stand mixer with a whish attachment until they form soft peaks
  4.  Lower speed to medium, add granulated sugar and return mixer to high speed until the whites form stiff peaks.
  5. With the mixer on high speed add food coloring until you reach your desired color (when you add the flour mixture in the next step the batter will get slightly lighter so dye accordingly).
  6. Take bowl off of mixer and add almond flour/sugar mixture.
  7. Using a rubber spatula aggressively fold in the dry ingredients until the batter starts to loosen and becomes a little runny. To test if the batter is ready, lift a small amount from the bowl and drop it back. If it does nothing, keep mixing. If it slowly melts back into the mixture after 20-30 seconds it is ready.
  8.  Put the batter into the piping bag and pipe 1 1/2 inch circles onto the prepared baking sheet and firmly tap the bottom so the batter flattens out.
  9. Add some sprinkles to half of the macarons (these will be the top of your sandwich.)
  10. Let the macarons rest for 30-45 minutes or until they have a skin and are dry to the touch.
  11. While you are waiting for them to rest, preheat your oven to 325 degrees and start on the filling.
  12. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, cream the butter until it is smooth
  13. Add milk, sugar, and vanilla extract, and mix until it is light and fluffy.
  14. Bake the macaron shells from step 10 for 10-12 minutes.
  15. After the macarons are cool, peel them off of the parchment paper and pair one sprinkled shell with one non-sprinkled according to size.
  16. Using a piping bag with a round tip, pipe a small amount of filling on one half of a pair and sandwich the second half on top.
  17. Decorate as you desire. I put sprinkled on the filling that was showing around the sides.

Enjoy!

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~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t use all the time and think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Hello!

The strawberry patch in my family’s garden has been going CRAZY! Everyday we could go out and pick more than we could possibly eat that day. We have been eating strawberries, putting them in smoothies, and baking with them like crazy. Today I froze as many as I could pick so that we can use them for smoothies and baking later in the year. We also have a rhubarb plant so one day I whipped up this delicious strawbery rhubarb crisp. It’s like a cobbler but simpler because instead of a bread topping you have a crumble topping.

Filling:

50 small strawberries

2 1/2 stalks of rhubarb

1/3 cup of sugar

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Rinse the rhubarb and the strawberries. Pull the leaves and stems off of the strawberries and set them aside to compost. Cut the strawberries into small pieces and the rhubarb into slices less than 1/2 inch thick.

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Place the strawberries and rhubarb in a bowl (I used the pan I baked them in because fewer dishes=less to clean up).

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Add the sugar and stir until all of the fruit is evenly covered.

Pour into and 8″x8″ pan and set aside while you make the topping.

Crumble Topping:

1 cup flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 cup brown sugar

1 stick of COLD butter (the butter has to be cold or the crumble topping won’t cook right)

This will make extra topping, put the excess in a jar and freeze it to make another crisp.

Mix the flour, oats and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and then cut into the topping mixture. You can use a pie crust tool, two knives, or your hands just make sure that you don’t melt the  butter too much if you use your hands. You want the majority of the melting to happen in the oven. When you are done, the mixture should look like coarse crumbs.

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Pour/spread the topping over the fruit. You can make it as thick or as thin as you want but make sure that no fruit is showing and know that it will shrink in the oven.

Bake at 375 for 20 mintes and 400 for 5 minutes.

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Serve warm or chilled. It is delicious served warm with a scoop of ice cream.

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Enjoy! If you make this crisp be sure to post it Facebook or Instagram and tag me so I can see it. My username on both is a maizy life.

~Maizy

Strawberry-Spearmint Lemonade Recipe

Hello!

I made this lemonade a few days ago using only ingredients that I had in my kitchen and my garden. I made one gallon but you can change the amounts of the ingredients to taste and to increase/decrease the amount you make.

You will need:

A pitcher with a lid (I used a half gallon canning jar because it was pretty)

Three good sized lemons

Several fresh spearmint leaves (or any kind of mint you want, I just had spearmint growing already peppermint would probably be really tasty too!)

Several fresh strawberries (You can use frozen but fresh is tastiest. If you can pick them from your garden, even better!)

1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon of white sugar

Water

Juice the lemons and pour the juice into the jar. Rinse the spearmint leaves and the strawberries, roughly chop them and put them in the jar. You want to cut them enough that you release the natural oils and flavor but not so much that they dissolve into the liquid. Pour the sugar into the jar. If you want to serve the lemonade right away, and you want it to be cold, add ice here, I reccommend making it at least several hours before you want to serve it to allow the flavors to really blend together. Fill the jar the rest of the way with water. Close the jar and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Add sugar, lemon juice, strawberries, and mint leaves as desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!

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I made this and served it to my family with spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread and it got a thumbs up from everyone!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t use all the time and think are really great; you know I’m classier than that;). However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

 

My Current Favorite Breakfast + Blueberry Orange Smoothie Recipe

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Hello!

Recently I have really been loving smoothies for breakfast. They are refreshing and satisfying without making me feel super full and heavy. I start with a basic recipe and then add whatever fresh or frozen fruit I have available. My basic recipe is:

  • One handful of spinach
  • One orange
  • One banana
  • Enough almond milk to achieve the desired consistency (I like mine pretty liquidy)

A few days ago I added fresh blueberries and a frozen berry mix that had blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, along with an extra orange and it was so yummy! Sometimes I add a liquid vitamin D supplement. Vitamin D is really important for calcium absorption and healthy bones and muscles and its easier for the body to absorb it from the sun and food if its not already deficient so this is an easy way to supplement a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Have a great day!

~Maizy

Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t use all the time and think are really great; you know I’m classier than that;). However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.

3 Healthy Lunch Ideas (That are easy to take to school/work!)

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Hello!

Today I am sharing with you my top three lunches. All three are super healthy and simple to make. There is one meat option, one vegan option, and one that would be easy to make either way based on your preference.

Lunch #1 Hummus

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I really like Sabra hummus. It tastes good and there are a lot of flavors. My favorite way to eat hummus is with carrots but its not very filling so I also pack some pita chips to eat with it too. You can buy the individual packs of hummus or a big tub and portion them out.

Lunch #2 Barbecue Chicken Salad

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This is one of the tastiest salads I have ever eaten. I like to prep the chicken on Saturday or Sunday so that it is easy to throw together on the days that I want it. I cook a few chicken breasts or tenders in the oven with some barbecue sauce (my favorite is the Stubb’s Spicy) until they are just done and not dry. Then I cut them up into bite-size pieces and they are easy to throw onto a salad. For the salad I mix romaine and spinach or whatever my family has on hand with some carrots, coleslaw mix, and whatever other veggies are in the fridge. I top it with the chicken and then drizzle some barbecue sauce and ranch dressing over everything.

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Lunch #3 Chicken Salad Sandwich

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Chicken salad is so tasy. You can find a recipe just about anywhere. My favorite has craisins and granny smith apples in it. I like to eat it with crackers or tortilla chips, or on a sandwich. I prefer to toast my bread for this so when I pack this lunch I keep the bread and the chicken salad separate until I am ready to eat. Sometimes I like to add some romaine lettuce to add crunch.

I hope you found some inspiration for your own lunches from these ideas!

Have a great day!

~Maizy