coffee

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Weekend Pairing: New Local Eats

W/N W/N Coffee BarI spent a large chunk of last Sunday checking out two fun new concepts in Philly, both dining establishments, both pretty nonconventional and oriented toward social and environmental good.

W/N W/N Coffee Bar is a cooperative, member owned and operated coffee shop and bar that recently opened on 9th and Spring Garden in Philly. Its name references it being both a win/win for the producers and the consumers, and waste not/want not, values that are both clearly exhibited by the new establishment.

Show up in the morning or early afternoon on a weekend for coffee & brunch, show up in the evening for creative cocktails featuring locally sourced ingredients. If I lived in the neighborhood, W/N W/N would quickly become my second home. If you’re in Philly, they’re still selling shares as part of their funding process. Shares are $25 each, which you can use as pre-purchase credits to buy food and drinks 25% off your bill at a time!

I really loved the aesthetic, the philosophy, the music, and my almond cream-filled cream puff, and I’m hoping to return really soon (like this weekend?) for drinks and brunch.

Federal DonutsRooster Soup Co. is a crowdfunded offshoot of Philly’s most-loved donut & fried chicken shop, Federal Donuts. All of the profits from the soups sold go to Broad Street Hospitality, which is a local nonprofit specializing in radical hospitality — offering delicious meals served family style, as well as social services, to homeless, at-risk, and low-income men and women in Philadelphia. As backers on Kickstarter, we were invited to stop by their preview event to try out their soup menu… and score a donut while we were at it.

I’m excited to see innovative business structures popping up in Philadelphia that both serve the needs of the community and serve really yummy food and drink. Are you noticing this trend in other cities or where you live?

Federal Donuts

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Make a Homemade Rosemary Latte

Rosemary Latte

Awhile back, Christie either tweeted or ‘grammed about some sort of homemade rosemary latte goodness, and I needed to know more. So I asked her if she’d mind sharing the recipe here, and she was kind enough to do so! So if your herb garden got a little out of control this summer and you’re not sure what to do with all that rosemary, or if you’re just tired of the pumpkin hype happening too early in the season, this one’s for you. Take it away, Christie!

If you love coffee but are tired of the typical morning (or afternoon!) cup of joe, this is the recipe for you! Who would have thought pairing something like rosemary with fresh coffee would turn out to be a delicious treat? But I can’t take all the credit — in my house my husband is the barista and this is his concoction.

Note: This recipe assumes that you are creating a latte which includes espresso not regular coffee. You can certainly adjust the ingredients and use the syrup in a regular cup of coffee if you prefer.

Rosemary Syrup Ingredients

Rosemary Syrup: to make a bottle

Fresh Rosemary: 1 sprig
Water: 300 grams
Sugar: 150 grams

Combine with
Espresso: pull a double shot 1-2 ounces yield.
Milk: approximately 6 ounces – you will use this to steam

Instructions:

In a small saucepan boil the water. When the water is boiling add the sugar and rosemary. Let boil for 5 minutes and stir occasionally. Let cool. Remove the leaves if the container you will hold your syrup in will let out the leaves into your coffee (not something you want!). Keep them in for added flavor!

Pull a double shot of espresso. We have an affordable Mr. Coffee espresso maker that was approximately $80. You don’t need to have a professional espresso machine, but your equipment may alter the quality of espresso. Set aside.

Espresso

 Pour the milk into your frothing pitcher (ours is stainless steel) and begin to steam your milk. Trick of the trade: when steaming milk if you are hearing screeching noises you may have too much air in the pitcher. You want to achieve a cyclone pattern while frothing.

Frothing Milk

Combine the milk and double shot. Top it off with a teaspoon of the cooled Rosemary Syrup (or more if you would like it stronger). Enjoy!

Photo credit: Ian Jones

Don’t forget to say hi to Christie over at her blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest.

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Iceland: Day 1

We woke up on our first day in Iceland prepared to wander around Reykjavik and get the lay of the land. Our apartment was in a really convenient location, right in the center of the 101 district, so it was in the heart of everything, including tourist shops, which usually aren’t my thing. Reykjavik is so small that they can’t be avoided though. It seems like touristy things are mixed in with everything else. We quickly discovered that the 101 district is completely walkable in a day.

We left our cozy apartment and headed up Skólavörðustígur to look for Mokka Kaffi, a cafe I’d read about in preparation for our trip. I wrote a preview piece for Dish Trip, so I’d done a little food research ahead of time, which especially made our first day easy. I am prone to get hangry, especially when traveling.

We were surprised to see that in the mid-40s temps Icelanders still enjoy sipping their coffee at sidewalk tables. 

Interestingly, I thought the whole city smelled like waffles. 
We spent the rest of the day wandering around Reykjavik and getting our bearings. I love wandering days in new cities.
I took a million pictures of this church, Hallgrimskirkja. It dominates the small city.

This is the organ inside Hallgrimskirkja.

Have you ever seen those TV specials about people who are in love with inanimate objects? I told Chad that’s how I felt about this rough mountain in the distance.

The Harpa Conference Center is completely built out of this beautiful honeycomb glass. It’s beautiful inside and out, and toasty warm inside. We stopped here for a bit to use the free wifi.
This street-side hot dog stand is the most famous (and oldest?) restaurant in Reykjavik. We returned countless times during the week so Chad could get his fix. Turns out the secret ingredient is lamb. The hot dogs really are delicious, and you’re supposed to eat them with a special blend of toppings. Like a true 5 year old, I ate mine with ketchup only.

For something like $5, you can take a teeny-tiny elevator with 8 or so of your new best friends to the top of Hallgrimskirkja and appreciate stunning views of the city from all sides.

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SF I

San Francisco may have been one of the best vacations I have ever taken. Granted, as a farm kid, my family wasn’t able to travel a lot, so my vacation experience is limited (though I think all the time I spent in Spain probably more than makes up for that).

It was more or less an anniversary trip. Chadoh and I rediscovered our love of exploring new cities together. It had been awhile since we’d done that! I think that traveling with someone adds a different dimension to the relationship. You get to observe your partner outside of their natural habitat and watch how they react to the unexpected. We didn’t have much of an agenda, which allowed us to explore at whatever pace we were feeling on a particular day.

We stayed in North Beach, in a cozy-tiny basement apartment that is rented out per night. It was filled with books and art painted by this guy. There was a cream-colored baby grand, which Chad took advantage of. It was also a good spot to keep track of my jewelry and scarves.

Our building had a roof deck. Unfortunately, it was way too cold and windy (at least for the East Coast kids) to stay up there much.

My SF knowledge prior to the trip was really limited. I had never been there before, and Chad had spent just a day there during a missions trip in high school, before moving on to various other cities in CA and Mexico. So, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that North Beach was kind of a big deal in the beat movement back in the day. It’s home to City Lights, where I picked up an obligatory copy of Howl and Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s What is Poetry?, and Chad got Kevin Kelly’s What Technology Wants. Naturally.

We spent a decent amount of time lounging in Washington Square Park, where very many elderly Asian people do tai chi in the mornings, some with their small grandchildren. It was pleasant.

The North Beach area is also super Italian, which meant I got the most delicious espresso every day. At Cafe Roma, I ordered a latte primavera — a latte with cinnamon and honey. Definitely need to attempt to recreate that this fall when I start drinking hot lattes on the weekends again.