Recipe: How to make Cold Brew Coffee

Cold Brew CoffeeI was excited when Alana asked me to guest blog for her. She knows I’m as passionate about coffee as she is about Etta + Billie. She also knows I don’t have a lot of time to spend doing fancy things with fancy equipment. So, when I say making your own cold brew is easy – it’s EASY. It requires no fancy equipment and it is practically no-fail. Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty grinds!

Why cold brew? Cold brewing gives you a wonderful, delicious cup of coffee without the bitterness and acidity that heating the grounds imparts. You’ll start to enjoy coffee for all the nuances and ‘notes’ your beans have. If you are sensitive to the acids in coffee this is a way to enjoy your favorite beverage again. If you love iced coffee it’s the way to go, incredibly convenient. I’ve even heard that some people will make an extra strong batch then add boiling water to make a hot cup. I haven’t tried it this way yet, but it’s an interesting idea.

For a basic set up you need beans, some sort of filter to put them in (like a nut milk bag, here’s the one I have; or disposable filter bags for tea), a 2 liter pitcher, and a refrigerator. I also like to use a mesh strainer to capture some of the sludge. Here’s a shot of mine.Cold Brew Coffee Setup

Today I’m using a nice dark roast from Paramo Roasters, Shadowplay. I’ll use enough beans for about 1.5 cups at a medium to coarse grind. Finer and you’ll have a lot of sludge. Here’s the beauty of all this, just about nothing you could do is wrong. You can’t really do too much or too little! If you make it too strong then you have a concentrate that you can then add water to taste.  Too little and no need to dilute, you can just drink it straight. Well, I suppose you could make it too weak, but that’s subjective.

The how:

  1. Grind your beans. (or get the shop to do it for you, even easier!)
  2. Scoop into filter bag. (use at least 1.5 cups for a 2L pitcher)
  3. Place in pitcher.
  4. Add water.
  5. Place in refrigerator overnight (or longer).
  6. In the morning remove the bag and give it a good squeeze.
  7. Set grounds aside for use around the house. (more on that later)
  8. ENJOY! – Add water, sugar, and/or milk to your preference

Cold Brew Coffee StrainedSome final notes:

If it lasts that long, cold brew will be good for up to a week-and-a-half in the refrigerator. If you run out of time the next morning and have to decide between catching the bus or straining your coffee grounds – go get that bus. Trust me, your cold brew won’t be ruined if left longer – I’ve done it, it’ll just be just more concentrated! I keep repeating myself on this, but there’s just about nothing you can do to cold brew to make a bad batch!

Some people think you should only use espresso roast. I disagree, I say use what you have on hand! This will work with just about anything. Do you have family who love you and know you love coffee but know nothing about it themselves? This could be the only way to salvage that nearly undrinkable bag of beans they gave you. Cold brew requires no special equipment. Some sort of filter bag if you want, but even then some people put the grounds straight into the pitcher and filter through a fine mesh strainer afterward. Can you get fancy equipment? Sure, but I say go lo-fi and spend the money you saved on something wonderful like Etta + Billie Ritual Roasters Coffee Soap or Mint Coffee Scrub!

What to do with all those coffee grinds:

  • Use the them in your plants. They’ll love the nitrogen, especially starter plants.
  • Use them as a natural pot scrub. Used grinds are great for scouring pots and pans. Just put a scoop on your sponge.
  • Also scrub your hands when you need a little extra power. They’re great if you’ve been chopping garlic or onions, too.

There you have it, cold brew coffee in a few easy steps.

About Dawn:Dawn at Grounds for Review

Coffee and chocolate are my two favorite food groups, the darker the better!  I can talk a lot about both, but prefer not to get overly snobby and pedantic about either. When I’m not discussing the finer points of ground cacao or coffee I am hanging out with my honey and two fantastic kiddos in the gorgeous Bay Area. You can follow my coffee adventures at Grounds for Review.

Recipe: Strawberry Basil Smash Cocktail with Rose Water

Strawberry Basil Smash CocktailThis past weekend, me, my honey and a group of friends headed up to our CSA (Eatwell Farms) for Strawberry Days which resulted in carting home about 21lbs of fresh berries. I needed some new strawberry recipes, stat. I found a few wonderful coc   ktail recipes (here and here) that were simple and didn’t require a lot of prep, perfect. My version is below. Tastes like summer.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 strawberries, washed
  • 4-5 basil leaves, washed
  • 1/2 meyer lemon (can sub regular lemon)
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp of rose water (optional but highly recommended if you have some on hand)
  • 2 oz vodka
  • club soda
  • ice

Special Equipment: muddler

Remove stems of strawberries and cut in half. Etta_Billie_Strawberry_Basil_Smash_Cocktail_PrepPlace into cocktail shaker or tall glass, add basil leaves and smash using muddler. Etta_Billie_Strawberry_Basil_Smash_Cocktail_MuddlingSqueeze meyer lemon juice into the glass, then add honey, vodka, and rose water. Stir vigorously. Fill your drinking glass with ice cubes. Pour strawberry vodka mixture into glass and add club soda. Pour this mixture back into the original mixing glass/cocktail shaker, then back into drinking vessel to mix. Done. Time to enjoy. Cheers!Etta_Billie_Strawberry_Basil_Smash_Cocktail_sharing

Retailer Interview: Egg & Dart

Egg-and-Dart-Etta-Billie-Display
Painter Chris Wyllie and designer Kristen Coates collaborate to bring you Egg & Dart, an eclectic collection of art and home decor. Their flagship store is located at Bowen’s Wharf in Newport, Rhode Island or you can find them online at egganddart.bigcartel.com. Both shops are filled with a carefully curated selection of local art, handmade objects, fine linens, table decor, gifts, books, apothecary and seasonal greenery arrangements. What’s not to love about that? Read Kristen’s interview below!
1. What is your favorite color?
I got back and forth between favorite colors. Gold, grey, white, blue, white, grey, blue, gold. Lately I have been in a big black and white phase, but as I am putting the pieces together for our store, we are getting all sorts of sandy beachy palettes of gold, grey, white, blue with some hints of black.
2. Favorite smell?
My favorite smell is my dog. I have 9 month old Cavalier King Charles, Sofia Banana, that pretty much rules my life right now.  Her fur smells of cinnamon and hints of almond and the beach.  So treats and salt water basically.  Traditionally I am drawn to espresso in the morning, tuberose and lilac throughout the day and then rose and patchouli in the evenings. I love when people can pick up on scents in my home and more often than not, when someone comes in my store they say “It smells delicious in here”.
3. Go to cocktail or beverage?
We keep a couple of bottles of cava on hand for impromptu cocktails along with bitters and some sugar. A bit of sugar in a glass, a dash or two of bitters and top with champagne.  If there are roses in the garden I add a few petals for garnish or a slice of strawberry or even nasturtium just for the color. I don’t drink a lot of alcohol, but when I do drink, I like it to be pretty. I think guests appreciate the special touches.
4. Favorite thing to cook?
I grew up as a vegetarian that did not like cooked vegetables. In the last year or two as I have transitioned out of living in NYC full time, I have taken to visiting farms near our home in Newport and going to the farmer’s markets as much as I can and have fallen in love with cooking vegetables and experimenting with different flavors.  While in LA this winter, we were very much in love with Summerland.is – they deliver local famer’s market items to your door! I love a thick, baked cherry tomato sauce over polenta cakes, or soup with butternut squash, caramelized onions, an apple and a little white wine and grilled radicchio, I could eat it every day.  I don’t know if it is tastes changing or actually paying attention to food and cooking that makes it all seem better now, maybe a combination.
5. Favorite book?
Daily Rituals is a series of short essays on how writers, artists, filmmakers, composers, poets, musicians, novelists and the like go through their day. The book details each person’s work ethic, alcohol consumption, eating habits and sleep (or lack there of) patterns. Maya Angelou works from a hotel before heading home to make dinner for her husband and makes sure she has time to unwind her brain before dinner is ready.  I find this type of information to be fascinating and inspiring.
egg-and-dart-art
Follow the team behind Egg & Dart!
blog:
my blogs vary in states of neglect…
Egg & Dart
57 America’s Cup Avenue at Bowen’s Wharf
Newport, Rhode Island
Open
Mon – Thu: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Sun: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Retailer Spotlight: Greenhouse

Etta + Bilie Retailer
Greenhouse is a shop located in Serenbe, Georgia that focuses on one-of-a-kind vintage pieces and lovely found objects. Owner, Kenya Brantley is an absolute sweet heart and has a seriously good eye for fabulous goods! If you are in the area, you must stop in and check it out (and post photos!). In the meantime, check out my mini interview with Kenya below and be sure to follow Greenhouse on social media.

instagram: greenhouseserenbe
facebook: GreenhouseSerenbe
pinterest: shopgreenhouse
twitter: ShopGreenhouse
website: greenhouseserenbe.com

  1. What is your favorite color? Grey
  2. Go to cocktail or beverage? Sex on the Beach. Don’t ask. 😉
  3. What would you choose as your last meal? Crab legs with lots of butter!!!
  4. Furthest place you’ve traveled? Fiji!!! It was amazing!!!
  5. Favorite book? The Bible. I need it to live by…

Greenhouse
9117 Selborne LaneChattahoochee, GA 30268

OPEN: Thu – Sun: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

 

 

 

Recipe: Strawberry Banana Almond Smoothie with Cacao

Strawberry_Banana_Cocoa_Smoothie_Gluten FreeIt’s strawberry season! One of my favorite ways to enjoy strawberries for the rest of the year is to freeze them so they can be tossed into smoothies and yogurt. Freezing them is a super simple process, check out the directions here. Here is a great recipe for a sweet, fairly healthy, strawberry treat. Use  fresh or frozen berries for this.

Special Equipment:

Blender, Vitamix, or NutriBullet

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 frozen (or fresh strawberries)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut/almond milk (I like this brand)
  • 2 tbsp yogurt (I used goat milk based yogurt from Redwood Hill Farms)
  • 1/2 tsp honey – optional

Place all the ingredients in your blender of choice and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

 

Recipe: Vegetarian Soba Noodles with Carrots, Pea Shoots and Avocado

Soba Noodles-Carrot-Pea Shoots-Sesame-AvocadoSuper easy and delicious vegetarian recipe adapted from Project Domestication. I’ve made with the pea shoots and with spinach, both delightful. What would you add? Peanuts, cilantro, diakon radish…

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 bundles of soba noodles
  • 3-4 carrots cut into ribbons (vegetable peeler or a mandolin work)
  • large bunch of pea shoots or spinach, chopped
  • 1 green garlic, chopped (set aside about 1 tsp for dressing)
  • 1 avocado cut into chunks
  • chopped chives

Dressing:

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cook soba noodles according to package directions and set aside. Place a pan on medium low to low heat, add a bit of sunflower oil, then add pea shoots or spinach and cook until barely wilted. Add in green garlic, cook briefly, turn off heat and set aside. Mix together dressing. In a large bowl or pan, add soba noodles and 1/3 dressing, toss to coat. Add carrots, spinach, remaining dressing and mix well. Plate and add avocado. Done and done.

Recipe: Vegan Chocolate Sauce

Chocolate-Sauce-Vegan-Gluten Free I had a bit of Earl Grey ice cream in the fridge from Bootleg Creamery and decided chocolate sauce would be the perfect pairing*. I found this simple recipe from Tyler Florence and decided to make it vegan cause we had no dairy in the house. The addition of coconut/almond milk and coconut oil give it a slight coconut taste. YUM. Perfect for drizzling on ice cream (yup), into coffee, on strawberries, or spooning directly into your mouth. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz bittersweet dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup coconut/almond milk

Gently warm coconut/almond milk with the coconut oil on low heat. Once oil has melted, add chopped chocolate and stir continuously until chocolate is almost 100% melted, pull from heat and continue to stir until no chocolate chunks remain. Let sauce cool to room temp. If you don’t finish it in one sitting, keep in airtight jar in fridge for up to 7 days.

*possibly a future soap flavor, it was that good.

Retailer Interview: Twig & Twine

Twig and Twine-Boutique-Florist-Los Angeles-Storefrontphotos by Ashley Keleme

Aren’t these lovely? Those flowers are from Los Angeles based, Twig & Twine. Owner, Heather Williams, creates incredible arrangements and curates a unique selection of hand-picked gifts, home decor, artisanal goods and other lovely treasures. Check out her interview below and if you’re in LA, be sure to stop by.

1. What is your favorite color?  Favorite? Too tough to name just one. I’m a florist! All colors are great. Just depends on my mood.

2. Favorite smell? Sweet peas.

3. Go to cocktail or beverage? Tequila on the rocks with a lime.
4. What would you choose as your last meal? Pork of some sort. Bacon, pork belly, loin….I’m into it all. A side of seasonal veggies would be great too. And I wouldn’t complain with a first course of cheese. Oh, crap. I just thought about sushi. SUSHI! Pork for dessert. ; )
5. Favorite thing to cook? What’s left in the kitchen fridge meal. I’m the best at that. I’d totally kick ass on Chopped.

6. Favorite dessert? Again!?! Just one?!?! Impossible. I’ll eat and enjoy it all from macarans to ice cream to pudding to salted caramels! Sweet treats are the best.

7. Furthest place you’ve traveled? Technically? Probably South East Asia, Indonesia or Eastern Europe. But that flight to French Polynesia felt pretty long too.
8. 3 Destinations/Experiences on your bucket list? Paris, Japan, New Zealand
9. Favorite memory with your grandmother/grandparents? My youth in my grandmother’s rose garden.

10. Favorite book? Don’t have one. As you can probably tell by now I’m not a “favorite” person.

Where to follow Twig & Twine:

instagram: twigandtwine

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Twig-Twine/255543164473734

pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/twigandtwine/

twitter: https://twitter.com/twigandtwine

blog: http://twigandtwinedesign.com/blog (i’m not really a big blogger though)

Recipe: Tarragon Buck Spring Cocktail

Tarragon Buck
Tarragon Buck

We recently received Tarragon in our CSA and having no plan to put it into a meal we happened upon this recipe for a tarragon buck vodka cocktail (very spring). I think it was fate. Our version is below. Cheers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 sprig of fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 3 oz Q Ginger Ale (this stuff is delicious)
  • 1 oz dry vermouth
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • ice

Place sprig of tarragon into your palm and slap it, then gently rub the tarragon onto the inside of a lowball glass. Fill glass with ice, add vodka, vermouth, ginger ale, tarragon sprig and about half the juice of the lemon. Stir. Enjoy.

Do you have a great tarragon recipe you love? Or a spring cocktail recipe? Please share!

 

Recipe: Cabbage Salad w/ Citrus, Ginger + Cilantro

Cabbage-Salad-Cilantro-Ginger-Garlic-FreshMy honey and I have been working hard to get through all the items in our CSA recently but it is so hard to eat all the cabbage. While searching for a marinade for chicken, I stumbled upon this incredible Cilantro Garlic Ginger dressing/marinade recipe and set some aside for creating this cabbage salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup green cabbage, chopped (napa would be good too)
  • 1/2 cup red cabbage, chopped
  • 1 medium/small carrot, chopped
  • 1/4 Diakon radish, chopped (regular radish would be fine)
  • 1 tangerine, peeled and segments separated (chopped mango would also be good)
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped

Dressing – full recipe here, slightly tweaked version below.

  • 1/2 clove garlic or 1/2 stem of green garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp tamari soy sauce
  • 1/8 – 1/4 tsp fresh ginger, grated or chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • dash of ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp rice vinegar

Throw all dressing ingredients into a small food processor, blender or magic bullet. Whiz until thoroughly blended. Put all the salad ingredients into a bowl, add dressing and toss to coat. This salad would be great with chicken, beef, tofu or nuts.