Coffee so good, you can kick that Mr. Coffee to the curb.

I love coffee.
I love the smoky, earthy, and chocolate-y undertones of flavor.
I love that little kick of caffeinated joy.
What I don't love about coffee?
That nasty burnt flavor of coffee over-brewed and sitting too long on the hot pad of the coffee maker.
While flipping through Food and Wine a few weeks ago, I noticed a recipe for "cold-brewed" coffee.
That's right. Coffee, sans the Mr. Coffee.

Thick, gritty goodness.
All you need is a bag of whole bean coffee, a grinder, some cold water, and 24 hours of patience.
The best part?
No more burnt coffee!

Etsy Tuesdays: Dreamy Pastels

This week's treasury evokes that feeling of dreamy contentment when waking up early on a carefree, overcast day.

One of those days where you throw a few extra berries in your cereal, read a thought provoking book, and throw on a pair of feel-good earrings and take a stroll in the park.

Favorite Find: I love the hazy watercolored glow in the "Cotton Candy Petals" print by zuppaartista. It would look lovely mounted in a gold-tinted vintage frame!

Right this moment...

I'm fondly remembering the tastes from my adventure at the state fair yesterday.

Oh, that? That's a whipped cream and soft-serve covered funnel cake.

Silly and I also tried a deep-fried snickers bar and a reindeer corndog.

Yeah, I'm probably on the naughty list for that one, but it was freakin' delicious.

Thank goodness for the calorie-burning heat and carnival rides, arm fulls of baby piglets, and narrowly escaping the aim of a spinning kid with a seriously upset stomach. It was a close one.

Ooey gooey cinnamon rolls. 'Nuff said.

Not just your everyday cinnamon rolls.

Cinnamon pecan rolls, made with Amish Friendship Starter.

Yep, that's right. Another use for that bag full of regenerating, magic goopy stuff.

I might or might not have eaten two or three of these fresh out of the oven.

Make these dense, flaky morsels for a crowd, or you could end up with a very full stomach.

Amish friendship bread...waffles?!

It's been ten days since my first Amish friendship bread baking extravaganza, and it's time for yet another baking day!

I was itchin' to try out some untraditional, non-loaf recipes using the starter, so this morning I woke up and whipped up a batch of waffles.

Decadently fluffy, not-too-sweet, tangy Belgian-style waffles.

So take that dusty waffle maker out of the cupboard and stuff your face with these piping hot lovelies.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's starter spin-off - another breakfast favorite.

Trust me, it's worth it.

Etsy Tuesdays: Un Voyage à Paris

I was a bit of a French nerd in high school.

Sure, French is an impractical language to learn when you live in a state whose second most spoken language is Spanish, but everyday of the three years of classes I took was like one big party.

We performed skits, drew chalk tracings of eachother on the pavement, watched offbeat French movies, held massive Mardi Gras celebrations, and received envious glances from Spanish students sitting in class while we played Bocce ball outside in the sun.

My French isn't as good as it used to be, but someday I'll make my way across the pond and see firsthand what all the fun was about!

Favorite Find: I found a vintage pink suitcase a few years ago on one of my bargain-hunting adventures, and the "My Favorite Spot" print by yvetteinufio reminds me of all that vintage girliness.

Right this moment...

♥ I'm still swooning over this spicy grilled tuna melt I made last Saturday. Creamy cheese + crunchy bread = YUM.

I'm dreaming up wacky treats to bake up using my quickly multiplying Amish Friendship Bread starter.

I'm loving these ruffled zipper sandals on sale at Pac Sun.

I'm stoked for this Friday's adventure to the State Fair. Ferris wheel, here I come!

Immortal bread. Awesome!

A little over ten days ago, my best friend shows up on my doorstep bearing delicious gifts.

A loaf of Amish Friendship Bread, and...

...a bag of bread starter that keeps on giving.

Cinnamon-sugar crusted, moist, scrumptious bread every ten days when one starter multiplies into four.

Yesterday, I baked two of the starters into two mouth-watering batches of bread:

Classic style with cinnamon sugar crust,

and chocolate chip with cocoa-cinnamon crust.

A little research turned up some inventive, non-loaf recipes using starters. Stay tuned for late next week, when it's Baking Day, take two! ♥

Starter how-tos, and recipes after the jump...

Etsy Tuesdays: Schoolgirl Geekery

It's now in mid-summer that I start thinking about the new school year, and most importantly - school supply shopping.

That's right... I'm "that girl".

You can find me at the local office store in the prime of back-to-school season, arms full of 10 cent filler paper, mechanical pencils, and 3x5 study cards.

In late August I'll walk onto campus with an oversized tote bag filled with my color-coordinated binders and my trusty time.mine day planner, ready to learn!

♥Favorite Find: The wool felt coffee cozy from InboundThread combines my love of all things coffee and my fascination with reuseable innovation.

The violence of lemons...

Lemons are violent little fruit.

The smallest bit of juice on your tongue twists your face up grotesquely.

The citric acid eats away at your hard-earned tooth enamel.

I won't even begin to describe the exquisite pain if you get sprayed in the eye while juicing one.

This pretty pink watermelon lemonade is punch-you-in-the-face-only-to-apologize kind of violent.

The tanginess of the lemon aggressively grabs your taste buds, and the cool watermelon soothes and refreshes.

It's delicious masochism.

Etsy Tuesdays: In Touch With Nature

In my twenty-one years of life, I've never been camping.
No, I'm not one of those nature-phobic girls who cringe at the thought of spending a few days in the great outdoors. I've just never had the opportunity.

My mom also grew up as a non-camper until my dad took her out when they were dating (aka - long before me). Not only was it pouring rain, but they found themselves in the middle of an earthquake.
No joke.
Let's just say that pretty much cured my mom's desire to spend a weekend in the wilderness.
And here I am, old enough to order a maragarita, but still a camping virgin.
Boldly, I signed myself up for a weekend field paleontology course this fall, and I'm preparing for the adventure with a camping trip with Middle Name Silly this summer! ♥

This treasury is getting me totally stoked for s'mores, tank tops and cottony sundresses, sticky sunscreen and insect repellent, and fresh forest breezes.
Bring on the California sun!

Favorite Find: The "California Redwoods" print by aruppel.

Baking with red, white, and blue...

My go-to recipe to make on the Fourth of July for the past few years is red velvet cupcakes with my brown sugar cream cheese frosting.

 This year, Middle Name Silly and I decided to challenges ourselves to bake something red, white, and blue.

However, I wasn't quite ready to give up that addictive red velvet flavor, so I decided to make a flag-color-pallete inspired velvet cupcake.

Red-tinted cream cheese frosting with a hint of strawberry, blue velvet cake, and creamy white pastry cream filling.

It started with this...

Buttermilk - fresh from a smurf!

The result?

 ♥After the jump...


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