Happy World Nutella Day! This recipe requiring only two ingredients is a terrific way to celebrate, even if you’re only just finding out about the, umm, holiday now. Simply heat up some milk, stir in Nutella and sip away at the easiest hot chocolate you’ve ever made that didn’t come out of a packet. For added indulgence, melt in up to a tablespoon of chocolate chips or chopped up dark chocolate, and top with marshmallows. A great nightcap that the whole family can enjoy!
This past fall, I had an awesome opportunity to travel a bit around the midwest for a long weekend to visit friends. My first stop took me to Peoria, Illinois, where I was introduced to a cozy coffee shop downtown, Thrity-Thirty Coffee. There, I sampled several of their offerings, but I was particularly taken by their Miel Latte. Made with local honey, freshly ground cinnamon, espresso and milk, it reminded me a bit of the Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks… Only less-sweet, fresher-tasting and — as you can probably imagine — far too easy to drink one after another.
I knew I wanted to reproduce this delicious brew at home, but going out to get a few shots of espresso didn’t really make sense. And buying an espresso machine? Yeahhhh, not an option. But the perfect solution presented itself in the form of a Vietnamese coffee maker. With its seven dollar price tag and ability to produce a strong, well-balanced cup in minutes I was sold.
Prefer your coffee ice cold? Save some time and energy by brewing it sans boiling water, cold brew-style. Simply stir ground coffee and room temp (or colder) water together, let it sit for about twelve hours — before bedtime, perhaps? — then strain your morning fuel into a cup packed with big cubes of ice. Easy, right?
I was exceedingly thrilled to score a HUGE bunch of mint from last weekend’s Heart of the City Farmers’ Market for a mere dollar, but after mixing a few cocktails — the reason it ended up on my list in the first place — the question remained, what to do the rest? Answer: Moroccan mint tea, and lots of it.
When the elements vacillate between summer and autumn, keep this ginger mint smash in mind at cocktail hour. The bourbon-mint combination alludes to a perennial favorite, the mint julep, while muddled fresh ginger lends a layer of warmth to the drink, bolstering the spirit’s thawing character. I imagine it would be welcome after a day of raking leaves or picking apples, or as a reprieve from the final humid nights of the year.