Spring

This weekend’s weather made it feel as if spring has finally arrived. This made me extremely happy.

I spent as much of Saturday outside as possible. I was outside almost straight from 8-4 then 6-7. I couldn’t get enough of the weather! This led me to walking most of my errands and I walked a total of 9-10 miles. Unfortunately, I didn’t get much of a tan.

I started out the day by heading to Cafe Tola on Southport and Addison. I had walked by a week or two ago and they had some delicious looking donuts in the front window(they also make fresh empanadas daily). Getting there before 8 gave me the pick of the batch and I got a maple bacon and a red velvet cake donut for Brian and a big cup of strong coffee for myself.  The sun was so warm that the frosting melted a little on the way home.

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I tried a bite of each, both delicious, but too sweet for my taste. I recreated my restaurant leftovers of salmon with a bacon potato hash into breakfast. How? By adding and egg, of course. Savory. My preferred breakfast.

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With a protein packed breakfast, I was fueled for my walk to Home Depot to pick out some plants for my garden plot.

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Still not having enough of the fresh air, I stopped on my walk to Lincoln Square to have some tacos at La Amistad. Sitting outside to eat them, of course.

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I went on another walk to pick up a few things at Whole Foods to make food for the week. I threw together these “bowls” of quinoa cooked in vegetable broth, black beans, roasted sweet potato, steamed sesame kale and baked tofu. That made 5 of the 10 lunches for Brian and I to eat this week. These came together in less than one hour.

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Sunday, Brian and I got up and ran the Ravenswood 5k. I really loved the route this year and was happy with my time. We had a small miscommunication about breakfast, though. When registering for the race, you could buy a ticket for a pancake breakfast to support the local food pantry. Brian bought one. I didn’t. Wah wah. Fortunately, the pancakes were prepackaged, so he could take them to go. It was probably a good thing, as I was surprisingly not hungry after the race. I had coffee and a bite of a cinnamon roll, but didn’t eat the banana or mini bagel they were handing out.

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After coming home and relaxing for a few hours, I was hungry and made myself a mega lunch. I had a broccoli potato patty, two eggs, my mini bagel(toasted with butter), blueberries and an apple with mango ginger Stilton cheese. I put a little cheese on half the bagel and then a slice of apple on top of that. Heavenly. Absolutely delightful. I rarely eat cheese anymore. Or most diary for that matter. I try to make it a rule that if I am going to eat cheese, it has to be good cheese. This was GOOD cheese.

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I spent the rest of the afternoon going for walk, checking on my garden plot and making up food for the week. I started a batch of cold brew iced coffee on Saturday and was able to drain it off and jar it yesterday. Just the refreshing beverage I need to have on hand with temps in the 80s tomorrow!

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I have been trying to move to a more natural skin care routine. One of the hardest things from me to move away from is my inexpensive but very loved drugstore body lotion. I have tried straight coconut oil before and didn’t love it. I ran across a recipe for whipped coconut oil body butter last week and decided to whip(pun intended) up a batch this weekend. It is absolutely delightful. I can’t wait to share this recipe. A little goes a long way and it really lasts all day.

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Multitasking while I was making the body butter, I cooked up some more food to round out our lunches and some dinner for the week. Look at that well stocked fridge.

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I’ve had a few people inquire lately about meal plans. Hoping to get to a post soon about how I try to do meal plans. Have a great week everyone and get out and enjoy some fresh air!

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Cold brew iced coffee

Iced coffee is the perfect summer drink. Correction: Cold brew iced coffee is the perfect summer morning drink.

There is just something about hot coffee cooled down that is a little bitter an not quite as good as cold brew. I can’t lie. Instead of taking the time to make cold brew, I often brew a cup of hot, refrigerate it over night and drink it in the morning. And it’s always a little disappointing. After too many cups of disappointing coffee last week, I made a batch of cold brew concentrate over the weekend that has lasted me the week and I still have some left.

It’s really not hard. You just have to plan a little.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz coffee grounds(not too finely ground)
  • 48 oz of water

All you need is 4oz of water per ounce of coffee grounds. I just happened to have a 12oz bag of coconut macaroon coffee grounds hanging out in the kitchen. Put your water in a pitcher then add grounds. Give it a few stirs to make sure all grounds have been moistened. Place in refrigerator overnight for 12-15 hours.

Set up another pitcher/jar. Set fine mesh strainer on top. Line the strainer with layers of cheesecloth or a clean but old tightly woven dish towel(NOT terry cloth). I used a very tightly woven dishcloth to avoid having to strain multiple times.

Pour coffee and grounds through towel and mesh strainer.

I’ve read to avoid stirring the grounds and water or you will end up with a cloudy coffee in the end. I can not confirm or deny this as I didn’t take my chances on cloudy coffee and refrained from stirring. This straining part took close to 45 minutes. It’s definitely the step that takes the most patience, but I distracted myself by making breakfast muffins while waiting.

Afterwards, you have a nice large jar of cold coffee concentrate, unless you like obscenely strong iced coffee.

I saved the grounds and put them in my garden. They are good at helping to keep the ground moist and the antioxidants left in them help your plants to grow. It’s organic fertilizer!

I left it in the jar as concentrate then dilute it as I use it. I usually fill my glass with ice then 1/3 to 1/4 water then the rest with cold brew.

Leave a little room at the top for cream, of course. My favorite is the So Delicious Coconut Milk coffee creamer original flavor.

The perfect wake me up on a hot day.