Well if we can't have Starbucks and our local coffeeshop favorites, I don't know about you, but going without is just not really an option. Ben and I have kind of become obsessed with perfecting our coffee game over the quarantine, so read on to learn all about our essential tools and recipes that bring the coffee shop to your kitchen!
At-Home Coffee Essentials
1. Nespresso Machine: Ben and I consider this one of the most essential items in our kitchen no joke. Before I was pregnant, we started every single morning with a double shot of espresso. Now, I tend to save mine for the afternoon. Ben takes his espresso straight up with a tiny bit of cream or over ice with heavy cream and a little simple syrup. I typically whip up an iced or steamed latte with a double shot of espresso, a pump or two of syrup, more on that in a sec, and steamed or foamy milk.
2. Nespresso Milk Frother: The link here, is to the Nespresso bundle, with both the milk frother and espresso machine and I really do think both are essential. The one thing that sets a coffee shop drink apart from an at-home drink is the way the milk is prepared. This milk frother is MAGIC. You can froth up the heaviest creams for iced drinks or steam non-dairy milks like oat milk or almond milk for lattes with the push of one button. We've had ours for two years and it has held up beautifully. It's a godsend for the quarantine life, I'll tell ya.
3. Moka Pot: If you want to try out brewing espresso at home but don't want to commit to the machine yet, you've got to grab this VERY inexpensive moka pot to brew espresso on the stovetop. Ben loves this little device and also uses it to occasionally brew a very strong cup of coffee for himself when he doesn't want a whole pot.
4. French Press: Another great way to dip your toe into making coffeeshop quality drinks without the big price tag, a french press is a great way to brew up a cold brew concentrate perfect for summer or a strong and unbelievably-better-than-drip bit of coffee for two.
5. Sweeteners and Syrups: Whether you make your own, more on that in a minute, or purchase them, syrups are perfect way to add variety to your coffee experience. Whether a teaspoon of caramel syrup in your latte or a shot of Bailey's in your evening espresso (Ben's favorite), you can't miss a touch of sweetener.
1. Sweet Vanilla Cold Foam Cold Brew: Pour a glass of your favorite cold brew over ice. (you can make your own in a french press at home or buy it from the grocery) Use your milk frother to froth together 1/4 cup of heavy cream, a bit of vanilla extract, and a bit of maple syrup. Pour your cold foam over the cold brew and enjoy! If you like it a little sweeter, feel free to add a teaspoon or two of caramel or vanilla syrup.
2. Whipped Coffee: If you haven't seen this on the internet yet, you might be living under a rock haha! But honestly, it really is pretty delicious! Start by pouring a glass of cold milk over ice. Then add 2 tbs of instant coffee, 2 tbs of sugar, and 2 tbs of boiling water to your mixer and mix until you have stiff peaks. Use a cookie scoop to dollap your whipped coffee over the milk, top with a dusting of powdered sugar and enjoy!
3. Whipped Chocolate or Strawberry Milk: This whipped milk is the PERFECT afternoon treat for your kids, or dessert for you! Start with a glass of milk poured over ice. Then add 2 tbs strawberry or chocolate Nesquik and 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream to your mixer. Mix until you have stiff peaks and serve over ice cold milk. Fan favorite over here at my parents' this week.
4. London Fog: This is a recent discovery for me that has quickly become my go to bedtime drink. You'll need vanilla syrup for this, which you can easily whip up by combining 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, or just use a store bought one. For the drink, you'll bring water to a boil, add two earl grey tea bags to a mug, and let the tea bags steep about 2-5 minutes. Meanwhile, steam a cup of milk and a tablespoon of vanilla syrup together. When the tea is finished steaming, pour in the steamed vanilla milk and enjoy!
5. Lavender Vanilla Latte: Speaking of new favorites, I have been cooking and baking with lavender like it's my job over the quarantine and I have to the say that this is one of the best lattes I've ever had, in or out of a coffeeshop. To make it, start with making a lavender simple syrup by simmering one cup of sugar with one cup of water and two tablespoons of dried lavender buds (you can buy my favorite here from Amazon). Simmer until the sugar is dissolved and then strain into a mason jar to keep in the fridge. When you're ready to make your latte, measure one teaspoon of vanilla syrup and one teaspoon of lavender syrup into your mugs and pull two shots of espresso. Mix the hot espresso and syrups together until well combined and top with steamed milk or cream. This can easily be made into an iced drink by pulling the espresso into a glass filled with ice and topping with cold foamed milk or cream.
I hope this recipes give you some inspiration to bring the coffee shop to you this week. Have fun being your own barista and if you have an at-home coffee essential I didn't list, share in the comments!
What I've Been Up To:
Dealing with the Quarantine:
Just Sparks Joy:
What I've Been Up To:
1. Gender Reveal! She’s a GIRL!
2. I whipped out my sewing machine to make my family and I some face masks just in case. Here's the pattern and tutorial that helped me.
3. I also started on my first dress! I'm about a third of the way done and loving it! My inspiration is currently coming from this book, Sunday Sews
4. As I 've been focusing on nursery decor and just starting to feel like I really want to get nesting, I've become completely obsessed with grandmillenial style. No shame.
5. Speaking of home decor, I've been on a huge Nancy Meyers kick and basically want to make every room in my house look like her movie sets
6. And due to my Nancy Meyers kick, we watched It's Complicated on movie night and as soon as the Lavender Honey Ice Cream was mentioned, I absolutely had to make it. It was truly a dream.
7. After our gender reveal on Saturday we raced home to tell my family, who are quarantining completely, and I made these gender reveal cupcakes to surprise them! They were surprisingly easy and super effective!
Projects to Tackle:
1. If you're like us and have some very restless kids at home, this Clay for Kids recipe is the perfect Saturday or Sunday project for a little pantry staple entertainment.
2. If you're ready to tackle some home decor projects, these precious reading nook ideas might be just the thing for an easy weekend project.
3. If you're not constantly in the kitchen are you even quarantining? Hahaha these illustrations are just darling and might spark some creativity too!
4. They say pregnant women shouldn't work in the garden...so all the more reason to just let Ben do it! We have spent so much time in the backyard, that it had better look just like this by the time this is all over.
Things that Spark Joy:
1. Ina is everything. If you haven't watched this somehow. Watch it right now.
2. We all need a little extra joy on our radar right now don't we? I love this article highlighting kindness from strangers in these crazy times.
3. Check out this comprehensive list of where to get cocktails to go in Columbus. I mean, gotta support those local businesses right?
4. One of the WORST parts of all of this for us is not being about to travel! Well, not time like the present to go on a virtual safari then right?
What are you up to and loving right now? Reply to the email or comment to have your recommendation included in future weekly round-ups!
Time to share a few things from all around the internet that have inspired me to get creative and help others over this time of social distancing in our home. I hope something here sparks something in you too! What have you been up to lately! Share your favorite resources and I’ll share them in next week’s round-up! Let’s have a safe and productive week!
What I've Been Up To:
I love this sweet list of ways to take care of yourself while staying home: https://www.stayhometakecare.com/
What a solid list. I added quite a few of these to my Amazon account: https://thestripe.com/everything-i-read-in-march-2020/
As a MASSIVE fan of The Office, this brings me inordinate joy:
Good News with John Krasinski:
This list is so aspirational:
Such a sweet list of movies for family or date night:
Disney World closing it’s doors was one of the things that shocked me the most when all of this started. This Youtube channels does virtual videos of my favorite rides and is the perfect break from your work from home schedule:
I’ve been finally spending some time learning to do my make-up a little better and this is one of my favorite (very easy) tutorials to start with:
Groceries have been weird around here. Sometimes we get everything we want and sometimes things like flour and milk can be hard to come by. These ideas helped me come up with a healthy dinner quite a bit:
Being pregnant, I’ve had to get VERY creative about how to put together a fancy drink. This list is gold: https://xokatierosario.com/7-elegant-mocktails-that-make-you-feel-fancy/
Speaking of missing drinks, my hometown somehow still doesn’t have a Starbucks, so this list helps us get creative with our at-home options:
Welcome! I'm a wife, mama-to-be, foster mom, fourth year music teacher, and Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I explore the calling God has for my family's story.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."