Mid-week Meet n’ Greet

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Today after endless rain, hail out-of-nowhere, over-the-top wind, and other various different backdrops for our not so lovely 40 degree weather, Portland Oregon skyrocketed to a luscious 80 degrees and sunny… Needless to say, summer fever is in the air!

 

So here is a little Meet n’ Greet in the warm spirit of Sunshine:

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Lets get to know each other:
Share about your love of books
and/or coffee/tea!

Source: Cafe Meet n’ Greet

“Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)”

Vote and/or share about your favorite summer-time drinkscoffee1

“Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”
~Susan Polis Schutz

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The Most Brewtiful Cafes I

lookbookPart I of my little guide to some beautiful and unique cafes/coffee houses from all around the world:

The Grounds (Alexandria, Australia)

Located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable organic garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences.

Caffè Greco (Rome, Italy)

This café has a rich history; it has been around since 1760 and was a known meeting place of artists, poets, and writers of all countries. Byron, Shelley, Goethe, Keats, Thackeray, Thorwaldsen, Mark Twain, Canova, Gounod, Bizet, Berlioz, Gogol, Wagner, King Ludwig of Bavaria and many other world celebrities having been regular patron of the Caffè Greco.

Mirrors Cafe (Gifu, Japan)

Covered in beautifully polished mirrored surfaces this building reflects the landscape surroundings. A row of cherry trees is planted at an embankment at its basin. The best time to visit is during the cherry blossom season.

Cafe New York (Budapest, Hungary)

An ornate cafe/restaurant founded in 1894 with frescoes & chandeliers. A stunning cafe serving coffee, cake & Hungarian cuisine.

Truth Coffee (Cape Town, South Africa)

This cafe was phenomenally designed by Heldane Martin. It features a steam-punk theme; adorned with vintage typewriters, Singer sewing machines, old candlestick telephones, exposed copper pipes, as well as old extending mirrors and Victorian tap levers. They also pride themselves on roasting and brewing the best quality coffees.

D’espresso (New York, NY)

Decor designed by Nemaworkshop was inspired by nearby New York Public Library turned on it’s side. This unique design is the backdrop for coffee, sandwiches & gelati.

Confeitaria Colombo (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)

Its huge stained glass, tiled, and mirrored interior features materials from France, Portugal, and Belgium. Serving an array of classic Brazilian and Iberian cuisine, delicious pastries, and of course a cup of tea or famous Brazilian coffee.

The world is full of beautiful Cafes, I wish I could visit them all!

Have you ever been to any of these? Which are your favorite?

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!

Heart Healthy Winter Drinks

Here are 10 comforting cozy drinks to sip on by the fire.
As a bonus they are heart healthy and easy on the waistline, in case anyone over-did the feasting 🙂

184832349Mulled Cranberry Cocktail

Simply flavor cranberry juice with a little ground cinnamon and cloves, bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.

 

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Dark Chocolate Cocoa

Use almond, soy, or hemp milk – that is low in saturated fat. You can also use fat-free cow’s milk or 1 percent milk. Make your cocoa with dark chocolate, this is an added health boost!

 


Spiced Cinnamon Cider6a00d8358081ff69e20168e5ddf801970c-800wi

Wrap whole cloves and whole allspice in a small piece of cheesecloth and add it to a saucepan of apple cider along with a few cinnamon sticks. Set on a stove burner and turn the heat to low; the spices will bring out the flavor of the cider as it warms up.

Healthy Eggnog

In saucepan combine and heat a can of low-fat evaporated milk, light-eggnog_7-colorful-punch-recipes.jpgfat-free
or 1 percent milk, and nutmeg, let simmer for about 10 min. In a blender or mixer beat egg until light, gradually add it a little sugar till small peaks form. Gradually add milk mixture to egg mixture as it cools. Add vanilla extract at the end of the cooking process to ensure a vibrant vanilla flavor in your drink.

apple-cider-close-upHot n’ Sweet Ginger Tea

Simmer sliced fresh ginger in hot water for about 5 minutes. Strain out the ginger and add brown sugar and honey to taste. You could also add a little lemon juice to taste, and garnish with lemon and anise.

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Herbal Hot Toddy

Make toddies with eight herbal tea bags, a gallon of water, some chopped ginger, and a few cinnamon sticks. When it’s brewed, sweeten to taste with honey and add fresh lemon.

 

hot_milk_punch_cocktail_cinnamon_half_and_half_brandy_rum_tasting_table_test_kitchen_articleHot Vanilla Milk Punch

Use fat-free milk, unsweetened almond milk, or soy milk. Sweeten the milk to taste with a simple syrup. Once the punch is sweetened to your liking, heat it until very hot, then flavor generously with vanilla extract.
ladle into cups, and dust with a light sprinkling of ground nutmeg and/or cinnamon.

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Sweet Chamo-Adenline

Simmer equal parts apple, cranberry, and pomegranate juice until steaming hot, then pour over a chamomile tea bag in a large mug. Once it steeps for a few minutes, you can sweeten the drinks with a drizzle of honey or agave nectar.

images-1Cinnamon Ginger Brew

Simmer chopped and peeled ginger with cinnamon sticks in a pot of water for about an hour to make this sweetly spiced hot drink. Add agave to taste.

 

2011-11-13-orange-spiced-cider-final-500Hot Cran-Orange Wassail

Cranberry Juice, orange juice, and/or apple cider can be the basis of a wintery Wassai. Flavor with whole cloves, star anise, and cinnamon sticks. To heighten the spicy flavor and provide some color, add some red hots or cinnamon candies while you simmer the brew for an hour.

What’s your keep it healthy winter pick?

Courtesy of mealsonwheels

Why I Love Coffee

coffebagWhy do I love coffee..? Let me count the ways.
The taste of coffee is comforting and grounding.
When I drink coffee I feel a nostalgia that is hard to explain; a warmth.
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The aroma, the taste, the buzz, the culture, and the connections, all are worthy reasons.
In the morning coffee lifts me up and boosts my day.

I love the culture and variety of coffee:

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I enjoy learning about the different countries that grow coffee.

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I’m intrigued by different roasting and brewing techniques. I love the roasted nutty smell and taste of good coffee beans. Experimenting with coffee flavors and styles can be a lot of fun.

cupsI am fascinated with all the wonderful different ways to enjoy the incredible edible coffee bean.

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Coffee is soothing on a rainy day, and melts away the brittle snow or ice of winter. When a day is full of hustle and bustle, taking the time to enjoy a cup of coffee calms me.

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Drinking coffee also induces community. People like to drink coffee together. It makes talking easier and more comforting. It may be tea or some other beverage, but the concept of sitting around in comfy couches or chairs drinking something steamy and talking, is oh so inviting.

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I suppose many people just drink coffee because it is caffeinated and a good energy boost, and that is certainly a good reason.

However, to me, coffee is an experience; something to slow down for, to savor and enjoy.

Of course what better experience to share coffee with, then
curled up with a great book!
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What do you enjoy most about coffee?