Category Archives: Food and Drink

Brewin’ with Brandi: Morning Buzz Granola Recipe

Morning Buzz Granola RecipeWhen we walked into our test kitchen and were greeted by Brandi’s delicious granola recipe, we knew everything was going to be right in the world. Combining a nice selection of nuts, seeds and chocolate covered coffee beans (of course!), this tasty treat is sure to get your morning’s engine revving on all cylinders.

Watch Brandi tempt us with its grand awesomeness.

Recipe: Morning Buzz Granola

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup almonds, sliced or chopped
  • 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) of butter
  • 3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped chocolate-covered coffee beans

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (for easy clean up!).
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, coconut, sunflower seeds, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and honey together, then heat until the butter melts and everything is well incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Pour the butter mixture over the oat mixture and stir well to combine; make sure that everything is well coated.
  5. Spread the mixture onto your baking sheet and then put it in the oven.
  6. Bake until the top is golden brown, which is about 15 minutes, then remove and break up the pieces slightly. Repeat after another 15 minutes and then after 10 minutes.
  7. Once the granola is golden brown throughout and dry, remove from the oven and sprinkle chocolate covered coffee beans over the warm granola; stir in.
  8. Allow the granola to cool and then serve! Cool it completely before storing, which you can do in an airtight container for up to a month.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Frozen Berry Yogurt Recipe

Recipe: Frozen Strawberry YogurtWith summer coming rapidly to a close, we wanted to rock a recipe that is both sweet and icy. With a wide array of naughty frozen delights available to you (like this or this), frozen yogurt truly is relatively nutritious — especially if you incorporate fresh strawberries into the mix! Right? Right.

Watch as Brandi demonstrates making this delectable dessert recipe on the Breville Smart Scoop ice cream maker.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled & quartered
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups plain yogurt

Recipe Directions

  1. Place quartered strawberries in a bowl and mix with 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice. Gently crush with a fork and let site at room temp for an hour to macerate. After an hour, gently crush with a fork again to desired consistency or blend into a puree.
  2. Combine strawberries, yogurt and sugar and pour into the ice cream bowl. Set ice cream maker to YOGURT setting an churn.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Chocolate Cake Shake

Yes, we’re serious. No, we can’t believe we are, either. We probably shouldn’t let Brandi choose her recipes on her own anymore after she brought this bad boy out to play. Who on earth blends up a slice of chocolate cake and then drinks it?! Probably the same person who blends up a donut.

We apologize in advance for any and all of the havoc this wreaks on your lovely figure, love. Ijole!

 Ingredients

  • 4 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 – 1 cup milk
  • (1) 8 oz. slice of chocolate cake
  • 2 shots of espresso

Directions

In a blender, puree the ice cream and the milk together. Add the cake and the espresso shot, continuing to blend and adding more milk (as needed) to get the right consistency. Serve with a straw and spoon in a pint glass, preferably away from any reflective surfaces.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso-Infused Banana Bread

Recipe: Espresso-Infused Banana BreadIf you find yourself with a few ‘vintage’ bananas, you have one of two choices: Whip up a delicious banana licuado or whip up a delicious banana bread. If you have several over-ripe bananas at your disposal, we highly recommend that you whip up both, but if not — and you’re all smoothied out — Brandi’s espresso-infused take on a classic is the best thing you can do for yourself today.

Armed with a slightly altered version of her Grandmother’s recipe, watch Brandi craft us a loaf of this ultra-moist recipe.

Ingredients

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 shots of espresso (room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Grease a bread / loaf pan and preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. Beat the bananas until they are mostly liquid; add the eggs and blend.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and slowly add the sugar; beat until fluffy.
  4. Add the banana mixture, vanilla extract and espresso to the creamed sugar.
  5. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder, then blend it into the batter.
  6. Transfer batter to greased pan and bake for 1 1/4 hours, or until firm to the touch.

Hot Blog on Blog Action: We’re Back!

Kerry Park SeattleWant to know what’s on our collective mind? Much like the Borg we are single-minded in the pursuit of … coffee! Here’s where we comb the interwebs and report back to you on the the weird and the wonderful coffee-related things we find.  After a three-year hiatus, our highly curated and highly subjective links to the coffee blogosphere return with a vengeance.

If you want a daily dose, we spill the beans about Bacon Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld’s coffee date with David Letterman and other items of caffeinated interest on:

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Gelato

While the sun keeps playing hide and seek with us here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re pretty sure that the rest of the you are having a hot and summery blast right now! Well, if you’re on this side of the equator, that is.

What better way to beat the heat than with a cool and delectable treat? Check out this super easy gelato recipe, courtesy of Brandi and Breville’s rockin’ Smart Scoop ice cream maker.

 

 

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Mini Muffins with Chocolate Ganache – Gluten Free

Even if you don’t have a gluten allergy, we think that if you can make something without gluten that tastes amazing, why not make it without gluten? Brandi found this delicious recipe and we whipped it up in our new studio kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil (+ more for greasing the pan)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz dark chocolate
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a mini muffin tin well with coconut oil.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients for the muffins (flour, coffee, baking soda, nutmeg and salt).
  3. Add the wet ingredients (eggs, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract) and use a mixer to combine everything together until it’s nice and smooth.
  4. Fill the greased muffin tins about 3/4 full; you should have just barely enough to make 24, so scrape that bowl!
  5. Bake for 8 – 9 minutes, test with a toothpick to ensure it comes back clean.
  6. Allow the muffins to cool.
  7. To make the ganache, combine the coconut milk and the chocolate together and melt using either a microwave or a double boiler on the stove. Mix until super smooth.
  8. Top the cooled muffins with the ganache and serve.

Brewin’ with Brandi: Espresso Steak Rub

Tough as NailsYou know it’s summer when Brandi is breaking out the barbecue! We’ve had a wonderfully unseasonable warm front here in Seattle, and although we know that nature is teasing us and that we have a few months of rainy gray days until summer shows up for a couple of weeks in late September, we’re pretending it’s going to stick around.

Watch her whip up this delicious steak rub, grill on the ‘cue and then find out what one of SCG’s lovely carnivores thinks of the concoction.

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup finely ground coffee — we chose Middle Fork’s Tough as Nails blend to give it maximum oomph!

Directions

Combine all ingredients together and mix until well incorporated. Thoroughly coat your steaks … you can either throw them right on the grill or let them hang out with the rub on them for awhile if you want a more powerful flavor. Cook to your desired temperature and enjoy!

Brewin’ with Brandi: Pumpkin Espresso Smoothie

Brandi’s recipe this week is both delicious and healthy — woah! We know, we know. It’s a rich, smooth and creamy smoothie that features real pumpkin and an espresso shot for a little kick. Watch her blend it up!

Ingredients

Directions

You’ll need to begin with frozen pumpkin, so it’s best to put the pumpkin in the freezer the night before you’re going to make your smoothie. Once you’ve completed that, throw all of the ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth! Garnish with crushed cinnamon graham crackers, if desired.

Field Trip: Zoka Cup of Excellence Tasting

You may be wondering, what is the Cup of Excellence (COE)? How will my cup measure up? Will it give me an inferiority complex? I was first introduced to the COE on a recent field trip to Zoka Coffee Roasters, where Sam and I got a tour of the facility and the low down from head roaster Celeste Clark.

The COE is one of the most esteemed awards given to coffee roasters. Over the course of three weeks and at least five tasting rounds, coffees are rated based on the following criteria: cleanness of cup (can the coffee’s terroir show through?), acidity (does it have a brightness to it?), mouthfeel, flavor (a combination of taste and aroma), aftertaste, balance and overall score. Each round eliminates the lowest rated coffees, and the last ones standing that receive 85 points or higher are Cup of Excellence Winners. Among the highest quality coffees in the world, consider yourself lucky to get your hands on these beans.

Zoka is no newcomer to the COE and coffee roasting accolades, their founder Jeff Babcock having previously judged the Guatemala Cup of Excellence competition.  On our recent field trip, we tasted their Espresso Palladino Blend, Tuscan Blend, Colonel Fitzroy and Java Nica according to COE standards. We started the cupping process by experiencing the aroma of the ground coffee in each cup, three cups per blend to compensate for any inconsistencies. We then combined equal parts ground coffee and water, allowing the coffee to bloom and steep for four minutes.  While breaking the delicious brownie-like crust (see photo for action shot), we got to experience the aroma a second time.

Celeste and Dana, pros in the coffee world, then went to work removing the grounds from each cup, and we waited six more minutes before we had our first sip. Like tasting a fine wine, a loud slurp from the spoon was key to getting enough air on the palette to highlight various flavor profiles.  To prevent caffeine overload, it’s commonplace to spit post-slurp, rinse your spoon and repeat with the next cup. Slurp, savor, spit, rinse and repeat. As the coffees cooled down even further, different flavors began to shine through, and I tasted more cinnamon notes in the Java Nica, hints of pecan in the Colonel Fitzroy and the Palladino’s deep molasses undertones. It was a coffee revelation!

I’m often so eagerly awaiting my cup of java in the morning that I throw it back quickly to feed my inner-beast, but this experience reminded me to take the time to indulge in each cup. Savor your coffee as it cools from piping hot to room temperature – you’re guaranteed to taste more complexity with each sip.

Thank you to Zoka for sharing this meticulous cupping technique with us and being so generous with their time! If you’re a lucky Seattlite, stop by one of their cafes and treat yourself to an artfully crafted coffee beverage this winter.