Thursday, August 21, 2014

Weekend Getaway

Ryan and I just got back from a whirlwind trip to Chicago! We were there for exactly 24 hours. Red-eye flight on Friday, followed by sister-hangout-time, followed by an awesome wedding, then trip back to the airport to catch our 5:00 AM flight back home on Sunday. Phew. We. Are. Tired. But we had so much fun!

Got to have some sister hangout time! It was so good to see her sweet face. 

And then got to see these crazy kids!

It was so great to spend some BFF time with this girl. Wish we lived closer!

We also got to play some bocce ball! The reception was at Pinstripes, a really neat venue that had outdoor bocce ball courts and everything!

Bocce action shot!

The wedding was perfect. The ceremony was beautiful, the reception was so much fun, and seeing your friends get hitched and so happy is priceless. I just love weddings. I can't believe I forgot to get a picture of the bride and groom! What was I thinking?!

It was quite the trip! And it was so worth it.

Always remember: Memories > Sleep

Monday, August 18, 2014

DIY Aquavit

A while back, I posted about our new little aquavit bar I made in our dining room. Ryan and I will skål with some aquavit on special occasions [like getting a new job, celebrating an anniversary, or even just having a clean apartment!], and it's become a fun tradition. Unfortunately, aquavit hasn't become a mainstream liquor here in the States [yet]. So after some stealthy google searches, I've decided to give making my own aquavit a whirl, and you probably should too.

Let the craziness begin!

You will need:

750 ml bottle of vodka
5 sprigs fresh dill
Zest of 1/2 a lemon + 1/4 of an orange
3 whole star anise
 1.5 tsp caraway seeds
3/4 tsp fennel seeds

Put your fresh dill and citrus zest into a clean, glass bottle with a lid. Using a funnel, pour your bottle of vodka into the glass bottle containing the citrus and dill.

Let infuse for 24 hours.

Remove the dill and citrus from the vodka after it has completed infusing. I did this by pouring out the contents of the bottle into another glass bottle, using a funnel and cheesecloth to catch the zest/dill.

Add caraway seeds, fennel, and star anise. Let infuse for 2-6 days, depending on the strength of flavor you are looking for. I really enjoy the anise/caraway flavor so I let it infuse for 5 days and it gave it a very pronounced anise flavor (like black licorice). Once your flavor level has been reached, discard spices.

Ta da! You've just made your very own Aquavit! Toast to something special!

Verdict: Ryan and I both loved it! It definitely had a stronger anise flavor than the Skåne brand aquavit we bought in Sweden. We really liked the nuanced flavors, including the citrus. For future batches, I may even let the citrus infuse one day longer.

If you try it, let me know how it works for you!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Giveaway WINNERS

Drumroll please....

The winner of the CoffeeSock is:
 #12 - Valerie Taylor Mabrey

And the winner of the Righteous Bros. Coffee cold brew goes to:
#13 - Jessica Cnossen

Congrats to both winners!
Please email me with your mailing addresses so the prizes can be shipped.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Righteous Bros. Cold Brew GIVEAWAY!

Thanks for joining us today, after the cold brew coffee tutorial, for this great opportunity for you to win your very own cold brew by Righteous Bros. Coffee Roasters!

Righteous Bros. Coffee Roasters are based in Houston, Texas. They roast their own beans and make one mean batch of cold brew coffee. Lucky for you all, today you have a chance to win 2 free bottles of their amazing cold brew coffee concentrate!

"We visualize coffee through the lens of the letter "C". Conversation, Craft, and Culinary. Each facet represents the heart of the human spirit and is at the core of who we are as a company." - Righteous Bros Coffee Roasters

If you'd like a chance to win 2 free bottles of Righteous Bros. Coffee cold brew, all you have to do is leave a comment below about your favorite type of coffee! [*note: this giveaway is for US mailing addresses only*]

Rules for the Giveaway are as follows:
-One comment per person, please [duplicate comments will be deleted]
-The giveaway will close 12:00 AM  3:00 PM, Friday August 15, 2014 [Pacific time]
-The winner will be announced Saturday, August 16 at 7:00 AM.
-Be sure to link back to your blog/email so I can contact you if you win!

*I have not been paid to promote Righteous Bros. Coffee Roasters. All opinions are my own.