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breakfast

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Berry-Orange Smoothie with Heritage Reserve Oranges

March 17, 2015

Heritage Reserve Naval Oranges

A number of weeks ago, before Ainsley arrived, the sweet people over at Heritage Reserve Naval Oranges offered to send me a case of their oranges for review. Joe loves oranges, so he was as excited as could be, but I was a little hesitant. You see, I’m not really a fan of oranges. There, I said it! It’s not that I mind them, but I rarely sit down and eat an orange for a snack because I always find the flesh a little tough and unappealing. Clementines on the other hand? I could eat five or six at a time!

Despite my hesitation I agreed to sample the oranges, and they couldn’t have arrived at a better time. They showed up at our doorstep a few days before Ainsley was born while we were battling horrible colds and we were eager for the extra dose of vitamin C. Honestly, I didn’t expect to be as blown away by these oranges as I was, but they are truly amazing. Since the team sent us a box of 72 oranges, we gave them away to everyone who visited us in the weeks following Ainsley’s arrival and everyone who tried them had the same reaction.

The flavor of these oranges is incredible and the flesh is soft and tender, almost like a giant clementine. I think it may have something to do with the age and quality of the trees? The trees they are grown on are anywhere between 50 and 112 years old. Dare I say these oranges were my version of citrus fruit heaven? They’re only available from February through April, and for you Twin Cities residents, word on the street is that they’re available at Cub Foods right now, so look out for them when you’re at the grocery store!

Orange Berry Smoothie (1) | Espresso and Cream

We’ve been working our way through our giant supply, finding ways to incorporate the oranges into meals and snacks. Joe has even taken to making smoothies with them in our Vitamix! I thought I would share with you our favorite combination as of late. Since Ainsley arrived, smoothies like this one have been a staple in my diet because I’m able to get a bunch of nutrition into a single meal.

Berry-Orange Smoothie with Heritage Reserve Oranges
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 1
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup milk or non-dairy milk of choice
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (I like the antioxidant blend from Target)
  • 1 Heritage Reserve Naval Orange, peeled
  • 3 to 4 ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium high speed until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes to really break up the flesh from the oranges. Serve immediately.

 

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My Morning Routine + Giveaway!

March 9, 2015

Lavazza Post 2
One of my favorite blog series of all time is a series on Bon Appetit called “My Morning Routine” where celebrities and Bon Appetit editors talk about how they start each morning. I’m not sure why I find the column so fascinating, but it gets my attention time and time again. Does anyone else love hearing how people start their days?

I’m partnering this year with Lavazza, one of my favorite coffee companies, to promote some of their amazing coffee products. I’ve loved Lavazza since we traveled to Italy in 2013 and drank our fair share of their coffee and espresso. It was everywhere! I know some women are quick to give up coffee during their pregnancies, but I just couldn’t stand to give up my beloved morning cup of coffee and my afternoon cup of decaf. I took a little time before Ainsley arrived to write down what my morning routine looked like pre-baby and had planned on posting this before she arrived, but since our little lady arrived early, I never got it posted pre-baby. As you can imagine, my morning routine has changed quite a bit since Ainsley arrived; I’m not sure I even have a morning routine right now! But here’s a look at my pre-baby mornings.

COFFEE FIRST
I head straight for my coffee the minute I get out of bed. My method of coffee preparation takes different forms. We have a Keurig 2.0 that I’m partial to because of the convenience factor and the fact that I can make different coffee for myself and Joe. But on mornings when I want to make a really wonderful cup of coffee I gravitate to using my stovetop espresso pot or French press with some quality dark roast or espresso roast coffee grounds. Lately, I’ve been using the Lavazza Perfetto Espresso Roast coffee and it’s divine. My coffee has to be super dark and strong because I like to add a little whole milk or 1/2 and 1/2 without losing that good, strong coffee flavor. On the weekends when I have a bit more time I’ll use my Nespresso milk frother and make a cafe au lait.

FUEL FOR THE DAY
I’ve never been someone who can wait very long after I wake up to eat breakfast. It’s probably the reason I’ve always hated brunch! I usually wake up first thing in the morning absolutely starving, so I waste no time preparing breakfast for myself and Joe. Joe’s pretty easy to please as far as breakfast goes and will eat whatever I make. If he had strong preferences, I would probably tell him he was on his own! (I’m only sort of kidding…)

Breakfast has to be something healthy and balanced or I find that my whole day is thrown off and I tend to make bad food choices the rest of the day, although I have to admit that pregnancy has thrown my appetite off a bit this entire 40 weeks. Oatmeal is usually my favorite and I typically make it with some chia seeds or a little ground flax thrown in for good measure. I used to be a fan of stevia in my oatmeal, but once I got pregnant I started to think more about what I was putting in my body and switched over to using plain old brown sugar with a bit of almond or peanut butter for protein. Sometimes I’ll mix things up and make eggs and whole wheat toast or my current favorite, a mixed berry smoothie made with a little orange juice, milk, ice and frozen berries.

TAKING MY TIME
Joe and I have always had a bit of a habit of waking up earlier than we really need to in order to give ourselves a little bit of time to wake up, watch the news, talk about our mornings and do our devotionals. It’s amazing what an impact an extra half an hour in the morning can have on the entire day! I feel like that extra time gives us the opportunity to talk and make sure we’re on the same page about what we have going on. Sometimes sleep takes priority and we opt to hit the snooze button a few times rather than wake up early, but that’s rare.

LUNCH PREP!
My extra half an hour in the morning also creates a little time for me to pack a lunch for Joe. Once again, he’s not picky (thank goodness!) so the standard is kept pretty low. We eat a lot of leftovers for lunch since it’s just the two of us eating dinner each night. Otherwise it’s a rotation of sandwiches with yogurt, fruit and some sort of raw veggie like carrots.

EMAIL, EMAIL, BLOG
My work schedule lately has, admittedly, taken on a bit of a different routine. Instead of rushing off to work, I’ve been settling down to some time in front of my laptop, responding to e-mails and brainstorming new ideas for the blog and working on freelance projects that I have in the pipeline. Usually about halfway through the morning I’ll help myself to another cup of coffee, this time decaf. For me coffee is only partially about the caffeine and almost entirely about the taste!

Lavazza Post 4

Lavazza Post 3

Lavazza isn’t just supplying me with plenty of coffee to stay warm; they want to supply you with coffee as well! Below are a few ways to enter to win a $20 Lavazza gift card!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Recipes from Around the Web

December 4, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 7.55.44 AM

 

I realize that I haven’t shared many new recipes on Espresso and Cream lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been creating new recipes like crazy at work! Most of the content I’ve created recently has been holiday-temed. In case you’re looking for a little Christmas baking inspiration, I thought I would share with you some of my favorite recipes I’ve developed lately around the web:

1. Christmas Tree Cookie Pops (pictured above)

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.01.39 AM2. Giant Gingerbread House Cookie (so much easier than making a gingerbread house!)

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.03.21 AM3. Santa Hat Cookies 

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.05.28 AM4. Asian Chili Roasted Brussels Sprouts 

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 8.06.57 AM5. Impossibly Easy Mexican Chorizo Breakfast Bake 

Madison

 

 

 

 

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Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Pecans

October 3, 2014

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins | Espresso and Cream

After a little bit of a hiatus from sharing recipes on E&C, I’m finally back with something new and ultra tasty to share. Although I have a deep and long-standing love for all things pumpkin, I feel like apples really get overlooked during the fall months because of the popularity of pumpkin. Anyone else feel that way, too? It’s really a shame since apples are one of my favorite foods, and don’t even get me started with apple pie, crisp and cobbler. The best!

While I was at Influence Conference, I got a lot of questions about Espresso and Cream and what type of blog category it falls into. If you would have asked me a year or more ago, it would have been an easy answer: it’s a food blog! But over the past year or so, I’ve been shifting this little site into something that would probably be categorized more accurately as a “lifestyle” than anything else.

Regular readers have probably noticed this shift over the months. Perhaps some of you have liked it, while others have thought it’s been a shift from the original intent and purpose of the site. Since I spend every day at work developing recipes and food content, I’ve found that being able to talk about topics broader than the narrow focus of food has been necessary for me as a person and writer. Although I love food, thinking about it all day and then blogging all about food at night leaves me drained and less passionate than I really am. Having recipes in the mix of content for E&C instead of the sole focus has been incredibly refreshing and given me more excitement for blogging

So for those of you who have been wondering, I figured I would explain a bit about what type of content you will see on E&C going forward. Recipes will never disappear from the site, but my goal these days is to provide you with higher quality recipes (which means fewer recipes!) and more variety in my posts, sharing about life, fitness, pregnancy, family and faith. Thanks for continuing to follow along on this journey and my ever-evolving blog.

Now, back to the recipe at hand. These muffins are really easy to pull together and stay incredibly moist thanks to the chopped apple in the batter. I used a Granny Smith, but feel free to use whatever apple you like baking with best or have on hand! They aren’t ultra sweet, but just sweet enough to feel a little indulgent on a weekend morning. Joe likes them with plenty of melted butter, while I prefer my muffin with a thin spread of peanut butter. But that’s just me, and I’m probably a little strange that way.

Feel free to experiment with the type of nuts used in the recipe as well. I could see walnuts being a really natural fit as well! An added bonus? I’ve found they make a great mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack and are really great in lunches for hungry husbands (or kiddos!)

Apple Cinnamon Pecan Muffins (1) | Espresso and Cream

Apple Cinnamon Muffins with Pecans
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 medium apple, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper baking liners; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugars and butter 2 to 3 minutes or until fluffy and well-combined. Add in the cinnamon, eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add half the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Beat in the milk, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Stir in the chopped apple and pecans by hand until combined.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin liners. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan. Transfer to wire cooling rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.

 

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Perfect Vanilla Scones

August 18, 2014

Vanilla Scone | Espresso and Cream
My sister-in-law, Ali, is one of the kindest, most genuine people I’ve ever met. She married into the Hofmeyer family two years ago when she married Joe’s brother, Jason, and I think I can speak for the whole family when I say that Jason found a fantastic wife in Ali.

Some of you may also remember that when we were pregnant with baby #2 Ali and I were supposed to be due only 6 days apart from one another. We spent a lot of time texting back and forth that first trimester and I think I can speak for both of us when I say that our miscarriage was devastating and difficult knowing how to navigate the waters while she was still pregnant and I no longer was. To Ali’s credit, she was so gracious and compassionate in those months following, always careful of what she posted on social media while our wounds were still fresh and sharing just enough with us but not too much so that it would hurt even more.

In the months following our miscarriage I desperately wanted to figure out how to be happy for both of my sister-in-laws and their pregnancies while also mourning and grieving our own loss. Joe and I have clung to the verse, “Laugh with those who laugh, mourn with those who mourn,” and I wanted nothing more than to be able to do just that with our family. I found that doing things in spite of my pain was the most healing; I think the phrase I actually used was, “Every time I can be happy for someone despite my sadness, it’s like I’m saying a big ‘Screw you!’ to the devil, who wants to steal my ability to be joyful for others and make me bitter”.

BabyShowerPhoto
Part of that process included sending the maternity clothes I had purchased to Ali and planning to throw her a baby shower in Minnesota later in the summer. Of course, at the time I would have never imagined we would be pregnant again by the time the shower rolled around, but there was something remarkably sweet about throwing a shower this weekend, celebrating Ali and Jason’s baby girl, remembering our own lost little one and feeling so thankful and joyful for the life that God has blessed us with in His own timing.

The spread at the shower included scones with an assortment of toppers such as jam and butter. Of all the breakfast pastries I suggested making, Ali’s vote went to scones. Her only request? They needed to be dense and slightly crumbly and crisp around the edges, not fluffy and cakey like some bakery-style scones in the states.

I tested a lot of recipes in the weeks leading up to the shower and realized that there are a lot of people who have no idea how to make a proper scone. Finally, when I was totally frustrated with scone recipe testing I consulted Desserts by the Yard, one of my favorite baking books. Sherry Yard never fails to come through for me, and this time her scone recipe totally knocked it out of the park. If you’re looking for a truly lovely scone, I would highly recommend this recipe. They soften a bit the next day, so make them the day of for best results!

Vanilla Scones 1 | Espresso and Cream

Perfect Vanilla Scones
Author: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, cut into small pieces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional sugar for dusting
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir until well-combined. Add the butter to the flour mixture and use your hands to break the butter up into small pieces. Then, once the butter has been broken up into small pieces, use your fingers to flatter the pieces of butter into thin discs.
  3. In a small bow, stir together the heavy cream, milk, egg and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Use your hand to knead the dough gently 2 to 3 times or just until dough comes together.
  4. Turn dough out onto a floured countertop and shape into a rectangle 1-inch thick. Cut into 12 small squares (about 1½ by 1½ inches or so) and place on baking sheet. Dust with additional sugar, if desired.
  5. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until scones are rich golden brown around the edges. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet. Cool completely on wire cooling rack.

 

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