Coffee Shop Inspo

When we were galavanting around town enjoying some delish coffee, I had two delish concoctions that I NEEDED to try at home. I decided to put a NuNaturals spin on this, though honestly both required syrup and I only have NuNaturals syrup, so my tastebuds decided for me. πŸ™‚

Mint Julep- Houndstooth Coffee

As much as I love a coffee shot, I knew immediately whilst taking this that my version would not look as cute. First off, this Cerci Lannister goblet is EVERYTHING. Second, they clearly purchased mint in that level of Mario 3 where everything is gargantuan.

Now Houndstooth doesn’t make this recipe a mystery, they shared it online for the Kentucky Derby:


  • Generous dash simple syrup (10 grams) (I used NuNaturals vanilla syrup)
  • 2.5 ounces cold brew concentrate
  • 1.5 ounce club soda (I used Topo)
  • Top with crushed ice (I did not have crushed ice. So I used geometric ice shapes)

Garnish with agitated fresh mint. 

Now I believe my mint was already agitated because it knew it was Joe Pesci compared to the mint at Houndstooth, but for those new on the agitate mint scene, Imbibe Magazine has you covered:

A mint garnish is all about adding aroma to the final cocktail, so it’s important to know about the oil on the underside of the leaf. Ever seen a bartender slap mint in their hands before adding it to the drink? This movement is the quickest and easiest way to express those oils. β€œWe’re allowing the oils to release and make the general environment around the top of the drink great,” Voisey says.

I ordered this the last time I was living in Austin and I thought the barista was making this up when he slapped the mint in his hand. I was like “alright, bro. You do you.” Turns out he reads Imbibe Magazine, I guess…

Here’s my version:

I asked Jon to try it and he liked it so much that I made him one as well. I consider that a job well done. The only thing agitated in this house was the mint. Last agitation, joke. Promise.

Throwback Matcha Cooler- Manana

This drink was the special on the day we went to Manana (part of the South Congress Hotel). I took a picture of just the tea and it came out terribly. Luckily their Instagram had this picture and now I want that reusable straw.

The Throwback Matcha Cooler had:

  • Unsweetened matcha powder (in a water concentrate made in-house)
  • Lavender Syrup
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sparkling Water (they had their own on tap, pics below)

I asked for the ratios of this drink because it was freakin delightful. They said 3oz of the matcha concentrate, 1 oz of lemon juice, a splash of syrup, then the rest was sparkling water. I am not sure why it is a throwback. They had a version with Strawberry lemonade and I imagine some curmudgeonly hipster was all “boooo! play the classics!” so they included the throwback as an option.

Anyways, here is a picture of us enjoying this concoction:

Eerily, my nail polish is almost identical to the George Costanza, er hand model, for Manana.

I had a leg up on the drink lewk because they did not have the goblets and fresh mint like Houndstooth (but what they lacked in those areas they made up for with a TAP OF SPARKLING WATER THAT YOU COULD USE TO HAVE AS MUCH AS YOU WANTED). I want one in my house when I grow up. Here is my version of this tasty beverage:

I used the recipe above, but replaced the lavender syrup with NuNaturals vanilla syrup. Jon said this one was even better than the one we had at the coffee shop. This feels a bit unfair because I served it to him right after he worked out and any cold beverage post-workout tastes like heaven. Here’s a picture of my ingredients:

Since the baristas told me they put the water in last, so I poured the lemon juice and matcha over ice, then finished it with sparkling water. And I don’t know if you noticed, but I used a metal straw like their instagram account. Ballin.

Let me know if you try either of these! πŸ™‚


Cold Brew Taste Test (part 2)

How do we like our coffee in Texas summers? ICE COLD! Alright-alright-alright-alright… (I enjoy Outkast as much as iced coffee).

Today’s Iced Coffee Adventure was STRAIGHT UP cold brew. No flavor, no milk. But Naturally I had to spruce up the coffee (seen after our vote). We have four contenders:

Since these were SO similar (no milk or flavors to rank), we decided to just rank them from 1-4. This was the easiest way to separate them. And in true cold brew couple fashion, my fave was the only one Jon would not purchase again. πŸ™‚


  • Jon: 1st place, would buy again
  • Me: 3rd place, would drink if milk sub and stevia was added

Civil Goat

  • Jon: 4th place, would not buy again
  • Me: First place- hells yeah I’d drink this again.

(opposites attract, folks)

Giddy Up!

  • Jon: 3rd place, would buy again
  • Me: 2nd place, would buy/drink again
  • Kirkland

  • Jon: 2nd place, would buy again
  • Me: 4th place, would drink if milk sub and stevia was added
  • My issue with the Kirkland is just that it is SOOOOO strong. I always add milk and stevia to those. Well, I did. Jon hasn’t purchased them in a while. I think it was fun to put this “‘ol standard” with the new dawgs.

    When we ranked the coffees we split them to finish drinking. I was given the Giddy Up and Civil Goat remainders, which were used to make these iced coffee bevs:

    Blue Cowgirl

    I love a blue milk. This was done with spirulina and also some NuNaturals stevia. I whisked them together then poured over the leftover coffee and ice.

    Butters the G.O.A.T.

    This was also coconut milk, but I added some chai syrup and an adorbs pineapple slice because it looks so tropical in that fancy lil bebe coupe glass.

    Thanks for reading! FYI coffee fans: we will be sharing some local coffee shops in August.


    Fast App Friday Returns!

    When summer hits I have a simultaneous urge to eat LOTS of produce and LOTS of ice cream. Today, I am going to talk about produce.

    The fastest app ever is our friend the crudites.

    If you have veggies and hummus (or ranch or tadziki or any dip you love) then you have this app. You don’t need to cook anything… AND if you’re really feelin super chill you can buy pre-cut veggies. I generally cut my own because for some reason I feel like carrot sticks taste better when I peel and cut the carrots myself. Maybe it is just because they are from Farmhouse and the carrots just taste better anyways? A true mystery.

    There’s so many ways to serve this:

    Netflix Snackie

    This is the most chillaxed version because it is a little bebe party just for you! Throw some produce on a plate or in a tiny bowl, then put some hummus or other dip in the corner. You can also “elevate” this by putting the dip in the bottom and serving in aesthetically pleasing vessels. Which brings us to option 2…

    Fancy Mini Servings for Parties

    Remember when everyone was DELIGHTED that mini cupcakes were a thing? Everyone loves things when they are tiny. While charcuterie has been making the Instagram rounds big time, the pandemic invented jar-cuterie (or individual cups if you do not have a dozen little mason jars sitting around). I mean… these little cups were big during covid for obvious reasons.

    I am always nervous about double-dippers when there’s a veggie assortment and no plates or spoon for the dip. And while I loathe when I am pulling a George Costanza, I often am (as noted below):

    Double dipping is gross- full stop. I won’t with strangers or even family. I also will not share ice cream cones. Get your own, bro.

    These individual cups prevent double-dipping from being gross because the dip is in the bottom of your own cup! So fun and so cute and SO sanitary. πŸ™‚

    Veggie Board

    I would recommend having a little spoon and plates for serving these so the aforementioned double dip grossness does not occur. Speaking of George, if you do not see enough veggies on the menu of the restaurant you’re headed, just pack your own:

    That’s it! That’s the post. Fast app and fast post. Thanks for coming to my second round of:


    Peach Cobbler

    I have to admit something: I have never purchased, cut, or baked a peach. I have eaten peach pie and I am pretty sure I’ve had those peaches in syrup that sometimes get served with school lunches. But that is it. End of line. So when I saw peaches were in my weekly Farmhouse Delivery CSA box, I started to dig around for ideas. This cobbler was the one that was the most intriguing. Next week I’ll be sharing some chutney I made using white peaches.

    This recipe is pretty straight forward. I followed it exactly, other than subbing NuNaturals 1:1 stevia for the sugar. Here are the IKEA assembly pictures:

    Basically, you mix the sugar in with the peaches, add the crumble, and bake. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool for 20 minutes so it can thicken.

    We ate ours with vanilla ice cream and Busy Bee granola on top. 10/10 would make again!

    Thanks for reading!


    Fast App Friday

    I am not going to make Fast App Friday a weekly thing because I have commitment issues, but I DO want to share a fast app or snack when I find one (or in this case make one up in my mind palace).

    I enjoy a cheese board, but I also do not love making a lot of cheese decisions. Like, give me a plate for one with exactly as much charcuterie as I need or I am overwhelmed. And by the end, I am also overeating.

    I really enjoy the “jarcruterie” trend where mini jars were used in an effort to serve people in covid times. I made something similar over the holidays:

    I also made a mini-board during the holidays which covered my need for adorable meats and cheeses in a larger snack (aka mini meal type of way):

    I think that these types of apps are super fun and a great way to play with textures. One texture I am digging right now is granola because Hunt & Gather Foods sent me several to try and I just keep topping all the dang foods with it! πŸ™‚ I was working on some chutney recipes for Me and Jon to taste test (that intel arrives Monday). I had some blueberry goat cheese for that blog post and thought “this flavor combo would be awesome with Busy Bee granola.”

    So, I took 5 crackers out of the freezer (I am frugal like an adorable grandma who lived through the depression- you can store these in the freezer). Then I smeared some spicy pepper jelly on them and topped that with some blueberry-vanilla goat cheese. Then I topped these aborbs treats with granola and drizzled some local honey on top. Behold!

    The textures, salty sweet elements, crunch from the cracker, softness of the cheese…. good lord. These were amazing. And I am OBSESSED with how beautiful the busy bee granola is with the flowers in the mix. Look at the pops of blue! πŸ™‚

    Jon and I both really enjoyed these, even though they weren’t an official part of the chutney taste test. Jon wants to try this combo on a toasted crostini next because I’ve created a monster. Ha!

    No oven needed. No heat at all (other than that amazing pepper jelly). Deliciousness with minimum assembly required. Fast App Friday, y’all.

    (drops mic)


    Canned Iced Coffee Taste Test (Part 1)

    Hello, friends!

    As I am sure you know, my hubster and I are pretty obsessed with coffee. He prefers iced coffee or cold brews. I am a hot coffee or latte gal. But the Texas summer has arrived and I will be enjoying iced drinks for the foreseeable future.

    When Jon and I went to Civil Goat Coffee a few weeks back, we saw they had canned cold brew. We decided it would be fun to try some of these canned options out to compare. This first list is flavored iced coffees (sorry Civil Goat- you’re in Part 2). There were four choices which we rated in pairs. I am going to share our thoughts on these from least delicious to most delicious. Let’s do it!

    #4: Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream Latte

    Two of these four beverages are from my friend Trader Joe. They ranked at the bottom of this list, which is sad because I LOVE Trader Joe’s. I love coconut milk in my iced coffee, but this was not a good mix. The flavor wasn’t great and it was not worth the calories.

    Would we drink this again?

    Jon: Nope! (3/10)

    Me: Nope! (5/10)

    #3: Trader Joe’s French Vanilla Cold Brew

    So this tasted better than the coconut milk one. Our major source of contention here was that it was not flavorful. It was supposed to be vanilla but we couldn’t taste it. I gave it a higher score than Jon because it tasted like watered down cold brew with a splash of milk, which I absolutely drink. However, I gave it a 6 because I don’t like liars and this does not taste like vanilla.

    Would we drink this again?

    Jon: Nope! (4/10)

    Me: Sure… if it is free or I am wicked tired (6/10)

    #2: Minor Figures Coffee with Cocoa & Oatmilk

    Okay, before we talk about the quality of the drink can we talk about THIS CAN?!?! It is so cute! I have taken pictures of each can with the coffee drinks because they are all unique.

    The taste of this coffee was legit AND I enjoyed the oat milk (which I NEVER do). The drink was cocoa-forward, which was a delightful treat (I’m looking at you T-Joe who made a “vanilla” iced coffee that does not taste like vanilla at all).

    Would we drink this again?

    Jon: Yes! (8/10)

    Me: Yes! (7/10)

    #1: UpRiver Dirty Chai

    So this can is minimalist cute (though I grew up DOWNriver, not UPriver). I was surprised when this drink came out so creamy. It was spicy and delicious! The flavor was packed in and I was happy to see the chai spices included clove and black pepper. You could taste a hint of both and it was delightful. If you do not like a chai flavored drink that is spice forward, buy this anyways then give it to me. πŸ™‚

    Would we drink this again?

    Jon: Yes! (8/10)

    Me: Yes! (8/10)

    Better luck next time, Trader Joe’s. You make SO many amazing treats for my taste buds. I would consider living exclusively on your garlic paste. Maybe flavored coffee is not your wheelhouse. We can’t be good at everything. We aren’t Prince (RIP).



    Hello, friends!

    We decided to do a “staycation” on Memorial Day weekend because we will be traveling later this summer and wanted the weekend to be chill. We did, However, dress in matching gear to suggest we were tourists in Austin:

    We decided to spend Sunday chillin at Zilker, so naturally I had a chance to pack a lunch! I enjoy what are called “zoo lunches.” These are lunches people bring to eat at the zoo- usually a sammie and a side with no utensils required. I am obsessed with these low carb wraps, but Jon is less enthused, so I added mayo because that fixes everything.

    If you’re vegetarian, I suggest a wrap with hummus, giardiniera, some crunchy veggies, and leafy greens. My man needs more calories than I do on account of lifting heavy things all the time, so you can see his sammy and meal on the top and mine on the bottom. He also received more lunchable-type meats/cheeses. Lucky dude. πŸ™‚

    We have a pretty good system packing for Zilker now. We fill a backpack with a tarp blanket (in case it is wet), sunscreen, hand sanitizer, and bug spray. Then we pack the lunches in a cooler bag with frozen waters (that act as ice packs until they become water again). Brilliant!

    It was a super fun weekend! We also went to a new coffee shop, went to the Domain, and watched movies. Fun times were mos def had. Now I begin teaching my summer semester while also planning for my next Bake Sale, which will benefit the Trevor Project. Pride Month is the prettiest bake good month because rainbows are life.

    Stay tuned for a post on those treats. None of the pictures here are what I am mailing, but damn if they aren’t adorable.



    Well, “nooch” is a word I never thought I’d use. It is shorthand for Nutritional Yeast, an ingredient I played with briefly years ago when on the Paleo diet. I used it in a few recipes that called for it, then literally never bought it again. Nothing against the stuff, I just didn’t make too many recipes that called for it. Man, dear readers, how things have changed… πŸ™‚

    Nooch Popcorn

    When NuNaturals shared they were making their own, I asked for some to try out in recipes. And, per usual, they delivered (I should add that it is also ON SALE right now. No, they don’t pay me. Ha!)

    First, I attempted the cheesy popcorn hack where nooch is the star player:

    I guess I should say that the nooch shared the stage with Everything but the Bagel seasoning. This is basically the song where (inexplicably) Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson fought over the same girl. In the end we all win, really.

    Tahini Nooch Kale Salad

    I also used nutritional yeast as part of a salad dressing! I used kale here because it stands up well to bold dressing choices. This delish dressing concoction was made using lemon juice, tajini, nooch, garlic, soy sauce, and a bit of apple cider vinegar. Because this dressing was SO flavorful, there were only two other ingredients: kale and ribbons of rainbow carrot. Both from Farmhouse Delivery. Obviously. πŸ™‚

    Keto Broccoli Fritters

    My final recipe using nutritional yeast also provided me an opportunity to use up some broccoli I had laying around. Occasionally, as a CSA box gal, there’s a rando ingredient who needs some friends. This week it was broccoli. So I made these fritters using almond flour, nutritional yeast, egg, and broccoli pulsed in a food processor.

    On my next attempt I would replace the almond flour with regular flour or wheat flour. The flavor of these was great, but they were a bit dry. Not your fault, nooch. The dang almonds did us wrong. πŸ™‚

    What’s Next?

    I would like to make Keto Fried Chicken using nutritional yeast in the future. I’ll report back on how that goes, as well as the decidedly not Keto fitters I make on round 2.


    Wait… am I paying for gym class?

    Hello, dear readers!

    Today’s post is about my complicated relationship with running. However, if you’re here for some delightful food content, you’re still in luck. I have started this post with a preview of a tart I’m making this weekend AND a video of icing cookies for a talent show. Without further ado…

    In Food News:

    • I made Toast Biscuits (pictured above) for the first time (my mother in law is visiting this weekend and she likes them).
    • I am attempting a Roasted Strawberry and Rhubarb Tart this weekend for her birthday. Pics next week for sure! For now, enjoy this majestic rhubarb I scored from Farmhouse Delivery!
    • I entered a Faculty Talent Show at ACC. Here’s my video.

    Fun Fact: I competed in a talent show in Elementary School where I just did the running man to Mariah Carey’s banger Someday. I did not win AND someone said “cool dance moves” on the playground later that day. That was officially the day where I understood sarcasm.

    Now, back to gym class…

    So, I did not get to run with people in Montana. I did Orangetheory and Crossfit, which both had running elements. But it wasn’t my main focus. When we moved back to Austin last summer I ran a bit, but spent most of my time weight training and doing WODs. I began the Trans Texas Virtual Run on February 1st… the race goal is to run/walk 634 miles by December 31st, though I am hoping to make that happen by my 40th birthday in October.

    Most of this mileage was earned solo. However, things have changed post-Moderna vaccine.

    Now I run with people again! Hooray for people! Real humans. There’s proof below. The pictures are of (from left to right) Rogue Running, November Project Austin, The Morning Jos, and Comedor Run Club. I would like to walk through why I like these groups and they will be part of my regular running rotation.

    Rogue Running: This is a twice a week activity. The weekday meetings are the gym class stuff: drills, fartleks, time trials, etc. Then the weekend is a long run. I am doing a free month at Rogue but plan to continue because I am not sure how to build endurance/speed on my own. So, I am officially going to PAY for gym class. lol!

    The Morning Jos: This Tuesday morning run ranges from 3-5 miles. I have only done the 3 mile version. To get to 4 miles you run behind the Capitol. For me, this is like the horizon in The Truman Show- for all I know this is a painted wall. But I am sure I will get to that route eventually. For now a big reason I do not do the full loop is because of the pace thing. Most runners at my pace do the 3 miles and it is still dark (we begin the run at 6am). Once I can can catch up with the peeps who run behind the Capitol I’ll move up to 4.

    November Project ATX: This is the running group I’ve been with the longest! They are fun and inclusive. The timing doesn’t work as well with my work schedule, so unfortunately this will likely be my least consistent group. Mileage at NP varies because there’s a lot of body weight movement interspersed and sometimes a game or activity. Fun times!

    Comedor Run Club: This club meets M/W/F, but I can only do Fridays because of my work schedule. This is the most intimidating run of my week. Not because of the people- all SO NICE! But because it is a 3 mile run and people wait for everyone to finish before high-fiving taking a group picture. I will inevitably be the last person to get high-fives for the foreseeable future. Did this make my pace faster? Yes. Does it make me nervous to keep going? Also yes. This image is what I keep thinking of when that fear creeps in:

    This struggle will always be a part of my running routine. I am not a fast runner and will never be a sprinter by any means. The hardest part of this is keeping the energy up to go anyways. For most people in these groups an “easy pace” is a 9-minute mile and I have been logging in the 11-12 range. I was able to keep a pace of 11 minute miles at CRC last Friday, which included the traffic lights and me forgetting to turn my watch off when I stopped. I am hoping to be in the 10s tomorrow.

    That last sentence might make people say “it sounds like running with people is improving your running pace” and I would agree with these imaginary readers/speakers. However, the “can’t” and “should” monsters tend to worm their way back into my thoughts and it is annoying. Something that has helped?

    Taking Time to Enjoy the Little Things

    As cheesy as that title is, I have been working hard to live in the present. As an anxious person it is easy to live in the past or the future. Those are generally where anxiety thrives. So noting a beautiful moment like the wildflowers in the breeze or a solid message is nice. Stopping to take a picture to remember those times is a great way to connect with the present.

    I also took a picture of this delish beverage I had at the Run of the Year event last weekend. We ran a 5K for Lymphoma research, which is important to me (my dad died due to cancer). The beverages served help support addiction recovery, which was an added bonus. I am sober and do not use recovery services or anything. But I like that people can access those easier because of this company. Yay for that!

    Today I saw a little lizard AND a tortoise/turtle. See if you can find him- he had stellar turtle-flage.

    I decided it would be fun to get to the 200 mile mark for this post (while working on it I realized my 3 miles would get me over the milestone). So, cheers to 200 miles, y’all!


    Come and knock on my doooor…

    That reference may be dated, but I love John Ritter.

    I LOVE baking, but some weeks are busy and other times I want to see what other people are doing or making. I am inspired by everything on Instagram, but I cannot eat those things… though full disclosure- when I finish my mileage for the Trail Racing Over Texas Trans-Texas Virtual Run I WILL be ordering these cookies from Levain bakery:

    I took this picture from their Instagram. WUT.

    Generally speaking, I am the one who knocks (shout out to Heisenberg) when I mail treats. But, I know this shocks NO ONE, I also like eating baked goods from the mail. πŸ™‚

    So, this post is dedicated to my homies at Farmhouse Delivery. I have tried a few of their baked goods over the past few months and wanted to share them with you here. There’s no baking required (except for the last one and WORTH IT). Like all other Farmhouse items (including fresh flowers, eggs, etc.), these bad boys just show up on your front porch. And you even get a text so you know to awkwardly hover near the door. Ha!

    Blueberry Muffin

    Farmhouse deliveries include local farmers AND local businesses. Texas French Bread has several offerings in their bakery section, including this amazing Blueberry Muffin. The thing weighed like 40 pounds.

    One of the reasons I was SUPER excited for this muffin was…. Well first we should cover the fact that I put butter on all fruit filled muffins. I used to get this BALLER orange muffin from Marshall Fields restaurant and I put butter on that. And Blueberry muffins. I just do, okay.

    Anyways, sometimes the cold butter rips the muffins. That’s where a BUTTER CROCK comes in. You put cold water in it and it keeps butter soft on the counter. It took its maiden voyage for this blueberry muffin moment:

    Full disclosure, taking pics of this buttered muffin was similar to a dog balancing a treat on his nose (which are always labradors. Labradors are too polite sometimes, man…).

    If you do not have a butter crock, my dad used to put his hot coffee cup on a pat of butter at restaurants (wrapped in foil, obvs). Perfect spreadable butter. Freakin genius.

    Cinnamon Sugar Croissant

    This croissant is also from Texas French Bread. It was delivered in my CSA box and I was NOT disappointed. Look at the sparkly sugary goodness! It actually looks fake. But I know it was not because I ate it. Promise (like you had doubts).

    I know that Paul Hollywood is all about laminated dough when it comes to pastries like this, so I also have a shot of how this looked when cut in half:

    Texas Strawberry Pies

    These beautiful bebes are from Flourvine and were SO DANG DELICIOUS. They even put a little note inside asking me to slice a few holes on the top before baking. Thanks, friends. I did and it was perfect. I added some egg wash and turbinado sugar before baking because I am that guy who says “this is great! I modified it though…”

    I would also like to add that those baller strawberries that were basically the size of these hand pies were also Texas strawberries from Farmhouse. They are the best, y’all. πŸ™‚

    My “To Try” List

    There are still several items on Farmhouse Delivery’s baked goods/desserts section that I have yet to try. I have several weeks of baking plans on lock, but when those are finished I am going to try some of these bad boys:

    Sausage and Jalapeno Croissant from Texas French Bread

    Raspberry Croissant

    Bake at Home Buttermilk Biscuits

    I had the kit Farmhouse sold this fall, where you made the dough using ingredients in separate containers (from Dai Due). It was SO good! I don’t see that one anymore and like the idea of a square biscuit. So this will happen.

    And Finally….

    This is called “Late Night Fridge Grab Dessert Box” and I have ZERO chill. Pun unintended, but I am amused and it stays. This looks SOOOOO good, but I would need to buy it for a night where I am hanging out with friends so we could all try a bit of it. I cannot imagine this would end well if these were all in my fridge for just me.

    I don’t have to imagine, it is written in stone. I would eat all of it at 2 a.m., then Jon would find me in the morning covered in cookie crumbs laying on the kitchen floor sleeping whilst smiling.

    Even so, I will wait until I can share it.

    Thanks, Farmhouse!

    I love how all of these items are local. There are also baked goods from Easy Tiger, Sugar Mama’s, Rockstar Bagels, Slow Dough, and Tiny Pies! We had the Texas Pete pie from Tiny Pies, but I did not include it in this post because that was a savory pie. I didn’t want to have to check the “savory” tag, then disappoint people when there was a post full of sugar. πŸ™‚ Anyways, the pie was vegan and delicious. I look forward to slowly checking everything off this list as groceries are conveniently delivered to my door.