This Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs is a healthy and flavorful way to add vitamins B and C into your diet.

Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

This Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs is a healthy and flavorful way to add vitamins B and C into your diet.

Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs

This Banana Orange Smoothie with Cacao Nibs is a healthy and flavorful way to add vitamins B and C into your diet.

This cold season has been rough.  Actually, that’s an understatement– it’s been ridiculous, and staying healthy has become priority number one.  Normally, throughout cold and flu season, I load up on those little vitamin C ‘immune-booster’ powder packets, and drink one every day.  Do I really think they work?  Not necessarily, but it made me feel like my immune system was protected with a lovely little layer of immune-boosting vitamins.  Plus, they’re tasty.  Recently, however, I looked up the ingredients list for my normal vitamin packets,* and was a little alarmed to see ‘fructose,’  ‘dried cane syrup,’ AND ‘corn syrup solids’ on the list.  I checked out a few other brands, and was just as startled.  With ingredients like that, how could those possibly help me to stay healthy?

Determined to boost my vitamin intake, I decided, radically, to get my vitamins from food.  (Are you shocked at my extremism?)  An orange might not technically have as much vitamin C as the immune-booster packets, and a banana has less vitamin B than you’d get from a supplement, but the vitamins are more potent and better absorbed when they come from real food.  This vitamin B and C packed Banana Orange Smoothie is a delicious, fast, and easy way to add a few extra vitamins to your diet.

Continue reading

This vegan-friendly French Press Cappuccino is flavored with vanilla extract, topped with frothed milk or coconut milk, and is ready in about 5 minutes! No espresso-maker required.

Vanilla French Press Cappuccino

This vegan-friendly French Press Cappuccino is flavored with vanilla extract, topped with frothed milk or coconut milk, and is ready in about 5 minutes! No espresso-maker required.

vanilla french press cappuccino

This vegan-friendly French Press Cappuccino is flavored with vanilla extract, topped with frothed milk or coconut milk, and ready in about 5 minutes!  No espresso-maker required.

Do you adore cappuccino?  Is your coffee of choice espresso?  If so– you probably know that a full-fledged, pump espresso maker can be a little bit pricey.  Personally, I do own (and adore) a fancy-schmancy espresso machine, but sometimes I’m a little too groggy in the mornings to operate machinery. (You know– the kind with dials and buttons and whatnot.)  If you find yourself craving a cappuccino, but you don’t own an espresso machine yet (or you are still half asleep and you can’t remember which buttons to push on your machine)– this Vanilla French Press Cappuccino is for you!

Continue reading

This vegan Vanilla French Press Coffee is flavored with vanilla extract, is ready in minutes, and includes a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make French Press Coffee.

Vanilla French Press Coffee

This vegan Vanilla French Press Coffee is flavored with vanilla extract, is ready in minutes, and includes a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make French Press Coffee.

Vanilla French Press Coffee

This vegan Vanilla French Press Coffee is flavored with vanilla extract, is ready in minutes, and includes a step-by-step tutorial on How to Make French Press Coffee.

There are precious few moments in life when taking the lazy option leads to perfection– but French press coffee is laziness at its finest.  There are no filters to buy or change, no buttons to push, and no cords to plug in, and yet the coffee is, almost without fail, flavorful, rich, and delicious.

If you’ve gazed curiously at these inexpenive contraptions, but didn’t buy one because you weren’t sure how to use them– this post is for you.  If you DID buy a French press, but it’s been sitting, unused and lonely, in the back of a cabinet– this post is for you.  If you use your French press regularly, and want to shake things up with some flavored coffee concoctions– keep reading, because this recipe for Vanilla French Press Coffee will give you a lightly flavored, rich coffee that’s ready in minutes!

Continue reading

Starbucks Copycat! This Eggnog Latte is a delicious, custardy latte that's easy to make at home with REAL ingredients. Plus, it's a perfect way to use up leftover eggnog! Champagne-Tastes.com

Eggnog Latte

Starbucks Copycat! This Eggnog Latte is a delicious, custardy latte that's easy to make at home with REAL ingredients. Plus, it's a perfect way to use up leftover eggnog! Champagne-Tastes.com

Eggnog Latte

This Eggnog Latte is a delicious, custardy latte that’s easy to make at home with REAL ingredients.  Plus, it’s a perfect way to use up leftover eggnog! 

A few days ago, I saw snowflakes.  They didn’t stick, they didn’t last, but as they fell they whispered, “Winter is coming.”  It’s time to find the blankets, dig out your sweaters, and break out the eggnog!  If you, along with the rest of America, have been chugging Pumpkin Spiced Lattes since October, it’s time to try winterizing your latte with some ‘nog.  Skip the coffee shop lines and prices, and make this rich and creamy latte at home!

Continue reading

Starbucks Copycat! This vegan-friendly spicy Chile Mocha is made with freshly brewed espresso, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and spicy hot cocoa. champagne-tastes.com

Chile Mocha

Starbucks Copycat! This vegan-friendly spicy Chile Mocha is made with freshly brewed espresso, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and spicy hot cocoa. champagne-tastes.com

Chile Mocha

This vegan-friendly spicy Chile Mocha is made with freshly brewed espresso, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and spicy hot cocoa.  This post is sponsored by De’Longhi.

Hello, friends!  Are the skies a little grey where you are right now?  They are here.  The cooler weather has rolled into Central Appalachia, and we’ve entered the awkward ‘in-between’ season.  Let’s call it ‘fwinter.’  The bright, multi-color leaves have fallen, and the trees are (gasp!) unclothed.  Will we have gorgeous, snowy blankets on the ground soon?  Most likely.  For now, to help transition through the grey, chilly mornings– we need coffee.  More specifically, we need espresso.  And chocolate.  While we’re at it– let’s add some spice!  This spicy Chile Mocha is a vegan-friendly, decadent, caffeinated, fantabulous way to jump-start your day.

Continue reading

This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte with REAL Pumpkin is a healthier alternative to the coffee-shop version. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor, and make this tea latte at home! No artificial dye, no artificial flavoring, and REAL pumpkin. Champagne Tastes - http://champagne-tastes.com

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte with REAL Pumpkin is a healthier alternative to the coffee-shop version. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor, and make this tea latte at home! No artificial dye, no artificial flavoring, and REAL pumpkin. Champagne Tastes - http://champagne-tastes.com

Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte

This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte is a healthier alternative to the coffee-shop version. Do yourself (and your wallet) a favor, and make this tea latte at home!  No artificial dye, no artificial flavoring, and REAL pumpkin. 

How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?  One?  None?  Seven?  As a former coffee-addicted, jittery madwoman, I now limit myself to one cup of the dark, caffeinated, liquid gold per day.  What do I drink the rest of the day?  Tea, of course!  Sometimes, I even skip the coffee altogether, and swap it out for tea– because I’m a little wild like that.  When Starbucks started flaunting their notorious Pumpkin Spice Latte back in the middle of summer (it was early, right?!), I immediately started craving pumpkin EVERYTHING.  Of course, I made my own PSL (with REAL pumpkin), but what about when I wanted a refill?  What then???  How can I get my fill of pumpkiny deliciousness without drinking coffee all day long?  Well, my friends– meet the Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.

Continue reading

This easy Pumpkin Eggnog is fall take on the classic winter cocktail, and is ready start-to-finish in about 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Eggnog

This easy Pumpkin Eggnog is fall take on the classic winter cocktail, and is ready start-to-finish in about 10 minutes.

Pumpkin Eggnog

This easy Pumpkin Eggnog is an autumn take on the classic winter cocktail, and is ready start-to-finish in about 10 minutes.  This post is sponsored by Drizly.

Do you love eggnog?  The thick, creamy drink is one of the husband’s favorites.  When he sees the cartons of eggnog start to magically appear in the dairy aisle in late fall, his eyes light up, and I know the eggnog guzzling is about to begin.  However, not all store-bought eggnog tastes as dairy-licious as one might hope, and these can also have an undeliciously long list of strange ingredients.  If you too wait all year for a drink of eggy luxury, but find yourself wrinkling your forehead in concern over the ingredients, or crinkling your nose because you thought it would taste better– listen up!  Eggnog is EASY to make at home.  I promise.  And this Pumpkin Eggnog isn’t just easy– it’s even BETTER than regular old eggnog because, well– because it has pumpkin!

Continue reading

This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with crushed chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt. The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

Salted French Hot Chocolate

This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with crushed chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt. The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

Salted French Hot Chocolate

This decadent, vegan-friendly Salted French Hot Chocolate (Chocolat Chaud) is made with chocolate, whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and topped with flavorful gourmet salt.  The salt for this recipe was provided by J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works.

It’s been “officially” fall for a few weeks now, but summer has been holding on for dear life, doing its best to make sure I stay warm for just a little while longer.  I’m taking this as further proof that the universe really does revolve around me.  (I’ll pause here so that you can wonder if I’m joking.)  At any rate, at this point– fall has definitely arrived here in Central Appalachia.  The days are still warm, but the nights are cooling down, and the leaves have started to turn.  This, of course, means it’s time for cozy warm drinks– like this Salted French Hot Chocolate.  This cocoa is rich– richer than your normal hot cocoa– and is made with whole milk and cream (or coconut milk and coconut cream), and lots of crushed chocolate.  Top it off with some extra delicious gourmet salt, and you’re all set for those chilly fall evenings.

Continue reading

This Apple Cider Kentucky Sunrise is made with bourbon, apple cider, and pomegranate simple syrup. This southern twist on the classic Tequila Sunrise is the perfect fall cocktail.

Apple Cider Kentucky Sunrise

This Apple Cider Kentucky Sunrise is made with bourbon, apple cider, and pomegranate simple syrup. This southern twist on the classic Tequila Sunrise is the perfect fall cocktail.

Apple Cider Kentucky Sunrise

This Apple Cider Kentucky Sunrise is made with bourbon, apple cider, and pomegranate simple syrup.  This southern twist on the classic Tequila Sunrise is the perfect fall cocktail.  This post is sponsored by Drizly.

I have exciting news– it’s apple cider season!  I started seeing apple cider in the grocery store about a week ago, and did a giddy little jig– I clapped my hands and everything.  People can stare if they want to– it’s cider season and I don’t care.  Apple cider is probably my favorite fruit drink on the planet– it’s so earthy, so fruity, and such a great way to celebrate fall.  I buy apple cider obsessively from mid-September until it tragically begins to vanish from the market shelves in late November.  You can, of course, drink cider cold, poured straight from the bottle into your juice glass.  And I do.  Don’t stop there, though– heat it up, mull it, or turn it into a cocktail!  This Apple Cider Kentucky Sunrise is a festively fall twist on the classic Tequila Sunrise, and is made with apple cider, bourbon, and pomegranate simple syrup.

Continue reading

Blueberry Basil Julep - Muddle basil leaves with blueberry simple syrup, add crushed ice, add bourbon, and drink up!

Blueberry Basil Julep

Blueberry Basil Julep - Muddle basil leaves with blueberry simple syrup, add crushed ice, add bourbon, and drink up

Blueberry Basil Julep

This Blueberry Basil Julep is made with blueberry simple syrup, fresh basil leaves, and bourbon.  Enjoy it on Derby Day, at a cocktail party, or whenever your herb garden is overflowing.

A few weeks ago, the husband and I made another weekend road trip to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.  While we wandered around distillery gift shops and waited for our tours, I had lots of time to read the cocktail recipes that were plastered all over the gift shops.  In particular, a recipe for a pineapple basil julep at Jim Beam caught my eye.  It was a little more complicated than I wanted my cocktail process to be, but I liked the idea of adding a fruity simple syrup to a julep.  When we got home, I started playing bartender.  (Except, I don’t know how to do any fancy bartender bottle-spinning moves, and I’m not very good at listening without interrupting, so maybe I’m NOT an awesome bartender.)  At any rate, I tried a few cocktail concoctions, and this one was the bomb dot com.

Continue reading