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!

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These Smoked Gouda Sweet Potato Fries are baked until crispy, and topped with flavorful smoky gouda and pecans. This flavor-filled side is ready start-to-finish in about 25 minutes.

Smoked Gouda Sweet Potato Fries

These Smoked Gouda Sweet Potato Fries are baked until crispy, and topped with flavorful smoky gouda and pecans. This flavor-filled side is ready start-to-finish in about 25 minutes.

Smoked Gouda Sweet Potato Fries

These Smoked Gouda Sweet Potato Fries are baked until crispy, and topped with flavorful, smoky gouda and pecans.  This flavor-filled side is ready start-to-finish in about 25 minutes.

What’s your favorite way to use sweet potatoes?  I’m honestly not sure what my favorite sweet potato recipe is, because whenever and however I devour those gorgeous orange spuds, I love them a little bit more!  A few weeks ago, I was at a café, sharing sweet potato fries with friends, and I fell even harder in love with the starchy vegetable.  These fries were smothered in smoked gouda, and as soon as I got home, I started dreaming about piles and piles of orange, cheesy fries.  Faster than you can say ‘sweet potato,’ I was chopping potatoes, shredding cheese, and dicing pecans.  These Smoked Gouda Sweet Potato Fries are baked to perfection, covered in goopy, smoky, flavorful cheese, and topped with crunchy nuts.

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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!

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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.

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Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese- Easy, Gourmet Mac + Cheese, Ready in 20 Minutes Start to Finish! - champagne-tastes.com

Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

This Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese is an easy, gourmet mac and cheese that's ready in twenty minutes start to finish!

Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese

This Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese is an easy, gourmet mac and cheese that’s ready in twenty minutes start to finish! 

Guys, I have a confession.  Some days, I just don’t care how easy a 15 minute meal is– my brain hurts, and I don’t want to cook.  Does this happen to you too?  On those nights, my first instinct is to have the husband cook dinner.  (The cat, of course, still refuses to help either of us cook.)  If that doesn’t work– there’s Indian take-out.  If take-out falls through– I reach back into the deep, dark recesses of my kitchen pantry– and pull out a box of mac and cheese.  Not just any mac and cheese, mind you– I like the fancy stuff.  The organic, ‘let’s pretend this powdered cheese came from a cow’ stuff.

However, even the fanciest boxed mac and cheese always leaves me full of doubt.  I’m left wondering, ‘What exactly did I just eat?’ and ‘Would homemade mac and cheese really have been harder to make??’  The answer, of course, is NO– homemade mac and cheese is NOT difficult to make, and doesn’t take much longer to prepare than the boxed kind.  Plus, with homemade mac and cheese– there’s no suspicious powdered cheese packet!  This Pesto Spinach Macaroni and Cheese takes about 20 minutes, start to finish, and is bursting with cheesy goodness.

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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.

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These Rosemary Apple Crêpes are light, delicious, and perfect for lunch. Simply stuff one French Crêpe with apple slices, cheddar cheese, and fresh rosemary, and then lightly grill.

Rosemary Apple Crêpes

These Rosemary Apple Crêpes are light, delicious, and perfect for lunch. Simply stuff one French Crêpe with apple slices, cheddar cheese, and fresh rosemary, and then lightly grill.

Rosemary Apple Crêpes

These Rosemary Apple Crêpes are light, delicious, and perfect for lunch.  Simply stuff one French Crêpe with apple slices, cheddar cheese, and fresh rosemary, and then lightly grill.

It’s no secret that I love crêpes– I crave them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and even for snacks in between!  If you’ve kept up with Champagne Tastes over the last few months, you know that I’ve been on a crêpe-binge– a crêpe-stravaganza— and have filled your phone screens and work computers with all things crêpe.  You’re welcome.  Let’s do this again, shall we?  Today– Rosemary Apple Crêpes– another simple and delicious way to fill your French Crêpes.

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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.

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These rich and decadent Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are flavorful, delicious, and quick to prepare. They're perfect for date night, 'fancy-schmancy' dinners, or an indulgent dinner for one!

Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce

These rich and decadent Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are flavorful, delicious, and quick to prepare. They're perfect for date night, 'fancy-schmancy' dinners, or an indulgent dinner for one!

Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce

These rich and decadent Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are flavorful, delicious, and quick to prepare.  They’re perfect for date night, ‘fancy-schmancy’ dinners, or an indulgent dinner for one!

If you’re looking for a decadently delicious seafood meal, you might think– “Lobster.  I love lobster.”  Typically I would agree with you, but if you haven’t tried sea scallops– they give lobster a fight for the Fabulous Seafood Award. (I just made that award up, but let’s pretend it’s real.)  These Seared Scallops with Wine Sauce are rich, delicious, and fast– the perfect date-night meal.  They’re also perfect if you want to treat yourself to an easy, fancy-schmancy meal.  You know, the kind where you get to eat everything yourself instead of sharing.

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Pumpkin Spice Latte with REAL Pumpkin. Ready in 15 minutes, or Prep the pumpkin puree the night before, and it's ready in 5 minutes!

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Real Pumpkin

Pumpkin Spice Latte with REAL Pumpkin. Ready in 15 minutes, or Prep the pumpkin puree the night before, and it's ready in 5 minutes!

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Real Pumpkin

This vegan-friendly Pumpkin Spice Latte is made with spiced, lightly sweetened REAL pumpkin, steamed milk (or coconut milk), and espresso.

Does anything scream “Fall!” more than the Pumpkin Spice Latte?  Well yes, probably.  The mornings get chillier, the leaves start to turn, and we all start scrambling to remember where we stored warmer clothes (or is that just me?)  Pumpkins and other squash begin proudly flaunting their brightly colored skins, daring us to take them home and devour them.  And of course, I do.

The other, albeit unofficial, start to delicious autumn goodness is when Starbucks begins selling its Pumpkin Spice Latte.  At $5-$6 a cup, however, it’s a pricey habit to maintain.  Even if you have the cash to guzzle down one of these spiced coffee drinks daily, the chemical flavoring and excessive sweetness mean that this drink isn’t exactly the healthiest option.  Instead, try this recipe for a Pumpkin Spiced Latte with REAL pumpkin.  Making this latte is quick– the most time-consuming, 10 minute part of the recipe can be completed ahead of time, meaning you don’t need to wake up any earlier to enjoy pumpkin deliciousness at home before starting your day.

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