what’s the deal with them anyway?

Macarons

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Macarons: The Next Cupcake Craze
macaroons-chart

Before visiting Olivia Macaron I never understood the hype. Macarons are awesome and this is the only macaron shop in the city so be sure to swing by and try all the flavors you can get your hands on! The cupcake craze is over, and the French macaron has taken its place, maybe next it will be miniature pies?

Macarons offer a perfect balance of flavor, size, texture and color. They are the perfect treat for an occasion. Come to Olivia Macaron for a taste. The flavors from Almond, Pistachio to Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Bacon everything was to die for.

You must try a macaron at least once twice in your life. Remember that it is important to splurge on a good one. Everyone should experience this sweet treat! The crispy sweet exterior of the macaron gives a flaky tenderness to smooth meringue filling sandwiched between two little pillows of deliciousness. Remember, just because macarons are lighter dessert options doesn’t mean they don’t taste good.

where beer is cheaper

than water, literally

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Thank to BBC’s Brian Cohen I am still convinced that Prague is the next place on my travel list. A microbrewing boom is enticing Czechs to discover new flavors, and when it’s a good brew, each sip invites another. When you are a thirsty traveler, Prague seems to be your best bet for beer.  Make sure to click the link below to learn more about micobrewing in Prague! http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20140310-the-heart-of-prague-pumps-lager 

 

national ice cream day!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

“I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!” Shout this mantra from the rooftops, because today is National Ice Cream Day! As you may have heard *wink, wink* today is, National Ice Cream Day! Don’t worry if don’t get the chance to celebrate today because you should be celebrating all month long! After all it is National Ice Cream Month!

Ice cream is the perfect treat for all seasons! I want you to enjoy your day to the fullest, so I am letting you in on a few of my favorite ice cream establishments in the DMV area!

Thomas Sweet, Georgetown, DC

Moo Thru, Remington, VA

Pops Old Fashioned Ice Cream, Old Town Alexandria, VA

Dolcezza Artisan Gelato, Bethesda & 14th Street NW

If you are feeling more than ambitious, and would rather make your own sweet treat than venture out today here is one recipe that will rock your taste buds! Whether you get it in a cup or in a cone, atop a waffle or in a banana split, make sure to visit your local ice cream shop today to get some cold, scrumptious treat!

it’s finally friday!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Thank God it’s Friday. This week was incredibly long, but now it’s almost time for the weekend. Hopefully a few of these blog posts/articles I share with you toady will get you to 5PM. This weekend,will be filled with friends, a baked & wired cupcake, Nationals v Brewers game and a lot of drinks followed by laughter.

Thanks to Girls on a Whim for this awesome idea to feature a few killer links every Friday. I love that idea!

Healthy Happy Hour? Why not, check out a few ideas before hitting the bar with friends. (The DC Ladies)

This little bundle of joy (National Geographic)

A shameless promo of DC Area Delta Phi Epsilon Alumnae Association, here’s the new website and Facebook page (DC DPhiE)

Miss Idaho for rocking it and not being ashamed (NRP)

Healthy Nachos, don’t mind if i do!  (Pinch of Yum)

Nothing is better than strawberry lemonade…bars! (Dinner Dishes & Desserts)

A lovely  summer libation that you must drink this weekend (Margaret Elizabeth)

And to get those pesky fruit flies to go away! #sorryimnotsorry for likening fruit! (Buzzfeed)

 

Enjoy a little fun in the sun this weekend!

National Ice cream Month?

hello, July!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Only a few things can really get you through a bad heat wave, to me, ice cream is one of them. Before the “Poor man’s Polar Vortex” hits we are getting rocked with this humidity. Thanks to some awesome coworkers, I am now on the up and up with my ice cream related news. Lucky for you, I will share my knowledge: July is National Ice Cream Month!

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day. He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food that is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the nation’s population. In the proclamation, President Reagan called for all people of the United States to observe these events with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”

The International Ice Cream Association (IICA) encourages retailers and consumers to celebrate July as National Ice Cream Month. In 2014, National Ice Cream Day will be Sunday, July 20. Gear up and get ready for a scoop of your favorite flavor on Sunday!

It doesn’t surprise me that the the U.S. ice cream industry generated total revenues of $10 billion in 2010, with take-home ice cream sales representing the largest section of the market, generating revenues of $6.8 billion or 67.7 percent of the market’s overall value. (Source: MarketLine, an Informa business)

club w

calling all winos

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

This post is all about wine and drinking it. Last week I stumbled upon Club W when I found a free pomo code for two bottles of wine. After seeing the promo, I was very intrigued and checked out their website. Though this is a little copy and paste, they can explain what their motto is best.

Learning about wine should be fun, not overbearing or pretentious. We produce a short video for every wine featuring one of our curators that includes tasting notes and other background information such as the producer’s story, an explanation of the growing region or a primer on the varietal. A QR code on every bottle that we ship will take you directly to the video. It’s an easy, un-obtrusive way to learn about the wine you’re about to enjoy, if you’re so inclined.

No Jargon. No BS. Just great wine.

  • Our team of curators source some of the coolest small production wine from around the world and present new bottles every month.
  • Love something we sent you last month? As long as we have bottles left you can add more to your next order.
  • Know what you like? Perfect, pick exactly what you want from our selection.
  • A Club W Experience is commitment free and guaranteed to make you happy. Cancel or skip a shipment any time. Don’t like something? We’ll send you a replacement or a refund.

So, this sounds pretty awesome, huh? I like that idea that they match your pallet based on your likes and dislikes and your taste buds. I ordered my wine last week and needless to say I am anxious to start sipping on it. Once I get it, I will give you a full review of the service and product.

coffee

drink it in

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Here are the awesome facts. Sure coffee is an addictive drink, but it’s not all bad. Take a look at this awesome infographic to set yourself straight on the coffee front. You can thank me later, after you replenish your cup of coffee. 6df5f3c036a0fd43084385e918ee580d

donuts

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

So, it is a little late but recognition is always worth it. In lieu of the recent Donut Day, I needed to share so vital information. My college town bakery was just named BEST donut in Minnesota! Yes, you read that right. Bloedows was named the best donuts in Minnesota! What an honor.

Thanks for the LaCrosse Tribune you can read a little more about Bloedow’s and their tradiation. But if you don’t want to click on the link, don’t worry the story is copy and pasted below.

Bloedow Bakery is Winona’s hometown bakery since 1924 featuring their own, very special, original recipes. Step in the door and step back in time to smell the warm, sweet smells of fresh baked donuts, breads and sweets. Step into a time when lives were more relaxed and food was made with pride. Ask any native Winonan and you will find Bloedow’s is a stop not to miss!

The History
In 1924 Ernest Bloedow had a dream to start his own bakery in Winona, MN. Located at 601 Sanborn Street, Ernest and his wife, Mary, started their little bakery which soon became a family affair. In 1925 the bakery moved to the corner of Broadway and Laird into a former saloon, complete with a hitching post outside! The bakery soon became known as Bloedow’s Little Bake Shop on Broadway. There it flourished and was passed down through the family.

By 1941, Ernest and Mary’s daughter, Mildred, and her husband, Julius Gernes, assisted in the bakery operations and eventually purchased the bakery. In 1984, Mildred and Julius’ son, Ernest, and his wife Darlene, took over the Bloedow tradition with its now famous recipes.

On January 1, 2005, the bakery was sold to Hugh and Mary Polus, the first owners outside of the Bloedow family. A baker at Bloedow bakery since the age of 15, Hugh was mentored by Ernie and Darlene for almost 20 years to continue the Bloedow tradition. While some customers may have been skeptical of the change, they were soon relieved to know that nothing would be changed with the Bloedow’s recipes. The Polus’ are both native Winonans and grew up on Bloedow’s treats.

Original Recipes
Many of the Bloedow donuts, rolls, and breads you see in the cases each day are still made with the recipes used on the bakery’s first day of business. Other specialties have been added during the 80+ years of tradition.

The David and Goliath Story…Bakery Style
In December 2005, Winona residents taste-tested and the result was national news.  Less than two years after entering the Winona market, the international doughnut colossus, Krispy Kreme, pulled its products from the store shelves, ceding the territory to locally owned Bloedow Bakery. While their exit started out quietly, a local newspaper ran a story which was quickly picked up by the Associated Press and run all over the country.

Our Customers
All agree, once you’ve had a Bloedow’s donut you will go back for more. Many Bloedow’s fans agree that the first and last stop when coming to Winona is Bloedow Bakery and one donut is not enough. What Bloedow’s fans won’t agree on is which donut is the best. There are just too many “bests” to choose from. Bloedow’s fans are so devoted, they have created a group on Facebook dedicated to sharing Bloedow’s stories and voted Bloedow Bakery the Best Donut Shop in MN in March 2012 WCCO Best of poll.

Our Promise
The employees of Bloedow’s promise to continue the tradition of Bloedow’s by providing high quality baked goods like no others.

Bloedow Bakery was an awesome place to visit on a Sunday morning when most of the town was still sleeping. I can only imagine what press Bloedow’s has received since they’ve been voted best donut. Kudos to them for making the tradition last and a dream come true. Now, only if they delivered then I could get this hankering for a Maple Long John out of my system.

beignet

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

Remember back in February when I was talking about the new goodies called croknots, cronuts, crodolis and so on? Well I am ready for a new treat, the beignet, which I am sure you’ve heard of. This treat is a New Orleans classic. Now, I’ve never had one, but I can only picture what it tastes like. To me, a beignet is a cross between a funnel cake and a donut. Beignets were also brought to Louisiana by the Acadians. These are fried fritters which are often a treat. Sometimes they may be savory dishes as well and may contain meat, vegetables, or fruits. From what I understand, the beignet is a square piece of dough, fried and covered with powdered sugar.

Later tonight I will be making a pit stop at the ever-famous, Café du Monde, and I am sure it is going to be a highlight of this New Orleans trip! Café du Monde is a popular New Orleans food destination that specializes in the powdered sugar beignets.

I am beyond ready to experience some New Orleans tradition!

sun tea

yum!

you can find me at: @K_AnnM | Insta | LinkedIn

When I think of summer, sipping on iced tea comes to mind. I want to share with you one of my favorite ways to make iced tea. It takes a little longer than usual, but in the end it is well worth it. Allow me to introduce you to Sun Tea. Maybe you love the taste or you’re enjoying a  summer power outage, a jug of of sun tea always hits the spot. Summer makes you ask this when it comes to brewing tea, “why even heat up so much as a kettle when Mother Nature will do it for you?” With the blaring sunshine, using minimal equipment is one of the best ways to enjoy a tasty beverage.

Tea
Black teas work wonderfully for sun tea, since they’re full of those floral flavors that remind us of summer. Black teas are also versatile over ice, or infused with seasonal ingredients.

Pitcher
You’ll want a glass, glass is easier for the sun to hit. If you use plastic, believe it or not it’s not really “clear”.

Water
I am a believer of tap water.

Sun
You want a place you can set your pitcher in intense direct sun to allow the tea to brew.

When making the tea, use a 2:1 ratio of ounces of water to grams of tea. Ensure that the tea is fully submerged in the water, and then lid your jar. It is recommend to keep the jug in the direct sunlight for 3-5 hours (but you can keep it in the sun for up to 12 hours!); you’ll know your sun tea is ready for you by color and taste.

Remember you can add any seasonal ingredient- mint, lemon, sugar or just keep it at the black tea that is made from the sun-kissed infusion. Make sure you wait until it’s brewed to taste before (adding sugar) diluting with water or ice. Most of all, enjoy!