healthy pumpkin spice latte

food & drink, snacks, treats

Hi friends, it is the first day of fall! Yay!

Leaves. The clock rolls back. Scarves. Sweaters. Boots. Scented candles. And all things pumpkin!

This week I have been experimenting with a homemade, healthy version of the classic Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks. There is nothing wrong with a little treat yo’self, especially if you look forward to this fall treat year-round. But I would like to drink them all fall (and winter for that matter), so I had to find a healthier way to do that without a growing waistline or dwindling checking account. I will definitely be sipping on this as the mornings are darker and the weather just a bit cooler.

Serves 1- 2

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk (or your dairy preference)
  • 2 tbs pumpkin puree
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee or espresso
  • ground cinnamon

 

Directions 

  1. Combine all ingredients (minus the coffee) in a small pan over low heat on stovetop. Stir slowly until the milk is hot.
  2. Whisk the mixture to get a frothy texture for 30-45 seconds.
  3. Pour coffee or espresso in a mug and top with coconut milk mixture. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon
  4. Sip and savour fall in a mug!

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Notes 

  • Extra mixture will keep in glass jar up to two days
  • You can freeze any leftover mixture in ice trays for another day or to blend in a morning smoothie or cook into your oatmeal

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Let me know if you give this recipe a try, as always! What are the fall recipes that you look forward to most?

Happy autumn! x

where to sip: Cairngorm Coffee Co

coffee, food & drink, lifestyle, travel

 

I still remember the first time I walked into a coffee shop as a complete newbie. I remember feeling totally dumbfounded as to what to order.

I was a senior in high-school, coffee seemed intimidating, so I ordered hot chocolate and tucked myself into a leathery corner with my latest copy of Seventeen magazine. I continued to order hot-chocolate until my college roommate introduced me to coffeeeeeeeee.

Enter: my love for delicious coffee and aesthetically pleasing spaces: a new series about where to sip in Edinburgh.

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Cairngorm is the least pretentious coffee shop around and you will not feel like 17-year old me. The concept at Cairngorm is simple.

We LOVE this shop because it is:

  • Bright + Airy
  • Scandi-decor
  • Friendly
  • Fun menu
  • Bold in flavour
  • You can count on a fab playlist
  • Seriously delicious

We cannot get enough of their coffee, treats, perfect work spaces and natural light. This shop has everything to love, including avocado toast and their famous grilled cheese sandwiches.

 

Popular menu picks:

  • Guest filter coffee
  • Craft espresso
  • V60
  • Iced brew
  • Homemade granola
  • Grilled Cheese – [I.J. Mellis cheese + chilli jam]
  • Avocado Toast

The space is versatile. It can be a place for boss-lady business or a coffee date with someone dear. The set up makes for a productive environment to spread out that morning paper or linger with a novel. It is our special weekend retreat and really any moment we are not at work.

 

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Locations: The first location is a cosy, basement level shop in New Town located at 41A Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 1EP. The second shop is in Edinburgh’s West End at 1 Melville Place, Edinburgh, EH3 7PR.

Hours: Monday – Friday [8am – 6pm] Saturday + Sunday [9am -6pm]

If you are staying in or visiting Edinburgh, visit this gem. You won’t regret it.

Have a great weekend!

x

 

Travel: Highlands Road Trip

food & drink, lifestyle, travel, where to wander

The Allen’s came to town and we are still not sure how to put into words what their trip meant to us. Matt and Shannon traveled long hours from Denver, took time away from their jobs and made their first trip without their sweet son, Jude. The big and small sacrifices they made for this trip to happen were not lost on us. There were moments where I noticed our two worlds merging – excitedly showing off our new life in Scotland alongside the familiar faces of old friends from home. They blessed us with a suitcase of our favourite brand-name snacks from the States, poured blessings on us through prayer and it was extra nice of them to bring along some Colorado sunshine.

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IMG_9300Day One: Buchanan Bust Station, Glasgow. Bacon rolls. Train to Edinburgh. Water of Leith. Inverleith Park. Vinyl shops. Stockbridge. Coffee @ Cairngorm. New College.  Royal Mile. Grassmarket. Grayfriar’s Church. The Meadows. Dinner + whisky.

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sCOtland2016-010Day Two: We started a morning tradition with the Allen’s of having a ‘slow brekkie’ or slow breakfast. This included sipping countless cups of coffee, in our pajamas, listening to Matt’s playlists and frying up some delicious food. Our day in Edinburgh was full and mixed the best of city + hills. Holyrood Park + Arthur’s Seat. Hike up the Crags. Cadenhead’s Whisky Shop. Old College. Calton Hill. National Museum. Coffee @ Brew Lab. St.Gyles Church. Dinner @ The Scran + Scallie. Fish Pie + Sticky Toffee Pudding. Drinks @ The Last Word, Stockbridge. Circus Lane. More whisky…

IMG_4024The Scottish Highlands live up to the hype. They are what you have heard and more. Sunny skies, sideways rain, other-wordly landscapes, enchanting animals, unique colours and foliage, hills for miles, snow-capped mountains, remote villages and places you would imagine only trolls and fairies living in. The road trip was carefully planned yet adventurous,  rugged yet stylish, wild yet tame, budget-friendly yet indulgent, and at times I had to ask myself, is this really happening?

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Processed with VSCO with c3 presetDay Three: Slow brekkie on repeat. Rental car. Drive to Aviemore. Cairngorm National Park. Loch Morlich. Reindeer Centre. 10K Circuit to Ryvoan Bothy. Prayer on the summit. Views at An Lochan Uaine– Emerald Lake. Lunch @ The Winking Owl, Aviemore. Loch Ness + Urquart Castle. Dinner at Oakwood Restaurant, Dochgarroch. Smoked Scottish Salmon + Venison Goulash. Raspberry Cranachan. Drive to Drumnadrochit. Loch Ness Glamping B+B. More whisky…

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An Lochan Uaine

IMG_9307Day Four: Waking up to Highland cows + sheep out our front doors. Drive to Torridon on the most dangerous/beautiful/narrowest road I have ever been on, The Bealach na Ba. Stopping the car to see baby cows (I know they are called calves, but I prefer baby cows). Gauking unashamedly at baby lambs (again… I know…) Traditional Scottish lunch at the well-known  Applecross Inn. Hake and prawns. Fish + chips. Langoustines (not what Shannon expected but she was a trooper).  Drive to Skye. Shepherd Huts B+B. Fairy Pools. Prayer. Stargazing.

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IMG_9038The Bealach na Ba : Torridon to Applecross

Day Five: Blue Herron out our window. Birds chirping instead of a phone alarm. Morning greetings from rescue donkey’s, George + Gilbert. Slow brekkie delivered in picnic baskets by our lovely host, Janet. Whisky Porridge. Grapefruit. Fresh coffee. Drive to The Old Man of Storr. Magical black, white and emerald landscape. Lunch in Portree. Fishcakes. Cullen Skink. Drive to Ft. William. Ben Nevis, 1345m. Glencoe. Charming cottage, Tigh-na-Gare, located in Arrochar on the bank of Loch Long. You guessed it, more whisky.

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Portree, Isle of Skye

IMG_9054Day Six: Slow brekkie. More coffee. Drive back to Glasgow. Car game of ‘Lost at Sea’, wow still laughing about this ‘team-building and communication’ game. Bittersweet parking lot goodbye’s. Gathered around the Allen’s suitcases at the airport. Prayer for traveling mercies and that God would seal this trip on our hearts always.

Processed with VSCO with c3 presetOur friendship with the Allen’s, this visit, this experience came at the time we needed it most. It was only a week before Ryan would leave for his semester in Germany and we were more than encouraged by it. This trip reminded us of God’s provision, his goodness and an appreciation for the natural beauty in our world- what a privilege it was to share with such dear friends!

 

With love from Scotland,

x

 

NOTES

-Thanks Matt for being our friend AND for being an incredible photographer. You documented this trip like a boss. – If you are interested in the places we stayed, I have linked to websites for our choice of accommodation.  – Curious about Scottish cuisine? Click on the links to find out more about some of the traditional Scottish food we tried along the way! – If you are in Edinburgh, links also included for a few of the best places to sip in the city.

Oven Baked Porridge with Stone Fruit + Pecans

breakfast, food & drink, recipes

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Sweet and juicy peaches, plums and apricots are some of the many joys of summer. This porridge is sweet and creamy because the fruit literally melts into the oatmeal. Warm and comforting food is not just for the cold, dark, winter months, let’s spread that love around into the summer months as well!

This porridge looks and tastes like a dessert, but it’s so much more! The fruit is full of anti-oxidants. Pecans are high in omega-3 fatty acids to help your brain function and whole grain oats help maintain healthy blood pressure, fight heart disease, and keep your hunger at bay longer than many other breakfast options. I hope you enjoy this simple and delicious recipe as much as I do.

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INGREDIENTS

Serves two

100g porridge oats (300ml boiling water to cook)

2 plums

2 apricots

2 peaches

50g/2oz pecans

2 tbs ground cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg + clove

*optional sweetener: honey, agave, date syrup or brown sugar

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6 (fan setting)

Place the oats in a bowl with the boiling water and let sit for 10 minutes, until the oats are soft.

While the oats soak, pit and dice the fruit. In a bowl, sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg and clove over fruit, stir to cover all pieces.

Once the oats are soft and the water is absorbed (drain any extra water) mix the oats with spiced fruit mix and optional sweetener. Stir everything together.

Transfer the mix into small baking pan or oven safe dish. Bake the oatmeal for 25 minutes, until the top is golden in color and any excess liquid has been absorbed. For the last 5 minutes of baking, scatter the pecans across the top.

Spoon into bowls and cover with your milk of choice. I used soy milk and it was mmm mmm good. Feel free to finish it off with any of your favorite toppings- raisins, nuts or seeds, shredded coconut, yogurt or more fruit!

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NOTES

*If you prefer a crispy-crunchy top, bake a wee longer. Mine was quite soft.

*Keep an eye on the pecans, they warm up fast and you don’t want them to burn.

*You can prepare it the night before and leave it in the fridge over night which means an easy morning breakfast.

peace + grace, enjoy your weekend!
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Where To Eat: Tupiniquim Brazilian Crepes

food & drink, travel


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We crave Tupiniquim, always. If it were closer to our flat, we might act on our cravings Every. Single. Day. As a matter of fact, I am craving it right this moment. Hence, an entire blog post dedicated to it.

Tupiniquim is a gluten-free ‘Brazil-in-a-box’ and gloriously delicious. They offer a sweet and savoury range of crepes, fresh pressed juices and a Brazilian stew, Feijoada, that I have yet try, but people go crazy for it!

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The texture of their gluten-free crepes are perfect-  they are light, a bit crispy on the outside and warm with a little fluff on the inside. The savoury peri-peri is a crowd favourite- chicken, spinach, goat cheese, butternut squash, avocado with a homemade peri-peri curry sauce and without the chicken it makes a great vegetarian option. Or, if you are craving something sweet, try the banana, agave and pecan crepe dusted with cinnamon.

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It is one of the best foodie deals in town. Only £5 for an easily sharable (or not sharable…) meal. Here are some tips for the first timer:

1) Expect to wait at least 10 minutes (or even up to 25 minutes if it gets really busy during the lunch rush) for your order. It will be well worth the wait!

2) For spicy food lovers there is an option to make your crepe mild or super spicy – just mention it when you are ordering.

3) Everything here ranges from £4-6 and opening times are from 10am – 6pm, Monday – Saturday.

4) Dine al fresco in their seating area, or take a stroll through the Meadows Park if you can make your crepe last longer than 5 minutes.

This is the first post in a series that highlights some of our favourite places to eat, sip and visit in Edinburgh and abroad. I would love to hear some of your top stops. Happy eating, y’all!

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