Summer grilling is here and life is opening up again, it’s time for gathering together with friends and family, having backyard BBQ’s and enjoying special occasions which we all missed so much!
Memorial Day is just around the corner and so is Father’s Day and if you’re planning on doing any cookouts, I hope you add this intensely flavored mustard, garlic herb paste to just about whatever you’re planning on grilling.
Fresh herbs are the key to this delicious herb paste which can be made in a jiffy using a food processor and don’t be afraid to double or triple this recipe, I promise it will amp up your grilling game!
I used a mix of basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Each herb carries its own intense flavor which pairs nicely with grilled foods but feel free to create your own combo that you might prefer.
COVID-19 has pretty much-ruined everything; this we already know. But some traditions remain intact, and that includes the delicious tradition of King Cake.
Traditionally served in the month of January, bakeries around Louisiana are pumping out the traditional pastry to offer a sweet bite of better times. In my own backyard of Dallas, PJ’s, a New Orleans-based coffee shop hopping across the Texas-Lousiana border, is offering an exciting new twist on the foodie favorite: King Cake Lattes. Per Eater Dallas, the limited-time drink includes “PJ’s espresso dolce roast, steamed milk with vanilla and cinnamon, and topped with a generous dollop of whipped cream dusted in purple sugar.”
Frankly, everyone here at Sprudge is obsessed. Much like Hamentashen, the King Cake is one of those sweet treats that comes but once a year, whose arrival is hungrily awaited. Find a way to add coffee to it—or it to coffee—and you’ve really got our attention.
But we understand not everyone can pop out to their nearest cafe for a King Cake Latte. So if you can’t get to a PJ’s, or want to make your very own version, Sprudge co-founder and noted King Cake enthusiast Jordan Michelman has whipped us up a play-at-home recipe.
Your Dream of Working From Home and Enjoying the Good Life Is Here.
Traditional Louisiana-style King Cake calls for a very simple icing, what’s sometimes called “English icing” made of powdered sugar, milk, and lemon. As with all things King Cake there is endless variation and riffing—there is even an un-iced purist version, made using puff pastry and almond filling (they make an excellent one at Poupart Bakery). The inclusion of butter or even cream cheese to the icing recipe is not uncommon, although others feel the only appropriate place for cream cheese is inside the King Cake itself.
Very fine icing will fall apart immediately atop liquid, which is why the King Cake Latte needs to be floated with stouter stuff. After much trial and error, I suggest making a simple Diplomat Cream (aka Creme Patissiere), a sort of whipped cream vanilla pudding hybrid that holds up on top of a mug, and makes a sturdy precipice for the critical addition of gold, green, and purple sprinkles.
First, make a simple custard. Heat milk in a saucepan, then cream sugar and egg yolks together in a separate bowl, adding flour as you go. Combine the two into the saucepan, remove from heat, and stir until smooth. There are a billion recipes for this—I outlined the St. John version up above but use whatever style you like.
Then make whipped cream. Whatever your preferred method is here is fine—I like cream, vanilla, and icing sugar in an electric mixer, but everyone has their own way, and also store-bought is fine.
Combine the custard and the whipped cream together once everything is room temp. Store in the fridge for half an hour to let it cool and set up.
Then make your coffee. King Cake is a sweet treat, and your coffee should be too for this drink, although of course, the level of sweetness is up to you. Dissolving a teaspoon of brown sugar and powdered cinnamon into brewed not-too-light roasted coffee is a fine move—the house or espresso blend at your favorite indie roaster should work great, but let me specifically recommend this notes of King Cake blend now offered by Mug Drugs. To this, you might also add pre-sweetened alternative milk if that’s your preference, or otherwise sweeten up some cold brew. But don’t skip the cinnamon—this is a really important part of the King Cake flavor profile.
Give your opinion on Trump as President and receive a Visa Gift Card!Click On the Image.
Pour your sweet and cinnamony coffee into a vessel of your choosing, then top with a dollop of the Diplomat Cream, enough to cover the brew. The King Cake Latte isn’t a latte, exclusively; it’s more like a King Cake Coffee, and the coffee portion itself can be a latte, or cold brew with stuff added, or brewed coffee with stuff added, and the Diplomat Cream will blend with the liquid as you’re drinking with, further latte-fying the proceedings. The name—King Cake Latte—is more about evoking a feeling than any sort of specific drink requirement. Whatever you’re into is ultimately what’s correct, in this recipe as with all things in life.
Now it’s time for sprinkles. The traditional Mardi Gras colors each have their own unique meaning: purple for justice, green for faith, gold for power. It’s common to represent all three evenly, but if you’re in need of a little more faith or justice this year, the Lord won’t mind.
Sprinkle your sprinkles atop the Diplomat Cream, and sip your way through it to the sweet cinnamony beverage below. What a wonderful treat.
Our planet is in a constant state of “fear”. You hear it continually like a broken record on national and local media. Social media is no different. It is as if there is nothing else going on in the world other than Covid 19. The fear pornographers are out in force and are trying to create reality for you based upon their own narrative.
Don’t let them!
Chronic fear can have long-term effects on your emotional, mental, and physical health.
Your emotional health is intricately linked to your immune system. Your immune system is a collection of billions of cells, and some target organs that have the primary job of keeping you healthy and fighting off disease. Your immune system cells travel throughout your body and defend it against antigens, such as viruses. Unrelenting cortisol, your primary stress hormone, suppresses your immune system by reducing the number of its virus-fighting cells.
Some of the best ways to reduce your cortisol levels are drinking black tea and taking an incredible herb called Ashwagandha Root Extract. Both of these bring down your cortisol levels and have a relaxative effect on the brain. Prolonged high cortisol levels is consistent with weight gain, low testosterone levels, diabetes, heart disease, and many other health issues. Ashwagandha Root is also great for adrenal gland burn out.
To make matters worse, ‘low-grade cortisol baths’ seem to be the biggest immune system culprit of all. These ‘baths’ are smaller influxes of cortisol all day long, primarily due to a stress dominated thought process. It is estimated that we have 60,000-80,000 thoughts a day, primarily repetitive, and primarily negative. When added to the concept that your brain, in many ways, doesn’t know the difference between what you vividly imagine (or worry about) and what is real, you can see the damage your panic may be wreaking on your risk of contracting a circulating virus
The number one way to strengthen not only your immune system but also your mental health is from high intensity cardio and weight training. High intensity cardio for me is getting on an Eliptical and going no more than 20 minutes doing intermittent sprinting. Winds sprints are one of the best ways to burn fat. Walking or running on a tread mill for more than ten minutes is not only bad for your knees, but, does nothing to burn fat. Take a look at the body of a sprinter compared to that of a long distance runner. You can see that the sprinter has nothing but muscle on their frame and the long distance runner looks like a malnourished child in the 3rd world. High intensity weight training by far, exceeds everything when it comes to turbo charging your immune system. The older you get, the more weight training you need. Why? When we age, our bones become weaker, and we need to pack on more muscle to support those bones. The most efficient way to pack on muscle is high intensity weight training. Some may have their own definition of high intensity weight training, but for me, it is using weights in a slow, controlled manner and pushing yourself to failure with a short rest period in between each set. This helps me burn fat and also increase my metabolic rate. High intensity weight training is also the number one way to increase your testosterone levels which is key to overall good health especially for men over 40. These types of exercises also increase your serotonin levels which is important for healthy moods and brain function. If you are concerned about Covid 19, this is the absolute best way to combat that virus or any other disease.
Another way to help you cope with fear and panic is doing deep breathing exercises. I like doing these exercises when I am on the floor with my legs straight up next to my bed. Since most people sit all day, the blood flow is being cut off to your lower body. By raising your legs while on your back, straight up, the blood flow is coming back into your upper body and this is great for your heart as well your lower body. It also helps tremendously if you have any sort of back problems. Try doing this at least once a day for 10 to 15 minutes and doing your deep breathing exercises while in that position.
Finally, if Covid 19 has you down, even though the death rate is less than .05 percent, here are a few more great ideas for you.
Vitamin D Is the Key to Good Health – Covid 19, aka, “the Rona”, is a virus developed in a lab designed to mimic the flu and is a targeted virus. Who are the targets? The targets are those with low levels of Vitamin D. This is why very few young people are getting the Rona since they typically have high levels of Vitamin D. Regardless, the reason people get sick more in the winter time is? Because we have less sunlight. And you know what sunlight gives us? Yep! Vitamin D. You need to supplement with Vitamin D3 especially if you are over 40 and in particular during the winter months. Don’t be afraid to jack up your amounts of D3 to 40,000IU’s especially if you have the Rona or something worse like cancer.
Liposomal C – Use as much as you want. This type of vitamin C is without a doubt, the most absorbable C out there. Go nuts with C!
Become a CHAGA Gangster – Chaga mushrooms are freaking awesome. There were reports that both China and Russia were stock piling CHAGA back in March. These mushrooms are not only good if you have the Rona, or don’t want to get it, but they are also incredible for anyone that has cancer. These are not your typical mushrooms. Unless you get them in powdered form or supplements, they are very hard. They are not meant to be chewed. Steam hot water and pour over them in a tea cup and also add some black tea and you have a one-two punch combination.
Brahmi Powder – This herb is one that I have been taking because of a series of strokes that I had in 2019. This is another awesome herb! It is great for anyone who is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress, Grief, Depression, High Anxiety, or all of the above. Brahmi aids in brain repair, is a memory enhancer, and studies have shown that it also helps people with Autism. Brahmi is rich in antioxidants, amino acids, magnesium, and potassium. It is also considered an anti-anxiety herb.
These are tips that you can use right now to help you deal with all of the chronic fear being pushed upon us all on a daily basis.
These tips are the true way to good mental, emotional, and physical health and unlike Big Pharma drugs and vaccines, No Side Effects.
We are now months into the Pandemic, and our state has slowly opened things up, and we are now able to go out to eat, shop, or visit our local outdoor markets. However, I do my best to keep my ventures out to a minimum, always wear my mask in public, and do my best to social distance. The one thing that has kept me sane the past few months has been cooking. Going into the kitchen and testing out new recipes every week has been very relaxing, enjoyable, and delicious! Since we are in the heat of summer, we have been grilling out much more than usual to keep the kitchen cool. When we fire up the grill, we usually try to cook our entire meal outdoors, including vegetable sides, and either an appetizer or grilled fruit for dessert.
I have always been a big fan of poultry, chicken in particular, and in fact, I could eat it daily and not get tired of it. When grilling chicken, I like to marinade it a few hours before cooking it to help tenderize it and add extra flavor. This easy marinade uses my Calabrian chili pepper pesto and fresh limes, garlic, and olive oil. The limes help to tenderize the chicken and add brightness, while the chili pepper pesto adds a gentle heat. I order from Calabrian chili pesto from Amazon.com and always have a few jars in my pantry. You could use chicken breasts in place of chicken thighs, however I find that the thighs work really well with this marinade.
Espresso is an integral part of many coffee lover’s daily life! We sip it at anytime you want and just enjoy the natural aromas and scents that comes from it.
But have you ever wondered why are espresso cups so small? This is something that has plagued our minds, so we decided to do a bit of research and answer the question for you and ourselves.
Before we get into answering the question, we got to cover a bit of background about Espresso. Espresso is served in a delicate small mug in which the coffee with a frothy layer on top, usually the foam from the brewing process.
Espresso is brewed with a blend of hot water under intense pressure. To make the best espresso, the beans of coffee should be ground into very fine powder.
You cannot use gritty, grainy coffee powder into the machine. This finely ground powder is compressed into a compact lump. It is not strong coffee but a flavorful espresso using a different preparation method.
Now that we got some basics about espresso out the way, we can cover off the main question then followed with some additional things you may not know about espresso.
Espresso is made by pressing coffee and it has a crema layer on top to lock the aroma within the espresso.
To sustain this crema, the espresso cups are made small and the reason they are served in small cups is to avoid the creme layer to spread out!
Falling or dissipating crema can also make the espresso cold. Espresso is thicker and consists of lesser water as compared to a drip coffee. It is caffeine packed and flavorful into a small cup.
Some primary aspects of espresso cups being small are:
Crema, which is a foam layer forms on the top of an expresso. It is decorated on the top of the espresso. Espresso and cream make the cup. Selecting a large wide cup can result in the dissolving of crema. Crema is very important in making expresso perfect. Crema becomes very thin and gradually dissipates in a large cup.
Espresso is also very concentrated, and so you can say it is a shrunken form of coffee and a strong one in a small cup. A small cup itself tastes very strong, so much that it can use 7oz. of milk for 1 oz. of espresso.
A typical espresso is about 1-2 fluid ounces, which is right in a small cup.
Espresso is about getting less water in a coffee that is too topped with foam crema.
Espresso in a small cup is just the right way to enjoy it. Its concentration, water content, and crema are in the right proportions in typical cup size.
Espresso, as the name suggests, should be made quick and also had quickly to get the best flavor, taste, and aroma. It should be drunk with “crema” on top.
What is crema? It is the creamy coffee oil emulsion that covers the espresso. It is a covering lid for espresso beneath. This way, all the espresso aromas are locked within to enjoy while drinking.
This emulsion is essential as the aroma dissipates fast. But then, how quickly should it be drunk to get overall espresso pleasure?
An espresso cup, traditionally, which is about 1-2 fl. ounces of coffee, should take about 25 seconds to get excellent espresso. But, when it comes to drinking it, to enjoy its flavor and aroma, but without making it cold, it would need around 2 minutes to sip an espresso cup.
Drink the espresso with crema layer on top to lock in the aroma without dissipation.
Take your espresso in three or more than three sips in about 30 seconds to as much as 4 minutes also. This time is particularly applicable for a double espresso shot.
The duration depends on how well you want to savor the drink with its flavors and aroma. It is essential to remember that a long time doesn’t mean more taste like the aroma and crema to dissipate with a longer time.
The time mentioned is sufficient enough to enjoy the espresso to the fullest. Beyond which, you are bound to get a cold, taste-fading espresso.
Espresso is high in concentration and, therefore, can appear stronger as compared to regular coffee. It can also taste bitter than a regular brewed coffee.
But, the coffee strength is determined by the method and level of roasting of coffee beans and not how it is brewed.
Generally, coffee beans are roasted at three levels- Dark, medium, and light roast. Dark roast is done at 225 deg C to 230 deg C, medium roast is done at 210 deg C to 219 deg C, and the light roast is done at 196 deg C to 205 deg C temperatures.
The more the roasting of coffee beans, the enhanced will be its taste. On the same lines, the dark coffee roast is most strong of all coffee types.
An espresso made out of these dark roast of coffee beans results in a strong espresso as compared to regular coffee.
From the article above, we can see why a small cup is essential and important to get a perfect espresso. It is very important as a small cup with foamy crema keeps the espresso aroma, temperature, and flavor intact.
The crema is very important to be thick and covering the coffee fluid. A larger cup can make the crema fall out, thin out, and eventually disappear.
This, in turn, makes the espresso flavorless, aroma less, and cold. Who would want to have a compromised, flavorless, and cold espresso? Get your typical small espresso cup and take pleasure in each sip.