SPICED CAFE CON LECHE + REMEMBERING LOVED ONES

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Alex and I both grew up drinking strong coffee. I have fond memories of my grandfather sitting outside with a small coffee cup filled to the brim with freshly brewed arabic espresso.  He would serve us a cup and tell us stories after stories of his younger days.  He would tell us all about my moms mischiefs, my grandmother’s cooking and smile as he smoked his pipe and drank his coffee. It’s a memory that will forever be ingrained in my mind.
Alex grew up drinking cortaditos with his grandparents. A cortadito is the cuban version of an espresso. I like to think of it as the sweeter cousin of my grandfather’s arabic coffee. Over the years, Alex has become quite the cortadito maker and he has his grandparents to thank for that skill.
These days, the way we drink our coffee has evolved. We drink cold brew, black coffee, french pressed, lattes, cappuccinos… you name it.  However, from time to time, we like to take a minute and reflect on the way our grandfathers enjoyed their brew and whip up our versions of espresso. We use a small espresso maker and take the first little bit of brewed coffee and pour it into a cup with a few tablespoons of sugar. After we pour it in, we mix it vigorously with a spoon which creates a crema of sort that mixes in with the coffee and adds a sweet layer to the top of the brew.  It’s so good friends!
We also thought of a fun way to incorporate both of our coffee styles and add a shot of espresso to our our non-dairy and lactose free NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® Pumpkin Spice Flavor Creamer! Fun right?! Also, we didn’t stop there, we kicked it up a few notches and created a super fun and tasty way to drink our espressos and came up with our Spiced Cafe Con Leche (recipe below).  We like to drink our Spiced Cafe Con Leche on the front porch, and share all of the memories we have of our grandfathers.
Regardless of how we choose to enjoy our java these days, one thing is for certain.  Drinking coffee always ties us back to our history, reminds us of our family and those that came before us.  Kind of like the Mexican culture has a Dia de los muertos, when they celebrate and honor those who have departed, we feel like it’s important to take the time to share memories and honor those who came before us… like our grandfathers! 
Here’s to drinking coffee on the porch and to making new memories, while remembering the old ones!

 

Spiced Cafe Con Leche

Ingredients
A shot of espresso coffee
3/4 cup of milk
cinnamon
chili powder
whipped cream for serving
Instructions
In a coffee cup, add the espresso, the milk and the coffee creamer.  Add the cinnamon and chili powder and mixed until well combined. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon and chili powder.
Also, be sure to pick up your NESTLÉ® COFFEE-MATE® Pumpkin Spice Flavor Creamer at your local Walmart in the Milk and dairy isle.
 
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THE DREAMING TREE + A PICNIC

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #ShareWineandBites #CollectiveBias

 

Once in a while, Alex and I have the rare opportunity to get out and spend some time hanging out without any interruptions. It’s not often that we get to do that so when we do, we make sure that it includes all of the things that we are passionate about.  We head outdoors to enjoy nature, bring delicious snacks that are fun and easy to eat, and make sure we bring along a really good bottle of wine.

Last week, Alex and I spent some time at our local park and shared a picnic.  We packed our favorite preciutto wrapped asparagus in hollandaise sauce (recipe below) and the perfect bottle of Dreaming Tree Crush and Dreaming Tree Pinot Noir .  The evening was cool and perfect for a picnic by the trees.  We had a great time hitting the reset button on life and chatting away about our thoughts, dreams and aspirations.

We particularly enjoy the Dreaming Tree brand, because not only are their wines incredible, but they also have a social conscience, which comes through in their commitment to protect and restore tree and forresty areas across the country and around the globe! They have sustainable winemaking practices and they have donated over $1M to environmental programs that protects trees across the country.

A wine that cares… how cool is that!? We picked up The Dreaming Tree wines at our local grocery store, however you can also find them at your drugstore or supercenter store. You can also head over to their website, and locate their wines there.

 

So, here’s to picnics by the trees, to wines that give back to our environment and to date nights!

If you’re looking for a perfect fun appetizer to take to your next get together, here’s a good one…

 

Prosciutto wrapped asparagus with hollandaise drizzle with 

The Dreaming Tree

 

Ingredients

One bunch of asparagus

Salt and pepper

About six slices of prosciutto

4 egg yolks

1 tbs of lemon juice

1/4 cup of melted butter

Cayenne pepper

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Rinse the asparagus and trim off the ends.

Open one slice of prosciutto and place 2-3 asparagus in the middle of the prosciutto and roll to wrap the asparagus

Place the asparagus in a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with salt and pepper

Bake for 15-20 minutes (or until the prosciutto is crispy)

 

For the hollandaise

Set a small pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil

Place the four egg yolks in a cleanheat proof mixing bowl add the salt pepper and lemon juice

With a wide metal whisk, whisk the egg yolks for about five minutes

Bring the mixture over the boiling water creating a double boiler and continue to whisk

Meanwhile, slowly add in the melted butter and continue to whisk until the mixture has emulsified and it becomes thick.

Add a pinch of cayenne pepper and store in an airtight container or drizzle over the dish

Since I took this dish to-go, I placed the asparagus in an airtight container and then “dipped” them into the hollandaise sauce.

Enjoy!!

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WHOLE 30 CHICKEN TACOS

Guys this recipe is a staple at our home. My kids love it and it’s so versatile.  You can throw it over some lettuce and make an amazing salad, over some quinoa or rice if you’re not doing whole 30 OR just have it with a side of sweet potato and you are set.  You can also substitute the chicken for some ground beef and have beef tacos.  So many options and SO GOOD!
I thought I’d share it with you guys since my family loves it so much!
Ingredients 
Three chicken breasts- cubed
3 tbs avocado oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 large onion- sliced
1 15oz can of chopped tomatoes (check your labels)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste (check your labels)
1 tbs of cumin
1 tbs of chili powder
1 tbs oregano 
1/2 lime 
Chopped cilantro
 
 
 
Instructions 
Heat the avocado oil to medium high in a large pan and brown the chicken for about 8 minutes (or until browned throughout). Set the chicken aside.  In the same pan, add the sliced onions and sauté with another tablespoon of avocado oil.  Lower the heat and cook them down until translucent.  Add the chicken back to the pan and add the can of chopped tomatoes, the tomato paste, cumin, chili powder, and oregano.  Set the heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes until all of the flavors combine. Check the salt level and finish with the lime juice and cilantro. Serve with butter lettuce, tomatoes, avocados and if you’re not going whole 30, add some cheese and sour cream!
 
Happy taco-ing! 
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FOOTBALL SEASON AND OUR FAVORITE SPINACH DIP

This past weekend, my brother and sister in law flew up to escape hurricane Irma.  We had an amazing time with them and loved showing them around our neck of the woods.  On Sunday we made it out to church and then headed home for some football watching.  The windows were open, the crisp air was blowing through the house and the sounds of the game were in the background. It was perfect.

Corina whipped up her famous spinach and artichoke dip and I thought I would document it so that I could recreate it when she’s back home in FL.  Also, there are two ways to make this absolutely incredible dip.  A healthy/lighter version and a super gooey not-so healthy but out of this world creamy way.

Here are the ingredients and Instructions from my lovely sister-in-law.

Absolutely gooey and delish version

8 oz cream cheese

4 oz butter

8 oz sour cream

15 oz chopped spinach (frozen)

8.5 oz quartered artichoke hearts (canned)

1 cup Parmesan cheese (2 parts)

Pepper to taste (no sat since there’s plenty in the cheese and butter)

Instructions 

Thaw and drain spinach
Melt cream cheese and butter on low to medium heat (make sure not to burn)
Chop up artichoke into smaller pieces
Once cream cheese and butter is melted add spinach artichokes sour cream and 1/2 Parmesan cheese stir and let cook on low heat for about 10 min so that everything combines well and cheese is melted .
Transfer to bowl top with remaining parmesan cheese and broil on high till cheese is light golden brown

Healthier option:

Substitute sour cream and cream cheese with 1 16 oz plain Greek yogurt

Or 1 8 oz plain Greek yogurt and half the cream cheese

Substitute butter with avocado oil or coconut oil 1/4 cup (enough to cover the bottom of a medium sized cooking pot)

1/2 the amount of cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Everything else remains the same

I’m guesstimating with the parmesan cheese amount there’s a good chance there 2 cups because I like to cover the top with a nice layer 😉

Thank you so much Corina! This is my favorite dip of all time and you better believe I’ll be making it while we watch some football tomorrow!

 Love you!! (Go Jets!) 

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