A Taste of Fall

A Taste of Fall

Hey everyone… On our journey through fall at Coffee at LuLu’s, I’d just like to say the humidity has finally subsided here in Florida.  Just enough to give me a “taste” of fall with hopefully more to come.

Here’s a Great DIY Fun Dessert Social You can Try!

In keeping with simplifying the season, the idea here is to invite friends over for a charming yet simple fall get together.   One of the best ways to do this is by making a batch of warm tasty cookies, nutmeg and cinnamon iced or hot coffees and a few fall DIY crafts.  I know how busy life can be, so don’t make a big fuss. Cookies and coffee are the easiest thing you can do without too much planning.  Another great idea is to have a cookie exchange with a mix of different flavors or see how many varieties of  Chocolate Chip! you can come up with. 

Here is Your Taste of Fall Checklist!

*Macintosh Spice Yankee Candle

*Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

*Easy DIY fall crafts

*Coffee (Iced or Hot) with cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cinnamon and whipped cream topping for the coffee

*Classic Movie

*Comfy Throws and Pillow

*Cute Labrador tast of fall2

For coffee, brew a pot of strong yummy coffee, pour into mug and add nutmeg and then top it with whipped cream and cinnamon. Place cinnamon stick into the mug and off to the side and serve with chocolate chip cookies. (Also great over ice)

Enjoy…

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Love is a Verb

comfort basket

Recently, a friend of mine needed comfort.   As I listened to her sweet voice over the phone one day, struggling to stay strong, I knew she needed support.  So, love takes “action” because love is a verb.

Comfort comes in many packages.  Often times just extending hospitality by making a meal, giving of your time, a hug, or a quick phone call to pray is just enough.  I try not to stay too long, give advice unless asked, or say too many things.  We need to know we are safe in those stormy moments, and often the security of another’s presence says more than a million words.

I decided to make my friend a “comfort basket” and fill it with cozy things that just may get her through the day.  When the opportunity comes for YOU to extend yourself, perhaps this lovely basket will inspire you!  The basket contains homemade gourmet chicken soup, brown rice pasta, pretty napkins, comforting throw, a card, and cute little cornucopia.

Be available and take time from the busyness of  life to be a comforter.

All Things Fall

all things fallAll Things Fall Pumpkin Body Butter

Celebrate all things fall!

One of my most  FAVORITE times of the year.   As a child growing up in Upstate New York, fall would never disappoint.   From the brisk temperatures, winding roads lined with a myriad of colorful trees and the occasional welcome of a driveway adorned with pumpkins, scarecrows and corn stalks.

I miss those days, but living in Florida does not mean I have to forgo celebrating fall!  “All Things fall” happens at our house as soon as Sept. 1st rolls around, even if the temperatures don’t cooperate.  Pumpkins adorn the tables, Yankee candles in yummy fall scents fill the air and cozy chicken soups and chili’s warm our souls.

So, in celebration of all things Fall! I  invite you to  set out your pumpkins, corn husks, fall leaves, and gourds, prepare a  sweet smelling pumpkin bread and to top it off indulge in this nourishing pumpkin body butter recipe I found!  Enjoy the season to the fullest wherever you live!all things fall 2

Pumpkin Body Butter

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup pumpkin puree, preferably organic 1/2 cup solids from a can of  coconut milk 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. Mix all  ingredients together. Apply to clean skin for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water and dry.

Ode’ to My Perfect Omelet

omelet 1There are two kinds of people …morning people and evening people.  The morning person is overjoyed to awaken early and start the day.  They chatter and do a myriad of productive things before 7am in the morning.  I am jealous of this person, yet happy we have morning people to get things going.  Evening people, on the other hand, are just getting started after 6pm.  We like to stay up late and read, talk, work, or hang out at the local coffee house.  I always find it a bit annoying when I realize it’s 11:30pm and I have to sleep and end all of this fun!   Of course my husband is a morning person so he’s patiently waiting for me to turn the light off and settle down already.  Whichever kind of person you are, morning or evening, you are going to need a hearty breakfast to get through the day.

When I have the time,  I love to indulge in making this beautiful breakfast omelet.   Eggs are so versatile and full of protein, and can really give you a great energy boost for the morning.  I usually like to use either free-range or organic eggs; make sure to check the expiration date as well.  My vegetable of choice for this particular creation is kale.  Kale can be a little bitter but if you cut it up thin enough, it is actually a compliment to the other flavors.

Today I’m going to show you how to make this wonderfully fluffy omelet for those days when you can spend a little extra time in the kitchen! Enjoy.

Ingredients:  3 whole eggs, 1/4 cup of fat free milk, 3-4 thick slices of Virginia baked ham (or any ham you like), 8-10 cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup red onion, 1/4 cup kale (cut up thin), salt, pepper, gorgonzola cheese (cheddar is great too!)

Start by whisking your eggs and milk until blended and adding salt and pepper

Start by whisking your eggs, milk, salt, pepper until blended and then and set aside

Next chop ham, tomatoes, onion, and kale (chop kale until fine)

Next chop ham, tomatoes, onion, and kale (chop kale until fine)

Pour egg/milk into pan and incorporate veggies together with eggs.  Cook on medium heat until the mixture begins to settle and become firm.

Pour egg/milk into pan and incorporate veggies together with eggs. Cook on medium heat until the mixture begins to settle and become firm.

omelet 3

As omelet begins to thicken, add cheese (I like gorgonzola) onto the left side of the omelet and fold the right side over the left and let stand for 2-3 more minutes

Coffee and Conversation

Jackie's IPhone 2 268

Okay…so I think coffee is the single greatest and most popular way to bring people together.

I  don’t know when it started exactly, but my intense love affair with coffee began very early.  Oh, it was a simple love, just me and my cup of Joe sweetly flavored with creamer and sugar.  I didn’t intend to fall in love so young, but I just couldn’t help myself.  My grandmother would place that hot steamy cup of comfort on the table with that freshly brewed smell…how could I resist?

You know it really does matter the choice  of cup you drink from because it’s all part of the experience.  I prefer a dainty cup and actually the one I use I’ve had for over 25 years.  Here it is…straight from the 80’s but no other cup will do.Jackie's IPhone 2 267

My daily ritual has taken me from home to any one of the many neighborhood coffee houses and Starbucks.  I  love the ambiance of my local Starbucks the most, with its wonderfully inviting nooks, aroma and cool music.   It’s the place where everyone knows your name and the barista knows your drink.    Now that’s home…I suppose that is why we love to connect over coffee.  It has given us the inspiration to  write, create, dream and share life.

Why not join someone for coffee and conversation today, and  pair it with a beautiful mini macaroon.  Enjoy!

macroons

Lighten Your Load

Magnificent Marinara Sauce

marinara 4

“Come to me and I will give you rest—all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke. Wear my yoke—for it fits perfectly—and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.” Matthew 11:28-30

When “burdens” for the day get too heavy I’ve found that the the best way to conquer the trouble is to give it to God, find rest,and then eat a good meal!

One of my favorite sauces for this kind of trouble, is this light, yet magnificent Marinara Sauce which is a beautiful compliment to a quick pasta, vegetable, or chicken dish.   Mine is a terrifically zesty red sauce, which is also very easy to make in a pinch!  The surprise key ingredients here are red pepper flakes and freshly squeezed lemon juice for an everyday gourmet touch.

Awesome over tortellini, angel hair pasta, rigatoni, or ziti…can add chicken, zucchini, or chickpeas for a healthy alternative.  Serve as a side dish or all on it’s own.    Add salt and pepper to taste where needed.   Enjoy!

Ingredients:  2 bulbs Garlic, 1/4 cup olive oil, fresh basil, salt, pepper,  (1) 16 oz. can whole or chopped tomatoes,  (1) 4oz. can tomato paste,  1/2 quart of fresh cherry tomatoes (whole),  2 large salad tomatoes cut in half,  1/4 cup water (optional if too thick), crushed red pepper flakes, fresh parsley, lemon juice from fresh lemon.

Start by adding salad tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper to the pan.  Cook on medium until tomatoes and garlic are soft.  Giving it a stir, let the flavors incorporate for a few minutes before adding next ingredients.

Start by adding salad tomatoes, fresh basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, salt, pepper to the pan with olive oil. Cook on medium until tomatoes and garlic are soft. Giving it a stir, let the flavors incorporate for a few minutes before adding next ingredients.

Pour in chopped or whole tomatoes, tomato paste, and sprinkle in red pepper flakes.  Stir all ingredients together until thick.  Let cook for 15 minutes and then squeeze lemon juice over the top.

Pour in chopped or whole tomatoes, tomato paste, water, and sprinkle in red pepper flakes. Stir all ingredients together until thick. Let cook for 15 minutes and then squeeze lemon juice over the top and garnish with parsley.

The Lost Art of Sunday Dinner

Quick and Easy Chicken Marsalasunflowers

I can remember every Sunday after church we would gather with family and friends.  It was a day when the world seemed to stop and true worship and rest where the order of the day.  The day was “sun” filled, restful, and free from the burdens of pressing to do lists.  Memories of a great meal being prepared in the kitchen and a nice nap afterward.  Somehow we have lost the art of “having company” over and just taking almost a whole day to eat, laugh and play.

Today, I am making “Sunday Dinner” (haven’t done this in a while) and was wondering how I could put together something special without the fuss.  I usually start way ahead, but with the week being so busy, it just got away from me.  So,  I’m going to make a simple Chicken Marsala, crisp iceberg/romaine salad with a light angel hair pasta covered in Marinara sauce (and roasted potatoes for my dad!)  Each dish is quick to make but mighty in taste.

Let me inspire you to invite family or friends, cook a simple meal and perhaps play a game of Monopoly or go for a swim.  Forget the pressures of the week and take a real rest.

Enjoy!

Chicken Marsala Ingredients Needed:  4-6 Chicken Breasts, 1.5 sticks No-salt butter, 2 bulbs garlic, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms, 1/2 cup whipping cream, 1/4cup Marsala wine, fresh parsley, salt, pepper, flour, 1/2 cup chicken stock.

Tenderize chicken, dip in milk/egg mixture and dredge in flour/salt/pepper. Saute in 1 sticks of butter on medium heat until golden brown. Set chicken aside.

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Add 1/2 stick butter with mushrooms and sauté with garlic until mushrooms are soft.

Add cream, marsala wine, chicken stock to mushroom mixture and bring to boil.  Turn to low and let thicken and then add chicken back into the pan.  Saute chicken in Marsala Sauce for five minutes and serve when hot.

Add cream, Marsala wine, chicken stock to mushroom mixture and bring to boil. Turn to low and let thicken. Add chicken back into the pan and saute in Marsala sauce for five minutes. Top with parsley and serve hot.