Monday, June 27, 2016

Toasted Coconut Cold Brew Coffee + Toasted Coconut Simple Syrup ((recipe))

Nothing goes better together, in my book, than coconut and coffee...especially in the summertime. I wanted to share with y'all my favorite cold brew method and recipe. Read below for the coffee recipe, as well as the easy peasy way to get some delicious toasted coconut simple syrup. Did you know you can make your own custom flavored syrups and it is seriously as easy as 1-2-3? I also included some tips and links for what you need for this fool-proof method. 

If you don't have a toddy brewing container, I suggest using the Pioneer Woman's recipe here. It's messier and more time consuming but delicious! The toddy is a great investment if you love iced coffee as much as we do around here.  I use this one.

roasting pan 
coffee grinder
12 oz coffee beans
filtered water
1 cup coconut
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Cold Brew Concentrate:
1. Place two cups of unsweetened coconut on a baking sheet lined  with foil and broil on high until lightly toasted, tossing every now and then. It usually takes 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on it and don't walk away! It burns quickly. Set aside. 
2. Grind beans on the coarsest setting.
3. Follow directions for toddy brewing container. (Make sure the plug and filter are in place, place one cup of water, half the coffee grounds, ONE cup of the toasted coconut, 3 cups of water, then the other half of the coffee grounds. Wait five minutes and then add the remaining 3 cups of water. Do not stir, but lightly use the back of a spoon to press down on the grounds to make sure they're all wet. When adding water, go in circular motion, gently and slowly. 
4. Let sit for 12-24 hours, then remove plug/stopper so it can drain into glass pitcher.

Toasted Coconut Simple Syrup Recipe:
1. Stir one cup of sugar into one cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to simmer on medium-high heat and keep at a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. 
2. Remove from heat and add the other cup of toasted coconut. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
3. Strain into a mason jar. Some coconut bits will remain, so you can strain again or let it be. 
4. Let cool for a couple of hours in the refrigerator. Will keep for 1-2 weeks in the fridge. 

The perfect cup of toasted coconut iced coffee:
1. Pour a tablespoon of the simple syrup into a glass.
2. Add ice.
3. Add 2 parts iced coffee concentrate.
4. Add 1 part water and a splash of half & half.
5. Stir and sip :)

-Keep in mind that this makes a concentrate. Therefore, you will need to dilute it with water and/or cream or milk. I usually go off of color, but 1 part coffee and 1 part water and 1 part milk will get you started in the right direction.
-Using unsweetened and unsulphured coconut creates less chunks of coconut that need to be strained. Bob's Red Mill from Whole Foods has a large bag that has nice large chunks of coconut.   
-You can literally use ANYTHING to make your simple syrup! Lavender, vanilla pods, any herb or spice. The combinations are endless.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Acaì Smoothie Bowl ((recipe))

Who doesn't love a good smoothie? Well, recently on our trip to Scottsdale, we stumbled upon a little gem called the Original Chop Shop (amazing place, by the way). We returned a couple of times to get a pitaya and acaì bowls. When we came back, I quickly headed to Whole Foods to gather ingredients to make my own. I'll show you the way. 

You can buy pouches of the acaì in the frozen section at Whole Foods. I recently found a dragon fruit one, too. Rumor has it Costco carries them, but I've never been able to find them there. 

1 pouch of acaì or pitaya/dragon fruit (the brand is sambazon)
1 banana
small handful of frozen fruit (berries or pineapple - i use the organic365 tropical blend from whole foods)
1/4 cup "simply apple" juice
shredded coconut 
agave nectar
granola (i prefer coconut chia granola by nature's path)
miscellaneous fruit for topping

1. Chop fruit for topping. 
2. Hold pouch under water for 20 seconds so that you can break it up into pieces. Put into blender with banana, frozen fruit and 1/4 cup of juice. Blend. 
3. Pour into bowl and top with coconut, granola, cut fruit (banana, strawberry, kiwi are my fave), and drizzle with agave. 
4. Enjoy!

The best part of these is, just like a smoothie, you can use what you have on hand and make it your own. They're so delicious and seem fancy ;) The more color, the better. 


Monday, February 29, 2016

Blood Orange & Bourbon Cocktail ((recipe))

We've been having such amazing warm & sunny weekends - perfect for a good cocktail on the back porch. I had purchased a ton of blood oranges at Whole Foods and Knox wasn't a fan, so I decided to juice them all and make this delicious cocktail. 

2 oz of bourbon
1/2 cup blood orange juice
orange slices for garnish
2-3 drops of angostura bitters
ginger ale or club soda

1. Squeeze multiple blood oranges to get about a half cup. 
2. Place juice, bitters, and bourbon in a shaker with ice.
3. Shake and pour into glass, garnished with an orange. Serve over ice if desired.
4. Enjoy!


Monday, February 22, 2016

SunBasket Giveaway

I truly love preparing healthy and tasty meals for my family. Meal planning and grocery shopping? Well, I wouldn't say I hate them - but I certainly don't love those tasks. Anytime I can take advantage of something to make my life a little easier - I'm all for it. Enter: SunBasket. 

It was so stinking fun for this box to arrive on our doormat. I couldn't wait to dig in and try all the recipes. The packaging is also 100% recyclable. 

SunBasket is a new healthy meal kit delivery service in which you pick which meals that you want delivered. Choose from paleo, gluten free, vegetarian, etc - and receive every component of your meal right on your front porch. I was impressed with the complexity of the flavors + components of the dishes and yet, the simplicity of preparation. Honestly, it was just fun to try new recipes that I knew were healthy and delicious. 

I will say, you'll have to know your way around the kitchen a bit for this service. Thankfully, I watch a lot of Food Network. ;)  They are nutritionist approved recipes that are healthy, hearty and organic. Currently, SunBasket delivers to CA, OR, WA, WA, NV, CO, ID, AZ and UT. 

Want to give it a try? One Oh, Sweet Joy! reader will receive a SunBasket delivery! It will comprise of 3 meals for 2 - worth around $70. So fun! ((giveaway is live for one week))

((Click here to enter))
Or enter on the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Year Goals

I have a few goals for 2016 that will hopefully help me maintain some sanity, as well as just live a little. When I hit 30 next year, I don't want to look back on my 20's and think "Shoot. I was so worked up about my kids and work and stress and getting all the things done that I should have just relaxed and lived a little!" So, with that said, here are three of my goals for the New Year. 

Adventure. I love to play and do fun things. Who doesn't? We live in such a gorgeous part of the country and it would be a shame not to take advantage of it more often. Sunset Magazine has such great ideas for fun hole in the wall places and quiet resort towns to check out. I'm 20 minutes from my favorite flatirons hike at Chautauqua. We are only 6 hours away from Mount Rushmore and it's just a quick drive up to Estes Park. My favorite thing about this magazine is that it's not about things, but about living and experiences. I'm all about finding one of those "glorious winter escapes."
Purge & Clear space for things I love. One thing I've always prided myself in is not purchasing items that can't be worn or styled at least 3 ways. It's something I always encourage friend for clients that I'm helping with their wardrobes to take to heart as well. The February InStyle Magazine has some great tips on doubling your wardrobe outfit ideas. Just reworking your favorite pieces into fresh outfits will make your closet go twice (or thrice!) as far and that way you can purge all the excess. Getting rid of items I haven't worn in months and months has been so freeing. 

"Me" Time. Self-care is something that friends & family can come along side you and help out with, but ultimately I've decided taking care of myself is my responsibility. It's really as simple as asking my husband to take both kids to the gym with him while I make dinner in the quiet (or sneak away and get a manicure). He is almost always willing to help and if I'm not willing to ask for help, how will anyone know that I need it? A few ways I've been able to carve out some "me time" so far this year: 
1. Grab a couple of magazines and head to my favorite coffee shop for a vanilla latte. 
2. Wake up early and go get groceries before the kids wake up. Or Wake up early and just drink coffee in silence while I dig in the Word. 
3. Paint my nails and watch one of my favorite TV shows instead of working during nap time. 
4. Try a  new recipe while Chase takes the kids to the gym. Taking advantage of childcare is such a win in my book. There's something exciting about opening up a magazine, picking up some ingredients in a healthy recipe that piques your interest and just going for it while listening to some good tunes. Am I right? I am, y'all. I really am ;)

Do any of these goals resonate with you? Make sure to pick up some fun magazines that will  encourage you in your New Year goals, not to add more clutter or things for you to acquire. If you're shopping at Safeway, like I did, Take advantage of $1.00 off participating titles (PEOPLE®, InStyle®, People StyleWatch®, Real Simple®, and Sunset®) with this digital offer until 2/15/16 while supplies last.

How do you find "me" time? What are some of your goals this year? I'd love to hear!


This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and InStyle® and Sunset® Magazines but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #NewYearMeTime

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tuna Steak Sushi Inspired Salad ((recipe))

Perusing Whole Foods makes me a little ambitious, so I splurged on some tuna steaks but decided to keep it simple with how I prepared them. I ended up making a salad that was TOO GOOD not to share. If you score your ahi tuna on sale or even get a previously frozen portion, you can make this incredibly delicious salad (that can serve 4-5) for around $25. We named it sushi salad because it's fun to say, but feel free to class it up a bit if you make it for friends an call it "tuna steak salad with wasabi soy dressing."

Tuna steaks are intimidating, but surprisingly easy to get right AND the salad dressing is what makes or breaks this recipe anyways. I wanted to dip all the veggies in the leftover and I made it the next day for another salad. Tip: Get your produce and tuna fresh at Whole Foods, but I like to go to a local Asian Market for stuff like wasabi, sesame oil, and such. It' s more fun when you can't read the label ;)

1.5 lbs of fresh tuna
Sesame Oil
Montreal Seasoning or Salt & Pepper
Sesame Seeds
Sesame Oil (optional)
Power Greens or Salad Greens
Wasabi Paste
Rice Vinegar
Soy Sauce
Olive Oil

1. Thinly slice cucumber and radishes. Also cube or slice your avocado.
2. Whisk together 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon (or more) wasabi paste. Set aside and just before serving, whisk in 2 tbsp of olive oil. 
3. Heat skillet over medium-high heat and spray with olive oil cooking spray. 
4. Drizzle some  sesame oil over the tuna steaks and season with montreal seasoning or just salt & freshly ground pepper. When the skillet is heated, toss tuna steaks onto skillet and cook 2 minutes on each side. Let rest before slicing at a diagonal. It should be a deep pink color and the center should be raw, like sushi. 
5. Toss dressing with greens or drizzle at the end. Arrange greens, radishes, cucumber, and avocado on plate. Top with sliced tuna steak. Sprinkle with sesame seeds for a little crunch. 


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Bacon, Goat Cheese & Butternut Squash Pasta ((Recipe))

I love a good and hearty pasta dish. It's filling, usually inexpensive and can feed a crowd. This one is a few recipes I've tried over the years, combined and tweaked to our preferences. It's perfect for Fall & Winter and is delicious as leftovers the next day, too ((if there is any left)).  Make this when you're tired of your turkey day leftovers! ;)

A few options: You can drizzle with honey, add brussels sprouts to your roasted veggies or use prosciutto instead of bacon.  I typically go and grab 4-6 slices of "fresh" peppered bacon from the butcher or prosciutto from the deli counter at Whole Foods instead of buying it in a package. I've also used everything from quinoa pasta (Ancient Harvest brand at Whole Foods) to regular penne and the "vegetable enriched" penne. 

4 slices of peppered bacon
4-6 oz of goat cheese
1 red onion or 2-3 shallots, sliced
1 small-medium sized butternut squash, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced (or 8 garlic cloves WHOLE, in paper, roasted with the butternut squash)
handful of basil leaves, chopped
1-2 cups of spinach, chiffonade (fancy word for chopping into thin ribbons)
Olive oil, salt and pepper

1. Cube butternut squash, toss in a little bit of coconut or olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and roast in oven until tender. (425 degrees for 20  minutes should do it) Feel free to add any other winter veggies you love. Note: You don't even need to peel the butternut squash. 
2. In a cast iron pot or dutch oven (I use this one), cook your bacon. When cooked, set aside on paper towel to cool. 
3. Salt some water and cook pasta, according to package directions. When done cooking, drain but reserve some  of the pasta water to add back into the pot. This will help the sauce develop.
4. In the bacon grease, toss in the onion and let it caramelize. When the onions are almost done, turn down the heat to medium-low and throw in the garlic to cook for another minute or two. 
5. Turn heat down to low, add pasta and goat cheese. Add a little bit of pasta water and stir. Add more  as needed until the goat cheese has melted and created a sauce. Don't add too much or everything will get soggy. Add spinach, crumbled bacon, butternut squash and half of the basil. Gently toss. 
6. Salt to taste. 
7. Top with crumbled bacon, fresh basil and if you're feeling fancy drizzle with a tiny bit of honey. 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone :)