Make your own sunshine. Drink some coffee. Be happy. What’s stopping you?

 

make your own sunshineWhat a great way to start a Friday morning — enjoying a cuppa Joe and listening to the fire crackling in the cookstove while the coffee boiler sweetens the air with caffeine molecules.  My kind of morning.

There is nothing like a rainy morning with a fire in the stove and a pot of coffee steaming its richness into the toasty cabin air.  The only thing that could make it more idyllic is a few loaves of bread baking in the oven.  These unassuming, humble pleasures.  They truly are what make for a full present moment.

I love the sound of rain on a tin roof.  The smell of wet wool sweaters.  Heck, I even like the smell of wet dog.  There is something just so comforting about being tucked inside on an unseasonably-cool, late spring morning.  The kind of morning that gives me the inspiration to pause and to appreciate life at its simplest.

cabin window rainAfter this crazy-wet week of wind, rain, and bluster, I made hay and created my own sunshine.  I painted and read and wrote and washed windows on the inside of the cabin.  I made a really good dinner that required more than one pot, and I folded some laundry.   I mucked out the barn, and I replaced the salt lick with a brand-spankin’ new one.  Yes, some days, it just feels good to attend to the quiet things.

enjoyIf it is raining where you are today — or if you feel a little dreary on the inside — create your own sunshine.  Do something out of the ordinary.  Take one step closer to completing that project you have been dreaming about.  Turn off your computer and call a friend.  Pour yourself another cup of coffee and curl up with your journal.  Go for a walk with a giant umbrella.  Rescue a few stranded worms.  Stomp happily and deliberately through a puddle.  When was the last time you intentionally got your pretty boots dirty?  What’s stopping you?

cute cup winking. fridayWhat’s stopping you?  The question that sounds so innocent and easy and, actually, involves a lot more than a one-word answer.  Today, I am pulling on my favorite pair of Wellys and I am going to go hunt some puddles.  Nothing stopping me today!

I couldn’t resist adding these fun and fanciful Wellys for your Friday (below).  Be it raining or shining, these boots are just the ones to have at the ready for some puddle-stomping fun.  And if you do encounter a puddle, do some serious damage!  What’s stopping you?

And are you missing the sound of the rain?   Do you now live in the desert and hearing raindrops?  Click on the video below.  Listen to the rain and relax.  Even better . . . go boot shopping while you listen.  [Yes, I am aiding and abetting.]  Rain boot shopping!  There are so many great styles that combine cuteness with function.  I finally broke down and bought a pair (the pink polka dot pair below) for going into town.  I feel pretty darned fancy and fun when I wear them, too!

Click on the images or the links below and do some daydreaming about what it would feel like to just let loose and have some spontaneous fun.  I am thinking that these boots are the perfect inspiration.  So cute!

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Oh, and attention all Seattle-ites!

Check out these nifty rain-boot socks!  I never cease to be amazed at how clever people are when it comes to thinking things up!

Fashion, function, and FUN!


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Happy muddy, puddle-stompin’ trails!  xox

Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

6 RECIPES for Toddy and Hot Brew

drink coffee its thursdayBe a cool cat and check out this short video that shows you 6 unique ways to drink coffee and some cool items that are perfect for creating that new and interesting iced Toddy beverage.

I think sometimes we forget to try different.  We get into our ruts and feel too busy to try new options.

Life is short.  Try something new.  Your experiment into the unknown might become your new favorite.  Watch the video and see if these aren’t some fun ways for you to shake up your morning coffee routine!  There’s nothing like adding a little bit of difference into the morning brew.

Click on some of the fun ideas below that will kickstart your iced-coffee enjoyment for the summer.  What about try making some mocha, caramel, coconut milk, coffee popsicles for your sunshine-y coffee break out on the deck?

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And how about making some caffe mocha popsicles on a hot summer afternoon?


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Finding Your “Just Right”: Time to Drink Some Toddy

rooster and cowboy bootsBoots here.  I’m back to finish up this series on Toddy Coffee.  This post is all about drinking . . . drinking Toddy as both a hot and a cold beverage.  After a sip of Toddy, you are going to want to stand up and salute the day with vim and vigor!

You now have your concentrate all good to go.  [Note: Be sure to keep your Toddy concentrate refrigerated.]  It is recommended that you  start with a ratio of 1 part coffee concentrate to 2-3 parts water, milk or whatever non-cow liquid you prefer.  I know that soy is a common moo-juice alternative, but heck, why not step into a new paradigm and try cashew, coconut, almond, rice, or hemp milk?  Whatever your moo-free preference, experiment and find the one you enjoy best.  Doesn’t a caramel sauce & cashew-milk iced mocha sound?

[To read an interesting article on these alternative “milks,” (with info on calories, protein, carbs, sugars, fats, and saturated fats) check out http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/the-best-cows-milk-alternatives.html]

Mix your Toddy beverage to taste, making your coffee as strong or as weak as you prefer. This is going to be a Goldilocks thing.  Try it.  Taste it.  Adjust it.  Find your Just Right.

ICED COFFEE: For iced coffee, Toddy is truly the best.  Simply pour the Toddy concentrate and water, milk, or moo-free alternative over ice. No need to double-proportion your coffee grounds for a hot-brew method to get a good iced coffee.

HOT COFFEE: Combine your Toddy concentrate with steaming hot water for a bolder, gentler cup of hot coffee — kind of like an Americano — but not really.  Once you tasted the carmel-ly smooth flavor of Toddy, you will know what I mean.

You really want to experiment with all of the fun ideas.  Here are a few more:

  1. Add Toddy to your morning smoothie.  Toddy would be great with a chocolate-banana smoothie.  Yummy!
  2. Be creative with whatever it is that sounds good to you.  Coconut milk?  Protein powder?  An almond butter-mocha-coffee frappe?
  3. Freeze your Toddy in ice-cube trays, and add cubes to your iced beverages and smoothies for that extra-cold punch.  This will keep your drink colder longer and not diluted by water-ice cubes.
  4. alarm clockToddy is versatile and so convenient.  There is never a need to feel strapped for time in the morning as you are dashing out the door.  If you are a fan of the Snooze Alarm, you can even get your drink ready the night before in a pint jar, put it in the fridge, do your crazed morning dash to work, and heat up your coffee right in the pint jar in the office microwave.  Voila! Fabulous coffee with no morning hassle.
  5. And don’t hesitate to add a little Nudge (aka Hooch to my bootleggin’ granny) to make a hot-coffee cocktail — as long as you are not going to be shoeing a horse or operating any heavy equipment.  Irish whiskey is a traditional Nudge additive, but you can try adding vanilla vodka for something a little different.   I am thinking campfire and some yarn spinning right about now!

And speaking of campfires, doesn’t this look like a fun addition to your summer evenings out on the patio or deck? Grab the S’more fixings, pour yourself a coffee nudge using your Toddy concentrate and indulge in the fact that you are in the great outdoors and only just a pebble’s throw from your own door.

What a hoot this stand-alone fire pit would be on your patio!  It would really open up your summer to the great outdoors.  Just click on the image or link below.

http://amzn.to/1O2sMMM

I hope that this little foray into the world of Toddy has been fun for you!  I remember back to when I first tasted it with that fussbudget sister of mine and, at the time, I had to admit to her that it tasted really good.  I generally forego Toddy during the winter months, as I like a fresh, hot brew.  But the summer?  It is so perfect!

And hail all of you hikers, campers, and glampers!  Think about how great Toddy would be out on the trail.  Put it in a  coffee-tight container and you would be good to go for your entire trek.

And you can click here for a comprehensive PDF from the Toddy experts.  There are all sorts of cool recipes in here for lattes, mochas, iced coffee beverages, smoothies, and even ice cream!

And check out this Kindle option for learning more about Toddy:

[Subscribers read for free!]

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Happy Toddy Trails!

xox Boots

Now . . . Time to Brew Some Badass Toddy!

old boots. s135179597364799095_p1_i1_w693Boots the Badass Coffee Babe here!  And I’m back to talk more about Toddy!  In the last post, I talked about equipment and the chemistry behind why Toddy tastes so darned good.

This post is going to be all about how to make good Toddy.  Getting set up, directions, dos and don’ts, how to store your finished Toddy . . . all of this fun stuff to learn!

First of all, here is a demonstration video — brought to you from the Toddy gurus — that walks you through all of the steps necessary to start brewing.

And here are a few tips from me that urge you to be mindful as you go about brewing your Toddy.  Some of these are a repeat of what the expert in the video advises, but I am not afraid to go overboard when it comes to helping someone else avoid a kitchen disaster. None of the points below can be overstated!

  1. Do not jam the plug into the bottom of the white plastic brewing container/funnel.  Setting the plug using conservative, non-Amazonian strength is sufficient.  You are not going to spring a leak.  Promise.  And attempting to get an over-zealously-jammed plug out of the bottom of the funnel that is full of cold-brew slurry is tempting fate and just plain scary.  One little extra tug of ambition will send your cold brew pouring all over the kitchen.
  2. toddy maker illustrationWhile your Toddy is brewing, put it somewhere SAFE.  The definition of SAFE in Toddy lingo is a place where . . .
    1. . . . your cat won’t tip it over.
    2. . . . your roommates won’t tip it over.
    3. . . . sloppy cords from other appliances won’t slither forth and coil around the Toddy maker such that when you pull your blender out to make a smoothie, you won’t topple the whole Toddy system when you do so.
    4. . . . your other critters won’t have a heyday with it (bird, ferret, sugar glider, etc.  Beware of the darting sugar glider!)
    5. . . . you won’t tip it over.
    6. . . . and again: . . . your cat won’t tip it over!
    7. Use a coarse grind to make your Toddy.
    8. Use good, filtered water.  I cannot emphasize this enough.  If your water tastes like hard well water and you use it to make your Toddy, well . . . you can guess what your Toddy is going to taste like: coffee-flavored hard well water.

There is a theme here: Use good water and don’t tip the dang Toddy over!

Okay!  You now have 12-24 hours to wait until you can pull the plug and drain your Toddy into the glass decanter.

Boots here until next time then when we pull the plug and taste some Toddy!

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Click on the image or the link to view the Toddy brewing system!

And while you are dream-shopping, here is a really good water filtering pitcher.  This pitcher delivers great-tasting water!

Click on the images or the links below.

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Or how about this kicky purple pitcher?

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Time for Toddy, Woodsy Peeps!

Happy Monday!  Boots the Badass Coffee Babe here . . . to talk Toddy!

Mondays. coffeeHow many of you out there have tried Toddy Coffee?  If you have, you recall both the smooth and carmel-ly sweetness of this brew and the ease in its preparation.  If you haven’t tried Toddy, you are going to have to trust me, Boots the Badass Coffee Babe and expert on all things coffee: this is some seriously good coffee!

I remember going on a really crazy trip with one of my sisters.  We were traveling up the Oregon coast and she insisted that we stop and check out one of those cute Victorian-esque seaside towns that you love to hate.  You know the kind.  The sidewalks are narrow and overgrown with thorny rose bushes and stickery shrubberies.  Your fellow tourists are into cutthroat sidewalk chicken and think nothing of edging you out of the herd and into oncoming traffic.  Husbands are lagging.  Children are crying.  Dogs are peeing on the pansies.  Not exactly my idea of fun.

Toddy. image. milk pouring.After what felt like days of being on a forced march, I begged her for a break.  She agreed to seek refuge from the madding crowd and we went into an ice cream shop that smelled of vanilla waffle cones, cherry jubilee, and coffee, sweet coffee.  It was in this emporium we found the Font of Immaculate Conceptualized Toddy.  I confess: after trying Toddy, I was hooked.  It truly is delicious . . . and I learned that it is as easy as 1-2-3 to brew.

Toddy is brewed using a passive, cold-water brewing method that is ideal for the person who is super busy and who likes to repeatedly hit snooze in the morning; who doesn’t want to go to work uncaffeinated and who wants delicious coffee any time of day!

In this series, we are going to talk about

  1. Why Toddy Tastes So Good
  2. How to Brew Toddy and finally
  3. How to Drink Toddy.

Well, today is all about Why Toddy Tastes So Good.  First let me show you what a Toddy cold-brew pot looks like, and then we’ll go from there.  This will all make sense by the end of segment #2 on How to Brew Toddy.  By the time we get to How to Drink Toddy,  you are going to be so happy you’ll be dancing on the barista’s coffee bar and hooting out corny lyrics from an obscure cowboy song.    

Here is the Toddy Brewing Contraption before we go any further. You can click on the image to learn more about this Toddy maker:

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And here is why Toddy cold-brewed coffee tastes so good:

  • It’s designed to brew coffee with 67-percent less acid than coffee made with hot brew methods.
  • Patented cold brew system uses regular coffee beans to create super smooth hot coffee, but with no electricity required.
  • The Toddy Cold Brew System also makes tea, served hot or cold.
  • Set includes brewing container with handle, glass decanter with lid, 2 reusable filters, 1 rubber stopper, set of instructions, and recipe guide.
  • You get more out of your coffee beans, since the coffee concentrate stays fresh for up to 3 weeks.

Tummy sensitive to acid?  Out on the trail with limited access to flame or fuel?  Like your coffee hot and cold?  Penny pinching and wanting to extract the max from those coffee beans?  Brew some Toddy!  The process brews a less-acidic coffee.  It requires no electricity to brew.  You get more out of your beans.

Coffee beans are full of various oils and acids.  This is what gives coffee its delicious flavor.  Cold-brewed Toddy produces less acid and is much more concentrated that hot-brewed, which makes it a great way to make iced coffee.  Toddy will stay fresh in your refrigerator for 2 – 4 weeks — a blessing to all of you busy morning people!

During the winter months, I feel inclined to stick with a hot-brew method . . . but in the summer?  I am all about Toddy!  It is always good to go and, not only is it great for home coffee drinking, it is PERFECT for being out on the trail, on your boat, on a rock face, in a raft,  on blue water . . . you get the idea.  It is one of those brew methods that fits the bill for anywhere!

Fun, right?  Try this cold-brew system out this summer.  You’ll love the flavor profile and the convenience!  And while we are at it, check out these coffee grinders that will help you to get your beans ground perfectly for your Toddy Adventure!

Click on the images below to daydream about a new grinder!

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Stay tuned for BREWING TIPS: How to Brew Toddy in the next post.  Isn’t it fun to learn something new and delicious?  Isn’t it just a hot-damned hootenanny to be able to say, “I know a new way to brew the best-durned coffee!”?

Goat Cup Coffee: Kaldi & the Goat Gang

coffee arabicaOkay, coffee lovers!  Time to get out your pom-poms (or pompons for you grammarists) and pay homage!  This post is about the origins and discovery of our beloved coffee bean!

I absolutely love recounting this epic tale, as it is a testimony to fact being stranger than fiction and to the powers of observation and to sharing fun stuff with others.

Enjoy this bit of coffee lore.  And share it with your friends the next time you are driving by a field of frisky goats!  You are sure to impress them with this little-known fact about the most popular beverage on the planet!

Spur (Small) boots signaturexox

Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

And a quick PS for you introverted, infatuated-with-your-favorite-barista folk: Have you been wanting to strike up a conversation with that really cute barista?  Dazzle him/her with your trivia knowledge? Maybe get his/her number?  This cup would be the perfect way to get that convo started!  At the very least, you are going to have to demonstrate to him/ her how your unique cup stands upright while they are making your bar beverage.  Am I right?

On to the history lesson . . . Do you want to guess who gets credit for discovering coffee? Some Spanish explorer?  No.  Some Ethiopian King’s personal chef?  No.  Some extra-smart herbalist roaming the planet?  No.

Goats

It was GOATS.  Yes, goats who discovered the power of the coffee bean!  Of course, it took the observing eye of the good goatherd Kaldi to do the subsequent and necessary Hear ye!  Hear ye! about his goats’ discovery of the benefits of the coffee bean.  After all, the grazing capra aegagrus hircus needed a voice to spread the word.

According to the National Coffee Association , there once were some amazing and ancient coffee forests — yes, forests! — on the Ethiopian plateau.  It was here where our good buddy Kaldi was not only grazing his herd but paying attention as well.

Kaldi’s goats were gadding about like goats do and were eating berries from a particular tree — a coffee tree.  After eating the berries, Kaldi couldn’t help but notice that the goats had become so energetic, they refused to go to bed at bedtime.  All they wanted to do was romp and play throughout the night.

Imagine poor Kaldi.  All tuckered out from herding goats all day . . . and then having to factor in a marathon caffeine buzz to all of that jumping and hopping around that goats are so good at doing.  Kind of like giving a bunch of pre-schoolers a few bags of Oreos and some chocolate milk right before you expect them to go down for naptime.  Impossible.  And you have to remember that Kaldi was probably doing his own un-caffeinated thing at that time — probably some herbal concoction that had a zero caffeine boost.   Poor guy.

Aberrant behavior and frisky goats aside, Kaldi managed to make it through that frivolous first night, and he reported his observations to the abbot of a local monastery.  The abbot make a concoction with the berries . . .(I can just see him in some Curie-esque, Ethiopian, monastic laboratory with beakers bubbling over with the new brew.) . . . and, lo and behold, the good abbot found that the New Brew kept him remarkably alert through the long and rigorous hours of evening prayer.

The abbot, being a good sort of chap, shared Kaldi’s discovery with the other monks at the monastery, and the word spread more quickly than a wildfire during lightning season in a drought year.  Word then moved east to the Arabian peninsula and so the Coffee Movement was born.

Pretty darned cool, huh?

In honor of Kaldi and his rambunctious goats, I found this very fun cup for all of your coffee commuting needs.  Think of it as a hands-free commuter’s tribute to the Gang of Goats that surely must have suffered some post-caffeinated let down when they likely weren’t able to put 2 and 2 together in order to keep the Coffee High going.  I like to think that they did return to said-coffee-tree ,and they continued to munch away to their insomniac-state of delight.  Perhaps they ultimately passed their caffeine-spirited genes down to their boisterous prodigy.  You have to admit . . . goats sure can jump!

Let’s call this product the Kaldi Kommuter Kup for purposes of alliteration and to pay homage to Kaldi & the Goat Gang.  Nothing like being prepared and cool at the same time!  And . . . anyone who unwittingly comments on you sporting this rather absurd-but-super-cool-looking commuter cup will be sure to get an earful regarding the backstory of Kaldi & the Gang.  You can dazzle them with this little story that you now have tucked away in your Trivia Arsenal.

“GOAT Mug is a one-of-a-kind coffee mug that was inspired by the first coffee discovery. Its horn shape is a dedication to goats that discovered this elixir of life and it also lets you drink the very last sip. It comes with a set of 2 straps that allow you to carry your coffee, but at the same time reply to a couple of e-mails and carry around your newspaper.”

Click on the image below:

And click here to view the fun video.
About the Product
  • A special horn-shaped coffee mug holds 16 oz. (470 ml) of your favorite coffee drink
  • Comes with a set of 2 straps, long and short part, so carrying your coffee mug around is a blast
  • Holder can easily transform into a stand, which easily enables placing the mug onto a flat surface
  • It’s BPA free and 100% leak proof
  • GOAT mug is creating an exquisite experience from coffee drinking

Sporting your horn-shaped Kaldi Kommuter Kup will give you the same euphoric feeling as when you change from jeans to pajama bottoms.  Guaranteed!

Check out Carmella below!

like changing from jeans to pajama bottoms

like changing from jeans to pajama bottoms

 

 

Brew Joe on the Go with Hey Joe Coffee GoJoe 2.0

may your cup runneth overGreetings, Good Woodsy Folk.  Before we begin to explore a new and flavorful Outdoor Brewing Method later this week (I’ll give you a hint: it rhymes with body), check out this incredibly clever, high-tech, ultra-convenient way to brew Joe on the go.

Normally, I prefer the simple route when it comes to gear out on the trail — the take-your-time, ain’t-life-great, tried-and-true brewing methods — but I can think of more than a few times when I was hiking through remote places at the height of fire season, and I would have appreciated the convenience of this battery-powered, self-brewing gizmo!

Yes, sometimes practical convenience and deprivation-driven misery wins out over backwoods aesthetics.  And perhaps this gizmo doesn’t deliver the same robust quality of coffee as a cup of campfire Joe, but I am thinking it would be a great back-up option in desperate times.

Like the time I dutifully agreed to go whitewater rafting with a group of people who were bizarrely extreme . . . not extreme in the ways of defying the mighty rapids but in the demands regarding what time we wake up each morning.  According to the dictatorial mandates of Fearless Rafting Leader, the day was already wasted if the group got a start on the river any later than 6:30 am.  It was a rough trip for me, one that was defined by sleep deprivation and negative-vibrational fallout from all of the other bitchy, caffeine-deprived rafters.

I am telling you . .  I would have loved — and I mean loved! — to have had this ingenious cup for that trip.  I could have been blithely floating through the canyon with my delightful cup of coffee — just a push of the button — all the while thumbing my nose gaily and happily at Fearless Leader who actually enjoyed the drama of watching the unwashed and the un-caffeinated fight for their turn with the camp stove each morning.

Life-scarring rafting memories aside, this GoJoe would be ideal for when you are out in extreme conditions: climbing, skiing, boating, river rafting, fire-lookouting, and hiking out in the wilderness where water is scarce, a fire isn’t an option, fuel is scarce, and time is being dictated by a Fearless Leader. Nothing like kickstarting your morning and wilderness experience by simply pushing a button for a cup of Joe!

Check it out!  Watch the video and tell me what you think!

Happy Trails, Good People!

Spur (Small) boots signaturexox

Boots the Badass Coffee Babe

Click on the Hey Joe Coffee GoJoe 2.0 image below:

 


About the Product

  • Fill with water at any time. When your ready, press the button for fresh brewed coffee anywhere
  • With updated, more powerful, battery to last longer and brew hotter!
  • Turn heads everywhere you go with the cool design and smell of fresh coffee

And remember . . .

a day without coffee.jpg