Kansas City Caffeine Crawl!!

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know how much I love coffee. If not, well, I love coffee.

This past weekend, The Lab, a beverage marketing company, hosted the fall edition of the Kansas City Caffeine Crawl, there is also one in the summer.

If you didn’t already know, Kansas City has a very rich coffee community and it is ever growing.

Naturally, when I found out that Kansas City has a caffeine crawl, I signed me up, albeit last minute, but I was able to go this time around. Thank you to Jason and Micheal from The Lab for saving my tickets! :)

Xavier and I took the Sunday self driven Route 1. There are also bus routes available, but they sell out pretty fast. FYI: Xavier is not a coffee drinker, he just came along for the fun, plus he was a very helpful in getting us to the stops on time :)

In addition to sampling some great coffee and specialty food/products, each crawler receives goodies bag filled with various coffee “swag”.

Here is our route and what each stop had to offer:

Stop #1: Parisi Cafe in Leawood.

Parisi is one of my favorite spots here. Kate, the GM, presented an innovative culinary use for coffee. She created a dish of coffee caviar, yes coffee caviar, with pomegranate pop rocks chased by carbonated plums. It was awesome. It included a demonstration on how to make coffee caviar. I thought the presentation was very informative, especially since I had never heard of coffee caviar. When you put the combo in your mouth, it literally creates a popping sensation in your mouth like fireworks. Xavier did try this one and he actually liked it. He also loved the carbonated plum, because he loves plums.

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Stop #2: Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard in Prairie Village

Foo’s staff demonstrated how to make coffee ice cream. They use a cold toddy method. Again, lots of useful information on other ways to utilize coffee. And what better way than coffee ice cream. After the demonstration, we were able to try the recipe and it is pretty much the best ice cream flavor ever. We also sampled their house blend coffee. I have never tried coffee ice cream before, and I am glad I got to try Foo’s. The process of flavor extraction and making the ice cream is so time consuming that Foo’s only offers ice cream coffee for special events/occasions. (Restroom break #1)

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Stop #3: Oddly Correct in Westport

Oddly Correct is a Kansas City staple. This was the first coffee shop I visited when we first moved here. This was also the first place that encouraged me to try coffee without any additives. So, I really like this place.

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We hit a snag getting to this stop on time and we only caught the last 10 minutes of Oddly’s presentation on Roasting variables. The presentation included tasting of brewed coffee roasted at different temperatures and comparing them to a control brew. You can definitely taste the difference. For those interested in roasting your own coffee, this was definitely an informative session.

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Stop #4: PTs at the Crossroads

PTs co-owner Jeff Taylor gave an informative session on direct and fair trade. At this stop, we were able to sample award winning coffees and Christopher Elbow collaboration chocolates, like 3 different kinds. The coffee was great and I really liked one of the chocolate, but did not catch the name :( (Restroom break #2).

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Stop #5: Blackdog Coffee House in Lenexa

Blackdog gave a presentation on the Chemex brewing system(which I use at home), and offered Ibis Bakery bread pairings with various jams and spreads. I tried all of them and they were all good. I skipped the coffee because I had had like a bunch of cups of coffee by this time and also because Restroom break #3. So, I thought I would give my kidneys and bladder a break.

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Stop #6: Homer’s Coffee in Overland Park

The last stop offered coffee samples paired with sweet snacks. My favorite was a Kenyan with the pumpkin soft cookie. It was delish. There was also a musical performance to close out the crawl.

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This was my first coffee crawl and I had a blast. I learned a ton about the dynamic coffee industry and enjoyed tasting the various offerings that each stop provided. I also learned how quickly coffee goes through my system, goodness.If you are a coffee lover, this event is definitely a must. Go here to find out more and see where the next crawl will be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Friday!! Fall is here and are you ready for the weekend? Since the Texans broke my heart last night, I’ll be cheering for the Royals tonight.

Last month marked one year of blogging. Time flies. Though I haven’t blogged in over a month, I am glad to be back.

Also, I decided to continue with this series. Year 2 Week 1 will start next week.

Highlights:

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It’s been a little busy over here. The girls picked up their after school sports and activities this season. Xavi is playing league soccer and Jaelan is running on the Cross Country team at her school. Middle school sports is limited here, so after cross country, kids pretty much play league sports.

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Xavi’s soccer team is currently undefeated and in First place. She loves being back on the soccer field. She has always had fun, but this year is special because this is the first winning/dominating team that she has ever played for. Side Note: Apparently I get too loud during the games, so Xavi asked me to stop yelling too loud.

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Xavi expressed her desire to learn how to play the violin, so she signed up for it at school and she is currently taking private lessons. Let us pray it works.

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This is Jaelan’s first year of Cross Country competition. She has improved her time with every race, so I’ll take that as a win. She doesn’t understand why people would voluntarily run miles for no reason. I told her so that she won’t get fat. Just kidding.

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Jaelan is doing choir again this year, and she tried out for state. She will find out if she makes it in November. Cross your fingers, toes, and tails.

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Aspen:

I had lots of Aspen smart ass remarks to share with y’all, but then I lost my paper where I wrote down all of it. So, you will have to wait until I remember them.

New things about Terminator:

1. Her new favorite song is, “Bout the Base”.

2. She loves penguins.

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3. She wants to be Elsa for Halloween.

4. She has fallen in love with soccer from watching Xavi play. I told her that she had to be five years old to join a team. So, she has told anyone who will listen that she is skipping four years old and going straight to five years old after her next birthday, so that she can play soccer.

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Here she is “practicing” her soccer dribbling skills:

 

HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Football is Back!!

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How excited are you that football season is back!? I know, EXCITED!!! The NFL season started this past weekend and not without drama, and also, Week 2 of college football.

I was fairly satisfied with the Texans play on Week 1 against the Redskins. Of course, I haven’t seen the whole game yet, because, you know, Kansas City. But, I did see lots of highlights and read up on the stats.

Here are my takeaways from Week 1 for my Houston Texans:

1. I was really interested on the quarterback play, because all of them looked bad in preseason, and I am happy with the way Fitzpatrick looked on paper: NO INT. Before Week 1, the only thing I like about him was his beard. Just kidding.

2. Hopkins and Andre looks solid on paper.

3. The defense was great, especially on paper. Robert Griffin III got destroyed a lot of times, it gave me flash backs of David Carr. JJ Watts, Brooks Reed, DJ Swearinger, and Joseph, all played pretty well, but more importantly: Redskins 6 points.

4. The down side, of course, was losing Jadeveon Clowney for 6 weeks with a torn meniscus. If the Texans win more than 2 games this season, I am a happy fan.

5.And lastly, I can’t believe that Bullock is still on the team, even if he did go 3/3.

Other notables, the Seahawks looks scary good. But, I need to see them play again before I pick them to win it all again. What I like about the NFL is that any team can surprise you, i.e the 2014 Kansas City Chiefs.

Now on to the drama: Ray Rice. I saw the video. And damn. If you haven’t seen it, I am not wasting web space by providing a link. As a mother of (3) daughters, as a sister to (2) sisters, and as a woman, that was pretty disturbing to see. The hit was bad enough, but the action afterwards was even more disturbing. I am not going to go into a tirade, as I am not here to judge anyone. But, I definitely would not want Ray Rice to wear a Texans jersey, if he were in Houston. Domestic violence is senseless and intolerable. Violence against women is unjustifiable and cowardice. That is all.

Extra: I’m glad that the University of Houston Cougars bounced back on Week 2, even if it was just against Grambling State. They play BYU next week, who destroyed the Longhorns this weekend. SIGH. Go COOOOOGS!!

 

Week 50: Finally, Friday!!

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Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone is enjoying their time off from work! Who is bbq-ing today!? The weather here is clearing up, hopefully, just in time for backyard BBQ and drinks. Also, I am not sure if this series will continue after the one year post, which is only 2 weeks away. A weekly post can get a little redundant, maybe we will switch over to a monthly recap instead, we will see where it goes.

Highlights:

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Since I missed quite a few weeks of recap, I will include a few highlights: We have had a pretty busy summer, maybe one too many trips to Houston. Aspen and Xavier celebrated birthdays in June and July, and there was a wedding in the family. Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Day!!

The girls started school about 2 weeks ago, a week earlier than Texas. Jaelan is now in 7th grade and in middle school, and Xavi is in 5th grade. Jaelan was really excited about getting a locker, she didn’t even care about school supplies, she just wanted locker decorations. Tweens.

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Also, Jaelan went to her first ever middle school dance this past Friday. Didn’t school just start? She said that some boy asked her to go to the dance, but she turned him down, and he moved on to the next girl. *Pause* Life needs to chill, like for real.

Jaelan will continue with choir because she loves it and, Xavi has joined the strings at school. Goodness gracious. I hope she likes the basement because that is where she will be practicing! Just kidding. I think it’s great that she wants to learn how to play the violin.

This past week, the girls started their fall sports activities. Jaelan is doing cross country, I’m not yet sure if she knows what that means. But we told her that it’s not one mile, not three miles, but lots and lots of miles. Her first track meet is on the 6th. Xavi is doing soccer, this week was her first week of practice, her first game is on the 6th.┬áJaelan is getting used running long distances, she is always pooped and hungry when she comes home. We are gonna have to get her more acquainted with a high carb diet. Xavi is getting used to big girl soccer. So, drills and fundamentals. She is playing for an U11 team, and yes, she is the smallest kid on the team. The coach loves her energy, she doesn’t seem to get tired, lol. But, she has taken a long break from soccer, so she needs to brush up on her skills.

Aspen:

Aspen started back at day care last week because our schedule is just too crazy to stay with her at home. So, there was a lot of meltdown and tears. She gets all excited and ready to go. But, when we get there to drop her off, she just loses it. One day, the teacher had to pry her off of me, because she was holding on really tight. Poor kid. This too shall pass.

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The Pitch Bite Club: Room 39 Midtown!!

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Last week, we were invited to be part of the Kansas City Bite Club, sponsored by The Pitch, Findit KC, and Room 39 Restaurant at Midtown. The Bite Club is a group of about 12 local bloggers, social media enthusiasts, and foodies hand picked by The Pitch to try out local restaurant menus and share the experience on their preferred social media outlet. The idea is to meet once a month. *Please excuse the photos, it was pretty dim in the restaurant and all we had were our iPhones. Next time we will be better prepared*

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For our first gathering, the venue was Room 39, located at midtown. Room 39 is a small, cozy establishment serving seasonal American cuisine. They also have a second restaurant in Leawood, KS. The event was hosted by Findit KC founder, Chris Olsen, who along with The Pitch came up with the idea for the Kansas City Bite Club. According to Chris, the idea came from a similar group out of Boston. Dinner was presented by the chef/owner of Room 39, Ted Habiger. Ted is an award winning chef and is very passionate about his food.

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We were served a five course meal, with wine pairings for the first 2 courses. Xavier and I decided to try their French martini during the meet and greet. Each course was presented by Chef Ted. He carefully explained each dish and the ingredients. I found the whole presentation to be very informative and insightful. I also liked Chef Ted’s little blurb about small details in a restaurant, like white table cloths. I have a thing for restaurants with white table clothes. To me, it’s inviting, and goes with his whole idea of community . It was nice learn how a dish comes together and what a dish and small details mean to the chef. At the heart of Room 39 and Chef Ted are locally grown and raised ingredients, and the community.

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The group we dined with was very enthusiastic and fun. There were foodies and bloggers of all kind, of different backgrounds, and of different personalities. Being fairly new to Kansas City, it was nice to meet some of its locals and learn about one of its hidden gems that has been serving its community since 2004.

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There was a short moment during the dinner when I thought it was kind of strange that we were actually expected to take pictures and share our experience on social media. But, seeing how excited and how everyone was having so much fun, the strange feeling quickly disappeared. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. The hosts were awesome and the food was excellent. The lobster gnocchi and the duroc pork chops are a must when you come out and visit Room 39! (And don’t forget to check out #pitchbiteclub on Instagram for more photos). Enjoy!!

**Thank you to The PItch, Findit KC, and Room 39 for inviting us!!** :)

*All photos were taken with iPhone 4 and edited with VSCO Cam*

*Bite Club logo from pitch.com*

Summer Fun in West Virginia!!

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**A little apology for taking over a month hiatus from the blog. It has been a quite a bumpy and busy month, and I am finally catching up on a lot of things, including the blog. YAY!** I thought I would start back up with the girls’ last summer stop.

I am a little bummed that summer is “over”. The girls have officially started another school year, and we now have a 7th grader and a 5th grader. However, they have had a fun and full summer, visiting family and friends, in Texas and West Virginia.

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The girls spent their last bit of summer in West Virginia, visiting with my sister for the first time. She has a nice little property up there and the girls have been asking all year to go and visit. Our work schedule did not allow Xavier and I to join them, plus I am just bad at planning.

From what I heard, the girls had a blast up there and we might even make it an annual summer destination for them. They love it up there and they also learned a lot about living off of the land and survival skills. Plus they get to ride around in a four wheeler, a tractor, and have water balloon fights. I was uber jealous.

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They also learned how to shoot, and Boogie looks like a natural. Don’t worry, my sister is a professional with weapons and an awesome teacher. She is a former military police with a tour in South Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq, under her belt. If I want anyone to teach my girls about guns and gun safety, it would be her. They also learned about fire safety and how to start a camp fire.

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And of course, Aspen’s favorite were the animals. The girls got to help out around the place and feed the animals every morning. But they stayed away from the big pot belly pig named Becky.

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Since, I was not up here, pictures were very limited, but here are a few and a couple of videos of the big girls learning how to shoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monkey Bread!!

I am all for quick and easy recipes. The less ingredients and the less the preparation, the better. Especially when it comes to pastry, because I can’t pastry, I just can’t. The dough never comes out right. So, when I saw this video above, I had to try it. Also, because there were 4 cans of mini biscuit dough that no one wants to eat. Plus, it’s like 3 ingredients.

I had never heard of monkey bread before, but it looks good, so we tried one of the sweet recipes. The girls and I baked the cinnamon and sugar version. It came out really well and even looked like the finished product in the video! And it is yummy! I prepped the ingredients and the girls did the dirty work of coating the dough. There was sugar and cinnamon everywhere, but it’s all good. Here is what ours looked liked:

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