Bittersweet Cafe

Bittersweet Cafe

I love driving up to the mountains on beautiful, sunny days! What is better than the gorgeous sites and adventures? In my opinion, eating delicious fresh food outside at a lovely landscaped restaurant makes a perfect addition to any day! I’ve only stopped at Bittersweet Cafe twice, but I’ve enjoyed the food and my time there each visit.

Bittersweet Cafe is located in Farmington, PA. They use locally grown food and fresh produce in their unique dishes. Their pulled pork is tasty! A few weeks ago when I was there, I wanted to try something different and ordered their Harvest Apple Salad. It was amazing! Their homemade dressing was so good! I also always enjoy their Sweet Lemon Mint Tea.

I am in love with how they are always seasonally landscaped! I knew fall was right around the corner at the time I was planning on going there and on my drive up, I was hoping they would be decorated for fall. It was such a beautiful, warm sunny day, and I was so excited to see fall flowers and décor as I pulled into the parking lot of the restaurant. There is both indoor and outdoor seating. It was so peaceful sitting outside, breathing in the fresh mountain air, and enjoying a delicious meal surrounded by beautiful fall flowers, pumpkins, and sunshine!

If you are ever traveling to Ohiopyle, Nemacolin Woodlands, Fallingwater, or Kentuck Knob (those are a few of my favorite places in the mountains!) make sure to stop and eat or grab a drink at Bittersweet Cafe! You will not be disappointed!

Here are a few pictures from my day at Bittersweet Cafe!

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Tailgating Checklist

Tailgating Checklist

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to go back to Happy Valley and rehash the old memories and relive the good times from when I was a student up there. I couldn’t pass up the chance to tailgate, visit with my awesome cousins, and go to a PSU Football Game! (A huge thank you goes out to my aunt and uncle for the invite!!!)

Rise and Shine! Brew my pumpkin spice coffee, shower, get dressed, fill the cooler with ice and fall beverages! Load up the car and off the five of us went! The brisk morning woke us up as we traveled to Penn State. The day remained cloudy and chilly as we layered and bundled up throughout the day, before we went into the game. We enjoyed ribs, buffalo chicken dip, wings, pulled pork, pasta salad, and pineapple! It was so much fun to play corn hole and watch everyone play giant jenga. As we started walking toward the stadium, the sun finally came out! The first quarter was awesome as we scored four touchdowns! It was nice to leave at the end of the game with a win! We Are…PENN STATE!!!

It’s hard to explain the feeling when we arrived…there was a warmness in my heart, excitement and anticipation for the game, and delicious food to be shared with great people. As you drive up to your spot to set up, there’s a rush that goes through you! People from all over, set up for a day of fun! Blue and White everywhere!!! RV’s, PSU pop up tents, games, food, drinks, laughter…There’s a vibe of warmth and welcoming, like everyone around is one big family!

In today’s world, we continuously hear about the bad, and are forced to be focused on all the negativity around us…The news for example, is always so sad anymore. All we are told about is the violence, the deaths, terrorism, natural disasters, hatred towards each other…How often do you hear about positivity in the world?

Something as simple as going to a tailgate party and a football game, was like a breath of fresh air! The environment around us was positive! We shared smiles, laughter, fun, and unity with strangers all around us! It was such a nice change from the normal daily or weekend routine.

On my journey as a college student, I started out as a shy, small town girl. I feared many things such as being scared of being away from home, not being able to achieve my goals, how would I make friends, how would I find my way around that huge campus?…Overall, I achieved and excelled! I made the Dean’s List numerous semesters. I conquered my fears and I grew into a confident, fun-loving, smart woman during my days of living and learning in this beautiful city, State College. It was my home away from home. A place where I had achieved more than I ever thought I could or would. A place where I met wonderful friends, created memories that will last a lifetime, and it always was a place where I felt safe. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful campuses that I have ever been to! I graduated with pride! Pride in myself and for my future! I am so lucky and grateful to have not let my fears of leaving and worrying hold me back, and I’m so happy that I challenged myself with bigger and better things! It is always a pleasure returning to Happy Valley! It’s a reminder of a time when I was unstoppable and I believed in myself!

Check out my list for a fun tailgating experience!  I’ve also posted some pictures of us tailgating and enjoying the game!

Tailgating Checklist

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Still making memories…Here are some pictures from this weekend!

Off We Go…

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Bundled Up

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                                PSU Beauties                      Courtney and I

                      Corn hole        Buffalo Chicken Dip         Jenga

Beaver Stadium

                We Are…PENN STATE!!! Alumni (My brother Mike, and I)

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National Coffee Day-Friday, September 29, 2017

National Coffee Day-Friday, September 29, 2017

(My old school espresso maker and espresso cups)

Happy National Coffee Day! I can’t start my day without coffee! It’s honestly the very first thing that I do in the morning. I wake up, get out a coffee mug and start my morning brew. Without coffee, I don’t function! I enjoy coffee so much, depending on the day, I may have another glass or two (iced by afternoon)! I try not to overdo it, but sometimes, I just crave the delicious smell and need that extra bit of caffeine.

Here are a few reasons why you should drink coffee!

  • The aroma in the morning is warming and smells delicious (The smell can lead to less stress).

  • It provides you with antioxidants.

  • Coffee can help your brain stay healthier longer and reduce your chance of getting Alzheimer’s.

  • Coffee is good for your liver and can reduce the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

  • If you drink coffee before you work out, it can jolt your performance.

  • There’s a chance it can lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes.

Coffee Deals for National Coffee Day

  • Dunkin’ Donuts: Buy a medium or larger cup of hot coffee and get a medium hot coffee free at participating locations nationwide.

  • McDonald’s: For a limited time, get a small specialty coffee for $2 at participating locations. Also, there are coupons for a free medium McCafé with any purchase in the McDonald’s smartphone app. Plus, when you purchase any five McCafé drinks you can get one free when a QR code from the app is scanned at checkout.

  • Keurig:  From Friday through Sunday, get 20% off all pods and bagged coffee purchased at www.keurig.com with coupon code CELEBRATE. Get free shipping with a $39 or higher purchase.

  • Sheetz: Get a free Pumpkin Pie Latte when you order it through the Sheetz smartphone app.

Attention: Coffee Fans in the Pittsburgh Area

Pittsburgh Specialty Coffee Week is starting October 2-7, 2017. Enjoy coffee at various coffee shops throughout the Pittsburgh area! You can find out information about participants, specials, and events at: https://pghcoffeeweek.com/.

Pretty Coffee Products for that “All Things Pretty” Lifestyle of Yours!

If you know me, you know that I love anything copper! Here are a few coffee products that one day I would like to own, plus a few other fun items!

  • Macy’s-Bodum Classic Chambord Copper 8 Cup French Press Coffee Maker-$49.99

  • Macy’s-Bodum Classic Chambord Copper Milk Frother-$29.99

  • Macy’s-Bodum Classic Chambord Copper Sugar and Creamer Set-$29.99

  • Jessica N Designs-Must Have Coffee Spoon-$17.00

  • Old Navy-Mascara and Coffee Tee-$14.99

What type of coffee is your favorite? Espresso, Latte, Cappuccino, etc.? Comment below with your favorite coffee beverage! I’m always looking forward to trying something new!

 

S’MORES Coffee Creamer

S’MORES Coffee Creamer

I’m a huge fan of s’mores! Fall is right around the corner, the first day of fall actually starts this Friday, September 22. Normally, when you hear about fall, everything under the sun is “pumpkin spice.” Like always, I like to be unique and different, so here is an alternate fall flavor!  Although I enjoy a lot of pumpkin spice everything, when I think about fall and cooler weather, I also think of bonfires and s’mores!

(I will say this is the first time that I made this. A few little tips…don’t decide to make it when you are tired. Also, lesson learned, use a bigger pot than a saucepan. The heat, even though not boiling, may make your creamer expand more than anticipated. Let’s just say this little mistake left my kitchen smelling like a toasted marshmallow.  Smelled great… the clean up not so much fun. This recipe makes quite a bit. Next time, I will probably decrease the ingredients by half to only make a minimal amount since it’s only me that usually uses creamer on a daily basis.)

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ c coffee cream

  • 1 ½ c milk

  • ½ c granulated sugar

  • 1 (7oz) container of marshmallow creme

  • ½ c chocolate syrup

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place cream and milk in a pot and heat over medium heat, but do not let it get to the boiling point.

  2. Next, add the sugar to the cream mixture.

  3. Then, add the marshmallow crème (small amounts at a time) and stir until blended well.

  4. Stir in the cinnamon and chocolate syrup.

  5. Now, stir everything and remove from the heat.

  6. Finally, place in a container and let it cool before placing it in the refrigerator!

    Enjoy your Fall S’MORES Flavored Coffee!

Farmer’s Market Smoothie

Yesterday, I received some wonderful fresh produce from the Lawrenceville Farmer’s Market. I decided this morning that I would make a smoothie out of a few of the items. Here’s what I put together to make my Farmer’s Market Smoothie.

Farmer’s Market Smoothie

  • Milk

  • Protein Powder (optional)

  • Kale

  • Peach

  • Apple

  • Banana

  • Ice

First, I added the milk and kale and blended it together. Next, I added the fruit, protein powder and ice. Blend well, until all the ice is crushed. Enjoy your delicious Farmer’s Market Green Smoothie!

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National Mead Day-August 5, 2017

Mead Day

August 5, 2017

mead glasses

Today is National Mead Day! You are probably either thinking what kind of day is she writing about and why, or you may be saying, “I love Mead! I’m glad this day is getting some recognition!” Currently, and for over a year now, I’ve been working for a new, local meadery in Pittsburgh. My experience there ranges from production work, administrative work, to organizing, planning, and staffing for festivals and events, as well as setting up and working them. You may remember me writing about KingView Mead back in November, when I wrote a post about supporting small, local businesses on Small Business Saturday. KingView Mead celebrated their one year anniversary this past May! You may learn more about KingView Mead as a company, as well as our give back; first in the nation, “Mead for Bees” program. The website is: www.kingviewmead.com.

Some of you may be wondering, “What is Mead?” Mead is an alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey, water and yeast. 51% or more of the alcohol must be fermented for this honey wine to be categorized as a mead. This delicious drink has many variations such as Traditional, Melomel: by adding fruit or fruit juice, Braggot: by adding hops, Metheglin: by adding herbs or spices, Cyser: by adding apples or apple juice, or Pyment: by adding grapes or grape juice.

Are any of you getting married anytime soon? If so, you may want to include this traditional wedding drink as your beverage of choice! Mead is the original wedding drink. It was given to newlyweds way back in ancient times to drink for an entire month to promote fertility and happiness throughout their marriage. This is also how the term “honeymoon” came about.

Now, after an explanation and some of my connection to mead, I’d like to share with you a little bit of background and history on National Mead Day. In 2002, the American Homebrewers Association (AHA) observed the first Saturday in August as Mead Day! The tradition has been carried on over the years. This year, Mead Day will be observed today, on Saturday, August 5, 2017.

The AHA, started Mead Day to generate friendships of mead makers and to create and increase awareness about the oldest fermented beverage to others. It was a day which mead lovers would gather friends and family and create a batch of mead together. Others celebrate it by having competitions, sharing or comparing recipes, dressing up to enjoy the delicious beverage sometimes known as “honey wine” or just meeting up to discuss the craft of mead making. Mark your calendars for August 5th this year. Go outside, reconnect yourself back to nature, and have a drink or two of mead!

As craft beers are popping up, meads are now becoming more popular. Laws in PA have been changing and you may be seeing more of mead in beer distributors, wine & spirit stores, as well as bars and restaurants. If you’ve tried a mead before, and haven’t liked it, don’t turn it down the next time you see it somewhere. This delicious beverage can taste differently each time you try it. Remember, bees pollinate many types of flowers, therefore, the honey they make does not always have the same flavor. A few honey varieties for example could be: Wildflower, Orange Blossom, Lavender, Buckwheat, and there are many more. When these different types of honeys are used, it also can change the taste of the type of mead you are drinking!

Are you a mead lover? If so, what are some of your favorite meads to drink? I’d love to hear from you!  Raise your glass, and “Cheers” to Mead Day!!!