All I Ate This Week Was Charcuterie Meat

~Maddy~

Let me tell you, I am more sodium logged than I think I’ve ever been, and I’m so thirsty that I have basically had to live in the bathroom.

And it’s worth it. If you’ve ever experienced charcuterie in all its glory, you understand.

Charcuturie is actually a method of preserving meats in their own fat (plus a whole lot of salt and sometimes spices). A charcuturie board combines an assortment of charcuterie meats, various cheeses and accompanying fruits or fruit spreads. Upon assembling and, eventually, devouring said charcuterie board, I guarantee you’ll feel so damn fancy that you’ll never eat Ritz and spray cheese again.

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We served capriccioli, salami, and prosciutto with an aged white cheddar and a slightly creamier, merlot infused goat cheese. Pears, apples, figs and grapes work well with the creamy cheese, and olives and baby pickles are nice with harder, saltier cheeses. Add crackers, a couple $8 bottles of wine, and call it a night.

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Also brie, because brie is amazing. One wheel was wrapped in prosciutto and bacon, and the other slathered with fig and blueberry compote. Did I mention that brie is amazing????

So try this. Really. Costco has a surprisingly great selection, and Hy-Vee is pretty close to top notch. Oh, and Aldi has wheels of brie for $2.99 (you’re welcome).

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Yeah, drool about it.

 

10 Tasty Spiked Coffee Drinks Guaranteed To Help You Survive Winter

~Maddy~

So I was cruelly awakened by my parents at the butt crack of dawn this morning (meaning about 8:30) and drug off on the only kind of acceptable a.m. adventure: a trip to a coffee roasting factory.

As a truly avid coffee lover, I think my awe, gratification and overall bliss is implied.

A father in the wild observes the native's impressive selection of coffee beans.
A father in the wild observes the native’s impressive selection of coffee beans.
Definitely bought this.
Definitely bought this.

Suffice it to say that I am too caffeinated to ever sleep again. But seriously, worth it. Nothing beats a hot cup of coffee on a blustery morning, more of which we in the Midwest are bound to endure.

Because winter lasts from December to March here. Welcome to frostbitten hell.

So to keep you EXTRA toasty, do please enjoy the following java+alcohol concoctions sure to make the cold weather deliciously bearable (click the photos for recipes!). Pairs well with snow, but I highly suggest forgoing all activities involving shovels, sleds, or ice skates.

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Irish coffee
The Irish like a little sass in their morning joe.

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grand marnier
Fruit and coffee=a balanced breakfast.

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hot buttered rum
This will never not sound amazing. Or a little dirty.

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kahlua_coffee_1
An old favorite, with good reason.

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black forest coffe
Willing to bet it goes well with cake?

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amaretto coffee
For the coffee nut. *snort*

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Spiked-Pumpkin-Spice-Latte
Because Starbucks doesn’t add vodka.

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Hot chocolate
Creamy, pepperminty perfection.

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Butterscotch-Fireball Coffee
Burns so good.

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Cafe Royale-p33
A stroke of Italian genius with a splash of brandy.

***The Curly Girls must implore you to caffeinate responsibly***

The jams that inspired my 2014

Michaela

As far as my itunes library is concerned, this year produced a bountiful harvest in terms of new music. The following is a list chronicling my Columbus esq. “discoveries” of new/lost to me artists from the year, brought to my attention during late night dives to the depths of the inter webs or introduced to me by mutual friends.


January  Snowmine- Let Me In

They’ve nailed the “If my life was an indie movie this would play while I’m driving or walking or looking out a window or existing or something” echoey vibe… Ja feel?

February Years and Years- Real

Let me tell you that this is my absolute favorite band. I’m begging you, please, please, PLEASE go check out their other stuff.  I can’t get enough of them, the moment I stumbled upon this video I was instantly entranced and I hope you will be too.

March Gregory Alan Iskaov- Big Black Car

Finals are fast approaching yet, still so far off and you know you’re not going to swear off Netflix and get your life together. Grab a blanket, find a comfy spot on the futon and let Isakov lull you in to the great beyond… or to sleep.

April Jungle- Platoon

All the Funk. All the Dance. Tiny Track Suit.

May St. Lucia- Wait For Love

Live minstrel procession through down town LA. P-much all I could ask for from a band

June Cro- Traum

Yes, this is entirely in German but bear with me, this guy is a gem and he has a panda mask.

July The Griswolds- Beware The Dog

“Beware the ghost who lives on Salamander Road” I don’t know, I dig it. How can you stop your self from dancing?

August Grouplove- Colours

This band has been a favorite of mine for several years. Maddy and I were able to see them live and it was a technicolour eruption of electric sweaty bliss.

September Miniature Tigers- Last Night’s Fake Blood

They came to Iowa City, Alyse and I went to see them, it was really cool and I covet Rick the Keyboardist’s wind breaker. Also their music is hecka rad. They have an album called Cruel Runnings that they wrote in Jamaica. Like I said, hecka rad.

October Sam Smith- Leave Your Lover

If you have not released your self in to the somber, soulful tides of the ocean that is Sam Smith’s voice you are doing your self a disservice. Listen to any of his songs off of In the Lonely Hour, I’m begging you.

November Walk the Moon- Shut Up and Dance

Do it.

December Karina Mia- Christmas Sweaters

Cutest freaking christmas song ever. Why does this only have 150 views on youtube?

Halloween Was Bomb/Hello, World!

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Goodbyes are tough, but hellos are just as hard, in our humble opinion. After all, first impressions can determine whether or not someone will become your new best pal or, as is more likely in our case, think we’re total loonies and run screaming in the opposite direction. Plus there is just so much to say, and there’s no bloody way we could possibly narrow it down to the 2-3 brief paragraphs you’ve got time to read! So instead of trying to come up with some sort of clever introductory post, we thought we’d give you guys a peek at what our apartment looked like for our first annual Halloween party (just now decided to make it a tradition, fyi). That way, if you run off screaming we can console ourselves with the fact that this was a Halloween post, and therefore ought to insight some form of terror in the heart of its beholder.

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“Poison” candy apples (while not fatal, they will turn your poop black and probably give you cavities. YUM.)
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Seriously, how cute are these angry little guys? SO CUTE RIGHT?! SO CUTE.
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Paying homage to school and city with a pumpkin barfing spinach artichoke dip. It was warm, and it was yummy.

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Most of the decorations are DIY and all of the treats are homemade, because well, Pinterest.  Needless to say, it was pretty awesome for something thrown by a trio of perpetually underfunded college students, and we’re happy with how it turned out. How did you all celebrate Halloween? Give us all the scary, sordid details!

*Photo Cred goes to Kristin Garcia, dear friend and total babe.