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THAI ICED TEA

THAI ICED TEA | Lauren Kelp

Hello! Laurel here and I am so excited to be on board with the LK team! Do you like sweet things? How about spiced things? And most importantly, do you like them….and this part really is crucial…together? Me too! Have a Thai iced tea with me, and let’s chat about this crazy concoction.

THAI ICED TEA | Lauren Kelp

Thai food came into my life pretty late in the game. I don’t remember my first serving of pad thai, my first green papaya salad, or even my first taste of spicy, rich, coconut-milk-based tom kha kai soup. But I do remember my first Thai iced tea. Tall & frosty over ice, with hints of vanilla, the sharp taste of cinnamon and other spices hidden just underneath a strong tea flavor and powerfully sweet creaminess…..it was a game changer. It was also bright orange, and was most definitely served in a plain white Styrofoam cup with a plastic lid from my nearest Thai takeout place. I was hooked instantly on this rich, yet refreshing beverage.

Many, many years later (as in, last week), I learned that the vibrant Orange Creamsicle-like hue actually comes from yellow and red food dyes traditionally added to Thai tea blends. Why bright orange? Who knows? You may notice that this recipe doesn’t call for any dyes, which means it won’t look exactly like the Thai iced tea available from your own local takeout joint. But otherwise it’s a dead ringer for the first Thai tea I ever tried, rich in steeped tea flavor, a blend of spices and vanilla and luxurious creaminess….in other words, it’s about the smoothest thing you could pour over ice and cool off with on a hot, late summer afternoon.

THAI ICED TEA | Lauren Kelp
THAI

*FIVE SPICE POWDER: This is a tasty mix of, yes, five spices—star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel seeds. It’s not expensive, so stock up for this recipe and keep it in your pantry to add interest & intrigue to stir-fries, marinades, and all kinds of other dishes

THAI ICED TEA | Lauren KelpHint: Want to take it up to yet another level? Try mixing up a batch and chilling it in ice pop molds for a perfect frozen treat.


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LAST MINUTE ADVENTURE | A DAY AT THE LAKE

CANYON0001The lazy mornings and sleepy afternoons of summer are slowly winding down, but we aren’t ready to give it up just yet! Fall is an awesome season (by far the best in Chicago, in my opinion), but there is something so fun about skipping out early on work, rounding up some friends, and heading out of town to the lake for a quick get-away!

Because we are all about celebrating the little moments, the random itches to get out of town, and the well-fed adventures, we are grabbing a few bottles of K-J AVANT, packing a delicious, no-fuss spread, and getting out of dodge — come join us!
CANYON0004So, I know most “lake day” food is comprised of hot dogs, potato chips, and other (fabulous) junk food that just tastes better when you’re out on a lake, but here is our case for a “fancy” spread – it’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s way less work.

I know it looks high maintenance, but this spread couldn’t be easier. We call it the “anything goes” spread. For the full how-to details, and a DELICIOUS melon skewer recipe, see the details HERE!
Lake Day 3 CANYON0006No one likes to be bogged down by logistics when you are trying to get on the road, so trust me when I say, this combo of vino and munchies is a slam dunk. There is no clean-up, no plates required, and everyone feels good because they’ve been snacking on peach slices instead of a million chocolate chip cookies.

What is not to love?! Grab some easy plastic wine glasses, along with a big board to serve your goodies on, and your basically the Kardashians of the lake.
Lake Day 4Also, let’s talk about something really quick – this wine, I love it. Especially for things like this! The whole “no corkscrew needed” element makes it the perfect grab and go bottle of wine & it pleases every palette!

Typically, I am not a white wine gal (much to my mother’s displeasure), but a glass of cool K-J AVANT in the summer hits the spot every time. CANYON0013Here is what I love most about a lake day getaway – the fresh air. It’s perfect and it does something to make everyone relax and have a good time. The pup is happy in the water, friends are having a great time, everyone is well-fed, it’s basically the perfect retreat.

Summer schedules are hectic, and they are about to be even more manic, but if you can swing it – be the instigator. Badger those friends so they can’t say no, call in sick from work, grab some bottles of celebratory K-J AVANT, round up your spread, and soak up the last days of summer! Lake Day 2So friends, it’s time. You’ve got the roadmap for a blissful day and the lake, what’s stopping you! Show us your spread!! Tag @LaurenKelp and @KJWines and show us your fabulous, no-fuss day at the lake!CANYON0021


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This post is sponsored by Kendall-Jackson but all thoughts, opinions, and food obsessions are our own.

HONEY ALMOND BUNDT CAKE

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

Monday’s are made for cake & we prefer this delicious almond bundt cake. Because, hello?! WHY NOT! Check out Constance’s easy, beautiful, and terrifically yummy recipe below. Try it out? Let us know! – xoxo, LK


 

Hello lovely people! Constance here! Happiest Monday to you and yours. I’m reclaiming Mondays and choosing to celebrate instead of lament. How you ask? Well, I’ve officially decided that Mondays were made for cake and with fig season in full swing, I can think of nothing better to top today’s honey almond bundt cake…or anything for that matter.

One of my absolute favorite gifts from my sweet husband was the cutest little fig tree that he planted in front of our house when I was traveling for work. He’s always been such a good gift giver, but this truly blew me away. I’m obsessed, and I cannot believe how much fruit it’s given us already!

Combine this abundance with a classic almond cake, and I’m in heaven. This delicious honey almond bundt cake is great for a shower, a birthday, any holiday, or any old Monday afternoon–your choice! Bon appétit!ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

 

 

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

 

 

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

 

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP

ALMOND BUNDT CAKE - LAUREN KELP


constanceRecipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma

THE BEST RED SANGRIA RECIPE

RED SANGRIA - Lauren Kelp

Sangria is an absolute summer staple. There is nothing quite like a cold glass full of ripe fruit to get you through those balmy July days and cooler August nights. Sangria meets everyone’s needs – the wine drinker loves it, the beer drinker enjoys it too, and for the gal that only drinks cocktails, she can’t say ‘no’ either. But with so many recipes and various iterations of this summer classic, how do you find the best one? Luckily, we’ve been hard at work here in the LK test kitchen, making batches to test-taste and perfect. Thanks to all this “hard work” we’ve found the best red sangria recipe there ever was. It’s the right amount of sweet, the perfect mélange of fruit, and it has been stamped with approval by many a summer party goer. Don’t trust us? Try for yourself. We promise – you’ll love it!

RED SANGRIA - Lauren Kelp

INGREDIENTS:

– 2 bottles of red Spanish table wine

– 1 cup of Brandy

– 1/2 cup of Triple Sec

– 1 cup of orange juice

– 1 cup of pomegranate juice

– 1/2 cup of Simple Syrup (see below)

– Orange slices

– Apple slices

– Blackberries

– Pomegranate seeds


RED SANGRIA - Lauren Kelp

DIRECTIONS:

1. SIMPLE SYRUP – Mix equal parts sugar and water in a sauce pan. Heat on medium high until sugar dissolves. Remove from burner and let the syrup cool

2. Grab a few oranges & apples (amount depends on how fruity you like your sangria and/or how many people you want to serve) and cut long-ways. Don’t think soccer practice wedges, think thinner slices.

3. Mix all ingredients together and let stand in a tightly sealed container or pitcher for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

4. Grab your favorite glasses, drop in a few ice cubes, and voila! The best sangria there ever was!

RED SANGRIA - Lauren Kelp


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HONEY ALMOND CAKE

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If you like your desserts light, tender, and with a side benefit of healthy (comparatively), this Honey Almond Cake recipe is absolutely for you. As desserts go, I don’t judge based on health benefits because, to be honest, I don’t really mind a little indulgence. Desserts are supposed to be decadent and immensely satisfying. Now, don’t get me wrong, I play it smart. I’ll absolutely pass on the less satisfying Snickers bar for the fabulous Gelato I might have later in the week, but the best part of this Honey Almond Cake recipe is that it is truly, truly divine. It’s fluffy while still maintaining lush inside & the honey glaze is simply elegant. It’s good fun to make & it will absolutely be a fast favorite!

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CAKE INGREDIENTS

2 1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons of Baking Soda
1/2 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
3/4 Cup of Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Salt
1 Cup of Honey
1 Cup of Butter (room temperature)
3 Eggs
1/2 Cup of Strong Brewed Coffee (Cold)
2 Tablespoons of Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon of Almond Extract
1 1/2 Cups of Chopped Nuts (optional)

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WARM HONEY GLAZE INGREDIENTS

1/2 Cup of Honey
2 Tablespoons of Coffee
1/2 Tablespoon of Almond Extract
Fleur de Sel

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INSTRUCTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch tube pan with non-stick cooking spray or butter and set aside.
2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter for two minutes, and add honey and sugar. Beat for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg. Add half the flour mixture, and mix until combined. Add the coffee, and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and combine. Add the sour cream and nuts, and beat until smooth.
4. Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Let the cake cool for 30 minutes before removing it from the pan.
5. Heat the honey and coffee for the glaze in a small saucepan until warm and runny. Add the almond extract and mix. While the cake is still warm, pour the honey mixture over the top.
6. Sprinkle with fleur de sel and serve warm.

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