COFFEE TALK

Hey there friend!  Do you have your iced coffee in hand?  Oh, you are already on your third cadbury egg of the day?  Well played, well played. 

{Pedantic Foodie}
These pretty little eggs were hand-painted by my cousin.  She's amazing.

Over the past eight days Norwyk Manor has gone through a rigorous process my mother used to call “spring cleaning.”  It feels like my little abode went on a juice cleanse. The sock drawer opens without coaxing and no longer makes me nauseous.  The sweaters have been packed away and the sundresses hung in deliberate rainbow order.  The floor of Mr. Pedantic’s vehicle is actually visible now that I finally bid those lifeless after-wedding balloons goodbye.  It has felt so good.  So much better than a juice cleanse actually feels and far less painful.  I am even getting better at purging.  I mean, I still cringed when I had to throw away the empty toiletries we had taken on our honeymoon, but I did it and that is what matters.  Sentiment versus minimalism - it’s my constant battle. 

So...Easter!  It's been the primary topic around here all week.  Are you hosting or attending this year? I heard tell that my aunt is making that retro strawberry jello/pretzel dessert and that is pretty much the most exciting news I have heard all month. 

I am not sure if I will actually get around to painting eggs this year.  I think I lost track of time with all of the cleaning and organizing and now I am wondering if it is too late.  Nonetheless, I was ogling ideas on Pinterest and these were my top favorites. (One, two & three.)

I am not generally one for gimmicky desserts, but even I must admit that these pavlovas are pretty adorable.

I felt affirmed in my affections when I read this.  That is, without a doubt, my favorite butter.  Also, why have I never done a butter tasting?  Bucket list. 

I told you the obsession was inevitable… I really want to try this Honeydew-Basil Agua Fresca.

Nothing excites me more than learning a new piece of culinary heritage.  This article was wonderfully written.  On a similar note, I think I may need to add this book to my library. 

These tiny Easter cakes have been calling my name all week.  Petit fours are one of my greatest weaknesses but I have never delved into making them myself.  Spring project?

Is your ham ready to bake?  Are you making this quiche for breakfast or this cake for dessert?  Whatever you are doing this weekend, I hope it involves much celebration, food and family.  Happy, happy Easter!

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie

 

[ Easter Brunch pt. 2. ] Agua Fresca from Over Easy

At this point (many Easters ago) my siblings and I would have begged my mother to her breaking point and gone into full egg-stuffing mode.  

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

We used to have quite the grandiose egg hunts on my family's humble two acres, and once the eggs were pulled out of the barn loft and the candy bought, we would not stop pestering my mother for the task of stuffing them.  We would take solemn vows against eating the candy while stuffing, but our thrill in the job was by no means dimmed.  My sister and I grabbed our favorite colors - hers purple and mine chartreuse - leaving the unwanted eggs for our compliant younger brother.  

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

I took pride in matching the candy to the eggs and we would excitedly make "bonus eggs" that contained just shy of the number of jelly beans that would keep the egg from closing. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

Easter was always joyous, but not because of the new dresses, or the thrilling hunts, or my grandmother's succulent, glazed hams, but because our parents never let us forget that those traditions were just that - traditions, and we were going to church that morning to celebrate something far greater. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

Earlier this week, I shared the recipe for this quiche and suggested it as a possible Easter morning option.

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

Today, on this very fine Wednesday, I am giving you the perfect spring drink to serve alongside it! 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

This recipe also comes from Over Easy.  One of my favorite parts of Joy's newest book is the beverage section.  I love all of the fun and inventive beverage options she gives, and I especially appreciate the pairing suggestions.  She does our thinking for us. 

Up until last week, I had never made any form of agua fresca before, but when I saw the ridiculously simple ingredient list, I decided I had no excuse. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

So, what is agua fresca?  Well it is a little more than its translation would suggest.  I mean, that would be a little boring. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

Agua frescas are water-based, non-alcoholic drinks that have been flavored with fruits and/or herbs and sweetened lightly. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

I have a very strong sense that you will be seeing quite a few of them this year so you may want to find your blender.  Now that I know the simplicity there is nothing stopping me from spiking every glass of water with some herbaceous fusion. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

This particular recipe called for cucumbers, pineapple, and mint.  I added a dose of fresh lime for a bit more acidity. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

I have recently realized that I prefer drinking cucumbers over eating them.  Their flavor is so refreshing. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

Let's pause to acknowledge the world's most adorable paper straws.  The pom-pom tails make my heart skip a beat.  I'm squealing as I type this. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

This lovely spring tonic can be made the night before you plan to serve it and refrigerated.  The flavors will actually improve and meld as it sits. 

A simple agua fresca made with fresh pineapple, fragrant mint, sweet cucumbers, and brightened with lime.  The perfect springtime tonic!

Simple, fruity, and perfectly refreshing.  This is the ideal pairing for your hearty breakfast quiche, and a great way to pave the way for all those cadbury eggs.  

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie


Cucumber Pineapple Agua Fresca

serves 8 / recipe from Over Easy (slightly adapted)

3 cups fresh pineapple cubes

- 1/2 english cucumber, sliced

- 10 fresh mint leaves 

- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

- 1/2 cup granulated sugar

- 5 cups filtered water 

In the base of your blender combine pineapple, cucumber, mint, lime, sugar, and 2 cups of the water.  Blend on high until very smooth.  The mixture will be quite thick.  

Transfer to a large pitcher and stir in the remaining water.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  This will give the flavors a chance to bloom and meld. 

Give the agua fresca a good stir before dispensing.  Serve over ice with cute straws and maybe a sprig of mint if you're feeling it.  Enjoy!