The Day He Bought A Coffee Stand…

Two years ago I went to my grandmother’s house for Fourth of July. The girls always go to their Dads for the 4th and Mike had a big tournament – so I took the opportunity to unplug for a few days and go hang with the family. While I was there I received a text from Mike and the conversation went something like this:

Mike: Hey babe, what do you think about owning a coffee stand?

Me: Mike, do you even DRINK coffee?

Mike: What does me drinking coffee have to do with me selling coffee?

Me: Well I guess that’s a good point.

That was it.

Fast forward two days when I came home, and Mike proudly announced that he had purchased the coffee stand and we had a new business to fill the fourteen seconds of spare time we had one week. Naturally I hit the ceiling over this, all the while him insisting “WE DISCUSSED IT!”

Gentlemen, can I take a moment here to say that a four sentence text exchange is NOT in fact discussing it. At all. 

But the deal was done, the purchase was made, and the ink was dry. We were now the owners of a little coffee stand inside our civic center. Two people – neither of who even drank coffee – were now in charge of serving hundreds of people for every hockey game, seminar, concert, circus – you name it.

java hut

For the first year I was pissed. Honestly. I told Mike “This thing is YOUR responsibility. I am entirely too busy to go play at your little coffee shop.” But I worked a few hockey games… then a concert or two… then Pensacon (where I hung out with James Leary all day – that was all kinds of awesome.) I began seeing the same smiling faces coming to get their warm cup of happiness before heading back down to the ice to cheer for the home team. I learned how to make Cappuccinos and Lattes and Macchiatos and Americanos… and before I knew it, I was hooked.

I now know the schedule better than Mike does – and I work every single event. The back of my Acura stays empty because several times a week I am loading it up with espresso and milk and whipped cream and Hershey’s syrup.

java

I can tell you the Ice Flyers statistics, who all will be coming to Pensacola in concert, the names of just about every employee, and exactly how to make the most amazing Hazelnut triple shot cappuccino you have ever had.

Now here I sit – two years later – feeling sad because the season is almost over. In just a few weeks I will pack up our little stand and lock everything up for the Summer. I will say goodbye to all of my friends that call me “Mrs Java Hut” and tell them to have a great Summer. And then… when the temps start dropping again… I will load up my car and happily head back to my little coffee stand to do it all over again.

Never in a million years would I have thought I would want to own a coffee stand in the Civic Center. But now it’s something I can’t imagine ever doing without.

~Lynsey

Happy New Year! Wait – Was That A Week Ago Already!?

If the first week of 2015 is any indication of how the rest of the year is going to go, I am going to need more wine… 

First of all, Happy New Year. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and rang in 2015 surrounded by loved ones. We had a nice low key New Years Eve here at the Moscato household. We went to go see Night At The Museum – which was fantastic and super sad at the same time. Robin Williams of course was phenomenal, and I can not lie and say I didn’t cry a bit at his last few lines, knowing they were some of the last ones we will ever see on the big screen. After that we had dinner at Cock of the Walk (because they have compliant stuff) and then headed home to play with sparklers. I will admit – no matter how old I get, I still love running through the yard like a fool playing with sparklers.

sparklers

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Merry Christmas from The Kittens

cat in christmas treeI have forgotten to post this the last… two years? This was the first Christmas with the kittens… however… nothing has changed.

A few weeks ago we put our Christmas tree up while the kittens stood back and scoped it out.  My plan was to leave the tree up a few days to let them get used to it and try and avoid a toppled tree.

They couldn’t care less.

The next day none of them even acknowledged the 8 foot monster of a Christmas tree in our living room.  Nothing.  Nada.

So we put lights on it.  Static lights – nothing blinky.  And I tried to pick all of the tinsel off from years past which had somehow been superglued into the needles.

Still nothing.

Thinking I had the only three cats on the planet that didn’t care about a Christmas Tree and silently rejoicing that I didnt have the little terror cats that I have heard horror stories about from so many of my friends, I decorated the tree that third night with ornaments, built a fire, sat back and watched the tree, and went to bed a happy girl.

The next morning as I was sitting in my office I heard an ornament go bouncing across the floor.  I walked into the living room to see all three cats just hanging out, grooming themselves in the living room.  Still acting completely oblivious to the tree.  So I figured one had just fallen lose from the tree… ya know, GRAVITY.

It happens.

The next morning however…. I caught Stella… red handed.  Or red pawed, as the case may be.

Here we go….good thing I had enough sense to get plastic ornaments.

Bets on how long it takes her to try and climb it?

lynseysig

Christmas Party Cocktail Recipes

With just a few weeks until Christmas, holiday parties are in full swing! Decorations, hors hors d’oeuvres, and gift exchanges will be all the talk around the water cooler. But you know what will also be talked about – the cocktails! What’s a Christmas Party with out fun and festive cocktails!? Whether you are diving out or bringing the party to the office, here are some delicious cocktail recipes that will make you the talk of the town!

bare spiced cranberry margaritas

Bare Spiced Cranberry Margaritas

Bare Organic Mixers is spicing up the holidays and decking the halls with their Spiced Cranberry Pomegranate Margarita cocktail recipe. Bare Organic Mixers are a naturally low-calorie, flavorful, organic and light tasting cocktail mixers that are made with fresh organic fruit juices and agave nectar created by Natalie Susi. Bare comes in a variety of mixers such as margarita, lemon drop and pomegranate cranberry cosmo that blend well with nearly any liquor or spirit or can also be enjoyed straight up on the rocks. All of their mixers make great tasting clean cocktails with less than half the calories without any fillers unlike other brands on the market.

cranberry margritaIngredients:

For Margaritas

  • ¼ c Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup
  • ¾ c Bare Mixer’s Pomegranate Cranberry Cosmo
  • ¼ c Bare Mixer’s Margarita
  • ¾ c Silver Tequila
  • ½ c Patron Citronage or Grand Marnier
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Sugared Cranberries
  • Green sugar for rimming glasses

For Spiced Cranberry Simple Syrup

  • 3/4 c water
  • 2/3 c agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp whole allspice
  • 2 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • One 2″ fresh nob of ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 2 c fresh cranberries, rinsed

Instructions:

For Simple Syrup

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir over low heat until combined. Raise heat and simmer the mixture for about 5-6 minutes or until the cranberries start to split. Once most have split remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid. Let sit for 2 hours for the flavors to infuse. After the two hours strain the mixture into a jar using a mesh strainer, pressing the mixture against the strainer to extract all of the flavor. Keep in a resealable container and chill completely until ready to use.

For Margaritas

  1. Dip the rim of the glasses in a shallow bowl of the simple syrup and then immediately into a shallow bowl of green dyed sugar. Let dry completely. Once dry fill the glasses with ice. In a cocktail shaker with ice add 4 Tbsp of the spiced cranberry simple syrup, the tequila, orange liqueur, Bare Mixer’s Pomegranate Cranberry Cosmo and Bare Mixer’s Margarita. Cover and shake well then strain into the 4 glasses. Taste and add more simple syrup if desired. Garnish with cinnamon sticks and sugared cranberry skewers.

candy cane coolerCandy Cane Cooler

NoMa Social is bringing in the holiday season with a Candy Cane Cooler that just screams Christmas spirit. Not only does this concoction look festive, but it decks the halls of your taste buds as well. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs crushed soft peppermint candy
  • 1½ fl oz vodka
  • splash of white creme de menthe
  • ¼ fl oz brandy
  • ½ fl oz half-and-half
  • Crushed ice
  • Peppermint stick for garnish
  • Mint sprig for garnish

Directions:

Combine the vodka and crushed peppermint.  Stir to dissolve.  Add the remaining ingredients, stir and garnish.

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Coquito – Puerto Rican Coconut Eggnog (with no eggs!!)

I have never been a fan of eggnog. There I said it. I have gone to parties where I have held the same glass all night long, choking down a few sips just to be polite. But all in all… it’s nasty. That is until I discovered Coquito – Puerto Rican Coconut Eggnog that has a totally different flavor and consistency and is absolutely delicious. And I like mine a little strong… so its dangerously delicious. But hey – its only a few times a year, right?! This year I teamed up with Blue Chair Bay for Blogtender Nation to concoct recipes with their premium blend rums, and I knew I had to make Coquito – it was PERFECT.

coquito

Now, I do not put egg in mine because… well… eww. I can not get past the idea of raw egg being in my drink, much less the taste. (Fully admitting that may be in my head) So this recipe is egg free. However there are tons of Coquito recipes that you can find with egg online that would all be great with the Blue Chair Bay Spiced Coconut Rum I am sure – but for this one – I went egg free. I also put whipped cream on mine… because it is pretty and tastes great – even though my Puerto Rican best friend looked at me like I had a third eye.

It does need to chill in the fridge for a few hours though – so be sure to mix it up before your Christmas Party begins – because once you get that first taste, you are going to want to sip it all party long. Coquito is smooth and savory, and the Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum gave it just that perfect little extra kick to bring it all together.

Coquito

Ingredients

  • 1 12oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 15oz can sweetened cream of coconut
  • 1 14oz can coconut milk
  • 3 cups Blue Chair Bay Coconut Spiced Rum
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • whipped cream (optional)

Blend all ingredients together in a large blender. If you do not have a blender large enough, you can make it in small batches and pour together into a pitcher. Seal tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. Shake well and then serve ice cold straight with cinnamon topping and whipped cream if you would like. If there are leftovers (probably not, but just sayin) they will keep for about a week if sealed tightly in the fridge. Make sure to shake well before serving.

coquito recipe

Blue Chair Bay is a collection of premium-blended rums by singer-songwriter Kenny Chesney. When Kenny Chesney asked, “How can I bottle this up?” he went looking for the last of the great authentic beachside distilleries. From down on the waterline in Barbados comes Blue Chair Bay® Rum, beach made and beach aged for when you want to kick back and let time fly. You can purchase Blue Chair Bay Premium Rums from your local liquor store or enjoy a cocktail at your favorite watering hole. And check out the Blue Chair Bay Facebook Page for even more recipes!

blue chair bay blogtender nation

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Blue Chair Bay for the purpose of this review – all opinions are my own.