How to make good coffee at home | @thefauxmartha

There are more important things that need protecting in this world than my morning coffee routine. But I protect it because there are more important things in this world. Coffee fuels those efforts. Quick and fast are heralded words these days. I like to apply those terms to my weeknight dinners. But with a new day soon to be swept away with 10,000 to-dos, I like to start my mornings slow. With pour over coffee that requires a quiet and steady attention. Hallie now knows our coffee time is sacred time. She pulls out two enamel mugs from the drawer. “Oh, here you go mommy.” We cheers with our pretend coffee while I continue attending to the real coffee. This all started after going to a coffee cupping, much like a wine tasting, during our time in Chicago. I fell in love with the nuances in flavor and the brewing technique. I’ve been making pour over coffee since, 3+ years and counting. Here’s a guide to making really good coffee at home. Read more

How to Host a Fancy Brunch | @thefauxmartha

Over the holidays, my siblings and siblings-in-law were all in one place for a brief second. You could call it a Christmas miracle. We pounced on the opportunity to have brunch together, a fancy one. I’m a plain white tee and jeans kinda girl, but every once in a blue moon, life calls for a shiny gathering with breakable dishes and real napkins, around a table almost too pretty to sit at. Almost. Here’s how we threw a fancy, picture-worthy brunch (video and bloopers included). Read more

It may be the end of the season, but I’ve finally figured out how to cut watermelon without chopping off my fingers. For years I’ve shied away from buying them until I finally realized to cut it as I would cut anything round (from a carrot, to a butternut squash, to a watermelon). Always start by giving yourself a flat edge. Then liberally trim off the skin. The white and light pink meat hold very little flavor. Continue by dicing small portions at a time, always rocking and rotating to give yourself a flat surface.

My Smoothie King days taught me more than just how to make a good smoothie. They taught me how to clean a blender like a pro. (Adding that one to my resume.) Just after using your blender, lightly rinse with water. Fill basin about a quarter of the way full with hot water and a squirt of soap. Secure lid and blend on high for about 30 seconds. The soap and the steam will do the work. Rinse. Repeat as needed.

To bring butter to room temperature quicker, cut it into tablespoons or cubes. The more surface area you expose, the faster it will reach the desired temperature. The same method holds true when melting butter over the stove or in the microwave.

Skip the mess of deseeding pomegranates. Add two cut and stretched pom halves into ziplock bags before deseeding. Smack the peel of the pomegranate with the back of a wooden spoon, releasing just enough for your desired serving. Store in the fridge. Repeat as needed.

Music by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. Winter Song.