Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cafecito, Cuban-Style Espresso

I have a recipe for DIY Cafecito - Cuban-style sweetened espresso - here on Melt, but I feel that the post isn't as helpful as it could be; making traditional Cafecito at home is an art. 

The first time I made Cafecito for my boyfriend, he fell in love with it. He even came up with a song - that goes something like this: One Cafecito, Two Cafecito - Oh - my Baby made for me! If something is so delicious that it brings you to sing original songs on the spot - well - then it's pretty good...

Start by gathering your tools and ingredients: sugar, Cafe Bustelo, an old-fashioned stovetop espresso maker (Bialetti), a small stainless steel pitcher, a spoon, and at least 2 espresso cups.

Fill the bottom with water - and stuff - Stuff! - the middle part with your espresso; part of what makes Cuban espresso Cuban is that it is very, very strong.

Place your espresso maker on the stove, on high heat, with the top open - so that you can see the espresso come out the top as soon as it does.

Now prepare your pitcher with sugar - about 1/4 to a 1/3 of a cup - and place your spoon in. The other part of what makes Cuban espresso Cuban is that it is sweetened - but in a specific way, so that a coffee "cream" is formed at the top.

To make this "cream" - as soon as the espresso starts to come out on the top of your Bialetti - remove it from the heat - and pour just a bit on top of your sugar. This espresso that comes out first is the darkest and thickest. BE CAREFUL not to put too much - eyeball about a teaspoon at a time - until the sugar is moistened just enough to make a paste when you stir it (like above). It's ends up being about a tablespoon, total. Place the Bialetti back on the burner - with the top closed - and turn the heat off (so that it doesn't boil and burn); the espresso will continue to come out on top. While that wraps up - mix and mix your sugar in the small pitcher, with your spoon, as hard and fast as you can, making a thick paste - that is light brown; try to get it as light as possible. 

Now - pour the rest of the espresso on top of the sugar/espresso paste.

You can pour a cup - and use your spoon to scoop a bit of that "cream" off of the top - if you'd like.

Be sure not to consume more than an espresso cup of this Cafecito (which just means "little coffee") - because if you're not used to it, you will become quite hopped up, and the next thing you know, you'll be writing your own Cafecito song.

Oh yeah - this is Melt's 100th Post! I love Cafecito so much, that I thought it would be perfect for celebrating my 100th fabulous blog post...

You may also enjoy...

Hometown Love (a bit on Miami - and Chicago!)

and the Cubanisimo Wine Review (the best Wine I've ever had!)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

How to: Blazer with Shorts, for Summer

I am a BIG FAN of the Blazer - I have been on the search for the perfect Blazer for myself for a very long time. Just like finding a Good Man, I have not had any luck. 

I know that the Blazer is a timeless - almost all occasion piece - but seeing it worn with shorts made me realize that it's also fit for any season. A lightweight, light colored Blazer, paired with shorts, is the perfect Summer look. Chrissy Teigen graced Cosmopolitan in June (2014!) in more than one Blazer look, but this pink one was perfect - perfectly pink!

Mary Kate in this slightly oversized (perfect shade of blue) Blazer is the Blazer with Shorts-look perfected; she also did this in 2011 - what skill for effortless style she possesses!

To recreate the Look, choose a Blazer of your choice - one that flatters you and treats you well - worn over a simple black tank, not-too-short classic jean shorts, and simple black heels. You may also accessorize with lightweight gold or silver jewelry and a simple handbag. The only statement piece should be the Blazer!

If you're not a color person, then just wear a black (or white) Blazer with jean shorts. The Damsel in Dior wore ripped jean shorts and she looks really good - it's very Summer-friendly!

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Creamy Blue Cheese Broccoli, over Pasta

I'm crushing on Broccoli. And Blue Cheese. SO - I threw 'em together on a whim and created an amazing dish that became an instant new favorite. This Creamy Broccoli and Blue Cheese, over Pasta, is definitely part of my regular repertoire, now!

(Awesome Sauce) Creamy Blue Cheese Broccoli and Cauliflower, over Ziti Rigatoni

2 heaping cups Broccoli, 1 heaping cup Cauliflower, 1/4 cup of crumbled Blue Cheese, 1/4 cup of milk (of choice), 1/4 cup of olive oil, a dash of kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper; cooked pasta - I used Ziti Rigatoni

Simply combine the ingredients into a large or medium frying pan, on medium high heat, and cook until the broccoli and cauliflower soften and the creamy blue cheese sauce reduces (it will become a creamy sauce, coating your veggies, instead of being watery) - it takes about 15 minutes. You may enjoy your Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower as a side, as a snack, or on top of Pasta.

It's really my new favorite - what a Happy, Happy Summer!

You may also enjoy...

10 Sweet Mojito Variations

and 8 Ideas for your Buffalo Cravings