High Five Fridays: Easy Livin’featured

It’s summertime and the livin is easy. This week’s recipes are all about big flavors with little effort so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time playing outside! Low effort, high reward, that’s what I’m talking about. Have a great weekend, friends!

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Kahlúa Vietnamese Iced Coffeefeatured

If you know me, you know that I love my morning coffee. It’s a little luxury that just makes me happy…and keeps me from turning into a cranky zombie monster. Don’t deny me my coffee. It’s not pretty. I try to limit it to one a day, but sometimes that afternoon slump hits and the work is piled high, and it just has to be a two-cupper. That’s when iced coffee is my savior, especially during the summertime.

Kahlúa invited me to take part in their Summer Shake-Up campaign, inspiring fans of the classic rum and coffee liqueur to shake things up this season. We entertain a lot over here at Lick My Spoon HQ and I love to surprise guests with fun twists on classics. I’ve always reserved Kahlúa for warm winter holiday cocktails, but why pigeonhole this versatile liqueur? Over the next few months, I’ll be sharing some fun entertaining and cocktailing inspiration, using Kahlúa in unexpected ways.

First up in the cocktail arena is this Kahlúa-spiked Vietnamese iced coffee! Your new summer bestie.

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Whipped Coconut Creamfeatured

This Whipped Coconut Cream is a game changer! The idea first caught my eye ages ago on Angela’s vegan blog and I don’t know what took me so long to finally try it, but now that I have, I’m making up for lost time. It is absolute perfection over fresh berries and some crumbled meringues on top. It’s amazing with my favorite Coconut Cashew Granola. I’ve even been adding a spoonful to my morning coffee! I’m telling you, obsessed.

This whipped coconut cream is so creamy and decadent, you’d never guess it’s dairy-free. It is so downright delicious I think I even prefer it to regular whipped cream. It’s actually much more convenient to whip up on the fly too. I don’t always have heavy whipping cream in the fridge, but I always try to keep a few cans of coconut cream in stock.

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Quinoa Salad with Spring Vegetables and Fridgie Confessionsfeatured

Last week I was invited to House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year cooking demo at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase. Each year, the decorator showcase selects a home in SF and gives it an insane makeover, assigning a different room to a different local designer to transform. This year’s home was a historic 1907 beauty in Presidio Heights, valued at oh, you know, just a cool $18 million.

Needless to say, I was all about the kitchen. The swoon-worthy kitchen was created by Steven Miller Design Studio and outfitted in Whirlpool‘s sleek Black Ice Collection. The kitchen featured the coolest textured wall paper I’ve ever seen (gun metal grey “fish scales” that caught the light just so), and whoa, can we talk about that gorg herringbone tile backsplash? Also, Miller’s vision was to bring some of the vibrant greenery from the gardens into the kitchen, so there are some living accents…like an indoor fig tree! Ridiculous.

I managed to stop pawing the fig tree for a brief moment to direct my attention to the cooking demo at hand. Robin Song of Hog & Rocks showed us how to make a lovely Quinoa Salad. It’s not every day I get excited over a quinoa salad, but this one is really worth sharing. It’s full of spring goodies like asparagus, fava beans, and snap peas, and has a great balance of flavors and textures, but the game changer for me was his treatment of the lemon in it.

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