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Everyday Entertaining

Everything You Need to Make Coffee Shop Coffee At Home

The Secret Tools Behind a Barista-Approved Cup of Jo
Filed Under > Entertaining

Coffee shop architecture, Waiting on MarthaStumptown coffee New Orleans, Waiting On MarthaMorning coffee moments, Waiting on Martha

I don’t know about you, but I can never make a cup of jo at home the way they do at my favorite coffee shops.  I thought a lot about that when we were in New Orleans a few weeks ago and made our way into this gorgeous Stumptown Coffee location.  

So naturally, I came home and did some research, and can say that I think I got to the bottom of what it takes to make barista-approved coffee. A few tools are needed, yes, but deciding on which ones you should buy depends on how much of a coffee purist you really are.  A Keurig is a really great option for those of you that simply want a quick cup, while a Nespresso machine is perfect for an espresso like you’d order at your favorite cafe.  But you may not want either; a French press is for the self-proclaimed coffee snot (I say this lovingly…I know many), while an Aeropress claims to brew a cup that’s even more pure!  If you’re a cold brew kinda person, this iced coffee maker will be your new best friend.  Lastly, a great frother is an absolute must for any latte (and latte art if you’re feeling extra creative)…most are affordable but I’ve gone through so many that I think it’s worth an investment for a good one.  

The list of course goes on, and I’ve broken it down in detail below.  But I’d love to know: what kind of coffee drinker are you?  Do you swear by any of these essentials?  Cheers friends, Kat
   

A Grinder

KitchenAid® Coffee and Spice Grinder

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When you find great coffee you love, there’s a good chance it’s in whole bean form. You’re going to need a strong grinder to get those beans in the form of grounds to brew your cup of coffee.  We’re big fans of this one by KitchenAid to do the heavy lifting. 

An Airtight Container to Store Beans

Airscape Stainless-Steel Storage Container

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Making a proper cup of coffee starts with good beans, if we’re being honest here.  And in order to store your beans (and their grounds) at their best quality, use an airtight container. It will extend the shelf life and further the flavor. 

A Quick One-Cup Coffee Maker

Keurig® K55 Elite Brewing System in Black

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When you just want a good cup of coffee quickly in the morning or during your afternoon slump, this Keurig does the trick.  It keeps the process super simple, the cleanup minimal, and is perfect if you don’t want to find yourself with leftover coffee in a pot. 

A Quick Espresso-Maker

Nespresso® VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Maker

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If you’re looking to make a quick cup of espresso, you really need this machine.  Well scratch that, it makes cappuccino, coffee AND espresso. This is your best bet for coffee shop coffee at home, in my humble opinion. 

We’ve gushed about the Nespresso VertuoLine for caramel iced coffee, chocolate espresso cake and the best ever holiday coffee

The French Press

Bonjour® Monet French Press

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Here’s to you, coffee purists.  I know this is the way to do it right.  A French press is an at-home coffee staple.  It’s the key tool to manually brewing a rich, strong and smooth coffee by simply pouring boiling water on top of the grounds.  The method helps the grounds retain their oils for an amazing cup each any every time. 

The Aeropress

Aeropress Coffee Maker

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My favorite coffee shop has an Aeropress coffee item on their menu.  I had to figure it out, and discovered the Aeropress coffee maker.  This is an amazing option for the coffee lover that doesn’t need the fuss of a French press, but still appreciates great coffee on the go.  The Aeropress claims to brew an even smoother cup than the French press does, and includes an easier and less messy cleanup.  It only takes about a minute to brew a cup of coffee or 1-3 shots of espresso. 

A Frother

Rösle Frother

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This magical tool is a must-have for any kind of latte (even and especially a matcha tea latte!). I’ve tried several frothers in the past, and they all have turned out to be quite dinky, so I definitely think you get what you pay for with these.  I’d suggest a higher quality one like this one to last a few seasons of coffee brewin’. 

A Cold Brew Maker

Primula® 50 oz. Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker

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I used to think that I could simply make cold brew by pouring hot coffee over ice. But a proper cold brew will use simple steeping in a coffee maker like this one to bring out all the good flavors in coffee.  The steeping actually works to eliminate the bitter, almost-burnt taste you can sometimes get from pouring hot coffee over ice. 

I like how you can customize the flavor with one of these, AND the maker seconds as a pitcher to serve once you brew.  Bonus!

Photography, Haley Sheffield for Waiting on Martha

10 Block Party Essentials to See Summer Off in Style

A checklist of must-haves for your outdoor bash
Filed Under > Everyday Entertaining

This week we’ve had a blast sharing scenes from our end-of-summer block party with Pottery Barn, along with a few of our favorite fuss-free finger food recipes and a super refreshing mocktail/cocktail.  We already hit the basics you’ll want to have at your own outdoor bash, but we wanted to round up a final checklist today for you as well.  You’ve got the comfy chairs and pillows covered, but you don’t want to forget about the great playlist, string lights and games.  Click on the image above to scroll through the slideshow of our top 10 block party essentials. Cheers, Kat

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String Lights

String Lights

It's a given that string lights make every outdoor experience more magical, and a block party is no exception.

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Lounge Chairs + Pillows

Lounge Chairs + Pillows

You want everyone to feel like they can stay awhile, so stock up on the comfy lounge chairs and pillows.

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An Outdoor Patio Set

An Outdoor Patio Set

One great patio set is all you really need to set up a food station since the evening won't call for a full sit-down meal.

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Fuss-Free Finger Food

Fuss-Free Finger Food

The key to a great block party is an easy menu full of food you can grab-and-go. Healthy homemade dips are great options, as well as gourmet (but simple!) sandwiches.

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A Mocktail (Easily Turned Cocktail)

A Mocktail (Easily Turned Cocktail)

Whip up a refreshing batch drink that everyone at the party can enjoy (and can easily turn into a cocktail with a little vodka). We're huge fans of Arnold Palmers & John Daly's, and this new Citrus Cooler is one you'll want to try STAT too.

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A Cooler

A Cooler

Keep cool things cool with a galvanized tin party tub or traditional cooler.

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Easy Desserts

Easy Desserts

Find ways to serve sweet treats that are easy to enjoy and mess-free. Watermelon on popsicle sticks and freeze pops are great options!

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Good Tunes

Good Tunes

Crank the summer playlists for everyone to hear with these storage cubes with portable speakers or your favorite Bluetooth player.

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Outdoor Games

Outdoor Games

Great outdoor games like ladder toss and bocce ball can easily be set up in the neighboring yards at the block party for kids and adults alike.

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DIY Activities

DIY Activities

Consider simple ways to incorporate DIY crafts like a Paint & Plant station for the little ones.

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Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

End-of-Summer Block Party with Pottery Barn: Part 2

Fuss-Free Finger Food and Fun DIY Activities for All
Filed Under > Everyday Entertaining

Outdoor entertaining ideas via @waitingonmarthaDIY paint and plant activity, @waitingonmarthaPottery Barn teepee at an end-of-summer block party, @waitingonmartha Healthy block party food ideas, @waitingonmartha DIY plant activity, @waitingonmartha Kids DIY ideas, @waitingonmartha Pottery Barn outdoor entertaining inspiration, @waitingonmarthaDIY paint & plant idea, @waitingonmarthaOutdoor entertaining essentials, Waiting on Martha Watermelon on popsicle sticks, @waitingonmarthaHow to host an end of summer block party, @waitingonmartha

Yesterday we invited you to join in on the fun at our end-of-summer block party with Pottery Barn. With great grub and fun activities for kids of all ages, who could ever say no to a carefree block party bash?  But I know what you’re thinking: it’s hot (like really hot) and hot doesn’t always work hand-in-hand with “carefree.”  As someone who’s already counting down until fall, I hear you.  But good news: it IS possible to keep the menu easy and light, while simple DIYs can keep even the busiest of bodies busy so you can enjoy a refreshing drink or two.  I think we can all cheers to that! 

When I set up our block party, I knew I wanted to keep things comfortable, casual and laid-back. That, of course, was thanks to PB’s cozy chairs, pillows and outdoor dining set, but it was also thanks to the fuss-free food we served: my take on The Cuban and pimento cheese and tomato sandwiches (see both recipes below), homemade potato chips (because what’s a block party without chips!) and healthy-ish dips with fresh veggies and fruit.  Along with all the finger food I whipped up a super refreshing Citrus Cooler mocktail (recipe below) that could easily become booze infused with a shot or two of vodka.  

For dessert, I stuffed a bin full of ice and freeze pops, plus put watermelon slices onto popsicle sticks for the perfect dessert al fresco.  By keeping the menu super simple, and asking everyone to pitch in, no one’s stressed to whip up an over-the-top dish.  

But a block party isn’t all about the food (though it’s a big part), so I also set up a few simple DIY activities for kids of all ages to enjoy.  I think the biggest mistake people make when pulling together something like this block party is overthinking the agenda and spending too much money on what you think the kids will do.  The beauty of a block party, after all, is that it’s an excuse for everyone to come together and do their own thing…kids will be running around, teens will probably just want to hang out, and adults will be catching up (while trying to keep an eye on the little ones).  

With all this in mind, I set up an easy DIY crafts table for the little ones with all the makings of a paint-and-plant station.  We brought small terracotta pots labeled with each kids’ name (gorgeously handwritten by Jenn Gietzen) for them to paint all over, as well as organic potting soil and a few pre-potted (and hardy) herbs like mint, rosemary and thyme the kids can watch grow inside all year long.  The supplies can be kept simple (all you’ll need are a few colors of acrylic paint and paint brushes) and cleanup shouldn’t be overwhelming since it’s outside.  And since we had kids of all ages at the block party, I set up a table with colored beads for the teens to create DIY beaded bracelets.  We separated each color family into different dishes, making it easy for everyone to fight over the prettiest beads to add to their arm stacks. 

Check out the recipes for two fuss-free sandwiches and our Citrus Cooler mocktail (easily turned cocktail) below, and tell me what you’ll be serving at your end-of-summer block party!  Truly, MKR 

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The Cuban
Serves 15
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Ingredients
  1. 3 loaves French Bread
  2. Salami
  3. Ham
  4. Fresh mozzarella, 1/4 inch slices
  5. Dijon mustard
  6. Bread & Butter pickles
  7. Skewer sticks or toothpicks, to serve
Instructions
  1. Slice bread in half lengthwise.
  2. Assemble salami, ham and fresh mozzarella onto loaves of bread.
  3. Smear dijon mustard onto upper pieces of bread.
  4. Slice loaf into individual sandwiches (4-5 per loaf).
  5. Skewer stick each sandwich with toothpick and pickle to serve.
Notes
  1. You'll generally get 4-5 sandwiches per loaf of bread.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
Pimento Cheese & Tomato Sandwich
Serves 15
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For sandwiches
  1. 3 loaves French Bread
  2. 3 large bistec Tomatoes, cut into thin slices
  3. Pimento cheese
  4. Skewer sticks or toothpicks
For homemade pimento cheese
  1. 1 block cheddar cheese, grated
  2. 1 block organic pepper jack, grated
  3. mayo
  4. 1/2 jar pimentos
  5. 1/2 to 3/4 cup of vegenaise or mayo
  6. salt to taste
  7. cayenne pepper (optional)
For the pimento cheese
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients and mix.*
  2. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the sandwiches
  1. Assemble 1 slice of tomato per sandwich (you'll have 4-5 sandwiches per loaf of bread) along with pimento cheese.
  2. Slice into individual pieces and skewer stick to serve.
Notes
  1. If you want your homemade pimento cheese to be smoother, put all ingredients in a food processor and blend.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/
Citrus Cooler Mocktail
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Ingredients
  1. 1-2 gallon of fresh lemonade
  2. 1 carton (59 oz) of fresh orange juice
  3. 2-3 cups fresh lime juice
  4. 6 cups club soda
  5. fresh lime and lemon slices, to garnish
  6. mint, to garnish
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients in a large punch bowl or beverage dispenser with ice. Add lime and lemon slices to garnish and serve.
Waiting on Martha http://waitingonmartha.com/

PHOTOGRAPHY, RUSTIC WHITE FOR WAITING ON MARTHA  |  VENUE, SUMMEROUR STUDIO  |  HAND LETTERING, JENN GIETZEN | THIS POST WAS IN COLLABORATION WITH POTTERY BARN, POTTERY BARN KIDS AND POTTERY BARN TEEN, ALL BRANDS WE LOVE AND ADORE.  ALL OPINIONS ARE 100% OUR OWN. 

AS PICTURED: PATIO UMBRELLA | PATIO SET (ON SALE!) | WICKER BAR CONSOLE (ON SALE!) | WICKER ACCENT TABLES (ON SALE!) KIDS GINGHAM ARMCHAIR | PEACE SIGN PILLOW | POM POM STORAGE BASKET | JUTE RUG | NAVY POLKA DOT BEAN BAG CHAIRS | PINK AND WHITE THROW PILLOW | RAINBOW THROW PILLOW | TASSEL LUMBAR PILLOW | NAVY DUFFEL BAG (ON SALE!) | TEEPEE | STORAGE CUBE | KIDS TABLE | KIDS DINING CHAIRS | STRING LIGHTS

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