June 1st marks exactly one year since The Big Quit aka my entrance into the wonderfully chaotic world of self-employment. I'm going to sit down to reflect on everything that's happened this weekend because I'm someone who loves to celebrate the process, from disappointments and lessons to the big wins and small details. One of the most exciting things that happened recently was our feature on Camille Styles. Not like I haven't talked about it enough! It's just one of those websites that I've looked up to for so long, but I never imagined I'd be on. Camille created such a great platform based on her style. And not only that, she's opened doors for many and continues to gracefully build her business with a small but powerful team. There are so many trailblazers on the web today, so the opportunity to share my life with my two greatest loves Josh + Jameson on her site? Thanking my lucky stars.
Travel is always a luxury but when you live in New Orleans, it's hard not to want to stay here all of the time. Even though Josh and I have aimlessly wandered this city for over ten years together, it just doesn't get old. Partially because we're simple at heart (we could never have a reality show because we're that boring) but also because there's always something new to discover. The best way for us to tap into our local wanderlust? A good old fashioned staycation. To prepare: find a pet sitter (thanks sis!), leave the laptop at home, clear out the schedule, and settle into a good hotel.
I'm particularly picky about hotels in New Orleans. Most of the 'good ones' are so old I get allergies from the dusty sheets and they can be a bit pretentious. I just want a hotel that offers crisp white sheets and a buzzing but not tacky environment in a great location. Enter: The AC Hotel Bourbon. To clarify, it's not located on Bourbon Street, which is actually a great thing, but right on the cusp of Canal Street between the Warehouse District and The French Quarter.
We instantly felt the European influences the minute we checked in. Super relaxed vibe, a buzzing bar, simple stylish rooms, and all of the necessary amenities without anything being overdone, and of course, very hospitable hosts. Just our cup of tea before we set out for a day of drinking and exploring. The beds proved incredibly effective as we slept for more hours than we'd like to admit! And woke up to the ideal European breakfast: freshly shaved prosciutto, real French croissants, and strong black coffee. J'adore!
The AC Hotel Bourbon
221 Carondelet Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Real French croissants + slice your own prosciutto at the breakfast bar
Craft cocktails on tap. The daily 5 o'clock toast is a great time to try a drink on the house and meet people.
Walk directly to the French Quarter, stroll Royal Street, day drink on Bourbon, relax on the rooftop deck, grab a latte from Merchant right next door
If there's any dessert I could eat for the rest of my life, it would be affogato. Whoever first thought about topping creamy gelato or ice cream with a shot of espresso was a genius because affogato ends every meal on a clean note without taking things overboard. Thank you Italy! We don't have cookies or cakes hanging around the apartment, but ice cream? Ice cream is abundant. Because I don't have an espresso maker, I usually have to bolt to the coffee shop to buy a shot of espresso, but one day my nifty Vietnamese espresso press/filter stood out as a perfect companion to a single-serving affogato. And then, I had some crushed pistachios hanging around from that DIY eclair bar and discovered the magic that happens when I let my kitchen guide creations. Vanilla bean ice cream drizzled with coffee (or espresso) and topped with crushed, salted pistachios = BOOM. I am not over-exaggerating when I say this is simplicity in its best dessert form. If you don't feel like going through the fuss at home, go to your neighborhood ice cream parlor and ask for this combo. They might look at you funny, but you'll be in oh-my-yum happiness!
Vanilla Bean Affogato Topped with Crushed Pistachios
French Market Coffee dark roast ground coffee, one single serve cup or 3 tbsp
Vanilla bean ice cream
Handful of shelled roasted & salted pistachios
Tools: Vietnamese Filter Set or coffee maker
1. If using the Vietnamese press, add three tablespoons ground coffee into the filter or one single serving pack. Fill with water and let filter for 5 minutes. Otherwise, make coffee with your coffee maker as usual.
2. Place pistachios in a bowl and using a heavy bottle or spoon, crush the pistachios until you get crumbly pieces. Other ideas: use the trusty mortar and pesto or a rolling pin.
3. Scoop vanilla bean ice cream into a dish, pour over coffee, and top with crushed pistachios.