I love matcha. I drink it every morning. Sometimes I drink two matcha lattes — those are usually the days that Kal woke up early. For me, it gives me the caffeine I need without having to choke down a cup of coffee. I had a brief stint loving coffee (in a macchiato form at least) but I overdid it and now have returned to my rejection of working America's fuel. I will admit, though, that making a cup of coffee in the morning takes a whole lot less time then constructing a matcha latte. But today I wanted to bring you my at-home essentials for an easy energy boost whenever you're looking for something different.
My first essential is this here matcha maker. With the shaker attachment, this bottle easily breaks up any matcha chunks and froths up the drink a little bit. I just pour hot water in over a tablespoon of matcha powder and shake until it's blended. Then I pour some coconut milk on top to give it a touch of sweetness. Depending on what kind of matcha powder I have, I sometimes add some local honey to help sweeten it as well.
I've tried several matcha powders but my favorite is the Wild Honey flavor from David's Tea. I think it has just enough sweetness that helps dilute the earthy taste that matcha can sometimes have. I don't feel like I need to add any sweetener to that specific one. I also like the Golden Turmeric flavor from David's Tea if I'm looking for something with a little kick.
What's your favorite energy-boosting drink? Let me know in the comments!
I have spent the last four and a half years in and around downtown Naperville, and I've had a lot to eat. Today, to celebrate Naperville Restaurant Week, I'm sharing my top 5 places to eat when you're in downtown Naperville. If you're looking for a place to eat this weekend, consider this your Halle-approved restaurant guide for DT Naperville.
Egg Harbor Café
It's only natural to start with "the important mell of the day," as my brother put it when he was 5 years old. If I'm up early enough to find a parking spot in downtown and make it to breakfast, Egg Harbor Café is my favorite place to stop. My favorite things to order are the crepes or the avocado toast (white girl alert). They also have a great little coffee bar that has your classic lattes and cappuccinos as well as seasonal drinks.
The Craftsman by Two Brothers
I have frequented this spot in Naperville ever since it opened. This three story building has a coffee shop on the ground floor, a restaurant on the second and a cocktail bar on the third level. Pre-baby, I was in the coffee shop all the time drinking copious amounts of matcha and working on the blog, a paper for school or just hanging out and reading a book. The second floor features a farm-to-table menu for both lunch and dinner that changes seasonally. I've never been disappointed by a meal there. They have a great prix fixe menu for Naperville Restaurant Week. Nolan and I stopped in on Monday for dinner. We both started with the soup which was a vegetable soup and then I ordered the beef cheek bolognese for my entree. Nolan got the lamb shank and said it was the best one he's ever had. For dessert I had the caramel cheesecake which was delicious. Unfortunately the dessert options were not gluten-free but they accommodated Nolan and gave him the ice cream of his choice. And before you finish up your visit, I definitely recommend checking out the third floor. While the cocktails can get pricey, they're definitely good. Instead of hitting the third floor on our way out, we grabbed some drinks down in the cafe to warm us up.
MidiCi the Neapolitan Pizza Co.
This is one of Nolan's favorites because of their gluten-free pizza. For those who don't know us well, Nolan has a gluten allergy so it's important to us to find places that have good GF options and a clean environment. We figured out that he was getting micro-glutened every time he ate a Culver's concrete mixer so now I make it clear that he has an allergy so we can avoid him getting sick. What's great about MidiCi is that they have a great GF pizza and keep it seperate from the regular dough so there's no risk of cross-contamination. We've gotten pizza there several times and have never had a problem. We were excited to stop in for dinner on Tuesday and try out their restaurant week menu that included a scoop of gelato after my margherita pizza (my personal favorite.)
Fat Rosie's Taco and Tequila Bar
I experienced the tequila part of Fat Rosie's on Tuesday with a complimentary tequila shot. It's definitely been awhile since I've taken one of those. But anyways, their tacos are straight fire emoji. This new restaurant is already making a splash in downtown. The great thing about Mexican food is that it's usually made with corn tortillas which are safe for Nolan. We tasted some taquitos, a salad, tacos a burrito, tres leches and flan on Tuesday for $15 a piece. Seriously, restaurant week menus are killing it on prices and food right now so go try some of these places before the specials end on February 3. What was awesome was that everything besides the steak burrito was gluten free so Nolan got to even try the tres leches at the end. We also got drinks as well — Nolan had the mango margarita, which he loves, and I had the white sangria, though I think that the red is definitely better.
SixtyFour - A Wine Bar
I had to end this post with my former employer, SixtyFour. Working at a wine bar is fun because you get to try a lot of wine... working at a wine bar while pregnant sucks because you have to watch everyone else try wine while you drink copious amounts of water. Anyways, Nolan and I still like to stop in every now and then to say hi to our friends and try out new wines or get a glass of our favorites. Nolan loves Groth and I'm a fan of any Spanish red, though I've been getting Juggernaut lately when we go in. Seriously, it's so good. Just try a glass. If you don't know about the concept, there are four wine stations where you can choose to get a 1 oz., 3 oz. or 6oz. pour of wine. It's a great way to try out different wines and find out what you like. Each wine is individually priced as well and pours are tracked on a wine card so you are in control of the wine drinking experience. They have a prix fixe dinner menu for restaurant week, but I'd say skip that and get a cheese and charcuterie board to go with your wine. If you do want to try out the menu, go with the duck risotto, a favorite of mine and Nolan as well since it's a GF-friendly dish.
Be sure to check out all the options Naperville has to offer for restaurant week at dinenaperville.com before the specials end next weekend.
See you back here on Tuesday for a winter styling post!