Category Archives: Press

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails //

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails

It PAINS me to admit I have a Starbucks drink because it pains me to wait in line at Starbucks and listen to “half caff” and “macchiato” and “frappuccino,”- syrupy abominations I could stomach if the coffee weren’t so over roasted and unpalatable. Admittedly, I am what you call a coffee/coffeeshop snob. (Before you condemn me completely, I’m not alone in thinking their drinks are obnoxious.) I have principles and rules, and no matter how much I like it, I just can’t bring myself to revel in Starbuck’s stronghold on Tazo Chai unless I am:

  1. At an airport
  2. At a rest stop

I am neither of those right now.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails //

But I am resourceful! My final nudge to satisfy my chai cravings with a homemade solution came after styling the “Big Batch” article for TABLE Magazine. The article, by Jessica Server, also featured recipes for making a big batch of soup and a pancake mix. High yield recipes not only simplify weeknight menu planning, but these consolidated efforts lend themselves to my passion- entertaining.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails //

Stretching out these more intensive kitchen efforts yields more gatherings with less stress. Without having to start from scratch for each party, there’s more time to focus on other obsessive details without devolving into Mr. Hyde before guests arrive.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails //

Homemade chai concentrate not only saves me from Starbucks, but this recipe offers more opportunities to welcome friends into my home. If a big batch of chai doesn’t inspire you to host a variety of gatherings, keep reading. I’ve thought about this for you.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails //

Invite a friend over for some quality one-on-one time. Serve a pot of chai and delicacies from your favorite French bakery, or bake this apricot breakfast pastry. Make an even bigger pot of chai and warm a whole table of brunch guests with all the comforting spices. After dark, offer guests a chance to concoct their own gingerbread inspired cocktail with my favorite Snap liquor. For an even fuller bar, offer spiced rum and whiskey options too.

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails //

If I seem a tad obsessive about these “Big Batch” ideas, it’s partially because I am obsessive and partially because I spoke about them in front of a live audience! For a few more of my ideas on Big Batch entertaining and styling, check out this video from my spot on Pittsburgh Today Live with TABLE Magazine:

Happy Sipping!

Quelcy Signature

Chai Tea Concentrate for Lattes & Cocktails
Recipe adapted from the graphic food memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen by Lucy Knisley 

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My Favorite Healthy Eats for “Fittsburgh”

August 2014

For a city known for infusing salads and sandwiches with french fries and cole slaw, “dining out” and “healthy” are very rarely synonymous. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, the tables of greasy foods are turning, and there are plenty of healthier options. I recently added my two cents on this topic, and dorked out about whole grain rice, as part of a Fittsburgh blog post.

Screen shot 2014-08-12 at 9.10.11 AM

Check out the full story-
4 Pittsburgh Food Writers Spill it on Their Favorite Healthy Eats in the ‘Burgh

If you happen to be dining in Pittsburgh, check out my recommendation and enjoy a serene dinner at Pusadee’s Garden.


Here’s to Health!

A Brunch at Franktuary with Brunchburgh!

March 2014

Brunch, how do I love thee? The perfect mix of sweet and savory, the balance of mugs of uppers and bubbly downers doused in orange juice, the slow pace, the revelry, and the reviving effects of food on laziness… Brunch, I love you, and I could count the ways!

Franktuary Bar

Though I spend a lot of time thinking, writing, serving, and blogging about brunch, my passion for this portmanteau meal meets its rival in Brunchburgh, a weekly podcast which asks, “what is it like to have brunch with ______?”

Reflections and Recordings

Each week, founder Mary E. Stewart eats and records brunch with a different Pittsburgh mover and shaker [hence the “burgh” in Brunchburgh]. Listening to the show is a lot like sitting at the table with the interviewee, so don’t listen while hungry. 😉

Franktuary Pews

I was honored when Mary asked me to be a guest on the show (as if I need any extra excuse to eat brunch on a Sunday morning). The choice of “recording studio” was up to me, so I chose Frankutary, a restaurant I love but had yet to experience by morning.

Irish Whiskey Breakfast

Our Brunchburgh session happened to fall on St. Patrick Day Eve (though Pittsburghers seem to drink the entire week prior to the holiday as if every day were the “eve”). In honor of the Irish (or perhaps in honor of those hungover in honor of the Irish?), the chef at Franktuary had crafted a themed menu [fastest way to my heart is through a theme!]. Though many options were appealing, one clearly stood out amongst the rest- the Irish Whiskey Breakfast. It appealed so much, Mary broke gluten rules, and I broke my own rule of not ordering the same thing as a table mate [it’s all the better for sampling when everyone has something different].

The Irish Whiskey Breakfast Plate

If you’re curious about the above meal, how I received my name, or what it’s like to have brunch with me in general, give a listen to this episode of Brunchburgh with yours truly.


Happy Listening!

From Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog

January 2014

One of the best pieces of advice a fellow blogger gave me was to take my template, make it unique and then charge full speed ahead. I spend a lot of time on this here corner of the blogosphere, so it was important for my site to reflect me as much as my wardrobe and home do. After several iterations, the best technique was to put pencil and puns to paper. After so many hours spent with my sketchbook, I was ecstatic WordPress took note. My drawings were featured in their series Zero to Hero: 30 Days to a Better Blog on the topic of customizing a blog.

2014.01 WordPress Zero to Hero

In addition to adopting a custom detail, the Zero to Hero series has plenty of great tips no matter where you are in your blogging journey, so check it out! In the meantime, I offer you this more detailed glimpse into my head, where sweets and social media combine via mechanical pencil…


…and while we’re on the topic, do you follow me on instagram? I promise they aren’t all pictures of Julep [but full disclosure, a lot are because she is really adorable and growing up way too quickly].



Urbanist Guide Pittsburgh: Three Meals & A Bar with… Me!

January 2014

Whether you’re a native or a newcomer, there’s a really useful and [most importantly to me] a very visual guide to Pittsburgh. Available in almost every nook and cranny of this steel town, the URBANIST guide facilitates pinpointing the city’s outstanding local businesses. Additionally, the forces behind the guide have been moving and shaking to put more events on the calendar including the amazing Low Country Boil last summer [apologies for bringing up summer in the heart of polar vortexes].

I was quite honored when the URBANIST asked me, if I only had 24 hours to show a friend the best that urban Pittsburgh has to offer, where would I take him or her?

Urbanist Guide Pittsburgh

To read all my suggestions for 24 hours in Pittsburgh, check out my interview here, and then come visit me!


Wild Rice Salad Featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed

January 2013

WordPress gave me a birthday present, wrapped it up and tied it with a tag…

2014.01 WordPress Freshly Pressed

What an honor to have one of my posts featured on Freshly Pressed and on my birthday nonetheless. That makes for at least two reasons to dance around the apartment like a fool!

Wild Rice Salad 01

If these wholesome colors strike your fancy, check out the recipe here. Thanks to all those who left kind words in response!



“Bourbon Desserts Will Change Your World For The Better” on HUFFPOST TASTE

September 2013

I was quite proud of my little Brown Butter Strawberry Bourbon Cake when it had its 15 minutes of fame in the Huffington Post’s online Taste section. The theme was kicking baking up a notch by adding bourbon, a kick I have been known to add here and there (and there and here for that matter).

Huffington Post Taste 01

After properly soaking up the excitement of seeing my little cake, I clicked through the other bourbon recipes, and my baking to-do list began to grow! There are some stylish shots of mouthwatering recipes in this line up! In the spirit of September being National Bourbon History Month, I highly suggest you click through this lineup and find some inspiration of your own.

Huffington Post Taste

Check out my full recipe for Brown Butter Strawberry Bourbon Cake, especially because it’s a cake I recommend eating for breakfast! Happy September bourbon-loving friends!

Redbook Wants To Add More Booze to Brunch! (me too!)

August 2013

I’m quite honored to see Redbook Magazine and I are on the same page. Let’s put some bourbon in our brunch…!

Redbook Pancakes

Get your daily serving of fruit and grains—and whiskey—from this southern recipe. The peaches ‘n cream combo dribbled on top of these dense, pillow-y soft cakes makes them almost too pretty to eat.

“Lemonade is Just One Step Away From World Domination…”

August 2013

“That last step is alcohol.”

Imagine my excitement when I discovered one of my cocktail recipes (styled by me and shot by Adam Milliron) in a BuzzFeed post with the words “World” and “Domination” in its title! Call me a megalomaniac or call me over on a hot day. The choice is yours, but I highly recommend the latter because Whiskey-Thyme Lemonade is lovely.

Buzzfeed Boozy Lemonades

Buzzfeed Boozy Lemonades 02

Check out the full recipe here.