KITCHEN CONFIDANTE + A GIVEAWAY

Chicory Coffee Meringues | for the love of the south

There is something special about the art of preparation. Normally, the focus is on the final dish that graces our table, not the silent characters that assist us in preparing the meal. Without them, we would be forever lost in the kitchen. There is the story of the courageous and dependable wooden spoon, facing the depths of our scalding soups and countless gumbos. Irregular mason jars with their faded sky blue and suspended bubble façade, which are used in preserving the seasons. Cast-iron skillets, slicked and smooth from daily use of frying chicken, stewing okra and baking biscuits. These utensils don’t often make it to the table, but they are there for us, day after day, allowing us to taste from their crooks while gently holding their scorched handles, blades of our favorite knives seemingly becoming an extension of our bodies as we slice through seasonal produce without a care in the world, and the cast-iron we break our backs carrying, knowing no other pot will do the job. These are the unsung, unseen heroes of the kitchen.

Just as seasoned skillets and scarred spoons tell stories, I have found we communicate more freely in the kitchen than anywhere else. Perhaps it’s because the kitchen is the hearth in the home. It’s a place where people can open up while the cook can keep a sense of busyness, without making the person feel as if you are glaring into the depths of their soul in complete silence and stillness.

Chicory Coffee Meringues | for the love of the south

Whisking wintery egg whites and roughly chopping plump vanilla bean pods are tasks that are comforting yet don’t require much thought. Slowly stirring sugar and egg whites together while smoky, chicory coffee fills the kitchen, creates a sense of safety while we visit. These actions are second nature to a home cook.

I do my best listening while in the kitchen. It’s a place where those who need to get something off their chest can while slowly pecking away at a piece of pie. I’ve heard some whoppers while frying bacon and stories that made me tear up while stirring roux. I’ve celebrated in the kitchen, enjoyed life at my table with the ones I love, and, honestly dear friends, that includes every single one of you.

Chicory Coffee Meringues | for the love of the south

{As a “Thank You,” I am giving away 4, 12oz. bags of my favorite Premium Community Coffee Whole Bean Coffee. To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below letting me know your favorite kitchen moment/favorite kitchen tool between now and midnight March 8th. The winner will be chosen randomly and will be contacted via email on March 9th. Limit 1 comment per person, pretty please! Good luck, y’all!} Congrats to Kelly who is the winner of the giveaway! 

Recipe: Chicory Coffee Meringues

Makes 6 Large or 12 Small Meringues

Note: I love using finely ground Community Coffee Whole Bean Coffee for this recipe. Chicory coffee gives the meringue a slightly smoky layer, which pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the meringue and the rich flavor of the vanilla bean. If you can’t find chicory, finely grind whole beans until the beans resemble a fine powder. And if you don’t own a coffee grinder, just use espresso powder!

In case you were wondering, the vinegar acts as a stabilizing agent for the egg whites. Whenever I’m making meringues in the South, there always seems to be some percentage of humidity in the air, which can really wreak havoc on meringues since they absorb moisture. So, I find adding the vinegar (which you will not taste in the meringue) acts as a little “meringue insurance”.

165g of granulated sugar

1 vanilla pod, coarsely chopped

3 egg whites, room temperature

Pinch of sea salt

1 ½ teaspoon of cornstarch

½ teaspoon of white vinegar

1 teaspoon of finely ground chicory coffee

 

Preheat oven to 200oF

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Fill a medium sized saucepan halfway with water. Place over medium-low heat to simmer.

Add the sugar and vanilla pod to a food processor, pulse until the vanilla pod is fully incorporated into the sugar and there are no large pieces of vanilla. This may take a few minutes, so be patient and don’t rush it! You are actually creating superfine vanilla sugar in this step, which will blend quickly and evenly into the meringue mixture.

In the base of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add the vanilla sugar, egg whites, sea salt, cornstarch and white vinegar. Whisk just until combined.

Place the mixing bowl over the simmering water and slowly stir with a rubber spatula for a few minutes. Once the mixture feels completely smooth between your fingertips, continue whisking until the mixture forms stiff peaks.

Spoon into 6 medium mounds (or 12 small mounds) onto your parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkle each mound with chicory coffee powder. With a teaspoon, shape the meringues, starting from the base and sweeping around and up to the top, creating a small peak.

Place the meringues in the oven for 2 hours. Turn off the oven and allow the meringues to dry in the oven overnight.

Store in an airtight container for 1 week, but really, you can eat them all for breakfast in the morning. I won’t tell anyone!

 

 

 

 

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137 thoughts on “KITCHEN CONFIDANTE + A GIVEAWAY

  1. My favorite kitchen moment…hmm…that might have to be the first time I successfully made cinnamon rolls for the first time. My mother never made anything involving yeast, so I was always “scared” of it. But then I did it and they turned out wonderfully!

    • I am in LOVE with my Kitchenaid! I literally use it everyday. I’m so glad you got one and love it! I am in agreement, it’s one of my favorite kitchen tools as well.
      x
      Amber

  2. Yes, that’s exactly how I feel every time I use my big, black, heavy nothing else will do skillet….my secret helper!!💪

    Sent from my T-Mobile 4G LTE Device

  3. My favorite moment used my favorite kitchen “tool”. It was the time I made the best tasting dark gravy I ever had and I did it using my grandmother’s cast iron chicken fryer.

    • Amanda,
      I am in complete agreement! What I love about my cast iron is that one day, I will be able to pass it on to another caretaker and it will be a part of their kitchen, a part of their family meals. I love how it just gets better with age!
      x
      Amber

  4. My favorite moment is getting up early Thanksgiving morning to get the turkey in the oven. The house is quiet and peaceful but I know in a few hours it will be filled with the people I love the most!

    • Susan,
      Such a sweet memory! As a home cook, waking up early on Thanksgiving or the morning of a dinner party is such a personal moment for me as well. Thanks so much for sharing, Susan!
      x
      Amber

  5. Its comforting for me to have the ability to create from my mind instead of a book. It is also very rewarding to have my young son intrigued & anxious to help cook & create. My little partner 🙂

  6. It’s not a memory I can actually remember, but there’s a photo of me at about 2 1/2 or 3 years old standing on a stool in front of the stove with my dad behind. His hand is on mine as we stir stirring a big pot of homemade chicken stock together. From the caption he hand wrote on the back, it was one of the first (of many future) kitchen endeavors together, and something that certainly helped shape my beliefs around food, cooking and nutrition. So much so that I’m a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist today!

    Love the story you’ve shared here, and plan to give the meringues a try. My husband and I enjoyed a batch of homemade espresso meringues a few years ago, but I love the twist of using chicory coffee for an extra hint of flavor. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. I think my favorite kitchen tool is a generic, ten-year-old, cheap plastic spaghetti spoon that a college friend bought me. I was the go-to host for get-togethers in college, and I would cook a weekly meal for friends. It started out at about 6 of us, and at the end of the school year, there were about 25. During all this time, my friend noticed I didn’t have a spaghetti spoon, so she remedied the situation 🙂 I still use it, and most of the time, when I reach for it, I think of her 🙂

  8. My favorite kitchen moment was when my husband and I used our cast iron skillet for the first time as a married couple. There was something so domestic seeing that brand new skillet and knowing that we were going to bring it to a seasoned perfection together through the ups and downs in our marriage.
    Kari

    • Kari,
      LOVE LOVE LOVE this story! Your comment made me tear up. What a lovely way to look at a cast iron skillet! And y’all will be able to pass the skillet along to the next generation. Some people would say,”Pass the torch,” but we Southerners pass on our cast-iron!
      x
      Amber

  9. I made this wonderful slow cook eggplant/tomato sauce with penne for my family one valentine’s evening. At last, I stirred in the fresh mozz., which I was unaware of it being rancid and rendered the dish, of course, uneatable. Luckily, I had made cake which is what we ate for dinner instead. Ever since our tradition is cake for our dinner on Valentine’s Day.

  10. 10 years ago I moved away from the South (I kick myself at least 10 times a week for doing so) and find my heart and soul again through blog post like this one. I find a simple pleasure in just grinding the coffee beans every night before I go to bed… They smell so good! Anyway… On to answer the question – my favorite kitchen items are my grandmother’s china and silver. We only use it for Thanksgiving. It turns out that you can take the girl out of the South, but you cannot take the South out of the girl. We have a “regular menu” for Thanksgiving, with the turkey and all the trimmings. My favorite part, anyone is invited. We end up having a full house of friends. The china is always a topic of discussion and my little Ol’ Grandmother would be proud to know her granddaughter was sharing a little part of the South while making memories.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your family memories and most cherished heirlooms! I love how no matter where you live, you can bring Southern charm to any table. Southern hospitality can be taken with us wherever we go!
      x
      Amber

  11. My favorite kitchen moment was in December of 2008. I was in a bright, warm kitchen in Norway, where I’d just moved three months prior. My mother-in-law was teaching me how to make seven varieties of Scandinavian jul cookies. We baked for hours, sipping wine and watching snow silently falling outside. I remember that evening fondly every Christmas!

    • Sarah,
      Oh what a sweet memory! Thank you so much for sharing! I love how your mother-in-law patiently passed down her recipes for her cookies. That seems like such a lovely moment. The kitchen bonds people in such a unique way!
      x
      Amber

  12. One of my favorite kitchen moments I happened to capture on video is of my three year old daughter mashing raspberries for jam and when I asked her what she was making, she confidently replies “Mashed potatoes!”. Another favorite is my wooden rolling pin which was given to me when I got married by my mother-in-law. It was made for her when she was young by her father and is smooth and shiny from years of use. A treasure!

    • Heidi,
      Oh how adorable! I love this memory! What I would give for a rolling pin like that. You can’t find those in stores… you can only covet those types of items in Southern homes! What a treasure indeed!
      x
      Amber

  13. A couple of years back I got a new puppy. I had decided that he would not have any people food. It was Easter dinner and my son said since I cooked he would handle the clean up. I let him go for a few minuets and then got up to help him. When I walked in the kitchen there was my puppy with a huge plate of table scraps. It was so sweet all I could do is smile.

    • Mary,
      Hahaha! Oh goodness, how funny! I bet that puppy was in heaven! I’m sure you will forever have issues with your dog wanting table scraps. There’s no going back!
      x
      Amber

  14. My favorite kitchen tool is probably my old sifter…something so old-fashioned and lovely about sifting. As much as I love to cook and bake, my favorite moments are when I’m watching my boyfriend make himself at home in my kitchen, finding each thing he needs, a spice, a tool, the right dish, etc. while he prepares the next great meal.

    • Erica,
      I completely agree. Baking is a labor of love that should be all about taking your time: sifting, measuring, whisking, folding. Also, it is a very intimate thing to share your kitchen with someone you love. It’s like speaking a secret language. I love watching my husband unload the dishwasher as he purposefully arranges the Mason jars and coffee cups on the shelves. I adore watching him respect a space I love! It’s so sweet!
      x
      Amber

  15. My favorite kitchen moment was with my young daughter when she was 6 years old. She and I were in the midst of grieving an awful change to our family. One cold afternoon after school as I was overwhelmed with my new duties as a single Mom, she decided to prepare us a pot of tea using her toy porcelain tea set, Sweet tea, and Hummingbird cake. She said “Our hearts are hurting, Momma, and tea makes us feel better!” Ever since that day, when one of us is struggling, we’ll make a pot of tea and a Hummingbird cake together. She is now 9 years old, and recently extended this honor to a friend of hers.

    • Heather,
      Your comment brought me to tears, sobbing! Thank you so much for sharing. I know this tradition will be something you both hold near and dear to your hearts for many years to come. What a treasure.
      x
      Amber

  16. My favorite kitchen tool is probably a set of wooden spoons brought to me as a gift by my girlfriend’s sister from Rwanda. They are of course handmade and have a spiraled wooden neck/handle that is just so beautiful. I love how shiny and smooth they look and feel when they are freshly oiled and they are always on display and ready for use when I have people over for dinners or parties.

  17. One of my favorite kitchen moments was preparing pizzas after a long day of hiking in the Rockies with lots of friends. Favorite kitchen tool? Hmmm…my chefs knife. 🙂

    • Sarah,
      Oh nothing better than homemade pizzas! I bet they were very much welcomed after a long day of hiking! My husband and I love a good pizza and movie night. Instead of ordering pizza though, it’s always homemade. My husband crowns it the best pizza in town! It’s a sweet sentiment!
      x
      Amber

  18. I still remember a little me standing on the two-step stool I now have in my kitchen, to help my mom cook. Although the stool is covered in paint splatters, and not exactly a design stand out, it helped get me started in the kitchen (although my mama deserves the lion share of that blame!)

  19. Some of my favorite kitchen moments are when a friend stops by and we gab and drink tea or coffee (sometimes wine) around the kitchen island. Always relaxed and inviting in this main flow area of our home.

  20. My favorite kitchen moment is a fond memory from my childhood. My mom was the best pie baker, and her cream pies were amazing, topped with fluffy meringue. When I was a child she would have me stand on a stepstool so I could stir the cream filling while it cooked. And of course that meant I got to lick the spoon 🙂

  21. Well, I coming from the South of Brazil, leaving here for 27+years, I love to cook and my favorite moment is when my 2 beautiful cousins come over, and we spent hours in the kichen, cooking our favorite goodies from our country, we always have so much fun in the kitchen, remembering our roots and back grounds…
    We had cooked together for many parties…
    Usually for Thanksgiving they come over, stay for a few days, and we always have the best time together!!!
    We love Meringues, and for sure, will try the chicory and coffee very soon!
    Our kitchen is one of our favorite place to stay, I love my cast-iron, and can’t leave with out it!!! Also, I love dishes, a table well done, it could be simple, but elegant!!!
    Roseli

    • Roseli,
      Thank you so much for sharing! Kitchens seem to come alive whenever it is filled with people we love! Also, I use my cast-irons almost every single day as well!
      x
      Amber

  22. My favorite kitchen moment had to be putting the finishing touches on my mom’s wedding cake. It was the first three-tiered cake I had ever made, and thanks to my mom’s faith in me (and a lot of patience), it turned out beautifully!

    Beautiful post, Amber.

    • Julia,
      What a special memory! You are a much more courageous woman that I am. I wouldn’t be able to bake a three-tiered cake, especially for such an occasion! Hats off to you, darlin’!
      x
      Amber

  23. By far my favorite kitchen memory was when my sister and I were cooking dinner one evening and randomly broke into song. Being brought up in a musical theater loving family, we started to sing “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof. By the second chorus, we were holding our aprons at the side of our hips and stomping our feet to the beat as we walk out of the kitchen into the hall. Then, like a stroke of brilliance, our mother walked through the front door, assessed the situation and joined in! We stomped and sang our way through the hall together concluding our scene back in the kitchen. It was the most incredible, hilarious, and epic kitchen musical I have ever witnessed.

  24. It may sound cheesy, but my favorite kitchen moment is essentially every time my partner and I cook together, which is generally at least three times a week. We always put a record on and dance around between prepping things, or while we’re waiting for something to finish up. I feel like it truly puts love and good energy into the food.
    As for my favorite tool, I think it always be my iron skillet. I can make almost anything in it; from meats, to breads, to skillet pies, to frittatas… And of course, iron skillets are simply beautiful, which is why we so often use them as decorations.

    • Lara,
      I completely agree! Whenever you put love and care into what you are making, especially whenever you are cooking WITH someone you love, it does always seem to turn out better! And I agree about the skillet as well… So many of my friends ask me what you are supposed to make in a cast-iron skillet, I just look at them and say, “Everything!” The possibilities are endless!
      x
      Amber

  25. I adore Chickory, but my favorite kitchen memory is making caramel icing with my grandmother, I can never get it quite right now but hers always came out so rich with the perfect balance of gooey and set. She always made it for family birthdays and let me help.

    • Beverly,
      What a lovely memory! It seems like grandmother’s have their little secrets in the kitchen! I love how we make certain recipes and they remind us of loved ones. I will forever think of my grandmother whenever I make homemade roux. To this day, her house smells of roux as soon as you walk in the door whether she made it or not!
      x
      Amber

  26. Pingback: FRIDAY {SUNDAY} SHARING | designtrolls

  27. Your memories instantly made me think of a conversation with a friend. We had been best friends growing up, but in high school drifted apart some, with different interests and friends. But when I found out her parents were getting a divorce, I bought a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and she came over and talked for hours. It was pure friendship, two girls, two spoons, and one pint.

    • I love how great friendships seem to have no beginning and no ending, you just pick up where you left off! I love how y’all were able to reconnect over a pint of ice cream. Lovely!
      x
      Amber

  28. What a fabulous recipe and photos. Maybe someone already asked (I didn’t read all of your many comments) but if you were in a god-awful dry environment (montreal!) would you leave out the vinegar? I’ve made meringues before and never used vinegar. As well, I’ve often had trouble with meringues browning – is that a too hot oven? Maybe leaving them in overnight is the trick?

    • Michelle,
      Thanks for the questions! The vinegar does help stabilize the whites, so I wouldn’t imagine it would hurt the meringues even though you are in a dry environment. And yes, the oven was too hot and browned the edges of the meringues! I bake meringues at a low temp and leave them in the oven to dry overnight, which ensures that they completely dry. I hope that helps!
      x
      Amber

  29. My Friday’s after work I put on my tunes and start cooking dinner and my moms cast iron skillet and my grandpas kitchen knife always seem to be part of my musical cooking dance. In between my husband and two boys interrupting and singing in my weekly ritual, my pan and knife are like my mom and my grandfather are in the kitchen with us.

    • Teresa,
      I love your cast or kitchen characters! What a fun Friday night! I love how you carry the spirit of your mom and grandpa with you in the kitchen through their kitchen tools! How lovely!
      x
      Amber

  30. I am from Kansas and my in-laws live in Louisiana. My favorite moment is being in Louisiana in my in-laws kitchen helping cook all the great southern food that they cook so well.

  31. My favorite kitchen tool is my knife. Before I knew how to cook I didn’t value this tool very much and went for the ones I didn’t use often; now that I cook, I wouldn’t trade a sharp knife for anything. After the knives, I like my cherry pitter (rarely use it, but it’s fun to operate) and julienne peeler (great for shredding carrots for wraps).

    • Annette,
      A good knife should always be the first serious kitchen tool someone purchases! It’s invaluable. Whenever I go to cook at someone else’s house, I bring my own knife!
      x
      Amber

  32. 10 years ago, after a nasty breakup, I bought myself a 6 quart, bright red enameled cast iron Dutch oven. It’s a workhorse in my kitchen, doing everything from gumbo and red beans to biscuits and no knead bread. Even when it’s not in use, it sits on my stovetop, shining bright. Somehow the cherry red reminds me of all the possibilities ahead, in the kitchen as in life. Even though it weighs 15 lbs (empty!), it’s my favorite pot of all time.

    • Cynthia,
      What an amazing story! Your tale is so inspiring. It’s funny how colors in the kitchen are so important. Red reflects passion, raises blood pressure and enhances metabolism, so the color red in the kitchen is quite fitting!
      x
      Amber

  33. Sunday roast beef after getting back from church…My version of the recipe ended up in a kindergarten cookbook….”You put it in the oven and cook it.” Mom still makes the best roast beef and I will linger in her kitchen any chance I get!

    • Tamme,
      Sunday Roast after church, classic! My grandmother makes the best roast ever. She never had a recipe, I had to figure our what exactly she did to recreate her masterpiece. I know what I’m having this Sunday. Thanks so much for sharing!
      x
      Amber

  34. i have to say my new coffee bean grinder! hubby and i try new coffee beans all the time. i love the smell of freshly ground beans

  35. my favorite kitchen tool is the whisk! nothing makes my scrambled eggs fluffier! my husband and I love Community Coffee!

    • So glad that y’all love Community Coffee! I can’t ever get away from the brand no matter how many others are available on the market. Scrambled eggs and chicory coffee… perfection!
      x
      Amber

  36. My favorite kitchen tool, well not really a tool, but a wooden spoon I won in a giveaway last year. I use it constantly!

  37. My favorite utensil is my flat whisk—I use it almost every day….something sweet, something savory….always while drinking Community Coffee!

  38. Those featured meringues remind me of my favorite Sunbeam Harvest Gold hand mixer I got as a gift in 1977 from a favorite old neighbor. My faithful gold mixer finally died in January 2015, and I replaced it with a happy red one. However, I still do think about all of the times my gold mixer helped me to be creative by whipping my heavy cream, meringue, festive cakes and frosting. Good times!

  39. My favorite kitchen tool is my husband. He can whip up anything in there. As for moment, it has to be when I helped my mom bake oatmeal cookies as a child, except I forgot the flour, and they were more like oatmeal wafers.

  40. Ah great question, but hard to choose! Some of my best memories revolve around that rhythm my mom and I get into in the kitchen when I go home to visit. It’s a language you have with the people you love, and it’s wonderful 🙂

  41. It’s such a good question. Growing up with mom who cooked from scratch and having caught the bug early myself, and later, living and working in a bed and breakfast and hosting my own meals since then… there’s thousands of memories. But so many great ones have been over breakfast. It just keeps delivering. Most love their Christmas morning tradition. For me, it’s breakfast on New Year’s Day. First meal of a new year… clean slate. What better way to begin it really? Destined to be a favorite I think was this year, talking with a friend while making chai scones and fresh juice.

    • Ashley,
      What lovely memories! Also, what a great perspective on New Year’s breakfast! You are right, most people have Christmas traditions and New Year’s lunch traditions, but I have not heard anyone having a traditional breakfast! I love that… Thanks so much for sharing!
      x
      Amber

  42. My favorite kitchen moment is when my husband made Chex Mix with our two month old son. He had him strapped to his chest in an infant carrier. Precious memories.

  43. My favorite kitchen memory is the very first time my Momique (grandma ) showed me how to make Beignets, they always seemed to taste better when she made them. My favorite kitchen tool is my kitchen scissors, they make cutting so many things up so much easier.

  44. My favorite kitchen moment(s) has to be when I’m help my father and grandmother make gumbo and pecan pies. Growing up in South west Louisiana, traditional cajun dishes play a big role in our kitchens. I love being part of such an unique culture and I’m proud to claim my heritage.

    • Hope,
      You are speaking my language! I too grew up in Cajun Country where every man and woman had their own gumbo recipe, and they all taste completely different. A pot of gumbo reflects something in the cook! It’s unique to them. It’s such a wonderful place. I feel like I am in another country whenever I am down there. It’s home!
      x
      Amber

  45. My favorite kitchen moment is when my kids would come visit, and we would spend the day cooking and talking about when they were little. We would usually make home made chicken soup and share a a pot of coffee and a dessert. Every thing tastes better when you are with people you love and share your passion for family and cooking.

  46. Some of my favorite kitchen moments are those spent with my mother or maternal grandmother, as they taught me to cook and bake from receipts that have been handed down in the family since the seventeenth century. At first, I was perched on a stool, watching and listening, and helping in small ways. Any time spent in the kitchen conjures up the feeling of love from those early lessons.

  47. My favorite kitchen tool is my antique stove top drip coffee pot. Been using it every morning for twenty-five years to brew a pot of coffee and chicory. The only way to start the day!

  48. I am not going to make these meringues anytime soon( I’ve never baked anything in my entire 20ish life) those fluffy, white cookies looked too handsome to miss! How you narrated your love of cooking, the praise for unsung heroes, it’s so inspiring.
    My fondest kitchen moment is when I make tea for my Husband at night, there’s something very intimate about it!

  49. Pingback: Chicory Coffee Meringues - ZuziFeed

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