The Corona Chronicles: The Final Countdown

Welcome back to the blog! Today I am writing probably one of my last Corona Chronicles posts, because while lockdown might not be over, I am going back to work as of this coming Monday…

Continue reading The Corona Chronicles: The Final Countdown

Easy Homemade Cold Brew Coffee in 3 Simple Steps!

Last month I shared with you guys how to make yourselves an Easy Homemade Iced Latte in 3 Simple Steps. Today I want to share with you a cold coffee that doesn’t require as much effort, but you might have to wait a little longer for this one.

Before I go any further, I want to clear something up: an iced coffee and cold brew coffee are not the same thing! An iced coffee, is hot coffee poured over ice, whereas a cold brew coffee is coffee that has been made with nothing but cold water.

Generally with cold brew coffee, you make it from coffee beans, or ground coffee beans, if that’s how you buy them. You grind your beans and pour cold water over them and then place it in your fridge overnight and that’s when the magic happens. By letting the coffee sit overnight (8-12 hrs) it takes a lot of the bitterness and acidity that can be associated with coffee away, leaving you with a nice cold coffee beverage. Let’s get on with the how to then, shall we:


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Step 1

So like I said you’re going to need coffee beans, or ground coffee. Anywhere between 50g-80g of the stuff depending on how strong you like your coffee. If your beans are ground already, you’re good to go to the next step, otherwise get your beans, and ground ’em up to the consistency you desire.

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Weigh your coffee!

Step 2

Next you’re going to take those ground coffee beans and pour them into a french press, preferably a larger one as opposed to the one-man french press. The reason for this is you’re now going to pour 400-500ml of cold water in on top of your grounds. Get yourself a spoon or a utensil now and give the grounds a stir, making sure they’re all soaked by the water.

Place the top of the french press on your coffee but do NOT plunge YET and place in your fridge for 8-12 hours. I recommend doing this the night before, before you go to bed.

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My french press with coffee waiting to be chilled in fridge

Step 3

Rise and shine friends, it’s coffee time! After your time is up, remove the french press from the fridge. Now you can plunge that coffee, but make sure you do it slowly. I don’t know why but they always recommend you plunge the coffee slowly.

You’ll want to have a container/vessel of some some sort handy to pour and store the cold brew in. I recommend something that can hold 300-400ml, as that 400-500ml of water you poured in last night has now condensed and been soaked up by the coffee grounds.

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Keep your cold brew chilled in the fridge for upto a week!

Get your glass, a couple of ice cubes (to your liking and depending on how big your ice cubes are, I personally go for anywhere between 4-8) and your cold brew. Pour the cold brew in on top of the ice, but don’t go all the way. You’re going to only want to go halfway, because you’re not done yet. Next you need to pour about an espresso sized cup of water in on top of the cold brew, otherwise it’s going to be like drinking concentrated fruit juice without diluting it with water, if you catch my drift. The water dilutes it enough that it’s drinkable. You’re good to go from there, stick a reusable straw in it and off you go, or if you’re like me you can add a dash of milk and/or whatever way you take your coffee, sweeteners, syrups etc.

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Cheers!


There you have it: you’re own homemade cold brew coffee! The best thing about it is, you should have enough in that batch for 2-3 more beverages, and even better news: it will keep in your fridge for 1-2 weeks! So you only have to do all this once or twice a week, depending on how much you love cold brew–if you’re like me it’ll prob be 3 times a week!

😉

 

Recently Read || June Edition

Welcome back to another Recently Read post here on the blog! This one should have been posted back in May, but I decided I’d do a binge of 8 seasons of a TV series instead of actually sitting down to read a book–Oops!

I will admit that 2 out of these 3 books were a little harder to get into than I thought. Norse Mythology was surprisingly trickier, it being a collection of short stories as opposed to one long running story, and The Secret, well that’s a real mess with your head kinda book. Let’s get into it:

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

In 2006, a groundbreaking feature-length film revealed the great mystery of the universe – The Secret. Later that year, Rhonda Byrne followed with a book that became a worldwide bestseller.
The Secret contains wisdom from modern-day teachers – men and women who have used it to achieve health, wealth and happiness. By applying the knowledge of The Secret, they bring to light compelling stories of eradicating obstacles, and achieving what many would regard as impossible.

I picked this one up on the recommendation of a colleague in work, she said that it will change my outlook on everything and that even celebrities are known to use The Secret to help them get what they want. I devoured the first 50-odd pages, taking everything in as if it were gospel. It didn’t take long for me to realize that it is not gospel, so much as just a frame of mind, or an outlook on life. I struggled to pick it up after this stage of the book, dipping in and out, picking it up here and there, but in the end I didn’t actually finish reading it. I think something like The Secret is a kind of book that you need to read yourself and take your own opinion from it. I dunno, maybe I just wasn’t in the right place when I decided to read this, maybe I’ll pick it up again somewhere down the line and my thoughts and feelings will have changed towards it.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok.
In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassed manipulator.
Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelist arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

Alas, another Did Not Finish book, but through no fault of the book, but my own. I have a love hate relationship with short stories. I love reading them, but not an entire collection. I tried to read this as if it were a regular novel, and even though all the characters were the same, the different stories in each ‘chapter’ didn’t appeal to me. I have gotten so used to reading longer prose, and chapter books, that dipping in and out of different stories every couple of pages becomes quite chore-some. I wouldn’t mind but I had just picked this up after re-watching the first Thor movie, and going to see Avengers Endgame, which has a strong connection to the Norse Gods, so I thought I’d devour this. I will in time return to this book and finish the other stories that I didn’t read, because those that I did read were very enjoyable.

The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

All Stevie Bell wanted was to find the key to the Ellingham mystery, but instead she found her classmate dead. And while she solved that murder, the crimes of the past are still waiting in the dark. Just as Stevie feels she’s on the cusp of putting it together, her parents pull her out of Ellingham academy.
For her own safety they say. She must move past this obsession with crime. Now that Stevie’s away from the school of topiaries and secret tunnels, and her strange and endearing friends, she begins to feel disconnected from the rest of the world. At least she won’t have to see David anymore. David, who she kissed. David, who lied to her about his identity—son of despised politician Edward King. Then King himself arrives at her house to offer a deal: He will bring Stevie back to Ellingham immediately. In return, she must play nice with David. King is in the midst of a campaign and can’t afford his son stirring up trouble. If Stevie’s at school, David will stay put.
The tantalizing riddles behind the Ellingham murders are still waiting to be unraveled, and Stevie knows she’s so close. But the path to the truth has more twists and turns than she can imagine—and moving forward involves hurting someone she cares for. In New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson’s second novel of the Truly Devious series, nothing is free, and someone will pay for the truth with their life.

The Vanishing Stair is the 2nd book in the Truly Devious Trilogy. I read Truly Devious back in March when HarperCollins Ireland kindly gifted me a copy of the paperback which had been just released at the time (read the micro-review on my Instagram: @dean.kealy). I recently then allowed a work colleague to borrow it, and she loved it so much that she sought out the sequel, The Vanishing Stair, from her local library, and also allowed me to borrow it. I hadn’t a clue it was out already and was overjoyed to find out. For this alone, I give author Maureen Johnson kudos. I’m not a fan of books in series. It’s very rare that a story told across multiple books captivates me, but this was one of them. (off the top of my head Harry Potter and E.R. Murray’s Nine Lives series are the only others to do so). Without spoiling The Vanishing Stair, its a good ol’ fashioned murder mystery who-dunnit. It continues the mystery from the first book as well as the original murders that took place in the 1930’s at the Ellingham Academy–so you’re getting two for the price of one! If you’re a fan of murder mysteries and thrillers I definitely recommend, as there are also references to detective legends such as Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot!


With that, I give you my Recently Read June Edition, and I leave you asking: What books have you recently read? Have you read and/or will you read any of these? 🙂

Easy Homemade Iced Latte in 3 Simple Steps!

Hi everyone, and welcome back to the blog! I know it’s been a few weeks since my last post, but I’m back, and have a few blog posts lined up for the next few weeks, enjoy!

Today I’m sharing with you how I make my very own homemade iced latte’s! It’s so simple, and all you need is coffee, your coffee making tools, some milk and ice!

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All Photos © Dean Kealy

I’ve been making these on and off over the last few months, and I feel like I’m finally confident enough to share with you a recipe/method in which everyone who loves iced coffees will enjoy!

Step 1

Make your coffee! This is the easy part. Simply make yourself a cup of black coffee, whichever way you prefer, whether it’s with a french press, a cafetiere, with a machine or bog standard instant coffee. Make sure it’s not a massive mug though, we only need less than half a cup of coffee.

Next, your going to take 3-4 ice cubes and pop them in your freshly brewed coffee, and swish it about until the ice cubes have just about melted.

Step 1.5: (optional)

This is the point where if you like sweet coffee, you’re going to want to add your sweetener or flavorings now! Personally I enjoy mine with a teaspoon of honey, but you can add a syrup of your choice if you like. Simply add it to the coffee you’ve cooled, and stir.

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Froth your milk

Step 2

The next step is to froth your milk, and make it nice and fluffy, to really make it the ‘latte’ part of the drink. Take your milk, any kind will do, I personally use non-dairy (almond, coconut, soya etc), but normal dairy milk works too. What you want is about a 2/3rd ratio to your coffee. To froth it, simply pour the milk into a french press, and plunge it consistently for about 30 seconds until it gets nice and fluffy. If you don’t have a french press: you can pop the milk into a leak proof container or a protein shaker, and shake the crap out of it until it goes fluffy.

 

Step 3

We’re on the home stretch now. Pour your cooled coffee into a glass, mason jar, whatever you want, and pop as much ice as you like in with it. Next, your going to take that lovely frothy milk, but instead of just pouring it directly in on top of your coffee, you’re going to take a table spoon, and pour the milk over the tablespoon in on top of the coffee. This make the milk sit on top of the coffee and drip down into it giving a really visual effect.

Final Step:

Grab yourself a reusable straw (no plastic here thank you very much!), pop it into your iced latte, and don’t forget to Instagram the shit out of that thing, because damn! Now you can enjoy your very own homemade iced latte!

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Enjoy!

An Avengers Themed Week! // No Endgame Spoilers

This week I have had a very Avengers orientated/themed week!

Monday was a bank-holiday here in Ireland, it being Easter Monday, so some friends and myself had a barbeque! We had a good spell of weather over the Easter weekend, so we were really trying to take advantage of it, and with the good weather coming to an end, a barbeque was the perfect way to end it. After the barbeque, we sat around a fire pit and had a few drinks and a laugh, and before we knew it, one of our friends who has an Iron Man suit let us try on some of the pieces–I mean this thing is as realistic as it gets, its got lights and gizmos and what-not the only thing its short of doing is actually being able to shoot and fly!

Next up was a double-bill in our local cinema of Avengers: Infinity War followed by a midnight advanced screening of Endgame! I didn’t get any photos of the evening, but we had a great time, and the movie was absolutely fantastic. I wish I could say more, but #ThanosDemandsYourSilence upon seeing the movie, so…
It definitely helped seeing Infinity War before going in to watch Endgame as everything was super fresh and I felt more up to date and familiar with what was going on!

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@dean.kealy on Instagram!

Withdrawals kicked in then yesterday, knowing it was all over… the last 10 years worth of Marvel Studios movies had come to an end, making room for more movies and storylines to emerge in the coming few years. I decided to break out one of my graphic novels Iron Man: Fatal Frontier to try and overcome the withdrawals, but to be honest the only thing I think that will cure it for me is to go back and watch all the Marvel Studios movies, this time in chronological order, starting with Captain America: The First Avenger!

With the actual release of the movie being in cinemas from today, have you seen the new movie yet? Are you going to see it? I’d ask for your thoughts/opinions on it in the comments section, but #ThanosDemandsYourSilence, so you can shoot me a DM on Instagram @dean.kealy or Twitter @deankealyblog, or send me an email (who does that anymore?) via the Contact page on the above menu here on the blog!

🙂

Am I Content With My Content?

Alternative Title:  I Don’t Like My Content — A Response to Grace Helbig

Hey everyone! Yes, it’s me, I know it’s been a hot minute since I last posted here on the blog–to be honest, it’s been a hot minute since I posted anything anywhere other than on my Instagram (@dean.kealy). Even my poor art Insta and blog has been neglected recently.

I’ve been itching to getting back on here, but not sure as to what sort of content I wanted to share, or what sort of stuff you guys would want to see. If I’m completely honest, I kind of backed down from blogging because I got myself into the rut that I had to create content that you guys would want to see, so I would make a list of posts that I could potentially work on, but when it came to it, I didn’t want to make them, because that’s not the kind of content I like making.

Then, today, I saw a video by one of my favourite YouTuber’s, Grace Helbig, called “I Don’t Like My Content”, and I’ve never related so much to a video in more recent times. I recommend you watch it, because whether you’re a content creator, or someone who just watches other peoples content, it’s so frickin’ easy to get caught up in what people want to watch, that you forget why you create. For those of you who just watch, I urge that you watch the video to get a perspective on why your favourite content creator isn’t uploading all the old great videos or blog posts that they used to, because people change. You change, we change everyday, and sometimes we get bored.

Here’s the video link, and if you don’t watch Grace’s videos/don’t like her, skip to 3:40 and watch until 4:35 in the video to see where I most relate to and kind of where I’m at at the minute. Even if you watch the whole video, it gives an idea of a content creator struggling to defy the norm of creating what people want to see, and deciding to create something because they want to and love to do it, which is what I want to strive to do more of.

Idealistically I’d like to get back to creating a weekly blog post for here, and I’ve also neglected my art Instagram over the last few weeks, so I would very much like to get back to posting more regularly/frequently there too, so here’s hoping that by even writing this blog post that it will kick start me back into gear into doing just that!
Now I’m going to throw a question to you guys, well those of you who are still reading anyway:

Would you stop following a content creator/blogger/YouTuber because they changed they decided to change the type of content they were creating, or would you stick with them regardless, because you liked them as a creator/their personality more so than what they produce?

I’d also love to hear any other opinions on this that you might have, or what you thought of Grace’s video, feel free to let me know in the comments.

🙂

The Journey Begins (again!)

Thanks for joining me once again! Or if you’re not familiar with me, welcome! My name is Dean, I am a content creator from Ireland, and I have an obsession with creating blogs haha!

This one is different though, I swear! This one is just me, being me, writing about me, and the things that interest me! That sounds a lot more vein that it did in my head…

Ok so previously I had a book blog called WeeBitWordy where I wrote about my passion for books, wrote reviews for them etc. because I love to read. Unfortunately, it went on to make reading a chore for me because I wasn’t just reading for pleasure, I was reading with the intention of making a blog post about the book I was reading, which lead me to stop reading for almost a year–I did not like that one bit, So I’ve closed the doors at WeeBitWordy, and focused on my artwork, which is another passion of mine, and I also blog about that over on my other blog DeanKealy.Design, but for some reason blogging about what I’m creating over there is completely different to when I was book blogging.

So why this blog? Why now?

I need somewhere I can write about things. As a creator, I’m constantly getting ideas, and sometimes I don’t have anywhere to put those ideas. I see others around me writing blogs about general stuff or stuff they’re passionate about and it really makes me want to do that too, but I feel like I can’t do that over on my art blog because, well… because it’s an art blog–and sometimes I feel like writing about what kind of week I’ve had and people who follow an art blog don’t want to read that. Sometimes I want to share some stuff I’ve been reading, again not appropriate for an art blog. So this is going to be my platform for Anything Goes. I can post whatever I want whenever I want (but probably once a week for now) about whatever is going on in my life or in the world in general.

I’ve always been passionate about writing–like I said, I’m a content creator, so I like to create.

This is where I want to create.

Won’t you join me?

PS. I also post daily on Instagram: @dean.kealy

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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