Entries Tagged as 'Food and Drink'

LFK Coffee Guide for Beginners: Alchemy Coffeehouse & Decade



By Elias Medici

Coffee is indeed a drug. Could you go to rehab for it? I believe you should. College students suffer the addiction, cringing for more while the night owl stays up late staring aimlessly on blackboard to decipher whether to finally start studying or keep wasting more money on Amazon. However, coffee does have its positive perks, one in particular being a social remedy practiced in the vast jungle of Lawrence’s exquisite coffee spots.

Let’s play the name game. When I provide a word, allow your brain to trigger its first response immediately to it. Okay? Okay. The first word is “mosquito.” You most likely thought of the word “bite,” or, “Malaria/Zika virus” to show-off your political relevance. Now, let me provide the word relating to this article’s purpose, “coffee shop.” What did you think? It was most likely “hipster,” and, yes, that is an accurate connection. Typically, this is a pre-cautionary signal to most people. But, these unique coffee spots are not just for the hipster breed; they are actually fun and cool!


Alongside my sidekick photographer Maggie, our first spot was Alchemy Coffee & Bake House on 19th and Massachusetts St. The little shop is located in a petite plaza with a narrow driveway and a huge parking lot that fits up to three cars. We were forced to park, illegally, at a residential lot not far from it. However, there is available parking across the street; we were just lazy.


The aroma walking in reminded me of a hookah lounge that had a baby with a nursery that lacked any plants. The space is tight with a small corridor in the back for food, a center with tables, and a main counter for coffee on the final side. All these intricate instruments were displayed and, to my surprise, there was no menu. I know what you’re thinking at this point, “Wow, that oozes hipster,” but bear with me. The man read my mind and translated my visible feelings into a dynamic concoction that he called “mocha.” It was wonderful and cheaper than Starbucks. We proceeded to sit down at an empty table and enjoyed the atmosphere. People were friendly and completed homework assignments politely in their own manner. For some reason, five of the 16 people in the shop were wearing Christmas sweaters. Don’t say the H-word; it was probably just an accident. We both rated this quaint, unique shop a strong A grade.


The next and final shop of our short tour was Decade, a coffee shop in the eastern section of Lawrence’s emerging art district. Thankfully, there was legal parking. The exterior had this architecture similar to a San Franciscan home with a tight landscape more than one story high. Walking in, we were greeted with a wooden staircase and a coat rack that immediately made me think of an Urban Outfitters entrance. Don’t say the word please. At the top, there were tables lined up and organized and people were smiling, completing their study. There were families with children, to my surprise, eating a light meal and enjoying coffee. On the walls were local art displayed and shelves full of ceramic and wooden works. The main counter was similar to Alchemy’s and had the diverse instruments that I could probably not pronounce a single one of their proper names correctly.

dsc_0148We ordered food this time, a $12 grilled cheese accompanied with tomato bisque topped with goat cheese. I ordered my second “mocha” and we sat down at the counter due to it being packed in the seating area. They also had a porch with a huge group of friends laughing and enjoying each other’s company. Definitely the outside area is a great place to hangout and chill, if it’s open. When we sat down, we were greeted with flash cards that had open-ended and extremely personal questions. We didn’t play it. By the time we were done munching, it was 30 minutes later. Upon leaving, I took the “In what ways are you a difficult person to have a relationship with?” flash card as a memory of our beautiful time at Decade. We rated it as well a strong A with a great emphasis on its social ability.dsc_0157

It’s highly recommended to unwind with some of your best pals at these shops whether it’s on the weekend or after class. Everyone needs a balance to his or her busy schedule, and this is a perfect way to counteract stress resulting from being productive. Can you get addicted to coffee? Yes, absolutely. Will there be a hipster at your planned visit to one of the two coffee shops mentioned? 100 percent there will. Will you have a wonderful time and enjoy yourself? I am positive of it. Take my word and go explore!

Photography by Maggie Russell

Smooth(ie) Sailing: A Guide for Surviving Finals


By Sabrina Sheck


Finals week is coming up super fast (aka next week). We know how hard it is to stay motivated this time of year, especially when stress and lack of sleep are threatening your health. Don’t let finals be the death of you—grab a quick and flavorful smoothie before hitting the library and you’ll be feeling healthier and (hopefully) acing those tests/projects.

Juice Stop is the perfect place to get your smoothie fix, and they have great nutrient blends to keep your mind and body under control. No one wants to forget everything they studied as soon as they start the test, and you definitely don’t want to get sick right before finals! When you head into Juice Stop you might be a little overwhelmed with what to order, but have no fear, you just need to know which fruits are going to be your best friends to survive finals week.

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We headed into Juice Stop and ordered a Half Nelson with the Wellness blend. Not only does this smoothie already have oranges in it, which are high in Vitamin C to help knock out any viruses, but adding the Wellness blend will make sure your immune system is in tip top shape.

Another great fruit to have in a smoothie are blueberries. The Volley smoothie contains blueberries, which are known for being rich in antioxidants and helping your memory stay strong. Add in the Green blend to give your brain an extra boost to make sure you won’t lose any important information during your finals.

Finally, try a smoothie with banana in it, such as the Off The Lip. Not only are bananas going to give you a full day’s worth of energy, but adding in the Energy blend will keep you going until the wee hours of the morning when you are studying late for your last final.


If you can’t make it to Juice Stop before your study sesh, pick up a smoothie from The Pulse in the Underground or the Union on campus. You can find immune health, energy, and protein add-ins to carry you through these last few weeks. Good luck studying!

Photography by Sabrina Sheck

You Can’t Live on Cookies: The Vegan Challenge


By Rebecca Dowd


Abigail Fulk saw the sign for the vegan station in a cafeteria at The University of Central Missouri and rushed over to it. But when she took a closer look, her heart sank. The vegan stir fry had been cooked in beef bouillon (just because it’s bouillon doesn’t mean it has no meat in it) and the sign for the pasta at the station said the pasta “only” had bacon bits in it.

This wasn’t enough to make Fulk give up her vegan lifestyle, but maintaining a vegan diet isn’t easy for college students. Beyonce and Jay Z tried to make it easier with their “22 Day Vegan Challenge”—sign up for $119.99, you’ll get protein bars, plant based protein powders, and recipes delivered right to your door—but you still have to eat and that’s the challenge for many college vegans.

To be vegan means to eat a totally plant-based diet— no meat, eggs, or dairy. Bye-bye cheese; hello beans, rice, veggies, nuts and fruits. Also sugar. You can be vegan and eat only Oreos, says Anne Henry, a nutritionist in Denver, Colorado, but a diet of cookies isn’t sustainable.

Lilly Bakker, a senior majoring in social welfare at The University of Kansas was hesitant talking about her vegan diet because she didn’t make it past the two week mark. “I stood no chance,” she says. She wanted to be able to sit on the couch with her roommates and eat junk food. Allie Roseman, a senior majoring in business at Miami of Ohio University made it two and a half years, and enjoyed eating fruits, veggies, oatmeal, and beans, but the challenge of finding vegan food on her campus did her in.

Roseman stuck to three options: baked potato, steamed broccoli, and brown rice. Eventually, she found herself 20 pounds lighter and couldn’t maintain a healthy body weight.  “I couldn’t handle it anymore, so I just quit,” Roseman says.

It’s frustrating to Fulk that to be committed to your vegan diet in college means losing a ton of weight. Eating on the University of Central Missouri campus was torture, she says. KU students are much more satisfied with their vegan options on campus. KU Dining recieved a B on the 2015 Vegan Report Card, according to Peta College Rankings, with 89 percent satisfaction ratings.

For the 2015-2016 school year, KU introduced “Nature’s Finest,” which is 100 percent plant-based at every dining location every day, says Christine Ebert, a registered dietitian for KU Dining Services. These Nature’s Finest stations aren’t the only places with vegan options, but they help curtail student requests for more and easier options. If students have the will, there are options for them on campus, Ebert says.

KU has more vegan options available than ever before. “In fact, 39 percent of our recipes are vegan. That is up from around 28 percent last year,” Ebert says. Kathryn Everett a junior majoring in engineering says being a vegan at KU actually isn’t that difficult because she can find meals and snacks quick and easy. And with the milk substitutes offered, she can still enjoy coffee between classes.

As a busy college student, it is easy to neglect our bodies, Everett says. Even though she has lost a few pounds, but nothing too significant, she thinks being vegan is the best option for her body, the environment and promoting fair treatment of animals.

Everett is not alone. Bon Appétit Management Co., a company that manages more than 4,000 college and university dining services saw twice as many vegan college students in just four years (from 2005-2006 to 2009-2010).

With more options at KU, Everett can stay healthy, but she still has the hardest time saying no to cookies…

“Cookies are my achilles heel,” she says.

Photography by Emma Creighton

3 Traditional Irish Drinks to Try for St. Patrick’s Day


By Emma Creighton

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We know you’re probably celebrating with a few pitchers of green beer somewhere, but if you’re looking for something different to drink today, look no further than these three traditional Irish drinks!

Irish Coffee st patricks day

Irish Coffee – For the Cultured Irish  

Invented by Joe Sheridan one winter night in 1942. Joe was a cook in the city of Foynes in West Ireland. Foynes was an airbase near Limerick and hosted many travelers. That cold night in 1942 Joe Sheridan came up with the drink to warm up some weary travelers. It had such a positive response it became a regular item on his menu and is now recognized internationally.

Here is Joe’s original recipe:

Cream, Rich as an Irish Brogue

Coffee, Strong as a Friendly Hand

Sugar, Sweet as the tongue of a Rogue

Whiskey, Smooth as the Wit of the Land.

Brew a cup of coffee dark and strong then stir in a spoon of sugar (I prefer brown sugar). Then add a shot of your favorite whiskey, I recommend Jameson Irish whiskey for full authenticity. Top off your drink with a big scoop of heavy cream or whipped cream to make it extra thick!

Guinness st patricks day

Guinness – For the Traditional Irish

Guinness is easily the most famous Irish alcoholic beverage and for good reason too! It has been around longer than the United States have been a country. It was first brewed by a man named Arthur Guinness in 1759 in Dublin, Ireland. At first it started as a Dublin Ale, but eventually diversified into a porter. This was revolutionary as it was one of the first porters and was characterized by its dark color.

Guinness is just as much of a symbol of Ireland as the shamrock is. Pouring it is considered a special skill. A “perfect pour” should take 119.5 seconds while being poured at a degree of 45 degrees. Any Irishman would be horrified to see it poured any other way.

If you’re ever in Ireland, simply walk into any bar and ask for the good stuff and you’ll be handed a pint of Guinness.

The Irish Car Bomb – For the Competitive Irish

The Irish Car Bomb is a pretty simple shot. And yes it is a shot, even though it includes drinking a pint of Guinness! However, the name of the drink is not so simple, and is in fact quite controversial. The name Irish Car Bomb is in reference to the extreme tactics used by the Provisional Republic Irish Army (a.k.a the IRA). The IRA was a series of movements in Ireland during the 20th and 21st centuries dedicated to Irish republicanism. For centuries Ireland suffered until British rule. Today, the majority of Ireland is independent, except for Northern Ireland which is still apart of Britain. Tensions still exist especially between Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland.

But basically the Irish Car Bomb encompasses every key Irish drink and liquor you should be consuming on St. Patrick’s Day.  Remember to drink fast.. it is a shot after all.  Here’s your recipe:


Guinness Stout

Jameson Irish Whiskey

Baileys Irish Cream

* Kahlua (Part of the original recipe, but is often left out)


  1. Fill your pint glass 3/4 the way with Guinness
  2. Fill the shot glass halfway with Jameson
  3. Fill the rest of the shot glass with Baileys (and/or Kahlua)
  4. Quickly drop the shot glass into the pint glass
  5. Chug! Chug! Chug!

And finally, St. Patrick’s Day wouldn’t be complete without a quick Irish saying. Cheers!

Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint and another one! 

Photography by Maggie Russell

Home Cooked and Handmade: Become a Better Cook in College


By Kate Miller

cooking class-1

Maitri Patel comes home from a typical day exhausted. As a pre-med student at the University of Kansas, she spends her classes cranking numbers, memorizing anatomical parts and attending meetings with the pre-med club.

Coming into her apartment, Patel drops her backpack and puts away her things. Instead of collapsing on the bed for a nap, however, she makes her way to the kitchen, where she pulls out vegetables and starts her rice cooker.

As she chops celery and brussel sprouts, her mind goes into autopilot and she lets her hands do the thinking. The constant motion of the knife, combined with the savory aroma of the cooking rice, soothes her brain and the tension dissipates from her shoulders. At the end of the half-hour of preparation, she feeds her relaxed body with a healthy, home cooked meal – invigorating her to tackle tonight’s round of homework assignments.

Patel’s kitchen, though, isn’t the norm for college students. The stereotype that all we eat is ramen noodles and Chinese takeout? Well, it’s true.

A 2014 survey by GrubHub Inc and Spoon University found that, when it comes to ordering food, 10 percent of all college orders include pizza and of the top 10 foods ordered for take-out by students, five of them are Chinese dishes.

It’s easy to see why cheap, easy ordering is so popular among college students: for many of them, college is the first time they’re solely responsible for feeding themselves. Once they’ve moved into someplace with their own kitchen and no chef at their whim, many are clueless.

Paige Vandegrift, a private chef located in Kansas City, says the reason for this is simple – college students today haven’t grown up learning to cook at their mother or grandmother’s elbow and they’re not going to magically develop those skills in college, she says. “[To learn how to cook,] you either have to be a person of great discipline or thrown into a position where you’re forced into it,” she said. “You have to make the commitment; you’re not going to get it right the first time.”

Patel knows that feeling. While she grew up learning to cook by watching her mother, she had never cooked before moving into an apartment – and her first foray into food making was a disaster. She remembers making Tollhouse cookies from a package, burning them, and having to toss out the whole batch. “Cooking is difficult for everyone,” she says. “My mom didn’t let me cook at home because she’d make four entrees rather than just the one I could, so when I got [to my apartment], I had to work at it.”

Commitment is just the first step in learning how to cook. The next step? Finding easy, healthy, quick recipes that fit your cooking experience — no matter what it may be. Kelsey Fortin, a health educator at the University of Kansas who teaches free monthly cooking classes, recommends looking for those recipes online and in cookbooks specifically designed for the broke college student.

cooking class-5

Vandegrift says cooking classes are a good option, but the best option comes from learning from someone you know and being exposed to do-it-yourself cooking as often as possible.

For Sash Alm, another University of Kansas student, do-it-yourself cooking is the only kind she knows. As a Kuwaiti who came to the United States for college, her passion for cooking is cultural. She cooked for her parents at home, and as a college student, constantly experiments with new recipes. She attended one of Fortin’s cooking classes to find healthier recipes.

“I really started looking for healthier ways to cook since I came here to America,” she says. “I used to just eat fast foods, but all of a sudden, I realized it’s not really that tasty. Yes, it’s yummy; yes, it’s satisfying, but it’s not tasty. So I started trying to cook things that are filled with vegetables and eat more fruits and get to taste the natural taste of foods.”

Some of the best foods you can eat to get that natural taste are the versatile staple items: brown rice, black beans, leafy vegetables. Fortin advises, for the sake of cost, that meals include items in season to get the most out of your budget and the most nutritional value. Frozen and canned foods aren’t a bad choice, as long as they’re free of the preservative liquid full of salt and other unhealthy chemicals.

But cooking for yourself isn’t just an issue of health. For many, including Alm, cooking provides a therapeutic way to wind down at the end of the day, a way to express your creativity, and an opportunity to communicate and bond with who you’re cooking for.

Fortin says cooking provides a break from the stress of classes and academics. “When you cook, you’re using your body instead of your mind for a little while, letting your mind academically take a break, and letting your hands and body do the work,” she says.

Vandegrift, who worked for an insurance company before she attended the Cordon Bleu in (London), says cooking gives her tangible, short-term rewards for her work – being able to see the “fruit of her labors,” so to say. “To me, the value of sitting down with freshly-prepared food, I think that’s very valuable,” she says. “It’s easy to buy prepared food, but in the long run, the ability to prepare a meal for yourself is worth the time and energy and commitment it takes up front to figure out how to cook.”

Photography by Ikeadi Ndukwu


cooking class-8Looking for an easy recipe to begin cooking? Try this Greek Quinoa and Spinach Salad that Fortin teaches at Watkin’s Health Center’s free cooking classes.


1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed and drained

1 cup water

2 roma tomatoes, finely chopped

1/3 cup (15 oz.) can black beans no salt added, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach

1/3 cup green onions, finely chopped

2 small ripe avocados or one large, chopped

1/6 cup feta cheese, crumbled

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Combine cooked quinoa and water in a small pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 15 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed.
  2. Transfer quinoa to a medium bowl. Add tomato, spinach, green onions, avocado, and feta cheese; stir to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture and toss to combine.

Serve right away or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.

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