Simpatico Nice Coffee

Simpatico CoffeeThis morning, my first cup of coffee was nice. It was roasted by a nice person. And the coffee was grown by nice people.

You ALL know that I love coffee. I drink a lot of coffee. You could say that coffee is my comfort food.

So, imagine the smile I cracked when I saw that my good friend from college, Alex Fink, was starting a coffee company! Alex really is nice. Genuinely nice. Even when he told me that my Keds sneakers looked like Grandma shoes while we were in college. He may or may not have been right.

Simpatico Coffee is based in beautiful Holland, Michigan. The coffee beans are sourced directly from the farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico. The beans are 100% Arabica coffee and have absolutely no chemicals or additives, and never will! Simpatico Coffee has eliminated the middleman, by directly sourcing the coffee from the farmers and paying them higher than Fair Trade prices. Simpatico Coffee is better than Fair Trade, it is Straight Trade. Once the beans are imported back to Holland, Michigan the beans are roasted using a Revelation Roaster, made by U.S. Roaster Corp. This roaster costs less than 1 cent per pound of coffee in energy! And then that cost savings is passed on to you and me!

Simpatico coffee is committed to be nice to farmers, nice to the environment and nice to our pocketbook! I’d expect nothing less out of my friend!

If you live in West Michigan, I encourage you to try some Simpatico Coffee! It is going to be served at the Hope College campus, Way Cup CafĂ© in Holland and at Respite Cappuccino Court in Douglas. It can be purchased by the bag at Shaker Messenger in Holland, and Barden’s Farm Market and Nature’s Country Cupboard in South Haven, Summertime Market in Douglas, and by the pound or half pound at Pereddies Restaurant and Deli in Washington Square. (just typing all of that made me a bit homesick for my college home!)

Simpatico also features The Nice Coffee Club! Do you live in West Michigan? You can save on a coffee membership by joining the Nice Coffee Club and have some really nice coffee delivered to your door, by a nice person!

If you live too far for personal delivery, Simpatico can also mail your coffee. There is a $20 minimum order, and shipping is included. (that is nice).

You can also find Simpatico on Facebook (of course), and you can keep up to date with new locations and specials!

My personal favorite roast is Black and Tan. . .perfectly smooth and not at all bitter!

*I was sent samples to facilitate my review, however, all opinions are my own!

No Whine With Dinner Review and Raspberry Breakfast Cake Recipe

Raspberry cake
Raspberry cake
Used Under Creative Commons License.

This past Sunday I was scheduled to bring treats to church. I usually end up bringing donuts when it is my turn. However, I am also the Sunday School teacher and I see firsthand what effects donuts have on my students. (I also do a lot of the post-church clean up, and donuts can be messy!)

Saturday brought us what I hope is our last blizzard of this season, so I was not even able to run to the store for easy snacks. I had to turn to baking. In my kitchen. By myself.

Thankfully I have a tried and true resource to turn to when baking–The Meal Makeover Moms! I was introduced to Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss several years ago shortly after their first book, The Moms’ Guide to Meal Makeoverswas released. I was looking for ways to improve our family’s nutritional bottom line without having to go to extremes or hiding food in brownie batter. I became a very regular listener to their podcast and I was super excited when they announced that they were working on a second cookbook, in which every recipe would be tested by moms, like me. The new cookbook, No Whine with Dinner was released late last year, and I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve cooked so far. The ingredients are easy to find, are healthful, and most of all, very kid friendly. There is also a list of 50 moms’ secrets to getting picky eaters to try new foods. (I’m tip number 19!)

Since I hate to bake, it is surprising that I enjoy baking many of the recipes found in No Whine with Dinner. The trick for me is the fact that the recipes are easy! As a matter of fact, I don’t even have to pull my mixer out. . .which makes dishwashing a snap!

So, back to Sunday. I made a big pan of Chocolaty Pumpkin Bars and two Raspberry Breakfast Cakes. I knew that the raspberry cakes would be tasty, as I’ve made them before. However, the pumpkin bars were a new recipe for me, and some of my Sunday School students can smell health food a mile away. . .

I should never have feared. The bars were gone in a snap, and I even caught one of my own sons piling three at a time on his plate. The breakfast cake was a hit with the women. When I told them that it was not only tasty but really quite healthy as well, they demanded the recipe. So here you go!

Raspberry Breakfast Cake

A moist, delicious addition to your breakfast table!

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup flax seed meal
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 T. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (I used frozen!)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil or coat a 9 inch round baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, 1/2 cup of the sugar and oil until well blended. Whisk in the milk, lemon juice and vanilla.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Arrange the raspberries over the top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Bake 20-22 minutes or until the cake is golden and toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Try and share this cake!


I think this would be a great cake to make for a Mother’s Day breakfast. I’m guessing that if I can bake it, most older children can as well!

Chime in! What is your go-to treat to bring to events? Is it easy, quick, or healthy? You know I’d love to hear from you!