It’s Thursday again which means another reason to bring up a blast-from-the-past post! I love combing through old posts from a couple years ago, some I had completely forgotten about. Speaking of throwbacks, guess which 90’s idol just made her way onto my Spotify playlist..?
The one and only, Shania. A Buzzfeed article compiled old music videos like Honey, I’m Home and Any Man of Mine. Songs that I haven’t listened to in forever but still know every word. I started thinking about other 90s music of my mom’s that I used to listen to before I got into my own Britney Spears and N’SYNC phase. Dixie Chicks, The Go-Go’s, Billy Gilman, and Donna Lewis come to mind. Good times.
Before I sign off and leave you with today’s #tbt, I can’t not mention the fact that spring break is 24 hours away!
After the New York trip and my procedures were postponed, I scrambled for new spring break plans. The extreme weather on the East coast made travel too risky, and my friends at different universities all have different spring breaks. Looks like a stay-cation for this girl, which includes:
- Unplug from technology (or at least use less of it)
- Read novels, blogs & magazines
- Go for runs, walks and bike rides outside (getting ready for May’s marathon!)
- Try something new at the gym or take a class
- Download new music for a solo car ride
- Cook a new recipe/create a new cocktail
- Decorate the graduation hat (!!!)
- Continue the endless job search
- Take pictures and write new blog posts
- Start planning my post-graduation Tour de South vacation
Give or take a few other exciting events I’m looking forward too. The fact that the above list does not contain “group project meeting” or “8:00am digital marketing class” is enough to make me happy. :)
Originally Posted on October 22, 2012
It’s been a while since I posted a coffee recipe! Once upon a time, Starbucks made a Honey Latte. They were my favorite, and I was hooked. One day, after ordering an Iced Honey Latte, the barista told me they were seasonal, and no longer on the menu. It was honey heartbreak. (But seriously, what season is honey in anyways?!) I have waited for them to return with no luck, until this morning, when I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I know honey is practically tea’s best friend, but it sure works with coffee too. If you like your latte’s sweet, this is a perfect alternative to a pump of white chocolate syrup. It’s sweet and delicious and melts into the steamed milk like dulce de leche.
No espresso maker, no problem. All you need is a coffee maker and a stovetop. This was the first time I tried steaming my milk in a sauce pan and it worked out great!
Honey Latte (Version 1)
- 2 shots espresso or 1/4 cup STRONG coffee (like my title ;) )
- 1 Cup (8 fl. oz.) non-fat milk
- 1 Tablespoon pure honey
Heat the milk in a sauce pan. After about 3 minutes, add in the honey and whisk together. Heat until it is steamy, but not boiling. Whisk rapidly to produce a little “foam”. (I also have a “frother” from the gadget section of Bed, Bath & Beyond to make this a little more legit looking.)
Pour your espresso/coffee, into your coffee mug. Pour the honey milk into the coffee.
Wanna twist? Try Honey NUT Latte:
Instead of regular non-fat milk, substitute unsweetened Almond Milk, or add a drop of almond extract to your honey milk mixture in the saucepan. Go nuts!
So there, Starbucks. I don’t need your stinkin’ latte, I can make my own. (But if you want to bring it back anyways, that’d be great too.)
I’ve fulfilled my intern duties with a coffee run. Iced Americanos for everyyyyyyybody!
Now that we have the office on an espresso high, let’s get to talking about WHAT WE’RE PUTTING IN OUR COFFEE CUPS.
I tend to assume everyone is as obsessed with coffee as me. Tea drinkers are in denial….I will convert you! ;) just kidding, steep on my herb-loving friends.
Today I’m looking at the fun, fancy and fattening ingredients that invade our coffee cups and sabotage our indulgence.
If coffee is a daily (or, you know, hourly) occurrence, then the sugary and fatty additions will add up quickly. ***If a caramel frappuccino is a twice-a-year treat, then girrrl you get that whip cream!***
The cup of coffee itself, the heavenly-scented and dark-roasted liquid crack, begins with an innocent 5 calories plus metabolism-boosting properties. Drinking your coffee BLACK is probably the “healthiest” way to go. (I recommend sipping through a straw though to save your teeth!)
Let’s be honest though…..black coffee is no fun.
Not when there are 168534 possible combinations of flavors and styles for the caffeinated concoction.
My personal FAVE of the moment: Iced Americano with non-fat or almond milk plus a packet of stevia. Yummmm. This particular combo is fat-free/sugar-free. Primarily espresso, water and ice. The milk will add 10-50 calories depending on how dark you like it.
Whip Cream: topping off hot chocolate or fraps with whip cream adds 120 calories and 13 grams of fat.
**Alternative: ask for extra foam. Frothy and delicious :)
Caramel or Chocolate drizzle: sugar sugar sugar = empty calories. Just skip it.
Flavored Syrups: A grande latte is fun, but a vanilla latte is better…..flavored syrup adds 25 grams of sugar and 140 calories to a grande latte. That more than DOUBLES the sugar and calorie content of the drink.
**Alternative: ask for 2 pumps (a grande usually contains 4 pumps) of a sugar-free vanilla/hazelnut/cinnamon flavor.
….CUE the anti-artifical sweetener frenzy…..
I know, I KNOW. How can I condone “sugar-free” syrup with all of its chemicals and artifical sweeteners? Isn’t it basic Health 101 that “sugar-free” does not mean healthy?! Well, I abandoned 100% clean-eating last month so I am not a strict stickler for absolute commitment to unprocessed ingredients.
I look at it like this: for me personally, a coffee shop latte is a treat. Twice a month, maybe. So like most indulgences, the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle is indulging in moderation and making healthy swaps when available. Two pumps of sugar-free syrup will not turn my healthy diet upside down, nor will it cause immediate digestive consequences.
However other alternatives include sweetening your brew with some stevia or a drizzle of honey.
Is soy milk a better choice than skim?
I had to do a little research on this. For lightening my at-home brew, I opt for almond milk because it is creamy and adds very few calories. It’s rarely an option at coffee shops though. Soy is typically available, so how healthy is the non-dairy alternative?
When it comes down to it, skim milk is lower in fat and higher in protein than soy milk. So unless you have an aversion to lactose, soy milk is not superior to skim milk.
Okay your turn. How do you pump up your coffee?
IfeellikeIshouldbetalkingthisfast! My homemade Skinny Vanilla Latte was a tad stronger than I intended. Half a cup of espresso later, I AM WIDE AWAKE to share this coffee creation! But like the title of this blog states, I do enjoy a strong dark coffee and that is exactly what I created this morning with my very own espresso maker. (It’s nothing excessively fancy, just a $40 Mr. Coffee Espresso Maker with a steamer/frother for the milk.)
As I’ve said earlier, I’m a fan of Starbuck’s Skinny Vanilla Latte. But for $4.65, it’s a little hard to justify buying them more than a couple times a month. At our Sprout’s grocery store, there are barrels of coffee and espresso beans sold by the pound. (This section smells heavenly!) For only $7.49/lb of espresso beans, I can home-brew so many lattes with the money I would’ve spent at my local coffee shop drive-thru*.
*I do admit that you are definitely paying for convenience, though…because it is no easy task cleaning up the grounds and foam from this project. But with all that caffeine, you’ll be cleaning at twice the speed!
I started by using a spice grinder to make the espresso grounds, enough for 4 shots. Before it started brewing, I poured 2 tsp of Torani sugar-free vanilla syrup into the bottom of the coffee pot so that the espresso brewed and blended with the flavor. I steamed 6 oz. of 1% milk (I would have used skim but my parents are picky & refuse to buy it) until the top was bubbly with foam.
First I poured 2 shots of espresso (which I just learned TODAY is ½ a cup!) into my fancy glass. I poured in the milk and then let the foam follow, sitting on top. Lastly, a dollop of fat-free cool whip to top it off which melted into the drink almost immediately. IT TASTED EXACTLY LIKE THE MORE EXPENSIVE CHAIN-STORE KIND I AM ADDICTED TO! For a fraction of the cost, this at-home latte was still as delicious and only 100 calories for 10 oz.
As much as I would like to say I actually read one of those books while sipping my latte, in reality I was washing dishes as wiping the coffee grounds out of the spice grinder. Next time, I’ll try sticking it in the freezer and enjoying an iced version in the afternoon. But I think I’ve had enough of a caffeine jolt for one day.