three times the sugar shakes

Today was an extremely “off” day for me.  The top two things I need to get my life moving:  my blackberry and coffee.  And both shook my world today.

First, early last night, my blackberry finally forced me update itself.  It warned me I would be unable to use it for two hours, but I did not expect that when it restarted it would look completely different.  Texts that look like BBM’s??  A new unlock button??? VISUAL VOICEMAIL??  I was not prepared for this.  Sure, I love my blackberry, it is attached to me at all times, so I still have not adjusted to this new upgrade.  (dramatic, I know)

Then, this afternoon, I hopped into a Starbucks I stop by weekly grab a coffee (I’m now 1 drink away from the gold card, whoop!), and there sitting on the counter was an iced coffee cup labeled “trenta”.  IT WAS HUGE!  Now, I had read an article months ago that this was happening, but honestly, figured it was an onion article and a good laugh.  So I was incredibly confused to see this cup yelling “taste me!” at me.  It couldn’t be.  I looked up, and there 4 rows to the right of the labels Hot or Iced Coffee, it was…tall, grande, venti, TRENTA.  I will probably never sleep again.


ruined :)

So, I had this thing, where once I make a really incredible version of something, I can’t go back to the original kind of okay version.  Things that stick out to me like this:  salsa.  Cannot eat the stuff from the jar now.  Chicken parmigiana?  Will probably never eat it from a restaurant again.  But I never, NEVER thought it would happen to this:

Starbucks caramel apple cider.  Until about 2 weeks ago, I was in love with it.  It was a perfect sign of fall.  Getting it was the first sign of Fall.  Then last year, I found out you could buy starbucks caramel at our grocery store.  This stuff, mixed in with fresh apple cider from our local orchard, was amazing, but still, starbucks was a treat.  Then, it happened.  Last week, I was at starbucks getting coffee before class, and I spied something above the coffee.  There sat 3 jugs of apple juice.  Not cider, juice.  A juice, that I had seen in the grocery store many times before.  Could this be in the cider?  No, no, I refused to believe.  Until today.  I stopped before class (again) and decided (okay learned from hyperactivity and shaking before class last week) that another coffee I could not handle, so a cider sounded perfect.  I gave my order to my lovely barista, as the newbie coffee maker looked puzzled.  Then it happened…”…then you steam the apple juice and add caramel on the top”.  UM WHAT?  STEAM THE APPLE JUICE?  It sounded like a fancy drink for a 4 year old.  I was paying $3 for steamed apple juice?  GROSS.  So, now, I am unable to every look at a starbucks caramel apple cider, as I now am convinced it is just a warmed Mott’s juice-box as I liked to drink in 4th grade.  Maybe I’ll be luckier with the peppermint mocha this winter…. 😦

Morning pick me up

This morning i was feeling beyond tired.  I slept so little last night, I’m not even sure I actually slept.  So this morning, I was craving something fierce, and decided a fruity smoothie was just what I needed.  It was ambitious, I mean, how often do I break out the blender before 8 am?  But in went some milk, yogurt and frozen strawberries, and out came a cup of deliciousness that gave me the kick in the butt I needed to make it to work.

This might just be my new thing.  It kept me satisfied through most of the morning.  I snacked on  peanut butter on bread around 10 and then ate some of Saturday’s penne for lunch.  YUM YUM.

Any day happy hour: Frozen Strawberry Margaritas

One of the secrets that I have learned along my journey to adulthood is the importance of having a well stocked kitchen.  With it, you can whip up essentials like salsa, brushetta and margaritas at the drop of a hat.  So when you had a bad day at work and you know that the ONLY thing that can turn your frown upside down is a strawberry margarita, you can whip one up for yourself.  IN 3 MINUTES.

What you need:

(this makes one margarita, I usually whip up about 4 servings in the blender at once and throw the blender cup into the fridge while I drink the first.  DON’T judge!!  I am not drinking alone)

1 shot Tequilla Silver
1 shot Cointreau
1 shot margarita mix
1 shot lime juice
2 cups of frozen strawberries

What to do:

Throw everything in the blender except the ice, and then add enough ice up to the top.  BLEND and taste :).  The first time I made these I made them a littttle (ok a LOT) strong so I had to go back and add more ice, but everyone has different margarita tastes, that’s what best about making them at home!!

Note:  I have tried making these before, and found that the key to the goodness is this was the FROZEN strawberries.  They were leftover fresh from the beginning of the summer and were perfect to use for these!!  I will defiantly be making them again soon!!

You can salt the rims of your margarita glasses with either sugar or salt.  🙂

Oh and p.s..  I LOVE when recipes come from our garden.  And three months ago, these plants were just these little tiny things:

And now they are strawberry margaritas!!! Gardens are amazing!

How iced coffee changed my life

As the summer ends and the school year gets ready to sneak around the corner, I start mentally preparing myself for school mode again (working a full-time job and going to school full time ain’t no party, my friends).  Suprisingly, aside from complete organization, many of these things revolve around food, so I thought I’d share some here.  Numero 1:  Iced Cofee

I don’t know you, but I am a total crankster in the morning.  I need coffee like 5 minutes before I get out of bed, and since I don’t have a butler to make it for me (Blah), one of the tiny indulgences I love is overnight iced coffee.  It makes me smile.  In fact, I drink it while I type, and it’s warming my caffeine addiction and my heart.  ❤

Overnight Iced Coffee

What you need:

1. Your favorite coffee.  I love me some starbucks, but if you aren’t a full-fledged addict like myself, I suppose you could use anything.

2.  Water

3.  A tad of sugar, and whatever you want to flavor yours.

What to do:

At night, make yourself a full flegged strong pot of coffee.  My coffee maker has a convientn “Strong brew” button, but if yours doesn’t, add more coffee grinds that you would to a normal cup.  This is one of the essentials to iced coffee.  I find myself that if my coffee is too watery, it is a no-go.

Before you brew, add a sprinkle of cinnamon or whatever you want to the grinds.  I do this and it gives it this extra love.

When the coffee is brewed, add about a small teaspoon of sugar or whatever substitue you use and pop it in the fridge.

The next morning, groggly-eyed, head to the fridge and pour yourself a glass.  YUM!!

Things I have learned about making iced coffee:

*It is delcious and quite the time/money saver

*Brewing strong is important

*The taste lasts for up to 3 days.  After that, I start to get a little skeptical.  I usually brew to the 8-cup mark on mine and it lasts for that long, since you are adding less coffee to your cup with the ice.

Have you ever made your own?