Peppermint Mocha

Now this is a bandwagon I can jump on!  When I drank the actual Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, despite the torture of reduced fat milk and the non-existence of the coffee, I sure loved the mintiness of it.  Of course for some reason it does seem right for coffee and mint to be put together.   The original recipe tells to put 1 1/2 teaspoons of the mint syrup, but personally I go for 2-3 tablespoons, it gives that nice minty kick and doesn’t loose the coffee flavor either.

½ cup sugar
½ cup water
1/8 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 peppermint candies, slightly crushed
1 tablespoon powdered cocoa, sifted
¾ cup hot espresso
½ cup hot milk
Whipped cream (optional)

In a small saucepan, stir together the water and sugar, bringing to a soft boil, stirring frequently, until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to a low simmer and add the peppermint extract and candy, and simmer for 20 minutes.

In a small cup, add the hot espresso and cocoa, and stir together until the cocoa has blended well into the coffee and has no lumps. Pour coffee mixture into a Starbucks bottle, followed by 2 tablespoons of the peppermint simple syrup, and then the hot milk and shake to mix. If desired, add a dash of whipped cream, I just pour in a teaspoon of cream.

Recipe courtesy of The Kitchn.


Pumpkin Spice Latte

In my attempt to try different Starbucks flavors, without actually going out and buying them, I gave the ever popular Pumpkin Spice Latte a shot.  I might have done something wrong, because I seriously did not enjoy it.  At all.  I couldn’t taste the pumpkin, even though I put double the amount that was called for, and I’m not sure the idea of cloves or ginger is precisely the taste I like having up against coffee.  But, again, it could be just me doing things wrong.

¹/3 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups water
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
3 cloves
¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally to keep syrup from burning.   Let mixture cook together until it becomes syrupy and begins to coat the spoon (for about 10-15 minutes), then remove from heat.  Refrigerate in a heat-proof container, or in a Starbucks  Frappacino bottle. The syrup will thicken a bit in the refrigerator, but will become syrupy again when heated.

To make pumpkin spice latte, heat syrup with milk (about 2 cups of milk and 2-3 tablespoons of syrup, depending on how much milk or creamer you want to use and how pumpkiny sweet you want your latte. I used about 2 tablespoons syrup. Pour into a blender or whisk until frothy, for about ten seconds.  This will make it thick and prevent the pumpkin from settling on the bottom. Pour into cup and stir in about 1/2 cup or more of strong, hot coffee.

Recipe courtesy of Bakergirl.

Avocado Milkshake

Avocados.  A lovely, creamy, green fruit that can be sliced in half, and eaten just as is with a sprinkling of sugar.  Plus it’s rich in potassium, and contains fats that are good for ya.  Some people say that mashing it up til smooth, and rubbing it into your hair helps strengthen the hair.  I was going to try it, but kept forgetting.  How typical.

For an easy and delicious milkshake, just scoop out the flesh of two avocados and pour in a couple cups of milk, a few tablespoons of sugar, and several ice cubs and blend until smooth.  Add more milk if you want it less thick. 🙂

Guava Smoothie

The guava taste really stands out in this, and the peach second, most probably more so because I put the chunks in. You don’t really have to put bananas or berries in it, since it gives a pretty mild flavor, but I put it anyway since it helps the fruit get eaten up quicker and well they’re good for ya!

5 medium guavas (about 8 oz)
1/2 cup milk
1 large peach
1 medium banana
1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1/2 cup yogurt
8 ice cubes
1 tablespoon sugar

Slice the guavas in half and blend together with the milk for a minute.  Scrape down the sides of the blender with a spatula, and blend again for another minute, so that the seeds get pulverized and the mixture is smoothish.  There will be a slight amount of a gritty texture, but the seeds will be crushed.

Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Add diced peaches and drink up.

Serves 3.

Peach Banana Smoothie

Me and smoothies don’t really go there.  I never went near the blender before.  It was my mother’s toy, and even though I know there’s not much harm a peach, banana, and yogurt can do, you just never know.  It was a bit freaky throwing in the ice cubes, because I did not realize there was an ice crush mode until my sister pointed out that there are buttons with words on them.  I don’t peel the peaches either, since we have a Blendtec, and you can’t really tell those little specks were once peach skin.

1 1/2 large peach
1 banana
1 cup yogurt
8 ice cubes
1 tablespoon sugar

Cube 1 peach, break the banana in to pieces, scoop out the yogurt, pop out the ice cubes, and drizzle on the sugar into a blender. Blend until smooth, taste to make sure it is sweet enough, and pour into serving glasses. Dice the other 1/2 peach into small pieces and stir the chunks into the smoothies.

Serves 3.

Lets Try it Cold

Every now and then, I drop by The Pioneer Woman to admire (and sometimes groan at*) her high resolution step-by-step food pictures.  Last night I stumbled upon this.  I told my sister about it.  She’s not like me.  She actually went ahead made it.  I’ve never had coffee cold before.  And it tastes pretty darn good.  Perfect for a warm day.   #AbsolutelyDelightful!