By mama | March 8, 2009
One of the things I miss from better days is a foofy coffee drink, but at $3-5 a pop, those are no longer a regular purchase for me but I still want one, so I went into my kitchen and started mixing until I found something I liked. I mixed 1/4 c. of hot cocoa mix with 1 tbsp. instant espresso powder and a shot of vanilla, almond, or hazelnut extract, then filled the cup half-full of boiling water and stirred it up before adding milk or soymilk. It’ll never fool you into thinking that it’s from a cafe, but it is pretty good. I’ve also made a fancier version by melting good chocolate in some warm milk with a little orange peel and a piece of cinnamon stick, then fishing out the solids and using the scented chocolate in my coffee. Even if you use a few squares of a super high-end chocolate bar, it’s a lot cheaper than the chain coffee places. If I drank more coffee at home, I’d take the time to make flavored simple syrups for my drinks. To make a simple syrup, you melt 2 parts sugar with 1 part water, then you can add citrus peel, vanilla beans, mint, cardamom, or other flavorings. Let them steep to taste, then strain them out and bottle the syrup in a clean container and use it for sweetening coffee and tea. Simple syrups are great when you have a summer barbecue and batches of iced tea to dole out to the masses. Lemon always seems to be the most popular, even beating out plain.
Yesterday we received a sample of mini rice cakes in the mail. Just in time to eat them alongside our lunchtime bowl of soup. Plus I got a coupon, and the really nice thing about the coupons that come with samples is that they usually are for a higher amount and have a much longer time until expiration than the coupons you clip from the newspaper. Stocking up one little bit at a time.
I cleaned like crazy yesterday, got the kitchen and the living room looking pretty good. With the budget being what it is, at-home entertaining seems to be a wise decision, so I need my house to be up to my standards of company clean. I need to go tackle the bedroom. The sewing table doesn’t quite work where it currently is, it takes up all of my space to exercise and that’s no good, so I need to find a better spot for it. I also moved my laptop back downstairs to the desk so that I stop staying up all night surfing the net and I need to clean off the folding table it was on beside the bed because that’s become another spot where clutter accumulates and that’s not good either. I have to get rid of the things that tempt me to be lazy because, for all of my ambition, I don’t need any help when it comes to procrastinating about putting something away.
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