Fancy coffees at home without any fancy tools! I found the secret to the perfect snickerdoodle latte! It took a few tries to get the sugary cinnamon flavor, but the trick is: brown sugar simple syrup and some frothy milk!
Don’t abandon thinking it is too much work. This couldn’t be easier. Simple syrup is sugar and water dissolved. Easy peasy and then pop leftover into the fridge to use the rest of the week. The milk gets warmed and shaken up in a jar for some froth….couldn’t be easier. Trust me, your Friday morning neeeeds this. I used coffee (partially decaf since I’m preggers) but go for espresso if you like!
Ingredients: (for 2)
~1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup water
2 cups hot coffee (or 2 espresso shots)
1 cup of milk
In a pot, bring brown sugar, molasses, and water to a boil. Stir and remove from the heat.
Optional: rim mugs with cinnamon sugar
Brew the coffee (or espresso) and pour into the mugs with a teaspoon of the simple syrup. Stir well.
Pour the milk into a glass car (without the lid) and microwave for 10 seconds. Stir or swirl it around, and heat again for another 10 seconds. Then cover it and shake vigorously.
Slowly pour the milk into the mugs keeping the foam in the jar. A spoon helps push it to the side allowing the milk to still flow out.
Spoon the foam onto the top. Sprinkle cinnamon onto the top.
I tried this first (without the simple syrup) and it just didn’t have enough flavor. It just didn’t read cinnamon & sweet enough. Having the leftover syrup around is perfect to make these again, or even to spoon into my to-go cup for some sweet cinnamon cookie flavor.
Serve these at brunch, as an afternoon treat, or pour into a travel mug to start Friday just a bit sweeter.
Hints of warmer weather bring smoothies back into the breakfast rotations! I love a frozen element in them so I give them a reprieve for the winter. This one is delicate but has slightly tropical flavored from the pineapple and coconut almond milk. I wish it were delightfully yellow, but pineapple + yogurt + milk = mostly white. I added in some ground flax seeds so mind the brown flecks.
Pineapple Coconut Smoothie
Ingredients (for 1, as a meal)
~3/4 cup Greek yogurt in vanilla or coconut
1 cup frozen pineapple
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 cup coconut almond milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
water, if needed
Add yogurt, pineapple, flaxseed, coconut almond milk, and almond extract to a blender.
Blend together thoroughly. Add a splash of water if needed for desired consistency.
I loved the subtlety in this smoothie. It was filling from the yogurt but that could be skipped and the pineapple could be increased if it weren’t functioning as breakfast – well, it was second breakfast at 8am before heading to work after a piece of banana bread with the fam at 6:30am.
My fav dietitians told me to grind the flax seeds or the nutritional benefit is really wasted. Good to know, right? I store it as seeds and pop through the coffee grinder before using. I used coconut almond milk because I really love the flavor and don’t love regular milk alone. I only get it a few times a year because it a) costs more; b) has less protein than regular milk; c) it also has more sugar then regular milk; d) it is delicious in coffee! It is a treat and it hits the spot as dessert sometimes.
I’d imagine a bit of mango would have colored this nicely too. I almost grated some fresh ginger in, but I was trying to keep it simple. The touch of almond extract is perfect here. I totally tasted it and thought it was a great pairing.
I can’t stop! Hot chocolate with all the flavorings and toppings are like the acceptable version of a sundae anytime of the day! This hot chocolate is caramel, chocolate, and pecans- just like the candy turtle!
I used some salted caramel hot chocolate mix (half that, half regular) but a generous spoonful of caramel sauce into the hot chocolate works great too! I stole my pecans out of trail mix but walnuts taste great if you have them instead.
Turtle Hot Chocolate, for 2
hot water & cocoa mix, quantities according to package (6-8oz per mug)
1-2 teaspoons salted caramel sauce
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or spike it with almond liquor! I didn’t even think of that at the time!!)
1 teaspoon chocolate hazelnut spread
5-6 pecans, chopped
Prepare the hot chocolate according to the instructions. (I used half salted caramel hot chocolate & half regular.)
Mix hazelnut spread, almond extract, and caramel sauce into the hot chocolate. (I skipped the caramel sauce in the hot chocolate since my mix was flavored).
Top with whipped cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, and pecans.
This is such a great treat. I wanted a real nutty flavor to come through and I tasted it. I’d totally make this as dessert, or some of those flavors would be good in coffee too! I have another junked up hot chocolate idea…stay tuned! In the meantime there are a few dinners in store.
New England’s frigid temps lately have been ohh so freezing and inspiring all the cozy. I feel accomplished that the little one knows after playing in the snow, the next activity is to: get cozy on the couch…blankets, books, and snuggles. While today might feel like spring here in New England, 50s! Woah! I know there’s some more chilly temps ahead. Thus, where my hot chocolate with raspberry & white chocolate comes in! None for the little one, but I know this’ll be dessert on the couch, some night in the near future again!
This recipe has a few specialty ingredients…which I know I don’t love when I see them in recipes- the white hot chocolate & the raspberry syrup. I’m including a few work-around below if an an alternative is helpful.
Hot Chocolate with Raspberry & White Chocolate
2-3 tablespoons hot chocolate mix (check product for ratios)
1 tablespoon white hot chocolate mix (I used this one, or my grocery store has individual serving packets, 2/$1)
8 oz water/milk
1/4 cup raspberries (I used frozen, plucked from a frozen mixed berry bag)
2 teaspoons raspberry syrup (sold near maple syrups)
Heat water to warm but not boiling & mix in hot chocolate and white hot chocolate. Stir well.
Gently press the raspberries with a spoon to break them down a bit and mix the raspberries & 1 teaspoon of syrup into the hot chocolate.
Spoon out any raspberry solids (if desired – I skimmed a few out)
Add whipped cream & 1 teaspoon of raspberry syrup.
white hot chocolate mix: I used this – partly because we had it. It is a delight in coffee (hot & iced), but peek at the grocery store, or amazon has millions. It feels like it lasts forever. Stir in a few white chocolate chips if that feels easier!
raspberry syrup: I used this – because we also have it for pancakes/waffles. Another idea would be to boil some raspberries with a splash of water & then strain.
LOVED the subtle white chocolate in there. Go full white hot chocolate if that’s your thing. I thought it might be too sweet for me, but it sure would be pretty!
Now that you have your hands wrapped around a cozy drink, is your couch getting as much cozy time as mine?
Cocktail or mocktail! Take your pick! I’ll be real and say I tested & photographed this out during the little one’s naptime so I went mocktail so I could be productive for the afternoon but later the champagne version was delicious!
Bubbly Pomegranate Cider
2 oz Pomegranate juice
4 oz apple cider
1 oz limoncello or citrus vodka (optional)
7 oz ginger ale (mini can) or champagne
Add pomegranate juice to a cocktail shaker with cider and ice. For a cocktail version, add limoncello or citrus vodka.
Shake and pour over ice into 2 glasses.
Top with ginger ale or champagne.
This is a great one to make to order, or to make a big pitcher for guests! I’d totally include this on a mimosa(-ish) bar for brunch! I liked the bubbles to cut the sweetness of the cider & juice. It is an easy one to make to your taste.
I can see kiddos liking the mocktail version while others have the champs in there.
Fall to a T! Apple, caramel, cider, yogurt, and ginger all come together for a breakfast treat, or dessert! This one is a bit sweeter than I usually make for breakfast, but it was so fall, and so delicious.
Caramel Apple Smoothie
Ingredients: (1- 16oz serving breakfast, or 2- 8oz snack or dessert servings)
1 apple, chopped & frozen (optional: peal it for a perfectly smooth smoothie)
1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup apple cider
1-2 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 cup ice
Add apple, yogurt, cinnamon, and ginger to a blender.
Add cider, caramel sauce, flaxseed, and ice.
Blend well and serve with a drizzle of caramel. Enjoy!
I loved this! The cider and the caramel made it super sweet but the frozen cool-factor made this so perfect for this surprisingly warm fall. This would make a great dessert too.
I’m in this weird limbo where I want to make chili and eat all the pumpkin things but also really want to hold onto summer foods! The produce is just so good! The colors are spectacular! Serve all my meals outside!! This smoothie made me think summer, buuuut would also work well in the off-season with frozen peaches. Gasp! I know. It isn’t the time of year to buy anything besides fresh/local. They’re one of the best frozen fruits and I’ll be honest, my peaches came from the grocery store for this one. After a weekend away in Maine I was doing a late night grocery shop and wanted all the fresh things!
I added yogurt for the cream factor, as well as protein. The banana and cauliflower are both mild but add some fiber without overpowering the peaches. The ground flax seed is mostly tasteless but adds omega-3s for heart health. Registered Dietitians at work said they must be ground…otherwise you won’t process ‘em, you’ll just host them until they depart. I pop them into the coffee grinder.
Peaches & Cream Smoothie
1 1/2 – 2 peaches, sliced
1 cup frozen cauliflower
1 cup ice
1 cup Greek vanilla yogurt
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
splash of milk
Chop the peach, banana, and add everything into a blender.
Blend & enjoy!
Frozen peaches might actually be even better. I KNOW! Don’t say such things. I like smoothies to be cold, frosty, and I’m not sure I’d taste the difference of a frozen peach and a fresh one here. I might have fallen deeper in love if it were colder. I only had 1 small ingredient frozen: cauliflower, then I added some ice.
Smoothies are such a perfect breakfast for hot days. This one would hit the spot for dessert or a snack too. The beets, strawberries, and cocoa together give a chocolatey and earthy but sweet flavor.
Red Velvet Smoothie for 2
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup milk
1/2 cup ice cubes
1 1/4 cup strawberries
2-3 beets, roasted
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
Add spinach, milk, and ice to a blender and blend very well.
Then add in the strawberries, beets, and cocoa powder. Blend well and add a splash of milk if too thick.
Pour & enjoy!
I loved this for variety since my other smoothies are predominantly fruity. The chocolate hint kind of made it seem like dessert…or maybe just what a weekday morning needs.
I had some leftover wine that wasn’t the greatest. I jazzed up a wine spritzer that was just so delightful for a warm night viewing of The Bachelorette. Whether part of Bachelor Nation or not, this drink is perfect for the summer. The spritzer has such a bad rap but it is just what a Monday-night-bachelorette viewing needs, or day-drinking, or a light Sunday-funday, or for that not-so-great wine.
Wine Spritzer with Pomegranate Lemonade Ice Cubes
Ingredients (for 2 drinks):
pomegranate lemonade ice cubes
4 oz white wine
3 oz ginger ale
Mix lemonade and pomegranate juice and pour into an ice cube tray. Freeze 6+ hours or overnight. Then add to a glass.
Add in the wine.
Top off with the ginger ale.
I loved that as the “ice” melted, it added another flavor to the drink. The ginger flavor + the wine was so good and then the pomegranate and lemonade added slow additions of other flavors. It became a little bit like sangria. Need a mocktail? Go for gingerale with the ice cube flavors!
This smoothie is gently green, with the mint & lime flavors of a mojito! This is like a baby step into adding greens into a smoothie. The green-ness seems appropriate and that you expect it to be green! I used frozen pear, but banana, apple would be fine too – shoot for something mild so the mint and the lime can really stand out.
Mojito Breakfast Smoothie
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk
1 cup frozen pear
bunch of mint leaves
1/2 lime: squeezed for juice & zested
Add spinach, yogurt, and milk to a blender and blend very thoroughly.
Then add in the frozen pear, mint, lime juice, and lime zest.
Blend and add more milk if it is too thick for your liking.
Enjoy! I loved that this was creamy from the milk and yogurt while fresh from the mint and lime.