So, in my recent attempt at improving my status as a real live adult (I'm still in denial sometimes), I downloaded a nifty finance app called Mint.com to help me see where I'm spending my money and get a hold over my monthly budget. What does this have to do with cooking you ask? Well...take a WILD guess where a good chunk of my money went every month?
Yup.... Starbucks. That green goddess whose sign lights up the morning like no rays of sun ever can. Those cheery faces with the little green hats fixed atop their heads that have learned my favorite drink down to the number of pumps and shots (don't pretend you don't know what I mean...there's a starbucks addict in all of us). Gah! I love you but you can't have my money anymore!!! (sorry...got carried away)
Anywho, because of my recently discovered (*ahem* acknowledged if we're being completely honest) penchant for spending my hard earned money on Starbucks, I've learned how to make my own sbucks-inspired coffee's at home. I bought a reusable cold cup and now use that every morning for my very own caramel macchiato's!
Note - these recipe's are by no means as "gourmet" as they could be. These are super easy, good old tried and true coffee concoctions made with your basic ingredients you could find in the kitchen at work. Feel free to try some out with the more fancy flavored syrups. I'll note some "classy" substitutions.
Iced Caramel Macchiato (double for a large sized cup)
1 shot of Espresso
2 Tablespoons of Caramel
1 teaspoon/individual packets of vanilla creamer (substitute with two teaspoons of Vanilla syrup if you're fancy)
Ice (a good handful)
1 cup (about) of Milk (I use skim, if you like the taste of cow go ahead and use whole...kidding! kind of..)
In a reusable iced-drink cup, pour in caramel and add ice. If you have a machine, brew the espresso right into the cup. If you have a different type of machine, brew your espresso and pour into cup To make as a hot drink, don't add ice (enlightening, right?). Toss in your creamer and top off with milk, if you're making a hot drink, heat your milk first (see White Chocolate Mocha recipe for tips on heating milk). Stir and taste. Add more/less caramel or milk to make sweeter or less strong. Ice will melt a tad so if you need extra ice toss it in at the end.
Voila! Caramel Macchiato (in my Wale voice).
White Chocolate Mocha (Just for you Shon!)
This recipe can be made the easy or the little bit trickier way. The easy way will be to use store-bought white chocolate sauce. The hard way is to make your own!
1 shot of espresso
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons white chocolate sauce and 1 teaspoon/packet vanilla creamer
OR 6 tablespoons of white chocolate chips and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (fancy pants)
Iced: Add chocolate sauce and ice to a cup, brew in (or pour in after brewing) 1 shot of espresso. Add in vanilla creamer and milk to top. Stir and add more/less chocolate or milk to taste.
Hot: Using a double boiler - or making your own by pouring water into a pan, placing a glass bowl on top and pouring milk into the glass bowl - heat milk to simmering, stirring constantly (this is how I ALWAYS heat milk). Once milk is hot, add in chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Stir constantly until choclate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour espresso into a mug and top off with milk mixture. Be sure to taste before dumping all of the milk in! I like my coffee to taste like coffee..not sweet milk, but to each their own.