Since I talked about coffee yesterday, today I thought I would share my morning cuppa with you. Today I am sipping a delicious raspberry mocha prepared with Starbucks Terraza coffee beans (I think this is my favorite blend ever…so smooth.) The other secret ingredient that makes it so good (besides the chocolate) is that glass bottle with orange writing in the background: Farm Fresh milk in a glass bottle. For all of you city folks who have never had it, you have no idea what you are missing. I have been drinking this since I was a kid. The dairy it comes from is less than 75 miles from where I live. When I got married and lived in St. Louis for a couple of years it was one of the things I missed most. Milk in a glass bottle is cold, much colder than the paper carton or plastic jug variety. It also does not take on any of the flavors of the container like milk in a plastic jug does, and it stays fresher longer. Another cool perk? The store I purchase it from is a mere two blocks from my house and there is a 10¢ refund for each bottle I return.
Okay…so here is how to make the perfect raspberry mocha: First, grind your beans until they are like coarse sand and place them in the filter cup of your espresso machine. Next, add cold filtered water to the reservoir. Start the machine. While waiting for the espresso to brew, measure out 1/2-2/3 cup very cold milk into a small pyrex measuring cup or stainless steel pitcher and set aside. Then add 2 tsp. flavored syrup and 3 tsp. chocolate syrup to the bottom of your coffee mug. By this time, your expresso should be half brewed and it should be time to steam your milk. Foam milk (keep steam spigot near the surface of milk, as heated milk will not foam) until it is doubled in volume. Then place steam spigot deeper into the coffee until hot. You can use one of those nifty latte thermometers or just do it by touch – be careful not to burn yourself, though! After steaming your milk, let your espresso finish brewing. Pour the coffee into the mug and stir well to mix the syrup with the coffee. Add milk, then use a spoon to top with foam. (The process sounds long, but after a bit of practice it really only takes about five minutes or so from start to finish.) Garnish with cocoa or cinnamon and… voila! Now, sit back and savor a nice long sip!
I am 65% Addicted to Coffee
My morning coffee regimen includes grinding the beans myself and preparing a nice strong cappucino or latte. I do not have an expensive espresso machine – mine was actually given to my husband about ten years ago when a family member upgraded to a more upscale model. I have found that good quality coffee beans and the correct ratio of milk to espresso contribute more to the taste than an expensive machine. I like syrups, but use them sparingly as I do not like my coffee very sweet. Making my own at home saves me in time, money, and gas to drive over to my local Starbucks, so this is a great way to enjoy my coffee and save money.
How do you like your coffee?
I want to thank everyone who called or emailed me with birthday wishes, I appreciate your kind thoughts and words.
I had a very nice birthday yesterday. My husband brought me a giftbag of Starbucks goodies and took me out to my favorite restaurant for dinner. Cunetto’s is an Italian restaurant on “The Hill,” a famous St. Louis neighborhood known for authentic Italian fare. I ordered salad, Linguini Tutto Mare (always my favorite dish there – I have never had it taste half so good at any other restaurant), and followed it with coffee and spumoni. It was a fantastic meal and my husband almost had to roll me out, I was so full. (And I have enough leftovers to have for lunch the rest of the week!) And, for an extra special birthday something – I am getting a new dishwasher!
Some of you may not think that an appliance as a gift is very romantic. I agree, it is not, but it is very practical and it is what I really want. I have lived in our house for over two years now without one. I was given a free (I like free) one by my brother-in-law when he renovated his kitchen and upgraded to stainless appliances. As a Christmas gift, my brother (a plumber) came and plumbed out my kitchen for the dishwasher and installed it, while my dad did the electric and even rewired my circuit box. They did an awesome job, but the dishwasher had sat unused for too long (more than two years), was not in prime condition, and the seals leaked. (We found this out when my husband discovered water dripping in the basement while the dishwasher was running.) My brother and father had informed me beforehand that this was a strong possibility, since the dishwasher was not new. I had only had it installed for a week, and already I was mourning the loss. So, for my birthday I am going to be getting a brand new dishwasher!!! I have a great husband to get me such a wonderful/practical/expensive birthday gift!
…Starbucks peppermint syrup!
I have become quite addicted to the peppermint hot chocolates at Starbucks. So, last night my husband surprised me with a large bottle of their peppermint syrup for me to use at home. Today I tried it with my homemade hot cocoa mix and the combination is wonderful.
Cheers! (Clinks mug with monitor.)
Today I realized that the holiday season is fast approaching, even though it does not feel like it at an unseasonably warm and sunny 77 degrees. Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away. My husband emailed me letting me know that Starbucks was starting their holiday season today. That was all the suggestion I needed before the temptation took hold and I found myself driving over for a delicious eggnog latte. MMMmmm… It tastes delicious and they had all sorts of wonderful additions to the pastry case, things such as gingerbread loaf, Christmas cookies, peppermint brownies, just to name a few. They have added drinks like peppermint mocha, gingerbread latte, peppermint hot chocolate, and eggnog latte to their menu and put up red, white, and green christmas decorations. It looked so festive in the shop. It was a nice dose of Christmas spirit in a coffee cup!