Posts tagged beverages

bonus recipe! pink mimosas

we knew that mimosas would be a necessary staple at our valentine brunch, but then i got to thinking that orange wouldn’t quite fit the color scheme. adding a dash of cranberry made them way more pink, flirty and festive.

all you need is:

cranberry juice

orange juice


strawberries (option for garnish)

you can pick how strong you want certain elements to be over others, but i layered cranberry juice, then OJ and topped it off with champagne. i sliced a strawberry to make it pretty and voila!

as the  morning went on, the juice lessened and the champagne increased in everyone’s glasses, but at least the fun catchphrase of, “would you like some juice with your champagne?!” was born.

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#valentine's day

mocha frappe

i admit, i used to have a problem. a coffee problem. i would go to dunkin donuts with my old roommate daily. sometimes more than once in a day. as our only escape from the office, we’d walk across the street, grab an iced coffee, maybe a bagel, and mosey on back to our desks. this became a problem because although dunkin donuts isn’t expensive, it isn’t incredibly cheap.  i was spending upwards of $20 a week there. that’s over $75 a month! almost $1000 a year! if you know my current job, you’d know that this type of spending was completely unacceptable.

after a trip to california this summer, i declared i would be going on a spending diet. since then, i can count on a single hand how many times i’ve gone shopping for clothes and for a solid 4-5 months, i never went out to dinner more than once a week. i’ve strayed a bit from my strict confines, but the one thing that i have been completely steadfast on is backing away from dunkin donuts. i am only allowed ONE coffee/bagel a week from dunkin donuts and i choose that treat to come on fridays.

this year, i declared fridays to be TGIDDF for two reasons: 1) thank god it’s dunkin donuts friday and 2) thank god it’s dress down friday. yes, i have a self-declared dress down day at work and i get to wear jeans. so there!

when life gets excessively monotonous, i think the best way to spruce things up is celebrate little made-up holidays and achievements. every week that i make it through, i say YAY! FRIDAY! TIME FOR A TREAT! it really makes me appreciate my medium iced hazelnut, skim milk, two splendas so much more than when i was taking it for granted every. single. day.

well, that was just a really long backstory to tell you that for the first time this year, it’s friday and i didn’t stop at dunkin donuts. but that doesn’t mean no coffee for me. instead, i enjoyed my very own mocha frappe. cut out the coolatas; forget about frappuccinos. i’ve got a healthier, cheaper and all-around better alternative.

i originally saw this recipe on deliciously organic, but as always, made a few tweaks of my own. if you prefer carmel or peppermint or anything, start experimenting and make your own version - the possibilities are endless!

3/4 cup strong, hot coffee

3/4 Tablespoon honey

1 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 cup plain ice cubes

once you’re done collecting, it’s time for the doing.

brew your coffee and while it’s still hot, mix in the honey until it’s dissolved. pour the coffee into four ice cube slots in a tray and freeze until solid. keep the remaining coffee/honey mixture cooling in the fridge.

two things. one: do you like my primitive way to brew coffee? my coffee maker broke months ago and since i don’t drink as much anymore, i decided to wait to buy a new one until i’m ready for a KEURIG (!) of my own. shockingly, using just the caraffe from the coffee maker and filter and then pouring hot water into the top, it worked 100% just fine.

two: if you like this drink, in the future i’d suggest just filling up more than the four ice cube trays and then you can make one of these frosty, delicious beverages on a moment’s notice!

once they’re frozen, you can get moving on the rest of the steps. the next step is to make the chocolate “sauce.” mine wasn’t very saucy but i think part of the reason was i used a maple agave blend instead of just maple syrup, so it didn’t hold very well. still tasted fine, though!

melt your butter in a small saucepan and once it’s melted, remove it from the heat and let it cool. into the cooled butter, whisk the cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla extract until it’s well-combined. set aside.

break out the old blender and drop in the coffee cubes, chocolate sauce, skim milk and remaining coffee that you cooled in the fridge (about 1/4 cup) and 4-5 plain ice cubes. blend until the ice cubes aren’t clunking around anymore.

pour into a tall glass and if you’d like, top with whipped cream, dark chocolate shavings, chocolate sauce or just a straw!

click here for a printable version of the recipe!

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orange creamsicle smoothies

in the midst of this insanely snowy winter, there are days that i want traditional winter foods (read: hot cocoa and soup), but other days, i want to ignore the weather and pretend i’m somewhere warm. enter a random craving for a creamsicle smoothie!

smoothies are one of the easiest things to make, as long as you’ve got a trusty blender. i always like to experiment with different frozen fruits, yogurts, boosters and more. one blog that i religiously read suggests always adding a handful of SPINACH to your smoothies. she swears you’d never taste it in there, but it offers tons of vitamins. well, this was more of a dessert-treat smoothie, though, so i nixed the extra healthy boost and stuck with fat free, vitamin c-packed ingredients.

after weeks of waiting, i finally grabbed all the necessary ingredients (not many!) from the grocery store, so excited to start creating. i then realized, though, that i LEFT MY CAMERA AT HOME IN CONNECTICUT.  as of thursday night, my solution was to take pictures with my iphone (please excuse all the non-zoomed, vertical photos for this recipe), but thanks to my roommate, the things i created on friday were taken with a real-live camera. PHEW. (thanks, karen!) until those, though, here are some simple camera phone pictures… which, in hindsight, didn’t come out too bad.

3/4 cup (one 6 oz. container) fat free vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup mandarin oranges in 100% juice

1/4 cup skim milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 heaping Tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate

ice cubes

a couple of hours before you are ready to make your smoothie, pour the 1/2 cup of mandarin oranges (and the juice they come in) into an ice cube tray. pop it in the freezer and let them solidify until you are ready to blend.

in your blender, combine the yogurt, mandarine cubes, milk, vanilla and frozen orange juice concentrate. blend until it’s well-mixed. add the ice cubes and blend some more until they are chopped up and mixed throughout the smoothie.


pour into a glass and drink as is, or dress it up with some whipped topping and an orange. if i had some fresh oranges, i definitely would have added a slice to the rim of the glass :)

click here for a printable version of the recipe!

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