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Cocoa Canella Caramel Tea Latte

So. After being 1.6 pounds down this week, I’m feeling pretty stellar. So, I wanted to share something super delicious with you all today. ❤ I love coffee and tea. Coffee is my first love, and will always be my preferred choice. I’m a frequent customer at Starbucks, but I do enjoy other cafes. I do like to mix it up with tea quite often and my Keurigs kcups are a mix of both coffee AND tea. So, it is natural that I have some tea latte recipes to add some variety to my usual coffee-dominated life. Here’s one that I really like.

Ingredients:

Tea: I used my Cocoa Canella Loose Leaf Tea I got from Davids Tea in Canada. You can use any tea you prefer.

Warm Milk (I find vanilla Soy or Almond to be the best. But regular cows milk works too, in a pinch).

Caramel: I made some caramel sauce at home. It’s pretty easy. Take a unopened can of sweetened condensed milk, put it in a crockpot (with the label off!), fill the pot with water to cover the can and let it cook on high for 3 hours. Done. Instant Caramel. I used about two tablespoons…

Cinnamon: To Taste. I just added a pinch or two. It all depends on your pallet. Nutmeg is also tasty on occasion.

Procedure:

1. Steep your tea! Follow the directions for your preferred tea.

2. Heat up Milk

3. Add Tea, Milk, Caramel and Cinnamon (or nutmeg) into a blender and give it a pulse or two to mix. You’ll also get a nice foam~

4. Sip and Enjoy. It’s…so….good.

It isn't Starbucks, but it'll do.

It isn’t Starbucks, but it’ll do.

Lean N’ Green. “The Hulk” Smoothie

I have a soft spot for smoothies. They are essential to my day to day life. I love that I can get so much nutrients in a glass of awesome. I like a variety of fruits (except bananas, I hate the little bastards) and ‘greens’ and…other misc things in my smoothies. Since I started becoming vegetarian and eating better, I have been experimenting with different combinations. I have also been drinking more Green Smoothies. This is my favorite so far. If you like Avocado…I HIGHLY recommend you try this. You won’t regret it. I give you…The Hulk.  *Cue Applause*

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • Half a ripe avocado, halved and pitted
  • 1/2 cup spinach. Or more!
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup milk (can be substituted with almond or soy milk…I recommend almond or vanilla soy)
  • 3 tsp honey (I generally just use stevia. But you can use either)

1) Combine avocado, spinach, yogurt and honey into a blender.
2) Blend

Optional: You can put it in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes to let it thicken up. I’ve tried it and it was so indulgent. But either way you do it, it’s drool worthy and packed with so much goodness.

Why they’re good for you:Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, the heart-healthy kind. Avocados are loaded with a variety of antioxidants, including familiar disease-fighting compounds such as lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. They are considered one of the best fruits for you, health wise!
Spinach is a very nutrient dense green. It’s low in calories yet very high in vitamins and minerals. This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, fiber and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Of course you get your calcium from the dairy as well. All of this packed into one glass. It’s sexy. Well…I find it sexy…no judgement.

And it's pretty too. If that helps.

And it’s pretty too. If that helps.

I got myself a tall glass. All that was missing was a beach and a hammock…and my boyfriend fanning me with a large feather ❤

Don’t fear the green, embrace the green! Every smoothie enthusiast should have a “go to” green smoothie ❤ It will be my job to convert you all.

Challenge Accepted.

~Sip on my lovelies: To Good Health~

 

 

 

Starbucks Summer Mission: Oreo Frapp Re-visited

So. This is not necessarily a NEW frappuccino. I had tried this “Oreo” frappuccino early on in my Starbucks Summer mission…mission. I was happy with it, for the most part. However, I did think that it could benefit from a better chocolate-vanilla ratio. I stopped by a Starbucks today and decided to give it another go. I think I was much more successful this time. As it stands, the “Oreo” frappuchino is a double chocolate chip frappuccino with white mocha syrup instead of the regular mocha. It is good that way. However, the chocolate flavor dominates the vanilla altogether. So I tweaked it a bit.

Part Deux…much better.

The (much better) Oreo frappuccino:

Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino with: white mocha syrup instead of regular mocha syrup, add vanilla bean powder and whipped cream blended in. This is delightfully topped with (more) whipped cream and mocha syrup on top.

This is much better than the original. You still get the chocolate flavor BUT much more vanilla. The combination of the two blend together in harmony and tastes much closer to our beloved Oreo cookie. It’s a home-run, in my book. So I can leave this one alone, now that I tweaked it to my liking. Another 5/5! Happy Sipping! ~Peace, Love, Starbucks~

Starbucks Summer Mission #10 and #11!

I outdid myself a bit today. 😛 I was out with my best friend and we stopped at Starbucks after both lunch and gamestop. I was in a rather jolly mood so I got two drinks at starbucks today. Yet, I’m not feeling much guilt about it. Pft, who needs restraint.

Right.

Anyway. I went against my first thought, which was to get something…chocolatey. Since that’s what I normally tend to get, even when picking from the ‘secret’ menu items. Instead, I went a different direction.

The Butterbeer Frappuchino!

A Butterbeer Frappuchino is simply a White Mocha Frappuchino with hazelnut and toffeenut syrup mixed in. My Verdict? It’s absolutely delicious. It had a nice butterscotch taste to it…both rich and sweet (without being overly sweet). I loved it. The barista was a pretty cool dude and said he loved when people came in and tried different spinoffs of menu items. He had tried the Crunch berry Frappuchino himself (previously mentioned in another blog) and was also surprised at how such a simple combo tasted like the real cereal. We had a great conversation, needless to say. Anyway. I’d give this frappuchino a 5/5 for sure! If you’re not into the chocolate flavored frappuchinos…this might be more your speed. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a butterscotch taste 🙂

Side note: Saw this sign in the store…It made me smile. I love Starbucks.

Clearly, that wasn’t enough. After sitting there at Starbucks for a few hours…I was thirsty again. But I was too full to consume another frappuchino (thankfully). So instead I tried one of their newer drink items: their cool lime refresher.

*Sip* Ahhh~

I liked this a lot. The Cool Lime refresher was…well…refreshing. To be honest, it tasted like a Mojito without the alcohol in it. Which isn’t a big issue, but I thought it was funny. Next Time I’ll try the Very Berry Hibiscus refresher.

Happy Sipping!

Completed Drinks List:

Item 1: Cocoa Cappuchino

Item 2: Thin Mint Frappuchino

Item 3: Cookies and Cream Frappuchino

Item 4: The Nutella Frappuchino.

Item 5: Iced Caramel Macchiato

Item 6: Twix Frappuchino

Item 7: Oreo frappuchino

Item 8: The Gilligan Frappuchino

Item 9: The Crunch Berry Frappuchino

Item 10: Butterbeer Frappuchino

Item 11: Cool Lime Refresher

~Peace, Love, Starbucks~

Starbucks Summer Mission: #9

Ok. It’s been awhile since I have last posted anything for this. Actually, it’s been over a week or so since I had last had any starbucks. Personal choice of mine, I guess lol Anyway, I had some today after a week and decided to go with another secret menu item. One, in fact, that I had been curious about for awhile but just hadn’t gotten around to trying it out.

I present to you: The Crunch Berry Frappuchino *Cue applaud*

It’s absolutely amazing, yet so simple. Just ask for a Strawberry and Creme Frappuchino with a pump of toffee nut and hazelnut mixed in. Who knew such a simple combination would actually LEGIT taste like crunch berry cereal? I was totally surprised. I think I have found my new favorite 😛 I’d give this a 5/5 or…even an INFINITE number out of 5. I can’t explain why, but I just love it. Even if you’ve never had crunch berry cereal before, I think anybody can appreciate how tasty this cool drink is. If you give it a try, let me know what you think.~Happy Sipping~

Completed Drinks List:

Item 1: Cocoa Cappuchino

Item 2: Thin Mint Frappuchino

Item 3: Cookies and Cream Frappuchino

Item 4: The Nutella Frappuchino.

Item 5: Iced Caramel Macchiato

Item 6: Twix Frappuchino

Item 7: Oreo frappuchino

Item 8: The Gilligan Frappuchino

Item 9: The Crunch Berry Frappuchino

~Peace, Love, Starbucks~

 

Starbucks Summer Missoin #8

I’m exceptionally kind of excited about this one guys. This drink is the first of the Starbucks secret mission (and secret menu items in general) that is created solely by me. Well, as far as I know at least. I have checked multiple websites, blogs and whatever else to find the many MANY creations for the secret menu. Thus far I have not found anybody posting anything like that one I ‘created’ yesterday. So, if anyone has…they haven’t posted it 😛 So, I get dibs. Sorry bout it.

Anyway. So I kind of wanted to create a tasty blend myself and give it a snazzy name etc etc. It’s actually a lot harder than I thought. There’s so many possibilities…I couldn’t pick anything easily. After a lot of deliberating, I finally came out with a combination that I wanted to try. If I liked it, I’d go with it. If not…well back to the drawing board. Thankfully, It  ended up tasting good on the first try.

~très bon~

I give you all…the Gilligan Frappuchino! For lake of a better name. It’s a coconut creme frappuchino with matcha green tea powder (I asked for only a small bit…maybe just to the first line…or less), an extra pump (or two) of coconut syrup, and whipped cream blended in. Cookie crumbles top this frappuchino for the finish, and there you have it! It’s very coconut-y, as it should be. The green tea powder added to it actually enhanced the flavor and the cookie crumbles was just a nice final touch (but probably not necessary, but I like chocolate flavors in my drinks). My Barista at the Starbucks I go to got a good chuckle as I ordered this, and said he will have to try it himself lol I’m glad they’re good sports about the odd things that I order. I figure, If I’m going to pay for it, might as well get what I want. Right? Anyway, it’s really good. So, I hope that you will venture forth and try it yourself sometime and let me know what you think. If you liked it or didn’t…or if you suggest any tweaks I could do to it. Happy Sipping!

Completed Drinks List:

Item 1: Cocoa Cappuchino

Item 2: Thin Mint Frappuchino

Item 3: Cookies and Cream Frappuchino

Item 4: The Nutella Frappuchino.

Item 5: Iced Caramel Macchiato

Item 6: Twix Frappuchino

Item 7: Oreo frappuchino

Item 8: The Gilligan Frappuchino

~Peace,Love,Starbucks~

Starbucks Summer Mission #7

Lucky 7’s as they say. This is another delicious secret menu frappuchino concoction! I give you….*drum roll*…the Oreo frappuchino. I, despite not eating oreos really anymore,  love them. I mean who doesn’t like them? They’re the perfect combo of chocolate and cream. Mmm…so frappuchino version of this famous cookie sounded like a legit idea.

It’s me in a drink…kudos to the few people who will know what that means 😉

You want to try this cookie inspired beverage? Ask for a double chocolate chip frappuccino with white mocha syrup instead of the regular mocha. I think it was pretty spot on. I might add either an extra shot of white mocha syrup, or maybe ask for a bit of vanilla bean powder added to get a better vanilla to chocolate ratio. But otherwise it’s fine just the way it is. I’m definitely rating this one a 5/5! It was perfect for the hot day I got this on. Loved it. I think you should go try it. If you do, let me know how you enjoyed it. If you have any suggestions of drinks I should try (or crazy combinations)…feel free to comment.Happy Sipping~

Completed Drinks List:

Item 1: Cocoa Cappuchino

Item 2: Thin Mint Frappuchino

Item 3: Cookies and Cream Frappuchino

Item 4: The Nutella Frappuchino.

Item 5: Iced Caramel Macchiato

Item 6: Twix Frappuchino

Item 7: Oreo frappuchino

~Peace, Love, Starbucks~

 

 

Thirsty Thursday: (Belated) Tazo Tea

I have been so busy this week and didn’t have time to post a few blogs this week…so now that I have a bit of time, I am catching up. Ugh summertime. I digress. Moving right along to what I should have posted yesterday. I realize most of the drinks I post are coffee related drinks. So, I decided to post something for the tea drinkers out there (as lame as you are. Jk :P). Actually, I like to try to mix things up every now and then. Keeping that in mind, this week’s drink is from Starbucks (surprise surprise). I really like Tazo tea and I usually buy Tazo tea loose leaf tea by the containers for the fall and winter.

I was in Peoria not too long ago with some friends and saw that Starbucks has both Iced Tazo tea and Iced Tazo tea with lemonade. I like my iced teas with a good amount of sweetness so I decided to try it with lemonade. I originally had the Passionfruit tea with lemonade and let me tell ya…it was AWESOME. Probably one of the best non-coffee drinks I had had in a long time. The blend of the passionfruit tea with the lemonade made for a sweet, but not overly sweet, combination. The lemonade kept it a bit tart, so that might have helped. It was great and a lot cheaper than their other drinks at the same size. It’s also a healthier options than their frappuchinos, not that I care…but a nice side deal I suppose.

Awww Yeah~

A few days ago, I decided to get another Tazo tea with lemonade but I wanted to try a different tea blend. Starbucks gives you the choice of passionfruit, black, green and peach tea. I figured black tea and lemonade would  make for an interesting mix, so I went with that. It isn’t as good as the passionfruit but it’s still really tasty. Sooo refreshing ❤ Especially on these hot summer days. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys delicious and cold iced teas. Go try some. Go go go! I think I’ll try green tea next but in the mean time… Happy Sipping 😀

Starbucks Summer Mission #6

Twix! Yes, there is a “twix” frappuchino drink at starbucks. Well, sort of. It’s another awesome drink from the starbucks ‘secret’ menu. This is one that I didn’t find on most of the online sites I had found some of the menu items on. I came across this purely by accident, but when I read about it It sounded delicious and something I couldn’t pass up. What else could be better than a twix flavored frappuchino? Not much, I’d say. Or at least that’s how I saw it that day 😛

I got a venti size…grande would have left much to be desired 😉

Topped with whipped cream and caramel goodness ❤

If you want this, make sure to order: Caramel frappuccino with extra caramel and mocha drizzle in the cup, whipped cream blended in, one pump of hazelnut, and java chips!

My review? It tasted just like a twix bar. It’s one of my new favorites now because it tasted like what it was named AND it tasted fantastic. I will definitely be ordering this again sometime soon. I think anyone who likes a lot of chocolate or caramel flavors in their starbucks drinks will enjoy this. 5/5!

I think I’ll either try the “Fruity Pebbles” or “Captain Crunch” Frappuchino next. I’m getting a taste for something less chocolatey and something more fruity. We’ll see. Happy Sipping!

Completed Drinks List:

Item 1: Cocoa Cappuchino

Item 2: Thin Mint Frappuchino

Item 3: Cookies and Cream Frappuchino

Item 4: The Nutella Frappuchino.

Item 5: Iced Caramel Macchiato

Item 6: Twix Frappuchino

~Peace,Love,Starbucks~

Starbucks Summer Mission #5

Ok so this one is sort of….a part of the summer mission. I HAVE had Iced Caramel Macchiatos before, but I normally don’t get them. I have actually never had one from Starbucks before. I started drinking them when I was on campus at my university and so I had only had them at the cafes on campus. So, I will count this as part of my summer mission 😛

So, Iced Caramel Macchiatos are AAAAAAAAmazing. I know there is another version called the Marble Mocha Macchiato…which I had awhile back and is just as good. Depends on your preference. The Marble Mocha Macchiato is a twist on the Caramel Macc but instead uses white mocha on the bottom, shot on the top and mocha drizzle.  But on to the drink at hand…I like my caramel macchiato both hot or iced. I, of course, got mine Iced since it was hot as balls outside. But I’ll fancy a pipping hot one in the chillier months. The first time I tried it, I was pretty impressed. I had seen people order it before and it looked pretty good…but I had never actually ventured to try it. I love the caramel richness of the drink, and how creamy it is. 5/5 rate! I recommend anybody going to their nearest starbucks (or any cafe really…) and trying one out. Happy Sipping!

Iced caramel Macch…how I love you. Also, the separation of the milk and syrups is pretty cool.

Item 1: Cocoa Cappuchino

Item 2: Thin Mint Frappuchino

Item 3: Cookies and Cream Frappuchino

Item 4: The Nutella Frappuchino.

Item 5: Iced Caramel Macchiato

~Peace, Love, Starbucks~