Fantastic DIY Holiday Drinks

November 29, 2012


Save money and Splurge on taste!

Those red cups, you know the ones I’m talking about. This year I saw them before Halloween, but it means the holiday drinks have arrived. They are oh so good but for those of us on a budget, those cups of ambrosia can add up (especially if you crave more than one a day). Now it is important to treat yourself and meeting for coffee is so much cheaper than meeting for dinner. However, making your own will allow you to save you money AND enjoy these drinks all year around. You can also tweak the ingredients to match your preferences, dietary requirements, and mood!

So a friend recently told us how he makes his own Peppermint Mocha.

 Just take espresso, peppermint white chocolate, mocha carnation creamer, Peppermint Extract- one cap, fat free cool whip and Andes mint morsels to make your own version of a Starbuck favorite. Great idea!

If you need a more precise recipe we found this one at the MomAdvice website:

Homemade Peppermint Mocha

Ingredients:                                                                

1 cup milk, steamed
1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, I prepared this in my French Press, but you can brew a strong drip pot if you prefer)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
2-3 tablespoons peppermint syrup (you can use my recipe below or ask behind the counter at Starbucks for a prepared bottle that you can use all winter long)
Whipped cream (optional)
Chocolate Syrup (optional)
Crushed Peppermints (optional)

Directions:

Prepare your hot water in a kettle. Add four tablespoons of your favorite coffee grounds to your French Press. Pour 1 cup of hot water over them and allow the coffee to steep for four minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming. Froth the milk with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until it is nice and foamy.

In your coffee cup, mix together the prepared coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and peppermint coffee syrup until the sugar and cocoa powder are dissolved and there are no lumps. Pour the milk foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture and stir to incorporate. Top with whipped cream, a generous drizzle of chocolate syrup, and crushed peppermints.

You can make an ICED VERSION with coffee ice cubes rather than ice coffee. Some people add ice but this is a much easier way. When you have extra coffee pour it in an ice cube tray and freeze. This way you can make a quick and easy Iced Latte without watering down the drink.   To make an Iced Peppermint Mocha:

6 coffee ice cubes 
4 tablespoons sugar (or to taste ) 
A chocolate syrup  (as much as you want)
1 tablespoon peppermint syrup  (Starbucks or Torani)
1 cup milk

Place all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. This will yield one huge mocha or two smaller mochas

                                                   

Pumpkin Spice Latte


                                                               
The Stepford Sisters website have a great version of a Pumpkin Spice Latte

Makes 1 to 2 servings

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin OR 1 teaspoon Torani Pumpkin Spice Syrup  
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar or sugar substitute
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
1 to 2 shots espresso, about 1/4 cup of espresso or 1/2 cup of strong brewed coffee
Whipped cream, to garnish

In a saucepan whisk together milk, pumpkin and sugar and cook on medium heat, stirring, until steaming. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and spice, transfer to a blender and process for 15 seconds until foamy. If you don't have a blender, don't worry about it — just whisk the mixture really well with a wire whisk.

Pour into a large mug or two mugs. Add the espresso on top.

Top with whipped cream, if desired, and sprinkle pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, or cinnamon on top.

 

Salted Caramel Mocha Latte

Ingredients:

1 cup milk, steamed
1 cup very strong coffee (4 tablespoons coffee grounds to 1 cup of hot water, prepared in a French         Press)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons caramel coffee syrup (I bought mine at our local superstore in the coffee aisle or you can pick them up at your wholesale club for cheap. I accidentally bought sugar-free and it worked like a charm. Feel free to use either variety and adjust to your taste)
Whipped cream
Caramel Sauce

1/8 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt

Directions:

Prepare your hot water in a kettle. Add four tablespoons of your favorite coffee grounds to your French Press. Pour 1 cup of hot water over them and allow the coffee to steep for four minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.

In a pot, heat up one cup of milk until it is steaming. Froth the milk with a wire whisk or an immersion blender until it is nice and foamy.

In your coffee cup, mix together the prepared coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and caramel coffee syrup until the sugar and cocoa powder are dissolved and there are no lumps. Pour the milk foam over the top of the coffee/mocha mixture and stir to incorporate. Top with whipped cream, a generous drizzle of caramel sauce, and your pinch of salt.

Bask in your ability to make all good things at home.


Red Velvet Hot Cocoa with CREAM CHEESE 

Frosting was found on the Food Beast website. They used it for valentine’s day but it would be amazing as a wintertime treat. Could you imagine inviting a friend over around Christmas time for those delicious creations?

Have a better version? A different holiday drink? A  helpful hint? We would LOVE to hear from you!


XOXO, 

Mary Ann





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