April 14 2014, 10pm
I feel an OVERWHELMING URGE to start my own cooking/recipe/food blog… I mean, I already post recipes and fangirl over food blogs anyway…so…maybe it’d be a nice resource for those others like me who need some GOOD SPIRIT FOOD
MAYBE I WILL
[ deep contemplation intensifies ]
April 14 2014, 5pm
What students call it: Being burnt out from searching for colleges and applying to colleges and searching for scholarships and applying for scholarships and writing 50 essays and trying to keep track of it all so you don’t miss a deadline or send the wrong essay to the wrong place. Not falling asleep until 2 am because you’re worried and nervous and stressed out about college and scholarships and the fact that in less than 6 months you’re going to be surrounded by entirely new people and you’re going to actually have to act like an adult and take care of yourself and your life is going to completely change. Being stressed out because you need to keep up with school in order to get into college, but not being able to keep up because you’re overwhelmed with college, and stressing about that on top of everything else. Don’t forget it’s your last year of high school and you’re supposed to be “making the most of it” and “having fun” and if you don’t you know you’ll regret it after it’s over, and you’re stressing about that on top of every other piece of shit you have to deal with, so it’s no wonder you don’t get all your school work done.
What teachers call it: Senioritis.
On the contrary, when I was 17-18 I blew off my senior year hardcore because it WAS the last year of school and I didn’t care anymore. I knew life was far greater and far more enriched than school. I couldn’t wait to get out of there!
Those of you who do what was stated above, absolutely more power to you! Of course, everyone handles change and pressure differently. But, yeah, there are a lot of us who really did have ‘senioritis’. I was ready to bust down the walls and actually become an adult and finally move on from being a kid and take control of my life. It was exciting. All school did was bring me down.
I did go to college though. I applied very early and was accepted very early, so I was able to be carefree during my remaining months of school. But the process leading up to it wasn’t as stressful for me as this post illustrates.
Do not get overwhelmed. College is like high school, except you get to sleep in and have more freedom. Don’t make a big deal about ‘strangers around you omg i don’t know anyone’ because you never will know them all. Colleges have x10+ more people than your school and you will probably be strangers until you graduate.
Never ever let your parents or teachers pressure you about college. Even moreso, YOU don’t stress about college! It’s an amazing and fulfilling experience and you’re going to love every minute of it. Keep calm friends life is fine and all is well!
Besides we’re all winding up unemployed after we graduate college anyway so I guess I was a little cynical back then too.
April 14 2014, 12pm
Today is April 14th and the time is 12:53pm. I’ve decided to dedicate day 1 of 2 off work to caring for myself, all physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual of me!
I couldn’t sleep well last night. I went to be a little dirty, and it was very uncomfortable (too sleepy to shower @_@) so I had some really whacky crazy ass dreams. It was so hard shaking them off this morning. By the time i had full consciousness, it was 12:30pm!
So, I jumped in the shower. It felt like rinsing away all the weird dreams and stickiness of the night. Feeling fresh and awesome afterwards, I poured a glass of my favorite juice and settled into my chair. That’s when I noticed the lights were browning out a bit.
Curiously I looked outside by cracking open my balcony door. Then, WOOSH! It’s storming outside! Hard, cold wind…my poor plants were whipping everywhere, but otherwise seemed fine. I think I’ll enjoy this awesome weather and go out for a bit later =D
I do believe once I catch up on things i’ll get some pho…nothing busts up a bad night and accompanies a cold, windy texas afternoon like a steaming hot bowl of noodles. And iced coffee. I will get coffee, too!
April 13 2014, 5pm
How to Make All the Coffee
I really love coffee, especially Starbucks coffee but the nearest starbucks is 40 miles away and I could buy the gas to drive there with the money it costs to get a drink there so I have learned how to make my own coffee drinks. Here’s a bunch of my favorite recipes that are cheaper and kind of fun to make. None of them require an espresso maker so that’s kind of nice. None of these are exactly how any coffee shop does them. They’re my attempts at making good coffee at home without much equipment.
Equipment you will need:
- A microwave or a stove
- A pan and whisk or a jar
Food items you will need for all:
For all recipes instead of espresso you can either double brew your coffee (make the coffee and then pour it back into your coffee pot) or you can use twice as much grounds per cup. I use both interchangeably but I’m sure there’s some taste difference between them.
For many coffee recipes you either need steamed milk or frothed/foamed milk or both. They’re both very similar but here are the differences.
Steamed milk is obviously less foamy. It is made by using a steam wand to I guess stir milk while it heats. It ends up steamed but not super foamy.
Foamed milk is used with the same tool but as it foams you bring the tool lower so that it really foams up the milk.
I have never used a steam wand so I don’t know how it even works. I also like foamed milk better than steamed milk so here are some ways that I make it.
For something that I think resembles steamed milk more than foamed milk you can take a whisk or possibly an electric beater and whisk milk as it heats. Never boil milk because it gets scalded and that’s nasty. When I’ve done this method I’ve ended up with somewhat frothy, warm milk.
Another way is to get a glass jar and fill it no more than half way with cold milk. Shake it for about 30 seconds and then microwave for 30 seconds and then let sit for 30 seconds. This creates foamed milk with a little bit of steamed milk.
For a more foamy milk I believe you can warm the milk up first (not too much because you don’t want to get burned) and then fill the jar up no more than halfway and shake until foamed. Let sit for 30 seconds and then foamed milk!
The way I do it now that I have a fancy tool that looks like this: http://www.amazon.com/Norpro-89-Glass-Froth-Master/dp/B0013VALOK/ref=pd_sim_k_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1W6H7P8E3CQMZJ5P8HBJ
It’s kind of like the jar method. You can warm the milk first or take all the metal and plastic parts away and then microwave the jar. I’m scared of breaking the jar so I just warm the milk first and fill the jar about halfway full. Then I use the plunger to bring air into the milk to foam it. To make less foamed and more steamed I only plunge the top half of milk and ignore the bottom. If I want foamier milk I push the plunger clear to the bottom of the glass. It takes about a minute or two to get it as foamy as I like it.
Whole milk works better to be foamed but basically all milk will work. Cold milk works really well to foam but I always use warm milk because I like my coffee hot hot.
For any of the syrups I tell how to use you can use a Davinci syrup (or other brand, that’s just my fav) alternative. You can buy those syrups at any grocery store. I make my own because I can and because they’re cheaper that way.
Now that you know how to make espresso without an espresso maker and foam without any fancy tools here’s some recipes you can use.
You will need -
- Cocoa, chocolate powder, or syrup
- a mug
Mocha is characterized by chocolate, coffee, steamed and foamed milk. You can do the chocolate part several ways. If I’m feeling lazy I use powdered chocolate mix (like Swiss Miss or something) in the bottom of my cup. If I’m feeling less lazy I make my own chocolate sauce. Sometimes I use this recipe: http://stickafork.net/2013/08/diy-chocolate-syrup/ Chocolate sauce is pretty versatile, I usually use brown sugar and it works fine. I’ve also used honey and different kinds of cocoa. Just do whatever works for you. You can also just use Hershey’s chocolate sauce or even Davinci or Torani. Starbucks even has a mix that you can use to make their sauce. Whatever you use pour it into the bottom of your mug.
While your coffee is brewing make your foamed milk with whichever method you prefer. Then while the foam is resting pour your coffee on top of your chocolate. Then pour the foam/steamed milk on top. There’s different methods to pour. For example, you can use a spoon to hold the foam back and let the liquid milk fall out onto the cup and then spoon the foam on top. I generally just pour it all and let it separate because it will. If you want to get all fancy you can sprinkle some cocoa or chocolate powder on top with or without a dallop of whipped cream. Or make it a macchiato and make a fancy grid on top with chocolate sauce.
It sounds complicated but once you make it once or twice it gets super easy. I can make two cups of Mocha in about 15 minutes. I can make one in about 5 minutes.
What you will need -
- Chocolate (optional)
Cappuccino is 1/3 coffee 1/3 foam and 1/3 steamed milk. I love, love foamed milk so sometimes mine just ends up as 1/2 coffee and 1/2 foamed milk. Either way use a wide rimmed cup because that’s just the way to do it. It’s traditional and makes it look really cool by the end. So first make your double brewed coffee and your foam. If you like sweet things then put sugar or a sugar alternative in the bottom of your cup while coffee brews and foam rests. I love chocolate so sometimes I make a cross between a Mocha and a Cappuccino and put a piece of chocolate in the bottom of my cappuccino cup and then add more foam than I do with a mocha. This ones super simple, just pour your coffee in and then your foam on top. Probably use a method that creates less foam and more steamed milk if you want it more strictly a cappuccino.
What you will need -
A latte is espresso with mostly steamed milk and a bit of foamed milk. Lattes work best with the whisking milk on medium low heat in a pan. Then you have mostly steamed milk with a bit of foam. Just pour the coffee in the bottom half of the cup and then the steamed milk on top. Super duper easy and yummy.
Cinnamon Dolce Latte:
What you will need -
- A sweetener
- Cinnamon stick/cinnamon
Dolce just means sweet in Italian so this ones kind of sweet. For this you make a cinnamon syrup which can be made in multiple ways. I like to mix equal parts water and sugar/sugar substitute and bring to a boil. Bring back to medium heat and put in a stick of cinnamon (1 stick or 1 tsp cinnamon per cup of water) and simmer for like 10 minutes. Don’t boil, it gets weird. Once it gets a little bit thicker than water pull it off and strain it into a jar. Or just into your cup if you only made a little bit. On top of this pour your coffee and on the very top your steamed milk. Sprinkle cinnamon on top. If you like it really sweet put lots of syrup, if not don’t. If you have leftovers put the lid on your jar and refrigerate. Should be good for up to 10 days.
You can basically make any type/flavor of coffee using the above tips. Buy syrups or make syrups and just add them to coffee and foam. Whip cream can put on top of foam or used in place of. Sugar substitutes work for anything. I prefer raw sugar but my mom prefers honey. I’ve used both with success. I worked for a restaurant supply store so I ended up with a lot of Davinci syrups. I’ve tried many flavors with great success, I generally use the Mocha recipe and just use a different syrup. It’s great fun. I hope you have fun too.
Anyway, those are just some of the recipes I use. They’re quite fun and don’t take too long. Plus you don’t need any fancy equipment which is super nice if you’re living in a dorm or just are poor like me and can’t afford any. I’m not any sort of expert on coffee so I may have some incorrect information, feel free to correct me, I’m just obsessed with researching coffee and coming up with new stuff. Have fun guys! I hope you like these recipes.