I’m a white girl in my mid-twenties so naturally I’m obsessed with the following things:
Michael Kors Handbags.
I know, I know. They are an evil giant conglomerate corporation who destroy local business, dodge tax and serve substandard mediocre coffee to the all-consuming materialistic concious-less masses.
But that doesn’t stop me happily handing over £3.55 EVERYDAY for my favourite cup of warm, familiar and comforting liquid joy.
Especially in Winter.
Hell, I even use it as a bargaining tool to prise myself out of bed at 5.30am.
*ALARM GOES OFF*
Me: Get up.
Brain: Do one.
Me: I’ll buy you a Starbucks.
*throws covers off and slopes sleepily to the shower*
In fact, as sad as it is to admit, Starbucks helps me get through Winter (and a definite undiagnosed S.A.D’s condition) in general. Because in Winter, THIS HAPPENS.
First off, the return of the P.S.L.
The Pumpkin Spice Latte shows up just as the flip-flops are being put away and your Nan remarks that the nights are “drawing in”. It puts it’s lovely syrupy arm around you and gives you a big cuddle. Shh, it’s alright, Cinnamon is here.
You cannot be sad whilst drinking a PSL. The limited edition-ness only adds to the excitement. All I can say is thank God they are only here for 6 weeks. If they were a long-term addition I would almost certainly drink myself into adult diabetes.
Just as the PSL disappears and you consider hibernation, something magical happens.
THE RED CUPS ARRIVE.
As someone who would happily put up their Christmas tree in September, I’m going to ignore you as you mass-sigh at me because they rock up in November. It makes me a little bit happy, so bore off Scrooge.
And with the saintly delivery of Crimson joy, comes 3 equally heavenly festive flavours.
The unquestionable winner of the three for me in the Gingerbread Latte.
I drink Gingerbread lattes in Summer, because like Buddy the Elf, I see syrup as a food group.
Speciality items aside, like a good capsule wardrobe, I also have my staple items.
The Caramel Macchiato
The ‘Caramel Mac’ for us devotees, has to be adorned with the Starbucks signature ‘cross hatch’ caramel drizzle and carried in a cup with a scribble the looks vaguely like your name on the side. One does not simply drink a Caramel Mac. One must first photograph it, Instagram filter the hell out of it before posting on multiple social media platforms #liquidcrack.
But it aint all about the hot drinks. Oh no, no, no.
Starbizzle has some seriously chilly treats to cool you down come Summertime. (I swear I AM NOT on commission.)
At first, it was allll about the Mocha Frappe.
Then, the Java Chocolate Chip.
Until, one day on Pinterest, I discovered the urban legend that is
THE STARBUCKS SECRET MENU.
and a concoction called ‘The Nutella’.
and my life was changed forever.
Whilst I was on Pinterest, taking a break from planning a phantom wedding to a man I was not yet engaged to, I also stumbled across this.
Who doesn’t want to learn how to make all your ‘fave’ drinks and desserts I thought?
So I tried some of the recipes out. And here internet, are my top picks:
⅔ cup double-strength regular or decaf coffee, chilled, see prep tip
⅔ cup (1%) low-fat milk, see substitution tip
2 tablespoons caramel topping
4 packages Splenda, Stevia, Equal or your favorite sugar substitute
2 teaspoons sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2¾ cups ice
Ingredients for Topping:
Light whipped cream or light vanilla flavored whipped cream
1½ teaspoons caramel topping
1. Combine chilled coffee, milk, 2 tablespoons caramel topping, Splenda, sugar, vanilla and ice in a blender. Blend on high speed until ice is crushed and drink is smooth. Pour into 2 glasses.
2. Top each glass with 2 tablespoons whipped cream and drizzle about ¾ teaspoon caramel topping over each.
3. Serve at once with a straw, if desired
Makes 2 drinks. Each (1½ cups)
- 3 cups ice cubes
- 1 cup 10% cream (half and half)
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ½ vanilla bean
- Add ice cubes, cream and sugar to blender or smoothie machine capable of crushing ice.
- Cut the half vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the all the inner seeds out. Add the seeds to the blender.
- Blend until all the ice is crushed and the frappe is a smooth slushie type consistency.
- Serve cold.
- 2 Tbsp caramel sauce
- 1 to 2 oz. vanilla syrup
- 4 oz. espresso or strongly brewed coffee
- 8 to 10 oz. steamed milk
- Whipped cream
- Toffee bits, caramel sauce, etc.
3 large eggs 6oz (170g)
self raising flour 6oz (170g)
caster sugar 6oz (170g)
unsalted butter (room temp) 6oz (170g)
Zest of 2 lemons
*If using food processor add 1 small tsp baking powder
Juice of 2 lemons (the ones you zested)
4oz (110g) powdered sugar
Grease a bread tin (about 24 x 10.4) & pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F.
Cream together your cake ingredients until you’re left with a nice smooth cake batter. Pour into your pan & bake for about 30-35mins. While you’re waiting, mix together your icing sugar & lemon juice until totally smooth, pop it to one side. After 30mins check the cake by inserting a skewer into the middle, if it comes out clean it’s done. If not, give it a few mins more. When it’s ready use your skewer to poke holes all over the cake, all the way down to the bottom. Pour over your lemon glaze…
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 1½ cup milk (I used 2%)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- Add water, cocoa and sugar into a microwave safe bowl and heat for approximately 40 seconds or until warm. Mix well to create the chocolate syrup.
- Add milk and vanilla and stir well.
- Heat in the microwave for about 60 seconds or until hot.
- Serve with whipped cream or marshmallows.
I wont lie to you, these DIY creations don’t come in a cup with your name on and free wifi, but some of them are mighty decent and will help you get through days where the only coffee shop around is one of these burgundy monstrosities:
One day, when I get a mortgage and children, or if my mother ever reads this blog, I will come to my senses and stop wasting my precious earned pennies on a such frivolous luxury.
Until then i’ll have a grande skinny Caramel Mac please.
With cream? Obvs.