Dear Reader – (day 25) Will Paint for Coffee

Dear Reader

About a month ago, I did some commissioned artwork for my sister.

Nothing huge, but still.

“How can I pay you?” she texted. “PayPal? Check?”

“A Starbucks gift card” I replied.

She “lol”ed.

“I’m serious,” I typed. “Just email me a Starbucks gift card.”

My weakness for a Starbucks double tall latte rivals my weakness for pizza or childish candy. Thus – it makes no sense at all to call it a “weak“ness. The pull is STRONG and relentless, not weak. Psh. What do dictionary people know anyway.

The gift card makes me feel not-so-guilty that I’m hooked on ridiculously priced coffee.

I’m telling you. When this card runs out, I’m going to have serious Issues. (with a capital “I”).

starbucks

Just tie a sign around my neck with red scribbled ink:

“Will paint for coffee.”

Because I will.

Six Minute Chocolate Cake and a Double Giveaway

Six Minute Chocolate Cake

 

I have a deep dark secret to confess, Friends.

*cringe*

Brace yourself:  I went for a run the other night and then came home and topped it off with handfuls of Ruffles potato chips and a light beer.

There!

I said it. Continue reading

How Coffee (Cold Brewed or Otherwise) Can Answer a Plea for Help

Cold Brewed Coffee| Home Is Where The Cookies Are

Sunday morning an email from my sister with the subject line, “A shameless plea for some help” sat staring at me from my inbox.

My sister is many things – a mom, a physical therapist, a friend to many, a professionally sponsored cyclist, and an unassuming yet passionate philanthropist.

In her email – sent to friends, family, and cycling teammates – she told the story of a couple from the Northwest – Mark and Sarah Bender.

They’re loving and committed parents of four boys, avid cyclists, faithful churchgoers, community leaders, and happily married for 15 years.

Last week they were celebrating their anniversary in Hawaii.

On the final day of their trip Mark played in the splashing waves one last time, just hours before they were to board their plane and return home to their children.

But something went terribly wrong.

Mark’s neck broke when he suffered a catastrophic injury in the surf. Continue reading

Almost Vegan Chocolate Cake (with black beans and avocado. . . oh, and tofu.)

Okay, wha?

I can hear you all.

And I can see your noses all scrunched up like you all want NOTHING to do with this cake.

But don’t be fooled!

Well, don’t be fooled in either direction. I can’t claim it’s “healthy” because there’s no lying about the sugar content, BUT it’s got some healthy stuff in it – and not a lot of fat.

But also, don’t be fooled that it’s a pile of yucky grossness either, because it’s certainly not.

And, well, it’s not a knock-your-socks off-dang!-this-is-the-best-freakin-cake-i’ve-ever-eaten chocolate cake either.

But I will tell you what it IS:

  • It is a cake that requires a tall glass of milk, or a steaming cup of coffee as a dining partner, because it might stick to the roof of your mouth, or your teeth – which is perfectly fine by me.
  • It is an unusual textural combination between a cake, a bread, and a brownie.
  • It is chewy, thick, and dense – therefore a small slice is rightly satisfying.
  • The frosting is rich and flavorful.
  • It is a cake that calls your name from the other room when you’re vegged out on the couch at 10pm watching TV and your stomach starts to growl.
  • It’s “earthy”, as my middle guy put it. . . . Am I rubbing off on them?
  • “It’s good for having all that weird stuff in it” – as all the boys put it.

Continue reading

Week 7 – Have Another Cup

I don’t want to exclude anyone here, but I know I will. Not everyone is a coffee drinker.

If you’re not, I don’t want to offend you. . . but if you’re not, you should be. (This is my purely objective opinion, of course): You’re missing out.

There’s something funny about coffee that I’ve never experienced with any other beverage.

Please, if you disagree with me here, feel free to tell me.

If you are a coffee drinker, you know what I’m talking about.

It has special powers.
Continue reading

Happy Thanksgiving, and a Bailey’s Pumpkin Pie Coffee

I hope I get to spend at least part of Thanksgiving weekend quietly sipping one of these and reading a favorite book; but it’s okay if I don’t, because this year my focus will be on having an “attitude of gratitude” – no matter what.
If I can’t because my kids want me to play a game with them, I will be thankful that my kids love me and want to be with me.
If I can’t because my husband wants to cuddle up and watch a movie, I will be grateful that I am blessed with a healthy him and a happy us.
If I can’t because I need to fold laundry, I will be grateful that we have more than enough clothes to wear.
If I can’t because I have to cook dinner, I will be grateful that we have plenty of food to eat.
If I can’t because the house is full of the noise and chaos of four children, I will be grateful that they are all healthy and enjoy being together.
If I can’t because someone needs me to help them, I will be grateful that others know they can count on me.
If I can’t because I am busy putting up Christmas decorations, I will be grateful that my favorite holiday is just around the corner, and my whole family loves it just as much as I do.
If I can’t for any reason, I will find a way to be grateful for whatever is stopping me.

But I really hope I can sip one. . . per day. It’s dreamy – even without the Bailey’s if you must. Maybe that’s what we’ll do the morning after Thanksgiving. Wake up late, fix a nice breakfast, and snuggle in with everyone to sip hot cocoas or coffees and watch our first Christmas movie of the year.

I am grateful for new holiday traditions.

Have a very happy Thanksgiving. I hope your blessings are countless and your heart is warm with gratitude this holiday!

Recipe:

Bailey’s Pumpkin Pie Coffee

2 ounces Bailey’s Original Irish Cream
4 ounces Espresso or Strongly brewed Coffee
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
Cinnamon Stick
Whipped Cream

Combine Bailey’s Original Irish Cream and Pumpkin Pie Spice in a mug. Pour in coffee and stir. Top with a dollop of whipped cream (optional – (not really!)), a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and a cinnamon stick.

Source: Baileys Irish Cream via Drink of the Week

To make without the Bailey’s:

4 oz of coffee
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 oz half and half
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Cinnamon stick
Whipped cream

Combine coffee, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and half and half. Add a cinnamon stick, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice.