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Jim got me an espresso machine, because he knows I’m curious about the Breville espresso, which I can’t afford. But he found this cute, little Krups one at a thrift store.

I like the deeper taste of the espresso shot

I’m amazed at how much better the flavor is when I use the steam wand on the cream. The tiny bubbles really do enhance the flavor, and create the perfect temperature.

I’m having fun with this, and so much cheaper to make the shots yourself, for that quick pick me up


mulling holiday scents

This is on my stove right now for the rest of the week, because I love the smells this adds to the home. Cranberries and then you toss in whatever fruit and cinnamon sticks you have; add water as it goes down. During Christmas I do this with wine and add wine, as we drink it down. I keep this on warm on the stove or in a crock pot. The greenery comes from my trees; we are surrounded by firs out here in the country. I don’t add the greenery when I’m making this with wine.

Cinnamon Latte Syrup

Reasons to make your own syrup: Syrups are becoming harder to find due to availability, and postage is expensive, also, you are watching and hoping your package is not damaged or stolen, and the best reason is this is a much lower cost to you to make your own.

1 cup of sugar

1 cup of water

Add sugar and water to a pot.  Bring these to a boil and then add 2 cinnamon sticks.  Boil for 2-4  minutes; reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.  Set the pot on the back of the stove and let it cool down.  When cool enough; pour the syrup into a container. Include the sticks in the container, if you want to intensify the cinnamon flavor.

Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.   

If you like to do canning; you can add this to a canning jar, seal, and keep for 2 to 3 months.   

I will be making a chestnut praline syrup this fall when our Chestnut tree is producing.  I’ll share that recipe after I try two ideas.  The recipe will include pecans and chestnuts, and I’ll be playing with a couple of syrup ideas as well as sugars, to decide my favorite.

Plus, I’ll need to figure out storage ideas, and time frames.  We do not go through this that often, but it is so inexpensive to make, I don’t worry about what I will have to pour out after a month. 

You can cut this in half also.

You can make this with vanilla beans, cranberries, orange peels, almonds, etc.  This would be good on waffles, pancakes, muffins, ice cream, yogurt, oatmeal, cold drinks, sparkling water, hot drinks, fruit salad, grapefruit wedge, hot and cold tea, etc.   

For the Cinnamon Latte coffee:

1 tsp of cinnamon syrup (your choice how much of this you prefer)

1 cup of coffee or espresso

Top with almond milk foam (or cream of your choice)   

I have a foamer I like to use for hot drinks.  

Stir together

Sprinkle cinnamon on top

Nutty Irishman

Our favorite Irish Pub in Plainfield, IN closed because of COVID. I had this drink a year ago, before everything closed down. This drink was so delicious, and I’m glad I took a photo of the menu.

I decided to try 3 different drinks.

I made the hot coffee drink which requires (for my comfort level testing): 2/3 cup of coffee, 1/2 shot Bushmills Whiskey, 1/2 shot Frangelico liquor, 1/2 shot Bailey’s cream, cream to your liking and nutmeg. (this is pictured in the orange mug)

2nd: I also poured a shot which consisted of Frangelico and Irish Cream (1/2 shot each), nutmeg; (this is pictured in the shot glass – middle bottom of photo)

and 3rd: I made a cold drink which consisted of 1/2 cup coffee, 1 shot Frangelico, 1 shot Bailey’s, nutmeg, and ice cubes (pictured in the clear mug on the left side of photo)

The Frangelico is delicious!

I can see why it is so popular in the pubs. (I couldn’t finish the larger drink – tasted it – was satisfied and poured it in to a mason jar, which is in the fridge for tomorrow night)

The Frangelica bottle is so cute!

London Fog Tea

London Fog Tea latte

This is delicious- the lavender takes it over the top

2 tsps Earl Grey Tea leaves
1/4 tsp lavender petals (find in spices)
(Inhale it when you open it-so pleasant)
Just a bit of vanilla paste
Honey to taste

Pour 1 cup hot water over tea leaves and lavender petals (I use a Tea strainer)

Steam milk (any type is fine- I used 2%)
I use a Chefs milk frother I bought on amazon a few years ago. Love it. Use it a lot

After 3 minutes – remove strainer
Stir in tsp honey

Top with steamed milk
Sprinkle cinnamon