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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


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!

Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer –

Here is a coffee idea and also a tea idea: I make a Pumpkin Chai Latte with this using a Stash Chai tea bag (Stash is my favorite)

I let the creamer recipe simmer on the stove top with some cinnamon sticks. When I poured this in to a mason jar (to use during the week) – I poured the cinnamon sticks in with it.I had an opened can of pumpkin in the fridge from several of my baking excursions this past week – I try to come up with different ideas to use it up. Let me see if I can remember how I made this. When I look at recipes in my books and magazines – I become inspired and then look through my pantry and throw together whatever I have on hand

2 heaping tablespoons of pumpkin

1 1/2 cups heavy cream or half and half

2 Tbsp Maple Syrup

2 tsp peanut butter (or almond butter or nutella)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice mix * (see creating your own below)

2 cinnamon sticks

Mix all the above in a saucepan over medium heat – turn heat up to medium-high and while whisking – let it come to a low boil; reduce heat and let simmer for 1 (ish) minute – it becomes thicker – move the pan off the heat and let it cool down. Add to your favorite coffee, your favorite hot chocolate, your favorite chai tea bag, etc. You can also add this to a mixer with ice cream and a frozen banana and make a delicious smoothie.

*Pumpkin Pie Spice Mix (if you don’t have this, you can make your own simply by mixing:

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

( I double the homemade mix recipe and put in same spice jar)