Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Home-made Coffee Creamer

I have just remembered on this cold and wet morning that I have promised you a home-made coffee creamer recipe! As you know I have been experimenting in coffee flavouring to try and make a nice luxury coffee at home but haven't really been succeeding.  And although I love the idea of just popping out for a nice coffee each day that is not realistic. Where I live there are no Starbucks or even Costa's nearby so when I do pick a coffee up from one of those places it is a real treat!
I think I have mentioned before that I love the coffee creamers that you get in the States that are flavoured, but you can't seem to get those in the UK. So that is really what brought on my experimenting. Nevertheless, this recipe is a bit better for you than the preservative filled ready made creamers but still not the best as far as healthy goes (so my next task will be to work on healthifying-nice new word!  it a little more).

So without further ado...

Home-made Coffee Creamer

1 small can Condensed Milk (397g or 14oz)
same amount of whole milk
*mix together well and that makes the base creamer

I then added:
1 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/4 tsp Peppermint Extract
to make a Peppermint Mocha Creamer

Later I might try adding just vanilla extract, hazelnut, etc... depending on my mood and the season.

I hope you enjoy this! Yummy!

BTW- this creamer mix should last about 2 weeks in the fridge (any longer please throw away)

Monday, 17 December 2012

Party Week

I can't believe its only a week until Christmas! The time has flown really quickly for us. I know that I'm still not ready (wrapping is a bit of a daunting task for me and I still have all the Christmas cards to do for Francis' nursery class). Anyway, this week should be a fun one for the boys as I will be taking them to two Christmas parties.

At one of the parties Santa will be making a very special appearance (after all he is pretty busy these days)! I can't wait for Francis and Dylan to meet Santa. It will be the first visit with Santa for both of the boys so I hope it isn't a scary one ;-)

We will also get to visit with some friends and their little ones, that we haven't seen in awhile so we can't wait for that too!

However as fun a week as it will be, I will definitely be thinking of all those affected by last Friday's tragedy in Connecticut. I really can't get my head around what happened there and my heart is breaking for everyone involved.

Have a fun and safe week :-)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

What I Ate Wednesday

Happy Wednesday everyone (albeit a little late)! I hope you are all having a good week thus far.

We have definitely been trying to get into the Christmas spirit this week with some good old Christmas films like Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Santa Claus! We also put up all of our Christmas decorations and the tree which as per our family tradition I went out by myself to get. It is a pretty long story but it all started when my husband and I lived in London and I decided to surprise him by picking up a tree after work. The kicker was that I strapped the tree to my back (backpack stylie) to get it home!

Oooh and I have a new coffee treat which I am in love with and I think can be catered to suit all my holiday and seasonal desires! I shall put the recipe in another post - stay tuned ;-)

Well, since today is Wednesday, I thought I might tag on to what some of my other favourite bloggers are doing and that is... What I ate Wednesday (WIAW). I hope it is not too shocking for you as my eats have been pretty heavy on chocolate, hot (spicy) foods and carbs.

Anyway, here is what my Wednesday eats looked like today:

Breakfast: Instant coffee with my new creamer and a bowl of Apple Cinnamon Granola with semi-skimmed milk

Lunch: A jalapeƱo cheese toastie with a tomato and some baked beans with mustard

Dinner: Sausage and chips with green beans and gravy rounded out by a nice glass of red wine

Snacks: I had a strawberry Ribena whilst out Christmas shopping (I was parched) and a glass of milk and a dark chocolate bar after lunch today.

How is your December going so far? What is your favourite part of getting ready for the holidays?

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Anxious Coffee Spree

Oh dear, so it has been a really exciting last couple of days! My good friend who was 32 weeks pregnant with twins had her babies! Her water broke on Sunday afternoon and then it was the waiting game. We found out Monday night she had two lovely baby girls all healthy but a little tiny ;-)

I get so excited when friends have babies but I also worry that everything will be ok and especially so with my dear friend who had her twins. So while I waited on news I ended up making coffee after coffee and in doing so tried to come up with some new combinations that might be tasty since I was getting pretty tired of instant with milk.

Here are some of the tried and tested:
Instant with vanilla extract and milk
Instant with vanilla extract, grated chocolate and milk
Instant with hot chocolate, grated chocolate and milk
Fresh with cream and sugar

They were all ok but I really felt like something decadent and I'm not sure I got that with any of those combos. I will have to try again. I suppose one thing I miss are those (chemical laden) but delish creamers you can get in the States. I love the minty one they have at Christmas time...Yum!
Anyone know of any good home-made coffee creations?

Sunday, 2 December 2012

I Joined A Gym!

Yay, I did it! This weekend I joined the local gym (sports centre) and better yet I even had my first workout! I actually had a look at the gym about 3 weeks ago and was more than impressed. It had pretty much the same amenities that my very expensive 'brand name' gym had when we lived in Texas except less than half the price. Anyway, as you know I ended up taking the past 3 weeks off from working out so I just ended up not joining, but this weekend I took the plunge. 

I had my first workout this morning when the gym opened at 8am...that's right people, I actually set my alarm, woke up, got dressed and out the door in time for an 8am workout ;-) 

I did 15 minutes on the treadmill, 10 on the stepper, 10 on the bike and 5 on the rowing machine. In between each exercise I stretched out and at the end of the workout I did some crunches to strengthen my super weak core. I felt really good when I finished. That was my first gym workout in probably 3 years. 

Then while we were out at Costco today I spotted the Zumba Fitness DVD Exercise Kit. It was at a very reasonable price and did I buy it? - You betcha! I have always wanted to try Zumba and even though I know it is meant to be a fun, party like class with lots of people for the whole 'you're in a night club' kinda vibe, well I just couldn't bare to try it for the first time in that atmosphere and be completely out of sink. 

I have no dance skills at all and my coordination could be better. Let's put it this way, about 8 years ago when I was living in London I joined a Salsa workout class at my local gym. The instructor came over and said to me 'Darling, I just love coming to this class cause you are so entertaining. I go turn to the right and you turn to the left. I say cha cha cha and you...well I'm not sure what you are up to! I love it!' So I suppose now you can understand why I am very excited to try this Zumba DVD set out in the privacy of my own home. Of course when I become the Zumba star I know I can be (deep down) I might venture into a proper class but for now I think I like the fact that only 4 walls will be watching as I ultimately make a fool of myself ;-) 

Any other uncoordinated Zumba fans out there?