1 Minute Iced Coffee

Better Than Starbucks Iced Coffee | One Girl's Taste on Life

My favorite drink at Starbucks is a Caramel Macchiato.  In fact, 90% of the time that’s what I get.  I like them hot or iced.  I really have no preference aside from the weather outside.  Only thing I don’t like about these drinks is the price tag.  At $4.25 a pop, they really take a toll on my wallet.  Since buying a new car last year, I have had to tighten up my purse strings a little bit more, which means not as many trips to the Sbux as I would like.  #sadface

Don’t get me wrong…I still go way more than I probably should, but not quite as much as I used to.  Now, instead of going every other day, I try to go once or twice a week at the very most.

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The other thing that I don’t particularly care for with the Caramel Macchiatos is the calorie count.  As most of you know, I’m on a Get Healthy plan.  So far I’ve lost nearly 30 pounds thanks to a healthy diet, lots of exercise, and the My Fitness Pal app!  (Friend me!)

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I’m on a 1350 calorie a day plan and when I choose to have a Sbux drink, it averages out to about 200 calories a pop.  That’s more than 1/7 my daily caloric goal!  Doesn’t sound like much, but when you start inputting those calories, you realize they add up fast.

I decided the other day I was going to try to solve both these problems at once.  I wanted to make a coffee house type drink at home and save some calories at the same time.  Enter my beloved:

I was a little iffy about switching over to a Keurig at first, but let me just tell you.  Next to my (brand new thanks to dropping it in the toilet at the bar) iPhone 5….a story for a different day…it’s probably my most used gadget in the house.  Well, and my camera.  But I digress…

I had been told in the past that you couldn’t just use the same pods to make iced coffee; you had to get special pods that were specifically marked with the “iced” logo.

My friends, my friends.  I’m here to tell you this is NOT the case!  Here’s what I did:

First up, I changed the cup size to one size less than I normally brew.  So if you brew a typical middle of the range cup, you’d want to go one size to the left so your coffee is a little stronger than you like it.

Brew your cup as normal, then put a couple ice cubes in the mug.  You don’t want to pour your piping hot liquid into a glass because it could shatter.  No one wants to get pelted with shards of glass which trying to make a delicious beverage.  Am I right?  You know I am!

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While your coffee is cooling, fill up a glass with ice.  After your coffee cools, pour it over the ice, add your milk, cream, sugar, etc and you’re good to go!  It’s that simple!  When I make a typical cup of coffee, I use one tablespoon of fat free creamer and one packet of Sweet-n-low.  I tried this with the iced coffee and it was great.  I do think next time I want to add a splash of vanilla and a drizzle of caramel (which I didn’t have at the time or I totally would have done it then).

Stir and enjoy!  It’s just as good as Starbucks, plus it’s cheaper and lighter!  #winning

What’s your favorite coffee house beverage?  Do you prefer Starbucks or a different coffee house?  I’m always looking for new ones especially in Dayton.


Sister Bean’s Coffee House & The Fresh Market (Louisville)

Continuing on our Louisville journey (a week later) brings us to a place that only exists for me in my dreams…Sister Bean’s Coffee House. Well, OK, not really just in my dreams, but not in reality until I make the pilgrimage back to Louisville.

As you probably know, I love coffee.  I have a mega slight addiction to Starbucks and usually cannot function in the morning until after at least one cup of coffee.  (Slight side note:  picked up Whole Foods’ City Roast coffee while in Louisville and am now addicted.  What gives?)  When Carolyn mentioned there was a place in Louisville that made Starbucks look like “a short, fat, bald man” (Friends anyone?), I was all in.

The drive to the coffee house took us past Iroquois Park, one of Carolyn’s favorite places to run in Louisville.  In fact, the location of said coffee house was right across the street from the park!  We both decided that would be great motivation for her to go running there on days she had time.  You know…run a bit, get a coffee!  Sounds like a winner to me!

Carolyn mentioned the frappuccinos were amazing and, since it was 90+ degrees outside, I decided a frosty, cold beverage was the way to go.  They had tons of options from which to choose.

I went with the Coconut Mocha Frappuccino.

Oh. My. Amazing.

Indeed as I was slurping this bad boy down, I was picturing short, fat, bald men running around the store holding Starbucks coffees while sneering. (The little men do not like being replaced.)  Starbucks doesn’t hold a candle to Sister Bean.  The smoothness of my beverage was remarkable.  Starbucks’ frappuccinos have bits of ice in them, almost as if they didn’t spend enough time on the blender.  Sister Bean’s frappuccino tasted like a milkshake.

The shop was so cute, with lots of great artwork hanging around.

They also had an extensive amount of baked goods (some vegan!) and ice cream!  What more could you ask for?

Comfy chairs?  Check!
Fireplace?  Check!

I could sit here and read my book for hours.  It’s definitely going on my list of Must Visit places when I go to Louisville.  At this rate, I’ll have to start going for three or four days at a time just to fit all the places in!

Another place I fell in love with was The Fresh Market.

After seeing Carolyn’s post, I knew I had to go.  This is a foodie’s paradise.  Well, sort of.  If you want to talk about places a foodie could live in for years at a time, you need to mention Jungle Jim’s.  Carolyn and I ventured there a few months ago and it was so huge I felt overwhelmed.  I will definitely have to do a review on this place!

Anyhow…Fresh Market.  It’s similar to Whole Foods, but it just feels different.  It feels more cozy, like you’re in someone’s home.  Don’t ask me why I felt like that…I just did.

The minute we walked in the store, the smell of these cinnamon scented pine cones smacked us in the face.

I loved the lighting combined with all the wood in this store.  Like I said…cozy.

And orchids are my favorite flower, so seeing them upon entrance was a nice little touch.

Then I saw it.  Barrels and barrels of coffee beans!  I stood in the same spot for several minutes inhaling the sweet, wonderful fragrance.  (Man, if this store doesn’t play on your senses!)

In addition to the bulk bins of coffee, they had bulk spices,

bulk seeds, grains, granolas,

and bulk dried veggies.

I loved all the different pastas too.

Finally, they had a wonderful cheese display.  Don’t you just love the little faux shop canopy above?

What a great day.  Two new discoveries!  And bonus…Fresh Market is a chain and there are two in Cincinnati!  Score!

What’s your favorite local or chain grocery store?

Wild Eggs (Louisville)

My best friend, Carolyn, lives in Louisville.  Whenever I come to visit, there are always two things I must do:  visit Off Broadway Shoes and eat at Wild Eggs.

Wild Eggs is a breakfast/brunch/lunch place that I fell in immediate love with the very first time I visited.  It could have been the atmosphere, it could have been the cute little egg salt and pepper shakers, but I believe it was in fact the Bananas Foster waffle.  Oh. My. Yum.  (As I didn’t order it this time, I have no picture for you.  But isn’t this picture of eggs cute?)

Carolyn and I have gotten into a routine where we each get an entree and then split a waffle.  We got the Bananas Foster waffle the first time she took me there. Let me paint ya a little picture here.  Start with a crisp, yet buttery waffle.  Top it with some cinnamon sugar.  Then add a butter rum caramel sauce and some sliced bananas.  (I’ll wait while you wipe your mouth.)  To finish, serve with a giant scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

I think I could stop there and everyone would be happy.  Without a doubt, this is my favorite thing they serve at the restaurant.  But it’s not the only good thing.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal there!

Today, I chose to reprise my last meal I had a few months ago, which was the A.C.E. of a B.L.T.  It’s a yummy sandwich made up of Avocado, Cheddar cheese, fried Egg, Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato.  Get it?  So very good.

Carolyn got the Veggie Bennie Florentinie, which was a Mediterranean egg sandwich thing that was supposed to be vegetarian, but oddly included something that looked suspiciously like sausage…  Good thing her “30 days as a vegetarian” experiment was over.

We, like every time in the past, opted to split a waffle.  We went with the Bonnie O’s Espresso waffle:  a crisp waffle topped with caramel coffee sauce, chocolate dipped espresso beans, and whipped cream.  It was good, but it was no Bananas Foster waffle.

To drink, we each had coffee (mine hot, Carolyn’s iced).

Wild Eggs is such a fun place.  I wish we had one in Dayton, but I’ll just have to live with dining there when I visit Carolyn.  If you live in Louisville and haven’t tried it yet, GO!  I promise you won’t regret it.

Just to entice you some more, here is the restaurant’s menu (sorry some are blurry…my hands were shaking with hunger!):

Question:  Where is your favorite breakfast spot and why?

(Side question…I have been taking pictures of the menus from the restaurants I review.  Are they helpful?  Do you like them?  Should I continue?)