Saturday, August 13, 2011

a Guilty Pleasure Afternoon Snack... Iced Coffee Caramel White Russian and a Carrot Streusel Muffin

I hope you all are having a wonderful Saturday!  If you have a few minutes to whip up a cold drink and put your feet up, sit in the shade or soak up a little sun, treat yourselves to this cool and refreshing Iced Coffee Caramel White Russian, and maybe have a little afternoon snack with that.  You've worked hard this week.  You deserve this.  :)

Jamie's coming home today from Sturgis and I couldn't be more excited since I haven't seen him in five days!  And for his special welcome home dinner, here's what I have planned:
  • Appetizer - Roasted Artichoke with Spicy Aioli
  • Main Course - Rack of Lamb with Sage and Red Wine Cherry Sauce, and Baby Red Potatoes with Herbs
  • Dessert - Nectarine Blueberry Crumble
  • To Drink - 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve, from the winery at Holy Cross Abbey (we bought this in the summer of 2009 during my birthday weekend)
So this morning, I went to three of my favorite stores to pick up a few items (and also to just do some fun browsing):  The Container Store, World Market, and Tony's Meats and Specialty Foods.  It amazes me how every time I go to The Container Store, I manage to find something that I didn't even know I needed, and somehow don't think I can live without!  Jamie doesn't seem to harbor the same excitement about containers that I do (organizing something in the perfect container just makes me happy), and he made me promise never to make him go to there again, although I think it's a pretty fair trade after I go to Men's Wearhouse with him, which is right next door.  :)  

He tolerates World Market, and of course, he loves Tony's and introduced me to the store when we started dating.  It's not a place you can buy many of your groceries, unless maybe you're a celebrity, because it's very expensive.  But it's a great place to get some high quality meat and specialty items that you may not find at your regular grocery store.  I bought the rack of lamb there this morning, as well as a jar of vanilla bean paste which caught my eye.  I have a feeling it will be a good, and much cheaper, alternative to whole vanilla beans when I want that vanilla bean flavor. 

By this stage of my morning shopping, it was nearing lunch time, and I gave in to the temptation of buying a carrot streusel muffin from the bakery to have as an afternoon snack when I got home.  

Isn't this a gorgeous muffin?  It was so delicious, full of cinnamon and cloves, raisins and nuts, and after tasting it, I wish I had the recipe so I could make these.  Everything is better with streusel topping, don't you think?

To go along with the muffin, I made an Iced Coffee Caramel White Russian.  Yes, I know it's only 2:00 in the afternoon, but don't judge me.  :)  It is Saturday, after all, and I don't have to go anywhere else today.  Although, come to think of it, I forgot to get ice cream, and Jamie's going to want ice cream on top of the nectarine blueberry crumble tonight...  I may have to run back out again.

This icy drink was also the perfect way to use up the rest of my coffee that I didn't drink this morning, since I hate just dumping it down the drain.  And, it's low calorie, since I make White Russians with skim milk instead of cream.  I made it in a big mason jar, to accommodate all the ice, and to have something cool to sip throughout the afternoon on as I finish up some cleaning and do a little prepping for dinner tonight.  It's delicious!  But I have lots more to do today, so I better pace myself...

Iced Coffee Caramel White Russian
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed ice
  • 1 cup coffee, room temperature
  • 1/8 cup skim milk
  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces Kahlua liquor
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla or vanilla extract
  • 1 heaping tablespoon caramel topping
Combine all ingredients in a large glass or jar and stir until combined.  Or, puree in a blender for a slushy treat.