Tag Archives: coffee

Book Review: Dining Out at Home Cookbook 2

Ever wanted to imitate those dishes you enjoyed while eating out for much cheaper at home? I do. I do this all the time, I taste something, then I go home, imitate it and try to make it healthier. This book comes from a fellow blogger, Stephanie Manley of copykat.com, who has had so much success in food imitation she has filled a second book of recipes. I’m a sucker for a great icon guide, this one indicates recipes for cocktail parties, vegetarian, make ahead (always great for dinner parties or freezer cooking), impress the guest (really who wouldn’t want to?), dinner for one (which happens around here a bit), and dinner for two (which happens a lot around here happily) just to name a few. There are so many tantalizing tidbits in there. The thing I love about this book for people like myself who are trying to eat healthier is, now that you have the recipe, it is so much easier to make substitutions. Want that cheesy goodness that comes from Logan’s Roadhouse loaded potato skins? Flip to page 32, substitute light sour cream, light cheddar and monterey jack cheese, and light butter. You are in tasty heaven and for less fat and calories than eating out in the first place. I love to do take out from home. It is always, cheaper, healthier, and often faster (consider driving time, ordering, etc). What about the Melting Pot’s Wisconsin Trio Fondue? Yeah, it’s in there…you know what to do. I do not have access to a lot of these restaurants, being Canadian, so a book like this adds extra excitement. Many a time my husband and I have been watching tv and seen commercials for places like Sonic, Panda Express, Red Lobster (we don’t have one on the island), and Cheesecake Factory (that is actually due to all our Big Bang Theory watching), they look so good but are nowhere near here. Happily they all have recipes in this book, I can’t wait to make some of those red lobster biscuits, healthy version of course. So many great restaurant recipes are represented in this book including my own addiction, a version of starbucks pumpkin spice latte which I get to share with you right now! Perfect timing too right?

CopyKat.com’s Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

Pumpkin Syrup

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tblsp grated nutmeg
  • 3 cinnamon sticks or 1 1/2 tblsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tblsp canned pumpkin

Pumpkin Spice Latte Serving

  • 1/2 cup espresso or strong coffee
  • 2-3 tblsp pumpkin syrup
  • 1/2 cup milk, warmed and frothed
  • whipped cream and freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Make pumpkin syrup:

  1. Bring water, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Strain through a coffee filter. You want the seasoned water to be free of the spices.
  4. Pour the strained water back into the pan and add the sugar and pumpkin. Mix well.
  5. Simmer another 10 minutes. Makes approximately 1 pint of pumpkin spice syrup. Store in and airtight container in the fridge. Will stay fresh for up to a week.

Make the Latte:

  1. Brew a 4 ounce serving of espresso or strong coffee.
  2. Place 2-3 tblsp of pumpkin syrup in a coffee cup and add coffee.
  3. Gently pour the frothed milk over the coffee and gently stir.
  4. Top with whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg if desired.

Serves 1

Want to make it a skinny pumpkin latte like I do? Substitute the sugar with stevia or splenda, choose skim milk or unsweetened almond milk, and skip the whipped cream. A skinny pumpkin spice latte serving (with unsweetened almond milk) comes in at 28 calories, 2 grams fat, 5.4 grams carbs, 1.2 grams fibre, and .9 gram protein. Nummy! I make this with organic canned pumpkin and stevia. Watch for sales throughout the year and enjoy!

Foamy Latte

Awhile back I found this helpful little tool that I just have to talk about.  Ikea brought out this foamer, I believe part of it’s “Produkt” kitchen line which is no more than 4.99 and does the trick. I have seen other frothers around and they seem to be a bit pricey…some of them even go for fifty to a hundred dollars! I love a good frothy coffee to start my day, especially flavoured with those Torani syrups I see around (sugar free ofcourse). Check it out…

It feels like *insert your over priced coffee place of choice here* without the *overpriced coffee barista invention* and the *inflated fat and calories* which leads to an *inflated you*. hehe got a little carried away with the stars there. The nice thing about this frother is that it seems to get it’s frothiest with skim milk and soy milk. My husband has tried it with cream and with those special flavoured coffee whiteners. Just not the same. It forces you to have a healthier coffee just to get that nice foamy latte. No need for whip cream to feel indulgent. For me I find it actually helps to kick any whip cream craving.

We’ve gone beyond coffee with this thing too. Hot chocolate and even chai tea has gotten a nice fancy topper. Now if only I could do some of that coffee foam art.

All you do is fill your cup about a quarter of the way with milk. Some folks like to heat it for about 20 seconds in the micro…I’m in too much of a hurry for some coffee, I skip it just fine. Foam it up to desired lift. Pour in your coffee, hot chocolate, tea, whatever. Flavour and tada! Fancy hot drink to help you start your day. If you go with tea or coffee all you have to worry about is the calories and fat in your bit of skim milk you used. Which really won’t ruin your day so go ahead and pair that bad boy with a nice low fat and low calorie scone, muffin, or bagel for that coffee shop feel.

Note: we have one of those keurig single serve coffee things. Which I must say has totally been worth it, especially with my husband being on various shifts at the base. He’s not always there in the morning to share a cup. Just one cup, not a lot of waste, and you can get all sorts of fair trade varieties!