Every Saturday I share three simple things that brought me happiness during the week. These posts may grow or change as time passes. Please feel free to share your own simple joys in the comments section!
Sorry…I am a little late to posting. It has been quite the week, and the upcoming week will be even busier!
April 21-27, 2018
1. Songs that recall happy memories.
Do y’all have songs that transport your mind to a time in your past? It seems like the radio has been playing such songs all week. I have mentally traveled from my first cheerleading camp to the Grand Canyon with a stop in Victoria, TX.
What songs bring back memories for you?
2. Speaking of music, this pianist is incredible.
My mom told me that I would regret my childhood refusal to practice the piano…
(…and those ten songs just took me on a mental journey my freshman dorm room to the Woods Family Camp. After that, I sat in my car for a while, attended a PIU chapel service, arrived back in Tyler, TX, and visited my high school youth group). Music is truly incredible.
3. Coffee-flavored yogurt is back at Aldi.
When I started planning for National BLT month, I had to Google* a list of foods that begin with the letter T.
…tangelo, tapioca, tamales, tahini…
Seeing tiramisu on the list, I returned to Google. I knew that tiramisu is cake, but I didn’t know what made this cake special.
In August 2015, I started working at my school’s on-campus coffee shop, The Brewin’ Den. I loved that job. From behind the counter, I met so many students that I otherwise would have never talked to. I loved brightening each student’s morning by making coffee for them.
As a barista, I could be creative with flavors. The statement, “make me anything with an extra shot” made my day.
I got free food, and trust me — day-old scones are SO edible!
And I got paid. Yes, even minimum wage (plus tips) looks good as a college student!
It was an all-around great job.
Perhaps one of the biggest results of the job was that I slowly grew to like coffee. As I played around with flavors, I realized that black coffee is simply a canvas for flavorful artwork.
So step into my studio…
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon Blind Spot Peanut Butter Brownie
- 1/2 tablespoon honey, or more (depending on desired sweetness)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup fresh hot espresso or strong coffee
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the milk, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla, stirring until smooth.
- When mixture is steaming, whisk in cocoa powder. Continue whisking until mixture is frothy.
- Pour the hot coffee into a mug.
- Add the frothy milk mixture and serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from I Love Peanut Butter.
I am told that hot coffee is wonderful on a cold morning, but I cannot personally attest to that fact. Although my mom drinks straight black coffee on a daily basis, I have no affection for the bitter drink. However, I am always seeking for unique ways to cook oatmeal, and using coffee as the base sounded like an interesting approach.
To my surprise, I loved this oatmeal! The dark taste of coffee was indeed warming, and the gingerbread flavor was perfect for a wintry morning.
Gingerbread Latte Oatmeal
- 2/3 cup strong black coffee
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup oatmeal
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Bring water and coffee to a boil
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in oatmeal
- Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and vanilla
- Stir in honey before serving
Adapted from theoatmealartist.com
Maybe it’s creepy, but watching people is one of my favorite things to do. I find people fascinating–they each have their own thoughts, problems, dreams, inner conversations, goals, struggles, ideas, opinions, lives.
As I write this, I am sitting in the coffee shop at my school. To my right, groups of friends are laughing about their mornings. At a nearby computer, two girls discuss a presentation they are giving this afternoon. Upperclassman philosophize about Christian traditions. Two boys play an aggressive game of Ping-Pong while two other boys sit nearby and eat lunch. The coffee machine whirls as sleep-deprived students swipe their credit cards. A dorm-mate asks to borrow a highlighter. The microwave dings as Ramen Noodles finish cooking. The ignored television displays the weather–sunny and 75. Education majors practice an upcoming lesson. People are singing, chanting, reciting, bickering, teasing.
At face value, we seem similar–primarily Caucasian, Christian students in our standard class dress code. But we are all different. We are all uniquely struggling. We are all distinctly pressing towards our futures. Our varieties far outnumber our likenesses.
Unique. Different. Distinct.