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.
It is officially spring break…or, um, end of winter break?
My first year of college, there was an ice storm the Thursday of spring break that caused major power outages. We were without electricity for a few days.
My second year of college, spring break started early because snow dumped to the ground at a startling rate.
This year, I am hoping for a nice, warm spring break with no snow or ice.
Blueberry Cheesecake Oatmeal
- 1/3 cup oatmeal
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbs cream cheese
- 1/2 cup blueberries (divided)
- Coat a mug with nonstick spray.
- Mix oatmeal, 1/4 cup blueberries, and water in the mug.
- Form a small well in the middle of the oatmeal and place cream cheese in the well.
- Microwave on high 1 minute.
- Invert mug onto a plate, and remove mug.
- Top with remaining 1/4 cup of blueberries.
- Eat and enjoy!
School starts back this month, meaning that mornings are about to become hectic for families across the country. When mornings are crazy, it is easy to reach for a microwaveable, portable meal. Let me give you some options:
Each option can be reheated in seconds and will keep you energized through the morning. Yes, the first option is easy, but the second option is cheaper, homemade, and all-natural. What makes the second option even better is that there are only two necessary ingredients, but you can add your own spices to customize the taste.
So how can you make these grab-and-go breakfast muffins? Check out this recipe right here:
Grab and Go Egg Muffins
The base for one muffin:
- 1 egg
- 1 slice cooked bacon
- Shredded cheese
- Garlic powder
- Chopped vegetables
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and spray muffin tins with nonstick spray.
- Whisk eggs.
- Stir in bacon and any mix-ins.
- Pour into prepared muffin tins.
- Bake for approximately 20 minutes.
- Let cool completely. Then freeze in an airtight container.
- Before eating, microwave muffins for about 1 minute.
**I recommend making a large batch of these and keeping them on hand for hasty mornings
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
The alarm rings. As you slap the offending noisemaker, you tumble to the floor. With your eyes still closed, you sloppily get dressed. As you scroll through your phone and rush out the door, you pour a cup of coffee and hope that it provides the caffeine needed to make it to lunch.
Mornings are my favorite part of the day. The world is quiet, the rising sun paints the sky, and creation is uninterrupted. Mornings are my time to refresh, refuel, and repair. Here are some tips to make your mornings just as relaxing.
- Play encouraging music. A day that starts with worship of the Savior is sure to be a great day.
- Prepare your outfits the night before. Every night, I hang my clothes for the following day on a separate hook in my closet so that they are easily accessible in the mornings. I put any accessories (bracelets, earrings, shoes, hair clips, etc.) on my dresser. In the morning, I do not have to peruse through endless shirts until I find one that I like.
- Have a routine. Your routine can definitely be flexible, but structure will help your mornings move smoothly. When I’m at home, I always get up, make my bed, put on clothes while checking Facebook and email, do my makeup, and go downstairs for breakfast. The order of those events rarely (if ever) changes.
- Make breakfast ahead of time. Obviously, this is not always possible–egg sandwiches might not be the best leftover! However, you can do some prep work the night before (get out pans, measure ingredients, etc.), and you can make overnight oatmeal if you know that a morning is going to be particularly rushed.
- Leave yourself enough time to do something fun or productive. During the school year, I leave myself about 15 minutes to study before class begins. Over the summer, I went for a short run every morning. Leaving this extra time will help you feel less rushed.
Don’t neglect the precious, calm morning minutes; they can set the scene for your entire day!
Every Wednesday, I start my day with a 7 o’clock science lab. I would probably come to dread these mornings if it were not for one thing: I get to make my own breakfast. You see, I am on a full meal plan, meaning that I have already paid for any food I eat in the cafeteria. Therefore, I get to cook for myself very rarely. On Wednesday, however, my class starts before the cafeteria begins serving breakfast. This means that I get to create my own beautiful breakfast every Wednesday. I love it.
Obviously, I do not get up early enough to fix a multi-course breakfast before class. My favorite thing to do is layer together a beautiful bowl of overnight oatmeal. This morning, I enjoyed delicious vanilla orange oatmeal. I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Vanilla Orange Overnight Oatmeal
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk
- 1 orange, peeled and cubed
- combine all ingredients in a jar or sealable bowl
- refrigerate overnight
- shovel it down as you head to a morning class
There is something about mornings that calms me. When I first step outside of my dorm, it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing–the sun could be shining, rain could be pouring, fog could be looming–I feel peace, serenity, belonging.
Fresh. The crisp air cleanses my face and opens my eyes to the truths that evaded me the night before. At night, everything is ominous. The day has been hard, and all I want is to sleep. I want to escape from the trials of the day. But the morning brings possibilities. The plot is unwritten, and I am a contributing editor; I can add my thoughts to the book.
Solitary. As I walk the few blocks to the cafeteria, the only Person I encounter is my Creator. I observe His handiwork in the fragrant buds, rising sun, and chirping birds. He is the One who has given me this day. My duty now is to live it for Him.
Alive. And so, having embraced the day, I open the door of the school and continue on to breakfast. My day has started with the brilliant splendor of the morning. It is going to be a good day.