Coffee Shop Inspo

When we were galavanting around town enjoying some delish coffee, I had two delish concoctions that I NEEDED to try at home. I decided to put a NuNaturals spin on this, though honestly both required syrup and I only have NuNaturals syrup, so my tastebuds decided for me. πŸ™‚

Mint Julep- Houndstooth Coffee

As much as I love a coffee shot, I knew immediately whilst taking this that my version would not look as cute. First off, this Cerci Lannister goblet is EVERYTHING. Second, they clearly purchased mint in that level of Mario 3 where everything is gargantuan.

Now Houndstooth doesn’t make this recipe a mystery, they shared it online for the Kentucky Derby:


  • Generous dash simple syrup (10 grams) (I used NuNaturals vanilla syrup)
  • 2.5 ounces cold brew concentrate
  • 1.5 ounce club soda (I used Topo)
  • Top with crushed ice (I did not have crushed ice. So I used geometric ice shapes)

Garnish with agitated fresh mint. 

Now I believe my mint was already agitated because it knew it was Joe Pesci compared to the mint at Houndstooth, but for those new on the agitate mint scene, Imbibe Magazine has you covered:

A mint garnish is all about adding aroma to the final cocktail, so it’s important to know about the oil on the underside of the leaf. Ever seen a bartender slap mint in their hands before adding it to the drink? This movement is the quickest and easiest way to express those oils. β€œWe’re allowing the oils to release and make the general environment around the top of the drink great,” Voisey says.

I ordered this the last time I was living in Austin and I thought the barista was making this up when he slapped the mint in his hand. I was like “alright, bro. You do you.” Turns out he reads Imbibe Magazine, I guess…

Here’s my version:

I asked Jon to try it and he liked it so much that I made him one as well. I consider that a job well done. The only thing agitated in this house was the mint. Last agitation, joke. Promise.

Throwback Matcha Cooler- Manana

This drink was the special on the day we went to Manana (part of the South Congress Hotel). I took a picture of just the tea and it came out terribly. Luckily their Instagram had this picture and now I want that reusable straw.

The Throwback Matcha Cooler had:

  • Unsweetened matcha powder (in a water concentrate made in-house)
  • Lavender Syrup
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sparkling Water (they had their own on tap, pics below)

I asked for the ratios of this drink because it was freakin delightful. They said 3oz of the matcha concentrate, 1 oz of lemon juice, a splash of syrup, then the rest was sparkling water. I am not sure why it is a throwback. They had a version with Strawberry lemonade and I imagine some curmudgeonly hipster was all “boooo! play the classics!” so they included the throwback as an option.

Anyways, here is a picture of us enjoying this concoction:

Eerily, my nail polish is almost identical to the George Costanza, er hand model, for Manana.

I had a leg up on the drink lewk because they did not have the goblets and fresh mint like Houndstooth (but what they lacked in those areas they made up for with a TAP OF SPARKLING WATER THAT YOU COULD USE TO HAVE AS MUCH AS YOU WANTED). I want one in my house when I grow up. Here is my version of this tasty beverage:

I used the recipe above, but replaced the lavender syrup with NuNaturals vanilla syrup. Jon said this one was even better than the one we had at the coffee shop. This feels a bit unfair because I served it to him right after he worked out and any cold beverage post-workout tastes like heaven. Here’s a picture of my ingredients:

Since the baristas told me they put the water in last, so I poured the lemon juice and matcha over ice, then finished it with sparkling water. And I don’t know if you noticed, but I used a metal straw like their instagram account. Ballin.

Let me know if you try either of these! πŸ™‚


Cold Brew Taste Test (part 2)

How do we like our coffee in Texas summers? ICE COLD! Alright-alright-alright-alright… (I enjoy Outkast as much as iced coffee).

Today’s Iced Coffee Adventure was STRAIGHT UP cold brew. No flavor, no milk. But Naturally I had to spruce up the coffee (seen after our vote). We have four contenders:

Since these were SO similar (no milk or flavors to rank), we decided to just rank them from 1-4. This was the easiest way to separate them. And in true cold brew couple fashion, my fave was the only one Jon would not purchase again. πŸ™‚


  • Jon: 1st place, would buy again
  • Me: 3rd place, would drink if milk sub and stevia was added

Civil Goat

  • Jon: 4th place, would not buy again
  • Me: First place- hells yeah I’d drink this again.

(opposites attract, folks)

Giddy Up!

  • Jon: 3rd place, would buy again
  • Me: 2nd place, would buy/drink again
  • Kirkland

  • Jon: 2nd place, would buy again
  • Me: 4th place, would drink if milk sub and stevia was added
  • My issue with the Kirkland is just that it is SOOOOO strong. I always add milk and stevia to those. Well, I did. Jon hasn’t purchased them in a while. I think it was fun to put this “‘ol standard” with the new dawgs.

    When we ranked the coffees we split them to finish drinking. I was given the Giddy Up and Civil Goat remainders, which were used to make these iced coffee bevs:

    Blue Cowgirl

    I love a blue milk. This was done with spirulina and also some NuNaturals stevia. I whisked them together then poured over the leftover coffee and ice.

    Butters the G.O.A.T.

    This was also coconut milk, but I added some chai syrup and an adorbs pineapple slice because it looks so tropical in that fancy lil bebe coupe glass.

    Thanks for reading! FYI coffee fans: we will be sharing some local coffee shops in August.


    Canned Iced Coffee Taste Test (Part 1)

    Hello, friends!

    As I am sure you know, my hubster and I are pretty obsessed with coffee. He prefers iced coffee or cold brews. I am a hot coffee or latte gal. But the Texas summer has arrived and I will be enjoying iced drinks for the foreseeable future.

    When Jon and I went to Civil Goat Coffee a few weeks back, we saw they had canned cold brew. We decided it would be fun to try some of these canned options out to compare. This first list is flavored iced coffees (sorry Civil Goat- you’re in Part 2). There were four choices which we rated in pairs. I am going to share our thoughts on these from least delicious to most delicious. Let’s do it!

    #4: Trader Joe’s Coconut Cream Latte

    Two of these four beverages are from my friend Trader Joe. They ranked at the bottom of this list, which is sad because I LOVE Trader Joe’s. I love coconut milk in my iced coffee, but this was not a good mix. The flavor wasn’t great and it was not worth the calories.

    Would we drink this again?

    Jon: Nope! (3/10)

    Me: Nope! (5/10)

    #3: Trader Joe’s French Vanilla Cold Brew

    So this tasted better than the coconut milk one. Our major source of contention here was that it was not flavorful. It was supposed to be vanilla but we couldn’t taste it. I gave it a higher score than Jon because it tasted like watered down cold brew with a splash of milk, which I absolutely drink. However, I gave it a 6 because I don’t like liars and this does not taste like vanilla.

    Would we drink this again?

    Jon: Nope! (4/10)

    Me: Sure… if it is free or I am wicked tired (6/10)

    #2: Minor Figures Coffee with Cocoa & Oatmilk

    Okay, before we talk about the quality of the drink can we talk about THIS CAN?!?! It is so cute! I have taken pictures of each can with the coffee drinks because they are all unique.

    The taste of this coffee was legit AND I enjoyed the oat milk (which I NEVER do). The drink was cocoa-forward, which was a delightful treat (I’m looking at you T-Joe who made a “vanilla” iced coffee that does not taste like vanilla at all).

    Would we drink this again?

    Jon: Yes! (8/10)

    Me: Yes! (7/10)

    #1: UpRiver Dirty Chai

    So this can is minimalist cute (though I grew up DOWNriver, not UPriver). I was surprised when this drink came out so creamy. It was spicy and delicious! The flavor was packed in and I was happy to see the chai spices included clove and black pepper. You could taste a hint of both and it was delightful. If you do not like a chai flavored drink that is spice forward, buy this anyways then give it to me. πŸ™‚

    Would we drink this again?

    Jon: Yes! (8/10)

    Me: Yes! (8/10)

    Better luck next time, Trader Joe’s. You make SO many amazing treats for my taste buds. I would consider living exclusively on your garlic paste. Maybe flavored coffee is not your wheelhouse. We can’t be good at everything. We aren’t Prince (RIP).


    Espresso Keto Cheesecakes

    I think it is fitting that I am writing a post about caffeine-infused sweets, as I woke up at 5:00 a.m. today, apparently VERY excited to begin my week. πŸ™‚

    I previously made Keto No-Bake Cheesecakes, which I enjoyed quite a bit. There were two small differences that made it clear these were not baked:

    1. The texture of the no-bake cheesecake was not a “solid” layer
    2. The crust was also not a solid layer and these two mingled together once eating the dessert.

    I wanted to make a baked keto cheesecake AND have the distinct layers I missed whilst eating the last dessert (Though I want to be CRYSTAL clear- if you don’t want to turn on an oven that no-bake cheesecake is delish! I just wanted the layers for the gram and the satisfying snap when a fork or spoon takes a bite of cheesecake).

    Per usual, here is my IKEA Instruction Recipe Rundown (I used this recipe, but used NuNaturals 1:1 sweetener instead of Swerve):

    The final product was cooled until ready to be refrigerated. I put it in the freezer so they would be easier to remove from the silicone molds. After they came out, I put whipped cream on them. This was the layered amazingness I was looking for!!!! I had to use up this shelf-stable whipped cream by the end of the month so I added some NuNaturals Vanilla Syrup and stevia to it.

    I have an issue with garnishing. Like… I want to add more to things. So I have two examples of this below, both using the aforementioned keto whipped cream. First, I decided that these layered cheesecakes looked BALLER from the sides, but not the top. So I added a cat stencil using cocoa powder. Next, I made my man orange jello (using NuNaturals gelatin) with mandarin oranges inside. I felt like those looked lonely with just whipped cream, so I added an orange slice. I stand by these decisions, and wish I had a bowl of this whipped cream right now.

    I should add that this cheesecake recipe was made in a silicone mold I purchased for the oldest daughter of my decades-long friend Matt, aka The Domestic Specialist. She has been KILLIN IT with desserts and I thought it would be fun to see what she made with the same mold. She and her younger sister are both artists (I know this isn’t fair to the rest of the world, but her parents are amazing so it is not shocking). I asked her younger sister to decorate the box.

    This was a test round…. but I have my idea for the mold ready to go. I’m ready to get completely destroyed by her amazingness.

    For reference, look at a macaron side-by side:

    Hers have the “feet,” which have been elusive to me. I have made two batches. While this one was miles better than my first, I still didn’t have feet. She did. She’s 11.

    Remember when that little drummer prodigy girl kicked Dave Grohl’s butt in a drum-off? That’s what is going to happen here. I’m toast. πŸ™‚

    P/S- If you’d like to play along, I got the mold here. I do not get $ from Amazon or anything. I’m a baller on a budget and wanna share in case you’d like to make something, too.


    Spiced & Shaken Espresso

    I am a HUUUUGE fan of coffee shops. I used to go to Starbucks a lot in Montana because they gave me lots of ways to earn stars (aka free drinks). Those opportunities have lessened recently so I have been branching out to other shops like Epoch and Merit. However, recently I noted a new drink making the rounds on social media called an “Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso.

    Naturally, I promptly went to a local Starbucks for some beta testing… I am selfless. This is OBVIOUSLY for you, dear readers. Not because I love coffee. And sugar. And when they combine.

    This picture below is me looking for an excuse to try a new drink offering at SBUX:

    Found an excuse. You’re reading it.

    I made one change whilst ordering- I do not like oat milk so I subbed coconut milk. I know oat milk is all the rage right now, but it makes my throat feel scratchy. Am I making this up? Maybe. But it seemed true twice so I have decided to avoid it as a milk sub. The drink was delicious, but really sweet. I wanted to make a lightened up version of my own using NuNaturals stevia products instead of sugar. I also decided that I was going to make a spiced version, which afforded me an opportunity to use NuNaturals Chai syrup.


    Some of the smaller details:

    Cold Foam: When you are making cold foam you’re essentially just adding air with a frother. If you have a non-fat milk it will whip up nicely. If you use a milk substitute with 1% or 2% fat it will not stay aerated for quite as long. Both are tasty, but if you’re “doing this for the ‘gram” make sure you have your shot set up before hand. Pour the milk once you have the shot composed for quick photo turnaround. You can add the MCT powder before frothing (and/or add a packet of stevia to the milk when frothing if you wish). Want to learn more? Eater wants to help!

    Making a Cold Espresso Drink: Yeah, espresso is warm. This drink is not. So we need to do a few things to make sure your drink is chilled but not watered down. First, I add the syrup to the bottom of my glass before pulling my double-shot of espresso. It looked cool because the espresso sat on top! I stirred the espresso and syrup together and filled the rest of the small glass with the milk I was using. This helps cool it to the point where you can add it to a cocktail shaker.

    Mise en Place: The French use this term when talking about having everything out/measured when baking or cooking. Then you can methodically work through the process with everything (you guessed it) in its proper place. I suggest doing this because the cold foam is time-sensitive. Here was my set up:

    • I set up the milk with the MCT powder in a cup to froth (but did not actually froth it yet).
    • I had a cocktail glass ready with ice inside.
    • Then I put ice in a cocktail shaker. I did all of this while the espresso was cooling. Make your espresso first.
    • I poured the espresso mixture over the ice in the cocktail shaker. You’ll want to shake until your hand is cold- it is really neat how the shaker goes from warm to cold so quickly!
    • Using the strainer, pour the espresso over the ice. You’ll notice it does not melt the ice in the glass.
    • Then froth that milk up quick and pour it on top!
    • Garnish if you want. I put some cinnamon on top and added a cocktail skewer, which I explain below.

    Presentation is Everything

    I have really missed drinking out of cocktail glasses. I have been sober since mid-May 2019* and I did not move any cocktail items with me when we spent a year in Montana. So now that we are back home in Texas I have purchased some cocktail glasses and skewers for garnishes. I wanna feel fancy, too. πŸ™‚

    I decided that the ONE sugary item here would be the garnish (When NuNaturals makes chocolate spheres I will totally use those instead). You do not have to have a garnish… I think my husband was not amused (his fell in the glass because I was beta-testing two shapes of cocktail glasses. He lost).

    Since Easter is coming up, I used Cadbury mini egg garnishes. This was not easy because they are a chocolate shell with a creamy filling. The trick was to place the skewer in a damp towel that was recently heated in the microwave (DO NOT PUT METAL SKEWERS IN THE MICROWAVE BECAUSE SCIENCE). This heated metal helped me pierce the egg without cracking it. In the name of science, I included a visual aid below:

    If you want this drink “neat” (aka no ice in your glass)

    Here’s a reel up on my Instagram account showing a lot of the tips and tricks discussed whist making a Dirty Chai Mocktail. The recipe is the same for the most part, however you are not poring this over ice when served. So you are going to have to, as Outkast once said, “shake it like a Polaroid picture.” This needs to be chilly so it is not warm halfway through. If it gets lukewarm, you can just shake it with ice again or put a cube in the glass. We aren’t on Downton Abbey, so no one will clutch their pearls if you do this.

    This was garnished with a chocolate sphere and served in a coupe glass. There’s less room in these, so basically every cocktail or mocktail served in these bad boys follows the golden Polaroid rule here.

    Shake it, shake, shake it…

    P/S- An Angel appeared in my espresso shot and told you to try these techniques out.


    Are you calling me a liar? Here s/he is:

    *Sobriety Footnote: I do not have a story where one event or thought made me decide not to drink. I am on Zoloft for anxiety and depression and this does not mix well with booze. I miss the fancy glasses and offerings, but I was able to try some rad mocktails before Covid rained on that parade. There aren’t enough mocktails available IMO, so I’ll be making more on this blog. As Busta once said, “If I ain’t gonna be part of the greatest, I gotta be the greatest myself.”

    Also, sticking with Busta vernacular- you can go “flipmode” and add booze to these. I am all about other people imbibing. It just doesn’t work for me. πŸ™‚


    You Shan’t Shame Yourself with Strangers Over Coffee (if I can help it).

    On weekends my husband and I like to go to downtown Austin for coffee. As people who do not drink, coffee has become our cocktails and coffee shops have become our bars. I enjoy going to Epoch near the Hike and Bike trail, as the barista is always so dang awesome and there are many-a-doggos to watch as we sip our cold brews.

    The way Epoch’s brilliant contactless system works is as follows:

    1. You order your drinks (and food if you’re feeling so inclined) with a barista. S/he is on one side of a doorway which has a plastic covering over most of it. You order and then pay using a credit card on the touchless card reader. There are also masks and hand sanitizer for people who did not prepare to drink such delish coffee.
    2. Next, you wait for a different barista to call your name through a different door opening, where they drop off your order on a tray and walk away while you pick it up. Brilliant.

    Generally, I order the coffees because my ordering is a bit higher maintenance (you should see my Taco Bell receipts). Jon scores a place to sit and watch the doggos as we drink our coffee. Sometimes we people watch- but that’s usually reserved for dog-free traffic times. I wait for the coffee near the second door, where I generally look at other dogs.

    A wintery Epoch trip that may have warranted a hot coffee…

    This morning I could not help but overhear two women talking. First, I am embarrassingly good at listening to the conversations of strangers. It is not generally my intent, but if I find something interesting I tend to commit to the listening experience. Today a woman (likely early 40s) was talking to another woman (I think mid-30s). They were clearly strangers but were talking about Barre classes and local gyms. This caught my attention, as I enjoy working out as well. However, this conversation took a TURN.

    If you see this woman she’s listening to you talk to strangers.

    These women bonded over how much they hated their bodies since Covid began- shaming themselves with the other in full agreement. It was the strangest thing. It took me a bit to process the conversation before I brought it up to Jon. What kind of world is this? We bond over loathing our bodies? I would like to add that these women were both legit hotties and if I knew either of them I would have promptly shut that crap down. Of course that made me start to wonder “I wonder what they think about how I look…”

    This is a problem, y’all. I realize this is a blog dedicated to food. However, how can a woman write a blog about enjoying food when people are so ready to just crap on themselves because Covid made Barre harder to attend?! I miss Crossfit. I do not, however, miss eating tater tots. I had some today and they were delicious. I know that there’s a legit industry hoping women hate themselves. I’m not here for that kinda energy. If you need me, I’ll be ordering European Butter from Farmhouse Delivery to practice my lamination skills (or eating pumpkin pie from the pan as seen below):


    The winter storm made me less motivated to write. I am back on my A-game and will get back to posting weekly. I am working on some Snail Mail treats and a new Pastry to finish March out strong. I hope everyone is safe and sound.