Skip the Starbucks

If I had to live without coffee, I think I would rather not. Even though I gave up jet fuel and went unleaded over five years ago, I can't even imagine starting a single day without my beloved cup of java and a newspaper.

Now, this is a good morning!

Truth be told, I guess my affinity for mocha started when I was a child, maybe 5 or 6 years old. My grandmother would take me to Baskin-Robbins and I would get a scoop of bubble gum ice cream on a cone and she would get a scoop of Jamoca (coffee ice cream) on a cone.

So legend has it, halfway through eating our cones, I would ask for a lick of hers and she would hold mine...and I loved the Jamoca ice cream so much, I would ask if we could trade and naturally she would oblige me. So there she was, a 65-year-old woman eating a dreaded scoop of bubble gum ice cream. Though, truthfully, she was entirely too frugal to throw it away and buy herself another scoop, so she just ate it. This bizarre situation happened one too many times before she finally started ordering each of us a scoop of Jamoca on a cone.

Fast forward to college...all of my dorm friends knew that I brewed a fresh pot of Juan Valdez's best every morning and one of my bestest friends would generally join me for a cup of joe. Or two or three.

Having fallen in love with the flavor of coffee was what started me grinding my own beans after graduating from college. Ever since, I have been a daily grind snob and still grind my beans every single morning.

Despite there being two of us who drink coffee in the house, it's hard to always finish off the entire pot of lifeblood and at the end of the day I end up throwing away a few or sometimes more than a few good cups of Americano. And I feel terrible because a good cup of caffe is a terrible thing to waste, right?

Yes, we do the iced coffee thing, but when I came across this yummy idea for a coffee smoothie, it definitely caught my attention. Another great way to finish up the leftover muddy water. David loved the almond extract flavor and it was an excellent mid-afternoon pick-me-up.

The next time you're getting ready to pour the morning's leftover brain juice down the drain, whether it be leaded or unleaded, STOP! Make a Mexican Coffee Frappuccino, skip the Starbucks and feel thrifty. Your grandmother would be so proud. I know mine is.

Buen provecho!

Mexican Coffee Frappuccino
The Cowgirl Gourmet ( adapted this recipe from the April 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine

Print recipe

Resourcefulness is a virtue. This recipe uses up leftover java and is a perfect mid-afternoon pick-me-up to boot. It can easily be doubled or tripled to share with company.

Makes 1 serving

1/2 cup chilled espresso or strong coffee
1/2 cup almond milk or milk
1 1/2 T. brown sugar or a no-calorie sweetener to taste (I used 1 Tablespoon of Ideal)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups of ice

Blend all the ingredients together until the ice is smooth and the texture is that of frappuccino. Taste, adjust sweetener, if necessary, and blend again to combine. Pour in a tall glass or glasses, sit back and relax with a magazine or book of choice or share this with a few friends an enjoy a little afternoon chitchat.


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