We established during our BLT discussion that my brain and taste buds have their own strange set of odd rules (no soup and grilled cheese unless it’s cold outside, BLTs and melons are only for Spring and Summer, etc.). I discovered two new ones. Apparently I don’t feel like crafting unless it’s Fall/Winter. I’ve totally failed at keeping DIY Club going this Spring. I also made up a rule somewhere along the way that I’m not allowed to wear red on Easter Sunday.
I have this really cute wrap dress I’d like to wear as my Easter dress this year, but I’ve been having this internal battle that I can’t wear it because it’s in the red family. It’s one of the Spring pop colors apparently, the tomato tangerine red orange color, and I love it! Where the heck did I get this concept from?! I have a feeling it’s somehow to be blamed on my Southern roots and upbringing. Maybe I just associated the numerous pastel Easter dresses I had growing up with being the opposite of red. Who knows. Regardless, I’m forcing my brain to get over it and wearing the dress. I might even try to make a soup between now and September.
However, there is one weird quirk I’m not willing to let go of and fully embrace. I can’t drink hot beverages from mid February to mid September (which is pretty much the Mississippi version of Summer). However, I love and must have coffee! Financially, I can not rely on my Starbucks Batista to provide my coffee for me every day. I’ve experimented with making my own iced coffee for several years. A fellow food blogging friend led me to a great way to make coffee concentrate for iced coffee last year. I liked that a lot, but it does take some effort and time. I also experimented with low cal frappes using instant coffee last summer. But I finally concocted the perfect (for me) iced coffee.
It uses Starbucks Via Iced Coffee packets. Depending on where you get them, they can be on the pricey side. They are more expensive at Starbucks, but you can get them at Kroger and Walmart as well. I happened upon them at Sam’s for a really great deal! Normally one box of five packets is close to $5. Last summer at Sam’s they sold them in two box packs (10 packets) for $2.81! I loaded up! I’m still using my stash from last summer. Unfortunately they aren’t selling them at Sam’s right now (I called), but sometimes things are seasonal there so I’m hoping they will bring them back for the summer. I like using these because they dissolve in cold water. Regular instant coffee has to be dissolved in hot water first.
Easy Iced Coffee
I was inspired by Pioneer Woman‘s Perfect Iced Coffee Recipe. However, I wanted a easier and more Weight Watchers friendly version. It’s 3 points for a good sized (16 oz) serving! (Which is less than any flavored specialty beverage that my favorite barista can make.)
- 2 packs of instant Starbucks Via Iced Coffee
- 2 cups of skim milk (I use Great Value organic because it has a longer shelf life)
- 4 cups of cold water
- 1/4 cup of Bailey’s Fat Free French Vanilla Coffee Creamer (or any of your favorite liquid coffee creamers)
- 3 tbsp fat free sweet condensed milk (I use Great Value)
I use my cute little 2 quart jug from Target. You could use any container you have. Pour the Via packets in your container of choice. Add creamer and 1 cup of milk. Shake shake shake. Shake until the Via dissolves or almost is completely dissolved. Add remaining milk. Add water one cup at a time. Via is strong just like Starbucks brewed coffee. I’m not a fan of uber strong coffee. So this combination is perfect for me. Each packet calls for 16 oz of liquid. I double that amount and it’s a perfect strength and taste for me. Tastes similar to the strength of McDonald’s iced coffee or has a similar strength of a Starbucks frappuccino vs. the brew. Once you get all the liquid in, you may be able to shake it a little, but I advise stirring.
And then… I made something unhealthy(ish), but I highly recommend that you make this one a day when you are having a cheat day. The pictures are awful! It was dark, daylight pictures are better. Some day soon (very soon) I’ll be making these again, making them healthier, calculating the points, and taking better pictures. I lightened up the original recipe a little, but one of my RAs assisted me and brought out the real butter. I used fat free sweet condensed milk instead of regular. There’s no turning back when that happens. I made biscuit dough from Heart Healthy Bisquick instead of using regular canned biscuits. Next time I’ll also use Brummel and Brown yogurt butter.
Monkey Bread Muffins
Inspired by Pioneer Woman’s recipe.
- 3 cups Heart Healthy Bisquick
- 1 cup of skim milk
- butter (can substitute yogurt butter)
- fat free sweet condensed milk
Preheat oven to 375. Mix Bisquick and milk until combined. Place dough on a floured surface and knead, folding over and over about 10 times. Spray your muffin tin. Add a little pad of butter, about 1/2 tsp, in each muffin cup. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of each. Pull walnut sized balls of dough off and roll in the palms of your hands. Place three dough balls in each muffin cup. Add another little pad of butter, about 1/2 tsp, on top of each. Sprinkle each with cinnamon and sugar. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately drizzle LOTS of condensed milk on top. Let soak in for 1 minute. Spoon out and enjoy!