Category Archives: Beverages

Iced Coffee with Vanilla-Almond Syrup

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowSometimes I go off coffee for a few weeks or a month.  It’s an exercise in health and control; I don’t like to admit I have a slight addiction to coffee.  If I don’t wean myself properly, I get terrible withdrawal headaches.  The problem about not drinking coffee is the exhaustion – I’m thirty years old, I guess I need coffee everyday to function.

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowOn the other hand, I’m exhausted when I drink coffee (and a diet coke) everyday and have been napping in the evenings after work.  I am not a napper, but this summer I’m wiped out.  All my colleagues and I are in agreement, working during the summer is rough.

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowLife is better when you have delicious, fresh cold-brewed coffee in your fridge awaiting each and every caffeine craving.  Add some fancy simply syrup, almond milk, and some ice, and you have a beverage sure to pick-you-up and help you make it through these dog days of summer!

iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream

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Iced Coffee with Vanilla-Almond Syrup

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Yield – 4-5 servings

1 cup coarsely ground coffee

2 quarts water

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup water

1 vanilla bean

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

  1. Coffee – Buy some fancy coffee beans, mine were from Costa Rica.  Take them to the grocery store and get them ground on the coarsest setting.  Return home.
  2. Add the coffee beans to a nut milk bag, yep, I said it.  Add the tightly closed bag to a pitcher with 2 quarts of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Vanilla-Almond Syrup – add the sugar and water to a small saucepan and begin heating.
  4. Split open a vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.  Add the seeds and the pod to the sugar syrup.  Stir and heat until all the sugar is dissolved.  Stir in the almond extract.
  5. Strain into a little jar to cool.
  6. To make your delicious iced coffee add ice, coffee, a bit of syrup, and almond milk (or another milk if that’s your fancy), stir and enjoy with a cute straw!iced coffee with vanilla-almond syrup | pale yellow
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Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale YellowIn Costa Rica there was a lot of drinking, when it’s free, there is no reason to go for it.  We made our own sangria at lunch from wine and fruit, had pre-dinner cocktails, wine with dinner, and our post-dinner toast.  But the best drinking moments took place at the swim up bar.  Every pool should have a swim up bar.

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale YellowWhen you’re enjoying happy hour in a pool, fruity cocktails are a must! Whether you fancy mojitos, daiquiris, margaritas, or pina coladas, your drink should be cold, colorful, and delicious.  Sometimes the drinks weren’t very strong, but there is an easy fix – “strawberry daiquiri con mucho rum, mucho, mucho rum!”

Cocktail Time | Pale YellowAwesome Spanish aside, there was a “drink-of-the-day” at the resort.  One of the drinks was called a dirty monkey.  I think it was called a dirty monkey, honestly I can’t remember and I kept calling it a hairy monkey.  No matter, I Googled the cocktail stateside and made my own adjustments.

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale YellowThis doesn’t take exactly like what I had in Costa Rica, but close enough!  Cold, fruity, strong, and a slight hint of banana and chocolate.  The only way to improve the cocktail is to drink it in a pool instead of at the table while working on homework.  Boo to homework, yay to dirty, hairy monkeys!

Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale YellowTwo Years Ago – Shepherd’s Salad

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Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail
Adapted from Monkey Ball
Yield – 1 drink

1 part dark rum
1 part light rum
1 part banana schnapps
1 part kahlua
6-7 ice cubes
chocolate syrup + banana for garnish

  1. Add the rums, schnapps, kahlua, and ice to a blender.  Blend until smooth.
  2. Coat the inside of a glass with chocolate syrup and pour the drink inside.
  3. Garnish with a banana slice and enjoy responsibly

DSC_01Dirty Hairy Monkey Cocktail | Pale Yellow64


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Lemon Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal

lemon blueberry overnight oatmeal | pale yellowRemember when I spent the last three weeks writing about healthy eating and juice cleanses?  Remember me telling you about all the fun events planned in June and July?  Well the first fun event just wrapped up and I am in a tail spin.  Luckily I two days before the next big happening.  And please, this is not a complainant, I’m enjoying every moment of this crazy month!  I did spend three weeks preparing!

lemon blueberry overnight oatmeal | pale yellowMy mom, two aunts, and cousin stayed with me this past weekend and we had a blast on the beach, at Smorgsburg, seeing Rock of Ages, shopping ’till we dropped, and exploring NYC by boat, train, foot, and car!  I now know, my apartment can house five people.  It was fantastic to spend so much time with my family, I feel like I get so little quality time with family; just a dinner here and there.  Now my bucket is overflowing with family love!

lemon blueberry overnight oatmeal | pale yellowMy bucket is also overflowing with love for overnight oatmeal!  I know I’m late to the game, but I love the texture, flavor, and ease.  Toss all the ingredients in a jar the night before, shake, refrigerate, and eat in the morning. The combinations are endless.  I love that this recipe is naturally vegan and could totally be gluten free.  Plus it’s creamy, filling, and super tasty.  I think everyone should start adding overnight oatmeal to their breakfast rotation, it’s made a firm place in mine!

lemon blueberry overnight oatmeal | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Strawberry Cupcakes

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Lemon Blueberry Overnight Oatmeal
Adapted from Wonky Wonderful
Yield – 1 serving, 16 ounces

1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

  1. Add all the ingredients to a 16-ounce mason jar or other container.  Shake or stir to combine.  Make sure the honey and chia seeds become incorporated and don’t stick to the side.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.lemon blueberry overnight oatmeal | pale yellow


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Green Smoothie 2

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)Almost everyday for lunch I drink this smoothie along with leftovers or a quinoa salad.  It should be no surprise I eat a lot of quinoa salads.  What I like about the smoothie is the ingredients are relatively cheap and the magic bullet is able to make a smooth smoothie.  Losing access to a VitaMix is tough, but I’m surviving and improvising.

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)I drink the smoothie for the nutritional value more than anything.  Since stopping a regular vitamin routine, I feel good knowing I’m putting vitamins into my system through whole foods each day.  I listed the nutritional value to satisfy my own curiosity about what I was putting into my body and  to justify this continued practice.  It’s all worth it!  Smoothie for everyone!

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)How to make a smoothie in a few easy steps:

Add frozen strawberries.

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)Add canned pineapple.

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)Sprinkle a little flax.

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)Take a big handful of spinach – squish it in.

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)Cover with almond milk.

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)Blend away.

green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)One Year Ago – DIY Blue Print Juice Cleanse

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green smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)Green Smoothie 2
Yield – 1 drink

2-3 frozen strawberries
6-7 pineapple chunks, canned in juice
1 teaspoon ground flaxseed meal
1 cup spinach, loosely packed
1 cup unsweetened almond milk

  1. Add the strawberries, pineapple, flaxseed, spinach, and almond milk in that order to the cup of a magic bullet blender.
  2. Blend for 3-4 minutes.  Drink immediately or cover to drink the next smoothie 2 | pale yellow (almond milk, spinach, pineapple, strawberry, and flax)

Nutritional Information:
102.6 calories | 4.2g fat | 3.6g fiber | 9g sugar | 2.8g protein
Vitamin A 65% | Vitamin C 48% | Vitamin D 25% | Calcium 35% | Iron 14%

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Banana, Leche, Y Cafe con Chocolate Y Rum

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowIn less than two months I’ll have my toes in the warm sand of the Pacific Ocean with the jungle and (hopefully) monkeys on my back.  Where will I be you ask?  Certainly not Rockaway!  We have warm sand from the Atlantic and only odd, stuffed gorillas on the beach.  I’ll be somewhere warm and tropical in Central America.

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowI’m going to COSTA RICA!!!  Visiting Costa Rica has been at the top of my travel list for years and I’m finally going, for my 30th birthday, no less.  It is hard to imagine a better birthday present to myself than a trip to Costa Rica with some of my best lady friends.

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowThe trip was just paid in full and we’ve been sending each other fun, rum-centric emails in to get ourselves in the game.  I’m ready!  I have dresses and bathing suits; once I buy all the sunblock, I’m there!

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowTo get myself in the game I made this Costa Rican inspired drink.  Tropical flavors mixed with coffee and chocolate – a most excellent afternoon pick me up.  Throw in some rum and it’s an afternoon party for one!  Only 47 more days…

banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Carrot Apple Beet Ginger Juice
Two Years Ago – Vanilla Cupcakes with Caramel and Chocolate

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Banana, Leche Y Cafe con Chocolate Y Rum
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Yield – 1 drink

3 ice cubes
1 small banana
15 bittersweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon used coffee grounds
1 tablespoon coffee, room temperature
1/2 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons dark rum

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or magic bullet and blend until well combined, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Enjoy in the sun with your favorite straw.banana leche y cafe con chocolate y rum | pale yellow


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Banana Chocolate Shake {Vegan}

chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellowMeet my new favorite treat!  It’s easy, rather healthy, and totally deliciously satisfying.  The banana ice cream fad gets a facelift in this non-milk, milk shake.

chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellowAs much as I try to eat healthy, I often have 2-3 week benders where all bets are off.  In one such bender I found myself eating ice cream for dinner several nights in a row.  Obviously that is not a habit I can maintain.

chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellowNow that I’m back on track, I still crave that sweet something in the evenings after dinner.  Enter my new favorite treat.  Two ingredients, whiz it up, and you’re done; sweet, sweet dessert.  The banana flavor is definitely present, but I love bananas, so it’s all good.  Chocolate + banana is one of my favorite flavor combinations.  A little scoop of peanut butter makes the whole drink that much more delightful!

chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellowOne Year Ago – Pineapple Apple Mint Juice
Two Years Ago – Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

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Banana Chocolate Shake {Vegan, Two-Ingredients}
Yield – 1 serving

1 small banana, in chunks and frozen
1 cup dark chocolate almond milk

  1. Add the frozen banana pieces and milk to a Magic Bullet blender or other such device.  Blend for 2-3 minutes or until well combined.
  2. Enjoy with your favorite straw!

Variations – Add 1 tablespoon of peanut butter!  A dash of cinnamon!  Use vanilla almond milk or coconut!  Add extracts!  Be fancy!chocolate banana smoothie (2-ingredients, easy, vegan) | pale yellow


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Vegan Irish Cream

vegan irish cream | pale yellowWhat I’m going to say next is going to make me sound like an alcoholic; I’m not an alcoholic.  Mom?  Are you listening to me?  I enjoy a boozy beverage every now and again as we all know, and it’s not a problem.  I only drink in safe places and at safe times.  There are appropriate times to drink and I try to be appropriate.

vegan irish cream | pale yellowBuuuuttttttt, I keep a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream in my fridge next to my coffee creamer and every morning before work I’m tempted to add a splash to my coffee.  I don’t, I just think it.  Then, the weekend comes and it would be appropriate to add a splash of Bailey’s to my coffee, but I don’t, because it has dairy in it.

vegan irish cream | pale yellowSo what’s a dairy-free girl (or at least wannabe dairy-free girl) to do?  Make a vegan version with coconut milk, obviously!  It was all easy enough and now I have two cups, well actually a little less than two cups, of Irish Cream in my fridge for whenever an appropriately timed craving hits.

vegan irish cream | pale yellowVegan Irish Cream tastes just like the original with a coconut twist; it is creamy and sweet with hints of coffee and whiskey.  The Irish Cream does separate during storage, but just shake it up!  Craving satisfied.

vegan irish cream | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Chai Buttercream

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Vegan Irish Cream
Adapted from Oh She Glows
Yield – 2 cups

1 can coconut milk
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup Jameson’s Irish Whiskey
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons strongly brewed coffee
pinch of salt

  1. Heat the coconut milk and whisk in the brown sugar.  Whisk and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the mixture thickens slightly.
  2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the whiskey, coffee, and salt.
  3. Portion into jars and let cool, seal and store in the fridge.vegan irish cream | pale yellow

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Irish Coffee Pudding Shots

irish coffee pudding shots | pale yellowSo I might have mentioned my current interest in The Song of Fire and Ice series (Game of Thrones), both the book and the television show.  I spent the weekend watching the first two seasons and now I’ve been thrown back into reading.  Well, I just got to the Red Wedding.  Yes, I know all about the Red Wedding now.

irish coffee pudding shots | pale yellowWHY? WHY? WHY?  I understand that great books/movies/tv shows hold no character sacred because there is an overarching story to tell, but it doesn’t make anything easier.  It’s like when Dr. Greene died on E.R. or when Prim was killed in The Hunger Games.  Or even when Snape had to kill Dumbledore to keep his promise.  Don’t even get me started on Lost!  I understand it all; it’s just not easy.  And I’m tired because I stayed up late in emotional distress.

irish coffee pudding shots | pale yellowLet’s talk about happy things – like pudding!  I’ve been on a bit of pudding bender lately.  After this delectable bourbon butterscotch treat, I’m not stopping.  This weekend I made a dairy-free pistachio pudding that was phenomenal, recipe to come!  I even made a homemade boxed pudding mix that I’m waiting to test out.

irish coffee pudding shots | pale yellowWhy not make pudding shots with homemade, from scratch pudding?  I like being classy and domestic with booze; it’s just how I roll.  Irish coffee pudding shots seemed like a great idea, and it is true!  The pudding is rich and creamy and full of coffee flavor with whiskey inside; whiskey + coffee is the best!  A little whiskey-whipped cream and a sprinkle of brown sugar is all you need for perfection.  Here is another way to enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day booze with your dessert.

irish coffee pudding shots | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Irish Car Bomb Brownies

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Irish Coffee Pudding Shots
Adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
Yield – 13 1 1/2-ounce shot

2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons Irish whiskey

Whipped Cream
1 cup (1/2 pint) heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey
extra brown sugar for sprinkling
13 vanilla wafers

  1. Pudding – In a medium saucepan whisk together the cornstarch, sugar, and salt.  Whisk in the heavy cream.
  2. Stir and heat until smooth and thick like toothpaste.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the espresso powder, vanilla, and whiskey.
  3. Move to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap directly on top of them pudding.  Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Whipped cream – Add the cream, sugar, and whiskey to the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.  Beat until the cream forms stiff peaks.
  5. Assembly – Pipe the pudding into 1 1/2 ounce plastic shot glasses, about 2/3 of the way up.  Pipe the whipped cream to the top.  Before serving, sprinkle the top with brown sugar and place a vanilla wafer inside to use as a coffee pudding shots | pale yellow

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Nutella S’more Martini

nutella smore martini | pale yellowIt’s cocktail time!  I would say it is always cocktail time, but that hasn’t been true lately.  It’s been wine time.  Last year I was drinking mostly bourbon, but now I’m on a red wine and champagne bender.  I’ve been trying to stock a wine stash, but it’s been difficult keeping an inventory!

nutella smore martini | pale yellowNow that my bar cart is all set up, my liquor is out and I see the different bottles I’ve purchased over the years.  I’ve purchased a lot of liquor and it is a little embarrassing.  However, I’ve been reintroduced to my collection.  One bottle that I was reintroduced to was my toasted marshmallow vodka.

nutella smore martini | pale yellowI bought the vodka to make s’more martinis over a year ago.  I made a batch but took pictures in the dark, so I never posted the recipe.  It was time to remake the martinis.  I spiced things up with a mini bottle of Frangelico; right decision!

nutella smore martini | pale yellowDessert cocktails are the best; they are sweet, creamy, and boozy.  Plus they pack a punch.  This drink in particular does not mess around.  After buying marshmallows and graham crackers I enjoyed one of these on a Sunday afternoon.  Needless to say, I didn’t get anything done the rest of the day.  Get out your mini blow torch and your shaker, because it’s cocktail time!

nutella smore martini | pale yellowPrint the Recipe!

Nutella S’more Martini
Adapted from Brit & Co.
Yield – 1 (but probably should be 2)

1 tablespoon nutella
2 graham crackers, crushed
2 ounces marshmallow vodka
2 ounces Frangelico
1 ounce cream
1 tablespoon melted chocolate or chocolate syrup
4-5 ice cubes
mini marshmallows on a toothpick, toasted

  1. Spread the Nutella on the edge of the glass.  Crush the graham crackers and dip the edge of the glass in the crushed graham crackers.
  2. Add the vodka, Frangelico, cream, melted chocolate, and ice to a shaker.  Shake, shake, shake!  Strain into your prepared glass.
  3. Add the mini marshmallows to the toothpick and use a mini blowtorch to toast.
  4. Garnish the glass.
  5. Enjoy responsibly!nutella smore martini | pale yellow


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Painkiller Cocktail

painkiller cocktail | pale yellowYou know what’s awkward?  When you’re sitting around your kitchen in your tights and a tank top when the landlord knocks on the door and you say come in not thinking about what you are wearing.  Even more awkward when it’s a middle aged, dad landlord.

painkiller cocktail | pale yellowWhoops.  Maybe if I hadn’t been drinking this cocktail I would have put pants before saying “come in.”  Maybe not.  Anyway, keep your pants on (or your skirt down) always!

painkiller cocktail | pale yellowIt’s been a painful start to 2014; I’ve been sick since Christmas fighting bronchitis, and then, some sort of head cold.  My body needed rest but I gave it 6-day work weeks and a move.  I’m good to myself like that.  Plus, I’ve watched the first five seasons of Sons of Anarchy and have become overly attached.  It was painful when Opie died.  However, I feel like I’m finally on the road to peace and good health.  Cocktails always help on these sort of endeavors.

painkiller cocktail | pale yellowJanuary was a cold month, so it was time for tropical drink; this cocktail was the perfect choice.  All the ingredients were easy to find and I have a big bottle of dark rum sitting around from making eggnog.  The painkiller was smooth and surprisingly not too sweet.  Take yourself on a mini vacation with this cocktail today!

painkiller cocktail | pale yellowTwo Years Ago – Blood Orange Margaritas

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Painkiller Cocktail
Adapted from Shutterbean
Yield – 1 cocktail (it’s strong!)

1/4 cup dark rum
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) orange juice
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) sweetened coconut cream
freshly grated nutmeg

  1. Add the rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut cream, and ice to a cocktail shaker.  Shake, shake, shake.
  2. Strain into a glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.
  3. Keep your pants on and enjoy responsibly!painkiller cocktail | pale yellow


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