A Homemade Latte: something light for your Monday

You know what God did for humanity? Apart from Jesus, of course. Coffee beans. He created coffee beans. He gave us a way to continue living, understanding that in addition to ruining the world with our terrible decisions, we would also need something to stimulate our brains to keep functioning while competing in the daily rat race; And while servicing the thousands of needs of our family twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year. Year after year.

For a good, long, shameful while, Starbucks owned my checking account. And savings account. And the home equity line of credit account. And if there happened to be anything in the PayPal account, that, too. We have a coin jar in our bedroom. How many quarters and dimes do you think are still in there? Um…

Well, this past Christmas my sister-in-law caused the skies to open up, and all of heaven’s angels came down the ladder to shake her hand and say thank you for teaching me how to not be so appallingly wasteful. This queen of a lady taught me how to make a homemade latte. And no swanky, overpriced machines were needed.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

We latte drinkers like to hedge ourselves in with the real coffee drinkers, don’t we? You know, the ones who like it so dark and bitter it could choke an elephant. But let’s be honest, what we prefer is a splash of ultra-concentrated black death and artificial sugary syrups with our morning cup of warm milk. Then we put it in a cute coffee mug. Like somehow that further separates us from the kids. Right.

Truthfully, though, I had to force myself to learn how to enjoy even a latte. I used to despise the taste of coffee and didn’t actually start drinking it until a few years ago. Six to be exact. And if I’m going to be totally honest it was simply out of a desire to be a part of the coffee “culture.” I wanted membership in the club because it seemed way more sophisticated and trendy to engage someone in thoughtful conversational over a cup of coffee than to be slurping down a milkshake at Steak N’ Shake. Although I’ve done both, and the latter is way more delicious. But then I had children. And now I’m just trying to survive…

So if you are like I was- spending way too much at coffee shops, wishing you knew how to make your own lattes at home, but don’t have money for expensive machines… you are in luck, because I am going to pass along the wisdom of my sister-in-law to you. For FREE.

Step 1.) Make the espresso “shots.” Basically, you make coffee like normal except use 3x the normal amount of coffee grounds to make it extra concentrated.

Step 2.) Heat up 6-8oz of whole milk or 2% milk (you can also mix half n half with skim or 1%) until it’s scalding (just before boiling). This can be done on the stove or in the microwave. Then using a whisk or the stick attachment on your blender, stir the milk at a high speed until it is frothy.

Step 3.) Prepare your mug. Add whatever syrups or sauces you like to the bottom. My favorite is to coat the bottom with real maple syrup, then add a squeeze of caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, and a dash of cinnamon.

Step 4.) Pour in the concentrated coffee and swish around or stir until your syrups and sauces have melted and mixed in.

Step 5.) Pour the milk over the coffee. The milk will pour out first, then you will probably have to spoon the leftover froth on top.

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Step 6.) Top as desired. I use a bit (hah!) of whipped cream and drizzle some caramel or chocolate sauce to finish.

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Final note: whether you want a small or a large latte, the ratio to remember is about 1/3 coffee to 2/3 milk.

That’s it! Now the magic is yours to keep. May your days be filled with more laughter, smiles, and hope as you sip your very own homemade latte for a fraction of the coffee shop price. Happy Monday!

Peace & Love, Amy

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