A cup of Power Coffee loaded with everything good-for-you will give you a boost of energy to get you through the day! (Skip to recipe.)
Today is January 5th and it's the start of the New Year - for me. Christmas holidays are over: Andreas heads back to school (grade 12 - gulp!) and Raymond heads back to work. The alarm went off at 6:30 am again this morning. Yikes! Lazy mornings and late nights are so quickly over. I wasn't called in for subbing this morning, so the day is mine.
And I've been doing a lot of thinking lately.
I've been thinking about New Year's Resolutions. A lot.What should mine be? Drink more water? Eat more fruit? Clean up my studio? Our bedroom? The basement? Lose 10 pounds? Walk every day? Stop chewing my lips? Stop slouching? Stop snacking? Phone my family more often? Dress up more? Get to bed earlier? Go to bed with a clean kitchen every night?
Yes! Yes! And Yes!
Of course I should do all those things. But should they be New Year's Resolutions?
No! No! And No!
Choosing any one of those things to be my New Year's Resolution places it into a special box - gives me special permission to elevate it to "think-about-it-for-a-short-time-once-a-year-and-oops-slipped-up-so-forget-about-it-til-next-year" status.
Nuh-uh. Been there. Done that . . . too many times to count.
All those things on the list above need to be part of my daily intention. They need to be included in my mindfulness to continually strive to be the best I can be. They're about improving my body and my environment.
For me, from now on, a New Year's Resolution needs to be different than that. It needs to be a concrete thing I do, to help me attain the goals I set for myself years ago - those goals that pulsed through my veins and beat in my heart when I was a young girl and imagined I had the whole of eternity ahead of me.
Well, I don't. And I'd better get my butt in gear and get on with them. NOW.
Last night I was on edge. Thoughts have been forming over the last few days. They were buzzing in my head. I needed wine. Before bed I had a couple glasses, but I still couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned and thought, and thought, and thought some more.
This morning I needed a shot of energy - hence the amazing cup of Power Coffee you see in the photo above. Its ability to supercharge my day, along with its great taste, make it a favourite, even with someone who doesn't drink coffee too often, like me.
I've been thinking (yes, I know - there was smoke coming out of my ears from those gears a-grinding) and I faced the unwelcome thought that I'm a great big chicken. I'm so afraid to take risks sometimes. I put in all this work, and then at the last minute I retreat and hide in my shell, not taking the leap that will move me out of my comfortable little bubble. Not taking the sometimes small and simple steps that will let that bubble sail into the world.
Afraid to have the bubble burst.
It's time to say "So what?" I can always blow new bubbles.
So, I will name my New Year's Resolutions here - in this public space (I've always struggled with how much personal stuff to share here. It's scary to hang myself out on the line, flapping my laundry in the breeze).
1. I will send my book out to publishers. You see, several years ago I wrote a book - poured my heart and soul into 300+ pages of a young adult novel. Turned my guts inside-out writing it. Only told a few people about it, then hid it away, agonizing over all the things I thought were wrong with it, planning to rewrite and re-edit it and polish it before I could even contemplate exposing its face to the world. And so it has stayed - gathering dust under a pile of junk.
It may well be a piece of junk. But it might also not. I won't know until I actually do something about it. So I will start. I will send the manuscript into the world. And if it is a piece of junk, at least I will know it is. And then I can move on. I owe myself that.
2. I will improve this blog. This 'Kitchen Frau' blog is my passion, my labour of love, the place I come to for escape, fulfillment, and a recharge of my creative energies. I love the recipe creation, the cooking, the writing, the photography. But the technology aspect of it all terrifies me. I make mistakes that cause disasters that freak me out, and I don't know how to fix them. I stay with safe ways of doing things on the computer because I'm afraid to make those stupid mistakes, and consequently the blog doesn't grow. It is static and cumbersome. I need to learn the technology skills to help me make this blog more dynamic. Or I need to get someone to help me do it. Please bear with me as I take some tentative new steps to learn this stuff.
Notice how I said "I will" in the two resolutions above. You, my dear readers, are my witnesses. Now I've gotta do it - or lose face. Those two little words are my signed contract with you.
It is written!
So enough of all that heavy stuff . . . on to the recipe. You've come for the coffee, and this coffee is worth the trip.
Sit down, take a sip, and tell me about your resolutions . . . I'm listening. I'll hold you accountable, too.
* * * * *
A cup of Power Coffee is absolutely loaded with high-octane goodness, providing you with a sustained energy boost that can last for hours, so if one of your New Year's Resolutions involves being healthier, you can drink a morning mug of this with a good conscience:
1. Coffee gets a bad rap, but coffee contains antioxidants that are good for you, as long as you drink it in moderation. Espresso actually contains less caffeine than brewed coffee per serving. The stronger taste of espresso is from the deeper roast of the beans.
2. Almonds are high in vitamins, minerals, protein and heart-healthy fiber.
3. And coconut oil - don't let me get started on how good coconut oil is for you! Plus it's a healthy fat that will help keep you feeling full so you don't reach for those sugary sweets.
4. Raw, unpasteurized honey gives you energy, has health-boosting enzymes, and is a natural antibiotic.
5. Then there's cinnamon - wow! Just ½ teaspoon per day of this superspice can lower cholesteral and has all kinds of amazing health-boosting properties. Try it in your coffee and you may never crave it in a cinnamon bun again! (Start with ¼ teaspoon and work your way up, if you are new to the idea of cinnamon in your coffee.)
Start off your day and your year with a steaming mug of . . . ta-daaaaaaaa :
- 1 shot espresso (or 2, if you need it!)
- 1 cup (240ml) almond milk (for homemade, see below*)
- 1 heaped teaspoon virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon raw honey (maple syrup or raw agave nectar for vegan version), or more to taste
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 vitamin E capsule (prick with sharp knife tip and squeeze in contents of capsule)
- 1 vitamin D3 tablet
Prepare the espresso shot.
Heat the almond milk, coconut oil, honey, and cinnamon in a small saucepan on the stove or in the microwave. (If using homemade almond milk, heat until it is just hot to the touch if you quickly dip a finger into it. If it comes to a boil, it can curdle, since there are no stabilizers in it. If that happens, whisk vigorously and it will emulsify with the coconut oil to smooth out again.)
Add the hot espresso, and the vitamins, if using them. Whisk until the cinnamon is distributed and the mixture is frothy.
Pour into a large mug and enjoy.
Warning: Consumption of this beverage may cause a surge of energy and renewed dedication to flagging resolutions. Drink in moderation and enjoy the ride.
* Homemade Almond Milk
- 1 cup raw whole almonds
- 6 cups (1.5 litres) filtered water
- 1 tablespoon honey or raw agave nectar, optional
- pinch of sea salt
Place the almonds in a jar with 2 cups (500ml) of the filtered water. Cover and place in the refrigerator to soak overnight (or at least 4 hours).
Drain the soaking water off, and place the nuts in the canister of a blender with 4 cups (1 litre) fresh filtered water.
Blend on high until smooth. This may take several minutes in a regular blender, about one minute in a high power blender.
Squeeze the blended nuts through a nut bag, or strain 3 times in a fine meshed sieve, stirring the milk in the sieve to help it pass through, then pressing down on the pulp with the back of a spoon to extract as much of the nut milk as possible. Rinse the sieve between each pass-through. Reserve the pulp for another use (pancake, muffin, or cake batters, smoothies, meat loaf, cook along with porridge, etc; It can also be frozen).
Add the sweetener, if using, and the salt. (If using honey, you may need to whiz it once more in the blender to mix it thouroughly.)
Keeps refrigerated for 3 to 4 days. Stir or shake before using.
Makes 4 cups.
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Way to go Sis!! I love your blog about New Years Resolutions.... I totally forgot about those things! Now you have my mind thinking:)
Thanks so much! I guess we all know that every day is a good day to start something new or get something done, but sometimes it's just about needing that jumpstart (aka kick-in-the-butt) that we need, isn't it? I'm going to stick to it this time! Good luck for you, too!
Great post Margaret - very inspiring! I, for one, really hope your book gets published because I can't wait to read it!
Aw, thanks so much, Sylvia. That warms my insides. Actually, it is you I have to thank, in a way, for being the inspiration for me. After hearing this summer how you wrote your mother's life story, it really stuck with me, and I felt suddenly very strongly that I have to do the same for my mom and our family (and it's so neat how their stories are so similar, coming from the same region of Bessarabia!) I just knew that I had to try to tie up the loose ends of my other story before I can start a new one. So thank YOU very much, for being that inspiration for me, and getting the fire lit inside of me. It's so important those stories get told!
It is amazing that our parents came from the same area. I agree, it is important those stories get told.
Margaret, this is your best blog post ever, I absolutely love it! Risk is hard sometime, but so worth it, and when it's something you love to do, your passion bursts through. Will have to try the coffee drink as well, I have one good cup a day, this looks delicious.
Thank you SO much, Heidi. It is really difficult to stop out of one's comfort zone, and it helps so much when we can step into a circle of support. Thanks for that support. It's exciting and scary, too, to take the risks to follow our dreams, but you're right - the passion for it is what carries us through. I'll have that cyber-coffee with you - cheers!
Wow, Margaret! Well written. Love reading it over and over again.
Take time to smell the roses, and never mind the dust and the untidy rooms.
I do not make a New Years resolution any more, since I never keep them.
Your writing is so good, and you should keep it up
Coffee sounds good, and I miss our visits, when I am calling, "Margaret, kaffee, kaffee"
On our shopping spree, remember?
Kaffee! Kaffee! I love that! Hopefully we can share one in the coming year! Thanks so much for your lovely comment, and for reading my blog. It means a lot to me.
(I will try to remember that about the dust and untidy rooms, too, when they are driving me crazy!) XOXOXO
A lot of the time the only thing holding us back is fear. I am so glad that you've decided to face that and show the world yourself and your amazing talent. And don't worry, I'll be nagging you all the way 🙂
Great - that's what I need! Thanks so much, Michelle. You're right - sometimes we just have to take a big breath and do it. And afterwards it's never as bad as we thought it was going to be. I'm slowly finding that out, even though the 'chicken-ness' is still always there! I'll gladly accept any nagging - that'll keep my nose pointed in the right direction - thanks!!
Inspiring post! Question: Can I use regular coffee since I don't have an espresso machine?
Thanks very much, Stephanie! Sure, regular coffee should work fine, too - I'd just make it really strong since it'll get diluted by the almond milk. You might have to play around a bit with the ratio of coffee to milk, til you get it how you like it. This cold weather makes a warm cup of power coffee taste even better! Enjoy!
Very good resolutions - I hope your book will become bestseller 😉
And that coffee mug is absolutely divine - I bet that all you put in it tastes better then when poured into ordinary cup 🙂
Thank you Jasmin! I appreciate that! Now that I'm committed to sending it to a publisher - it may actually have a chance! And as for the mug - you're right. Somehow things taste better in pretty things, don't they? I guess it's right what they say - we eat with our eyes first (even when they are only half open first thing in the morning!)
Loved your post and I understand, change is hard! You are on the right track though.
I would like to ask a favor, in your getting more computer skills would you add the ability to pin individual blogs into your mix? I loved this blog and wanted to pin it for future use, both the power coffee and the homemade almond milk but there was no way to pin this individual blog. Thank you so much for the time and effort you give us and your willingness to allow a peak into your ideas.
Thanks so much for visiting and reading my blog! I love to hear the feedback! I've been talking to my cousin who does website work, so I will definitely pass on your suggestion to her. I know I like to save things to Pinterest, too, so thanks for pointing that out. I appreciate hearing things that can help make my blog better, because I don't even know what's out there to improve a blog, never mind how to implement it into my site. It's a very slow learning curve for my computer-deficient brain. (I'm so much happier puttering in the kitchen working on the recipes.)
Happy cooking to you!
Good luck with your news years resolutions and the publication of your new book. I'm sure it will do well. Your blog is wonderful, warm and welcoming. I am really enjoying reading your stories and trying your recipes. I love coffee and this lovely treat does not disappoint. It had so much flavor, body and depth. It was rich, creamy and luxurious.
I enjoyed this with my lunch and after finishing it, I didn't need a snack until dinner time.
Thank you so much for the good wishes. The support from readers like you gives me added strength and commitment to keep on. I really appreciate you visiting my blog, it is a passion for me to write it and share my recipes. I love it! I'm glad you liked the coffee - like you, I find it keeps me full and not needing to snack. That's always a good thing, for me :). Have a wonderful weekend!