Melting Pot

As Expected

As usual, my Valentine’s Day left much to be desired. You know it’s not going to be a good day when within thirty minutes of waking up, you are having a panic attack. The day did eventually get better – not in the ways I would have liked, but at least it got better.

Time is supposed to make things easier. It can’t erase pain, but it makes it bearable. Usually that’s how it works, anyway. But the pain I feel over a certain situation has only become more acute with the passing time. I don’t know how this will ever fade to something that I can be ok with as life goes on. With this situation it seems time is not healing anything, if anything time is making it worse. Regardless life must go on, so I “happy face” each day and hope somehow tomorrow will be better.

Y’all know I don’t like coffee. Rather, I didn’t like coffee. Ever. I’ve come to like mochas and cappuccinos and such – it seems I like my coffee how I like my alcohol – tasting like anything other than what it actually is. The closest I have ever come to liking coffee was when I ordered some coffee from Maui, and even that I did not like enough to drink much of it or often. Last year I tried some cinnamon flavored coffee from Folgers and I like that pretty well, but ONLY with a touch of sugar and a lot of Cinnabon creamer. If I don’t have that Cinnabon creamer, I just can’t drink the stuff. I also usually grind some extra cinnamon over the coffee prior to brewing it, and that helps too. But even this, I will not drink often.

Last month I got a sample of one of the new gourmet flavored coffees from Folgers. The flavor was Vanilla Biscotti. I am a little bit in love with it, so much that once I finished the sample, I went out and bought a bag. I’ve been drinking a cup almost daily.

coffee

Of course, just like the cinnamon, I have to make this a certain way or it just does not taste right and I won’t drink it. I sprinkle a little vanilla powder over the coffee before brewing it. Then I add some sugar, and a healthy dose of creamer. I think it does not have a strong enough vanilla flavor without adding the vanilla powder to it – and the vanilla powder is strong so it only takes a little bit. You just have to make sure it’s pure vanilla powder – if it has fillers, it is not going to be the same, at all. I get my vanilla powder from a local farm market, I’ve never seen it in any regular grocery stores in my area. I know it is sold in regular grocery stores in other areas though. But if you can’t find it try looking for some in smaller, local shops and farm markets. And I am sure you can buy it online – but no matter where you buy it, I cannot stress enough to be sure it is pure vanilla powder. It’s a bit on the pricey side but so worth every little penny and because the flavor is so strong, it will last you a long time! You can use it in pretty much any recipe that calls for vanilla extract, but you only need half the amount. It’s perfect for making icing too, because it doesn’t alter the color or consistency of the icing. I always hated using artificial clear vanilla extract to keep icing bright white for truer colors. And it’s impossible to get a  good strong vanilla flavored icing with extract, because by the time you get the flavor you want the icing is too thin. Vanilla powder is seriously glorious stuff. I still have some uses for vanilla extract – but not many.

Who would have thought a person could ramble so much about something so simple as vanilla?

All this talk of icing has reminded me that I am maybe baking the cakes for my bff’s little girl’s first birthday. Shoot. The timing of things is driving me bonkers right now, my brain has decided it wants to stop functioning for the most part… hopefully things will work out; I hate when different events interfere with each other. (I know this makes no sense to anyone but me right now, and maybe my uncle…) I have already planned the cake for the most part. Sorry, no details right now, you will have to wait to see it. The only thing I have not decided on 100% yet is the baby’s smash cake. I have a general idea for it, but nothing for sure. The cake for the guests though, is all settled already. Now all I have to do is hope that things are timed in a way I can actually do this and the other thing I want to do that is likely going to happen around the same time as the party. I don’t know when exactly the party is going to be yet, but the birthday is at the end of April. hmmm. This could take some finagling. If I am in fact able to make the cakes though, I am excited to do it and to show you all once they are done. They are going to be so cute!

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