SPICED ALMOND BREEZE AU LAITS

by Holly on May 31, 2013

in beverages,life,recipes,seriousness,silliness

Two mornings ago, I completely forgot to put on a bra before going to my summer drawing class.

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Boasting my itty bitty baby A-cups, this is not a big deal at all. I confess that I “forget to wear a bra” more than I’d like to admit, often when I’m feeling lazy (which I confess again, can be multiple times a week). But this morning, I didn’t purposefully forget to put on my female undergarment. I simply forgot after oversleeping and rushing out the door in five quick minutes. Luckily, I wore my favorite black loose-fitting sweater, and there was no visible sign of my free-for-all bosom.

I arrive to class right at 8:00am, which by the way is a NUDE drawing class, and the teacher begins immediately lecturing about how to draw the hands and feet. I am trying to listen intently, which is exceedingly hard for me when I’ve consumed no breakfast or coffee. I watch him explain the anatomy of the hand but am really wondering how non-breakfast eaters and non-coffee drinkers function in life. I want to pass out and/or hibernate under my desk all day.

Then, from a series of hushed whispers behind me, I can barely hear the girl behind me murmur, “I am pretty sure she’s not wearing a bra.”

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I want to die.

The hand anatomy demo is over. I head back to my seat and look up into the overhead mirror in the classroom at my crazed bedhead and crusty, unwashed face that may or may not have a drool stain on it. Homegirl is looking rough. I haven’t been taking care of myself all too well lately, as often the first thing to go when life gets busy is my basic self-care and that all-important “me time.”

This realization hits me with the force of a thousand waterfalls. I cross my arms tightly across my chest and know this is only going to get worse when I have kids (moms, how you do it?).

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And the very next thing I say to myself is treat yoself! Because I know I’m no good to anyone else when I’m not taking care of myself. I mean, I’ve only blogged about this truth once or twice or ahemfour times before. Sometimes, I need lots of reminders; other times, I need coffee.

That day, I needed both.

There’s something about the ritual of my morning coffee that sets me straight. It’s that quiet five or ten minutes when the brilliant morning light pounces across my apartment that I am able to sit without distraction. It is my time. Often, I spent those minutes just staring into my cup of coffee. Sometimes, I think about my day ahead or try to see what funny shapes the coffee foam forms into on the surface or I breathe. Breathing and coffee are good ways to start the day.

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And now that summer is finally here, my coffee will be switching from the hot to the iced variety. This spiced iced coffee is inspired by one of my favorite Madison restaurants. It’s laced with maple syrup, cinnamon and allspice then made all smooth and creamy with a hefty pour of Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk. It’s the perfect way to make your day delicious.

Especially if you add some homemade coffee + almond milk ice cubes.

I can’t promise you I’ll be wearing a bra, but you can bet I’ll be treating myself with another batch of these Spiced Almond Breeze Au Laits this weekend. Me time, you time, coffee time.

Happy weekend friends.

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Spiced Almond Breeze Au Laits
Prep time: 10 minutes

1 cup ground coffee
4 cups water
3 T maple syrup
1 t ground cinnamon
pinch of ground allspice
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup plus 1/2 cup Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

In a large pitcher or jar, combine ground coffee and water. Shake well, and let refrigerate overnight.

In an ice cube tray, pour 1/2 cup of Almond Breeze into cubes (should fill half the tray) and fill the other half of cubes with coffee (you can do this beforehand with pre-made coffee or the next morning after iced coffee is ready). Refrigerate overnight.

Strain the coffee. You can do this one of three ways: first, place a piece of cheesecloth on the bottom of a strainer that is propped over a bowl. Pour the coffee over the cheesecloth, squeezing the cheesecloth to ensure you get as much coffee out as possible. You can also do this with a paper towel, although the paper towel is more delicate and takes longer to strain. Be patient. Or, pour the coffee out of the pitcher into another jar. Pour slowly and steadily to ensure you get as few grounds into the coffee as possible.

In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice and water. Stir until maple syrup has dissolved into the water. Pour into the strained coffee, add 1 cup of Almond Breeze almond milk and mix well.

To serve, pour into glasses with coffee ice cubes or Almond Breeze ice cubes.

Makes 4 to 5 cups iced coffee

[This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze. All opinions are my own.]

{ 15 comments }

LindsayC77 May 31, 2013 at 4:13 pm

Magic Coffee! Well, sort of — I’m willing to bet this has about 1/4 of the calories that Magic Coffee does, given that the latter is made with half and half and cream (I think?).

I actually tried almond milk for the first time after reading this post by Joy the Baker (http://joythebaker.com/2013/04/kale-blackberry-beet-almond-milk-smoothies/). Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was sponsored by Almond Breeze as well.

I don’t feel tricked, exactly, since both of you were clear about the sponsorship, and since I deliberately went looking for almond milk recipes after discovering it is a good low-calorie substitute for skim and soy milk. I do, however, feel very easily marketed to. :-)

Either way, this looks delicious, and I’ll definitely be trying some next time I make a carafe of cold press. Pro tip: Put some brown sugar and cinnamon into the coffee grounds and it flavors the coffee while it steeps. SO good.

Jess @ The Dreaming Foodie May 31, 2013 at 4:37 pm

:) Your story made me smile. And the au laits sound delicious. I have never tried coffee prepared this way..but now I am very interested! Thank you for this recipe!

Hillary May 31, 2013 at 4:53 pm

Yum. This sounds absolutely delightful!

And I’m right there with you on the whole “not taking time to take care of myself” thing. It’s been a nutty couple of weeks, but things look to finally be slowing down. I hope that means that, in the next two weeks or so, I can sit my ass on the couch and just BE.

Gretchen May 31, 2013 at 5:32 pm

“Breathing and coffee are good ways to start the day” – I love that!

I recently learned how to make lattes, which I’m pretty excited about. Maybe I’ll have to try this as well!

Laura Rieckmann May 31, 2013 at 5:38 pm

Your post made me laugh out loud! I’ve definitely been there–except my shirt was inside out! The cafe au lait looks amazing…I can’t function without coffee in the morning. I’ve got to try this one! Take some time for yourself, girl! :)

Clair May 31, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Off to make this noooow!

Also, with my bust, I cannot ever, ever go without a bra. So I am really jealous that you can (grass is always greener?) and say let the haters hate…and let your girls breathe as much as you want!!

Eileen June 1, 2013 at 12:23 am

People are assholes. I say good for you for getting to early class on a difficult morning! I have also gone out without a bra many a time–usually with a shelf cami, but sometimes not. It’s all good. That coffee looks pretty amazing–I must get some almond milk for this weekend’s worth of frosty coffee drinks!

Emily @ Relishments June 1, 2013 at 4:22 pm

This post made me smile (and a little jealous that forgetting to wear a bra is even a possibility for you). I often wonder how mothers manage as well–if I can’t get my own act together, how am I supposed to worry about someone else too?

chelsey @ clean eating chelsey June 1, 2013 at 4:26 pm

This was probably the best story I’ve read all day. It definitely made me laugh. The only time I’ve ever run out of the house without a bra on is in the winter if I’m in sweats at home and you can’t tell through my sweatshirt. We all do it though – you’re just getting closer to your European self, right?

And, how could you focus on your teacher during a NUDE drawing class? I’m pretty sure I’d be blushing the entire time.

Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner June 3, 2013 at 4:29 am

I’m a C-cup, and I can tell you with impunity that I have gone several times without a bra, particularly when it is 90 degrees out. Because at that point, who cares?

I don’t usually like sweet coffee drinks (besides the ridiculous ones with whipped cream and cookies ground up in them that I get at Christmast-time), but I just might have to try this recipe.

Michelle Collins June 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I have some form of almond milk + coffee every single morning, so I will definitely have to try this!

Meghan Duncan June 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Mm.. this recipe would be great for the mornings. Going to have to try it one of these days since I’ve still got some almond milk in the fridge!

Your story made me laugh. I can’t say I’ve ever forgotten to put a bra on, but that’s one of the things that I’m super paranoid about.

Lauren June 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm

Lol…too funny..once again your blog is hands down the most entertaining blog I read.

Terry June 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm

I am going to try this – it gets hot everywhere, and I just don’t like the cold coffee that the stores have – this looks like a treat!

Denice June 6, 2013 at 4:22 am

Holly-
I get it.

Not the being able to wear no bar part, I wish.

The, again, not taking care of your self.

I am there.

But, I had these yesterday. Even the ice cubes. I did have to plan , and to plan to let the ice freeze. But it was worth it. Worth it to have some time to drink my coffee when I woke up, to have time to focus. It was worth it.

Thanks for forgetting again so that you had to write this, to remind me. I mean I know it was just to remind me.

Thanks. Hope all is well

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