Well, it finally happened. We had a blizzard sweep through, coating the roads with fluffy cotton waves for as far as the eye could see. With not a green thing in sight for miles, save a few pine needles dangling in defiance, I knew we were going to be in for a cozy weekend indoors.
In my opinion, snowstorms quite delightful. In the eyes of Liz, a good annual snowstorm forces us to accept how much smaller we are than nature itself – we are tiny, powerless little specks in the chasm of the universe. I like to be reminded of just what it is to be human every once in a while (especially if it means getting a mandatory 3 day weekend by the city), and, of course, I’ll take an opportunity to be lazy (yay, 3 day weekends!).
But I digress. I am simply trying to state that winter and I have a small love affair going on, nothing with too much attachment, but just enough appreciation to keep it going for a few months. Indeed, there is nothing more satisfying that watching nature have its way while you sip hot coffee and let the cool air creak in through poorly insulated porch doors.
Speaking of coffee, this cozy weekend vacation has inspired me to share this with you. I’ve been making these lattes for so long now that I hardly measure anymore, so feel free to tweak this in whatever way best pleases your tongue. Coffee with hot milk is mandatory on a day when winter tickles your bones, but sometimes, you need just an extra little oomph to tell Old Man Winter to keep his bony fingers outdoors, where they belong. Over the years, I have tried to accomplish this ban through many a hot drink, trying a variety of herbs and spices to keep me warm.
Ginger warmed me, but was a little overpowering. Cayenne with honey and lemon was also warming, but felt too much like medicine. Cinnamon, on the other hand, cinnamon is heaven. Cinnamon gives just the right amount of spice send a rush of heat down into your toes, and still feels like a luxury. Add some vanilla, and you have a drink that is warming, calming, and smells so delightfully rich that I could add it to anything and be in a winter time heaven.
Winter, you’re all right. For now.
- 4 ounces hot, fresh coffee (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- sugar to taste
- A few good dashes of cinnamon
- 4 ounces hot steamed milk (or to taste)
Firstly, make your coffee. I have tried this recipe with both strong dark roasted beans and espresso beans, much to my delight each time. While the coffee is brewing, I find it necessary to either pop my mug into the microwave for 30 seconds, or to rinse the inside with hot water. This keeps the coffee from cooling too fast.
To warm the milk, you have two options: A) warm it on a saucepan and whisk rapidly or B) use a hand pumped milk frother* and microwave for 30 seconds after. I won’t judge you either way. 😉
When the coffee is ready, fill 6 ounces into your mug. Carefully pour the two teaspoons of vanilla extract and any sugar you want to add. Forcefully give two good dashes of cinnamon and stir. Gently pour your hot milk into the mug or, if frothed, spoon it out on top until filled. Dash a few gentles sprinkles of cinnamon on top and serve.
Keep warm friends! Have you ever added anything unexpected to coffee or tea?
*I am not an Amazon affiliate; I just really like this frother.