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Yummy coffee drinks!

On Oprah yesterday, Cindy Crawford said that one of her favorite guilty pleasures is putting "vanilla powder" & skim milk into a decaf tea or coffee and using a wisk to stir it so it tastes like a latte, but its homemade. What exactly is she referring to? Is vanilla powder a sugar and/or a coffee sweetener or something?

I loveee a good coffee drink but they are soo expensive and I hate having to go out for them. I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas for when I 'treat' myself to drinks like these (hot or cold) -- preferrably low-cal, homemade ideas! THANKS!


Thu. Nov 1, 11:31am

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Vanilla powder is kind of like cocoa powder, but probably does have sugar in it. Lots of coffee places (not Starbucks) have it around so you can sprinkle it on top of your coffee. It is good.

I like sugar-free flavored syrups. Starbucks has sugar-free vanilla and hazelnut, so treats can be sugar-free vanilla lattes or steamers (just steamed milk plus a flavor shot.)

By going from regular (around 100 cals or more per shot) to sugar-free (0 calories), it makes the treat manageable.

You can also find the sugar-free syrups in specialty grocery stores, etc., and sometimes places like Target or Bed, Bath and Beyond. They may seem expensive, but since you only need to use about half an ounce or so, they can last a really long time!

Thursday, November 01, 2007, 11:52 AM

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oooh, i am in the same boat! i loooove starbucks lattes (and other coffee specialty drinks). Wondering -- is there a way to make steamers/lattes w/out those super expensive espresso machines (saw one at williams sonoma for 3k!! yikes!)

Thursday, November 01, 2007, 12:14 PM

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I mix half a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder with 3oz skim milk an 1-2 packets of Splenda. Then I fill the rest of the cup with coffee. Not sure what you'd call it (mocha latte?), but for 35 calories, it's a coffee and calorie "bargain". I'll have to check out that vanilla stuff!

Thursday, November 01, 2007, 1:32 PM

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I've heard that if you nuke or heat the milk on the stove and quickly put in to the blender it is close to the same as the steamed milk

Thursday, November 01, 2007, 1:36 PM

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You can get an espresso machine at Target for like $20. As long as it has a steamer attachment, it'll work. They're not expensive.

However, (this is true of the big expensive ones and the small ones) they are a pain to clean - so it usually ends up not worth it to me for one drink.

Thursday, November 01, 2007, 2:02 PM

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they sell the sugar free flavors and sam's club

Thursday, November 01, 2007, 3:01 PM

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I have found that my machine is not hard to clean. The only frustrating part is the steam attachment. I took off the rubber part. I don't know why it is there but mine works great without it. But when I am done steaming the milk I take a warm wash rag I immediately wipe off all the milk that has stuck to it. Then I have saved some steam pressure so that I can set the wet rag on the counter and let the steam blow onto that. It cleans it out perfectly and not so much fuss.
I don't use it so often any more since the calories really add up but I do like it. I got it at a rummage sale for 10 dollars. Great bargain.

Thursday, November 01, 2007, 4:22 PM

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