I know I haven’t written in a while. Do you ever feel like when life is going pretty OK, there’s not much to talk about? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. I’ve been sailing along in my little groove, content with the world and my place in it. Nothing new or depressing has happened. Nothing exciting or fun has happened. It’s just me, here, home with my kids, out at the library, navigating the country roads in the snow.
It’s interesting how my moods affect my desire to write. When I’m depressed and sad, all I want to do is pour my heart out to you—some of you my close friends, others of you complete strangers. I wrote a post at the end of January that was so depressing even I got bored reading it. But when I’m doing OK (I wouldn’t go so far as to say I’m happy, but I’m pretty close maybe), there is less to say. It’s hard to sound interesting when I’m talking about my day-to-day life. Even my texts with Chris have more to do with bills and toddler poop than date nights or weekend plans.
I did end up rejoining Weight Watchers a couple of weeks ago, and so far I’m down three pounds. I had gotten to the point where I was disgusted with my body; I was having headaches all the time, and not feeling like myself. I knew it was time to pull back a little on the nightly cookie dough and margarita binges. My first week was rocky, but last week was better, and this week I made an amazing discovery that will probably be the one thing that keeps me going as I decrease my food intake and stare longingly at the cakes that seem to appear in the break room at work every week. Yesterday’s was a double chocolate layer cake and it was all I could do not to lop off a huge piece and eat it standing up in fast, messy mouthfuls.
The Pioneer Woman is a sort of secret comfort of mine. When we get home from school, the kids go play in the basement while I snuggle on the couch and watch episodes of her cooking show. Every recipe of hers that I’ve made has been delicious, and when I saw her making Starbucks’ frappuccinos I knew I had to try them for myself. I tweaked the original to get it down in Points+, but I still think it retains a creaminess that’s important to me in my coffee drinks. Skim milk would get the Points+ down even more. So here it is, my secret weapon, my special, look-forward-to-it-all-day afternoon pick me up:
Pioneer Woman Homemade Frappuccino, Weight Watchers version
Makes about two 16-ounce servings; each serving is 5 Points+
12 ounces strong brewed coffee, chilled
8 ounces fat free half and half
1/3 cups fat free sweetened, condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
To make the strong brewed coffee, I use 12 ounces of water in my coffee maker, and then double the amount of coffee I would normally use. So, since 12 ounces gets me three, four-ounce cups, I add six tablespoons of coffee to the brewer. This gets concentrated coffee without overflowing the machine. PW uses a make-ahead cold brew but I’m usually craving this drink on a random afternoon and don’t have the wherewithal to plan ahead.
After you make the coffee, chill it in the freezer, then throw all the other ingredients in the blender with about a cup of ice. I’m usually too lazy to wait for the coffee to chill completely, so I take it out after about 10 minutes. This means the coffee will probably melt the ice, and the result will be a thick, liquidy coffee drink, not the icy, blended texture of the frappuccinos at Starbucks. If you prefer that texture, just add more ice. I myself prefer the thick, creamy, iced-coffee version.
I usually put a dollop of whip cream on top, and as this adds less than 1 Points+, it’s totally worth it.