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What to Make this Weekend: Your own damn PSL

There I go again, with the autumnal references. But hey, even Google is getting in on it. Did you see the logo with all the different seasonal squash this week? This Food52 post that tries to figure out the types of squash in it is hilarious. I love that it occurred to anyone in the first place. 

Talking about Google makes me think of algorithms, and speaking of algorithms, I’ve been amusing myself dreaming up stuff for fake online dating profiles. For example, the other night, I was giggling over an idea for a description of a stereotypical dietitian’s “ideal date.”

Let’s get one-pump, no-whip PSLs and walk through the park and then stop into a cafe for kale salads! 

Actually, that sounds kind of pleasant. Damnit. Stereotypical for a reason, I guess.

Moving on…let’s just appreciate that we made it to Friday. It’s been one of those weeks over here.

Coffee Love Hate

(Jess is in a relationship with coffee, and it’s complicated)

Speaking of coffee…The New York Coffee Festival is going on this weekend. There are going to be tons of different workshops, tastings, tutorials, and more! You can still get tickets here.

In that same caffeinated vein, have you seen or tried the new Toasted Graham Latte from Starbucks? I love that they’re marketing it as a “less sweet” treat, when a grande still has 40 grams of sugar. Yes, some of that is lactose naturally present in the milk, but come on. I shared a few thoughts on the new drink in this Yahoo Health piece. Compared to the Pumpkin Spice Latte (which has 50, though that’s with whipped cream), I guess it is less sweet, but, well, 40 grams of sugar is 40 grams of sugar.

Since coffee is this week’s incidental theme, I made you a PSL.
Homemade PSL

This can be made with stuff you likely already have at home. The only “fancy” equipment is a little handheld milk frother. I found my $10 battery-operated one a few years ago at Bed Bath & Beyond, and it is wonderful and user-friendly. Here’s an example. When you use it, just make sure the milk is cold rather than heating it before you try to froth it.

You can adjust this recipe to your personal preferences. For example, you can make it more or less sweet, mix up the type of milk you use, or play with the amount of pumpkin. Consider this a jumping-off point. The milk-to-coffee ratio makes my version less of a latte and more along the lines of a macchiato-inspired beverage, but feel free to adjust as desired.

Oh, and if you have an espresso maker—can we be friends?


  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1/ 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (stevia, maple syrup, etc)
  • 8 ounces brewed coffee (or a shot of espresso)
  • 2-4 ounces milk of choice (I used organic 1%)


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together pumpkin, vanilla extract, spice, and sweetener. Whisk into coffee.
  2. In a mug, froth the milk until fluffy. Heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds or until warm. Froth will expand.
  3. Pour milk and front on top of coffee mixture. Sprinkle additional pumpkin pie spice on top and enjoy.

What’s your favorite cool-weather coffee drink? 

Watermelon Mimosa

watermelon mimosaLast summer, I barely ate any watermelon. It’s one of those foods I love but tire of quickly. Or more so, my muscles tire quickly of lugging it from the store. Or so I thought. I’ve been making up for lost time this year, finding all kinds of ways to enjoy this seasonal superfood. Aside from being a rich source of antioxidant lycopene, watermelon is also super-hydrating, making it a perfect fruit to reach for when the temps climb.

Though it’s hard to say for sure that combining watermelon and alcohol will prevent a hangover by hydrating as you simultaneously dehydrate, it sure tastes delicious. This watermelon mimosa is the perfect hot-weather cocktail.


  • Watermelon, cubed
  • Lime juice
  • Champagne or sparkling wine


  1. Puree watermelon in a food processor or blender with lime juice. Pour into wine or champagne glasses.
  2. Pour champagne over watermelon.


What’s your favorite summer cocktail? 


Mid-Year Resolutions Check-In

Seeing as we’re halfway through 2014, this seems like a good time check back in with my resolutions for the year:


This is basically the  nerdiest list ever. And yes, back in December, I felt I had to schedule in time with friends. Sad but true. What can I say—my friends are brilliant, busy people : )

I’ve actually done really well with all of these except the last two. It hasn’t made as much sense to work much in a coffee shop as it did in December/January, but I still do it a few times a month. As for “throw the drink,” well, it’s possible I will never learn that one, even when throwing a drink in someone’s face is totally warranted. I’m not going to write a whole blog post about the astounding prevalence of douchebaggery behavior amongst the male of the species, but I could.

The other resolution that could use a little work is the yoga one. When I first got into the Jillian Michaels workouts, I found myself doing that instead quite often, which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Still, I definitely have missed the mindfulness aspect of more frequent yoga practice. With that in consideration, my mid-year resolution is to make more time for yoga, even if that means going to an evening class on days I work at the hospital. I went a couple times this past week and really felt the difference on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

I think I’m going to add a new one to the list, which is to focus more on the positive. I’ve got a post coming up on that one soon…

What were your 2014 resolutions? Throwing any new ones on the pile? 


Fall Beers

I’ve tried to like beer, but we’re just never going to be good friends. Yes, even pumpkin beer. I know. pumpkin face

However, I understand that people love beer, and that seasonal beers get a lot of love.

Current health recommendations for alcohol are up to one drink per day for women and up to two per day for men—not fair, but you need to take into account the fact that our bodies metabolize alcohol at different rates. So if you’re wondering what to fill those two allotted glasses with this weekend, Self magazine’s Flash blog just put out a great little list of “fall beers worth every calorie.”

Do you like beer? If not, what’s your poison? 

Favorite Tea

IMG_2247I’m very loyal to green tea. Save for a weird six-month coffee stint in 2011-2012, I’ve been drinking it every morning since I was 20. Sometimes I want something a little different though. A few months ago, my mom gave me a few bags of this cinnamon tea from New York company Harney & Sons. It was love at first sip, and when I saw their booth at the Coffee and Tea Festival in March, I quickly bought a tin. I really wish I’d bought more than one…this is so good. Life is too short not to love what you drink. Hm. That sounds like a cheesy commercial. Ah well. It’s not like I work in advertising.

Have an awesome weekend!

What shape is your beer glass?

I was a bit late to the party on beer —I vehemently hated it (or so I thought) until, like, last year. Turned out I’d just never had good beer. I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but it was an article about the health benefits of beer that made me want to give it another shot. I’m glad I did, though—it’s fun learning about the different varieties, even if this particular form of education is a slow process. Given my size, I’m usually that person still on their first while the rest of the table is on number three. That could also be because I tend to toss back water like it’s my job  whenever I have alcohol in front of me. Balance.

A new study of British beer drinkers, however, shows that the shape of one’s beer glass affects the speed at which they drink. Apparently an optical illusion caused by the shape of a curved glass triggers a person to drink faster.  Read More »

Six Things for Sunday

Happy Sunday. Hope everyone’s had a lovely weekend. I’ve enjoyed a good mix of work and play…

1.) Breaking in new boots that already feel like you’ve had them for ages. When my feet are happy, I’m happy.

2.) Cocktails in speakeasy-esque bars. Sometimes it’s fun to step outside the wine & beer box—or okay, bottle, because we all know I’d never drink wine from a box, right? If you knew me before, say, 2005, please don’t answer that question.

3.) Weird-But-Good Food Combinations

After a workout, it’s amazing, the things you find yourself craving. For whatever reason, a warm bowl of spinach, roasted veggies, and homemade falafel sounded like the perfect lunch on Saturday—topped with hummus and goat cheese, of course. On the side? Roasted sweet potato rounds. I will definitely be re-creating this weirdness in the near future.

4.) Speaking of working out, is there anything better than taking a long shower afterwards and then putting your pajamas back on? I spent the better part of Saturday afternoon in my favorite old slip.

5.) Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate with Caramel and Black Sea Salt. 

Enough said.

6.) This Tumblr. It’s like Pinterest, only better.

What are your “things” for Sunday? 

In my arsenal

As some of you who’ve been reading a while know, I’ve got a whole list of cold-fighting weapons I turn to when I feel something coming on. One of my favorites is green juice, but forking over eight bucks a pop can be rough on the wallet, so I tend to only buy it when I’m desperate for a last-ditch pick-me-up. Eventually I’ll get a juicer, but I have other priorities right now.

So you can imagine my curiosity when I saw this Super Green Drink Powder at Trader Joe’s not too long ago. While it’s not particularly new, it’s new to me. After a few weeks of talking myself out of trying it, I finally picked up a container last time I was there. When I woke up on Sunday morning feeling a little under the weather (a lot of fun but late nights recently, too much work, not enough rest, etc), I was so glad I had it. Though I don’t believe in miracles, I do believe that a mega-dose of nutrients can help in times of depletion…

The nutrition stats are not too shabby either…

Though I just mixed this with water and drank it down before rushing out the door, I imagine it will be fantastic in smoothies. We’ll see if it helps me feel better, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. A little optimism goes a long way!

Do you have any secret weapons? Are you a fan of drink powders? 

Officially Addicted

coffee: an important part of this complete breakfast

I’m officially addicted to caffeine. Getting a coffee maker was one of the best worst decisions I’ve ever made, since I’m saving a lot of money—and paper cups—but now I find myself unable to start my morning without at least a cup of black coffee. Green tea (which has a lower caffeine content) used to be enough. Ah well.

To quote Mr. Bob Dylan, “I never asked for your crutch, now don’t ask for mine…”

Besides, coffee has some health benefits! I’ll take the potential reduced risk in diabetes, heart disease and some cancers any day! However, a recent study showed that coffee may affect women’s estrogen levels in various ways depending on race, so that could be worth taking into consideration.

For now, though, I’m just fine relying on those few cups a day to keep me going. I can totally stop whenever I want to. Yeah, right…

Are you hooked on caffeine? How do you take your coffee? 

New Years Pre-Tox

If every group of friends is like a family, I am totally okay with the fact that I play the role of the crazy aunt who’s always talking about the moon and telling people to eat and drink green things. If the shoe fits…

While I’d describe myself as a moderate drinker (3-5 drinks over the course of a week, usually with dinner), there are certain occasions on which I might enjoy a second or third glass of wine—or let’s make it champagne, to be festive. For many of you out there, myself maybe or maybe not included, New Years Eve is one such occasion.

While there’s a lot of info out there on how to detox after a big night out (the only true cure for a hangover is time, but here this recent NY Times piece mentions a few other remedies), what you do beforehand can have an effect on the morning after—if not physically, then at least mentally.

A big salad is one of my pre-tox go-tos

Before any food-and-drink holiday, I like to pre-game by making time for exercise and eating lots of nutrient-rich foods like big salads and vegetable-rich soups. I also try to avoid drinking on an empty stomach—that’s just asking for trouble.

Hydration is also key! I do try to drink water in between alcoholic drinks, but sometimes it’s not quite enough. Maybe if I were taller this wouldn’t be as much of an issue. My “big night out” is someone else’s “getting started” when it comes to drinking. Better to at least know your limit, I guess.

What are you doing for New Years Eve? 

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