Did Someone Say, “Coffee?”

Cue the Zoolander clip where they all go out for ‘orange mocha Frappuccinos!” If you aren’t a coffee shop person, ordering at Starbucks, or any coffee shop, can be intimidating. I was a barista at Starbucks when I was 16. I stayed with the company, on-and-off, until I began teaching. If you ask me, seven years of Starbucks experience makes me pretty qualified to write this post. That being said, I’m sure someone more well-versed in coffee (ahem, a major coffee snob) might have some revisions to make. I’ll try my best…

Coffee or Espresso?

Basic drip coffee is what you most likely brew at home. (Think, good old-fashioned Folgers). Espresso is pulled in 2 ounce shots. I swear I’m not trying to confuse things further. If you like the taste of espresso, you can order a cafe Americano. It is simply espresso shots with hot water.

Off on a slight tangent…Back in the day, Starbucks used to have manual machines so the baristas could control the strength of the espresso shot. I remember a customer who could only have ’19-second espresso shots’. No joke. Some people like it real bitter! To my knowledge, the machines are now automatic at almost all Starbucks locations.

Latte or Cappuccino?

If you like foam, get a cappuccino. If you like milk, get a latte. A cappuccino is typically about 2/3 milk and 1/3 foam; whereas a latte only has a slight dollop of foam on top.

Milk choice?

Whole, 2%, 1%, skim- so many choices. Even better, get it brevé, which is half&half. I’ve been using soy milk in my lattes for as long as I can remember. I also enjoy oat or almond milk, too, depending on what coffee shop I’m in.

Macchiato? Dry? Espresso Con Panna?

Macchiato is typically a shot of espresso with a scoop of foam on top. Starbucks made famous their “Caramel Macchiato” which is vanilla syrup, steamed milk, a scoop of foam, espresso shots poured on top with a drizzle of caramel sauce. Espresso con panna is a shot of espresso with whipped cream on top. When you order a cappuccino, you can ask for it ‘dry’ if you like foam. It’s just a fancy way to ask for extra-foam.

TwentyFivePlusFive Coffee .jpg

Saturday Night Take-In: Sushi Making

We truly feel like the culinary-world is at our finger-tips. We live about ten-minutes from a wide-range of restaurants in our city and can get to midtown Manhattan in under an hour. Dinners out are part of our weekend-routine. This weekend, we decided to take the date home and prepare our own sushi for the first time.

To begin, we watched these YouTube videos and found them to be very helpful. We made a list of things we needed, and we were ready to roll.

Here is what we used:

  • 1/2 pound of sushi-grade tuna (from our local fish market- New Wave Seafood)
  • 1/4 pound of farm-raised salmon (the guy at New Wave said this is the safest bet for at-home sushi)
  • Sauces&fillers (the sky is the limit!) cucumber, avocado, vegan mayo, siracha, and soy sauce
  • 1 bag of sushi rice (cooked and prepared the entire bag)
  • 1 pack of seaweed wraps (nori)
  • Fun sushi plates like these 
  • Bamboo sushi rolling mats (pictured and linked at the bottom of this post)
  • Potstickers (we prepared the frozen ones from Whole Foods and munched on them as we prepped our sushi)
  • VERY sharp knife
  • Plenty of wine, Saki, or Sapporo

TwentyFivePlusFive Sushi Making 1TwentyFivePlusFive Sushi Making 2TwentyFivePlusFive Sushi Making 3TwentyFivePlusFive Sushi Making 4TwentyFivePlusFive Sushi Making 5TwentyFivePlusFive Sushi Making 6