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Espresso Yourself

About a week ago, I went in to the eye doctor and got some bad news. He found a scar on my eye, so to let it heal a little, I had to give up wearing contacts for a couple weeks while I take medication. Since I’m blind without some sort of eye correction, I had to get glasses.OK, so no big deal, right? Wrong. I haven’t worn glasses since I was 12 years old. I don’t like the way I look in glasses. Oh yeah, all my friends said guys think glasses are sexy, but come on. If that was true, women would be running to the optometrist for the latest frames, not the plastic surgeon for a little, um, enlargement. Maybe Angelina Jolie can pull off the sexy, studious look with glasses, but not me.And if becoming four-eyes again wasn’t bad enough, my eye doctor told me I’d have to cut way down on caffeine while I’m taking the eye medication. What? Give up coffee? Telling me to stop drinking coffee is like telling Paul McCartney to quit singing. I mean, coffee is my security blanket. It gets me through long days and hard nights. I swear, I have java flowing through my veins.My coworkers joke about my caffeinated vice. Starbucks is across the street from the newsroom, and I take frequent trips over there. My coworker Dennis says they should just build a pipeline and funnel the stuff across the street and directly to my desk. All the baristas know my name and exactly what I want to drink. I just walk up to the counter and they start preparing my next fix.I don’t know exactly when I started liking coffee. I remember camping with my dad, uncle and cousin when I was young and my cousin and I shunning the nasty stuff. “That’s a grown-up drink,” my dad and uncle told us. That’s probably why we both started forcing ourselves to drink it, so we could grow up faster.When I was in high school, my parents and I would actually fight over the coffee. “You took more than your two cups!” “You used a huge mug!” (Heaven forbid my dad should make another pot). I’d even go so far as to save some coffee in a mug and hide it in the back of the fridge so I could heat it up later. Of course, that stopped the time my dad shoved something in the refrigerator and tipped the mug, spilling coffee on to all the contents of the refrigerator. He wasn’t too happy about that.I don’t drink just any coffee, however. I’m very selective of my brew, just as a sommelier is about wine. I like to smell the aroma of the beans and feel them in my palms to test for quality. I won’t stand for watery or sludgy joe. A cup of coffee should be a piece of heaven. If you’re still drinking McDonald’s coffee, you my friend, are a severely misguided individual.So yes, my name is Gabrielle Devenish, and I am a javaholic.Needless to say, I was devastated when I was told I had to give up my addiction for a while. I love tea, but it just isn’t going to cut it. But perhaps giving up Starbucks for a while will help me pay for the outrageous cost of my glasses. Maybe eyewear won’t make me as sexy as plastic surgery, but it certainly costs about as much.And there’s always decaf.Gabrielle Devenish is the food editor at the Post Independent. If deprived of coffee for too long, she may need an IV drip filled with Breakfast Blend. Contact her at gdevenish@postindependent.com.Iced trainwreck 2 ounces brewed espresso coffee, chilled1 1/2 ounces French vanilla syrup1/2 ounce caramel syrup 1/2 ounce English toffee syrup6 ounces half & half1/2 cup iceWhipped cream Add the espresso, French vanilla syrup, caramel syrup, English toffee syrup, and half & half to a shaker; shake well to blend. Pour over ice in a 16-ounce glass topped with whipped cream and additional caramel syrup, if desired. Caramel macchiato 2 tablespoons vanilla syrup (see below)1/2 cup fresh espresso 1 cup milk, steamed and foamy 3-4 tablespoons caramel sauce (I use ice cream topping)Add 2 tablespoons vanilla syrup to a 16 oz. glass. Add fresh brewed espresso, followed by steamed milk. Add caramel sauce to coffee and stir. If desired, add a dollop of extra foam to drink and lightly drizzle caramel on top. Editor’s note: If you don’t want to make your own Vanilla Syrup, you can purchase a bottled brand such as those made by Torani. Vanilla syrup2 cups water 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract Combine water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes then add vanilla extract. Remove from heat and cool. (Store in covered container)- drink.betterecipes.com


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