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August 20, 2011

Coffee Creamer #1

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Never once in my life, have I ever looked forward to school.  I was the type of student who would always leave their homework on the desk and papers on the printer.  I never remembered the test dates and didn't even attempt studying.  I was the type of girl who doodled on their empty notebooks and tried to come up with excuses to escape any form of work...  because giving effort made me uncomfortable and I hated leaving my comfort zone.  The thought of "giving my all" made me so afraid of failing at whatever I was going to try, that I always took the easy route, knowing beforehand that I was sure to fail.

Looking back now, I don't know what I was so afraid of.  I wasted so much time thinking about failing from trying, that I didn't even get a chance to see if I was going to succeed!  It was just insanity--I was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I really think that baking has helped me realize this "insanity."  It would be insane to bake the same failed recipe twice and expect different results.  And, it would also be insane to be unprepared for school and expect good grades.  I mean, if I were to bake my Banana Bread no.7 seven times in a row without changing the ingredients, something would seriously be wrong with me.  Fortunately, I realized this my senior year in high school to my freshman year of college.  In those years, I wasn't allowed to forget.  I wasn't able to leave my homework on my desk.  I couldn't consciously procrastinate because I knew I would do some serious damage to my grades.

My failures made me stronger.  My experience made me wiser.

And, to commemorate this much-too-late realization, I am making a healthy coffee creamer replacement for you Coffee-Mate users as preparation for the future year: getting up early and going to bed late.  And who could do this without coffee???  :)

Coffee Creamer #1:
(serves one)
  1 tbs Dried Nonfat Milk
  1 tbs Milk of choice (skim milk, soymilk, almond milk...)
  1 tbs Sweetener (like erythritol, Truvia...)
  4-7 drops Stevia Extract (or to taste)
  1 cup HOT Coffee (I used Starbucks VIA)

1. Scoop the dried milk into your empty coffee cup/mug.
2. Whisk in the milk, sugar and stevia drops with a fork (spoons tend to gather the dried milk and clump up) until dissolved and thick. Feel free to double/triple the recipe! I do because I like my coffee more beige than black, but you might because if you drink a Venti-size, you'll probably need more creamer ;)
2. Pour hot coffee in cup/mug, stir and enjoy!

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Now, onto my college move-in experience this year!  Okay so, it's my sophomore year now...  Woohoo!  I made it passed freshman year (and the freshman-15)!

And I'm still loving Arizona.  Can you see all the cacti going up the mountain? (Yes, "cacti" is correct... and so is "cactuses" - How strange is the English language?)  Anyways, I have found dozens of other college student bakers out there who have the same troubles as me:

     1)  Spending money wisely
     2)  Finding space in our tiny dorms

I definitely learned last year that space is sparse and organization is crucial. That is why I have found the best solutions EVER!!

     1. Over-the-Door Hangers

     2. Jars:  They are square and remove any extra and unnecessary packaging... plus, they fit a lot more than you think!

Flours, Oats, Grapeseed Oil

Chocolate, Date Sugar, Coconut Oil, Coconut Flakes, Coconut Butter

Pumpkin, Gelatin, Coconut Sugar, Brown Rice Syrup, Chia Seeds

Soymilk, Sucanat, Cacao Powder, Green Tea (loose-leaf)

My Clif-Bar "Cookie Jar," Luna Protein Bar, Odwalla Superfood Bar,
Molasses, Raspberry Jam Spread (100% fruit), Pure Maple Syrup

     3. Stacking Storage, Vertically

Yes, those are drawers!

I'm a typical girl...

and a typical college student  :)

     4. Removable Wall Hooks:  These are super helpful for hanging bags and other things and to free up floor space.

     5. Food Deliveries

          Many grocery stores do this, actually (sadly, Whole Foods doesn't). If you do this, you will save a lot of $$$. For example, a CLIF Builder's Bar is $1.87 at my grocery store, while here on campus, it is $2.87! That is a whole dollar... tsk tsk.  But people always ask me, "Doesn't shipping cost a lot?" Well, it does in fact, but only if you don't look around for coupons! Shipping can cost up to $17, so I clicked on the "special deals" links on the website, looked for sales, etc... My local grocery store allows its customers to buy 5 items off of a given list to get delivery free! Just the other day, I purchased 5 flats of water and got a deliveryman to carry it (and all of my other groceries) for me... hehe... oh, and by doing this, I saved $133.35 just on water! This is the outrageous part, because it's true: one flat of water (24 bottles) costs $3.33 at my grocery store, while an individual water bottle from a campus vending machine costs $1.25. If I bought 120 bottles total, I paid $16.65 at Safeway, rather than $150.00 on campus. True story. I don't think I'll be getting a meal plan next year...


This is my dedication to eating healthy and staying sane in college--yes, it is possible!--by staying healthy, my energy levels are up (not to mention, constant!), I'm friendly (instead of hungry and cranky), and I'm less likely to binge on Oreos because of my body's nutrient-deprivation. If I replaced all my meals with Snickers bars, chocolate milkshakes and frozen mac n' cheese, I wouldn't absorb any vitamins or minerals, but I would definitely absorb those calories!)

Now that my room is in order, I better be ready for the first day of classes starting this Monday.  This is definitely the first time in my life where I have actually looked forward to school.

Here are some pics of the beautiful AZ:

You can see mountains everywhere you look  :)


  1. I discovered you on foodgawker. What's up struggling-to-bake college sophomore?! I'm a struggling-to-bake-with-little-money college sophomore as well! (: Woo hoo! I'll keep up with you and share my experience, too!

  2. I'm a freshman and just moved in a few days ago so this post was ridiculously helpful and motivating, seeing that you still bake & everything despite limited space & whatnot, haha.
    Best of luck with your school year!

  3. Thank you Flannery and BiteMyThumb! Good luck to you both :)


  4. I like how you are trying to make a healthy coffee creamer but really when it comes down to it no creamer is the best way to go. I used to drink my coffee with creamer but then a funny thing happened, I tasted really good coffee, and creamer disappeared from my life. So if you want to save money and improve your health you should just go ahead and opt for some good coffee either at your local coffee shop or maybe buy some caribou coffee, which is pretty decent. It will save you money down the line but will also speed up your morning so you only have to wake up 10 minutes before class instead of 15.

  5. Blake,
    I agree that black coffee is a good choice, but some people (like me) just can't drink it. I use instant coffee, so it really takes about 5 minutes to put it all together. I went to the Caribou website but they don't sell instant coffee, so I would end up paying more because I'd need to buy a brewer and pay for shipping... then wait for it to brew... :( Thanks though!

  6. Yes I can see the problem there, though I have never had instant coffee, or really heard of it until now I guess it does cut down on time though if you didn't have a brewer you could get a french press (really the best option to make coffee) if you have a way to boil water, which I assume you need with instant coffee.. but again I am rather unfamiliar with the concept. I just hate to see people drink bad coffee as its a passion of mine so I thought I would share but to each their own!


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