Orange Citrus Spiced Hot Toddy

The one thing I appreciated most about living in Oklahoma was experiencing a variety of winters. Some years the weather stayed temperate, with very few sufferably cold days. Other years we endured intense ice storms, or even blizzards. I was once snowed in at my office for three whole days! You never knew what you were in for until winter was on your doorstep.

Orange Citrus Hot Toddy - IngredientOrange Citrus Hot Toddy - IngredientThis is our first year in Alaska, and the seasoned residents are telling us that we’ve had an unseasonably warm October. This time last year they had 10+ inches of snow on the ground. 

Over the last few days, frost has whitewashed the landscape, acting as a herald of what’s to come. The grass isn’t looking as green, and I’m starting to realize that I won’t be going out without a jacket for a long time. Gulp.

My favorite winter activities are many, but none really come close to enjoying a Hot Toddy and a Christmas movie when the weather just won’t allow much else. I missed out on that last year while I was pregnant with Margot. This year, I’ll gladly drink responsibly.

Continue reading “Orange Citrus Spiced Hot Toddy”


Homemade Iced Vanilla Latte

Homemade Iced Vanilla Latte | Yea Yea Pueblo

I’m too caught up in the weather. I have a dozen or so cities saved into my weather checker favorites so I can regularly envy someone else’s weather. Santa Fe, NM, Bakersfield, CA, Oklahoma City, OK; you all seem to be having warmer weather than Washington State. I by no means miss the warm weather, but I do miss enjoying a cold beverage on a hot day, or walking out of an icy-cold movie theater into the sweltering summer heat. Those are the fondest memories I have of beating unbearable summer heat.

In honor of those missed (or hopefully, upcoming) summer days I’ve whipped up a delicious iced coffee drink; a subtle reminder that the seasons are changing. It’s brilliantly simple, and positively refreshing.

Homemade Iced Vanilla Latte | Yea Yea Pueblo

Homemade Iced Vanilla Latte | Yea Yea PuebloHomemade Iced Vanilla Latte | Yea Yea PuebloHomemade Iced Vanilla Latte | Yea Yea PuebloStirring - Homemade Iced Vanilla Latte | Yea Yea PuebloHomemade Iced Vanilla Latte | Yea Yea PuebloIced Vanilla Latte Recipe


For the Cold Brew Concentrate:

1 cup fresh ground espresso roast coffee (or the equivalent of making 8-10 cups in your coffee maker) – must be dark!

Cold water, enough to cover the grounds and fill the french press to the brim.

For the Latte:

One extremely generous splash of Vanilla Creamer, or a few pumps of vanilla syrup if you’ve got it. As you can see, I like my coffee drinks VERY WHITE.

1/2 or 1 cup cold milk, I use 2% — again according to preference

1/2 – 1 1/2 cups cold brew coffee concentrate, depending on how strong you like your coffee beverages

One small splash of half and half (optional)

1/4 tsp vanilla extract


For the cold brew, grind espresso beans in grinder according to manufacturer directions. I use the setting to ration out grounds for 8 cups of coffee. Pour grounds into French press, add cold water to saturate the beans completely. Fill French press with water, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow coffee to steep for 8-16 hours at room temperature.

Then use French press plunger to separate the grounds from the brew. Pour into container with a lid to store in the fridge. I used a clean Nalgene water bottle.

Fill glass with ice, pour your preferred amount of coffee concentrate over ice. Add milk, creamer, vanilla extract and half and half, if using. Stir, and enjoy!

Vanilla Bean Cream Soda

Vanilla Bean Cream Soda  | Yea Yea PuebloRecord heat swept through our area earlier this week. You’d think that since I’m from Bakersfield, a city with some of the hottest summer days in the nation, I could swing the heat, no problem…this is not the case.

You see, in Bakersfield, CA we had this wonderful invention called the air conditioner. It’s a foreign concept up here in Washington state, mainly because they’d only be in use for a few days every summer. Our house is a two story, equipped with zero cool-air-emitting contraptions, making the days a little toasty when the temperatures surpass 80 like they did on Monday. Whoa, 80 degrees? Yeah, I know. Sweltering.

Vanilla Bean Cream Soda  | Yea Yea Pueblo

I’m probably the only person in Washington wishing for the rain to return. Fortunately, the temps dropped back down into the 70s, and rain is on the horizon (which reminds me, I’m pretty sure I’m going to love the cold weather in Alaska!).

This pop came to my attention when searching for a vanilla bean based beverage to take the edge off these warm summer days sans A/C. The original recipe, from Cheeky Kitchen, calls for granulated white sugar. I chose to use Agave nectar to sweeten it instead, since it’s a low glycemic sweetener. It absorbs into the body slower, preventing spikes in blood sugar. I kicked my pregnancy-influenced sugar habit recently, and didn’t want to completely relapse.

Vanilla Bean Cream Soda  | Yea Yea PuebloVanilla Bean Cream Soda Recipe


1 1/3 cup Organic Blue Agave Nectar

1 Vanilla Bean – caviar stripped

1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract

1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract

1 QT Sparkling Water – Chilled


Slice vanilla bean lengthwise, use paring knife or spoon to scrape vanilla bean caviar into a large pitcher.

Add Agave nectar, and extracts to the vanilla bean caviar and mix thoroughly.

Add sparkling soda slowly.


The caviar will separate from the mixture and float to the top. If you plan on serving immediately, I recommend topping the pitcher with copious amounts of ice. This re-integrates the caviar into the drink. Or, hold a spatula over the spout while pouring over ice in individual glasses to limit the amount of caviar going into each glass. This seemed to work for me.

Shelf life is about a 24 hours since the carbonation tends to disappear slightly with each pour.

Bonus!: to enhance your porch-sitting, spike this soda with white rum. It’s insanely delicious.

Vanilla Bean Cream Soda  | Yea Yea Pueblo