Thursday, April 26, 2012


The blog is quiet from me this week… perhaps the natural ebb & flow of things, seeing as how I somehow managed to post every day last week.  This week is WORKWORKWORKcarshoppingWORKWORK.

This is my cube at the moment.  All of these papers are for ONE project. 

IMG_20120426_103939 Ahhh…risk assessments.

Risk assessment reports are the big mondo report that gets completed near the end of one of my projects, once all the data has been collected. 

Risk assessments make me think of Ben Stiller :


(“I assess risk for a living.”)

Risk assessments look like this when they’re completed:

8410 003

Which means it’s a good thing I have this in my office.

71510 001_2



Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day Project, aka Playing With Microbes

This isn’t exactly a Pinterest project…though it’ll be Pinned via my Pinterest account after it’s posted so I guess that counts!

Earth Day is coming up this weekend on Sunday, April 22.  Many treat it as a day similar to Arbor Day, going out & planting a little tree—which is, by all means, a great project and very valuable.  But I wanted to present a project here that’s just a little different, and deals with something very important to all of us: WATER.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m part of a caving group (called a “grotto”) here in Missouri.  My primary role with our grotto (when I can be bothered to stop taking photos):


…is collecting water samples & gauging the water quality of the streams & springs that connect to those caves.  Water in a cave is a vital habitat and life source for so many critters that live in cave systems, like bats, crickets, salamanders, fish, as well as larger animals that can use these natural shelters as a den. 

So it’s important to track the quality of the waters in these areas; if certain animals were to die off or abandon a cave, changes in the water quality data could indicate why this happened or where the change came from (polluted surface runoffs, over-fertilization, etc.)

We track parameters like hardness, pH, dissolved oxygen content, acidity, chlorine content, and microbe counts…but the type of tests we do aren’t just applicable to caves. 

Anyone can test water quality with the right tools.  You can test the water coming out of your faucet, or the water in the ditch outside your house, or the water in your pool, or (ick) even the water in your toilet, if you were so inclined.  And most of the kids I know could stand to learn a thing or two about germs, bacteria, & pollution.

Micrology Labs sells a “Home Test Kit” for $8 that will give you all the supplies you need to run 5 water quality tests.  There are three sets of “Coliscan” supplies that check for what my friend JoJo refers to as “bumbum germs” like E. Coli, and two sets of “Total Count” supplies that check for all the various types of bacteria (including the good kinds that are supposed to be in streams & ditches). 
Your supplies will look like this:
IMG_0428The petri dishes have been sterilized, so if you want accurate results, don’t let kids (or yourself) touch the insides of them.
These are super easy to use.
Step 1: Collect water samples in a sterile container.  I use heavy duty plastic containers with a screw top lid that have been through the dishwasher on the hot setting (no soap).
I collected my samples from a local cave that has two streams inside of it, that converge into one.   We track these separately, so the samples were collected in the areas further back in the cave before the two streams meet up.  The samples are collectively referred to as “East Passage” and “North Passage” in this post.  The water in the East Passage comes from a spring, whereas the water in the North Passage comes from a surface stream and surface runoff north of the cave.
Step 2: Use the sterile syringe that comes with your kit to suction 1mL of water from your jar, and then add that 1mL of water each to the Coliscan and the Total Count bottles.  These bottles contain liquid agar solution that will go into the petri dishes.  You can reuse the syringe while you’re pulling water from the same water source (say, from your tap), but dispose of it before you move onto the next water source (ex. ditch water), and use a new sterile syringe for that water source.
Step 3: Put the cap back on the bottle & swirl the contents around for about 5 seconds, and then pour the contents of one of the bottles into a petri dish.
Probably a lot of you remember in school when the science teachers had petri dishes that already had the gummy-looking agar already inside the dish—and then you’d apply something to the top of that agar with a Q-Tip or pour something on top of it.  However, by doing that, you might not get quite as accurate results, because the bacteria could just keep growing on top of the agar if it wanted to. 
So by mixing the water with the liquid agar, the bacterial colonies will actually be embedded INSIDE the agar, and you won’t accidentally create a mutant bacterial colony prepared to take over your house.
Step 4: Now that it’s poured in, place the lid on top (being careful not to touch the inside), and then tape the lid on top, and write the name of the sample on the lid (Example: “Tap Water, Coliscan”) and the time & date. 
Repeat for each of your water samples. In my case, I had four samples—two were from the East Passage, and two from the North Passage:
IMG_0437(“T.C.” stands for Total Count, "Coli" stands for Coliscan.)
Step 5: Wait.  It takes 48 hours for the colonies to mature in the agar.  These can be stored at room temperature, so just put them somewhere out of the way for a while.

Step 6: After 48 hours, check your samples.  You should see white specks in the Total Count Dishes, and in the Coliscan dishes, you should see mostly pink specks, and possibly some purple or the occasional blue or white speck:

Step 7: Count your bacteria colonies.  Flip the containers over (the agar hardens after the first couple hours, so this is safe to do) so you can see the bacteria colonies without all your notes on top of them.  Place on a colored background so their easier to see.

For Total Count, you’re interested in all of the white specks.  If your samples have a LOT of white specks like the ones above, then draw an “X” across the bottom, equally dividing it into 4 sections—and then only count one section.  Multiply that by 4, and you have your # of colonies per milliliter of water.

For the Coliscan, you’re only interested in the pink and the purple specks.  Purple represents E. Coli (bad stuff), while the pink represents other types of coliforms (less bad, but still not great).

Step 8: Compare the numbers from your samples to each other.  As you can see from my samples above, the water from the East Passage (which is spring-fed) contains much fewer bacteria colonies.  The North Passage (which is fed from surface water) had about 3x as much bacteria, and even contained two E. Coli colonies.

In Missouri, the safe level for "whole body contact" (such as swimming) for E. Coli is 1.26 colonies per milliliter of water.  For drinking water, the safe level of total coliforms (pink + blue) is ZERO.  So we would not want to drink this water, obvs.  (Thankfully, this is not where this area gets its drinking water from.)
If you’re doing a test on your tap water & you get any pink or white specks, you might want to call your local water company.

Water sources for different people come from different places.  Here in our area, city water supply comes from surface water or deep water wells that have been circulated through a treatment plant before going to your house.  It’s the water supplier’s duty to make sure that this water meets all “Safe Water” parameters before leaving its facility.  Out in the country, some people have wells on their property that pulls from the groundwater directly, without any sort of treatment; if this is you, it would be a good idea to test your water once a year, just to make sure everything’s all good.

Step 9: Questions you can go through with your kids after the experiment:
1.  How does our tap water compare to the water in the (ditch/toilet/creek/dog’s water bowl)?

2. For water samples collected outside: What are the possible pollution sources in your neighborhood that could have caused the results to be different from your tap water? (Farms=fertilizer, busy roads = runoff, litter in ditches, outside animals, chemical plants, gas stations, etc.)

3. For water samples collected indoors: What are the germ sources that could have caused the results to be different from your tap water? (Dog’s water bowl = doggie slobbers, Toilet = duh, etc.)

4. How can we help to make the water quality better, both inside and outside? (Picking up litter, not littering ourselves, contacting the Dept. of Natural Resources if high results are found, cleaning out the toilet/using chlorine tabs more often, replacing/washing the dog’s bowl more often, etc.)

5. How can we protect ourselves from polluted water? (Washing hands regularly, using hand sanitizer, not playing in ditches, not drinking water from ditches or creeks, etc.)

6. For outside water: what are some of the signs that water quality might not be good in an area? (Non-moving, stagnant water, dead or distressed plants along the banks, dead animals, or no animals, containers/debris that shouldn’t be there (buckets, barrels, drums, etc.), litter, unusual odors, rainbow sheens on the surface, areas of foam on the surface, water that isn’t clear or shallow water that is hard to see through, etc.)

There’s also a great area for kids on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) website that has more questions and experiments you can do with your kids.  Activities are divided up by age level:

Step 10: KILL THOSE MICROBES!  This is very important.  Just because the colonies are contained doesn’t mean the petri dishes are safe to just throw away.  Before you toss them in the trash, do one of these options:
  1. Place dishes and Coliscan bottles in a pressure cooker and cook at 15 lbs. for 15 minutes. This is the best method.
  2. Place dishes and Coliscan bottles in an ovenproof bag, seal it, and heat in an oven at 300° F for 45 minutes.
  3. Places dishes and Coliscan bottles in a large pan, cover with water and boil for 45 minutes.
  4. Place 5 ml (about 1 teaspoon) of straight bleach onto the surface of the medium of each plate. Allow to sit at least 5 minutes. Place in a watertight bag and discard in trash. 
Also--if you're interested in testing some of the other less-bacterial qualities of your water samples, you can use multi-parameter pH strips.  These will check for things like hardness, chlorine, pH, nitrates, and alkalinity.  They're available at your local superstore in either the pool section, or garden section near the pond supplies.  A box of strips is typically about $7-8. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: The TurboDog Float!

Introducing: The beer float.

I’ve often thought of making these, but wondered what beer to use…a lager would be a bit odd, I think, but of course, chocolately beers seem to lend themselves very well to desserts.

Thankfully, our friends at Abita Brewing in Mandeville, Louisiana make an AMAZING dark brown ale called Turbodog.  This has been one of my favorite beers ever since I took my first sip, sitting on a patio chair at the Bulldog on Magazine Street.  Thick & hearty but super-smooth and well balanced, it has a slight “chocolate-toffee” flavor that I love.

But the idea of the “beer float” is not entirely unique—a quick Google shows that I’m not the first to venture on to that strange unfamiliar territory.  So how do we take this foamy concoction and make it memorable?

By using one of the most amazing frozen refreshments ever created in the state of Missouri.

I speak of course, of Andy’s Frozen Custard.

Andy’s has locations scattered across the Midwest, centralized here in Springfield, Missouri.  Frozen custard was born in a different part of the Midwest (up in Milwaukee), though if you ask locals, Andy’s has perfected it.  Of course, we have Culver’s here too, and a few other frozen custard offshoots, along with the plethora of self-serve fro-yo places that are so trendy right now.  And most days, I’m more than happy to satisfy my sweet tooth with some cheesecake flavored froyo covered in half the contents of the toppings bar.  But when it comes to decadence, Andy’s is where I go.

Frozen custard differs from ice cream in that it contains at least 10% milkfat & 1.4% egg yolk, which contribute to its rich flavor and smooth texture. 

But enough yammering.  On to the float!


Ingredients: (makes two floats)

8 oz frozen custard

1 bottle Abita Turbodog

2 pint glasses

2 straws


Divide the frozen custard between the two glasses.  Then evenly divide the beer into the two glasses.  It’ll foam, a LOT, so give it a while to “de-foam” before you resume pouring, lest your cup runneth over.


Once the beer is evenly divided, use the straw to mix the custard & the beer a bit, then sip away!

(The Hubs, my official taste-tester.)

Verdict?  Mixed reviews.  The Turbodog isn’t quite chocolately enough to make this taste like a shake, but when mixed with a good glob of custard, it had a really wonderful flavor.  The foam…not so much.  Kinda bitter.

But this experiment has me contemplating some other flavor combinations, like:

That last one I’ll actually be trying out in a few weeks.  Some friends are hosting a “trashy” Cinco de Mayo party, and really…what could be trashier than beer floats? 


NutriFacts (per float) for the TurboDog Float:

Calories: 286

Grams Fat: 10g

Sat. Fat: 6g

Carbs: 21g

Sugar: 17g

Protein: 4g

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sugar Cookies: A not-so-secret family recipe.

My extended family (which is VERY extended, since my mom is the middle of 15 kids) shares a love of baking that is probably the origination of my love for sweets.  Food was the glue that held an impossibly large family together.  I grew up living next door to my grandparents, and every Saturday, their house was a-buzz with 30+ family members…the aunts in the kitchen with my grandmother, uncles watching sports or racing in the living room with my grandpa (who always wore denim overalls, even though they moved away from the farm in the 70’s), and us cousins careening through the house as an unstoppable squealing human locomotive, pausing for brief seconds in the dining room to grab veggies & pickles off a relish tray before crashing through the back door to play “Houseball”…which is a lot like volleyball, except the house is the net.
Christmas was a time when several aunts would meet together at one of their homes to have a Bakeapalooza (they didn’t call it that, but you get the idea).  Divinity, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, fruitcakes, and the centerpiece—my Aunt Loyce’s sugar cookies. 
These are not the sugary, crispy cookies.  No.  These are the delicious, fluffy, delicate, melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookies that grocery stores try to replicate before adulterating them with half a pound of sprinkles & neon pink icing.
I don’t actually know if my aunt is the originator of this recipe, or if it was handed down to her.  But once upon a time when I had my first computer & learned how to do some very basic desktop publishing (circa age 14), I printed her recipe with fancy font & a fancy background & framed it for her.  She still has it hanging in her kitchen, which makes me smile every time I visit.
The other day (aka Easter) I was craving some of these cookies, so I dug out my copy of the recipe, and have decided to share with you. 

2 cups white sugar
1 cup shortening (Crisco, butter, light margarine—whatever you have around the house.  We use light margarine.)
1 cup thick sour cream
3 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1.25 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
5-6 cups flour
(Note: these measurements are for 5 dozen cookies.  You can pretty easily divide it in half if you don’t want 5 dozen cookies hanging out at your house)
Heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the first 8 ingredients in a mixer & beat until well integrated.  Then slowly start adding flour, with your mixer set at a low speed.  Stop periodically to scrape the sides if needed.
Continue to add flour until the dough holds together well, pulling away from the sides of the bowl & is only slightly tacky to the touch.
Spread out a layer of wax paper (TIP: I tape mine down to keep it from shifting), and sprinkle it with flour.  Place the dough ball on the wax paper & lightly sprinkle the dough with flour so it won’t stick to your rolling pin.
Roll out to 1/4” inch thick—any thinner than this and the cookies will end up a bit crunchy on the bottom.  To help with getting perfect thickness, you can either use rolling pin rings along the outer edges, or, I go with Alton Brown’s tip of stacking rubber bands to get to the thickness you want.

Now—grab your cookie cutters!
IMG_0523 (The cupcake one gets a very special icing treatment—stay tuned!)
My favorite, however, is my dinosaur sandwich cutter:
(Bear in mind—I do not have a child.  I bought this for ME.)
Begin cutting out your shapes.  Cut your cookies as close as you can to each other, because yes, you can take the trimmings, ball them up, and re-roll them out to do a second round, but the more times you do this, the tougher and drier your cookies are going to be.
Move the cut out shapes onto non-stick or lightly sprayed cookie sheets.  Bake for 8 minutes or until the bottoms are just slightly golden, but not crispy.
Now, Aunt Loyce typically makes her own frosting for these as well.  Her recipe is:
1/3 stick butter
1/4-1/2 cup milk
powdered sugar to thicken
However, we had some leftover white cream cheese frosting in the house, so I used that to make small batches of colored frosting.  (3 tbsp frosting + 2 drops of food coloring = enough for about 8-10 cookies)

(I am by no means a professional froster, as you can see.)
I had a little more fun with the cupcake ones.  I used tinted frosting to make the “wrapper”:

And then piped on plain white frosting in a back & forth pattern with a small star tip and a piping bag made from a Ziploc baggie.  Then they all got a “cherry” (actually a Nerds jelly bean, leftover from our nephews’ Easter candy).

I love the look of these.  So fun & spring-y!  And, of course, DELICIOUS.  My hubs & I kept about a dozen at our house & then the rest went to my work (I frequently use my coworkers as guinea pigs.  So far—no complaints.)  They disappeared before lunch.
Shared on 33 Shades of Green's Tasty Tuesday, Crazy for Crust, The Sweet Spot, The Kurtz Corner, Michelle's Tasty Creations and It's Overflowing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Arkansas Derby Recap: aka Horses & Headgear!


We had a great time down at the Derby over the weekend—won a little bit, lost a little bit, but didn’t walk away with an empty wallet.  I call that a win!

Of my three pony preferences from Saturday, two of the three won their races! Thanks to:

Beer Garden:


(Sired by Tapit)

And “I Am Awesome”!


(Yes, yes you are.)

Last year I didn’t bring my SLR, so this year I made sure to pack it, & my zoom lens.  It was a bright, beautiful day, perfect for racing, and photos of racing!

My favorite of the day:




But of course, the ponies are only half the entertainment at a Derby.  Because inside, we have: The Derby Hats!

Perhaps paling only behind Royal Weddings, Derbys have been THE place to see & be seen with over the top chapeaus, sunbonnets & fascinators since 1875 (the First Kentucky Derby).  While the Arkansas isn’t quite the all-out millinery-fest as the Kentucky Derby, there’s still plenty of eye candy!







And our favorite…


I can’t wait to see what the hats are like at the Louisiana Derby; we’re talking about flying down for it next year!

Monday, April 16, 2012


At some point, along some time between now and a year ago, I somehow accidentally got signed up for a Disney Family magazine. 

At my work address.

So once a month, a copy of this very family-friendly magazine  full of kid-friendly games & crafts & vacation ideas shows up in the mail room in my inbox, and inevitably, a coworker will see it & say, “Oooohhh, is there something you’re not telling us???  Hrrmmmm???”

Yup.  …I am secretly harboring a fugitive Guatemalan family inside my filing cabinet. 

And they all REALLY love cupcakes with Oreo mouse ears.

Originally, I just threw these away in our recycling bin, since as a non-mom & have very little need for popsicle stick craft project ideas or notes on how to make a sunflower using bendy straws… but one day I actually started flipping through them, and discovered RECIPES.  Quick, fun recipes designed for letting kids help you cook….i.e. EASY stuff.  Which is ideal because, I know this may come as a shock to you, but I do NOT cook 5-star meals each night.  Sometimes, I actually CRAVE Hamburger Helper.  Or a grilled cheese with deli turkey & sliced tomato.  I also occasionally eat Ramen at my desk while daydreaming about take out sushi.

A while back, I saw in one of these magazines the idea for “stuffins” – stuffing prepared in a muffin pan & baked.  I love stuffing, and I love muffins… so I ripped that page out of the magazine & then quickly shoved the rest of the booklet into the filing cabinet for the Guatemalans—dog-earring that cute “cherry pie cupcake” tutorial for them while I was at it. (Don’t look at me like that—they have a flashlight.)

The stuffin is the ideal side dish—but I wanted to make it more of a bite-size meal option.  So we’ve added meat & extra veggies!



1 lb spicy smoked turkey sausage, diced

1 box Stove Top (+ boiling water as noted on the box)

1 egg

1 tbsp dried chives or chopped green onions

1 cup canned corn



Heat your oven to 375.

Cook your sausage in a large skillet until browned. Drain.

Prepare boiling hot water in accordance with the box of Stove Top.

In a large bowl, combine the dry Stove Top Mix, corn, onion, and boiling water.  Mix well & let stand for a bit (5 minutes), then fluff with a fork & add the turkey sausage & the egg.  Mix well.  (The egg is important—I made my first batch without it & they wouldn’t hold together).


Scoop into your muffin tray—you should have enough to make about 12, so divide evenly.


Bake for 20-30 minutes or until nice & brown.  Serve while warm.  This  pairs well with a salad, a warm bowl of chicken soup, or other finger foods, like the bacon-wrapped peppadews from last week.  They also make a pretty snazzy quick savory breakfast when you reheat the leftovers.

NutriFacts (1 serving = 3 stuffins)

Calories 425.9 (142 per stuffin, if you’re not eating 3 of them)

  Total Fat 10.8 g

  Saturated Fat 3.7 g

  Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g

  Monounsaturated Fat 0.6 g

  Cholesterol 100.4 mg

  Sodium 1,558.8 mg

  Potassium 211.9 mg

  Total Carbohydrate 41.4 g

  Dietary Fiber 1.9 g

  Sugars 7.2 g

  Protein 19.9 g

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Derby Time!

Today the Hubs & I are headed to Hot Springs with our friends for the 2012 Arkansas Derby.  Last year was the first time we went with them (our friends, being big Derby fans, have been going for years) and we had a blast. 


Well…I had a blast, because I won like $12.  My husband lost $20 so he was less amused.  I’m pretty sure I just had beginner’s luck.

Yesterday we got our copies of the Daily Racing Form for the Derby…


It’s fun to flip through & look at the stats and start picking my winners.  I have a very basic understanding of the stats & the terminology on those sheets, but I’ll be honest.


I mostly just pick horses with clever names.


That being said, my favorites for the Derby this year:

Let’s Get Fiscal (Race 1)


Beer Garden (Race 6)


and of course…


I Am Awesome (Race 12).


Next year we’re possibly thinking about going to the Louisiana Derby, since it’s in New Orleans.

(Which would be Legend…wait for it...)


What are your plans for the weekend?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wistful Thinking...

This week has been fairly nuts at work, so again, no Pinterest project this Friday. Rather, I had been requested to create a countdown page for my friends' & I's annual Memorial Weekend Trip to the Gulf.

After a week of GOGOGOGOGO, it's nice to think that in that amount of time up there, I'll be loaded up in a car with good friends, good tunes, beach-bound toward this:

And This!

My hubs & his guy friends started doing these annual trips back in about 2006...and in 2009, they started letting girls come--which was the first year I went, and coincidentally, when the proverbial "sparks" began to fly for us. There were 6 of us that year...then 9 in 2010...then 11 last year...and this year, we may have up to 14 people going. We rent a big beach house & when you split the costs, it ends up being super-cheap for everyone.

My cousin Primo has attended the last two years, which means we get to dive a bit. Last year we got turned around on a wreck & a bit lost, so our goal for this year is: not to do that again. I have a compass down there, I should use it. In the words of my old Divemaster:

("Slow Down & Look Around": Good advice whether you're above or below the water.)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thirsty Thursday: Keurig Cafe au Lait, Green Goddess Style.

A while back I mentioned my adventure to the Green Goddess cafe in New Orleans for the Notorious Bacon Sundae; and while I was there, I had a FANTASTIC cup of coffee. 

New Orleans is famous for the cafe au lait or “milky coffee”.  This traditionally made with 1/2 steamed milk, and 1/2 strong-brewed dark roast coffee with chicory.  The chicory adds a rich, somewhat bitter flavor to the coffee.  New Orleanians will joke that, much like the cowboys of the west, a cup of traditional New Orleans coffee should be thick enough to stand a spoon in.


(Traditional cafe au lait & beignets at a New Orleans institution.)

The taste for coffee and chicory was developed by the French during their civil war. Coffee was scarce during those times, and they found that chicory added body and flavor to the brew. The Acadians from Nova Scotia brought this taste along with so many others to Louisiana.

This cup o’jeaux I had at Green Goddess was not a “cafe au lait” in the traditional sense; while it was made with chicory coffee, it wasn’t half steamed milk.  Rather, they sweeten the strong brew with sweetened condensed milk.  And it was sooooooo delicious, that I had to replicate it at home.

Now, my good, sweet, wonderful husband (who does not drink coffee unless it doesn’t taste like coffee) caved to my pleas and bought me a single-brewer system for Christmas last year.  It’s a Mr. Coffee, but it has the Keurig system in it (therefore less pricey than the ones with the Keurig name stamped on the front).  It takes K-cups, and can also use the “My K-Cup” insert that allows you to brew a single serving of your favorite bagged coffee (meaning you don’t have to constantly shell out $$ for the pre-made singles).


So…what we need:

1. A Keurig or other single-serve brewer

2. “My K Cup” or other reusable single serve filter

3. 2 tbsp Community Coffee New Orleans Blend w/chicory (or your other favorite chicory blend.  Local New Orleans roaster PJ’s I believe has a blend, and there’s Cafe du Monde, French Market, etc.)

4. 1 tbsp Fat Free sweetened condensed milk

5. 8-10 oz filtered water




Pop the regular K-cup holder out of the Keurig.


Put 2 tbsp of chicory coffee in the My K Cup filter basket, screw on lid, & insert into the Keurig.


Add 8-10 oz of filtered water to the tank.  Then press “Brew”.

About 90 seconds later, you have a nice, thick, hearty cup of coffee.

Add to that one full tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk, and stir until fully dissolved. (For me, this was the perfect amount.  Not overly sweet, but just sweet & creamy enough to still enjoy the flavor of the coffee.  If you prefer less sweet coffee, you could start with a 1/2 tbsp & then add more from there.)

Enjoy in your favorite mug.

IMG_0514 (Yes, this was a gift.)

And there, my friends, you have one AMAZING cup of cafe au lait for a mere 55 calories per 10 oz cup (compared to the average 160-200 calories that the same amount of Starbucks would run you).

And with that, I leave you with the wisdom of the “Honorary Cajun” mug:



Just doin’ my part to share the “joie de vivre”. :D