A Day in the Life of a Barista…

4:30 a.m. Really? I seriously have to get up now? This is insane.
I think I think that every morning when I open the shop on weekdays. It’s really not that bad, I just like to be dramatic sometimes.
This morning I turn the oven on to preheat and return to my basement room where I get dressed for work – company t-shirt, pants and my coffee stained canvas shoes. Back upstairs, I line frozen chocolate and cranberry almond scones on a cookie sheet and put them in the oven. When the buzzer goes off, I’ll have had my breakfast, made my lunch/snacks for my shift and done everything else I need to do before 5:15 a.m.
It takes less then ten minutes to get to the shop, but I always allow fifteen. I like to be early, I don’t like to be rushed and I never speed. hem! The wafts coming from hot scones are almost unbearable on the short drive. No, I don’t have one bite. Not one. Not today anyway.
With my few spare minutes, I’m able to prepare the shop for the morning before turning the open signs on promptly at 5:30. Smells of fresh ground coffee permeate the cool morning air. The smells here…oh my, they are simply amazing! I have a few early morning customers, but the rushes don’t start until 7:00 or so. Thankfully, my friend and co-worker, Cherie, arrives at that time and we serve car after car. Sometimes we have breaks,  sometimes we don’t. A school sends in an order of 8 drinks and Cherie takes off to deliver while I man the shop.
I though I was going to regret not bringing a book,  but after Cherie’s shift ended at 10:00, I stayed consistently busy with a few “slams” in between. Slams denote the “four cars or more at a time” routine. I’m convinced that they have someone watching to see when the second worker leaves. As soon as they see her drive off, they give a shout out to come flood the coffee shop. Hmmm…we need to break this up abit!
So, in between customers,  I made you a drink. It’s the new special, though you won’t find it on the menu – and don’t ask Gabe about it, ’cause there really are no new specials. It’s just my special especially.
Size first…

I like yellow.

Then the milk gets steamed. It’s cold outside this morning, and rainy, so I knew you wanted a hot one.
 The coffee beans are ground as we go throughout the day, so now I pull the shots.
Two for you. Though two would make me shake for the rest of the day. Yikes!
Now for the flavor – Ghirardelli white chocolate powder…
blended with orange and almond syrup. It’s that Italian flare coming out again from somewhere.
Pour in the espresso shots and steamed milk…
…and stir as you go with these fancy spoons. I like them.
Would you like straws with that? What about a chocolate covered coffee bean?
It was busy today, very. I made over 35 dollars in tips. Nice! My shift ends at 1:00. That’s after I’ve had my Rock Fish Chowder for lunch. But that recipe is for another post.
The rest of the day? Well, we need more farm fresh eggs at the house,  so perhaps I’ll go pick them up. Maybe fit in a nap, finish the book I started yesterday, and pick out a song I’ve been wanting to do on the guitar. I’ll probably go on a run this evening at the park.
My schedule is always different. One day Mandy and I went to a friend’s house and got our hair cut and styled.
Last week I spent the night with some friends down near Princeton. It’s gorgeous down there. We went horse back riding to the river and sat and talked for hours. It was good. I needed that.
Then they sent me home with two big boxes of produce from their amazing garden!
One afternoon Tesia took me to The Kitchen Engine, a gourmet foods and kitchen gadget/ equipment store in Spokane. *Sigh!* Someday I will have a 1,000 dollars just to spent there. :D As it was, I made it out of there 50 dollars poorer. It was too fun.
So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up too! Fall is in the air now and I’m wondering what the next months will bring. Change for sure – in the weather, in my routine, in life…who knows what will happen.
Hope you are enjoying the last days of summer. Stay tuned for my Northwest Rock Fish Chowder recipe!

Raspberry Cheesecake again…

I’m sure no one will complain though, right?

 I didn’t think so. :D

I am worse than horrible about carrying a camera around with me and getting pictures of places I’ve been and people I’m with.
I really wanted a pic with Caleb when he came up to visit. 
And I really wanted a picture of the raspberry patch that we raided on our way back from the river with friends. 
I really wanted a picture with those friends on the river and all the crazy stuff they were doing behind the boat. 
I wish I could have had a picture of me and Caleb being ejected off the jet ski – I’m sure Caleb’s face was priceless. :P 
The list goes on…and you would think I’d learn, right? Like I said,  I’m horrible.
However,  I do have raspberries that said friends sent home with me – and apricots – and lots of good memories.
I made Apricot Puree with most of the apricots. 

Mandy and I plan to make almond waffles for breakfast some morning to go with it and that will be amazing. The rest I froze for Apricot Orange Smoothies and just ate plain by the handful because they were just that good.
For some odd reason  raspberries just scream “cheesecake!” loud and clear to me. I don’t know why. It’s weird. They usually get their way…that’s not good is it? I mean, what will I be like as a parent? Yikes…

 Anyway, this time I blended those delightful berries into the cream cheese filling. It was hard at first – they were so good just by themselves,  but the results were totally worth it. Totally.
Crust –
1 – 9oz. box lemon cookies
3 T. butter
1/3 c. almonds, finely ground
1/2 t. lemon zest
2 T. sugar
Filling – 
4 8oz. pkg. cream cheese
1/2 c. yogurt
3 eggs
1 c. sugar
remaining zest from lemon
1 t. vanilla
1 c. fresh raspberries, though I believe frozen would work as well – thaw first

Grind cookies and almonds together in a blender or food processor. I used Back to Nature brand – California Lemon. They are yummy! Melt butter and add to crumbs along with lemon zest and sugar. Mix well and press into a spring form cheesecake plan.

Blend cream cheese (Philadelphia original – use anything else and I won’t guarantee that it will taste good. :P I’m picky about brands…another weird fact about me. Not that you needed any more of those…),  yogurt, sugar, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla. Add 3/4 of the berries and blend well. Fold in remaining berries and pour into awaiting crust. 

 I thought the color would have a little more punch than this, but it’s perfect after it’s done.
Bake @ 325 degrees for 55-60 minutes. It will be a bit jiggly and that is good. Remember how I am about cheese cake right? Over cooking kills.

Oh my word! Isn’t that an amazing picture?!! Not to gloat or anything, but I love it! :P

So, today I went on a picnic with some friends. We drove in a crazy big truck and took cheesecake. It was pretty much perfect. :D
Here’s one of my friends – 

His name is Areli. We like to read books, drink through straws, and go on runs – though I think the later kind of gets boring for him. His mom and I like it though. Someday,  I’ll get a picture of the three of us and post it…I hope. :D
This is the park I swim and run at. It’s beautiful. I was going to get a picture of the actually beach, but it had too many people on it today. Next time…maybe. 

This is what my running trails look like. I love them. In the early mornings, they are absolutely empty. 
Yes! :D

And these…

…are the wheels that get me all the places I want to go. Some one told me it was just about the ugliest car ever. I can’t go that far. What it lacks in looks it makes up in plush comfy seats and the way it drives. I like the way it drives.  I’m thankful for it,  very! If it wasn’t for this car… I would be really good on a bike by now. And I wouldn’t have seen much outside of Post Falls. Post Falls is nice, but not that nice. 
That back tire there? That’s the one I changed all by myself – and it has a bend bolt to show for it. :D

This is me (obviously) with my “sweet ride”. I’m trying to hide it with the towel. :D I should have tried to hide me with the towel – I don’t take good pics of myself….

So there you have a few of the very rare pictures that I took that don’t involve food. I’ll try to be better…or,  if you like I’ll just stick with foodography. I’m totally happy with that!