Those who are closest to me know how I just can’t seem to leave a good thing alone. A typical dining out scenario goes something like this: our meal arrives at the table… it looks good, smells great, and tastes amazing. But then I start to scope out the other dishes/ingredients on the table. Hmmm, I wonder what it might taste like if I added that… or took away this… or tweaked it just a little bit. All along keeping a watchful eye on the kitchen- just in case the chef sees me. Flashbacks to my mother scolding me “Stop playing with your food and just EAT IT”! Of course, I feel a little guilty. But I just can’t help myself. I like to fuss with things. Re-construct. Discover new things. Occasionally my experiments don’t work out so well, and I’ve ruined my meal. But my taste intuition batting average is usually pretty good, and anyway, I do enjoy the sport of it.
The drink menu at Starbucks is a fun place to re-construct. And they don’t make you feel guilty about being a high maintenance drink orderer- just as long as you have the ordering lingo down pat. It does takes some practice. My drinks have gotten pretty complex, that sometimes I wish I had caffeine BEFORE I attempt to order my drink. Needless to say, I’m a little addicted Starbucks. Ok, a lot. But when I’ve max’d out on my caffeine limit for the day, I turn towards another one of my favorite Starbucks re-construction discoveries, the green tea latte. It’s made with Japanese matcha green tea– a bright, neon St. Patty’s Day colored powder (that’s not cheap), and not to be confused with the Chinese green tea. This one is definitely an acquired taste. Creamy, earthy, floral, and exotic. Either you’ll love it or hate it. But I’m telling you, this drink must be tried in this way…
Here’s the lingo: “grande, soy green tea latte, 1 pump caramel, no classic (syrup)”
I’ve gotten my closest family and friends hooked on this drink. Even my parents, who are simple, simple folks – who don’t drink espresso and don’t care much for complex fancy stuff. Now they will go out of their way to get a Starbucks Green Tea Latte. I get a kick out of watching them order. My Dad’s got the ordering down impressively well. I’m sure he rehearses in the car on his way. My mother keeps a written“cheat sheet” in her wallet. If you knew my folks, you would be amused too, at how I’ve turned them into fancy pants Starbucks drinkers.
When I came across this green tea biscotti recipe created by talented Heather Baird from the Sprinkle Bakes blog, I was super excited to try it. I found it interesting how she used a secret ingredient- a powdered, instant matcha green tea mix, “Matcha Milk” in her recipe. Green tea lattes I can make at home? Sign me up! I could probably save a small fortune each month too. Problem was, I couldn’t find the match milk mix at my local Japanese grocery store in Las Vegas. I really wanted to try to make this biscotti, so I improvised and took on the challenge to re-construct the recipe. I slightly adapted the recipe by adding non-fat dry milk powder to the pure matcha green tea powder. I also used candied ginger chips and added pistachios for extra green color.
Baking is so scientific, that it’s tough to just wing it and get good results. Even with a great base recipe from Sprinkle Bakes, trying to compensate for no instant match milk in the original recipe, it took me a few tries to get it just right. But luckily on the third try, I had success! This one is a keeper. Great for a simple breakfast, or a perfect snack. Since I was so thrilled with outcome, and feeling fancy pants-ish myself, I broke out the flowering jasmine tea and nice linens for a little afternoon tea snack.