Tag Archives: money

Zadie Smith – NW

Zadie Smith is the poster girl for North West London. She might spend half her year teaching Creative Writing in New York, but really she’s just a girl from Kilburn. If you work hard, you can succeed… or so the cliché goes.

‘Kilburn?’ I hear you say, your voice infected with a questioning tone. Yeah, Kilburn. A North West London area between Cricklewood, Willesden and… Maida Vale. Yup, London is a place of thin borders between rich and poor. In fact, Kilburn has reached dizzying levels of fame of late, as Tour de France and Olympic cycling champ Bradley Wiggins spent his childhood in NW6 too. Continue reading

homemade frappuccino alternative

Why spend a fortune on a Starbucks Frappuccino when you can make your own for pennies?

The best bit? You can add as much whipped cream as you want!

Firstly, this is technically not a Frappuccino. So I’m going to go right ahead and name it a Carlaccino. Whoever gets this to cotton on and trend on twitter will get unlimited Carlaccinos for life.

homemade frappuccino alternative

Why a Carlaccino? Well, I’m not great at following recipes. I take a look at them and think ‘bah, who needs to add that? I’m going to add some turmeric instead of vanilla essence and get this partaaay started’. Some of my culinary experiences have not turned out well, but every so often there is a gem of creation which makes experimentation worthwhile.

Today was one of those days. I took a walk into my hometown, and passing a Starbucks I fancied a frappuccino. However I really didn’t want to spend £3 on a drink I don’t even like that much. I find them watery, I don’t like the lumps of ice and the coffee is not strong enough for my liking. Plus, the amount of whipped cream on top is pitiful by my standards.

Feeling adventurous I toddled off home and decided to throw caution to the wind and pull out everything in the fridge or in the cupboards that appealed. This included:

  • A long tall latte glass that came in a Christmas gift set that never, ever gets used
  • A skanky straw from the back of an unused drawer
  • Whipped cream
  • Powdered milk creamer
  • Instant coffee (hey, I was feeling lazy)
  • Cocoa powder
  • Sugar
  • Splenda
  • Vanilla essence
  • Semi-skimmed milk
  • Soy milk

Firstly I boiled the kettle. Then in a mug I mixed together 2 tablespoons of instant coffee, a tablespoon of splenda, a tablespoon of sugar and a tablespoon of milk creamer. I filled the mug halfway with boiling water and stirred obsessively until the coffee granules disappeared. I filled the rest of the mug with cold water, gave it a stir and popped it in the fridge.

I then pulled out the blender, added 9 ice cubes, a drop of vanilla essence, about 100ml each of soy milk and semi-skimmed milk and the slightly less hot coffee mix. I then carefully pushed the pulse button on the blender a few times, and *ta-da* I had a silky smooth jug of Carlaccino goodness.

I carefully poured the mixture into my tall glass, reached for the whipped cream and piled it as high as it could go before toppling. I sprinkled on some cocoa powder, stuck in the straw and sighed with happiness.

5 minutes later it was gone and all I was left with was a whipped cream moustache.

For me, the secret ingredient was the soy milk. I can’t stand it in my tea but as it has a slight sweetness it went perfectly with the coffee. This was total trial and error and I’m sure you can make some variations on the above, cutting the ingredients considerably. Next time I will try it with proper coffee, soy milk, vanilla essence, ice and whipped cream alone.

Let me know if you have any tips or variations!