Vanilla Vodka Root Beer | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Vanilla Vodka Root Beer

Vanilla Vodka Root Beer | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Sometimes the only way to get something done is just to begin, so here we are on a Monday evening putting words on a screen. I have no idea where we’re going to end up, friends, but I’m glad you’re joining me on this journey. It seems like the last few weeks have been nothing but pain for the entire planet. There have been so many tragedies and disaster I can’t even begin to name them. Are there any other choices between absolutely breaking down and going completely numb?

I can’t look. What’s going to break next? Is it even okay to look away for a minute and talk about food? Is that allowed? It feels weird, but I’m going to give it a try. 

Vanilla Vodka Root Beer | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Vanilla Vodka Root Beer is the favorite way to feel like a kid and a grown up all at once. It’s sweet with a bit of a vodka bite. It’s like a Sonic vanilla root beer, but you definitely can’t drink this in your car. Keep ’em comin’.

There’s no point in writing a recipe for this. Pour an ounce and a half of vanilla vodka over ice (crushed if you can get it) then top up your glass with your favorite cold root beer. Don’t skip the whipped cream. It’s so fun.

Vanilla Vodka Root Beer | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

It’s a tough world out there. Let’s get together for a drink and love one another just a little bit more. We can get through this.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I think I might be allergic to spending money on myself. Every time I want to buy myself something, whether it’s a chai latte, a book, or a new pair of shoes, I have to go through hours of overly dramatic rationalizing about why I should be allowed to have this thing in exchange for paper money. I work really hard at my job, so why don’t I think I deserve nice things every now and then just like everyone else? Could have something to do with my crap wage. There’s no telling. 

It’s probably just because I’m just a neurotic freak who’s too cheap to pay for therapy. Either way, I’ve been wearing the same clothes for more than ten years, and I’m still riding this bus with people who may or may not have had a shower in the past week.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

When I do finally decide to splash out, I can’t quite bring myself to by real vanilla beans, but I did pick up some vanilla bean paste, which is still pretty gorgeous. This Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake is a superstar. It’s tender and moist, and the vanilla really shines through. 

This cake comes together easily, and the glaze can be made in one bowl with a whisk. Make your glaze just barely drippy. It will boost the sweetness and cover up any bits that might have stuck to your pan. Beautiful in so many ways.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

If you want something simple and sweet and a little bit splashy, make this Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake for your friends. It’ll be awesome.

Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake
Serves 12
Vanilla Bean Bundt Cake is tender, moist, and extra special.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
For the cake
  1. 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 9 ounces (255 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  6. 1-3/4 cups (350 grams) sugar
  7. 2 tablespoons vanilla bean paste
  8. 4 eggs
  9. 1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
For the glaze
  1. 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  2. 2-4 tablespoons milk
  3. 1 cup powdered sugar
For the cake
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and butter and flour your favorite bundt pan.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about five minutes.
  4. Turn your mixer down to low and beat in the vanilla bean paste, then add the eggs one at a time, combining completely before adding the next egg. Scrape the side of your mixing bowl, and give it another quick mix.
  5. With your mixer on its lowest speed, add a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, a second third of the dry stuff, the rest of the buttermilk, and finally what's left of the dry ingredients, combining well before each addition. Scrape your bowl and mix for a few more seconds to get everything well mixed.
  6. Pour your cake batter carefully into your waiting bundt pan. Make sure there are no bubbles and and try to spread the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour until a skewer or cake tester comes out clean.
  7. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for an hour, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely before glazing.
For the glaze
  1. Whisk together vanilla bean paste and two tablespoons of milk in a measuring cup.
  2. Put your powdered sugar into a mixing bowl and whisk in your vanilla and milk mixture. Add some extra milk a splash at a time until you reach the desired consistency. I recommend keeping it on the thicker side.
  3. Coax your glaze from it's bowl and pour it evenly around the top of the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Slice generously and serve to happy friends.
Adapted from Sweetapolita
Adapted from Sweetapolita
http://awesomeon20.com/
Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One

Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lucky me, this winter is forecast to be the worst Scotland has seen in a very long time. I need sweaters, people. Lots and lots of cozy sweaters. And endless supplies of hot chocolate.

I drink possibly too much hot chocolate made from a mix, though I haven’t yet found one here that’s as good as Swiss Miss, but when I’m feeling fancy or god forbid I can’t get my hands on hot chocolate mix, it’s ridiculously easy to make my own hot chocolate in under three minutes. 

Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

The beauty of making hot chocolate from scratch is that you can create your own fancy flavors. Just peruse your pantry and try something different every time. Or go plain. That’s great, too. I especially like to fortify my evening hot chocolate with something boozy. Baileys, Kahlua, or Frangelico are my favorite choices, but again, the possibilities are endless.

I pumped this hot chocolate up with a splash of vanilla extract. I also stirred in a bit of cream since I had some in my fridge. I usually only keep skim milk in the house, so putting back a bit of the fat makes it a bit more luxurious.

One last note, you can make this right in the mug if you want to save yourself from washing more dishes, but I like to give myself plenty of space to stir, so I make it in a microwave safe measuring cup and then transfer it to a mug after it’s heated. Do what you want. It’s your life and you gotta love it.

Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m sorry I just said so many words about hot chocolate. I’m passionate. What can I say? 

Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One
Serves 1
Vanilla Hot Chocolate for One can be made with stuff you have hanging around your kitchen in under 3 minutes.
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Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
2 min
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
2 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 heaping teaspoon cocoa powder
  2. 2 heaping teaspoons sugar
  3. 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 2 teaspoons cream (or milk if you don't have cream in your fridge)
  5. Milk to top up to six ounces
Instructions
  1. In a mug or microwave safe measuring cup, stir together cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and cream to form a paste. Add milk in slowly, stirring as you go, until your mug is full or you're up to six ounces in your measuring cup. Stir or whisk until smooth.
  2. Heat this in the microwave for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes depending on how hot you like it. Give the hot chocolate another stir and transfer to a mug if it's not already in there.
  3. Add booze and/or whipped cream and/or marshmallows to our hearts content.
Adapted from Hershey's
Adapted from Hershey's
http://awesomeon20.com/
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