Saturday, June 25, 2016

Starbucks Copycat Low Calorie Strawberry Cream and Lemon Chiller Drinks- and FREE BOOK!

Hi, everybody! This is a repeat post from July 2014 (that was my year for good recipes, apparently) and it's become a favorite in my house!
But first I have to share this picture of our kitty cat. I honestly didn't know if he was enjoying the sun or was a victim of a terrible tricycle accident. :O

So, going back to 2014 now, at the time of the original post, we were in the middle of a heat wave. I can happily say we have gorgeous weather as I type this, and when this post airs, we should be at the beach, so I'm betting it will NOT be 104F the second time around... but I could be wrong!
Without further ado...
I got this great cookbook at the library. The author battled diabetes and other health issues so she tries to take the most popular recipes and remake them several different ways. Each recipe has about four or five alternatives, whether you're cutting fat, sodium, sugar or carbs. I loved this idea! I don't have a problem with sugar, but I would love to cut unnecessary fat from my diet, so I thought I'd try some of the recipes and see if they were as good as they looked.

BUT this happened: record-setting temps all week. 107 on Thursday but some said 109F unofficially. I figure anything past 100 is officially whatever you want to call it because we're all melting and nobody's going to be around to argue.
 So I decided to make some of the drinks in the book. The first one is called "Luscious Lemon Slim Smoothie".
1/3 cup low fat milk
1 TBS instant sugar free lemon pudding mix
1/3 cold water
1/3 Greek yogurt (non fat)
 2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup ice
 I got out the ninja, but you can use a blender. This entire process took about 3 minutes, start to finish. Definitely doing this for refreshments when we have guests!
Add the milk and pudding mix together, and let sit for one minute. Then add all the other ingredients.
 I wasn't really sure how this would taste, since I'm not big on sugar free products. They always have an odd flavor to me. But this was delicious! Light, cool, lemony, and very filling.
 Of course, always better with some whipped topping and a few blueberries. The kids split one and I gave the other to hubby. He said it was "savroso". I told him to hold on, I was still testing recipes. He was in the garden, so he just handed me back the jar and went back to work.

Nutritional information: 100 calories, carbs 14, fat 1.5, protein 10g, sodium 350mg

 The next recipe is apparently copied from a famous Starbucks recipe. We have one but I don't often go there, so I haven't tried the original. What I know is that this one IS DELICIOUS.

1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup nonfat half-and-half
2/3 cup frozen strawberries (about 6)
3 TBS sugar (or substitute)
1/2 cup crushed ice
 Place all ingredients together and blend.
 I was really surprised at how "strawberry" this was. I thought since they were frozen, it would turn out like a lot of strawberry ice chunks, but I think the half-and-half brings out the creamy flavor.
 For me, this was closest to a real treat. Rich and flavorful, like a milkshake but not as heavy. Again, kids shared some and I took the rest to hubby. He said, "delicioso". I told him to just wait... there was more.

Nutritional info: 150 calories, 25 carbs, fat 1.5 g, protein 7g, fiber 2g sodium 65mg
In comparison, the real Starbucks version has 380 calories, 15 g of fat, and 57 carbs!
 The next recipe was Mocha Fudge Mudslide Milkshake. This took a few ingredients I didn't have but I think I can use the sliced almonds in another batch of granola, so I figured it wouldn't be too expensive to try. If it didn't work out, I'd just stick to regular milkshakes!

2 tsp sugar free hot fudge topping
2/3 cup low fat milk
1 tbs vanilla sugar free instant pudding mix
2 tsp instant coffee
2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup no sugar addeded or light ice cream
2/3 cup ice
 First, wipe the hot fudge up the inside of the glasses. Put them in the fridge to chill.
Combine the milk and the pudding mix, blend, and then let it sit for 1 minute.
Add all other ingredients and then blend until thick and creamy. Carefully pour into the glasses and top with whipped topping and almonds if desired.
 These definitely were tasty-looking. But would they pass the Munoz taste-test??
Apparently, the answer is YES. They were devoured, and I had to make more. My kids decided that this was the best dinner they'd ever had and they wanted it to be 109F every single DAY. (Forgive them, they know not what they wish for.)

Nutritonal info: calories 205, carbs 35, fat 4.5, protein 8, fiber 4, sodium 480mg

My personal favorite was the lemon chiller. The cookbook author also gives several different flavor ideas made from the same "starter" of instant pudding mix, low fat milk and yogurt. I have some strawberry pudding so I might try that and see if it's as refreshing. For a 100 calories, it sure beats a popsicle on a hot day.

Now, before I go, I thought I'd share a few pics of my kids. Every year on their birthday (which most were born in the summer- no cracks about keeping warm, I've heard them all, haha) we open their baby boxes.

 My soon-to-be 13 year old's Sunday dress might not fit her anymore.
Just for giggles, here's her birth announcement in the paper. Yikes.
 The four year old's foot is still chubby, but these shoes aren't going to fit at all.
 My 11 year old's first tshirt is wayyyy too tiny.
My nine year old says, "Ugh, do I have to?"
But I think my fourteen year old wins. She was a preemie who had colic and screamed for the first three months of her life. She weighed 5 lbs 11 oz and was 18 inches long, now she's taller than I am.
And here are her size 11 feet and her baby booties. That's my baby! Time does fly... and I'm so very grateful for the health and well-being of all my children. 
Now, if they'd just clean their rooms...

EDIT June 2016: Awwwww, my babies are so little! It's amazing how much they grew in just a few years. What a fun stroll into the not-so-distant past.
My book A Star To Steer By is also free from the 24th through the 29th. It's one of my favorite books!

Here's the blurb:
Roxie Sunshine Hardy is perfectly happy living in Philadelphia, far away from her hometown. Growing up as a chubby nerd obsessed with classic literature, Roxie finally feels like she’s found her place in the world. She’s kept her full name a secret and has never, ever, ever told a single soul how she spent her high school years. People might think growing up in a family bakery is delightful, but Roxie knows the reality. Spending countless sweaty afternoons inside Sunshine Bakery’s big, pink foam cupcake costume is the stuff of her nightmares. 
Those terrible days are behind her now, but when her family needs her, Roxie decides to return to Natchitoches. She assures herself that it’s only for a few weeks, and there isn’t a snowball’s chance in Dante’s Inferno that she’ll have to get into that cupcake suit. 

Moving from New York City to Natchitoches shouldn’t be a problem for Andy McBride. The slower pace, Creole culture, and friendly locals make up for the lack of any good Thai take-out. But Andy hasn’t counted on how much he’d miss his brother, Mark. He can’t uproot Mark from his group home for the mentally disabled back in New York, so Andy tries to go on as usual. To everyone else, including his fascinating neighbor from Philly, he’s living the carefree life of a wealthy bachelor, but Andy is haunted by the knowledge that Mark might not be around for much longer. 
When an unlikely friendship blossoms with Sunshine Bakery’s anonymous dancing cupcake, Andy decides to stop pretending to be someone he’s not. He learns seizing the day isn’t just for poets, and life is too short to be without the people you love. A story of family, loyalty, and a true love that can’t be disguised, A Star to Steer By will warm your heart. 

Be sure to drop by my author page at Mary Jane Hathaway, or my other author page at Virginia Carmichael, or my blog at The Things That Last! All my newest book news and musings is there, including anything else that strikes my fancy!


  1. Those do look very, very tasty. I am getting this book from the library.

    BUT THE FAKE DEAD CAT PICTURE MUST GO! My heart cannot take it. I saw it on FB and nearly cried.

    1. Oh, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize that picture was distressing.

  2. I think my favorite of the bunch would be the strawberry one. I've never tried it at Starbucks either (though we are surrounded by them), but I'm sure theirs has more artificial stuff in it than yours does.

    Love the tradition with the children. I wish I'd thought of that when they were young. A little late now (27 and 29)!

    1. I've been to Starbucks maybe three times in my life. :D I think all three were in airports. I just don't like their coffee. But I saw this and thought it looked YUMMY.

  3. Perfect recipes for this time of year - we're only in the 90s now in Texas, but the 100s are just around the corner. I agree with Cate, the strawberry one would probably be my favorite, too. Love the pictures of your children. My two are grown and gone now, but they've gifted me with grandkids so I get to celebrate those little moments (and teeny tiny shoes :-) all over again.

  4. I am dying laughing! I took a picture of Jasper (star of "The Hunt for Jasper the Kitty") in the driveway last fall... and folks on facebook started making dead cat jokes! I just thought he looked so funny, laying spread out on the stones.... basking in the little sun we got!

    I remember trying the strawberry one, but I need to print these off and give the mocha one and lemon equal time. And I have my computer back, so I'm not MIA any more.

    Happy Ruthy!!!

    1. Hooray!! I would faint if my laptop died. :O

    2. Thank heavens for The Cloud.... and a back-up laptop that isn't the same as mine.... but it got me through.

      Yes, fainting was a consideration until I saw that the back-ups and cloud really worked perfectly!

      But days lost. :( You know me, I don't do days lost with a humble spirit.