Coffee Break

Coffee and Cookies

We hate living on a budget, but we also hate to waste money on something that we can do or make for ourselves for less, with the smallest impact on the planet, and more often than not – just plain better. This year we’ve curbed our coffee spending significantly. Instead of going for a walk and stopping for a cup of coffee and a cookie at Starbucks, we make them at home. We always have a batch of cookie dough balls in the freezer for when we need that sugar rush. And the coffee we drink we purchase in bulk from Costco for less than what we would spend on two “grande” coffees and a doughnut. We now drink organically grown, fair-trade coffee from San Francisco Bay Roasters. The roasting company is only a few blocks away from the Costco in SOMA. So not only is it cheaper but we’re also reducing our carbon footprint. We know the coffee beans are grown in other parts of the world and then shipped on cargo ships to San Francisco, but then they are delivered to the coffee roasters in SOMA, a very short distance from Costco. We’re sure that if coffee grew in the Bay Area, we’d only drink the local stuff.


The cookies we typically keep in our freezer are made from one of our favorite recipes thanks again to America’s Test Kitchen. Their brown sugar cookies are moist and chewy and are great to eat right out of the oven, or even after they‘ve sat around all day. They should be eaten the day they’re baked for best result. Keeping cookie dough in the freezer for those “need something sweet” times is a great way to know exactly what we’re eating even if it’s just a cookie. We all know that cookies are loaded with butter, sugar and flour, but where are the big guys  sourcing those ingredients? If you eat a cookie out of the box you have no idea what’s in it, or for that matter, who made it. When Nestle is having a recall on frozen cookie dough because of E. coli, it’s nice to know we’re the ones who made the dough we bake, and we’ve never been sick due to our own cooking.

Buying local foods, especially dairy and flour, really helps keep the environment you live in cleaner and safer. That’s why we only purchase Strauss Family Creamery butters and yogurts, and milk when it’s possible. The dairy farms are less than an hour’s drive from San Francisco. For our anniversary last year we drove to Point Reyes and saw the farms and cows where are dairy products come from. There was an odd moment when we drove past one of the the farms and caught sight of a coyote only a few yards from the cattle. The coyote, cattle and farmer were all at peace. They all were aware of one another but none of them seemed disturbed. It was an amazing sight to see, but that is for another writing.

So, we get our coffee as locally and cheaply as we can, our cookies are yummy and the ingredients we use for them are organic and local. We don’t use paper cups and plastic lids to hold our coffee. Instead, we use ceramic mugs or our travel mugs, and there are no boxes or bags for the cookies, just a paper towel for a cookie plate and that goes right into the compost bin once it has outlived its use..

Now, the next time you take a break from your day to have a cup of coffee and a cookie, don’t think about the calories you’re consuming. Instead, think about the calories it took to get the coffee and cookie to you. Just think of it this way, if you reduce the number of calories from the production and transportation of the coffee and cookie by making them yourself, your butt will be that much smaller from the effort and you won’t need to drive your car to the gym to get on that treadmill. You can just sit back and relax and not worry about the calories while you think about the significance of the coyote, the cows, and the farmer, ‘cause if they can live in harmony on a little piece of land north of San Francisco we can all get along on this planet of ours.

Food for thought.

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