[UPDATE: Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to ZDubb, winner of the Aerolatte frother!)
maple ginger tea lattes and buckwheat ginger cookies | foodloveswriting.com

“A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short.” Andre Maurois

You may assume a couple that works from home together shares a great deal of time—and, in fact, they do. In our daily routine, Tim and I prepare joint breakfasts, raise questions to one another from across the room, share work snacks of chopped apples, almond butter on celery, warmed-up leftovers from the night before. Most afternoons, when one of us receives a question about schedules or planning, there’s little of that lag time between initial query and checking with the spouse because answers come quick when the spouse is but an arm’s length away. And I’ll tell you, quite candidly, that once you’ve tasted this kind of immediacy, it’s a hard thing to let go of, so we’re prone to say how much we hope we never will.

Still, though, time is not time. And what usually seems less obvious about the married home office is that as you sit side by side, working at your individual laptops, focusing on your individual projects, it’s painfully easy to dwell physically together and mentally apart. More evenings than I can remember in recent months, I’ve looked at Tim well past the sunset and, only then, paused long enough to realize it was the first time I’d done so all day. We are typical people, you might say. We are task-driven and laser-focused; but who is not? Maybe. But while it’s true we daily savor the luxuries of a shared workspace and an eliminated commute, while it’s honest that the world is hurried and so sometimes must we be, it’s also true that quick questions and passed plates are not enough to sustain deep connection for a lifetime.

And so, we tell ourselves to stop.

We take walks in the park with our camera and laugh about the February chill. We drive to Goodwill for a project and find ourselves sewing it together late on a Friday night. We read aloud in bed. We grab hands in the hall. We sip homemade lattes at a cleared table on a Saturday afternoon.

We ask each other, “What have you been thinking today?” “How do you feel about that?” “Do you know I love you? I do.”

We don’t do this because we’re sappy or silly or romantics—we do it because we’re not. We do it to purposefully seek connection, even when what motivates us is realizing how we’ve forgotten to seek it again. We do it because in those moments of facing each other, seeing eye to eye, asking questions and listening to answers, endeavoring to both know and be known, we remind ourselves of the gift right before us, the one we find too easy not to stop and see.


table talking lattes | foodloveswriting.com



About Homemade Lattes
The admission of homemade lattes into our daily routine is as new of a development as a new purchase I found on Amazon, inspired by Meg Gordon’s post at The Kitchn: Aerolatte Milk Frothermilk frother.

tea + aerolatte | foodloveswriting.com

Since that little milk frother arrived, I’ve made tea lattes and frothy hot chocolates at least a dozen times, and the recipe in this post is just proof that this is a beverage we have got down. I’m loving the way the milk frother is so easy to use, easy to clean and simple—in fact, I’m loving it so much, I’m going to give one away here. You can enter the giveaway through the Rafflecopter tool below, just after which you will find the latte and cookie recipes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

maple ginger tea latte | foodloveswriting.com

Maple Ginger Tea Lattes
Makes two eight-ounce lattes

This is the tea latte we’ve been loving lately, easy to interchange with different types of tea and with honey or another sweetener instead of maple syrup. We last drank it alongside these buckwheat ginger cookies, sitting across from one another at our dining room table.

Ingredients:
16 ounces water
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
2 tablespoons loose-leaf ginger tea (or whatever tea you like)
1/4 cup raw goat’s milk (or whatever milk you prefer)

Directions:
Bring 16 ounces of water to a boil with 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. Combine maple water with the 2 tablespoons of ginger tea (we like doing this in a French press) and let it steep for five minutes.

While tea is steeping, warm 1/4 cup of milk over the stove with one tablespoon of maple syrup. When it’s warm (not hot) to the touch, divide it among two cups. Use milk frother to froth it up to your liking and set aside.

Press out the tea (or remove tea bags) and pour it into the two froth-filled cups, dividing it evenly among the two. Enjoy!

*Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way sponsored by Aerolatte or any other brand; all opinions expressed in this post are our own.

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 122 Comments

  1. Joanna

    I think my favorite post from you, ever. There’s so much in my heart about how this is exactly what I’ve been thinking and not knowing how to express, how this is what we crave for our relationship too, how we talk all the time about how intentionality is one of your and Tim’s greatest qualities. Thank you for writing this.

  2. amanda

    wow, those cookies look lovely, and tea sounds perfect! can’t wait to try them both (using my dinky Ikea frother–an upgrade would be lovely for sure!).

  3. Kira

    Shanna,
    I deeply appreciate when you share the truth of what marriage means to you. My fiance and I will be getting married in July, and we are excited to have an intentional, Christ centered marriage. However, we face a fair amount of discouragement from others! I love that you aren’t sugar-coating your story, but you also share the joy that you find in all things. This post has really encouraged me today.

    Thank you!

  4. Christa S.

    Thank you for both the post and the giveaway. I completely agree – relationships must be intentional, especially considering the frenetic pace most of us keep each day (that’s a whole other topic).
    Anyway, I used to have a frother attachment for an immersion blender, but the blender broke (it was cheap so I didn’t replace it), so it would be great to have a frother again!
    Also, where do you get your loose-leaf ginger tea? I enjoy the Traditional Medicinals ginger tea, but loose leaf sounds even better…

  5. Abby

    I already have this exact frother, so I’m not entering, but I’m excited to use it on this recipe! So far I’ve just used it to make cafe au lait on the weekends…which feels very indulgent.

  6. Little Kitchie

    This was the sweetest post, and one of my favorites from you! Totally agree that it takes being intentional to really have time together, even if you have a lot of time together.

    Can’t wait to try that cookie recipe!

  7. Linda

    This post struck a chord with me as my husband and I have recently retired. We, too, love our daily together time and your words inspire me to to make these moments count.

  8. Monika

    Would be so exciting to be able to make yummy things from coffee shops but me-friendly, with lactaid milk, for example!

    Thinking specifically of Earl Grey tea with milk and honey, my all-time favorite warm beverage combination.

  9. Melissa

    This sounds warming and delicious – on a Saturday morning or a long weekday afternoon. Much reminiscent of the chai tea lattes of my youth, spent trying to look mysterious in coffee shop corners… Thanks for the recipe – and the kitchen toy tip!

  10. sarah kate branine

    Well, you already know this, but I would love to win this little gadget : )

    “We don’t do this because we’re sappy or silly or romantics—we do it because we’re not. We do it to purposefully seek connection, even when what motivates us is realizing how we’ve forgotten to seek it again. We do it because in those moments of facing each other, seeing eye to eye, asking questions and listening to answers, endeavoring to both know and be known, we remind ourselves of the gift right before us, the one we find too easy not to stop and see.” –Steve and I have talked a lot about this. He is naturally a huggy type and I am not. It’s something that I really have to work on because it is important to my husband and, actually, in the end then, it’s important for us both. Thank you for this reminder this morning!

    ps. I owe you an email : )

    1. Shanna Mallon

      It’s fascinating to me that, even when you love someone so much, it takes thought to show it. You know? It’s one of the biggest things I’ve learned in marriage, although it probably applies to all relationships. The world says ‘love’ is easy and will always feel easy, and, in some ways it is/does, but in a lot of ways, it takes learning and growing and thought that aren’t easy/natural. So humbling!

  11. Kelley

    Oh … my stovetop-warmed milk isn’t nearly as nice as warm and frothy would be! :)

    But I actually was going to write before I read down to the giveaway: You’re on to something! It’s so easy — nice, even — to be comfy together. To not have to talk. To be connected by life. But it can be dangerous to be too comfy and quiet. It isn’t enough to just live together. You have to purposely be in each other’s lives. That sounds crazy before you are married and in the same house, but … you see now!

    And: How in the world did you take those pictures? I’m trying to figure out a) what the camera was sitting on when you set the timer or b) whether there must have been a third person in the room! :)

  12. Kat

    I have always loved your story and your posts about marriage, but these days, with the daintiest ring on my left hand, they feel even more meaningful. Thank you for your beautiful and encouraging example. You make marriage look as fun and transformative as it should be, and the world needs to hear more of that.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Kat, I love watching you two on Instagram and felt so excited when I saw that ring. Looking forward to watching along as you join your lives and hop on this beautiful, sanctifying ride of marriage. It’s such a gift, truly.

  13. Sarah

    This is so beautifully put. I especially needed to hear, “…we remind ourselves of the gift right before us, the one we find too easy not to stop and see.” Thanks for the reminder! And the frother looks super cool!

  14. Anna Banana

    How timely! I’ve recently started drinking more tea, and I bought an electric kettle so that I have hot water at my disposal whenever I want some tea and don’t want to leave my desk! I would *love* to try making tea lattes with this awesome frother (even though it would mean heading to the refrigerator to get milk)! :-)

  15. Aranda

    I love the intentionality represented in this post! We all need that reminder to set aside time to be focused on our relationships.

    And I’m alllllll about ginger these days. I want to put it in everything. Thanks for the great post!

  16. Christina

    I am so behind in my blog reading, but as I hurriedly scrolled through Google Reader, I immediately read this post. And, I’m so glad I did. What a great reminder to ‘purposefully seek connection’ with the things that are so often right within reach.

  17. Teresa

    I think it’s in the little rituals that we truly appreciate our partners. Every Valentines I remember why I prefer the moments when we’re waiting for our roast vegetables to roast just to tenderness (we’re both at loose ends usually and so simply talk to each other) to the overwrought dinners out for special occasions.

  18. Kim

    I loved this post. This is something we’ve been talking about lately – having curiosity about each other and our thoughts and feelings, and being bold and thoughtful enough to actually ask about them.

    As always, you say it so succinctly.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      “Curiosity about each other” — YES YES YES

      It saddens me how often people aren’t curious about each other especially because, when you think about it, aren’t the kindest people you’ve known the ones who took time to think about you? And even sadder, it seems the easiest people to stop being curious about are the ones you see most often.

      1. Kim

        UGH. I know. I realized recently that I am majorly guilty of not being curious about my partner’s thoughts — it’s so easy to settle into your routines and *think* you know everything about a person. When you take the time to really consider and just ask simple questions, you realize how little of that you often do. I am currently working on not taking him – or our closeness – for granted. It makes perfect, obvious sense, and yet it’s so easy to ignore.

        Food for thought.

  19. rachel

    Where did your goat milk choice come into play? i love almond or almond coconut for myself. My boys drink cow. As a child I drank goat’s milk due to allergies. a tea latte sounds yum. now to find someone to share one with. beautiful pics Shanna!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Hi Rachel! I’ve been drinking raw milk since I met Tim, but we switched to raw goat’s milk (instead of cow’s) last year sometime because we have a great local supplier and because goat’s milk is even easier to digest. A lot of people who can’t handle cow’s milk because of lactose sensitivities, for example, find goat’s milk better. ANYWAY — if we couldn’t get raw milk for some reason, we’d probably do the purest forms of coconut milk or almond milk, too. Happy Valentine’s Day, my sweet friend. Hope you and all your boys enjoy it! : )

  20. Jessie V

    we, too, work at home and while we spend 90% of our time together, we still don’t “connect” as often – i love how you captured this. it’s important, to look, and BE. now, for this awesome recipe. THANK YOU!

  21. mattie

    What is it about frothed milk that is just transformational? Ordinary beverage no more! Thanks again for tender insight and the always precious reminder to savor the incredible gift of my beloved husband. Ten years of marriage this summer and 13+ valentines days… and God still amazes me daily with the sheer magnitude of the gift of of our marriage and the sacred responsibility it is as we seek to pour out the great love we have been given.

  22. Joanne K

    As always, a wonderfully worded post that, this time, leaves me feeling blessed to have love in my life and inspired to find new ways to celebrate and nurture that love every day. Cheers to many more latte-filled moments!

  23. Kendra

    This is such lovely writing. And I almost texted you just now to tell you that I love the new header, but then I realized it was 8pm on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps I’ll comment instead.

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  25. Marie

    This recipe looks great..and I love your thoughts on marriage. It’s in the mundane of every day life that we need God’s grace the most. And with Him we can appreciate the sanctity of small acts of love for the ones we are with. Thanks for posting!

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  28. Becky

    Hello Shanna, My husband and I have recently become best friends after 30 years of marriage, we stopped to smell the coffee, together. What a great suggestion to stop and connect. Thanks
    Becky

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