Pumpkin Pie Latte

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I was ready for a nice coffee break last weekend ago and decided to treat myself to a Pumpkin Pie Latte. No, I didn’t go to a coffee shop for my latte–I made it right at home, and it was really good! I substituted honey for sugar and made it slightly differently from the original recipe. If you’ve always wanted to try making your own coffee-shop style coffee drink, you’ll need to try this, especially if you are fond of pumpkin-flavored things!

HahnsCrumbCkAnd if you really want a sweet break, you can have your latte with a yummy piece of coffee cake! I had the opportunity to try some samples of Hahn’s Old Fashioned Crumb Cakes, also known as “a taste of Old New York,” and they were so delicious! Hahn’s is a family-owned and operated business (for over 30 years) and they bake all their cakes fresh every day, delivering within 1 to 2 business days. Their crumb cakes are made with extra-large handmade crumbs that are so yummy and popular you can even purchase a “Bucket of Crumbs” to snack on! If you love coffee cakes, you’ll definitely want to try one of their crumb cakes. I sampled three of them from their variety pack: their Old Fashioned Crumb Cake, Chocolate Crumb Cake, and Raspberry Crumb Cake. They were all wonderfully dense and moist with Hahn’s signature rich, buttery crumbs on top. Since I’m partial to chocolate, I think the Chocolate Crumb Cake was my favorite, but honestly, they are all really good. These cakes would also make great gifts for the holidays–you can order the cakes and have them delivered to friends and family for a special treat!

Now back to the latte–it has a great lightly sweet-and-spicy, creamy pumpkin flavor–not overly sweet or spicy, but just right. I made mine with skim milk, but if you want yours a little richer you can use whole milk. This recipe makes one serving–to make more, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you want to make!

PUMPKIN PIE LATTE by NancyC, adapted from Taste of Home

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or substitute ground cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cup hot brewed Easy Espresso (see recipe below; you can use 1/3 cup if you want a stronger coffee flavor)
  • Whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice (or ground cinnamon)  for garnish

EASY ESPRESSO (makes enough espresso for 2 lattes)

  • 1/4 cup ground coffee
  • 3/4 cup cold water

Place ground coffee in the filter of a drip coffeemaker. Add water; brew according to manufacturer’s instructions.

In a small saucepan, combine milk and pumpkin. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until steaming (about 3 minutes; do not let the mixture boil). Stir in the honey, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice, continuing to heat for another minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender; cover tightly and blend for 15 seconds or until foamy (If you’re making multiple servings, I recommend just filling the blender no more than half full so the hot pumpkin mixture won’t overflow while blending; so you may need to blend several different batches).

Pour espresso into a mug and add the foamy pumpkin/milk mixture. Garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice.

I’m no expert at making fancy coffee drinks, so I was so pleased that this latte turned out well! Do you have a favorite special coffee drink you like making?

Linked to Thursday Favorite Things at Katherine’s Corner,  Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen’s Country Cottage, and Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

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Cocoa Banana Smoothie

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I think this just may be the hottest week of summer. And that calls for a smoothie–even better, a chocolate smoothie! There’s a soy and non-soy version for this recipe, so you can take your pick. The smoothie I made … Continue reading

Blueberry-Honeydew Smoothie

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It’s really been warm lately, so I’ve been making lots of smoothies–they just taste so good on a hot day! One fruit that I really love but haven’t used that much in smoothies is honeydew melon. They’ve always been a little challenging … Continue reading

Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie

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I saw this smoothie at Food.com not long ago and was kind of intrigued by the blueberry/green tea combination, wondering just what that would taste like. I had plenty of green tea on hand, some blueberries in my freezer, and … Continue reading

Very Lemony Raspberry Lemonade

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When I posted my Lemon Raspberry Muffins recipe recently, I promised you I’d share the recipe for the Raspberry Lemonade I made to go with them…well, here it is! It’s very, very lemony! And the frozen raspberries that are mixed in with it give … Continue reading

Strawberry Orange Mint Cooler

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This is an easy, fruity drink to make–perfect for enjoying on a sunny spring day! This cooler has strawberries that you mash, or muddle, to release the juices, and then you add in the orange juice for a really great fruity combination! If you need to make a larger amount of servings, just multiply the ingredients by the number of servings you need–you could even mix up a large batch in a pitcher!

When I was mashing up my strawberries, I found it was easier to do that in a medium-size bowl, and I used a spoon to mash them. But you could also mash them right in the glass if that works best for you.

STRAWBERRY–ORANGE MINT COOLER by NancyCreative, adapted from Martha Stewart

Makes 2 servings

  • Half a pint (8 ounces) of strawberries, hulled
  • 4 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 cups orange juice (or tangerine or mandarin juice)
  • mint springs for garnish, optional

Divide strawberries between 2 (10 or 12-ounce) glasses. Add 2 mint leaves to each glass. Muddle (or mash) strawberries until they are crushed and juicy (you can use a spoon or muddler to do this). Add 4 or 5 ice cubes to each glass, then fill each glass with 1 cup of orange juice. Garnish with mint sprigs, if desired.

If you want a slightly fizzy drink, use 1 cup juice mixed with 1 cup sparkling water. It will be less sweet, but the fizziness is nice!

This would be a great beverage to serve at a spring breakfast or brunch. Maybe even on Easter! What types of fruity beverages do you like to make?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Shamrock Smoothie

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If you want a cool, creamy treat, this smoothie is just the thing to make! It gets it’s creaminess from the tasty blend of frozen kiwifruit, banana, and key lime yogurt (you can substitute vanilla yogurt, but I really like this with the lime). There are a few other ingredients you’ll see in the recipe below and they all blend up into this wonderful smoothie that not only tastes great, but is also a delightful springy shade of green. How can you resist that?

SHAMROCK SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Midwest Living

Makes about 16 ounces, or 2 servings

  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and quartered
  • 1 banana, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup seedless green grapes
  • 1 (6-ounce) container key lime or vanilla flavored yogurt
  • 1/3 cup orange juice or white grape juice, well-chilled
  • 1/2 Tablespoon honey
  • Optional: additional kiwi fruit slices for garnish

Several hours or the night before making: Place the 2 peeled and quartered kiwifruit and sliced banana in a small freezer bag and freeze for 2 hours or until frozen (arrange fruit flat in a single layer in the bag so it doesn’t freeze into a big clump; otherwise it will be too hard to break up for blending).

When ready to make, add grapes, yogurt, juice, honey, and half of the frozen fruit (break up fruit if any pieces have stuck together while freezing). Cover and blend until smooth. Add remaining frozen fruit and blend until smooth.

Pour into glasses and, if desired, garnish with fresh kiwi fruit slices.

Hope you get a chance to enjoy this smoothie! What kinds of fun green treats are you making (or eating) for St. Patrick’s Day?

Pear Lime Kiwifruit Water

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I thought I’d try a flavored water with a green theme, since St. Patrick’s Day is coming up! But of course, this water is great any time of the year. You mostly taste the lime in this, but the kiwifruit and pear slices make the pitcher of water look so nice! :) I think this water tastes best the same day you make it, but you’ll want to refrigerate it a few hours before serving so the water has more flavor. Use organic produce if you can when making this.

PEAR, LIME, KIWIFRUIT WATER by NancyCreative

Makes a large pitcher (half gallon) of flavored water

  • 8 cups of water (I used 2 cups of sparkling water mixed in with 6 cups of regular water to give it a slight fizziness–see note below*)
  • 1 large organic pear, cut into thin slices
  • 2 limes, cut into thin slices
  • 2 kiwifruit, cut into thin slices

Fill pitcher with 8 cups of water. Add slices of pear, lime, and kiwifruit, and stir all ingredients together in the pitcher. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving (the slices of kiwifruit tend to settle at the bottom, so you will need to stir before serving to mix all the fruit evenly). When ready to serve, add ice cubes to pitcher and stir or add ice to individual glasses and pour the flavored water over the ice.

*For a fizzy water drink, use Seltzer water or natural sparkling water (like Perrier) instead of regular water, or use some of each (do not use Club Soda or Tonic Water, as one is high in sodium and the other is sweetened with high fructose corn syrup).

Have you tried making any uniquely-flavored water lately?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy.

Tropical Spinach Smoothie

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In my last post, I shared a recipe I had made with OrganicGirl Super Greens, the Super Greens Fiesta Salad, and now I’ll be sharing a another recipe I made with OrganicGirlWinnersOrganicGirl Baby Spinach, the Tropical Spinach Smoothie. But first, I’ll tell you who the 5 Giveaway winners are from the OrganicGirl Greens giveaway on that salad post!

Congratulations to Jhuls (comment #7), Keshakeke (comment #10), Deal Housewife (comment #20), Table of Colors (comment #24), and Rachel (comment #33)! I’ll be emailing each of you to let you know in case you don’t happen to see this and will give your email to OrganicGirl so they can contact you about delivering your greens!

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in the giveaway! I wish you all could have won some greens, but as a consolation prize, here’s a recipe for a spinach smoothie that I think you’ll really like! This is a wonderful smoothie–it’s thick but not too thick. It’s sweet but not too sweet. It tastes great and it’s very, very healthy. And it’s an easy, tasty way to add more spinach to your diet.

TROPICAL SPINACH SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from OrganicGirl

Makes 12 ounces, enough for 1 large or 2 small servings

  • 1 1/2 cups (well packed) OrganicGirl Baby Spinach (or substitute Baby Kale or Super Greens mix)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 of a small to medium size banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Put all ingredients in a high-power blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass (or glasses) and serve.

Have you made smoothies with spinach before? What other kinds of recipes do you like to use spinach in?