{Homemade} Pumpkin Spiced Latte

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Back in early September when Starbucks released their crowd pleasing seasonal favorite hot beverage of the pumpkin spiced latte, all females went crazy. Facebook and other social media sites were blowing up with pictures and statuses of how this beverage was finally back!Β  There’s many memes floating around on the internet of the yoga pants and uggs wearing white girls who the pumpkin spiced latte supposedly markets too; It’s funny because it’s true.

I had never before had this drink and very rarely go to Starbucks because I believe they are extremely over priced and all their drinks are made from highly processed syrups and God knows what else. I would rather spend my dollar else where at a local coffee shop who practices sustainability and puts forth effort into making a refined cup of coffee or cold beverage. It was a brisk early fall afternoon and my best girlfriend and I were getting ready to go for a walk around a local park. I wanted to grab a cup of something hot to keep me awake and moving for the walk. I decided I wanted to try this latte and see what all the hype was about. Result: disgusting. I didn’t like this drink one bit. I thought it was a waste of $7.00 and I was so disappointed that I couldn’t even finish the drink. Which brings me to this question: What is wrong with you women who obsess over this drink? Its awful!

About 2 years ago I shared a recipe for a refined sugar free and real food alternative to the store brought pumpkin flavored creamer in my post of Pumpkin spiced creamer to add into your coffee for extra flavor. I basically took the recipe for that creamer and reheated it back on the stove and added it to my morning cup of coffee.

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Mise en Place:

Pumpkin Spiced Creamer (This can be made in advance)

-Fresh pot of freshly brewed coffee

-Ground Cinnamon

 

Additional Tools:

-Immersion stick blender (or vitamix/other powerful blender will work as well)

-Sauce pot

-Large Spoon (basting spoons work the best)

 

Method of Prep:

-Brew your coffee as you normally would (In my fresh coffee grounds, I added 1 Teaspoon of ground Allspice pre brewing for additional flavor just for this beverage!)

-In a small sauce pot, heat up about 1 Cups worth of the creamer over medium heat until cream begins to boil.

-Once boiling remove from heat.

-Using an immersion stick or blender of choice, quickly blend the hot milk until it begins to foam. Blend approximately 1 minute or until very frothy.

-Pour yourself a cup of coffee. Using a large spoon, push back the foam/froth and try to get only the hot liquid poured into your cup. Fill to just under the rim.

-Now take your spoon and carefully spoon the foam on top, about 2 spoonfuls.

-Garnish with ground cinnamon.

Enjoy!

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**Store your made ahead creamer in a tightly sealed mason jar for a few week in the fridge.

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Bloody Mule

blood orange cocktail

The weather in NE Ohio is still ridiculously cold, in fact I made a joke about it on facebook earlier today saying “such a nice winter were having this spring!” (If you live in the northern part of the country you’re probably feeling my pain.)

I’ve been very distant from my blog for the last month with my leading excuse of working a lot. Laziness and being broke does play a factor in this as well. With the weather still being cold and leading to lack all motivation, I decided I needed a little pick me up to forget about this nasty cold winter that can’t seem to depart and allow spring to move forward.

This cocktail is just in time for the end of winter citrus. I haven’t had much opportunity to work with or take in too many blood oranges. I had a few moro oranges left over from the farmers market weeks ago and thought it would be interesting to try them in a cocktail. This drink is very close in similarity to a Moscow mule (M&M). Very easy to make and pleasant to sip on. After drinking this, I’m ready for warmer weather and sunshine to be here. Keep pushing spring!!

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*The Moro is the most colorful of the Blood Oranges, with a deep red flesh and a rind that has a deep red blush.

Mise en Place:

-Juice from 1 Blood Orange

-3 Ounces Berry Vodka

-2 Ounces Ginger Beer

-Ice

-Cocktail Shaker

 

Method of Prep:

-Fill a cocktail shaker with 4 Ice cubes. Add in blood orange juice, berry vodka and ginger beer.

-Shake and pour into a small rocks glass filled with ice (optional). Splash with ginger beer if you want to fill the glass to the top.

-Enjoy!

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Tang

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Not to confuse this drink with the powdered orange drank that is popular with breakfast. I’m calling this juice I whipped up the other morning for my breakfast tang because of the tart spiciness that is derived from the flavor of the drink once it’s consumed. I don’t always add ginger into drinks but when I do it’s because I know the spicy flavor will balance very well with the rest of the ingredients in the drink. The combination of 2 citrus in the drink (orange and lemon) adds an awesome tart feeling in the mouth that is then softened by the sweet natural sugars in the apple.

The flavors in the juice really pop in your mouth, it feels invigorating. This version of tang is a very enjoyable juice to drink. I had a few people on my faceboook page requesting the recipe for this drink so here it is.

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Tang: Serves: 1

Mise en Place:

-1/2 Orange

-1/4 Lemon

-2 Small Chunks Ginger (About 2″ in size), Peeled

-1 Apple

-3 Handfuls Spinach

-1 Carrot

Method of Prep:

-If your using a juicer, Place all the ingredients, one at a time, in the juicer and allow all the juice to flow into a container.

-Pour juice into a shaker filled with ice and shake up to mix.

-Pour into drinking glass of choice, fill with ice.

Enjoy!

-**If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a vitamix or other high speed blender. Slowly add in each ingredient until Blended. I recommend first removing the seeds from the apple and lemon/orange and also cutting the apple into 1/4ths. If mixture is too thick upon blending, add in a little water to loosen it up. Blend for 1 minute.

-Once everything is blended, stain through a fine mesh stainer to remove the pulp.

-Stir juice with a spoon and pour into drinking glass over ice.

Old Fashioned Sunrise

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Infusing liquor has been a hobby of mine for over a year now. Last time I infused was spring of 2013 when I was in Florida. I did a cucumber vodka which made some excellent martinis, then played around with seasonal fruits such as peaches and watermelon and strawberries.

This time, I did five different infusions, four vodka based and one bourbon (Mint vodka, sriracha and cucumber vodka, lemon/thyme/rosemary vodka, vanilla vodka (extract), and lastly a maple syrup, orange and cherry bourbon.) Each of these liquors will have their own separate recipes and for each drink I create or repeat, I will include a recipe for you. I’ve been working on developing my own bar inside my house including all the proper tools, glassware, garnishes, and equipment needed to perfect my cocktails. If you enjoy a good cocktail now and then you’ve come to the right place.

While I work on future recipes, I’d like to start you off with this one featuring San Pelligrino Limonata and my old fashioned style infused bourbon. Cheers!

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Mise en place:

-3 Parts Old Fashioned style infused bourbon, See recipe below.

-2 Part Orange Juice

-1 Part San Pellegrino Limonata

-Splash Grenadine

-Orange slice or twist for garnish, optional

-Cocktail Shaker

-Ice

-Fancy glass

Method of Prep:

-In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients except the grenadine, shake.

-Strain into desired drinking glass filled with either crushed ice or One large ice cube. Pour a little bit of grenadine over the top. Garnish with orange. Stir it up if you’d like and drink.

Enjoy!

**This also makes a great non-alcholic drink for the kids to enjoy. Mix everything together without the bourbon for a sweet and fizzy orange juice…it’s like a Shirley Temple with O.J! πŸ™‚

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Old Fashioned Bourbon:

Mise en Place:

-Red Stag (cherry) Bourbon from Jim Beam, As much as you want to infuse. (for this recipe I just filled the bottle I was infusing in.)

-1/4 Orange, inside removed, keeping only the peel. Remove as much white off the peel as you can. Cut the peel in half again.

-2 Ounces Maple Syrup

-Bottle of choice to infuse in.

Method of Prep:

-Place all ingredients inside of bottle being used for the infusion. Seal tightly and allow to sit in a cool and dark place for 3 days up to 1 week.

-After a week, remove the orange peel from the inside. Keep sealed until ready to use.

Enjoy!

Pairing recommendations:

-This is a great drink to have for breakfast or Sunday brunch. I suggest drinking it with any of these breakfast dishes:

Fresh Fruit & Smoke Paprika Oatmeal

Pumpkin Pancakes

Apple & Sweet Potato Hash

 

Juicing!

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I disappeared for a wee bit and am slowly getting back into the blogging life I kind of once had. I left Florida and headed back north to my home state of Ohio with my fiance to start a new job and begin planning for our wedding next September. Since I’ve been back I’ve been on a huge juice kick partially for the reason that my dad bought a really nice juicer a few years ago and it still hadn’t been used. I figured it was time to put that baby into action.

I’ve always enjoyed fresh made juices but rarely get the chance to make them from home. I usually go to a local juice bar and purchase one a few days out of the week or make one first thing in the morning at work. Juicing can be expensive which is why many folks don’t get into the habit of doing it at home. When I was living in FL the farmers markets didn’t have the best produce (depending of the time of year) and purchasing bulk amounts of vegetables from Publix became too expensive causing me to not be able to juice regularly at home. Back in my home city of Cleveland, OH I live near a large market in downtown called the Westside Market. This market is filled with a ton of local meat, produce, pastry, and seafood purveyors that sell food for cheap. I go there to get all of my juicing materials for $20. That may seem like a lot of money to be spending on just fruit and vegetables alone, but that amount will last me about a week giving me up to 3 8 ounce glasses of juice a day…I’d say i’m getting pretty decent bang for my buck.

There’s a few reasons why I think you should juice:

1.) Juicing helps you absorb all the nutrients from the vegetables.

2.) Juicing allows you to consume an optimal amount of vegetables in an efficient manner.

3.) You can add a wider variety of vegetables in your diet (vegetables you wouldn’t eat whole).

If you’re new to juicing, you can find a mid range priced juicer ($60) that will work well to start with. There’s a lot to read about juicing that I’m not going to explain here in this post, just know that when you juice, its recommended that you drink your juice right away and don’t save it due to the bacteria and e-coli you could contribute causing food poisoning. It’s important to thoroughly wash your vegetables or fruit well with water and even give them a quick scrub to remove any possible pesticides or dirt (unless your juicing with organic vegetables then just rinse them). Its not necessary to peel the vegetables but I have seen people do it, I guess it’s just a preference?Β  I recommend you do some reading or research on juicing if you haven’t done it before to know more about health benefits and nutrition if you are concerned. There is a multitude of benefits and many people have their reasons on why they choose to juice or not (cost of juicing, fiber removal from the vegetables, etc) I personally love to juice because I can choose to put whatever I want in my juice to make it taste good, I get a good yield out of the juice I do make and to me it’s cheaper to spend $20 on fresh produce than go somewhere 7 days a week and spend $6 on one 16 ounce juice.

If you enjoy fresh squeezed juice here a few delicious recipes I came up with over the last few weeks that are good to start with if you are new. If you don’t have a juicer, you can use a high speed blender such as a vita mix. Just be sure to strain your juice through a fine mesh strainer, unless you enjoy pulp then enjoy as is!

 

Juicing is Gluten free/Vegan/Refined Sugar free/Dairy Free!!

 

Sweet Green:

Mise en Place:

-1 Small bunch Kale, washed

-1/2 Cucumber

-1 Each Apple, cored

-2 Stalks Celery, washed

 

Method of Prep: See below

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Feel the Beet:

Mise en Place:

-3 Each Beets, trimmed, scrubbed and washed

-1 Large Carrot, scrubbed and washed

-2 Handfuls Spinach, rinsed

-1/2 Lemon

-1/2 Cucumber

 

Method of Prep: See Below

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The West side:

Mise en Place:

-1 Carrot, scrubbed and washed

-1/2 Cucumber

-1 small chunk Ginger, peeled

-1 Apple, cored and scrubbed

-1/2 Lemon

-1 Small bunch Kale

 

Method of Prep: See Below

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Westlake Demon:

Mise en Place:

-1 Stick Celery, washed

-1/2 Carrot, scrubbed and washed

-Small bunch Kale, rinsed

-1/2 Cucumber

-Small bunch Spinach, rinsed

-1 Apple, cored

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Method of Prep (All juices):

-Using a juicer, turn on and slowly add in whole vegetables one at a time. Push down using the stick attachment if needed.

-Once all the vegetables are turned into juice, pour juice over ice and shake up or stir, whichever is easier for you.

-Pour juice into desired drinking glass and serve immediately.

Enjoy!