Tag Archives: beverages

It’s Getting Hot in Here


Hot coffee, that is.  And coupled with the gorgeous near eighty degree temperatures we’ve been enjoying here in the Piedmont, and I was actually hot, too.

It’s only fair that since I test drove a pumpkin frappuccino recipe last week, I should extend the same courtesy to another coffee house fan favorite, the pumpkin spice latte.  It took some planning though because it involves using hot- i.e. freshly made– coffee and… I’m about to make a confession here…

I don’t know how to make coffee.

In all fairness, my husband took the liberty of writing out instructions for me to actually use the coffee maker,  but he didn’t include an exact measurement for how to actually MAKE the coffee.  He just wrote out what button to push, and where to put the water, that sort of thing. He also showed me how to use the French Press, just in case the one button operation of the electric coffee maker proved to be too complex for me, but when you use a French Press, how much coffee you measure out is even more taste specific, plus you then have to factor in how long to let the coffee brew before straining/pouring it.  He says that he doesn’t know how I will want my coffee on a given day, so he can’t tell me how much coffee to use, which is silly because I want it just like he makes it.

Well, that’s not exactly true.   In reality… I just want him to make it for me.

So on weekends and his days off, he makes me coffee.  In the French press, which is the best way to make it, according to him, and he’s a “real” coffee person.  He doesn’t add sugar or sweetener, just a drop or two of half and half, and that’s it.  He likes the taste of regular old coffee.  Imagine that.  Anyway, yesterday, I took full advantage of his coffee making perfection and tried a twist on this recipe for pumpkin spice latte  from Recipe Girl.  I wanted to incorporate almond milk and splenda brown sugar and sugar substitute, but I did keep a little half and half to add a little fatty goodness. I’m not a dairy free girl, I just try to cut carbs wherever possible, and there are less carbs in a cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk than a cup of cow’s milk, but hardly any carbs in a small amount of half and half.  Fat is my friend.  Carbs, not so much.  I wish my taste buds would remember that little rivalry as much as my hips try to remind them.

Here’s what I used (in addition to coffee, not shown):

1/2 cup  unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1.5 tablespoons pureed pumpkin

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon Splenda brown sugar blend

1 cup coffee, HOT

2 tablespoons half and half

1 tablespoon splenda sugar substitute

whipped cream to top

nutmeg to garnish

While your coffee is brewing,  mix together the first five ingredients in a microwave safe cup.  Mix them up well so that you don’t have any large clumps of pumpkin or spices.

Microwave for 1-2 minutes, but keep close by and especially don’t take your eyes off of  it during the last 45 seconds or so.  When it starts to bubble and foam up, it’s done.  If you wait too long, it will foam up all the way to the top of the cup and bubble over– I know this to be a fact because my microwave is so high up that I can hardly see it, not to mention that it has some sort of frosted glass design, so I can’t see inside clearly even when I’m standing on a stool, and it DID foam over for me.  It was a quick clean up, but still, it’s avoidable if you are able to see inside your microwave.

Combine the milk mixture and the freshly brewed coffee in a big mug (mine will hold 16 ounces).  Add your half and half and splenda and stir.

Top it with whipped cream and nutmeg.

Enjoy your yummy “frou-frou” coffee, as my husband calls it, without even having to get out of your pajamas.  You can probably make this at home in less time than it will take you to get through the coffee house drive through!

Save the rest of the pureed pumpkin to use in one of the hundreds of pumpkin recipes you can find online or on pinterest.  Here’s a board I found that lists nothing but pumpkin recipes!  I’m sure you can find at least one that makes you want to get back in the kitchen!  According to Still Tasty, canned pumpkin puree that is stored in an airtight glass or plastic container will keep in the fridge for 5-7 days.


Pumpkin Frappuccino


I’m one of “those people” whose idea of coffee is a little bit of coffee and a lot of cream and (sugar free) flavor syrup.  I try not to consume a lot of carbs that 1) I can’t chew and 2) that aren’t dessert, so every year at this time, I get serious pumpkin frappaccino envy every time I pull up to order a coffee.  They don’t offer a sugar free variety.  And that really sucked for me, and no doubt for diabetics.

Until I saw this pin for how to make your own low calorie, high flavor pumpkin frappaccino over at Peanut Butter and Peppers.   This is a great site to peruse if you are looking for low calorie spins on your favorite meals and treats.

This recipe couldn’t be easier.  Honestly, the hardest part was figuring out how to freeze the coffee my husband made the night before I made these.  I ultimately used tupperware containers, but that was a mistake, I had to wait way too long for it to thaw enough in order for it to reach down to the blender blades.  Next time I won’t be lazy, and I’ll dig out the ice cube trays.

I slightly modified the original recipe to accommodate what was in my pantry and here’s what I used, in addition to the partially thawed coffee.

Here’s the very complicated process for creating this delicious frozen coffee.

1 1/2 cups coffee, frozen, partially thawed

2 Tbsp. pumpkin, canned

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, ground

2 tsp. splenda

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

whipped cream to garnish

Toss all of your ingredients, except the whipped cream, in the blender.  Blend until it is all nice and smooth.

I guess the color of the paint really lives up to it’s name: Pumpkin Butter!

Pour it into your serving cups (This recipe makes 2 servings).  Top with whipped cream.


It’s that easy.

When you’ve had your fill of pumpkin (anything is possible), try the Peanut Butter and Peppers take on the Gingerbread Frappaccino.

Ahhh, autumn, my favorite season. Beautiful, cooler temperatures, and tons of seasonal goodies to tempt to you get a little too comfortable in those yoga pants.

Bring on the gluttony.