Pumpkin Spice Coffee

I think most people like Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, right?  But lately, there’s been a flurry of articles about how bad the ingredients are in the famed PSL.  I’m not exactly scared to drink a PSL, but reading about carcinogens in a tasty drink doesn’t make me want to buy one immediately either.  So what if you told me I could save money and drink a healthier, more natural beverage in my very own home?  That’s a win.

Maybe “healthier” isn’t the right word for the homemade version of this drink.  There’s sugar and heavy cream.  There’s also pumpkin and spice.  Real pumpkin.  I don’t often find a tasty beverage that includes veggies from our very own garden.  No known carcinogens there!  I’ll let you decide if you’ll call this healthier or not.

mugWe don’t have espresso hanging out in our cupboard, so I used strong coffee instead.  The recipe from The Kitchn calls for 1 or 2 shots of espresso.  We used over half a cup of coffee (the actual mug, not a measuring cup), then filled almost to the top of the cup with the cream mixture and heaped in the whipped cream on top of that.  Next time, I think I would go with 2/3 a cup of coffee and 1/3 a mug of creamer.  Anyway, it was delicious.

The best part was the homemade whipped cream.  Along the edge of the cup, it melts into the coffee and makes the most perfect whipped cream texture ever.  It’s like a fluffier, more grown-up version of the perfectly melted marshmallow in a perfect cup of hot chocolate.  I don’t even think I’m exaggerating here.  Try it, maybe on a special occasion when you don’t mind whipping out the blender and the mixer for a morning drink.  Our special occasion today was free time.

whipped creamHappy homemade breakfast dessert in a cup!

That Great Coffee Smell

You know how great it is to walk into a coffee shop and smell delicious coffee roasting?  I love that, especially as the weather starts to cool down and things feel almost fall-ish.

The only sad thing is that my take on the “good coffee smell” changed a lot right after college.  I worked at Borders for three or so months while I was settling into life after college.  I spent two of my months there as a cafe worker, learning how to make espresso drinks and giant pots of drip coffee, and it was for the most part a good experience.

(Side note: the food industry isn’t necessarily a great fit for the extremely clumsy like myself–lots of small burns all over my hands from day to day.  There were lots of other things I enjoyed about that job though.)

The only long-term negative from that job is the coffee smell association thing.  I still get warm fuzzies when I walk into a coffee shop, but if I smell like coffee when I walk out of the shop, I instantly feel gross, like I just finished a long shift at the cafe.  Those shifts usually ended around 11 PM, so getting home from work after that isn’t something I want to relive every time I get a cup of warm coffee.

Hmm.  I think I’ll just have to limit my coffee shop time to 10 minutes or less.  It could work.

Coming soon: pictures of Scott’s birthday cake, stories of said birthday, and lots of other random stuff.