Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Fall has arrived! Growing up in Montana, Fall was defined by hunting season, cool weather, harvest of the fields, and hues of red, orange, and yellow falling from the trees. Those were the days when my Mom's warm soup, or baked goods spiced with fall flavors would dress the dinner table. In the Fall, feeding the farm animals, hunting, harvesting the crops, and playing kept everyone quite busy. Dinner was almost always after dark, when we couldn't be productive outside anymore. With the tips of our noses and cheeks a tad pink from the chill in the air, and the moon and stars starting to peak out of the evening sky, we would scoot up to the table and allow a hot family meal to quickly warm us up....Those were the good ole' days.

Now, I am in the good new days, which will probably someday become the good ole' days also. I have lived in South Florida for a couple years now. This time of year I do miss Fall in Montana a bit, but I have come to appreciate a new kind of fall. I have grown to love a Fall that is filled with a different kind of beautiful weather. The weather is cooling off perfectly where I can enjoy myself outside without feeling like I may die from heat stroke. It is perfect for BBQ'ing, beachin' it, and evening walks. My new Fall is filled with northern house guests, and Miami Dolphin Football Games, where I go root on my husband Dan and the rest of the team.

Even though Fall in Montana and Florida are different in many ways, I have learned to tie them together with the scents and tastes of Fall. Regardless of my location, I will always raid the nearest Wal-mart for candles scented of Apple Pie, Pumpkin Spice, and Cinnamon. It doesn't matter what the temperature is outside, I will always use nutmeg, pumpkin, cinnamon, and apples just a tinch more than usual during this time of year.

As a new Floridian, my little sister was missing her Northern Fall the other night. To make her feel at home, I made some Apple Crisp and decided to take a stab at a Pumpkin Spice Latte. As we curled up on the couch in fuzzy blankets, and enjoyed the flavors, I once again realized I love Fall.

Pumpkin Spice Latte
(served 3 of us)
2 cups of Skim Milk
4 TB Libbys 100% Pumpkin
3 packets of Splenda
1 TB of Vanilla
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 to 1-1/2 cups of strongly brewed coffee ( I used a french press )

optional - whipped cream or ice cream for the top - ( I tried but actually like without better because it allows you to taste the pumpkin more and I don't like my coffee too sweet.)

-In a saucepan over med-low to med heat stir the milk and pumpkin together with a wire whisk until it is steaming. Do not let it boil just steam.
-After it is nice and hot, add the hot coffee, Splenda, vanilla, and spice.
-Stir it all together and serve with the option of topping it off with whipped cream or ice cream.

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