Ahh fall. After summer and before Christmas. I love fall. I love the colours, the abundance of apple pie, I love getting a big chunky knit sweater on with my leg warmers and rocking the cooler weather. I also love to decorate – I’m artsy like that. I took some pics of my festive fall abode to share with you all because I’m cool like that.
I have two of these pumpkins, I made the arrangements in them with some flowers on sale at Walmart.
This is our dining room table, simple table runner, nice antique looking jug from Ikea with some wheat from our field, pretty picture frame from the Farmers Mama, apple basket, plate, pinecones and a homemade candleholder made from old fenceposts.
These are my Halloween lanterns. Y’know that amazing company I represent, Wordplay Designs? I ordered these cutie little Halloween decals from there and then just painted some old pickle and relish jars and attached a wire to hold them with.
I also ordered these larger decals and put them on some of those fake pumpkins you find around this time of year. They’re on my porch.
BTW, if you’re interested, these are the fall Wordplay specials, feel free to email me, firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information. Receive a free door graphic with every $75 order and use the small decals shown to make your own lanterns and Halloween pumpkins!
If you like these ideas then check back in November, I’m going to make some really cheap and easy Christmas gifts using vinyl. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t read it. They’re so simple and fun the Farmer’s SIL’s can even do them (and the SIL’s are arts and crafts haters).
Anyway, back to my topic! Whoo, SQUIRREL! Do you have any idea what a PSL is? I didn’t either until I walked by a Starbucks one day and it was on one of their fall door decals. It’s a Pumpkin Spice Latte (and PS it’s been around for a decade this year so it’s a pretty big deal).
I’m not a coffee drinker (and I’m frugal) so I only land in the Big S three or four times a year. Don’t get me wrong, I love the atmosphere in there, it’s super hip and funky and it’s great for writing my next blog post but I just don’t drink coffee and I can’t stomach paying $4 for a tea so I just sit outside and use their free wi-fi (I told you I was frugal).
My BFF is a PSL lover and she text me this picture today with the caption, “I just rewarmed my PSL. It’s alarmingly orange, no? Kinda creeps me out.” You be the judge.
My immediate reaction was, “hell yes that’s orange, what on earth is in there?!” And my second thought was, “I have to blog this.” Honestly, how hard could it be to make a real PSL without the fake syrup the Big S uses which probably contains all kinds of artificial flavours and colours, not to mention I bet one of those things has about 350 calories in it.
So I went searching through one of my Church cookbooks because I knew I saw a chai tea latte recipe in there somewhere…and JACKPOT! All I had to do was alter it a little. Now this wasn’t easy since 1) I don’t drink coffee and 2) I’ve never actually had a PSL before but my version turned out pretty tasty. So tasty in fact that I forgot to take a picture of it before I drank it all!
Also, I used instant coffee (which I’ve heard is gross and I only have in the house for baking) so if this version was delish I’d love to taste what one made with real coffee would taste like.
These are all the ingredients I started with, they’re all in my cupboard but the one thing you may not have is cardamom. It’s THE spice that makes chai taste the way it does so it’s a no brainer to get. It’s pricey though but it’ll last you forever. I used it last year to make chai spice cookies so that’s why I had it on hand.
What’s that funny looking peach coloured stuff in front you ask? It’s fresh pumpkin puree. It tastes nothing like the canned stuff and looks nothing like it either – it’s better in my opinion but it doesn’t have the same flavour as canned pumpkin, be warned. Last year the Farmer Sr. grew about 7 pumpkins that weighed approximately 34 pounds each so once I quartered one and cooked it all I ended up with 68 cups of pumpkin that I froze. I shall be making pies soon too…
Anyway, all I did was get out my handy shaker cup and add the milk, vanilla, agave nectar (if you don’t have this you can use honey or I was going to try Stevia too, I love that stuff), pumpkin puree, cardamom, nutmeg and cloves. Shake shake shake it and set it aside.
Then, because I’m lazy, I heated up water in the microwave and added the instant coffee. I only used about 1/4 cup of water because I don’t like coffee but you can use whatever amount you like. That’s the beauty of making this yourself.
After that I heated the milk mixture briefly and added it to the coffee. Then I stirred it. Then I drank it. All. The only thing that would have made it better would have been whip cream on top.
These are the amounts I used for the milk mixture and it’ll yield about 5 lattes so shake it up and keep it in the fridge for a few days to add to your coffee. It’s a cheap and delish alternative to having to stop in a drivethru every morning.
Anyway, try it and let me know what you think, I loved it!
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
4 cups milk
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (for a stronger pumpkin flavour, use canned instead of homemade pureed)
1/2 cup agave nectar or honey (or to taste)
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract (you know my feelings on this)
3/4 teaspoon allspice or pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
All the best and happy fall! Much love, Kim.