Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I hope you all woke up to less snow than I did yesterday - we got 15 inches, and have downed power lines and trees all over the neighborhood.  It will certainly make for interesting trick-or-treating!  Our house is one of those houses - you know, the one that gives out king-size candy bars.  I hope that the snow doesn't deter too many of the kiddies from coming out - we have 50 candy bars to hand out!

Since we have apparently skipped straight from late summer to the dead of winter, I thought I'd share a few of the recipes I've been dying to try for fall.  I intend on making a few tonight, but I think we will have to stretch October well into mid-November to get these all in:

Pumpkin spaetzle with bacon - we plan on making this for dinner tonight!

Roasted pumpkin seeds - this year, we won't try to dry the seeds on paper towels and end up losing them all

Chocolate cinnamon bread - they used to make this at Starbucks, then gave out the recipe right when they stopped having it.  So glad they did!

Pumpkin smoothie - seriously, this looks ridiculously delicious.  Must have this week.

Normally I would end with some cute pictures of our jack-o-lanterns, but we still haven't carved them!  Hopefully we'll have some time to throw them together tonight......happy haunts, everyone!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Welcome to fall....and maple caramel coffee

I feel like I suddenly woke up and it's fall.  The air is much colder than before, and the leaves are starting to turn - Brendan and I even went up to Vermont last weekend to look at the fall colors.  The colors will be prettier in a week or two, but it certainly feels like fall already.  It's so much cooler here than it was in Philly during the fall!

The fall weather means that I have been having more warm drinks - hot apple cider, pumpkin spice lattes, and tea.  But I have been making a lot of coffee at home, too - those pumpkin spice lattes get expensive!  So I was thrilled when, as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I got free samples of Godiva coffee.  I got a bag of Pumpkin Spice, and a bag of Caramel Pecan Bark - along with a challenge to create a fall-inspired coffee recipe.  Bring it on, Godiva!

At first, I was a bit stumped.  I didn't want to go the pumpkin spice latte route - too obvious.  I looked around for some inspiration - and my eyes landed straight on a bag of maple sugar candies that I brought back from Vermont.

(um, yes, I'd definitely eaten most of the bag by this point!)

Now, of course, not everyone has fresh maple sugar candies just lying around - but I'm sure maple syrup would do the trick, too.  But none of that corn syrup-based stuff - you've got to use the real thing!  To go with the maple candies, I used the Caramel Pecan Bark flavor coffee.

The recipe for this is simple, but here's what I did:

1. Add one maple candy to a mug  (more if you like extra sugar in your coffee!)

2. Add coffee to the mug

3. Add milk, stir, and enjoy!!

The result?  A delicious drink filled with rich fall flavors.  It was really yummy!

For what's left of our weekend (really, just Monday) we are off to find pumpkins, drink even more cider, and go to the Topsfield Fair - we've got a wonderful day planned!

Oh, and last week I joined a gym!  More about that later on this week, once I try everything out - I will most definitely have reflections on Body Pump :)

Back again!

OK, so I kinda fell into a black hole.....sorry about that!  Hope that whoever reads my blog stuck around!  My disappearance was due to a little family medical emergency - but everything is ok now.  And hopefully I'm back for real now :)

Hope you are all having a wonderful start to fall and enjoying the best season of the year!