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My Favorite Pumpkin-Spiced Recipes

Photo by sydney zentz on Unsplash

Fall is for more than just the PSL – it’s the perfect time of year to break out your favorite pumpkin and squash recipes! I have a few recipes that I’ve grown to love over the years. They go beyond the typical pumpkin pie, and make for great options to take to your next fall dinner or Thanksgiving.

Here are a few of my favorite recipes that use pumpkins or squash to their full flavor potential – and my personal recipe for the perfect PSL you can make at home!

Acorn Squash and Black Bean Empanadas

I recently started cooking my way through Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook, and this is one of my favorite recipes so far! It’s savory, sweet, and a little spicy. The cornmeal empanada dough is a little sweet and crispy. You can make a bunch of these to freeze and reheat later, or just bake off today! They’re super filling, too!

King Arthur Flour’s Easy Pumpkin Bread

If you’re looking to add even more pumpkin flavor to your breakfast, bake a loaf of this pumpkin bread! It’s super easy to make, and in about an hour you’ll have a moist, decadent compliment to your PSL!

Butternut Squash Stuffing

I made this last year for Thanksgiving, and it was a huge hit! It has some bold flavors, thanks to sourdough bread, butternut squash, bacon, and plenty of sage. If you’re looking for a fun alternative to traditional stuffing, try this one out!

Pumpkin Bars

For those who aren’t a fan of pumpkin pie, you can’t really go wrong with pumpkin bars. It’s a classic Martha Stewart recipe for moist, flavorful pumpkin cake and a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. This would be great to make for a party, or for breakfast (if you’re not looking to keep things even remotely healthy).

Butternut Squash Mash

I’m sure you could figure out how to do this on your own – simmer up some squash, mash it up, add some salt and pepper, and you’re done! This is a great side dish for all the fall roasts I do once it starts cooling off outside. I sometimes do half squash, half yukon gold potatoes – it’s a great way to tone down the sweetness if you’re not a huge fan of squash.

Now, for my all-time favorite homemade pumpkin-spiced recipe: my homemade PSL! There is no pumpkin in it, but it sure tastes like it!

My Homemade Pumpkin-Spiced Latte

Ingredients:
2-3 Tbsp ground coffee
8-12 oz. boiling water
1/4 tsp pumpkin spice (my favorite is from Trader Joe’s)
1/2 tsp. raw sugar
Almond milk

Directions:
1. Put ground coffee and pumpkin spice into French press. Pour boiling water into press and let sit for 3-5 minutes (however long you like to steep your coffee).

2. Strain coffee, then pour into your favorite fall-themed mug.

3. Stir in sugar, and pour in almond milk to taste. If you want to make it extra decadent, froth your milk before pouring in!

4. Enjoy your tasty PSL for a fraction of the price you’d pay at Starbucks!

Friday Favorites

friday_favorites

(A short attempt to work outside during a smoke-out)

Time for another Friday Favorites!

While this was a short week thanks to Labor Day, it wasn’t a very fun one. First, temperatures were supposed to hit almost 100 this week, which meant hiding in the AC for another week. Next, the entire west coast has been on fire! The smoke and ash has been so bad that it looks like it’s snowing. Yuck! I went to my favorite coffee shop to get some work done on Tuesday, but I only made it 20 minutes before leaving because I was already covered in ash. It didn’t really start to clear up until yesterday, and unless it rains soon, it’s going to be around for a while.

Being cooped up all week wasn’t fun at all, but I did have some extra time to goof around online! Here are just a few of the things I enjoyed online this week!

Friday Favorites

    • The Everygirl did their list of favorite beauty products from Trader Joe’s. I’ve never really bought any beauty products there, but I might now!
    • Since it’s been hot as balls lately, I’ve been using a facial mist to “freshen up” as I sweat all damn day. If you’re looking for a good one to try, check out Darling’s wish list!
    • BUST is killing it lately with their articles. This one is about one of their writers recreating 4 lipsticks from history. I don’t want to spoil anything, but let’s just say some are more tempting than others!
    • I just picked up a copy of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, which seems to be the book of the moment. If this weather clears up, you’ll find me reading it at the beach this weekend!
    • In honor of it being almost fall, I decided to grab a pair of pumpkin-spiced flats from Ollio. They arrived yesterday, and I can’t wait to wear them everywhere! It’s going to be hard for me not to order them in every color! Here they are in all their glory:

friday favoritesI’m not sure what the weekend holds for me – it largely depends on the weather! Maybe a trip to the beach, or a seasonal closet switch-over…who knows! What are you doing this weekend?

4 Pretty Nail Colors for Fall

4 Pretty Nail Colors Fall

While I am painfully aware that trends exist, I don’t always follow them. So when it came time to choose some new nail colors for fall, I ignored what I read in magazines and went with colors I knew I’d actually wear. For example, I keep seeing pastel blue everywhere? It’s not a color I associate with fall, and one I probably wouldn’t wear anyway. To me, fall is about adding a little brown or gray to shades I already wear – nothing too far off my normal routine.

Since I am trying out some new colors for fall, I thought I’d go with the Sonia Kashuk line at Target. They’re only $4.79 per bottle, and they come in some on-trend shades for fall. Here are the 4 pretty nail colors for fall, whether you’re a trend-setter, trend-follower, or neither! Click on the names below if you want to buy them for yourself!

Mauving On Up:

I’m not a light pink polish kind of gal, but this one seems perfect for fall. It’s mauve with a grayish tone to it, which I think will look perfect with all the grays I wear in fall and winter.

Rich Girl:

I wear orange polish frequently, but the orange polishes in my collection are bright and cheery. This is a straight-up pumpkin shade that’s perfect for fall. It looks less pink in real life, and will be a great shade to add a bit of pop to my fall wardrobe. I would love to wear this on my toes instead of my usual red or pink.

Forbidden Fruit:

This is a deep magenta that I think will be a color I wear year-round! I looked for something similar for years, but most shades were too purple or red. This is a great in-between that would look great on toes too!

Gray Matter:

I have been wearing OPI’s “Metro Chic” for years, which is the perfect muddy gray-purple shade. It’s since been discontinued, but I do love the look of grey nails in fall. It’s a great alternative to black polish (which I wear a lot in winter), and this one has a slightly bluish tone.

So there you have it! Head on over to Target to check out this collection, and I hope you find a shade or two that are perfect for your fall nails!

First Day of Fall

first day of fall

(#TBT to some amazing fall hiking from last year!)

It’s finally the first day of fall!

While it has felt like fall around here for a couple weeks now, I’m so glad it’s officially here. Now I won’t feel bad about adding pumpkin spice to my coffee, oatmeal, bread – just about everything!

Summer was great, but around here it was just too hot to enjoy. I love being outdoors, and fall is the perfect time of year to get outside and enjoy some amazing weather. Even the rain is something I welcome happily. It’s the perfect excuse to curl up under a blanket and read a book…or take a nap. I can’t wait to spend more time hiking, working, and generally being productive instead of hiding from the heat.

Fall also signifies the start of a new school year for most people. Even though I’m not a student or teacher anymore, I always considered fall the time of new beginnings. So to ring in the fall, I plan to sit down and carefully make plans and goals to round out the rest of the year. There are so many things I wanted to get done this year that I didn’t get around to, and many more I haven’t started yet. Just because the year is coming to a close doesn’t mean we can’t get shit done, right?

So to all of you like me to consider fall to be their favorite season, get out there and enjoy the changing leaves, damp air, and maybe even a latte or two. Hell, if I remember I’ll even show you how I make my own PSL – they’re easy and oh so tasty!

How do you plan to spend your fall this year? Do you have any traditions you take part in, or favorite foods you like to make? Let me know in the comments!

Friday Favorites: Insert Cool Title Here

Friday Favorites insert cool title here

Welcome to another Friday Favorites! I really couldn’t think of a good title for this week, so I thought I’d just be honest about it. 

It has been an “off” week, partly because my husband worked from home at random times, which threw off my whole routine. I managed to get a lot done, though, including putting Contact paper on all our shelves in the kitchen (they’re unfinished particle board and would leave wood shavings on everything…yuck). It sounds easy, but it really wasn’t – and my arms are still bruised up and sore from it!

One thing I did manage to do this week was get outside more. The weather cooperated, for the most part – yesterday it was even warm enough to go out in a t-shirt! For a brief moment, while basking in the sunshine while standing in lush, green grass, I forgot that it was fall…then I looked up, saw all the changing leaves, and remembered it’s almost November. I’m looking forward to more afternoons outdoors, as long as the rain holds out for a bit longer!

Anyway, enough rambling – on to the weekly favorites around the web:

  • I’m still all about the pumpkin spice lately, and I can’t wait to try this recipe for Pumpkin Muffins. The recipe is easy enough, and it includes a lot of options for add-ins! (The Kitchn)
  • While I’m not sure I really buy into the whole crystals thing, I used to love collecting them until I was made fun of for it in high school (ah, those were they days). “8 Steps to Owning Your Weird Holistic Habits” was a great read that reminded me that it’s okay to want to collect and display stuff you love in your home, regardless of how stupid others think it is. I also fully admit that I like reading my horoscope – there you go, I’m a weirdo sometimes too. (The Chalkboard)
  • Ever wanted to know what the most popular Halloween costumes are by state? Wonder no more! My home state of Ohio has Cinderella (which makes total sense…everyone was a princess every year except me), and my current state of Washington is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which also makes sense because my nephew dresses like one all year). (PopSugar)
  • Now that we’re finally getting into sweater weather (though in the Pacific Northwest, we rock them all year round), here is a great reminder of how to best store and care for them! (Apartment Therapy)
  • Jenny over at Little Green Notebook came up with a genius idea for everyone’s next fall party or Thanksgiving table setting – apple votive holders! The best part is that you can eat the decorations afterwards! Click on the photo to learn how she did it! (Little Green Notebook)

Friday Favorites insert cool title here

I hope you have a great weekend! As always, I plan to do amazing things, but usually end up sleeping in and watching a Netflix marathon of *insert show I’ve seen a million times here*. I hear they have some Barefoot Contessa episodes on there now….