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Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte

What’s the first thing you think of once fall weather hits your hometown?
Baking? Apple picking? Pumpkin picking? Fall colors?
No matter what you think of, this is truly a magical time of year. Besides the long, cold winter, I am very glad that I live in the Midwest. Not every state or country has the changing of seasons that we do. I am thankful for all the seasons as they come. I’m just not as ready for them all when they arrive. But I definitely appreciate different things about them. And if it wasn’t for winter, I wouldn’t appreciate spring and summer so much!
But for now, we are full on Fall! Cool weather, leaves are turning, and if you’ve read my last few posts, you can tell I am in to pumpkin. More than any other fall flavor, I love pumpkin. (I’m sorry if you don’t share the love of pumpkin that I do, you clearly have been missing out on some tasty treats!)
I tried this recipe last week when I hosted an Arbonne party in my home. It was wonderful evening of relaxing, drinking lattes and chatting with girl friends 🙂
The Pumpkin Spice Lattes were a big hit and easy to make. Fix it and forget it. Only about 2 hours in the crock-pot and you’ve got a delicious hot drink that anyone would be excited to drink!

Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Lattes (adapted from Urban Nester)

8 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, seeded
2 tsp cinnamon
8 Tbsp sugar
4 cups strongly brewed coffee
6 cups milk (I used 1%, because that’s what we have in the house)
Whipped topping or Redi-whip (optional)

Using a whisk to stir, combine all ingredients in the crock pot and whisk well.
Turn crock-pot on high and cook for about two hours or until hot.
Top with whipped cream and dash of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.

Enjoy!

Note: if you don’t have vanilla beans, don’t worry, just add extra vanilla extract.

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Raspberry Cooler

For a change of pace, I decided to give you a recipe for something other than pumpkin food. Shocking. I know.

After a long couple of weeks, some friends and us had a taco night. We’ve done this before and its seriously probably one my favorite times. We go all out.
Hard shells, tortillas, chips (this time, homemade by Beth), guacamole (also made by Beth), salsa, pico de gallo, re-fried beans, sour cream… I’m sure I’m forgetting something.

So, again, it had been a long week for us all, so I decided to make a fun drink to share. I scoured my Pinterest boards and found something easy. (since I knew I wouldn’t have tons of time to make anything too fancy)

Here’s what I came up with. Barefoot Mascato Wine with Sprite, topped with frozen raspberries, a.k.a a Raspberry Cooler

Okay, maybe I didn’t come up with it, but I found it on Pinterest and made it my own. Meaning I switched diet Sprite for regular Sprite…

Either way, it was a big hit and this is super easy to put together!

Raspberry Cooler (adapted from Make it, Bake, Create it)

Barefoot Mascato Wine
2 Liter bottle Sprite (or any clear lemon lime soda)
Frozen raspberries

In a pitcher, combine equal parts wine and Sprite. Add raspberries to taste.

I enjoyed adding the raspberries to each glass to be used as ice cubes.

You could also use frozen strawberries or any berry you prefer 🙂

Enjoy!

Thanks to Janelle for the use of her beautiful pitcher and the table cloth that happens to match perfectly!!!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

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The weather lately has been playing with my emotions. It was so unbearably hot for what seemed like forever that I thought fall would never come. Don’t worry, I am mot wishing away summer! We had some cool days with rain which put me in the mood for scarves, boots, and anything pumpkin related. Food, drinks, the color, you name it, I like it. So, now its hot again. The a/c is on and the windows are shut (which is fine with me since my allergies are terrible this time of year), but I’m still craving fall. The apples, pumpkins, scarves, and boots. Well, this afternoon I couldn’t take it anymore! I had to make something pumpkin! And thank you Pinterest for helping me find that something. You see, I had a plain chocolate protein shake on the menu for this afternoon, but got hungry too early for it. So I decoded to hunt my Pinterest boards to find a shake or smoothie that would be more filling. And here it is folks! It’s tasty. Satisfying. And reeks of fall! (okay, maybe reek isn’t the right word, jut you get my drift)

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1/2 banana
1/3 cup pumpkin puree (no sugar added)
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (would be yummy with vanilla too)
3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 packet stevia (or sweetener of choice)
A few shakes of pumpkin pie spice
4-5 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Enjoy!

Fruit Smoothie

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I’ve apparently been on a smoothie kick lately. I don’t know, its an easy way to get some extra fruit in for me. I’m not too great at eating the fruits and veggies. But I try. My sister, Jen,posted this one facebook for a cousin of ours and I decided to try it out this morning. Here are three reasons you should make this: 1) it’s yummy
2) its easy
3) because I said so. (just kidding…kind of)

Fruit Smoothie (from my beautiful sister, Jen)

1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup pineapple (fresh or frozen, you could probly use canned as well)
1 banana
6-8 ice cubes
Sweetener of choice (I used one packet of Truvia, but you could also use sugar, honey or nothing, if you wanted)
1/2 cup coconut milk

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until desired consistantcy.

See, I told you it was easy.

Enjoy!

Smooth(ie) Operator

I have been really enjoying smoothies lately. Now that I’ve found an easy recipe that I always have the ingredients for, I have one of these almost every day. Seriously. I feel like a lot of smoothie’s I come across (mostly on Pinterest) have weird ingredients in them like kale or spinach, which, let’s be honest, still kinda freaks me out. That stuff is meant for salads. But, maybe one of these days I’ll give it a try and love it. For now, I’ll stick with what I know.

The other thing I really like about this smoothie is that it’s pretty versatile. You can add just about any fruit that blend well. I have been sticking to berry’s mostly, because, again, it’s what I know. (I don’t branch out much) The only ingredient that I found weird was the oatmeal. I’ve looked at other smoothie recipes with oatmeal in them and thought it was the weirdest thing and that it would give it an odd texture. But, I gave it a shot and it’s delish! You can’t even tell the oatmeal was in there. It just gives it a little more body. So don’t freak out when you read that it has oatmeal in it. It’s totally worth trying out before you judge it.

The original recipe used raspberries, which is truly delicious. I ran out of them very quickly, since I love raspberries so much, so I replaced with strawberries and blueberries. I have some blackberries right now and I will be trying that out soon too! Possibly today 🙂

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simple Fruit Smoothie  (adapted from marthastewart.com)

Yield: 2 servings

1 cup ice

1/2 cup berries (I’ve used raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and combinations of them as well)

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1 banana

1/2 cup  dry oatmeal

1 Tbsp honey

1 cup milk (I’ve been using almond milk or coconut milk. You could also use white milk)

Add ice and berries to the bottom of the blender, then add the other ingredients on top. Blend until smooth.

*Note: I generally only make half the recipe when I make it for breakfast. I freeze the other half of the banana to use the next day. I do suggest slicing the banana before freezing, because I think it blend better that way. I make mine in my Magic Bullet so I don’t have the blender to wash every day.