Archive for September, 2013

DIY Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Now that it’s officially fall, pumpkin flavored treats are everywhere.  From pumpkin pies at your local bakery to pumpkin-scented soap, to the drink that may have gotten the pumpkin trend started: Nice-pumpkin-collection-2-13dede-sxcThe pumpkin spice latte.  It’s delicious, comforting and tastes like fall. We’re  totally addicted.

pumpkin-spice-latte-sign-7854631If you can’t afford the $4 a cup price tag, prefer to keep your drink vegan (the one at Starbucks is not), or if you’d just prefer to make your coffee from scratch, we’ve got an amazing pumpkin spice syrup recipe that’s delicious in lattes, as sweetener in tea, mixed in to cocktails, and even drizzled over vanilla ice cream.

When bottled in Kilner preserve bottles, this syrup makes a perfect hostess gift, birthday gift, or even holiday gift. If you’ve got a Pumpkin Spice Latte lover in your life, this is a great way to make sure they get to enjoy their favorite drink, even after they take it off the menu for another year.  I find that a 0.25 liter preserve bottle full of this syrup is the perfect size for both gift giving and at home.  This recipe makes enough so you can both keep some for yourself and give some away.  Each bottle holds enough syrup for 20-50 cups of coffee, depending on how sweet you like it. It’s the perfect Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe to give as gifts!

Ingredients:image_ 072

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½  teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine, just make sure it’s 100 percent pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling)a6f392e9c6ae4527b712bb86e88be6f4


  • Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
  •  Stir together over medium heat until the sugars have dissolved.
  • Continue cooking over low heat for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the mixture to come to a boil.
  • Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer, triple layered cheesecloth, or muslin square.
  • Funnel into Kilner bottles OR Kilner preserve or clip top jars.
  • Syrup can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in a refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Syrup can be kept fresh longer by hot water processing it.*

To make your pumpkin spice latte, brew 2oz of espresso or very strong coffee in a large coffee mug.  Combine 2 teaspoons of syrup and 8oz of milk, soy milk, almond milk, etc. Mix well and steam (if you aren’t able to steam your milk, simply heating it will work, flavor wise.)  Pour the milk and syrup mixture into the coffee, top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon (if you like it) and enjoy!

*To preserve the syrup, process the jars or bottles as you would jars for jam or jelly (see our strawberry jam tutorial here.)  Add the syrup to the jars or bottles while hot, and close. If you’re using a preserve jar, keep the screw band ¼ turn lose. If using a clip top jar or bottle, close and latch the jars. Submerge in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove with jam tongs and let jars cool completely.  Once you’re sure they’re sealed, they’re ready to be stored for up to 3 months.


Enjoy, and let us know what you think in the comments below!

Best Football Food and Party Ideas -Hot Wings Recipe

Friday, September 6th, 2013

It’s the end of the first weekend in September, and that means football season is upon us! If you’re thinking about hosting game day at your house, here are some great ideas that will keep your guests content from kickoff through the post-game show.  Make sure to bookmark this page for your Superbowl party as well!

First, time your party well. Double check what time the game starts and what channel it’s on. Make sure you’ve got that channel ready to go, and start your party about an hour before the game. That gives guests plenty of time to socialize, snack and get comfortable before the game starts.


Second, set up two areas for food. One should be on a coffee table, side table or somewhere within easy reach of the couch. One should be away away from the game. Consider putting down easy-to-clean placemats in your favorite team’s colors to make cleanup simple.

Third, think small. Small food, that is.  Easy finger foods and bite-sized snacks are perfect for football parties. They’re easy to prepare and fun to eat. Here are some delicious options to consider: Small sandwiches, Meatballs,  Dumplings, chips and dip (or see our guacamole recipe from last week), tacos, and wings.  Put out an assortment of dipping sauces in small bowls and all your guests can get creative with their food while you enjoy the game!

If you want to get really into the spirit, consider doing themed food – Crab cakes if the Baltimore Ravens are playing, Chicago Style Hot dogs if the Bears are playing. You get the idea.   One of the first games this weekend is New England against Buffalo, so naturally, you’re going to want to make Buffalo Wings. Here’s our recipe for easy buffalo chicken wings. They’re baked rather than deep fried to keep it healthy, and they’re a classic football foods

Our hot Wings recipe: The ultimate Football food.


  • 3 pounds chicken wings, rinsed and pat dry
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾  cup hot sauce (we prefer Frank’s Red Hot, it’s classic!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves minced garlic.
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping
  • carrots and celery sticks (optional)


  1. Toss the wings in the oil, salt and pepper, place them on a rack, in an enamel baking dish or a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400F oven until golden brown and crispy, about 45-50 minutes.
  2. Put the hot sauce, garlic, soy sauce, sugar and butter in a microwave-safe Mason Cash bowl.
  3. Microwave on medium power until butter is melted.
  4. Toss with chicken wings in a large bowl.
  5. Serve while warm with blue cheese or ranch dressing for dipping and optionally with carrots and celery sticks. We love to set out the dressing, vegetables and wings in an Acaciaware serving  tray with a separate bowl for the sauce.


Win or lose, we hope you have a fantastic football season!


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