Thanksgiving Mini-Post!

Because who honestly wants to sit on the computer on Thanksgiving Day? (…don’t answer that.)

I’m sure you know that I’ll be doing my share of cooking today, so today’s post is – as I called it – mini. 🙂 But delicious!

I present to you, the Crockpot Pumpkin Spice Latte!
Yes, you read me right: pumpkin spice latte made in a crockpot. Those of you more familiar with the crockpot and its ways will not find this surprising – but I sure did when I came across it (say it with me) on Pinterest. 

The credit goes to BettyCrocker.com:
http://www.bettycrocker.com/how-to/tipslibrary/tools-equipment/slow-cooker-pumpkin-spice-latte

Being a big fan of all things pumpkin, I’ve tasted quite a few pumpkin spice lattes in my short time (well, say about 4 different kinds…) My favorite used to be the Starbucks version, but as I do not go to Starbucks, I’ve explored a few PSL’s at the odd coffee shop now and then. Some of them have too much spice and not enough sweet. Others have too much sweet and not enough spice.

As always, the beauty of doing things at home from scratch is that you have control. As such, this homemade crockpot PSL definitely ranks among the best I’ve ever had. 🙂 Not surprising when it comes down to it, as you can control the sugar, spice, and everything nice.
The recipe on the website makes enough for 10 servings. We certainly won’t be having that many people over for Thanksgiving, so I cut it in half, and it turned out great!

(Sorry for the photo quality; I got up so early to make this and was too lazy to take a stellar picture.)
Now truth be told, I did put in about half of the canned pumpkin in (and I will repeat what the recipe tells you: this is not to be confused with pumpkin pie mix!) But after letting it cook and taking a sip, I added a little more, and also put in another teaspoon of sugar. My advice is to stick to the original recipe – whether you’re cutting it in half or making the original amount – and just play with it once it’s cooked long enough.

The end result I got was: mild spice, very “pumpkiny,” and neither too sweet nor too bland.
Seriously, it was exactly like drinking a cup of pumpkin pie. 😀 I topped it with some frozen fat-free whipped cream (no, I am not averse to using fatty ingredients, but believe it or not, fat-free whipped cream tastes a lot better than the regular kind – at least in my opinion) and, of course, added a dash of pumpkin pie spice on top (careful about going crazy with the spice, or you’ll do what I did and choke on it… >>)

Altogether, if you’re a pumpkin fan, and if you also happen to like pumpkin lattes, this is a great recipe to try. Adjust it to your taste, and you’ll get the best PSL you’ve ever had – no joke!

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

 

 

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Post-Halloween Perfection

The title may sound a bit puffed up – and although the recipe I tried may not have contained what I would call amazing flavors, I’ll go so far as to say that the finished product was visually entertaining. 🙂

About a month ago, I found a recipe called “Roasted Pumpkin Sage Soup,” from skinnytaste.com (never heard of the website.)

Credit: http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/10/roasted-pumpkin-sage-soup.html

Naturally, what really attracted me to this recipe was the picture of the soup in those awesome pumpkin bowls. Weeks ago, when I vowed to make this with the leftover Halloween pumpkins, I decided that that’s exactly what I was going to do – make the soup and serve them in nifty little pumpkin bowls.

I was looking forward to making it all day (more, I think, because I was anxious to play with the pumpkin bowls rather than because I wanted to eat it. Are you tired of hearing “pumpkin bowls” yet? My inner child has overpowered me yet again.)

Well, I followed the recipe down to the last word, and ended up with a pretty satisfying product.

 

pumpkinsagesoup

Trying to be artsy with the pumpkins in the background, lol.

I’m telling you, I think the creation of this blog inspired me to remember to take pictures of the dishes I make. 🙂 Like I mentioned in my intro, 5 times – 5 times and not a time less! – I tried to snap pictures of my cooking, and had failed each time. I’d be halfway through the meal when the light bulb went on: “…Oh yeah, the picture… >_< ”
Not that it means anything to you folks, but this will mark my first successful attempt at photographing the food I make. (Haha, they said it couldn’t be done!)

…Ahem.
All in all, the soup was very tasty.
The recipe suggests garnishing it with sour cream and chopped sage (at least I think it was chopped.) What I tried and found out – which you may or may not agree with – is that the more sour cream you mix into the soup, the tastier it is.

Would I would have done differently: I am a person of robust flavors and often enjoy very rich-tasting food. Not to say I’m the type who would travel to a foreign country and try the world’s hottest pepper or something – but I mean I enjoy fairly strong flavors, such as garlic, Worcestershire sauce, lemon and capers, e.t.c. Very few people in my family appreciate good flavors the way I do, so I’m always on my own when it comes to appreciating those robust flavors I enjoy so much.
Back to the soup: it was tasty, creamy, and “pumpkiny,” but I would have enjoyed it more had it contained a stronger flavor.
When I garnished it with sour cream and sipped a sample, I was under the vague impression that the soup might have been good with some grated cheese on top – maybe Parmesan or some other type of stronger cheese. Do cheese and pumpkin go well together? I have no idea, and if there’s a professional chef out there who’s reading this and tugging at his mustache, by all means, correct me on that. :/
I don’t have a specific idea of how I would change this soup were I to make it again. But to liven up the flavor, I’d err on the side of adding more herbs, maybe some spices to it (aside from the salt and pepper that’s called for in the recipe), and I’d even go so far as to try adding that cheese as a garnish.

Right off the bat, all this soup really had in it were shallots, garlic, chicken broth, and pumpkin. And the sage, too, of course. By my standards, that just isn’t enough. XD

But, if you’re the type who thoroughly enjoys milder flavors and prefers to taste more of the natural, raw ingredients, I’m betting you’ll enjoy the soup – as the original recipe has it – a lot more than I did.
Or, if you’re like me and will sacrifice some of those natural flavors to make it (in our opinion) tastier, I’d try to improvise a little when making this.

I certainly don’t regret it, though! I ate my entire bowls’ worth, and it proved to be a very unique and satisfying first course for the night. My mom enjoyed it immensely, as she isn’t as fond of bold flavors as I am. To quote the Three Bears, I think it was “just right” for her.

All you pumpkin-lovers out there, I’m sure you won’t regret giving this a shot. 🙂

End of this months’ pumpkin story.