Friday, October 2, 2015

homemade pumpkin spice latte

i know... it's totally that time of year that people are obsessed with their PSLs. not me. i don't loooooove a pumpkin spice latte. i just don't! there's something about it that's just a bit too much for me. too much milk. too much fake flavoring. i just don't love it. BUT, last weekend when B and i had a quiet sunday morning, i took the opportunity to whip up a little treat... a homemade pumpkin spice latte. i loved the idea that i could tailor it to my liking - both in taste, strength AND the amount of milk i wanted in my coffee.

these were a hit :) extra wifey points for me!

recipe via the kitchn

makes 2 lattes

2-3 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more to garnish
fresh ground black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups milk (we used 1%)
1-2 espresso shots, or strongly brewed coffee

1. in a small saucepan over medium heat, cook the pumpkin with the pumpkin pie spice and a generous helping of black pepper for 2 minutes or until hot and smells cooked. stir constantly.

2. add sugar and stir until the mixture looks like a bubbly thick syrup.

3. whisk in the milk and vanilla extract. warm gently over medium heat, watching carefully to make sure it doesn't boil over.

4. optional: carefully blend milk mixture with a hand blender, or traditional blender.

if you're using a fuller fat milk, this will really make your mixture frothy. for those using a skimmer milk, i found that this step doesn't make a huge difference.

5. make espresso or coffee and divide between two mugs, and add frothed milk. feel free to add a whipped cream topping and an extra sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon or nutmeg.

6. enjoy! :)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

an afternoon stroll through Eze

let me tell you a little story about Eze. first of all, both ben and i are pretty type A (if you hadn't noticed) and so there was a ton of research that went into planning a trip to europe. don't get me wrong - we definitely winged it sometimes, but we had most of days mapped out (yes, we even had some dinner reservations, LOL!) we had heard great things about Eze, but it is so small that we decided we'd just show up and wing it for the afternoon. we did a day trip from nice, spent the morning in monaco, and then stopped in Eze on the way home. i figured we'd get a coffee or an afternoon snack and be on our way. 

we arrive in Eze and see a grand total of two other people at the train station - obviously we had beat the crowds! i wasn't totally sure where to go, so we just started walking. of course it was the hottest day of our trip and we had already covered every square inch of monaco on foot - so we were pretty tuckered out. there was a path of stairs that climbed strait up - through gorgeous neighborhoods, pictured below. we saw charming villas, little school houses, and ridiculous views. when we decided we were technically lost and were going to give up on finding the town center, we ascended the little hill and trekked back to the train station.

it was then that we saw a map (hello), a tourist information booth, and a bus that transports you to Eze city center, almost an hour away. LOL! really good planning on my part :) ben didn't let me live this down the whole rest of our trip! the silver living? an afternoon stroll in a gorgeous little village off the beaten path. now who can have regrets about that??? :)

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