It’s not Christmas season, it’s eggnog season! I swear, it’s one of the things I look forward to most. And I don’t mean cocktail style, with rum or whatever people put in it. Just plain old, ridiculously sweet, rich, freaking delicious eggnog. Last year I made pancakes with it. This year I’ve been thinking about making cupcakes. Spice cake with eggnog frosting. I’m pretty excited.
I keep thinking about the pumpkin saturation we’ve been seeing the last few years. every fall, or rather, late summer, pumpkin starts creeping in, and by the end of September you can barely take a step without colliding with something pumpkin-flavored. Maybe it’s that fact, or maybe I just don’t like them as much anymore, but I’m pretty much “over” pumpkin coffees. I’ll get a handful throughout the pumpkin spice season–somewhere between 5 and 10, I’d guess–but I don’t crave them every day and I don’t get that excited for them to come out.
I reserve that feeling for the delicious, probably not nutritious, eggnog latte. Starbucks started having it just before Thanksgiving, so I’ve already managed to have two. Cafenation is advertising one as well. I’m not sure if they have them yet or if I’m going to have to wait a bit longer, but I’m really looking forward to it. Cafenation does everything well, so I’m sure I’ll love it when they combine two of my favorite things, coffee and eggnog.
This should not be such a big deal. You can in fact get eggnog any time of the year, and I suppose I could get an espresso machine (although at this point I don’t really want one), but eggnog has always been seasonal for me. We had it every Christmas morning. And probably Christmas eve. Now I tend to drink it all through December, padding a little in November and January depending on availability. I don’t want it at other times of the year.
That’s probably a good thing. It’s not exactly the best everyday food. But it is THE BEST holiday drink.
There’s something so luxurious and indulgent about getting a pretty for-here latte in an actual mug, the standard leaf pattern on top, sitting in a cafe and sipping it. Knowing you’ve got time to enjoy yourself. This is one thing I think the Italians definitely have right. It’s wonderfully convenient to be able to get coffees, lattes, and anything else you want to go, in paper cups (which you should throw away in a damn trash can, people, because littering is both rude and gross). No one around here has time to sit with a latte on their way to work. Especially not me…
I unfortunately woke up much too late to try to have an enjoyable, leisurely breakfast. I had to grimly accept the fact, because it meant more sleep, and I figured I would just stop quickly at my favorite cafe on the way to work and get a latte (or regular coffee, I hadn’t decided yet). It was, therefore, unbelievably disappointing to find the huge “Cash Only” signs on the door this morning. As usual, I have no cash, and due to an issue with my debit card it’s a pain to get any. It immediately dropped my mood several points. I’m pretty much over it now, but at the time it was very sad. I’m assuming that they’re having a problem with their card scanning equipment and it will be fixed hopefully by tomorrow, because I want stuff from them, dammit.
Yesterday, I caved and ordered pizza for dinner. I have been craving buffalo chicken pizza like a maniac. The default place I order from doesn’t have that option! Can you believe it? I chose another place, and while the pizza is tasty, they really skimped on the chicken. I freaking HATE when pizzerias (or pizzerie, if you want to be technical about it) do that. I mean, I know you want to save money or whatever, but when I order toppings on a pizza, I expect some toppings. You know what I mean?
I’m not saying I won’t order from them again… just that I’ll be kind of annoyed any time I do.
Today definitely feels like fall, and that’s a wonderful thing. It was a perk to the day that I finally got to wear this lovely blue sweater I bought in July. Am I the only one that buys sweaters, boots, and coats in the spring and summer, then having to wait months before I can actually wear them? But it’s ok–just another reason to be excited when fall arrives!
To continue with the Craziest September Ever, it’s another three-day week for me. Since I did a bunch of work yesterday, it’s more like a four-day week. My plan is to work nonstop-ish until Wednesday evening, then take some work home with me to complete, but take advantage of the four-day weekend to get my own stuff done.
“My own stuff” will comprise, probably, a lot of sleeping and lying around. But at least I’ll get to watch So You Think You Can Dance in full on Thursday morning when I wake up (watching it on hulu sucks, but it’s my only option).
With a heavy sigh, I’m going to hunker down and work now, and will not resist my urge to get a Dunkin Donuts pumpkin latte later.
Not being able to afford frequent $4 coffee drinks, I’ve been glancing with mild interest across all kinds of pumpkin latte recipes to make at home to save some money. I can’t make espresso at home, of course, so it would be more of just pumpkin coffee.
I tried the via instant kind, and it’s just not very good. The vanilla ones are ok. The pumpkin ones are disappointing, because you just hope it will be good but it’s too sugary and barely tastes like pumpkin at all.
But, having a pumpkin-related idea, I had to try it out. If you like a pumpkin spice latte and want to make them at home, here’s a good and REALLY easy way to approximate one:
1. Brew coffee. Whatever variety you have is fine. Any preference will work for this. If you make espresso, you’d probably have to mix it with cream or milk first and then go to step 2, but as I said, I don’t make espresso at home, so you’ll just have to improvise I guess…
2. Put one small scoop of pumpkin ice cream into a mug. I prefer Trader Joe’s variety, as it has the pumpkin pie spices mixed into it already.
3. Pour fresh, hot coffee over ice cream and stir until ice cream is completely melted. I also added a little half and half just to increase the amount of liquid in my mug.
optional 4: Garnish with whipped cream and pumpkin pie spice.
I think it tastes very close to the starbucks psl, but somehow better – richer, maybe, since I’m flavoring it with ice cream instead of pumpkin syrup. This time I used a vanilla coffee, but I’m thinking I’d prefer it with a smooth, earthy dark roast.
P. S. I did something resembling baking earlier today, so I’m planning to post about it very soon.
I like to scroll through food blog entries and just about everyone and their mom and their mom’s dog and the dog’s favorite leg is currently writing about pumpkin foods and drinks. It seems like it’s already been talked to death and fall only started a few weeks ago! So I’ll just stick to my main points about pumpkins and food.
1. Most places are using pumpkin syrup to flavor their lattes – not actual pumpkin – so there is no good reason they can’t serve them year-round. They are so delicious, and I don’t only want them in the fall. I understand why they do it, but I hate them.
2. The Starbucks variety of pumpkin lattes are not very good. I like my lattes to taste like coffee, with pumpkin flavoring and spices. Not like sugar with pumpkin flavoring and maybe a hint of coffee. I have gotten one this season, and a pumpkin spice frappucino, which I enjoyed – but that I did not expect to taste like coffee. My preference would be Peet’s, which in fact tastes much more like coffee, but they’re less conveniently located. They also have a pumpkin chai option, which I must say is soooooooooooooooo good. With more o’s. If you like chai and pumpkin, there is no way you won’t like this. Try one!
Read the rest of this entry