I love Thanksgiving. Who doesn’t really? It’s a day when most Americans take a break, log off, and reflect on the prior year and the year to come.
In our family tradition, we always go around the table and say one thing that we are thankful for. Mostly family, friends, food, shelter, love. All good things.
This year I’m also thankful for everyone who has supported this wild dream of mine to become a professional artist. It’s not something I ever contemplated moving out of the “hobby” realm until YOU showed me that I could. So THANK YOU for your encouragement and love.
THANK YOU for buying my art.
THANK YOU for putting me in touch with industry professionals to answer my questions.
THANK YOU for networking with me and on my behalf.
THANK YOU for giving me a chance to create something unique for you.
THANK YOU for taking my business cards and passing them along to your friends and acquaintances and interior decorators. (And let me know if you want more!)
THANK YOU for telling me I can and AM doing it.
And in looking ahead to 2017, let me know what I can do for YOU.
It came as a bit of a shock this morning that it was so chilly and windy outside. It shouldn’t have since it’s already October, but it’s been so beautiful for so long that I forgot it was fall and no longer summer! After a morning coffee date (and before visiting some potential new apartments this afternoon), I threw together some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
To be perfectly honest, the reason I went with oatmeal cookies was because I had a huge tupperware container of oatmeal taking up WAY too much room in the cupboard and I had to get rid of it.
The recipe I adapted from allrecipes is an eggless one, which is perfect because I don’t have any eggs, AND because I can eat the batter guiltlessly. A word to the wise though: don’t eat too much batter if raw oatmeal makes your tummy upset.
While the recipe doesn’t call for eggs, it does mean the cookies are a bit drier than a typical moist oatmeal cookie.
A few adaptations and tips:
Use all brown sugar to keep the cookies chewier
Use dark chocolate chips for a richer flavor (and to be slightly healthier depending on how dark you go)
Add a pinch of cinnamon for a fall flavor
Skip the oatmeal altogether, add the chocolate chips, wrap the uncooked dough in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator to snack on. Why must the cookies be baked to enjoy?
Here’s the recipe with my changes:
Ingredients & Procedure:
1 cp butter (slightly softened)
1 cp brown sugar (light or dark)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Beat the above ingredients until well-blended.
In a saucepan, boil 1/4 cp water and dissolve 1 tsp baking soda into that.
To the butter-sugar-vanilla mixture, add: 1.5 cp flour and 1 tsp salt (optional pinch of cinnamon) and stir.
Add the water-baking soda mixture and stir.
Add 2 cps oatmeal and at least 1 cp chocolate chips (to taste based on the darkness of the chocolate and how chocolatey you like your cookies).
Bake teaspoon-sized balls on parchment lined cookie sheets at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown
One time I went over to my boss’ home for coffee and paperwork. The coffee she was brewing smelled so good, I thought it was some specialty flavored kind. It tasted richly of cinnamon and milk.
Then she let me in on her secret: it was just regular ground coffee but she added a few taps of ground cinnamon to the top of the coffee grounds before brewing. It was like drinking flavored coffee!
This year, with the presence of Starbucks around the corner from my apartment (and really anyone’s apartment in Manhattan), I’ve been drinking Pumpkin Spice Lattes like I have $5 to spend on daily coffee.
They are a deliciously warm and remind me of good autumnal times. But let’s be honest, they are full of sugar, fake sugar, chemicals and cost a million dollars (not really, but they’re not cheap).
So even though I don’t think I’ll totally quit my Sbux habit, I have come up with an equally (although less syrupy-sugary-sweet) yummy version of the #PSL that I can make at home.
While I’ve been a devoted cinnamon-shaker ever since that morning when I learned my boss’ trick, I never thought about taking it to the next level in terms of adding AAAALLLLL the pumpkin pie spices.
So that’s what I did: after measuring out my ground coffee, I sprinkled a good amount of cinnamon, a bit of nutmeg, a bit less of ginger and threw in some whole cloves (although ground would’ve been fine too) on top of the coffee, and brewed away.
The result was coffee that tasted like pumpkin pie! Without any added chemicals, syrups, sweeteners or sugar.
Now, you could just add milk and call it a day. Or sugar, or simple syrup if you like your coffee sweet.
But I took it a step further and warmed some milk up in a pot (not to boiling but almost) and transferred it to a mug with a spout (I have a special metal one for frothing milk but a measuring cup would do too).
Using an aerolatte milk frother that we got for our wedding, and a technique I learned while barista-ing it up at my bakery gig, I added some creamy warm milk and latte foam to the top of my coffee ~ instant pumpkin spice latte!
So here’s the trick: either keep the frother near the bottom of the cup of milk and keep it steady to create some foam but also to generally steam the milk; or move the wand slowly up and then slowly back down to create tons of foam ~ more like cappuccino-style, less warm milk, more foam.
Maybe a sprinkle of cinnamon to top it off? And even if you don’t have the milk frother, just add warm milk to your pumpkin spice coffee, try it and let me know what you think!