Pumpkin Spice Latte

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On the weekends we like to make the most of our Breville Barista Express, making what we consider a latte.  We bought it as a Christmas present for ourselves last year and have not been disappointed with the purchase.  It has even turned us into bean snobs, right now we only order in beans from Brooklyn.  You can taste the difference and the grind is so much better than any bean from Starbucks.

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With a little crisp of Fall in the air I wanted to make the ever famous Pumpkin Spice Latte.  I browsed a lot of recipes online before settling with these proportions below.  I tried to make it both healthy and light in flavor as I don’t enjoy feeling like I’m drinking the uncooked filling of a pumpkin pie.


– 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened

-1 cup of coconut milk (from a can, I like Trader Joe’s light version)

– 2-3 Tbsp up to 1/4 cup Pumpkin puree (I used the Libby’s brand)

– 2 Tbsp vanilla extract

– 1/2 to 3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

-1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground cloves

-a few dashes of nutmeg, freshly ground if you have it

– 2 Tbsp amber agave syrup or maple syrup, more to taste

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1. In a small heavy sauce pan heat above ingredients (I used heaping proportions of spices and agave) without bringing to a boil for 5 minutes.  Mix well.

2. Use as a creamer in coffee, steam for a latte mixed with a shot of espresso, or pour over ice with a shot of espresso for an iced version.

3. Since the mix can be light depending on how heavy you are with proportions, you will want to add a bit to the coffee for a fuller pumpkin spice flavor.  I added half coffee and half heated creamer.  The best flavor match-up is a shot or two of espresso and a cup of the creamer, warm or over ice.

4. Garnish with pumpkin pie spice or nutmeg.

5. Store the extra in the fridge for a few days in a sealed container.

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Mango Mint Smoothie

After my first fall morning run I wanted a satisfying and refreshing smoothie to continue the healthy start to my day.  The best part about a smoothie is that the combination possibilities are endless.  Today I used some fruits found in the fridge and fresh herbs from the balcony, the combo was everything I wanted and more.

2013-09-22 12.12.08Ingredients:

– 1 Kiwi, peeled and quartered

– 1 Mango, peeled and sliced

– 1 cup red seedless grapes

– Juice of 1 grapefruit

– 12 mint leaves

– 4 basil leaves

– 1 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds

– Soda water and Ice as needed for consistency

2013-09-22 12.05.57Directions:

Pt everything in the blender and blend until smooth.  Garnish with fresh mint leaves if desired.  Makes 3 smoothies, so share with a friend or two!

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Grapefruit and Mint Cocktail

This drink started out as a refreshing afternoon beverage, then turned into a signature cocktail later at night by adding a shot of Bombay Sapphire Gin.  Delicious.

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-2 Lime slices

-1 Tbsp Mint simple syrup

-10-15 mint leaves

-Grapefruit juice

-Seltzer water

-Gin (optional)

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1. In the bottom of your glass muddle together the slices of lime, mint leaves, and mint simple syrup.

2. Fill the glass with ice and add a shot of gin, then fill the glass about half way with grapefruit juice, and finish off with seltzer water.

3. I then stirred everything together, but I was told the seltzer water will act as a natural stir to mix everything together.

To make the mint simple syrup:

I made this the other day when I was making the lavender simple syrup, I knew it would come in handy at some point.

Dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar into 1 cup of water over medium/high heat (3-5 minutes).  Remove from heat and add about 1 cup of mint leaves to the syrup, let cool completely before straining off the leaves.  Store in a sealed container the refrigerator.

Lavender Iced Sweet Tea

For a refreshing summer drink I took a spin off of a mint spritzer iced tea recipe that was shared with me.  I made this beverage with seltzer water today, but would be great for a brunch cocktail with champagne.



-2 cups of loose leaf earl grey tea, brewed and cooled.

-1 1/2 tsp of lavender simple syrup (more depending on how sweet you want it)

-1 Lemon wedge

-seltzer water



I started by making loose leave earl grey tea and letting it cool.  I poured the tea over ice in a large pint glass about 3/4 of the way full, then added the lavender simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, then topped off with seltzer water.  Garnished with a sprig of mint.

To make the Lavender Simple Syrup:

-1/2 cup of sugar

-1 cup of water

-4 sprigs of lavender greens.

Dissolve the sugar in water over medium/high heat.  Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved and add lavender sprigs to water.  Let sit until cooled then strain out the lavender.  Store in refrigerator.  I made some mint infused simple syrup at the same time for future concoctions.