Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa

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Warm spices mingling with rich cocoa, a touch of pumpkin mixed in, topped with maple whipped cream – it’s a whole new way to enjoy fall.

Every year as the cooler weather settles in the world gets a tiny bit extremely excited about pumpkin spice lattes and other fall drinks. I didn’t get the hype for several years until I made one myself, after that I was hooked.

This year as autumn made it’s appearance I decided that I needed a change – enter pumpkin spice hot cocoa! Chocolate and pumpkin are a surprising, yet delicious combination. That’s why recipes such as my pumpkin chocolate chip muffins are so tasty.

I am a huge fan of hot cocoa, and all forms of dark chocolate, if truth be told. I pretty much have a hot cocoa recipe to go with each season now that this tasty pumpkin spice version has been added to my list.

Learn how to make your own at The Nourishing Gourmet! 

Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa

Pumpkin Spice Hot Cocoa- www.nourishingsimplicity.org

Homemade Chilie Mocha

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Spicy and sweet with lots of cocoa- pure delight!

Chilie mochas are all the rage right now if you go to a certain chain coffee shop, though I doubt if they will ever hold a candle to the pumpkin spice latte. Yet if you are a chocolate loving person, you will probably find a place in your heart for this “new” coffee drink as well.

I’ll admit when I went in to get a coffee and enjoy the free internet a couple weeks ago I was rather tempted to try one. Instead, I opted to make my own homemade chilie mocha because that’s what I do.

I have no idea why I never made a spicy mocha before now. I used to make spicy hot cocoa for my girls in Mexico. I even make a spicy chocolate headache relieving paste but the chilie mocha never crossed my kitchen until two weeks ago.

Now that I have enjoyed one several, you can be sure that I will continue to do so. Chilie and cocoa are the perfect pairing, if you have ever had chicken mole, you know exactly what I am talking about if you haven’t you better get on it. 😉

Coffee shops may be calling your name but first give this spicy treat a try.

Other seasonal drinks to enjoy: 

Homemade Chilie Mocha

2 cups raw milk (or milk substitute of choice)
1/2 cup espresso or strong coffee
2 TBS cocoa powder
1- 2 TBS sucanat (or sugar)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp unrefined salt
Whipped cream (optional)

In a small sauce pot, heat the milk over low heat. If you are using raw milk be sure not to heat over 110 degrees.

Mix the cocoa powder, sucanat, cinnamon, cayenne, paprika, and unrefined salt in a small bowl. Add the espresso/coffee and vanilla. Stir in to make a thick paste.

Add the cocoa paste to the warm milk. Wisk until smooth.

Pour into two cups, top with whipped cream, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and cayenne if desired.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Chilie Mocha
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups raw milk (or milk substitute of choice)
  • ½ cup espresso or strong coffee
  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 1- 2 TBS sucanat (or sugar)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼-1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground paprika
  • ¼ tsp unrefined salt
  • Whipped cream (optional)
Instructions
  1. In a small sauce pot, heat the milk over low heat. If you are using raw milk be sure not to heat over 110 degrees.
  2. Mix the cocoa powder, sucanat, cinnamon, cayenne, paprika, and unrefined salt in a small bowl. Add the espresso/coffee and vanilla. Stir in to make a thick paste.
  3. Add the cocoa paste to the warm milk. Wisk until smooth.
  4. Pour into two cups, top with whipped cream, and sprinkle with additional cinnamon and cayenne if desired.

 

Easy DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

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Warm spices bursting with the fragrance of fall, ready for use in a moment’s notice all blended together in a cute little jar. Oh, the joys of pumpkin pie spice blend.

For years I was a die hard purest when it came to spice blends. I would not use them, not on your life.

I would only use each spice individually, putting my nose up in the air and insisted that each recipe I created needed to have its own exact measurements of each individual spice for optimal flavor.

Well, I digress. I have discovered the joys of creating some of my own blends for simplicity sake. It’s true, I often prefer to add individual spices to recipe, but sometimes you just need a break.

Last year I caved and created my own garam masala blend, followed by this pumpkin pie spice blend. I have a couple blends more waiting to be shared as well. When I cave, I cave big time. 😉

I have so many fall beverages and treats that I like to make, that it made sense to keep pumpkin pie spice  on hand to have pumpkin pie lattes and such ready in less time.

Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend

4 TBS ground cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cloves

Add all the ground spices to a jar. Shake until mixed. It’s as easy as pie. 😉

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice Blend
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 4 TBS ground cinnamon
  • 2½ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
Instructions
  1. Add all the ground spices to a jar. Shake until mixed. It's as easy as pie. 😉

Do you like to use spice blends? If so, what is your favourite?

Bowl of Soul (Chamomile Latte)

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Smooth chamomile infused almond milk, drizzled with raw honey, with a sprinkle of dark chocolate, and a dash of cinnamon- pure bliss in a cup.

Earlier this year my friend was raving to me about a drink she had at a shop (The Naked Lounge, no naked people involved in case you wanted to know…) in Sacramento called “Bowl of Soul”, also known as a chamomile latte, topped with whipped cream, chocolate, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

She knew that I love to recreate all types of coffee and tea drinks, so she asked, begged me to recreate it.

I am not one to say no to a challenge like that. I right away stepped up to the plate, and at our very next girls’ night, I brought the necessary ingredients over to make our long anticipated hot drinks. Let’s just say my version of the Bowl of Soul did not disappoint.

Right away it was given a stamp of approval.

While the flavour combination may be unusual, don’t be put off. I would never think that they could pair so beautifully together but they do.

Be still my tea loving heart, the Bowl of Soul has won me over. It may even take the place of London Fog as a new favourite, shh, don’t tell my poor Earl Grey that…

It’s almost fitting since I was a chamomile fan well before I discovered them joys of black tea.

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Bowl of Soul (Chamomile Latte)

3 cups almond milk
4 TBS dried chamomile flowers
3 TBS raw honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 oz dark chocolate
Whipped cream, optional

Add the almond milk and chamomile to a sauce pan. Heat on low until hot. Turn off the heat and allow the chamomile to steep for 5 minutes.

Strain the chamomile or remove the tea bags. Add two tablespoons of honey and the vanilla extract. Stir until the honey has dissolved.

Froth the milk with a frother, or in a blender.

Divide the milk between two mugs.

Grate the chocolate over the two mugs, sprinkle with the cinnamon, and drizzle the remaining one tablespoon of raw honey over the top. Top with whipped cream if desired.

Bowl of Soul (Chamomile Latte)
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups almond milk
  • 4 TBS dried chamomile flowers
  • 3 TBS raw honey
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 oz dark chocolate
  • Whipped cream, optional
Instructions
  1. Add the almond milk and chamomile to a sauce pan. Heat on low until hot. Turn off the heat and allow the chamomile to steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Strain the chamomile or remove the tea bags. Add two tablespoons of honey and the vanilla extract. Stir until the honey has dissolved.
  3. Froth the milk with a frother, or in a blender.
  4. Divide the milk between two mugs.
  5. Grate the chocolate over the two mugs, sprinkle with the cinnamon, and drizzle the remaining one tablespoon of raw honey over the top. Top with whipped cream if desired.

 

8 Tips for Bringing Meals to Friends

8 Tips for Bringing Meals to Friends

A hot meal brought to your door. There are few things better than that.

At some point in life, most of us have been on the receiving end of a meal brought to our house by a friend. Maybe it was because you had a baby, experienced an illness, a death in the family, or moved. There are so many reasons why you may have been blessed through a meal that you didn’t have to cook.

Meals can be an amazing thing! I 100% acknowledge that they are a tremendous blessing. As a teen, my mom had breast cancer, and now as an adult, my brother is terminally ill. I have benefited from many meals and been brought to tears by people’s above and beyond kindness.

Now, when I am able, I love to bless others with meals! 

Unfortunately, I’ve also experienced or had others share with me not so awesome moments, from people who are truly trying to help but don’t quite get it. It’s okay, most of us have been there too.

Along the way, I realized that it’s simply because if you haven’t been there, you don’t get it. Or perhaps it is just out of your comfort zone.

These 8 tips for bringing meals to friends is a great place to get you started if you are unsure of what to do!

8 Tips for Bringing Meals to Friends

1. Set up Plan

No one wants to get the same meal three days in a row. Believe me, you’re talking to the gal that ate pasta of three different variety for about a week straight as a teen, and still had leftovers.

If someone is sick or just had a new baby, calling to check to see what they want can be overwhelming.

Sites like Meal Train are amazing! They take the think work out for you. If you know of a new mom or a family in need of meals, set up an account, and have people sign up to bring meals. There is a calendar that allows people to sign up for a specific day and the dish you are bringing, no more repeat meals!

As an added bonus you can put a preferred time for the meal to be dropped off, bringing me to the second tip, list your food needs.

2. Listen to Their Needs

If there are things the family you are cooking for can not eat or dislikes, be sure to find that out, so that your meal will be a blessing.

There were a couple times in my teen years where we had to give a meal away and scrounge for food because what we were given made us sick. Our bodies didn’t handle rich or highly processed meals well.

Please don’t scoff at their list, there are so many people with food allergies and intolerances. Know that when there is something on their “do not bring list”, it could be because of a serious health concern.

It’s not about you, it’s about blessing them.

3. Embrace Disposables

I am an eco-conscious woman but there is a time and place for disposables. The last thing a family who has a new baby, or is sick needs is to wash dishes. If it helps your conscious, find disposables that can be recycled. They will love you for it, believe me!

You might even want to include disposable dishes and flat wear. No clean up is exactly what they need.

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4. Have a few Set Tried and True Recipes

Bringing a meal to a family is not the time to test out that new recipe you found on Pinterest. Stick to meals that you know how to make well, and that are not full of “experimental” or unusual ingredients and technics.

If you don’t have time to cook don’t feel guilty about take-out. In fact, it might be a special treat to the family you are bringing the meal to!

5. Don’t Forget the Extras

Make it a meal. If you sign up don’t forgot sides, maybe even add in dessert. (As long as the family on the receiving end wants sweets.)

A well-rounded meal stretches further and leaves the family feeling satisfied. If you don’t have the time to make all the extras don’t feel bad about picking them up at the grocery store.

6. Think Beyond Dinner

Maybe you work nights and can’t bring dinner. People have to eat three times a day. Check to see if you can drop by foods that are good for breakfast, lunch, or a snack instead.

You might just bless their socks off!

7. Add Something Special

A simple bouquet of mixed flowers, a book, or a family friendly movie might be that special touch that makes their day.

If you sign up for a few meals, you don’t have to do this every time but on occasion, it is a thoughtful gesture.

8. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome

You care about the people you are bringing food to. They know that otherwise, you wouldn’t be bringing them food in the first place.

Whatever the circumstance is, the fact that they need a meal brought to them means that they are emotionally, physically, and mentally drained.

Don’t stay more than a few minutes, unless they specifically ask you to stay for awhile. There will be other times you visit when they are feeling more like themselves.

Know that you are a blessing!

You are such a rich, and wonderful blessing that it brings me close to tears thinking of all the times our family has been so blessed by receiving meals when we were going through difficult times.

What are you best tips for bringing meals to friends?

Do you find it hard to get nourishing real meals on the table? Let Tradishen help take the guess work out of menu planning for you! Find recipes like this one and more at Tradishen.

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