Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

First of all, this beautiful picture of a pumpkin spice latte? This one right here?

 

Is not mine. If this had been on my kitchen counter this morning, I would be a lot more excited right now.

Confession numero uno.

Confession numero dos is that this recipe didn’t totally work for me. People have been talking it up like crazy, but I found it to be a little too nutmeggy, not enough frothy, and not sweet enough.

Next time, I’ll use a bit less pumpkin pie spice, a little more cinnamon, and I am officially putting a milk frother on my wish list! So few dollars for so much frothy milk magic, I can’t believe I don’t own one already.

Ansel Adams + Yosemite

A match made in heaven.

 {Half Dome}

{Cathedral Peak}

{Yosemite Valley}

I’m heading out to Yosemite tomorrow for the last of the season’s camping trips. I can’t wait to hike in the crisp Fall air, snuggle into my sleeping bag at night, and wake up outside!

What are you doing this weekend?

Perfect Pumpkin Patch Ensemble

Perfect Pumpkin Patch Ensemble

 

 

Wouldn’t this outfit be just perfect for a day at the pumpkin patch? Simple, chic and seasonal, with enough tomboy to heft a pumpkin and enough girly glam to look adorable while doing it. Add a sassy ponytail and cuff the jeans to complete the look!

Also, say what you will about Old Navy, but they are the only store where I’ve found pants petite enough for me. Banana Republic petites – fail. J. Crew petites – fail. Old Navy ankle size is both cheap and golden in terms of fit. And that, friends, is a pretty perfect combination.

Old Navy dark wash jeans
$35 – oldnavy.gap.com

ASOS wingtip shoes
$61 – asos.com

H&M plastic shades
$6 – hm.com

A Kiss of Glam Lipstick in Red
$22 – modcloth.com

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Do you like pumpkin? Do you like oatmeal goodness? Do you like chocolate? (Wait – you don’t? Are you an alien?) Okay great. Then that means you are going to like these cookies. And by “like” I obviously mean “go completely gaga over and want to have them all the time in your mouth, with the eating and the rapid consuming.”

Obviously.

These cookies came into my life by way of my friend D, who celebrates the coming of Fall with me every year by baking these cookies and doing something Fall-esque. This year Fall meant a bonfire on the beach and a bike ride through Golden Gate Park, though Fall has also meant getting drunk and watching scary  movies or eating breakfast for dinner. Fall is flexible.

But these cookies are not. They are mandatory! They are insistent! They are, in a word, delicious. Please bake them posthaste.

PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients:

. 4 c. unsifted all-purpose flour
. 2 c. quick or old-fashioned oats, uncooked
. 1 1/2 c. butter, softened
. 2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
. 1 (16 oz.) Libby’s solid pack pumpkin
. 1 c. real semi-sweet chocolate morsels OR the entire bag, because why not?!
. 1 c. granulated sugar
. 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
. 2 tsp. baking soda
. 1 egg
. 1 tsp. salt
. 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350.

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and set them aside.

3. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars, beating them until they are nice and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla and continue to mix well.

4. Add in the dry ingredients and the pumpkin in batches, mixing well as you go.

If you have a KitchenAid mixer, now is the time to use it. As has been mentioned, oh, about a thousand times, I do not have a KitchenAid (though I’m considering a sham wedding just to get one) so we eventually mixed by hand. Literally:

5. Add in your chips! You can add in as many or as few as you want, but we opted for the entire bag, because, uh, yum.

6. These are traditional drop cookies, so just plop on a lightly greased baking sheet with an average sized cereal spoon. Bake for 12 – 20 minutes, depending on your oven. We like to do 6 minutes on the bottom rack, then 6 more on the top rack, but do what you need based on your oven.

These are delicious right out of the oven, but they are beyond bomb when served cold. I know, I know. Your inner cookie monster is vigorously shaking his head at the lack of logic, but it’s true. The longer you wait to eat these, the better they are.

Have yourself a very merry baking party.

A General Malaise


Do you ever just feel blah? Like, come home from work and curl up into a comfy place at 6 p.m. and don’t climb out until the next morning blah? My favorite episode of This American Life is a show called Road Trip! (exclamation point included). It features, among many hilarious tales, a story with the phrase “a general malaise” and it cracked me up when I heard it, because it was the perfect expression of that feeling we all get sometimes. Nothing is wrong, but nothing seems particularly right either, and indifference reigns: about commitments, relationships, what to eat, wear, do, and even about whether or not to get up in the morning. So, pretty much the entire world. Yes, all of it.

If you think I sound like an anti-depressant commercial, you can rest assured, I will not be posting any photos of myself (shot through a color filter so everything is that slightly blueish, extremely depressing tone) crying in a chunky sweater in an isolated, Northwest-esque landscape, or video clips of myself looking murderously at my dog. We’re at least ten years and a few kids away from that amount of panic. Besides, I don’t have a dog to murder, and if I felt like getting all homicidal up in here, I’d definitely take out the frat boy neighbors first.

I kid! Sorta!

But seriously – I’d love to know – do you ever get the general malaise? How do you fight back?

 

Image via The Steward