Sunday, October 30, 2011

Choc-"boo!"-late Munch

Okay, so I got the "baking" bug tonight and since tomorrow is Halloween, I decided to whip up some Halloween inspired munchy stuff! So here is what I threw together that I had around my house to create my Choc-"boo!"-late Munch!

3 cups of mini pretzels
2 cups honey nut Chex
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups of Reese's Pieces

1. Lay out the pretzels, Chex, and peanuts.
 2. Melt the chocolate on low heat. (I also added a couple tablespoons of water to thin out the chocolate.)
 3. Mix the chocolate and pretzel mix together. I just went simple and used my hands.
4. Mix in the Reese's Pieces. (I used 1.5 cups, but you can use more if you'd like. That was all I had, but it turned out to be enough I think!)

To get in the spirit, I got some Blood Orange sparkling -ade to go with for a little late night snack, and as far as the rest goes...I needed to get it out of my house as soon as possible before I ate the whole batch!

 So I packaged it up to send it to work with Q. And PRESTO! It's vanished! No more temptation!

This would be great to do with left-over Halloween candy too!

Cheap Expensive Coffee

I decided I’d start this week with a little indulgence. Since we are now on only one income, the habit 
of shelling out $4 for a cup of coffee from Starbucks was quickly out of the question. However, lately 
I’ve been hearing all the hoopla about the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte that I haven’t even tried 
yet. So I ran to Starbucks to partake and decided that it was definitely worth trying to repeat at home! 
What’s a girl on a budget to do???
   So here is the recipe I used for a Pumpkin Spice Latte - IN A CROCKPOT! Basically, this recipe is 
equivalent to a little more than a Grande at Starbucks (I’m estimating here).  I programmed a pot of 
coffee to be brewed at 6 this morning so my coffee would be ready by 8.
Here is the recipe I stole: 
-2 cups milk
-2 T canned pumpkin
-2 T white sugar
-2 T vanilla
-1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (if you don’t have this on hand, you can easily make it by combining 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a tiny pinch of ground ginger)
-3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
Put coffee & milk into crockpot. Whisk in everything else. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours and you’re done!!

It was definitely sweet, but all in all definitely comparable to my much missed Starbucks and definitely cheaper!
The only problem I had this morning was, What am I going to do with all this left over pumpkin? 
I only used 2 T out of the whole can for the latte! (as pictured below)
So while my coffee was “cooking”, I decided to bake some pumpkin bread using a recipe courtesy of my friend, Alissa, to finish off the left overs!
Here’s the recipe for one 9x5 loaf:
-1 cup pure pumpkin
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1 1/3 cup sugar
-2 eggs
-1 1/2 cup flour
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp cinnamon
-1/2 tsp nutmeg
-1/2 tsp ground cloves

          1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease & flour one 9x5 inch loaf pan.

  1. 2.Mix the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs together in a large bowl.
  1. 3.Combine everything else together and then stir that into the pumpkin mixture. Stir well.
  1.        4. Spread batter into loaf pan.
    5. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour. (I have a convectional oven for baking and it took the whole hour for it to completely bake through for me.)

    It was a successful morning. I got my coveted coffee, Clark got some fresh baked pumpkin bread for breakfast, and I felt somewhat productive...which doesn't always happen as often as I would like for some reason...