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Fascinating Fall: Pumpkin Tea Latte and Kettle Corn

Ahh… the sweet flavor of fall.

Fall is above and beyond, my very favorite season.  I guess it’s the feel of the cool air- a fresh sensation following the dreadful humid heat, the beauty of trees changing colors, the smells, and most importantly- the food. 

As much as I love the fresh produce of summer, I cannot wait to begin seeing pumpkin, butternut squash, and spaghetti squash available!  My favorite seasonings are cinnamon, cocoa, and honey.  I think I was “born this way” (and remember, “God makes no mistakes; I’m on the right track baby…”; sorry- gotta love Gaga!), but I have always loved rich food; dark chocolate; dry, bold red wine; dark, bold coffee; creamy casseroles; and heavy soups.

So naturally, I get giddy when I see orange leaves outside! 

An obsession with rich, heavy foods does not have to mean you can’t be healthy!  I will be sharing all kinds of foods to fit these fancies, and how to keep your health in mind along the way.  Don’t forget that the fundamental principle with living a healthy lifestyle is to keep it real- make it yourself.  So put down that package of hot chocolate loaded with sugar and unknowns, and let’s get into the kitchen!

First in line- the perfect enhancement for my night in last Friday…


Pumpkin Tea Latte

adapted from Modern, Christian Woman 

1 tea bag (any kind- I used green) 

1 cup water 

A couple spoonfuls of cooked (or canned) pumpkin 


 Pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg) 

1 cup milk (I used soymilk)


Steep the bag until tea is ready.  Heat the milk, then whisk in other ingredients.  Combine milk mixture with tea.  Feel free to mix it up- add cocoa, vanilla, or whatever else sounds delicious!


Have you ever made popcorn on the stove top?  I have always avoided it, thinking I needed that special popcorn popper pan… not true!  I hear you can also do it in the microwave (in a paper sack), but have never tried.  On the stove, just use a heavy bottom pan with a lid.  Add some oil to it (I like sunflower or coconut oil– something that can withstand high heat), and some seasonings.  For my kettle corn, I added salt and brown sugar.  Pour in a couple tablespoons of popcorn.  Note- popcorn explodes way more than you may estimate; so start with a little and add more if you need to!  When it begins to pop, just shake that pan like crazy, so it doesn’t burn.  Once there is a pause between pops, remove from the heat and enjoy (the entire, humongous bowl if you’re like me).


What’s your fall favorite?



Spaghetti Squash Surprise

Fall brings along some of the very best foods, mostly members of the squash family.  Acorn, butternut, spaghetti, and my personal favorite, pumpkin! Yum.  I’ve heard of spaghetti squash, and also thought it sounded intriguing.   
So, tonight I decided to try out this odd winter squash.  Tyler was scared… and I may have been a little also.  But the results were pure deliciousness!
Here’s what I did:
Washed a spaghetti squash, and cut it in half and scooped out the seeds.  I then brushed some garlic herb olive oil and sprinkled some pepper on the flesh side, then put the halves flesh side down on a foil lined baking sheet.  They then roasted in the 450 degree oven for about 35 minutes. 
While the squash cooled, I heated up Bertolli vodka sauce on the stove (our go-to super delicious sauce, even though it comes in a jar J).  Then I scooped out the flesh, which really truly did come out looking just like spaghetti!  I stirred it into the sauce, and mixed together.  We ate some edamame and farmer’s wheat bread from our favorite baker, Breadsmith. 
Now, Tyler and I (especially Tyler) do not watch calories or carbs.  But, if you do try to limit these, spaghetti squash would be an awesome alternative to pasta! It was a little crunchier than well-cooked pasta, but really all you can taste is the sauce.  I imagine you can eat it with any sauce you would typically pair with pasta.  It might even be better than pasta, especially if you have a delicious sauce you aren’t wanting to compete with the taste of the noodles(especially if you use whole wheat noodles like I tend to).
Give it a try with your favorite pasta sauce, and you just might, like me, be pleasantly surprised! Have a happy and safe Halloween, and until next time…