Welcome back to the blog and another episode of the #FallInLoveTAG2 by Marta from Caffelatte for Breakfast. It’s November and the weather is changing for the worst, so this time we are talking about those rituals for a rainy Sunday afternoon in this episode called Tea & Biscuits.
I am a big tea lover and you saw my essential blankie in the first episode of this Fall tag here. However, one of the biggest discoveries in this fall season in the US is pumpkin spices! I picked up my first tub in September to make a classic pumpkin pie and have been using them almost everyday since!
Pumpkin spices are a blend of cinnamon, ginger, lemon peel, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. The flavor reminded me immediately of the dutch speculaas spices with an extra kick given by the lemon peel and a bit more ginger. Needless to say, I am hooked! After making a pumpkin pie I started using them to make my breakfast, giving extra flavor to my apples and almond milk oats, which is my favorite way to start a cold day and will keep my insides warm all morning.
Pumpkin Spice Apple Oats
- 150 gr of cooking apple (Ida Red is my favorite now)
- 1/3 cup of old fashioned oats
- 2/3 cup of almond milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin spices
Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat and cook 5 minutes until it becomes a sticky but not dry mixure. Think of it like a risotto, stir it now and then and give it love.
The oats are my comfort breakfast for the cold months, but when it’s cold and rainy outside and I’m curled up on the couch with my blanket in the afternoon, the best thing to have is a warm drink next to me. My latest discovery is the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks which I make at home in a simplified dairy-free version because the original one gives me an upset stomach. There are plenty of recipes out there to reproduce the Starbucks drink as close as possible, and they all include pumpkin puree. Usually pumpkin puree comes in a big tin and I don’t want to open it for the one tablespoon needed for the latte, so I usually skip it.
Simplified Dairy-free Pumpkin Spice Latte
- 1 cup of coffee (filter coffee in my case, but an espresso if you’re a lucky italian)
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tsp of sugar
- 1 tsp of pumpkin spices
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
Make your coffee, I am using a medium roast blend for Trader Joe’s which has a lot of fruity flavors. In a pot heat the almond milk with the vanilla, spices and sugar, then combine. If you’re feeling decadent, add a swirl of whipped cream and a dusting of spices on top.
But the real treat for me is a cup of warm apple cider. This is a completely new discovery for me but a very classic fall beverage, a bit like Gluhwein or Vin Brulee. Apple cider is pressed in a cider mill, of which this area of Michigan is full. I saw it in supermarkets as well, but it isn’t as good as the one from Wasem Farm in Milan. You can have it cold, like you would apple juice, or warm like gluhwein. I totally fell in love with this cider because it reminds me of when my mom used to grate an apple for little toddler Alice and I would eat it with a spoon. I love the flavor, it has nothing to do with the sickly sweetness of apple juice (which I hate).
Anyways, my favorite way to drink it is hot with..guess what..pumpkin spices! I heat the cider and spices until super hot and let them cool in my cup while I inhale the wonderful fragrance of the spices. It brings me the coziest feeling of fall. Another way I want to try it is made just like vin brulee with spices, some rum, some orange slices and make it a Friday-night type of drink.
So here are the comfort food and drinks that brighten a rainy fall day and I didn’t even get started on the apple pies and crumbles or all the pumpkin dishes, but that’s for another time if you like these food posts. This first few months in the US have showed me a bunch of new ingredients that will get me through what’s coming. Because winter is coming, and it’s gonna be cold.
Let me know if you enjoy these foody posts and if I should share some more recipes on the blog. What are your go-to rainy day comforts?