I’d had my heart set on making these cupcakes when Annie posted them last year. Sadly, pumpkin season fizzled out before I had the opportunity to make them last fall. So, I made sure that they were at the top of my “most bake” list for this year! So glad that I did too, because they are wonderful.

A hefty dose of espresso powder goes into the cupcake batter, to really give the strong coffee flavor that I crave when I hear the word “latte”. Then, to add all those warm and inviting flavors to the party – like pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Topped all off with a whipped cream frosting and a drizzle of caramel sauce? How can you say no?

So now you can have your Pumpkin Spice Latte, and eat it too. I hope that everyone enjoys these as much as we did! They pretty much make the b est breakfast ever (just sayin’). We’re looking forward full of pumpkin festivities this weekend. Hopefully, we’ll be brewing our pumpkin ale on Sunday, provided that we can find Sugar Pumpkins. So, keep your fingers crossed for us on that front. Have a great weekend, everyone!

I always love finding a new quick and easy pasta dish that we all enjoy. And this one has moved right up to the top of my list of favorites! My best friend has been making this pasta, sans poblanos, for a couple years now. I finally got around to making it a few weeks ago, and it really “wow-ed” us all.

I used fresh corn, since it was available. But, I know that other folks have used frozen, and it’s still delicious. I roasted my ears of corn, and would probably do so with the thawed kernals as well. Then to combine that sweetness with smokey bacon and roasted poblano peppers? That is in a cream sauce? So, so good. This dish is too good not to enjoy all year long – fresh corn or not!

Ahh, the arrival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks. One of the first true signs of fall, right? Once September rolls around I look forward to anything and everything involving pumpkin – coffee and beer, first and foremost.

However, $5 a cup definitely puts a dent in the old pocketbook. Not to mention the fact that the closest one is 40 minutes away. So, what’s a gal to do? Why, DIY of course. Luckily, this wonderful homemade spiced simple syrup made it’s way around most of my blogging friends site’s last year, so I knew right where to turn.

It takes less than 5 minutes to pull together, and in less than 20 minutes you have a delicious, warm and spicy addition to your coffee that kicks the pants right off any store-bought, preservative laden variety. Don’t be put off if you don’t own an espresso machine either, just brew some regular Joe – but just make it double strength. Once it’s mixed in with the steaming milk – you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference anyway.

There was a time, not so long ago, that the idea of caramelizing sugar scared the hell out of me. It seemed so temperamental, and a need to be precise. Last year I finally gave it “a go” in order to create some of my favorite coffee drinks at home. My first few attempts went okay. Sometimes the sugar would seized up on me (aka the sugar hardens into a lump), but after a few minutes of stirring it melts right back down into the sauce. Now it’s something that I always have to have in the fridge.

Great to mix into coffee, over ice cream, with apple slices – possibilities are endless. I’ve been guilty of eating it right off the spoon. This is the basic recipe, but it’s an open canvas to additions. Add 1/2 teaspoon fleur-de-sel or another finishing salt to make it a Salted Caramel Sauce. Or, a tablespoon of dark rum gives it a delicious boozy kick. Mix a tablespoon or so into some hot spiced cider, with maybe a little extra rum – a perfect way to wind down on a chilly fall evening.

So, if you’ve been scared of tackling caramel – don’t be. It might take a couple of tries, but once you get the feel for it, you’ve got it. And, being able to make something that is as delicious and versatile as this stuff is, is definitely something to pat yourself on the back for. Enjoy!