Homemade Pumpkin Spice Chai Tea Latte

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No more need to go to Starbucks! 🙂

You can make this very easily with items you already have on hand and enjoy this lovely drink (iced or hot) – all year long.  I tried it first yesterday and it was 98 degrees here in Little Rock, so – I had it both hot and cold!

I found a recipe online that was adapted from many other recipes, so I adapted it myself, and even would make changes to what I did this first time. (The following recipe indicates changes).  I’ve shared the Pumpkin Syrup and have also enjoyed this recipe iced or hot and frothy!  Another great use for our Ninja – which we love!


Recipe: (serves 2-4 adults, depending on the size of your mugs)


2 cups whole milk

4 Stash Chai Tea bags

1 T vanilla bean paste

3 T pumpkin syrup (recipe below)

Fresh grated cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

1 T sugar


Heat milk, sugar, syrup and tea bags on stove until not quite boiling (over medium heat so you don’t scorch your milk) – because who wants burnt milk?

Take off heat and add in vanilla bean paste and spices.  Then remove the tea bags.

Pour into a blender of some sort and turn it on until frothy!

Pour in mug or over ice in a glass and enjoy!  I didn’t have any whipped cream or I would have added it – but I did sprinkle some spices on top!



1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 cinnamon sticks and whole cloves

nutmeg and ginger to taste

3 T pumpkin puree


Heat sugar and water until sugar is dissolved, add in flavorings and puree. Heat until almost boiling for about 5 minutes.  Take off heat and let sit 10-15 minutes.  Pour through a mesh sieve and then store in container in fridge.  Use as much as you want!

Greensboro: Bicentennial Gardens

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Fall is gorgous in NC. I learned this weekend that the Triangle and Triad still had prettier fall than Western. It was nice to get richer colors the further east I went on the return trip. But, Friday, a friend and I went photoging in Bicentennial Gardens off Friendly Ave in Greensboro. This is a lovely spot for family photos or engagement pictures. Enjoy.

Apple Walnut Maple Muffins

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Sara Foster is my go-to muffin lady. These were good, very fall like.

3 cups flour
1 T baking powder
1 tsp soda
1/2 tsp EACH salt, nutmeg, allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, unsalted, softened
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Grade B (preferred) maply syrup
1 c milk
2 granny smith apples, peeled, chopped
1 cup chopped walnuts

Combine dry, set aside. Cream wet together (up to syrup). Combine wet with dry, alternating dry and milk. Fold in apples and nuts.
Bake at 375 in greased muffin tins for 30-35 minutes.
These would probably taste really yummy served warm with maple syrup drizzled over the top. I had to take them somewhere, so I couldn’t do that.

Day 5 of Oats: Pumpkin Cranberry White Chocolate

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I think I saved the best for last. This was yummy – reminded me of fall. Oh, I like fall much better than winter – but so be it! At least I can remember warmer temps with my bowl of goodness in the morning!

1/3 cup oats
1/2 plus a little more cup water
2 tsp white chocolate wonderful (PB&CO)
10 dried cranberries
1 T pumpkin

So good! Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Chocolate Pepita Muffins

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I needed to use up a bit of a can of pumpkin so this was a great recipe to do it. I was a little doubtful when these came out of the oven, but the chocolate really made these!

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 T raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds, you can find in bulk bins at Whole Foods)
3/4 60% Ghiradelli chocolate bar, chopped

Combine wet. Combine dry. Add wet to dry. Fold in chocolate. Put in 12 greased (I use silicon liners) muffin tins. Sprinkle pepitas on top.
Bake at 400 for 18 minutes.
Serve warm. I’m sure Dark Chocolate Dreams would be amazing on the top of these (instead of butter). These are going to the office too!
220 cal, 10 fat, 1.5 fiber