Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

img_0036 Leaves changing colors, colorful gourds and sweaters all remind me that it's finally fall. This colder weather has me craving warm drinks. I'm not the biggest coffee person, but I'm a huge pumpkin person. So I decided to make a homemade pumpkin spice latte to see what all the rage is about!


I love baking and cooking with pumpkins,  butternut squash, acorn squash & sweet potatoes. Canned pumpkin works great in making the latte part of this drink. I added pumpkin purée to a saucepan over low heat. I stirred in cinnamon and freshly-grated nutmeg. I then added coconut milk, maple syrup and vanilla extract. And voila, that's the "pumpkin spice latte" part that can be added to espresso or just strong coffee. I then added a dollop of whipped cream and garnished it with a cinnamon stick and freshly-grated nutmeg.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte
Author: Vallery
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 servings
  • 2 cups espresso or strong coffee (warm)
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin purée
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk or whole milk
  • Whipped cream
  • Cinnamon sticks, for garnish
  1. Prepare espresso or coffee and keep warm.
  2. Add the pumpkin purée, cinnamon and nutmeg to a small pot over low heat. Stir for about one minute. Add the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir for another minute. Stir in the milk and increase the heat to medium. Heat until the milk just starts to simmer.
  3. Remove from heat and whisk or blend until the mixture becomes frothy (I used a hand mixer).
  4. Pour one cup of espresso or coffee into each latte or cappuccino cup. Divide the pumpkin-milk mixture evenly between the two cups.
  5. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a cinnamon stick. Serve immediately.

This recipe was adapted from half baked harvest.


GIVEAWAY + Green Juice and Carrot-Orange Juice

unnamed-4 These colorful, nutrient-packed juices are the perfect elixir to get through hump day. I used the powerful KitchenAid Maximum Extraction Juicer to make them, and KitchenAid is generously providing one free of charge to one of my blog subscribers  who enters the contest below. Not a subscriber yet? No problem! Your entry will automatically subscribe you.

This juicer turned kale, celery, cucumbers and pineapple into a crave-worthy, chlorophyll-packed, refreshing and hydrating beverage.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Over the coming days, I'll be sharing more juice recipes. I have had so much delicious fun combining different vegetable and fruit juices.  I know you will love the KitchenAid Maximum Extraction Juicer too!  You can watch  me make juice this morning on SnapChat: FoodieInNewYork.

Green Juice Recipe

Kale 1 Cucumber 1 Celery stalk 2 Apples 1/2 pineapple 1-inch piece of ginger 1/2 lemon

Add ingredients to the KitchenAid Maximum Extraction Juicer. Drink immediately, or store in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to one day, or freeze.


Carrot-Orange Juice Recipe

2 medium carrots 4 valencia oranges, peel removed

Add ingredients to the KitchenAid Maximum Extraction Juicer. Drink immediately, or store in a closed container in the refrigerator for up to one day, or freeze.




To win this juicer, you must be a current subscriber to the Foodie In New York newsletter at the time of the drawing, July 23, 2016.  In the newsletter, you'll get recipes and travel stories delivered directly to your inbox. You may edit your subscription at any time.  You also must be over 18 and be a resident of the United States. Although KitchenAid is providing the product, all opinions in this post are my own.

Fresh Juice Recipes

Peach Plum and Cherry White Sangria

I'm headed to a picnic in Central Park to commune and fellowship with other friends separated from their fathers this Father's Day, be it by miles, oceans, sickness or heavens.

My contribution to the picnic is this white sangria with all of my favorite stone fruits in season right now: peaches, plums, and cherries. I infused the simple syrup with a whole vanilla bean because I adore flavor combinations like "cherry vanilla" and "peaches and cream." This is a sweet sangria, but if you prefer your sangria on the less sweet side, simply use a dry white wine and reduce the amount of simple syrup or eliminate it altogether.


And last but certainly not least, Happy Father's Day to all of the dads, especially mine! The worst thing about living thousands of miles away from family is missing all of the "minor" holidays, parties, celebrations, and even everyday events like Sunday dinner. My dad especially loved Father's Day, the day that he and all of his brothers would get together at my grandmother's house in Prarieville and throw the biggest bash--complete with everything you could possibly want at a Louisisna barbeque like ribs, porkchops, and crawfish of course!

My grandmother would always make her "million dollar cake" for the Father's Day Barbeque. Averse to both the relentless Louisiana sun and even more relentless mosquitos, I'd sit in my grandmother's living room with the other ladies, being blasted by the wall unit air conditioner. I'd take breaks from the AC to refill my plate only to be caught by my dad, dancing to Jackie Neal or some other local blue's artist. "Come dance with your daddy," my dad would say, grabbing my hands and twirling me around as he two-stepped to the music. We'd dance for a while, but being the bratty teenager I was, I was eager to catch one of my sisters walking by and would hand off my dancing dad to one of them.

I have so many rich memories of those Father's Day parties in prairieville, but for today, a picnic in Central Park with friends will do.

White Sangria with Peaches, Plums and Cherries
Author: Vallery
Serves: 6-8 cups
*Eliminate the simple syrup if you want a less sweet sangria.
  • 2 large peaches, thinly sliced
  • 2 plums, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherries, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup peach brandy or other liquor (e.g., rum, etc)
  • 1 bottle dry white wine
  1. Prepare the fruit. Once sliced, you should have about 8 ounces of each peaches, plums, and cherries.
  2. Prepare the simple syrup by heating the 1/4 of water in a small saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Cut the vanilla bean in half and scrape the seeds into the simple syrup. Remove from heat. Add the entire vanilla bean and allow to sit for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the fruit to a pitcher. Remove the vanilla bean and pour half of the vanilla-infused simple syrup on top of the fruit. Pour the 1/2 cup peach brandy and stir. Pour the bottle of wine in and stir. Taste the sangria. If desired, add more simple syrup. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
  4. When ready to serve, add ice cubes to pitcher, stir, and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from the Kitchn

Honey-Sweetened Lemonade

image Trying to beat the heat this weekend? Try this lemonade recipe, sweetened with honey. This recipe is inspired by Me and the Bees founder, Mikaila, an 11-year-old whose honey-sweetened lemonade is now being widely distributed throughout the Southeast! And to top it off, Mikaila is also engaging her community in what we can all do to protect our ecosystem and save the honeybees.



Everyone has different tastes in lemonade, and this lemonade recipe is not overly sweet, and you can still taste the sweet tartness of fresh lemon juice and the nectar of the honey.  Of course, you can adapt this recipe by adding more sweetener or less lemon juice!  I infused the simple syrup of honey and water with fresh rosemary, which I thought added a nice touch, but that part is altogether optional. Or better yet, try a different herb like mint!

Honey-Sweetened Lemonade
Author: Vallery
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 cups
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup + 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • twig of fresh rosemary or 6 mint leaves (optional)
  • lemon slices, for garnish
  1. Heat one cup of water in a small pot. Once it is just boiling, stir in the honey and remove from the heat. If using fresh herbs, add them now. Stir until the honey is completely dissolved.
  2. Add one cup of freshly-squeezed lemon juice to a pitcher. Add the remaining 3 1/2 cups water, plus the honey-water simple syrup. Add more or less simple syrup and lemon juice, depending on taste.
  3. Store in the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled. Serve over ice and garnish with lemon slices.
  4. *Remember that serving over ice will dilute both the tanginess and sweetness of this recipe.


Raspberry-Cherry Limeade Smoothie

raspberry limeade smoothie This is, without a doubt, the tastiest, tangiest smoothie I have ever made!  It reminds me of the Cherry Limeades I used to order from Sonic when I was growing up, but this has no added sugar and is just as delicious! Because I'm so accustomed to putting vegetables in my smoothies, all-fruit smoothies often are too sweet--especially if they are filled with the super sweet fruits like bananas, peaches, and mangoes.  This smoothie is all-fruit, but I also added ground flax seeds, plain Greek yogurt, and my newest smoothie secret weapon: a wedge of lime. 

For the first time ever, I put an entire wedge of lime right into my blender along with the other ingredients. The lime combined with the other fruit (raspberries, strawberries, cherries, mangoes, and banana) created a magical flavor profile that highlighted the lime's unique and tangy flavor. I can't say enough about how delicious this smoothie was! Just make sure to use only a very small wedge (I used 1/6 of a small lime for one serving).  It was just the right amount of tanginess to take this smoothie to the next level!

Raspberry Limeade Smoothie
Author: Vallery
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/2 cup frozen mangoes
  • 1 lime wedge (about 1/4 of the lime in total, or more depending on taste)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender with 2/3 cup of water and blend until smooth. (Add more water if you have trouble blending).
  2. Top with fresh raspberries and serve immediately.