White Chocolate Pumpkin Latte

I will be honest with you, friends--I don't like Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes.  I tried them a couple of times in college and didn't understand what the hype was about. Maybe it's because I prefer pumpkin pie flavored things to pumpkin spice--more pumpkin and less spice, please.  So this weekend I set out to whip up a fall latte I'd actually drink.  It turned out pretty yummy--the white chocolate definitely helped make it sweeter--but next time I think I'll use even less of the spices. But I'm sharing it as I made it because the whole pumpkin spice thing seems to do pretty well with the general public. :)


-1 cup milk, divided in half
- 1/4 cup espresso
- 1 tbsp pumpkin puree
-1/4 tsp cinnamon
-1/4 tsp nutmeg
-1/4 tsp allspice
-1/2 tsp vanilla
-white chocolate chips/bark
-whipped cream, cinnamon sticks, etc. for garnish


Whisk together 1/2 cup milk, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and vanilla on low in small saucepan.  Let simmer for five minutes while preparing your espresso. Stir in white chocolate chips and whisk until melted.  Whisk in 1/2 cup milk.  Add espresso and whisk until frothy, about one minute.  Pour into cup, add whipped cream and cinnamon stick, and enjoy! :)


Snow Days

Even though I worked a half day today and Kyle had some homework to do, it was still a relaxing snow day at the Shepherd house!
I have to admit it has been veryyyy nice not having to take the dogs down 3 flights of stairs in the freezing cold to go pee. 
There is something about being snowed-in that makes it okay to do absolutely nothing. There are plenty of projects to be done around the house but nope not today, there is snow on the ground so that means we get in our comfiest clothes and slippers and sip on some coffee or hot chocolate.
The dogs have enjoyed playing around in the snow for a little bit but then they come in to do a lot of this...

-I wish I had a puzzle to work---my mom and I always always did puzzles when it was snowy and school was out. I miss that mom :)

-Snow days also make me want to read books---blankets and books are a good combination

-And of course you have to watch some sort of movie marathon---Kyle and I watched Red last night and rented Red 2 on redbox to complete the series tonight. I've seen a lot of good marathons going on when scrolling through Facebook. (StarWars, Lord of the Rings, etc.)

I hope everyone is enjoying the things that snow brings to their lazy days even if you do have to work or get some homework done---although, I hope this is the end of these days, I can only be accommodating of below freezing temps for so long :/

Stay safe and stay warm


Non-Dairy Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer

I can drink coffee black, but most of the time I prefer not to.  Honestly, fancy lattes might be one of the hardest things I'm giving up.  Even if I went to a coffee shop and ordered my drink with soy milk, chances are it would be contaminated by dairy products.  Bummer.  BUT, after a little research and playing around in the kitchen, I found a tasty alternative!  I actually like it more than most dairy creamers I've tried, so I'm pretty excited.

Vanilla Coconut Coffee Creamer

1 can coconut milk (full fat)
1/4 cup almond milk
1/3 cup honey (or maple syrup or pure cane sugar--your choice)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whisk coconut milk, almond milk, honey, and cocoa in a sauce pan on medium heat until it fully liquefies and milk begins to steam.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Store in air tight jar in the refrigerator. Add to coffee and sip away. Yum!

I hope you're having a happy Saturday! I know these girls are.