Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pumpkin at Dunkin Donuts 2012

Dunkin Donuts is always a great place to go for some pumpkin fare this time of year.  Pumpkin donuts, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes and coffees.  I have had the lattes before, as well as the muffins, I know that BOTH are so delicious!

But this time, I decided on Pumpkin iced coffee with cream and sugar.  It was so delicious!  I would have one every day if I could.

They also make pumpkin coffee K-cups for your Keurig, if you are into that sort of thing.  I am told they are good!

So stop by Dunkin Donuts for some delicious fall treats!  I sure will again soon.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Williams-Sonoma Spiced Pecan Pumpkin Waffle/Pancake Mix

This past Christmas, I got a very special surprise.  Every year, we pick Pollyannas aka Secret Santas.  My siblings and our significant others put our names in a cup and write what we would like for Christmas.  Then, you pick something out for that person. I don't think I put anything particularly special on my list this year.  And I'm glad because my Pollyanna decided to surprise me!

She got me pumpkin pancake mix from Williams-Sonoma-- not just one, but two! AND she got me the Betty Crocker Cookbook!  It truly made my Christmas.  What she came up with was much better than anything I could have come up with myself because it was thoughtful and from the heart.  That night, on the way home, we picked up our daughter a play kitchen for Christmas (way to wait last minute).  At home as we put it together and I was in my glory.  I couldn't wait to surprise our baby, I had an excellent new cookbook and I was looking forward to pumpkin pancakes!

I went through the first can very quickly.  The mix makes about two meals, about nine pancakes each.  I still had one can left over for this season.  Last year, I made waffles every time, but this time I decided to make the pancake recipe. The waffles were good, but the clean up was annoying.

And what can I say?  It is delicious.  It tastes sort of like warm, spicy pumpkin bread.  And every other bite has a little toasted pecan in it.  :)  My daughter and I made it together, of course, and didn't have to share with my husband because he doesn't like many pumpkin flavored things.  Crazy, I know!

I love making things from scratch, but there really is something awesome about mixes.  You save so much time and get to the fun part so much faster.  And since it's from Williams Sonoma it was an especially good mix.

And, yes, I did check the expiration date!  Feb 2013.

Whisk together 2 1/4 cups mix, 2 eggs (lightly beaten), 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted) and one cup milk.  Don't overmix or you will get tough pancakes.  This is true ANY TIME you make pancakes, waffles, quick breads, cookies and cakes.  Let the batter stand for five minutes (I skipped this step because I forgot).  Preheat griddle to medium heat until a few drops of water dance and pop when put in the pan.

When I make pancakes, I melt some butter and brush it onto my pan.  You can also spray with cooking spray.  But I think butter tastes better and makes beautiful-looking pancakes.  Plus, you will be consuming less chemicals.  I got the tip from

Pour 1/3 cup batter and cook until bubbles form on top and batter is set.  Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown on the other side, about two more minutes.  Repeat with remaining batter.  Makes nine five inch pancakes.  It really did make exactly nine.  But I used a 1/4 cup that was overflowing with batter rather than a 1/3 cup.

Top with some real maple syrup and you're ready to eat them!

I put the five pancakes we didn't eat in the freezer, wrapped individually.  Pancakes are easily reheated from frozen with just 30 seconds in the microwave and taste delicious!

I really recommend picking up this mix if Williams-Sonoma has it again this year!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Chocolate Cake

Last year, it was suggested to me that I try to make Pumpkin Chocolate Cake by Whole  I did try to make it, but it was awfully rushed and I never got around to blogging about it.  And I didn't do the exact recipe, because I was out of canola oil.  That, in my opinion, isn't giving it a fair chance.  So this year, I decided I would take my time and make this cake again.  This time, I would have all the ingredients (except their special flour) and take non-rushed picutres along the way.

Mama's sous chef
My daughter and I made it together.  I need to get this little gal and apron (or make one?) because she insists on watching me every and any time I do anything in the kitchen.  Every night we make dinner together, in fact.  Safely, of course!

After we took it out of the oven, I was very patient and waited hours to cut it so that it could cool.  Then I dusted it with powdered sugar, which gave it a pretty and old fashioned look.  I took my first bite and it was STILL A LITTLE WARM it was delicious! There's nothing like warm cake dusted with powdered sugar.

I gave some to my sister, and we both came to the same conclusion. My sister and I both loved this cake!  She doesn't intend to share the pieces I gave her!  How naughty!  It came out moist and chocolatey. There is a very thin fudge-like layer on the bottom.  This might have come from slight under-baking, but it was definitely finished to me.  I didn't want to OVER bake it.  It also reminds me of pumpkin pie because of the pumpkin pie spice.  I just LOVE pumpkin pie spice.  Now that we have a new jar it will be in my morning oatmeal until I run out of it again!

I will definitely make this again.  The prep only took ten minutes and I didn't even have to take out my mixer.  It's one of those wonderfully simple cakes that you can make at almost any time.  And since there's no butter, there isn't any waiting for ingredients to get room temperature.  It's a great recipe for babies to help out with since you don't have to get out your mixer.  

Pumpkin Chocolate Cake by


  • 1/4 cup canola oil, plus more for greasing
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa (I used Hershey's Unsweetened Cocoa Powder)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar (Sugar always has to be Domino brand!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree (Libby's, of course)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting (optional)

STEP ONE: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8" x 8" pan.

Grease with canola oil

STEP TWO: Whisk together flour, cocoa, pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Baby girl adding the pumpkin pie spice

Whisking for me
STEP THREE: Whisk together sugar, pumpkin, eggs and vanilla.

STEP FOUR:  Pour wet mixture into dry mixture and whisk gently.  Try not to over-mix.

STEP FIVE: Pour into pan and bake 40-50 minutes.  I did 50 minutes.  I checked at 45 and it wasn't done.    Cool on wire rack until cool.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Moist and delicious, just what you want in a cake!

SOURCE:  Retrieved September 17, 2012.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale Reviewed

A couple of weeks ago, my first child turned two years old!  I could not believe it!  The years went by so fast.  We got together for a small pizza party -- she had a larger party back in July.  And my brother brought a very special gift for my husband and I that he knew we would love: a special beer to sample and discuss!  Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale.

Okay, "we" is a bit of a lie because I don't really drink.  But my husband loves trying new beers.  He wouldn't call himself a connoisseur or expert necessarily, but it's a small side hobby he does enjoy.  But my brother IS a bit of a connoisseur in the subject, so when I saw that he had picked something out, I was excited!

Check out that label!

Last year we tried Sam Adams' Harvest Beers and they were all nice and spicy and tasted like fall.  But there is something so exotic about a beer that I had never heard of before.  With a name like "Weyerbacher" it has to be cool, right?

It has a pumpkin-orange color to it.

Since I am currently nursing, I tried a couple quick sips at the party.  I liked it, but didn't have a chance to really savor it in the rush or cake, ice cream and my siblings and their kids packed into our little dining room.  But a week later, we really got to savor it.  The bottle describes the usual pumpkin spices: nutmeg, cardamom, cloves and of COURSE cinnamon.  I wish I could have enjoyed more of it, but at 8% alcohol by volume, I simply couldn't for my baby.


CONCLUSION?  My husband and I both really enjoyed this ale.  It reminds me of Blue Moon, but lighter.  The tastes of the season really stand out and makes me long for the days when even more leaves are on the ground and the trees turn orange and red. :)  If I could, I might have wanted the entire bottle to myself!  It is not overly sweet, nor too spicy.  Its tastes are subtle and ... nice.  I think that is the best word I can come up with to describe it: nice!

Weyerbacher, it turns out, is a brewing company right here in Pennsylvania.  They're relatively young, too, and were founded in 1995!  The brewery is open to tours on Friday and Saturday, where you try 10-15 different beers.  But don't take my word about it, check out their site:

Here are more reviews from people who seem to know beer more than me!  Beer Advocate

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wawa Pumpkin Spice Coffee

Pass this most every day.  We all miss Y-100!

My babies and I often take walks to our local Wawa to get little things such as eggs, milk, and my ground coffee.  I don't do the Keurig thing.  Real, brewed coffee is superior.  To my delight, about three weeks ago, there was a new selection!  Wawa Pumpkin Spice Coffee that you brew at home!  I can't remember if they had it last year, but I remember when I compared Wawa and Dunkin Donuts brewed pumpkin spice coffees, I liked Wawa's better (though Starbucks reigned supreme).  Here is the blog about it.  So, I picked it up!  It was $7.99, plus tax, the same as the rest of their coffees.

And Instagramed it (because I am just as addicted to Instagram as I am to Facebook ...):

And I love it!  It tastes of cinnamon and nutmeg and is just delicious.  To me, it doesn't taste very artificial, despite having "natural & artificial flavors."  I look forward to brewing it every morning, as soon as the baby and I get up.

It saddens me when my filter fails and there are grounds in my pumpkin spice coffee.  I had collapsed bags two times this week!  Yesterday I dumped my coffee and started again.  I wanted my perfect cup!  Is that so much to ask?

So, if you live in DE, PA, NJ or FL, pick up some Limited Edition Pumpkin Spice Wawa Coffee.

Last Year's Review of Dunkin Donuts Pumpkin Spice Coffee (that you brew at home): CLICK HERE.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Soda

NOTE: I wrote this post in November 2011, but life must have gotten busy because I didn't publish it!  So, here it is! Edited, of course.

Up until a few weeks ago, I honestly didn't know that Pumpkin Pie Soda was a thing.  And I think that it really shouldn't be a thing.

But it is.

This was a great find by a friend at a local Wegman's.  What did it taste like? Neither of us could really describe it.  It's kind of like a flavored cream soda ... Kinda spicy, not really pumpkin-like.  Did I like it?  No.  Fall spices and soda carbonation together is just strange.  I drank half, decided the rest wasn't worth the calories, and dumped the rest.  It also had a very flat taste.

I had a crappier camera back in 2011!

More about this soda: It is made by Maine Root.  This is all the site says about the soda:  All Maine Root sodas are awesomely Fair Trade certified, meaning that all sugar is from farmers who are compensated fairly.  More here.


Fall is here again!  It was a hot, hot summer.  Most of July here was a heat wave.  Being pregnant with a toddler and watching my niece, we spent a lot of time inside in the air because it was just safer.  When we did venture outside (and we tried most every day), none of us lasted long.  But now it is finally fall and we have all been outside a lot more!


I wasn't sure about this blog for a long time, I will be very honest with you.  I was not sure if we would be returning or not.  But I have some ideas for a few blogs.  I cannot blog as frequently as before, however, because I am not curently chained to a desk.  But I do have a few ideas for blogs!

Taste Tests! (my favorite)

  • A new pumpkin beer we have tried
  • Pumpkin fudge from Linvilla Orchards
  • Pumpkin donuts from Wawa
  • Pumpkin smoothie from Wawa

  • Pumpkin Cheesecake
  • Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
  • Trying a different way to make pumpkin cake pops since last time failed according to Marcus (I kid - kind of!)
  • Pumpkinland 2012
  • My brother in law's prize pumpkin
  • A post about sewing Rachel's costume?
  • Halloween 2012

Well, that's all the ideas I have for now. Hopefully I'll be able to do some of them!  Gotta go - baby needs me!