When autumn arrives and that first chill hits the air, we get that warm and cozy feeling and start craving all those tasty fall favorites. For me, it’s that first sip of a hot and delicious pumpkin spice latte that gets me right into the fall mood.
So for this edition of ‘Lowell Sweet Home,’ I’ve included a few recipes that will satisfy those cravings and get you into the spirit of the season. I hope you find them as wonderfully satisfying as I have because for me, nothing beats a delightful made-from-scratch meal in the comforts of my own home. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Spice Latte
I searched and found an absolutely perfectly delicious recipe for the highly sought-after pumpkin spice latte. The recipe found here is for a single serving, so I converted the recipe to yield four servings to see if the mix could be refrigerated and reheated or used for iced pumpkin lattes (which my husband prefers no matter how cold it is outside). Also, the recipe below for ‘Pumpkin Bread’ uses half a can of pumpkin, so I thought it most efficient to use up the rest for some extra, ready-made lattes. Fortunately, the latte mix we refrigerated reheated perfectly and was just excellent for an iced latte.
Besides a coffee pot (we love our pour-over coffee pot and reusable strainer), you’ll need an immersion blender or a milk frother for this recipe. We used our milk frother which is ideal for smaller servings, but an immersion blender would have been ideal for making the larger amount.
While I was at it I made some homemade whipped cream for added indulgence. You can find the recipe I followed here.
3 cups whole milk or milk of your choosing, i.e. coconut, oat, cashew, etc.
½ can pumpkin puree (about ¾ cup)
½ cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. Whisk the ingredients until the milk starts to bubble on the sides. Turn off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract.
Working in the saucepan, use a milk frother or an immersion blender to froth the mixture.
For a hot latte, pour the warm, frothy milk mixture into a large mug, then carefully pour in the coffee.
Garnish with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and a dollop of whipped cream if desired.
For a cold latte, mix equal parts iced coffee and chilled latte mix, shake well and pour over ice. Garnish with pumpkin pie spice and whipped cream as desired.
This pumpkin bread is absolute perfection. I adapted this recipe to make a single loaf (the original made two). Perfectly moist and delicious and the ideal accompaniment to your pumpkin spice latte.
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ tsp baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ 15 oz-can 100% pure pumpkin
Preheat oven to 325° and set oven rack in the middle position. Grease an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan generously with butter and dust with flour (or use a baking spray that uses flour, i.e. Baker’s Joy or Pam with Flour).
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until just blended. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about three minutes. Beat in the pumpkin until combined.
Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined.
Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for amount 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Pork Chops with Apples in Cider
Very rarely do pork chops make an appearance in our household; nothing against pork chops, it’s just not something we commonly cook. But when I was looking for a dinner recipe that felt like fall and came across this scrumptious-looking recipe for pork chops with apples and hard cider, my mouth started to water and I knew I had to make it. I combed through the reviews and comments and made some adjustments to achieve the best possible outcome for this recipe, and I have to say, we absolutely nailed it.
We paired our chops with the always-delicious buttered egg noodles because it just felt right. But your favorite mashed potato recipe would work very well as would anything that would soak up this perfectly delectable sauce. My family devoured and raved about this recipe. It was simply divine and it is sure to be a forever fall favorite.
For the Spiced Salt Rub
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
4 allspice berries
2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage
2 teaspoons kosher salt
For the Pork and Sauce
6 boneless pork chops
2 large apples
2 tablespoons butter
All-purpose flour, for dusting
½ cup hard cider, plus 2 tablespoons (I used Painted Turtle’s Humdinger Hopped Cider)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
2 teaspoons potato starch* dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water
3 tablespoons crème fraîche**
1 tablespoon cognac or apple brandy, optional (but encouraged)
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
*If potato starch isn’t readily available you can use cornstarch, however, cornstarch has a tendency to clump at high heats, so to be safe I used potato starch which I ordered off Amazon.
**Crème fraîche may also not be readily available, so you could use about a tablespoon of heavy cream instead. I wouldn’t substitute with sour cream as there’s a good chance it could curdle. I wanted to be sure the sauce wouldn’t curdle or break, so we searched around for crème fraîche and my husband found it in the “fancy cheese section” at Meijer Cascade.
Make the spiced salt: Place peppercorns, cloves, allspice, sage and salt in a spice mill/coffee grinder or mortar and pestle and grind to a powder. Season pork chops with the salt mixture on both sides, cover, and leave out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to absorb the seasonings.
Peel and core the apples, and cut into 12 wedges. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter into a wide skillet and increase the heat to medium-high. Add the apple wedges in a single layer and brown gently on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side or until the apples are cooked through but still firm. Remove apples from the pan and keep warm.
Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet and swirl to melt. Dust the pork chops with flour and add them to the skillet, gently browning them on both sides, about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Be sure to adjust the heat as necessary to avoid overcooking. Remove the chops and keep warm on a sheet pan in a low oven (about 175°).
Add ½ cup cider to the pan, raising the heat and scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook the cider down to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Add the dijon mustard and chicken broth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add potato starch/water mixture and stir with a wire whisk as the sauce thickens. Stir in crème fraîche. Add 2 tablespoons of cider and the cognac or brandy, if using. Cook for 1 minute more. Season with salt and pepper to taste. *And don’t let those succulent juices from the pork chops go to waste. When removing the chops from the oven be sure to pour off the juices and incorporate them into the sauce.
Place the chops on a platter and spoon the sauce over them, then add the apples around the platter and garnish with chives and parsley.
Note: Amazon links in this article are affiliate links.