Some people call the third season of the year fall, some autumn and some of us weirdos refer to it as pumpkin spice latte season.  It's also pretty much my favorite season, ever.  There's really so much about fall to love and one of those things is food.  My fall season arrives with the start of pumpkin spice latte.

For those of you who are allergic to milk, and soy getting a latte anywhere can be a huge pain, mostly in the tummy.  Most places however, will make you a latte (not at a discount or anything) if you bring your own milk. I'm a fan of almond breeze (vanilla, unsweetened) and you can get it in small shelf stable 4 packs.  This will make 2 lattes.  So you'll either need to double fist your coffee that day, or take a friend with you.  Either way, you get a pumpkin spice coffee that won't kill you, or at least make you wish you were dead.

Another thing I personally adore about pumpkin spice latte season is cooler weather.  Yes, I know I've been wearing sweaters all summer because I'm cold, but now I can wear hoodies and vests and my really cool boots with warm fuzzy socks and people won't point and laugh.  In the evenings we can make a nice fire in the chimnea on the veranda, sip some hot chocolate or make smores.

Easy recipe for gluten and soy free hot chocolate:
1- 1.5 cup(s) of almond milk per person
1 heaping teaspoon cocoa
2 heaping teaspoons sugar (optional)
Heat milk until it just starts to climb the pan, take from heat stir in the cocoa and sugar.  Taste and adjust for you.  Some like to add in some cinnamon, some vanilla.  Make the recipe yours.

Smores are another thing we GF/Soy free people have issues with.  The folks at Kinnikinnick have made some graham crackers that actually taste like graham crackers.  Find yourself some quality chocolate and gluten free marshmallows and you'll be set!

A few other things that make pumpkin spice latte season great are football games, trips to the orchards to pick apples, wandering through the pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin for each of us and savory meals after crisp day.

A few of my favorite meals for this season are things from the crock pot.  Anything that makes itself while you're out doing fun things through the day is a bonus in my book.  This year we've adjusted our chili so it's vegan as well as the cornbread I normally serve with it.  Earth Balance makes one buttery variety that's dairy and soy free so we can have the cornbread again.  My mission for this weekend is to figure out Irish Stew.  My normal recipe calls for beef, and beef stock, potatoes and Guinness Stout.  Pretty sure that will kill me.
Photo from gourmetrecipe.com
So I'm going to try this instead:
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium leeks or 2 medium onions, diced
1 cup cup parsnips, sliced
1 cup carrots, sliced
1 cup  rutabagas, sliced into chunks
1 cup turnips, sliced into chunks
1 cup celery, diced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bottle of Redbridge (or your favorite GF beer, for those of you wanting to fancy this up, use a cup or so from your favorite t-box.  A Merlot or Burgundy would work best, but it's wine, so whatever.)
1/2 cup lentils
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
A few sprigs each fresh rosemary, fresh thyme and fresh marjoram (or 1/4 teaspoon of each dried)
Salt and pepper to taste

With any luck it won't suck, the minions will eat it without too much complaining about the vegetables in it and I can give it a name like Beer Stew (cause I need a liquid dinner tonight), Mommy's Had It (that's why there's wine in there), or if I get creative and throw a bit of pumpkin in there, add a few tweaks to the spices and serve it with a glass of almond milk, it's Pumpkin Spice Latte.

'Tis the season for it anyway!

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2 Responses
  1. HI :) Cute blog!! I'm your newest follower from the Monday Mingle!
    followme@ www.studentswife.com

  2. EmmaK Says:

    Lovely recipe - my husband is irish and he loves a tasty stew! I'm a follower from The Monday Mingle

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