Here’s the thing.

I’ve mentioned it before, but no matter what day–holiday, weekend, weekday–I wake up early.  Despite this fact, I am not a morning person.  Seriously, totally, and completely not a morning person.

The Tall Boy can attest to this, and will tell you that it’s the safest bet to give me space until I’ve had a cup of coffee.

Or two.

I got through college and graduate school on hundreds of pots of coffee, and with our new school and work schedule, a cup of strong java is pretty much a necessity.  Typically, I like my coffee strong and black, and if I could direct an IV drip to get it into my bloodstream quicker, I might do it.

Every now and then, though, I like to jazz up my coffee with a flavored creamer, typically during the fall and winter seasons.  And as much as I love the flavors of the store-bought creamers, I’m not particularly fond of the ingredients: you know, stuff like preservatives, refined sugars, high fructose corn syrup, and hydrogenated oils.  Bleck.

This quick and easy (I’m talking less than five minutes start to finish!) recipe tastes amazing, and will save you a ton of money if you’re addicted to Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes this time of year.  And, if you’re not a coffee drinker, this would taste amazing in place of water/milk for hot chocolate, or poured over your oatmeal.

I actually used 1 percent milk and fat-free half and half in my recipe, and the creamer was still plenty thick and rich.  If you’re not concerned about calories or are looking for something for a special occasion, by all means–use whole milk and heavy cream!

Pumpkin Spice Creamer
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 4 to 5 heaping tablespoons canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or maple extract, optional
Method
  1. In a saucepan, whisk together milk, half-and-half, pumpking, syrup, and spices over medium heat. When the liquid begins to get steamy, remove from heat and stir in extract, if using.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a jar or other container using a strainer, and allow to cool in the refrigerator.
Notes
adapted from Next To Heaven

We’re headed out of town for the weekend for another football game. What are your plans? I’d love to hear ’em! Whatever you do, have a great weekend!