Taste of Autumn: Fall Drink Recipes

Fall is a perennial favorite for so many reasons. The Saints season starts again (who dat!), the weather cools down just a touch, and fall festivals help everyone get in the spirit. There’s also nothing quite like pulling on a cozy sweater and sipping on a warm drink brimming with the flavors of fall. But you don’t have to hit Starbucks for that famous Pumpkin Spice Latte. Save some cash by taking the DIY route — the results are just as delicious!

pumpkin-spice-latte

A homemade pumpkin spice latte. (Photo via Pexels)

Fall Drink Recipes

Quick Pumpkin Spice Latte

Faster than waiting in line at Starbucks!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso
  • 1 cup whole milk, divided
  • 1 tbsp. white sugar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  • Whisk 1/2 cup of the whole milk with the sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of milk.
  • Pour mixture through a sieve to remove any pulp. Return the mixture to the saucepan and simmer while whisking for 2 minutes.
  • Add espresso and whisk until foamy, about one minute.

Too hot outside for a warm drink? Try this iced pumpkin spice latte recipe from A Cozy Kitchen!

fall-drinks

The flavors of fall abound in this pumpkin smoothie.

Spiced Fall Punch

As this fragrant mixture simmers on the stove, your whole home will smell just like autumn.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oranges
  • 6 cups apple juice
  • 2 1/4 cups pineapple juice
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup honey

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Stud the oranges with the whole cloves, and bake for 30 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan, combine the apple juice and cinnamon stick. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat and carefully stir in the nutmeg, honey, lemon juice, and pineapple juice.
  • Add the clove-studded oranges on top and serve hot.

Pumpkin Smoothie

Perfect for when you’re craving fall flavors but the temperature says otherwise! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 can pumpkin puree (16 0z.)
  • 2 cups milk (can substitute almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (can substitute honey)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  • Add all ingredients to blender along with desired amount of ice. Blend until smooth.
  • Tip: you can partially freeze the pumpkin puree and use in place of ice. You can also add a frozen banana to the mixture.

Recipes via AllRecipes

Get more great recipe ideas by checking out all of our Cooking Tips on the blog. 

The Brown Bag Wine Tasting Party: Wining and Winning Don’t Have To Cost You

wine tasting post

At the Bella Ridge Brown Bag Wine Tasting Party, our residents and their guests tasted 8 different wines ranging from $6 – $38. Sip after sip, votes for the crowd favorites poured in.

Contending for the crown in the Merlot category, we had Chateau Ste. Michelle, Crow Canyon, Swanson Vineyards and Ramspeck. Among the Sauvignon Blanc contenders were Oak Grove Vineyards, Mohua, J. Lohr and Cake Bread Cellars.

The winners? You might be surprised.

Merlot

  1. Crow Canyon ($6)
  2. Chateau Ste. Michelle ($16)
  3. Ramspeck ($19)
  4. Swanson Vineyards ($38)

Sauvignon Blanc

  1. J. Lohr ($17)
  2. Oak Grove Vineyards ($8)
  3. Cake Bread Cellars ($30)
  4. Mohua ($12)

Turns out your wallet doesn’t have to take a hit for you to snag wine that’s the hit of the party! Win your friends over this weekend with a wine that’s surprisingly inexpensive and incredibly delicious!

 

To sip on something from this list, visit Martin Wine Cellar or any local grocer!

Splurge Vs. Save: Kitchen Edition

Cooking is a great way to connect with loved ones and save a little money while you’re at it. But home food prep can become less affordable when you consider all the kitchen tools you need to put a meal together. While we always prefer quality over quantity every time, there are a few shortcuts you can take to save cash when it comes to kitchen tools. Take a look at five items where you can save and five where you should splurge– you’ll have a chef-worthy kitchen in no time!

Our Surf Rider apartment community in Metairie offers spacious kitchens perfect for foodies.

Our Surf Rider apartment community in Metairie offers spacious kitchens perfect for foodies.

SAVE: Affordable Kitchen Tools

Mixing Bowls: No need for fancy ceramic bowls here. A set of simple, stainless steel bowls will provide you with the mixing space you need and also resist bacteria buildup. Bonus? They also perfect for a lunchtime salad or gigantic bowl of cereal.

Baking Sheets: Baking sheets are prone to food buildup, so no need to purchase expensive ones that will lose their luster quickly anyway. Pro tip: use a topper like aluminum foil or a Silpat sheet to preserve the smooth surface.

Spatula: Even the most expensive spatulas are still relatively affordable, but since these don’t get much wear and tear, an inexpensive model will last!

Colander: Whether for draining pasta or rinsing fruit and vegetables, this smart tool doesn’t have to be a splurge. Any model will do, although we recommend stainless steel over plastic for its antibacterial properties.

Nonstick pan: This is a kitchen workhorse, meaning that it’ll accumulate wear and tear quickly. It’s best to replace the pan as it wears (evidence suggests the nonstick coating can have carcinogenic properties as the coating breaks down).

SPLURGE: High-Quality Necessities

Stainless Steel Skillet: Unlike a nonstick pan, this is a kitchen necessity where you can (and should) spend a little extra. These pans are good for everything from pancakes and eggs to steaks and chicken – and since they don’t have a coating, it’s better to get a high-quality pan that will last and last.

Cutting Board: A teak wood cutting board is an incredible kitchen tool. Instead of a cheap plastic board, teak wood boards are easier on your knives and also limit bacteria – even if any sinks into the wood, it can’t survive inside (unlike a plastic board where bacteria can hang out on top).

Food processor: The right food processor will make you a whiz in the kitchen. The key here is to opt for a quality processor that actually does the job. Cheaper models often don’t process the food properly and are prone to breaking quickly.

Storage containers: Hear us out – it might be tempting to buy cheap, plastic storage containers, but consider spending a little extra on quality containers that won’t crack, are BPA free, and are microwave safe. Brands like Tupperware and Pyrex are a good place to start.

Olive Oil: Did you know that a high percentage of olive oils available for purchase are actually fraudulent? Oils of inferior quality are being passed off as extra virgin olive oil. Instead, reach for real, high-end oils or go for a happy medium with Whole Foods California 365 – it’s “real” olive oil at a more digestible price point.

Presto, Pesto! Quick Pesto Recipe

Want to take your pasta up a notch? Add depth of flavor to burgers? Take a break from basic butter on your toast? There’s a spread that does it all, and then some — and it’s so, so easy to make.

Pesto comes from the Italian word for “pounded,” and though it was originally made in a mortar and pestle (it’s still traditionally made this way in parts of Italy), today, you can whip it up ultra fast thanks to modern cooking appliances like blenders and food processors.

pesto ingredients

All the ingredients you’ll need for a classic, Genovese-style pesto. (Photo via Flickr user umami)

Read our Pesto Genovese recipe below, courtesy of Saveur, and keep scrolling for clever modifications that produce bold, rich flavors, plus tips and tricks for perfect pesto every time.

Pesto Recipe: Pesto Genovese

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups packed basil
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp finely grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Coarse salt, to taste (sea salt preferred)

Recipe:

Place basil, nuts, and garlic in a food processor blender and process until finely minced. Slowly add olive oil in a steady stream as the machine is running. Continue adding oil until the mixture is smooth. Then, add the cheese and process just long enough to combine.

Pesto Recipe Variations

Once you master a basic pesto recipe, there are infinite variations! Try different nuts, like pistachios or walnuts. You can also experiment with different oils, like avocado oil or coconut oil, or cheeses like pecorino. Even the herbs are up for experimenting! Skip the basil and try adding parsley, spinach, or kale. Just adhere to the basic recipe below for the ratio you’ll need of each ingredient:

  • 1 part herbs
  • ½ part nuts
  • ½ part cheese
  • ½ part oil
  • ¼ – ½ tsp salt
  • 1 – 2 cloves garlic

Pesto Pro Tips

Pesto is almost foolproof, but there are a few tips and tricks worth knowing:

  • If you’re using a basil pesto, search for the smallest, palest leaves, which indicate the youngest, freshest plant.
  • If you can’t find young basil, you can soften leaves by blanching them in simmering water for about 30 seconds and then plunging into an ice bath to stop the cooking process.
  • Italian pine nuts are the gold standard for classic pesto, but they’re also expensive. Save money by opting for walnuts — but soak them first in hot water for at least an hour to alleviate any bitter taste.
  • Lightly toast the nuts for an added depth of flavor.
  • You can modify your pesto to meet vegan requirements by swapping parmesan for vegan cheese.

Need more dinner ideas? Check out all of our cooking tips

Hearty Cabbage Recipes for Sides and Mains

With its meaty texture and family-friendly size, cabbage is a versatile vegetable for weeknight meals (bonus: it stores beautifully and has a long fridge life of up to two months!). Cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable that boasts anti-carcinogenic properties, so it’s a great food to incorporate into your diet. Whether you caught a cabbage in the St. Patrick’s Day parades or just picked one up on special at the grocery store, here are a few cabbage recipes ideal for a side dishes or entrees.

cabbage recipes

Braised red cabbage is a quick and easy side dish. (Photo via Flickr user Citrus and Candy)

Cabbage Recipes for Sides and Mains

Sides

Sauteed Cabbage and Apples: A quick saute of green cabbage helps the vegetable retain its satisfying texture while also adding a touch of sweetness thanks to tart, crisp apples. Get this basic recipe from My Recipes. Once you’ve mastered it, feel free to improvise! Try adding an egg on top for breakfast or stirring in some grainy mustard (and keep scrolling to learn how to transform this side into a main dish).

Cheesy Cabbage Casserole: Who needs mac ‘n’ cheese when there’s cheesy cabbage casserole on the table? This recipe from The Pioneer Woman is an instant comfort classic. The green cabbage casserole pairs great with brisket or chicken, but as recipe author Ree Drummond points out, “Sometimes, this really feels like a meal in itself.”

Braised Red Cabbage: This dish from Bon Appetit can be made ahead and reheated — perfect for a busy weeknight! Pantry ingredients like vinegar and chicken broth are all you’ll need (bacon is optional).

Mains

“Unstuffed” Cabbage Rolls: Cabbage rolls are a beloved preparation of the vegetable, but they can be tricky. Get all the flavor without any of the persnickety rolling by cooking all the ingredients together in a skillet. About Food has the easy recipe.

Smoked Sausage with Cabbage and Apples: Remember the quick sauteed cabbage and apples recipe in our Sides section? Simply add in your favorite smoked sausage (we like turkey kielbasa) for an instant main dish.

Shortcut Choucroute: Chef Mark Bittman found a quick and clever way to prepare a whole cabbage with his shortcut choucroute recipe. This easy main dish requires just about 5 minutes of prep. Let the oven do the work — you’ve got better things to do!

For more recipe ideas, visit our Cooking Tips hub on the blog. 

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