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Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Latte

10.22.09 by Jackie

What's the cure for a chilly Fall afternoon? A pumpkin spice latte. I decided to make some today because the girls have the week off from school and they really wanted to cook. They wanted to make a pumpkin pie, but I thought it would be fun to take our pumpkin pie recipe and turn it into a drink.

I've had pumpkin spice lattes in the past that really only have nutmeg and cinnamon. I made ours with real pumpkin purée, and I sweetened the latte with condensed milk, as I do for cà phê sữa nóng (Vietnamese-style coffee).

It was such a hit. I served the latte in tall glasses, and as quickly as I poured it, the girls drank it. Sunny actually took to drinking it directly from the saucepan!

There's definitely going to be a big pot of pumpkin spice latte on the table for Thanksgiving. If you try it, I bet it'll be on your table as well.


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Lemon and Chocolate Filled Cardamom Thumbprints Recipe

With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I'd prepare some ghoulishly delicious thumbprint cookies. I know, I'm a dork...

I flavored the cookie dough with cardamom. Cardamom is a very versatile spice that goes well with just about everything. For the filling, I used lemon apeels and swirled in a little dark chocolate for contrast. If you're artististically inclined, you could try to draw little bats or scary faces.  No matter what you do, I guarantee it'll be terrifying how fast these cookies disappear!


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Fresh Ginger Apple Celery Carrot Juice Recipe

When I look back at my New Year's resolutions, you know, those lies we tell ourselves at the beginning of each year, I realize that I haven't made good on my resolution to use our juicer more. I think the only time I used it this year was to make plum juice for a tofu recipe.

My other resolution has gone pretty well. I started this food website on January 1st of this year as our way of keeping track of what we eat and helping the girls have easy access to my recipes when they want to make them on their own. I thought it would help me be more mindful of my family's diet and maybe lose weight. It seemed like a great way to add some discipline to my life.

There are fewer than 90 days left in 2009, so today I decided to break out the juicer and make us some juice. I recently bought a lot of carrots, celery and Fuji apples. All three are perfect for juicing. I combined them in the juicer, and I threw in a touch of ginger to give it a little zing. It tastes delicious and makes a great breakfast.

So clearly I'm not on my way to becoming the next Jack Lalanne, but at least I've made good on another resolution. Now if I could just figure out how to lose 5 pounds before our 5-year-anniversary trip to Cancun at the end of the month...


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Tips for Perfect Pancakes Recipe

Tips for Perfect Pancakes

09.27.09 by Jackie

Pancakes have an almost magical ability to turn anyone into a child again. There's something irresistible about waking up on a Saturday morning, stumbling into the kitchen and being greeted by the smell of batter and a mountain of fluffy pancakes just begging to be smothered in maple syrup and whipped butter.

Perhaps part of the beauty of pancakes is that they're so simple to make. My teenage sisters-in-law often make them on their own for the family. As with many simple dishes though, attention to detail is the difference between drab and delicious. Read on to learn my tips on making excellent pancakes every time.


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Basil Mint Lemonade Recipe

Basil Mint Lemonade

09.24.09 by Jackie

It's already the end of the summer and I've been making every effort to get the best use out of the leftover mint and basil in my herb garden. With the basil, I've made a lot of pesto that I store in the freezer for the winter. There isn't enough left for an additional sauce, and I've always wanted to try a basil infused drink, so today I made a basil lemonade, basil limeade, to be more precise. Sweet basil can be a bit subtle, so I wanted to pair it with another herb to give the drink some kick.

Mint immediately came to mind. I've made drinks all summer using the different kinds of mint we have, including spearmint, peppermint, Vietnamese mint, and apple-mint. I still, however, have a lot of leftover chocolate mint in the garden. Lulu planted it for me a few years ago and it's been growing literally like weeds. It's not as strong as the other mint varieties, so it complements the basil in the limeade I made today without overpowering it. It may sound odd, but it's a really fun, beautiful and delicious drink.

I wish I had tooken the main picture but it is not mine. It was taken by a brilliant photographer named Ken Phuong. He's currently shooting with a team of photographers in the Bay Area.

how to make basil-mint limeade


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