Friday, October 1, 2010

homemade pumpkin spice latte + thrifting tips!

With fall comes the addition of seasonal coffee drinks to menus in every coffeehouse…even in my small hometown. Unfortunately, no one offers almond milk as a sub for cow’s milk or soy milk, so I rarely get anything except regular coffee or tea. So, I was pretty excited when I found a instructions for homemade pumpkin spice latte.


pumpkin spice latte :: adapted from the kitchn [makes 2 servings]

2 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons canned pumpkin
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or combo of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves)
1/2 cup strong brewed coffee-preferably fair trade or comparable (1 tablespoon/6 oz water)

Combine first 3 ingredients and cook on medium heat until steaming. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla and spices. Blend in a blender (make sure you leave a little airspace by the lid to prevent an explosion), or use a hand blender. Pour into mugs, and add expresso on top.

This was pretty much amazing and cost a fraction of what you’d pay anywhere else.

Fall is a great time to start thrifting for foodie-related holiday gifts, so I thought I’d write a little tutorial for you newbies.


Many of you may be wondering which kitchen items are best purchased in the thrifting environment. Are those flaking cast iron pans really a good buy? Will used silverware kill you?

Here are some of the best items to search for when thrifting:

  • Vintage pyrex dishes: Extremely stylish, durable, and usually affordable.
  • Kitchen accessories: Ideas include potato mashers, spoon rests, cake stands, and silverware.
  • Appliances: I once found a barely used bread machine (retails for upwards of $50) for a mere $10. Cha-ching!
  • Mugs, cups, bowls, and plates: Found in many patterns and sizes, these are great first-apartment finds.

Questions to ask before purchasing an item:

  • Is it clean or easily cleanable?
  • Durable?
  • Are there signs of excessive wear and tear?
  • Does it cost less than the current retail value?

Another reason to thrift? It’s my favorite form of recycling. For those of you who don’t live an area where kitchen finds abound, check out Etsy’s collection of vintage housewares. Also, check out the ex-roommate’s Etsy store, Happy Go Vintage!

Do you thrift? What have been your fave thrifted finds?


p.s. congrats to marathonmaiden, who won the Lucini Italia giveaway! Thanks to everyone who entered, and thank you to Lucini Italia for their generosity!


  1. I love the thrifting tips!

    And I think vintage pyrex stuff is so chic and cool. I'm more into thrifting for housewares than for clothing. (Vintage smell grosses me out.)

  2. i currently do not thrift. i really should though! as much as i love having new things i love having things that have character

  3. I am not a huge thrifter. I am such an impulse buyer!

  4. I love the mug in your first photo - it'd be a great fit in any PA Dutch home!

  5. Looove your coffee cup! I think you have finally inspired me to try my hand at a pumpkin spice latte. I see them everywhere and I need to bite the bullet and make one!! have a great weekend :)

  6. Great tips for buying kitchen items. :)
    I try to thrift but not much... I need to work on that to really take control of my finance.

  7. Ohh girl i LOVE me some pumpkin lattes! your creation sounds great!

  8. I definitely need to check out a thrifty store for some used baking supplies...I'm sure there would be some good finds!

  9. Where are the good thrift stores in Columbus, Emily?? I never went with you and I was always curious. I need to go! I think there are some on Broad street, but I hate driving over there. Are there any around campus or around Grandview?

    Love the latte recipe. I'll have to give it a try sometime. But, I'll be honest, I really don't like almond milk as much as I used to. I hate that there are only 2 grams of protein! I think it's strange, since almonds have more protein than that....

  10. What a great recipe :) Perfect and warming for fall!

  11. i don't like coffee, but that latte looks so good! i love thrift stores, but i rarely actually buy anything. we found some amazing salt and pepper shakers recently that we bought for our friends. they're (the s&p shakers, not our friends haha) little guys with sombreros.

  12. The cute mug in your photo was found at a thrift store with 2 others - and it matches the one I had at home (found at a thrift store and given by your brother to his dear old dad quite a few years ago!)

  13. YUM! pumpkin spice...the best thing about fall FOR SURE! :)


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