Save money and satisfy your pumpkin spice craving at home this Halloween! This simple method will have you reducing food waste by using-up the scraps of pumpkin you would have thrown away after carving. Looking for more flavour? Buy a baking pumpkin specially for this recipe!
It’s nearly Halloween and this fall, over a hot mug of pumpkin spice coffee I feel like letting it all out. All my food blogger confessions, that is. You see I LOVE my food blog. It is my baby, my project and my favourite hobby. But, things are not always as they seem. OoOoO, Spooky!
While shooting this recipe (actually it’s a non-recipe, but more on that down below!) I became very frustrated with the styling of my whipped cream and chuckled to myself how artificial food styling sometimes feels. You see, I recently filmed a segment at CTV Morning Live and struggled so much with the whipped cream that the lovely and talented morning show host, Nicole, kindly offered to do it for me. I told her she saved the segment, but at the end the whipped cream had melted and looked like crap even though her swirl was fantastic. And that is real life, baby. So, this morning, while feeling distraught that my whipped cream was melting yet again but this time in my kitchen and not under hot studio lights, I was tempted to run into the bathroom and try-out one of those Tasty-style so called food photography hacks and grab my boyfriend’s shaving cream, but I reminded myself of the promise to stay true to the food and never make anything for photos that can’t actually be eaten. I leaned into it and allowed the whipped cream to be messy and melty and totally real life…
And now I need to wash these linens…
At any rate, this got me thinking about even more things that may not be spoken about as much as it should be.
So, as Usher would say, these are my [Food Blogging] confessions:
- I made a few promises to myself when the blog launched in 2015 (!!!) that I would keep the blog until it didn’t feel fun anymore. With that personal promise in mind, I turned down a potentially lucrative job offer back in 2017. At the time I was offered the gig, it also just so happened to be the week I was in Ottawa for the FBC conference. Blogging and accepting any sponsored posts, doing TV or writing on any platform would have been a conflict of interest. I sometimes wonder where I would be if I accepted the job. Shout-out to Ethan and a few of my food blogging friends for talking me though that decision. The blog was, and still is the most healthy and creative outlet I had. I stand by my decision.
- I promised myself I wouldn’t be a sell-out and have those annoying ads on my site. However, I give major props to my peers who do! I sometimes wish I had that extra income stream, but I just can’t let myself do it and pledge to stay true to my word.
- I used to be one of those people that moaned and complained about long write-ups on recipe blogs before the recipe. Sorry folks, but now that I know the business, I know it’s MANDATORY for any hope in hell to get clicks on Google.
- Speaking of Google, I pretend I understand the basics of SEO and getting my website some clicks but I really feel like I am faking it. Oh well.
- I don’t like whipped cream, squash or mushrooms. I have written about them all. For recipe testing, I lean heavily on my friends to be honest with me and eat the tests and leftovers. I know food bloggers who are actually vegetarian but cook meat for their sites. It can work!
- My ex took all my photos from before mid-2018. I had to learn photography on the fly as the relationship dissolved. And buy a camera. And attempt to learn lightroom. It’s been a year of growth, but I have never been as proud of my work as I am now. My amazing (if I do say so myself) recipe for Peanut Butter + Chocolate Brownies was my first post 100% on my own and will forever be my favourite shoot.
- I am constantly asked online how the heck I get sponsored posts or opportunities to travel, write and present on TV. I don’t mind sharing 1) how my network has grown, 2) how I leverage it 3) the importance of an authentic voice and defined target blog audience and 4) my media kit but it always takes me a bit aback as I read it as “How did YOU get the ______ sponsorship” versus “HOW did you get the ________ sponsorship”. Gotta remind myself of that constantly!
- On the topic of sponsored work, I turn down a lot. Sometimes they aren’t a fit, a company or product I would not want to endorse or something I like personally, but aren’t a good fit for my target audience.
- I often Instagram message other food bloggers across Canada out of the blue and gush about how amazing they are. It’s a bit embarrassing and some people never reply but this is how I met a few fantastic people.
- I don’t like that recipes that don’t have measurements don’t do as well as precisely documented recipes. I like to cook my feel and want to encourage people to get messy and creative in their kitchen and learn technique and flavour matching instead of relying on exact measurements. However, I sometimes go rogue – like today! These Pumpkin Spice Coffees are a method rather than a recipe.
- My dog is the #1 recipient of the food failures that happen when recipe testing. She likes her job as official failed food tester for Peppers and Pennies. #PeppersAndPenniesPupper
- I don’t like Pinterest. I get sucked-in for too long and then second guess if any of my ideas were authentic or even worth the time, I remind myself it is all for fun. The app is deleted off my phone. Desktop mode only!
- I still can’t believe I am doing this. When I started the blog I wanted to be a food blogger, but part of me doubted I would stick around.
Are you a food blogger? Do you share any of these thoughts? I feel that because our “colleagues” are scattered across Canada it is often hard to chat about these things. I am promising myself to be more vocal, reach-out more and create a better community of fellow food bloggers. We have to support one another! Feel free to reach-out to me as well if you ever want to chat or, if local, grab a coffee and chat.
Okay – now back to FOOD! That was cathartic and I am happy to have shared with you!
This recipe, as mentioned above is not so much a recipe but rather a method. The reason is because I developed it as a way to use-up the scraps from a carving pumpkin and I don’t exactly know how big your parts of pumpkin will be! It’s a fun way to enjoy your carving pumpkin in another way than just looking at it flicker in the night. However, if you want a more pumpkin-forward flavour rather than pumpkin spice or are buying a pumpkin just for this recipe, get a sugar pumpkin (also called baking pumpkins).
Pumpkin Spice Coffees
- Carving Pumpkin Pieces
- Canola Oil
- Brown Sugar
- Evaporated Milk (roughly 2:1 ratio to roasted pumpkin)
- Pumpkin Spice Blend (Or mixture of Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger and Cloves)
- Brown Sugar
- Freshly Brewed Coffee
- Whipped Cream and Cinnamon Sticks
- Preheat oven to 400 celsius. Wash your pumpkin pieces. Dry and toss in canola oil. Lay pieces out on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15 minutes, turning halfway through.
- Cool pumpkin and blend with evaporated milk, brown sugar, pumpkin spice and salt. Add more evaporated milk, spice and sugar until desired consistency is reached. I like mine milky!
- Add a tablespoon or two to a coffee mug. Pour coffee over and stir. Top with whipped cream and cinnamon, if desired! Happy Halloween!
Did you make Pumpkin Spice Coffees at home?
If so, take a picture and tag it with #PeppersAndPennies! I love seeing your creations and will gladly share your photo!