Random Recipe: Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

I know fall is almost over and I need to get on board with the fact that winter is on its way. The leaves are mostly off of our trees, and it is getting colder every day. Even as fall leaves us and we move into winter, I still want all things pumpkin. I even joined the silly controversy and the rest of the world in getting a Starbucks red cup for a Pumpkin Spice Latte. It was worth it.

I also love me some yummy coffee cake. Of course I am addicted to my mom’s version (thank you Betty Crocker) so thought it would be fun to try a pumpkin version – why not right? It was okay. It has this ribbon-like swirl of pumpkin in the middle that is a bit strange for someone like me with food texture issues. If you like a strong pumpkin flavor then this is your kind of treat.

Pumpkin Spice Coffee Cake

Ingredients
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of canola oil
4 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice, divided
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 baking dish.

Beat the sugar and oil together in a large mixing bowl. Then beat in the eggs. Beat in the flour and baking powder. Beat in just two of the tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice.

Spread half of the batter across base of prepared baking dish. Open the can of pumpkin and stir in the remaining tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice. Spread the pumpkin over the batter. Spread the other half of the batter on top of the pumpkin. Gently swirl the three layers together with a knife.

Bake for about 40 minutes and enjoy!

The real reason summer is over

Summer is over. You might think I am crazy, that the weather is still warm out, but I will give you a few reasons why I am bummed that another summer is over. Sure, I could tell you that schools are back in session which means the time of my commute has just increased by another 10-15 minutes, which means I have to get out of bed earlier. I could also tell you that my company has summer half day Fridays, which the last one occurs for the summer on the Friday before Labor Day. I could tell you that the sun in my backyard is getting rarer and rarer each day. I could tell you that sunsets are getting earlier and earlier and the days are darker and shorter.

All of these things make me crave for life to slow down so I can enjoy things a bit more. Or maybe, I just need to slow down. The real reason I know summer is definitely over has nothing to do with the sun, schools, or light and everything to do with a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I am addicted. Every Spring I get excited for Summer and my avid excitement for iced coffee and every Fall I get giddy over a few months of joy and the ever sweet and addicting Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. I usually do not like to drink Starbucks. I am one who drinks my coffee black, and prefers to truly savor the flavor and, because of that, I think Starbucks coffee is disgusting. Except for the Pumpkin Spice Latte. You cannot taste the coffee anyways, so what does it matter? I am all about all things pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, basically I want anything spiced, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin for the next few months.

September 2 is the launch of the Pumpkin Spice Latte for Starbucks. It seems that each year they launch it earlier and earlier, but I am not complaining. I drink them all throughout fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, until a random day in early January when we walk into a Starbucks and order a Pumpkin Spice Latte, and they say they are out. I am then a hopeless wanderer for five months until the days begin to get warm and my iced coffee glee starts all over again.

Go get a Pumpkin Spice Latte today for me.

Favorite things of summer…

Last week it rained like cats and dogs here in Portland. It poured and poured. I guess it means summer is almost over, and yet it went by so fast. I am a bit bummed out about this news. I loved all the time that we worked on our home, being outside, having meetings outside while basking in the sun. Some of my favorite parts of summer: flip flops, dresses, skirts, freckles, iced coffee, sunshine, fresh fruit, veggies, and flowers, farmers markets, the list goes on. Starbucks is already offering my favorite fall/winter drink: a Pumpkin Spice Latte. Yum. So does that mean it is officially fall?

As I look back, nostalgic about summer, it made me remember my local library’s Summer Reading Club. This was back in the day when there was a card in the back of the book that sat in the sleeve, and they would stamp the date of when you would need to return the book. There was a long wall that they set up. It was set up in increments to space out the different numbers of books read over the summer. I loved proudly posting the number of books I had read during each library visit of the summer. If I remember correctly there were mini prizes the higher you got up the wall.

Even though I will miss my dresses and flip flops, there have been a few days of cooler weather when I have pulled out the jeans and long sleeved shirts, and it has been quite nice. Since I live in Portland, I will of course miss the sunny skies, abundant farmers markets, and eventually I will have to put my flip flops away.

What are your favorite things of summer? What will you miss most?