Friday, 18 October 2013

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

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Living in China, there are many things I miss about home.  I'm more than positive I've lamented about missing certain events and foods before.  But there is nothing quite like the arrival of Autumn, and living in the subtropics it's an occasion that I can only mark by a date on the calendar and pictures on Facebook of beautiful foliage, cozy sweaters and friends sipping their beloved pumpkin spice lattes. Correction: my beloved pumpkin spice latte.  You see, there are Starbucks galore in this country, even a nice smattering of my sometimes preferred Costa Coffee, but there are NO pumpkin spice lattes. It's just not a thing here and it's one of the most heartbreaking truths of my reality (ugh, such first world problems!).

Since the thought of another whole pumpkin spice season without the cozy flavoured goodness that it is was just too much to bare, I decided it was time to roll up my sleeves and do something about it. So I made my own!

This came together soooo easily, and so quickly, I wonder if I'll ever buy the famously overpriced version again.  I used some pumpkin I had leftover from a pie I made for our staff Thanksgiving feast (I'm not the only one that misses the seasons!), and it is the perfect recipe when you have an awkwardly small amount of puree leftover.

I also subbed in agave syrup for the sugar because I get jittery enough from the coffee, I don't also need the sugar high at 7:30 in the morning. Plus it's one of the few treasts I can find in this country so I'm determined to use it (ignore the fact that I have to take a 20 minute taxi ride to a Costco-like store to find it).

If you crave the pumpkin spice flavour this time of year, I strongly encourage you to try whipping up a batch of your own. You'll thank me later, so you're welcome now.

NOTE: pumpkin pie spice is not a thing here either, nor are ground cloves and nutmeg to make my own, so this recipe features the simple combination of cinnamon and ginger.  If you want even more of an autumnal spice kick, I recommend adding approximately 1/4 tsp of each.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

4-6 Tbsp pumpkin puree (canned or homemade, whatever works)
1/2 cup agave syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 - 1 tsp ground ginger 
1 cup water

  1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally so as not burn any of the pumpkin
  2. Once you reach a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until you reach a nice syrup-y consistency
  3. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before transferring to an airtight container, store in the fridge and enjoy!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Link Love-In: Vacation reading

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Coron, Palawan, Philippines

Whoa. This post was actually meant to get sent out more than a week ago, but I seem to have gotten carried away prepping for, and then taking, a week long vacation ... sorry! None the less, I'd like to highlight that it's that time of year again! The time where I celebrate the fact that we are graced with a week-long vacation just one month into the school year ... huzzah!

This October holiday Other Half and I jetted off to the Philippines to spend a week in Palawan soaking up sun and (most of all) snorkelling! The sun was only with us for about half the vacation, but the snorkelling was an amazing daily occurance.  I'll be sure to provide a full report on here when I get through all the photos, but while you're waiting for that ... feel free to read these things from around the internet that I found interesting!


  1. How to eat sushi, like a well educated human (via. Huffington Post Canada)
  2. I love craft and DIY. I have dreams of a house in my future that has my DIY hand all over it. Until then, I'll continuing reading Poppytalk and gaining inspiration. Their DIY roundups are always my favourite! (via. Poppytalk)
  3. I updated my life (aka my phone and ipad) to iOS7 recently. It's beautiful. I'm smitten. Lot's of other things updated themselves too... here are some cool apps to pay attention to. 
  4. I don't have a waffle maker (in Toronto OR China), so I can't make these... but if you can, please, please do - and then report every fine detail to me! Drool. (via. Minimalist Baker)
  5. I'm a stationary fanatic, and  long time maker of completely covetable stationary, Rifle Paper Co. is a go to ogling resource of mine. Though I've been really (really) good about not investing in any stationary of any kind for a long time (because if I'm honest, I don't use it, I stare at it) I can't help but be drawn to these amaaaazing calendars. Helpful trip planning? Plain old floral beauty (another soft-spot of mine)? I'd take both.  (via. Rifle Paper Co.)


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