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So, I know it’s that time of year. I mean, the first day of fall was, what? September 22nd? A little more than a week ago, and the pumpkin spiciness has been out and about for over a month it seems.

But let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

Like, why is it such a sore subject for so many?

Like your ability to say no to the pumpkin spice has been snatched or something?

No one is making you buy that latte.

No one is making you purchase that candle.

Pumpkin spice didn’t make you dust your Uggs off, either.

And if I’m being totally honest, I wear mine even during the summer with shorts. It’s a bit of a stretch as a fashion statement that one probably shouldn’t embrace in the 114-degree summers in Texas, but it’s a choice I make.

I’m getting off subject.

Imagine that.

Is it the fact that you feel like you are being shoved into the throws of Fall full force without your free will intact? Like, you are not being gently nudged into the threat of cooler temperatures, but more like dragged kicking and screaming?

Let’s face it.

Summer kicks our butts here in Texas. So, why we wouldn’t want to welcome cooler temps with something as warm and inviting as the dreaded pumpkin spice season?

And if you didn’t know it by now, it’s a thing.

We are in it.

Pumpkin spice season is upon us.

Whoever coined the phrase is probably living in a pumpkin shaped mansion and driving around in a pumpkin shaped carriage like Cinderella, for the love of everything pumpkin scented!

Well, I just couldn’t let it go, so ol’ Sweet M, decided to go on a little recognizance mission and see just what the hype is all about.

I like the smell of pumpkin spice very much.

Hubby does not.

I have this Scentsy bar that I feel like encompasses all my favorite smells of the Fall, including pumpkin spice.

Carey Dean says it makes him smell of pancake syrup.

Oh, well.

I like it.

So, the most famous probably of all pumpkin spice products is the standard Pumpkin Spice Latte from pretty much every coffee house you walk into. And while it is warm and comforting, here in Texas it is still a little much even in late in September. And let’s face it, as much as you want it to immediately usher in the cooler weather, just drinking one of them is not going to do that.

I must admit that while I like a good latte, pumpkin spice is not my fave. I am more of a Chai Latte girl, if I’m praying for sweater weather to grace us with its presence sooner.

Just saying.

Right in line behind the famed latte I just spoke of, there is all the boxed pumpkin spice-flavored food products that seem to magically appear on the shelves in every major grocery store. Like they seriously rode in on a pumpkin spice scented unicorn or something.

Pumpkin pie bars, pumpkin spice Cheerios, pumpkin spice caramel corn, pumpkin spice oatmeal, I mean, the list goes on and on.

I even saw pumpkin spice tortilla chips dusted with a hint of cinnamon on the shelf at Central Market.

I could definitely use those with some dips, but it just seems like overkill, doesn’t it?

I love as much it as much as the next girl, but it’s just a little much.

I keep saying that, I know, but as a purveyor of all things culinary, I feel the issue must be addressed.

Pumpkin spice Peeps?

Yes, they exist.

Pumpkin spice beer?

Most definitely.

Pumpkin spice Spam?

Yep. I have seen it.

Haven’t tried it and probably won’t even on the planet in a million and five years, but it’s out there.

Tell me what to do!

Do I embrace it culinarily and try to find a way to integrate it slowly and comfortably into my fall menus?

Heck yeah, I do!

And I let it wash over my food bringing with it warmth and an amazing vibe!

I’m not afraid.

So, all you haters and nay-sayers, you can sit around and cry because the cooler weather is definitely on its way.

The soup recipes are coming.

The chili recipes are on the way.

I’ve got some pumpkin spice tricks up my sleeve, so be on the look-out!

Yep, I’m probably going to make the grand leap into everything fall over the weekend and be bringing with me some amazing food and some even more amazing tips for incorporating that pumpkin spice into your meals, as well.

So, get ready!

But just for a little enticement, here is my Pumpkin Spice Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe.

Now, I usually use powdered white chocolate, because it takes on the pumpkin spice flavors nicely, but you can use regular cocoa or even dark cocoa powder. It pairs nicely with the abundance of cinnamon and clove.

Here it goes!

Sweet M’s Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate Mix

2 cups of powdered white chocolate

1 cup of powdered milk

1 cup of powdered sugar

1 package of your favorite powdered Pumpkin Spice Drink Mix

1 heaping tablespoon of pumpkin spice

Whisk everything together and store in an airtight container.

I usually will make mine with warm milk, about a 1/4 cup of mix or so. It’s really a personal preference, depending on how much of that pumpkin flavor you want.

Mix well in your favorite coffee cup and add a cinnamon stick for whimsey, sit back and wait for the fall vibes to wash over you!

I hope this little offering finds you all happy, healthy, and loving and embracing the joy that is pumpkin spice.

And as always, I wish you love, joy, and all the happiness in the world!

Love always,

Sweet M

Melissa Smith Dean is a native of Corsicana and a recent transplant to Ft. Worth, where her husband, Carey Dean is the morning show host at 95.9 The Ranch. She is a self-taught chef and home cook and the owner of Sweet M’s Kitchen, a successful catering and lunch delivery business in Corsicana. Melissa is a food writer and is currently working on her first cookbook, which she hopes to have completed in January of 2022. When Melissa is not in the kitchen or writing, she enjoys dabbling in home decor and hanging out with her hubby and friends in Ft. Worth.

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