So often an afterthought at my house, every time I make something special, I think I need to do it more often.

What a fun way to bring everyone in the house together and make being at home a little special, whether it’s a hot summer day on the deck or a cool winter night by the fire – don’t save special drinks just for company!

Fall Spiced TeaFall Spiced Tea: This recipe is a family favorite – sipped hot or served cold as a punch, it is pretty incredible with its mulled spices, tea and pear juice. We often riff on this recipe, using what ever is on hand and it’s always good. If you have a friend who’s ailing with a winter cold or flu, make them this and pour it into a beautiful bottle with instructions to reheat in the microwave.

078Frozen Coffee Frappes: (like McDonald’s only better) Made in a blender with frozen cubes of coffee, a little condensed milk and plain old milk. Wonderful made with flavored coffee, and adults might wish to add a touch of a favorite liquor. Have them “nude” or top with what ever you’d like – whipping cream and/or a drizzle of your favorite dessert sauce. Your own frappes are pennies to make and a lot fewer calories – even using “real” ingredients. With no stabilizers, these melt so enjoy immediately.

141Pumpkin Spice Latte:  A warm coffee drink blended with a little pumpkin puree and beautiful array of pumpkin pie spices. Amazingly inexpensive to make at home and far better than anything I’ve ever had while out. I like that this uses real pumpkin puree and therefore has just a bit of vegetable in it. This beverage is great cold the next day after a thorough chilling in the fridge.

002Spa Water on a Budget: I dislike waste immensely, and if I can find some use for something, I will. Add appropriate trimmings, seeds, cores, hulls, etc. to a mason jar, fill with water and place in the fridge to gently infuse for a day or a few. Strain and pour for a delicious lightly flavored water that costs absolutely nothing.

Comments and discussion always welcome - tell me what you think.

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