Dairy-Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer


This time last year: Coconut Hot Chocolate (2013)



I woke up this morning to snow on the ground. It wasn’t a lot of snow, and honestly it’s probably more a mixture of ice than anything, however it is white, and beautiful and I love it.

All winter, across the country, we have been experiencing abnormally warm temperatures. My brother goes to college in Saint Paul and they still have yet to receive snow. That’s crazy! Not a good sign for global warning.

As much as I have loved wearing shorts in December and going on long runs without freezing to death, it feels weird to go a whole winter without snow. Snow, like christmas lights and fire places, is one of those few things that make winter and the holidays feel real!

Thus, when I woke up this morning to a thin white layer of snow on the ground, I thought the recipe of the day needed to be a warm winter treat- something you could put in a cup, wrap cold fingers around, and enjoy the comfort of that warmth.

Thus, for my third holiday drink that’s not egg nog, in this mini holiday drink series, I present you with this Dair Free Pumpkin Spice Coffee Creamer.

It’s good y’all. It’s winter in a cup, and it will warm your soul.

Come back for another holiday drink that isn’t eggnog!

XO Sarah




  • 1 and 1/2 cups almond milk*
  • 2 Tablespoons pumpkin puree (not pumpking pie filling!)
  • 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 – 2 cinnamon sticks


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and pumpkin pie spice. Whisk together until fully combined.
  2. Add the cinnamon sticks.
  3. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Whisk while boiling for one minute, then remove the pot from the heat.
  4. Allow the creamer to cool for five minutes before adding to your coffee.
  5. Dress your coffee as you like- adding sugar, whip cream, and/or a sprinkle of cinnamon as you like!



Notes and Tips!:

  • I chose to make this coffee creamer dairy free, because I often get requests for dairy free recipes! Although almond milk is not as creamy as whole milk or half an half, it is definitely healthier, and still has a nice creamy flavor to it! However, if you prefer to go the traditional route, feel free to substitute the almond milk out for whole milk or half and half!
  • Store leftovers in a covered container for up to a week. Shake well before each use.
  • Source: Sally’s Baking Addiction 
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links below photos):

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

This time last year: Superfood Guacamole (2012)


It’s finals week. Usually during finals week I turn into a barbarian, quickly running out of clean clothes, coffee, and devolving into a sleep deprived mess that eats popcorn three meals a day because there is no other food in the house.

Shining moments, I know.

However, this year, be proud of me, I am prepared! Last night I stayed up to ungodly hours doing all my laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking up a storm! (Literally, there was flour flying around the air. God bless my patient roommates.)

Moral of the story, this weary student will not go hungry this week, and I have some delicious recipes to share with you! So, add this to your “to-cook” list. It would make for a wonderful holiday breakfast dish over the holidays!

And for all my  student friends out there, I know y’all are trolling the internet, because it’s finals week, and everything feels better than studying. So, troll on through this site, and definitely book mark this recipe! This french toast bake is worth getting out of bed for.

Happy baking, and come back soon!

love, a rented kitchen


Toast Ingredients:
  • 1 day old French bread, diced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling!)
  • 2 Tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 Pumpkin pie spice
Streusel Ingredients:
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
  • ½ cup cold salted butter, diced


1. Spray a 9 x 13 inch casserole pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Arrange the bread in the pan evenly and set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the remaining wet ingredients- milk, cream, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well, and pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours, or preferably, overnight.
3. Preheat the over to 350˚F.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, flour, pecans, and pumpkin spice. Add in the butter, using your fingers or a fork, until small clumps form.
5. Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the toast, and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked through. Add a layer of aluminum foil over the top if the toast layer browns too quickly.
Notes and Tips!:
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Source: Little Spice Jar
  • Like this recipe? Try these other dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (recipe links below photos):

Sage Polenta Bowl with Parmesan, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms


This time last year: Fall Harvest Vegetarian Stuffing (2013)


Man, time flies, doesn’t it?

It feels like just yesterday I was at home, filling my plate full of sweet potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, and homemade rolls. Oh my goodness gracious, it was SO good!

I’m telling you all, veggie Thanksgiving is where it’s at. No turkey to make you sleepy, and all of the carbs and homemade goodness you could ever dream up. I can feel myself drooling now.


When the weather gets cold and the work load keeps getting harder, I dream of home. I dream about those moments around the table with my family, maybe some jazz music floating therough the speakers, always some kind of sweet potato dish being served (duh!).

When going home is not an option, which is unfortunately, almost always the case, I find myself eating soup instead. (Yes, some of us eat our feelings, and no, soup can not replace the comfort that comes with a family home cooked meal).

I think the warmth of a bowl of soup can push back the coldness of winter just a little bit, which can make the warmth of home feel a whole lot closer.

However, since leaving home 6 years ago, I’ve had a lot of soup, and sometimes you need something else warm.

CUE the Sage Polenta Bowls with Parmesan, Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Wild Mushrooms.

This bowl is seasonal, warm, simple, and delicious. It is filling, while still healthy, and it meets all vegetarian and gluten free diets (two points for the picky eaters!).

Buy the ingredients and make this recipe this week. I promise, you will be so glad you did!





  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts- rinsed, trimmed, and quartered
  • 1- 8 ounce package assorted wild mushrooms (fresh)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup instant polenta
  • 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh sage

1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
2. Toss the Brussels Sprouts and mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then arrange into one layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, or until slightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, bring the water to a boil in a medium sized pot. Reduce the heat to low and slowly whisk the polenta into the water. Continue to whisk, without ceasing, for 3 minutes.
4. Remove the polenta from the heat, and stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, the sage, and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Divide the polenta into four bowls, and top each with 1/4 of the roasted vegetables + 1 Tablespoon of parmesan cheese.



Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Oh My Veggies!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below!):

Coconut Hot Chocolate



Alright, I have to admit, it is very possible that I am having too much fun with this hot chocolate series. The recipes are all so simple, and the result is I am required to drink a cup of hot chocolate every day. What’s not to love?!

As I started researching hot chocolate recipes last night, I was overwhelmed by the immense flavor options possible.  I had a moment of weakness where I thought I may never end this series, but decided that you all may not appreciate the lack of variety.  Thus, I will stop with a total of five hot chocolate posts for this series, but I promise- you’re going to want to see all of them!

I decided to pick this recipe, because I find the combination of coconut and hot chocolate to be extremely refreshing. Hopefully you enjoy it as much as I did, and as always, have fun tweaking it to your preference!

Love, A Rented Kitchen

‘Tis the Season’- Hot Chocolate Series Review:

Day One: Pumpkin Hot Chocolate

Day Two: Ginger Hot Chocolate




  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 15-ounce can coconut milk
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Bring 1/3 cup of water to a boil (I suggest using a tea pot).
  2. Whisk the cocoa into the water and set aside.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine the coconut milk, brown sugar and salt. Heat on medium-low, allowing for the milk to simmer, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Whisk in the cocoa and vanilla until smooth.
  5. Top with whipped cream, toasted coconut, or marshmallows!


Notes and Tips!:

Ginger Hot Chocolate



To say I’m a hot chocolate fan would be an understatement. I am such a chocolate addict, that no matter the season, you can find me sipping on some hot chocolate. It’s embarrassing really.

Despite my huge love of this delicious beverage, I have never tried my hand at making homemade hot chocolate.  I’m on a mission to change that.

Thus, for the next few days, I am going to be posting several new and delicious homemade hot chocolate recipes. Yesterday I posted Pumpkin Hot Chocolate (AKA Christmas in a Cup!), and tomorrow I’ve got some delicious Coconut Hot Chocolate coming your way!

However today, I present to you, Ginger Hot Chocolate. I am not one of those people that loves to chew on candied ginger, so I was a little concerned I would not like this recipe, but it was delicious! By using cocoa powder at the chocolate source, this recipe has a slightly darker and more bitter taste than the Pumpkin Hot Chocolate, which used melted chocolate chips.  The ginger taste was there, but it was not overwhelming. Instead, there’s a little salty kick in every delicious sip.

If you love dark chocolate, ginger, and/or sea salt- this drink is for you.

Enjoy, and make sure you check back tomorrow for the next scrumptious hot chocolate recipe!

Love, A Rented Kitchen




  • 3 cups milk (soy, almond, dairy- your choice!)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (more if you really love ginger!)
  • ¼ cup cocoa or cacao powder
  • Generous pinch of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2-3 ginger candies (optional)


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, heat the milk until warm.
  2. Whisk in the cocoa powder, sea salt and ginger until smooth and fully incorporated.
  3. Once the milk is hot enough, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
  4. Rub a ginger candy along the rims and inside of your mugs and then fill with the cocoa. (I do not advise leaving the candy in the mug, as it will get mushy and weird).
  5. Optional: top with whipped cream or marshmallows! Enjoy!



Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Source: Minimalist Baker
  • The original recipe called for  2 cups milk and one cup water. I used 3 cups of milk and no water, just because I read it hastily and measured it out incorrectly. However, it tasted fine that way! Thus, do whatever you prefer!