Pumpkin cheesecake milkshake (using leftover dessert)

pp milkshake 5
Well, now that Thanksgiving is dead and gone, we’re all racking our brains on how to use up the leftovers stuffed into every nook and cranny of the fridge. The obvious ones come to mind—”day after” sandwiches and a variety of turkey themed soups and casseroles—but what about those desserts?

We made a huge pan of pumpkin cheesecake bars for Turkey Day and even after I pawned them off on friends and co-workers, I still had a ton left over. Eating bar after bar of pumpkin, on cheesecake, on buttery graham crackers began to feel more like a chore than a treat, so I needed an upgrade. I remembered the leftover ice cream I had in the freezer and decided it was time for a trip down Dairy Queen lane.

I dumped everything in a blender, gave it a whir, and voila! A pumpkin cheesecake milkshake was born. I drank it in 32 seconds flat and had a sugar buzz for the next three hours, but I regret nothing—so delicious.

I got the recipe for the pumpkin cheesecake bars from Roxana’s Home Baking blog, but you can do this with pretty much any dessert you have left over from the holidays—pumpkin pie, pecan pie, cheesecake, even apple crisp or brownies (OMG). Get creative!




Dump equal portions of the pumpkin cheesecake bars and ice cream into a blender and start blending. Slowly add milk until you get a thickness and consistency you like. Pour in a glass, pop in a straw, pretend you’re six, and chug it as fast as you can.

Pumpkin spice latte (in a blender)


So I know I’ve said I’m not a fan of the ever popular PSL, but I’m retracting that statement because I figured out how to make a yummy, homemade version that doesn’t make me feel like a 5-year-old after eating his entire stash of Halloween candy. Sayonara, Starbucks.

The best part about this drink, is that you don’t even need an espresso maker to do it! All you need is a blender. And a coffee maker. But just a regular coffee maker. It may not be as rich and sweet as Starbucks’ version (which is why I like it), but it still has all those warm pumpkin spice flavors.

I experimented with a couple different methods, which turned out very similar, but decided this one produced the best consistency. At the bottom of the page, I’ll explain my alternative method in case you’d like to test it out.

Basically, the only difference is mixing the spices into the actual coffee grounds before brewing the coffee, rather than tossing them in the blender at the end. I found with the latter, it made the drink somewhat gritty, whereas the former gave off the flavor of the spices without the unwanted texture. I actually saw pumpkin pie spice extract at the store, which would be even more ideal for this recipe as it’s a liquid, and you could keep adding more if the flavor didn’t stand out enough. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little, find what works best for you!



  • 1 cup strong coffee (espresso)
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin puree
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (for 4 cups coffee)
  • 1 tsp raw sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


Start by brewing the coffee. Espresso is basically just very concentrated coffee, so you can do this using your regular coffee maker by doubling the amount of coffee grounds you normally would use.

Example: I usually use 4-5 tbsp coffee grounds for 4 cups coffee (I like my coffee strong). Instead I used 8 tbsp. 

Add the pumpkin pie spice in with the grounds and stir before brewing. While the coffee is brewing, heat up the milk on the stove or in the microwave until hot, but not boiling.

In a blender mix all ingredients and blend on a high speed until super frothy.

*ALTERNATIVE METHOD: Omit adding pumpkin pie spice in with the grounds before brewing coffee. Instead, add 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice into the blender with all other ingredients before blending.  

**For a richer flavor, you can use whole milk or half and half. And to make it sweeter, add more sugar. Just an FYI in case you misplaced your noggin. 

Berry banana smoothie


I love to start my day with a cold fruit smoothie, especially in the hot months of summer. I know, I know, it’s October. But here in Southern California it still feels like July, so I often opt for a cold smoothie over a pumpkin spice latte (sorry, world).

Smoothies are perfect because they’re so versatile. You can basically use any fruit you have on hand, fresh or frozen. I love using banana as a base to get a thick consistency and fresh berries to really bring out that fruity flavor and vibrant color. Although there are endless fruit combos when making smoothies, I found this one particularly tasty (and pretty)! I used mostly fresh fruit because I think it packs a bigger punch flavor wise, but feel free to use frozen if that’s your style.



  • Ice
  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Frozen mango
  • Vanilla greek yogurt
  • Almond milk


In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. For a thicker consistency add more yogurt, and for a thinner consistency add more almond milk.

If you don’t like almond milk, coconut milk and coconut water are good substitutes. And if you don’t like those, use whatever liquid your little heart desires.