Thursday, October 23, 2014

Chocolate & Pumpkin #TBT

While this pumpkin bread is my go to fall recipe, the muffin version is my new favorite. The recipe makes almost 2 dozen muffins - those that don't disappear immediately go in the freezer. They are a great addition to our weekday lunches or for a quick snack on the way to soccer. I really should consider making this recipe a bit healthier (in my spare time) but for now, it is a fave fall treat!

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread 

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. After a long, hot and sticky summer, I look forward to the chill in the air, seeing bursts of colors in the turning leaves, carving pumpkins, and wearing sweaters! And I love the kitchen to be filled with the smell of cinnamon and pumpkin. This pumpkin bread recipe has become a new seasonal favorite in our house. It is easy to make and utilizes simple ingredients. Plus, it combines pumpkin and chocolate, a perfect combination for fall baking. 

I recently made this recipe with Charlie's class at school. They have been talking about pumpkins and using them for different activities in class. Baking with 12 two-year olds is a little different than just baking with Charlie! It was really fun -  I will post some pics of my adventure soon. This recipe isn't real spicy and I think that makes it very kid friendly. Plus, there are lots of chocolate chips! 

4 eggs, room temperature
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. sugar
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 14 oz. can pure pumpkin puree
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. Kosher Salt
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
36 Cupcakes or Two 9×5 Loaves or One Bundt Cake or Lots o’ Mini-Muffins (use mini-chips for these!)
1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease and prepare the pan depending on bundt cake, muffins or loaves.
2. In a mixing bowl combine eggs, oil and sugar. Then, add the pumpkin and mix well. In a separate bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Slowly add this to wet ingredients until totally combined.
3. Mix in the chocolate chips with a wooden spoon and pour batter into prepared pan.
4. Bake according to pan size as follows:
Cupcakes: Bake for 25 minutes Two 9×5 Loaf Pans: Bake for 45-50 minutes Mini-Muffins: Bake for 12-15 minutes Bundt Cake: Bake for 60 – 65 minutes
5. Once baking is complete allow cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Then, remove it on to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.
*Note: baking time in the loaf pans have been about 10 minutes longer for my oven. Make sure and check that baking is complete. Insert a knife and when it comes out clean, it is done.
Original recipe is from the Naptime Chef.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

These Royals!

Thanks to last minute tickets and grandparents willing to pick up the kids, we got to #BeRoyal for a day!  All I can say about this Royals team is WOW. I love the way they play the game. The World Series is next. GO KC!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Captured on camera

We had a ton of pictures taken this past week. We had a photo session at Modern on Meadow for an upcoming spread in a local KC magazine on the house. It was no easy feat to have the house clean and staged and all four of us picture-ready by 5pm on a very busy Thursday afternoon of a very busy week. Whew! Glad that is over. I am really curious to see the pictures. I hope we like them.

We also took family photos this weekend - everyone was so thrilled to spend an hour trekking around the Nelson in their fall finest. Ok, I was the only one happy to be there and to be getting what I hope are new and fabulous family pictures. The kids are growing up so fast and we haven't had a family picture taken in 2 years, and not a professional one since before Izzy was born. It was time.

Like everyone else in KC, we have baseball mania in our house. As Cardinals and Royals fans, we are in baseball overdrive right now. I'm avoiding thinking about the scenario that everyone in STL and KC is thinking about these days. My loyalties can be evenly split for the time being.

Roxie got a much needed beauty treatment this weekend. You would not believe how much fun these two can have with a pair of hair driers! Wish I had a recording of all the giggles. Roxie was a good sport, as always. (Note: Charlie has on a Cardinals hat in the picture below. We equally represent!)

We've been hanging out in this space quite a bit lately - my new happy place! Ryan and I have had a vision for this space below the deck long before the house was built or finished. I am so happy it is finally coming together. This past Spring Ryan found this really cool fire pit made out of the cap from a large propane tank. Then we knew we wanted these fun chairs by Loll Designs in Duluth, MN the minute we stumbled across them online. We pinned them, saved them to Keep, and otherwise pined for them for the past year while we saved up to buy them. The chairs are made out of 100% recycled plastic and have a hidden bottle opener under one arm. So fun!

Fall, we are so ready for you. Bring on your amazing colors and cooler days and nights. We will bring the S'mores and cozy wool blankets. I am still looking for a signature Fall cocktail - suggestions??

And finally, the best thing I've captured on camera in weeks. Take it away Iz!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Weekend Rewind

These days our Saturdays begin with ballet (notice the excellent plie in the photo above - with boots!) followed by a soccer game. This past Saturday we also took in a KU football game which meant the kids required three sets of clothes to get through the day. I went to Lawrence early Saturday morning for an alumni rowing event and left Ryan to be Super Dad and get the kids to their events. But first, I set out all the necessary outfits...

They all managed to join me for the second quarter at the KU game, in their game gear and with smiles on their faces.

The game wasn't very exciting, but the kids have fun playing on the hill afterwards. 

And here is a short video of me rowing for the first time in almost 20 years! I am the third rower from the front, in the blue t-shirt. I didn't realize how much I missed the sport until I felt the run of the boat underneath me - so fun! 

My friend Allison and I were two peas in a pod while we were on the rowing team. We were roommates, co-captains, and did just about everything together. It was fun to share this reunion with her - and we are both in decent shape after all these years!

The current rowers wanted their picture taken with Allison and I - the 'old ladies' in the picture up on the wall! They were impressed to know we were members of the very first KU rowing team. These women are amazing athletes and year after year have the top grades of all the athletic teams at KU. I'm proud of how the program continues to grow and succeed.

This weekend we are hoping to get to a pumpkin patch, instead of our usual waiting until the last minute and finding all the best pumpkins are long gone. 

Have a wonderful weekend!