Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies – Happy Blogiversary Becky!

Today, I bring you a recipe…but it isn’t mine.

2

It belongs to a blogger who reminds us to always TREAT YO SELF!

4

Who has run two half marathons…. one without even training! (I like how in the first half marathon recap it says that it was “likely” her last!!! YEA RIGHT!!!)

3

Who always seems to end up being my hangover buddy 😉 (of course, this picture wasn’t hungover but rather during our split bottle of wine….after a day of wine tasting….and cocktails….)

It comes from the brain of Becky at Olives n’ Wine!

A couple of months ago, Erica contacted me and asked if I’d be down to help plan a virtual surprise party celebrating Becky’s 1 year blogiversary. One year ago today, Becky wrote her first blog post! I was absolutely 100% down, and couldn’t believe how sweet of an idea it was…especially considering Erica ended up not being able to make it to Blend Retreat (poor thing just had to go to MEXICO! 😛 ) so we have actually never all met! 😦 Hope that changes next month when you find yourself in my neck of the woods, Erica!

6

Anyway, though my inclination was to pick one of her many amazing peanut butter-chocolatey concoctions to display, I had to go with an option that’s not only seasonal (even my “mehhhh pumpkin” self loved them), but totally typically blogger-esque! In her original post, Becky talks about how this recipe has the two most typical blogger ingredients: pumpkin and coconut oil.

Go figure the night I brought pumpkin, flour, and all the other ingredients to my parents house to do some baking, I totally FORGOT all of my coconut oil. (we kiiiiind of got a lot at Blend). Oh well! Bought some more and made these cookies. They were DEEEE-LICIOUS. Though I’m usually a chewy cookie fan, these were quite cakey- but oh so flavorful. They might have made me like pumpkin…just a little! 😉

1

Oh, and I was sure to enjoy some Olives n’ Wine while I baked!

If you don’t follow Becky’s blog, you should. Becky, you have achieved so much this year and have so much to be proud of! I’m proud to call you a Blend AND a friend, and I can’t wait for our next adventure together!

5

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies (c/o Olives n’ Wine, Adapted from Inside BruCrew Life)

Makes 36 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed but not 100% melted
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 TBSP vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 TSP baking soda
  • 1 TSP baking powder
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (I used half milk chocolate and half dark chocolate minis)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugar and coconut oil with an electric mixer until blended. Add in pumpkin, egg and vanilla and blend until creamy. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly stir dry mixture into pumpkin mixture just until combined. Mix in chocolate chips by hand. Roll cookies into 1-inch balls and place on cookie sheet (FYI – if you just “plop” the cookie dough on the sheet, it won’t spread nicely like typical cookies which is why my photos aren’t of pretty cookies. If you would like your cookies to have a nice appearance, roll the dough into balls prior to cooking!). Bake cookies for 7-8 minutes and then allow cookies to cool slightly on sheet for 3 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Katie’s Notes: I rolled my dough into balls and flattened them with the bottom of a small glass. I also used 1/2 white whole wheat flour, which worked out fine! My cookies were ginormous, so I barely got 24 and I had to cook ’em a little longer 😉 I also used chopped chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips. All still ended up excellent!

.

Check out all the amazing recipes of Becky’s that we are showcasing today! Also check out our hashtag on Twitter & Instagram – #ONWturns1 🙂

Chocolate-Dipped Quinoa Coconut Bars from Erica @ Coffee & Quinoa
Banana Bread Oatmeal from Jan @ Sprouts n’ Squats
Mexican Sweet Potato Casserole from Jackie @ Nacho Average Runner
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookie in a Mug from Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate
White Chocolate-Walnut-Coconut-Butternut Squash Dessert from Holly @ Eat Great, Be Great
Easy Breakfast Cookie in a Mug from Amanda @ Running With Spoons
Pumpkin-Nutella Bars with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Glaze from Dana @ The Daily Moderation
Banana Bread Nutella Cookies from Katie @ Running 4 Cupcakes
Homemade Taco Seasoning  from Carly @ Snack Therapy
Skinny Chubby Monkey from Amy @ The Little Honey Bee
Jalapeno-Spiced Black Bean Burgers from Hannah @ Clean Eating Veggie Girl
Spinach and Cheese Lasagna Roll-Ups from Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
Biscoff Chip Cookies from Davida @ The Healthy Maven
French Onion Soup from Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health
Beef and Broccoli from Alisha @ Alisha’s Appetite
Creamy Butternut Risotto from Emily @ Have Your Cake And…
Antioxidant Froyo Bars from Brittany @ Protein and Pumps
Chocolate Chip Birthday Cookies from Heather @ Fit ‘n’ Cookies
Greek Spaghetti Squash from Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen
BBQ Tofu Pizza from Ashlee @ His-n-Hers Happy-n-Healthy
Mini Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting from Erin @ The Almond Eater
Paleo Pad Thai from Melanie @ Beautifully Nutty
Arugula & Goat Cheese Flatbread Pizza from Elise @ 9 to Fit
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Smoothie from Jennifer @ Brunette Anthem
Double Chocolate Chip Muffins from Sara @ Fitcupcaker
Andes Mint Cookies from Taryn @ Peace and Pizza
S’mores Cookie Dough Bars from Caroline @ The Trendy Trainer
Biscoff Chip Cookies from Natalie @ Free Range Human

Advertisements

Chicago Weekend in Photos

Happy Veteran’s Day everyone! For those of you who had the day off today, I hope you enjoyed your long weekend!

As anyone who follows me on twitter, Instagram, or Facebook knows, I traveled to Chicago this weekend to hang out with 4 other healthy living bloggers- Becky (who lives in Chicago), Carly, Sara & Alisha. You may remember me, Becky & Carly’s shenanigans in Napa & SF this summer. Sara was also with us at Blend Retreat, and Alisha we were all meeting for the first time- so glad she decided to take the leap of faith and drive herself from Ohio to see us- we all had a blast!

I went over to Carly’s place in Davis after dodgeball on Thursday night and we woke up bright and early on Friday morning. Her mom graciously drove us to SFO!

A 4 hour plane ride, Chicago commuter train, and taxi ride later, we finally made it!

20131111-171457.jpg

We started our evening getting ready with wine, bread and cheese in the hotel, then went to the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the Hancock Building- omg. SO cool! We got (insanely overpriced) Moscow Mules & Mojitos, but it was worth it for the amazing atmosphere and views.

Afterward, we went to “dinner” at RA Sushi (which was really just a few appetizers) and bar hopped in Old Town. Also, Alisha and I became tequila partners. As you can imagine, I was feeling less than stellar on Saturday morning 😉

20131111-171505.jpg

Regardless, I rallied- we had plans to watch college football, eat, and drink! I surprised Alisha by wearing a Hawkeyes shirt (my grandparents went to Iowa so I’m an honorary Hawkeye!) and we enjoyed mimosas, coffee, beer, and both a breakfast AND lunch buffet at an Iowa bar in Wrigleyville.

20131111-170541.jpg

For the rest of the day, we walked the 3+ miles back toward Downtown Chicago and stopped along the way for amazing Nutella waffles and an obligatory Whole Foods trip! Definitely the biggest one I’ve ever been in!

After Whole Foods, Sara and I waited a good 20+ minutes in line to check out Sprinkles Cupcakes- SO worth it! I got a Salty Caramel and a Dark Chocolate, and somehow made them last 24 hours!

20131111-170550.jpg

That night we went out for another night on the town. Aren’t they all hotties? No wonder I was the only single lady of the group, all these ladies’ hubbies/BFs knew to snatch them up quickly!

20131111-171021.jpg

Sunday morning brunch was just what the doctor ordered! Becky suggested we go to the Little Goat, and when I said I had never had a Bloody Mary, she insisted I try one of theirs. I loved the combo of flavors, but being a tomato hater I’m not sure Bloody Mary’s are for me! Might have to stick to mimosas 😉

20131111-170558.jpg

Sunday was all about sight seeing. We walked around Millennium Park and saw the Bean at Cloud Gate, walked around downtown, and really just took in the city.

We seriously lucked out with the weather- It stayed in the 40s-50s the whole weekend, but the sun kept us nice and warm! This morning right after Carly and my flight left, it started snowing. Dodged a bullet there 😉

20131111-174533.jpg

And of course we couldn’t call it a Weekend in Chicago without some DEEP DISH! This was from Giordano’s and it was awesome. I may still prefer NY style pizza, but honestly the two are so different! It’s like comparing apples and oranges!

All in all it was an amazing weekend with great friends. I really loved Chicago & can’t wait to go back!

What was your last weekend trip?

Have you been to Chicago?

Weekend in Photos

Ummm, welcome to fall? I woke up to a brisk 45 degree morning here. I thought maybe that meant that fall had finally arrived, till I looked at the high temp for today- 85 degrees! What?! I forget that we don’t get much of a fall in California… it gets cooler at night, but as far as Mother Nature is concerned, we’re still in August during the day.

Now that I’ve bored you with weather talk, here are just a couple of pix from my weekend:

20131007-094611.jpg

My weekend started early, as I went shopping on my lunch break. I used a birthday gift card to buy a couple of ~fancy~ VS bras, and I bought a $6 skirt from Forever 21 that was small enough to fit into that bag. #noshame

20131007-094628.jpg

That night I went out with a bunch of dodgeball friends. Fun times were had. Lots of alcohol was consumed. Nuff said. lol

20131007-094637.jpg

I didn’t wake up early enough to go for a jog…in fact, I woke up to a text from Carly saying she was on her way to Sac, since we had plans to hit up the Farmer’s Market. Plenty of gabbing, laughing, and selfies with strange produce were had 🙂 Always a riot with my first ever Blend!!!

20131007-094647.jpg

After a day of cleaning and binging on New Girl on Netflix, I got ready and waited for friends to get out and about. In the meantime, I took lots of selfies and Facetimed with my little brother, who moved away a couple of months ago. Isn’t it funny how you talk more with your family when they don’t live in the same city as you anymore? 😛

20131007-094705.jpg

After 2+ nights of shenanigans, I decided I needed to punish myself with a long run. I know I’ve been bragging lately about how long runs aren’t hard for me anymore and I’ve hit my “Runner’s High” or whatever…But I’m not gonna lie, I suffered through every.single.minute of this run. However, I felt a lot better afterward!

20131007-094721.jpg

For the first time in weeks, I actually did some food prep for the week after my run. I roasted my first spaghetti squash of the season (!!! my favorite!) and a pot of quinoa, and baked a couple of chicken breasts. Nothing too fancy, but it will definitely make eating healthy a lot easier this week! Aiming to not have to succumb to soup cups or frozen burritos at all this week…we’ll see how that goes!

Hope you all have a great week!

Cast Off + Sunshine Award

Today is a good day in my world, because today I get my cast off!

castofftoday

Today is also a good day because I’m finally sharing that I was nominated (several times…aww you guys) for the Sunshine Award! I decided to do the questions that one of my best blends Becky over at Olives n’ Wine picked out for me. Thank you for nominating me, Becky, and more importantly thank you for being a great friend!

sunshine

The Rules:

  1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.
  2. Link to the person who nominated you.
  3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award.

Onward!

1. What is your first memory in life?

The first thing I can remember is living in Washington. We moved there when my mom was pregnant with my brother and stayed until we moved to Sacramento and I started Kindergarten at age 5. I don’t remember much of anything before Andrew was born, since I wasn’t even 2 when he showed up :-P. Some vivid memories that stick out are Christmas morning in our living room when I got my first bike, playing toy guitars in the basement, and barfing on the floor in my parent’s room. Haha. Sorry, parents!

i totally remember this favorite activity ;)

i totally remember this favorite activity 😉

2. What has been the best vacation you have ever been on and what vacation are you looking forward to in the future?

I don’t know if it counts since I technically lived there, but studying abroad in France was the best decision I ever made and probably made me feel more “me” than anything else I’ve ever done. My favorite cities I visited that year were Barcelona, Prague, and Marseille. I don’t have any vacations planned, but I’m hoping to visit Becky sometime this year in Chicago, her new home!!

me at Chateau d’If in Marseille

3. What is your preferred type/brand of coffee?

No coffee for me! Even though I actually do love the taste, my stomach can’t handle the acidity of coffee, so I usually drink green tea. If I’m out at a coffee shop, I’ll sometimes get flavored iced coffee or a chai latte. I also really like Starbucks tea+lemonade drinks, and their Refreshers!

4. Flowers or chocolate?

Chocolate, hands down. Can I eat flowers? NO! That being said, I do like to buy myself flowers because they really help brighten up my apartment 🙂

sunflowerlove

5. What is your normal bedtime and wake up time?

Generally, I try to be in bed before 11:30 and I set my alarm for 7:30. On the weekend, I will sleep for 9-10 hours if I have nothing scheduled to wake up for 😀 I love sleep!!!

6. When going out, do you wear your hair up in a pony tail or down?

Don’t have much of a choice, since my hair is pretty short- down! Even when I had long hair, though, it was always down…I think I was brainwashed by my mom, who has total blonde hair envy, and has always ordered me to “Wear your hair down! I don’t know why you’d hide it, it’s so pretty!”

7. Favorite form of exercise?

Gawd I never thought I’d say this, but running! You can do it anywhere, and it makes you feel awesome afterward. I also find it really encouraging to regularly engage in an activity that forces me to say “You can do this. You’re strong. You got this!” over and over in my head.

20130802-194838.jpg

8. Favorite place to shop?

I love H&M, but there are none close by.. So probably Macy’s? I also get a lot of work clothes from Express.

9. Do you have a favorite cuisine to eat when dining out? What is it?

Anything that is considered foodie-approved, I would probably like haha. I also love all kinds of ethnic food. So the short answer is: no. I don’t have a favorite!

10. Broccoli. Yay or nay?

Generally yay. Though soggy frozen broccoli is not the business 😦

My 10 questions:

  1. What 3 items are must-haves in your grocery cart every week?
  2. If you could live in any city, no questions asked, which one would you choose?
  3. Do you spend more money on food or clothes?
  4. Have you ever broken any bones?
  5. Fad diets: yay or nay?
  6. Knowing what you know now, what is one piece of advice you’d give to 18-year old you?
  7. What is your dream career? (Props if you currently have it :-P)
  8. If you could choose one type of cuisine for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  9. What is your favorite part of your body?
  10. What is the “signature dish” that you cook best?

My nominees: (I’m pretty sure a bunch of you were already nominated- oops! Just know I think you’re fabulous!)

  1. Emily at Have Your Cake And…
  2. Sara at Fitcupcaker
  3. Alisha at Alisha’s Appetite
  4. Courtney at Courtney Em
  5. Deb at It’s All About Me Fitness
  6. Kate at Quarter Century Southern Living
  7. Julianne at Life Off Leash
  8. Kelli at Made in Sonoma
  9. Carly at Snack Therapy
  10. Arlene at Adventures in Cooking, Weight Loss & Life

Wish me luck at the Orthopedics department today! I don’t exactly have the best track record there… 😛