Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Cookies – Happy Blogiversary Becky!

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


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


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!!!)


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!


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! 😉


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!


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

Makes 36 cookies


  • 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)


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


Weekend in Photos

Good afternoon, blog land!

I am currently coming to you in between coffee jitters. For some reason I’ve been craving hot (and iced) coffee lately, even though it gives me stomachaches and makes me tweak out. I generally drink tea, but I love the taste of coffee. I also just love having a hot drink with me in the morning…it was 45 degrees outside when I woke up this morning! So I had 2 cups of coffee and have switched to decaf so I don’t completely crash before lunchtime 😉

On to the weekend!


I took a short (not even half) day at work on Friday and started it off right – got a pumpkin latte from Peets (actually probably better than S*bucks if you ask me!), bought a pumpkin, and since they don’t have pumpkin kombucha I settled for the also very fall-like cranberry flavor. It wasn’t my favorite, but it’s good to add another flavor into my not-very-expansive kombucha repertoire.


I took the short day at work because my dad and I decided to go to the Bay Area to hang out with my grandma, as it was the 1st anniversary of my Papa’s death. Some of you may remember my Papa passing suddenly last year (see that post here) and that my dad and I went to be with family that day. I baked pumpkin bread for everyone who was mourning with us that day, and decided to keep up the tradition this year, roasting up the pumpkin I bought that morning and making it into pumpkin bread (it totally stuck in the pan, so Grandma and I went at it with a fork! 😀 )

I also made us a simple little ravioli & tomato sauce dinner. I had a great time catching up with my grandma, and especially enjoyed our obligatory Happy Hour where we talked about life and boys while watching her favorite Westerns on TV 🙂


My dad and I made it back that evening, so I called it an early night. I woke up well-rested, knowing I wanted to run at least 5.5 miles…after 3, I was feeling fantastic and decided to go for it- I ran another 10k! I also beat my race time by a whopping 3 minutes — I attribute this to the fact that I a) have been keeping up with my long runs and b) ran on my regular completely flat running path. Afterwards, I went to the Farmer’s Market for and picked up just a couple of things. (Flowers, brussels sprouts, greens, and my favorite salsa)


After my run, I refueled by making a smoothie with my new NINJA ULTIMA BLENDER!!! Thanks to Becky, who tagged me in an Instagram contest at the Healthy Living Summit, I won this beaut! It created probably one of the smoothest smoothies I’ve ever made, and the single serve cups are awesome. I loaded it up with frozen bananas, plain greek yogurt, a spoonful of peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, and some almond milk.


Not so smooth…. was my phone falling out of my pocket while biking on Saturday night. No insurance + no AppleCare = looks like Katie’s gonna be payin at least $140 to get it fixed! Anyone have an old AT&T iPhone they don’t need? 😉


After less than 5 hours of sleep, I woke up bright and early on Sunday morning (7:30am!) stressed out about life and my phone and couldn’t get back to sleep. So I did the only thing I was sure would make me feel better – went to the gym and watched Food Network! I was the only one at the gym at 9:30am on Sunday morning…. quelle surprise 😉


I had a few hours to kill before our first Sunday dodgeball game of the season, so I did some food prep! Not much, but it is enough to keep me eating clean for at least a few days. I thawed a chicken breast, made roasted tomato salsa (also with my new Ninja!), chopped up veggies for stir frying throughout the week (um, shredding brussels sprouts with a mandolin is amazing!), and made a pot of brown rice. Easy peasy!

I’m pretty proud of myself for exercising a fair amount of moderation and working out both days this weekend, especially after the debauchery of last weekend. To be honest, I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress at work and in some aspects of my personal life, so it’s nice to know that there’s something I can control that makes me feel good!

What’s your favorite smoothie combo?

Any advice on the shattered iPhone screen?

Did you food prep this week?

Meatless Monday: Autumn Chili

It seems like a while since I’ve posted a Meatless Monday recipe. Between my Grandpa’s passing, the election, health issues, and our vacation…I haven’t really been doing a lot of cooking lately!

Most of my dinners have been anything I can put in the oven, forget about for 20 minutes, then chow down on. Usually this means roasted brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, or the seasonal favorite: squash. (OK and sometimes T-Man and I put tomato sauce, salami, and cheese on a large slice of sourdough and call it “pizza”…don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!)

I’ve made my parents and boyfriend try spaghetti squash a couple of times, roasted a butternut squash for a delicious soup, and I finally picked up an acorn squash that is currently sitting on my counter waiting to be made into another soup…or maybe just roasted and stuffed with quinoa. The possibilities are endless!

It was really rainy this weekend. And for a girl who has lived most of her life in California, that means it simply rained for about a day straight. So in a search for comfort food that would get my stomach stretched for the marathon-style 24-hours of Thanksgiving approaching T-Man and I (his birthday is the day before, and we will be braving Bay Area traffic to make it to two different dinners on Turkey Day), but not cause premature Thanksgiving weight gain, I made this healthy, hearty chili.

I had ground turkey in my freezer, but I decided to be festive and added roasted butternut squash instead. This would be great with acorn squash, roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, or whatever fall gourd or tuber you find in your grocery store. With plenty of protein from the beans alone, I figured I’d cut out the fat and add more vitamins, nutrients, and fiber by replacing it with squash.

Though I typically love a spicy chili, this recipe has a lot of sweetness from the bell peppers and butternut squash that gives it this interesting sweet-and-savory feel. Of course, me being me, I added cayenne pepper, and if you want it to be even spicier, I’ve added notes on what you can substitute.

This chili has a couple of secret ingredients: instead of tomato paste, I added pumpkin puree (of course always staying in theme!). Next, no chili for me is complete without beer. I really wanted to try making this chili with a seasonal pumpkin ale like Jen does in this recipe, but I couldn’t rationalize buying a whole 6 pack for a single cup of beer, so I used what usually do – a light wheat beer (this time a Hefeweizen). Any kind of seasonal beer would add a delicious touch to this already autumnal chili.

So try it and let me know what you think. And don’t forget the beer 😉

Autumn Chili
makes about five 2-cup servings

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (about 1/2 of a small to medium squash)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
cayenne pepper, if desired
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup beer (I used Hefeweizen, but I would’ve LOVED to try a pumpkin ale!)
1/2 cup frozen corn
oil, for cooking
salt and pepper

Ingredient notes: Any kind of fall squash would work. Any combination of beans would work. I prefer a lighter beer for my chili, but as long as you stay away from hoppy, bitter beer, you’re fine. Bell peppers make this chili more sweet than spicy; replace one with a jalapeno or chipotle pepper for some kick.

Preheat oven to 400F. Carefully peel and cube your squash and toss with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, stirring once. You want the squash to cook a little bit, but it doesn’t have to be completely done yet, as it will cook more in the chili.

While the squash is roasting, prepare your peppers, onion, and garlic. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute peppers and onion until soft, about 5 minutes. When the squash is ready, add garlic to the pot and stir, cooking another minute. Stir in roasted squash cubes. {Note: I roasted my squash before to cut down on the cooking time on the stove. You can add uncooked squash at this point, just increase the simmer time so the cubes get cooked.} Add seasonings of your choice: I went heavy on the chile powder, then added paprika, cumin, oregano, and cayenne…plus more salt and pepper.

Stir till everything is coated in the spices, then add canned ingredients: beans and crushed tomatoes. Stir till combined, then add pumpkin puree and beer and stir some more. Let simmer for at least 5-10 minutes {longer if you didn’t roast the squash}. A few minutes before serving, stir in the frozen corn.

The longer you let the chili simmer, the more delicious it will get. I like a thick, hearty chili, so I prefer not to add more beer/water to thin it out.

Serve hot with a side of cornbread!

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

So, fall is definitely here.

And with it comes fall decorations, lots of the color orange, and pumpkin beer, apparently.

No more biking in the rain (yet), but it is definitely wet and dreary outside…at least, for the time being. It’s forecast to be back up near 80 degrees this weekend; what the what?!

As you all know, I’ve been making buckets of pumpkin stuff in my ongoing effort to like pumpkin-flavored things more. I didn’t mean to post so many in a row, it’s just that I didn’t have time to edit the pictures of my other recent (non-pumpkin) recipes…so more pumpkin it is! (You’ll just have to wait a little longer for my apple and butternut squash recipes…. ;-))

These were actually my first experiment with pumpkin of the season a few weeks back, and I was surprised that they didn’t have very much pumpkin taste in them…They really take on the flavor of whichever spices you add. My mom doesn’t like nutmeg, so I omitted nutmeg and added ginger instead. I was wary of adding too much of a clovey flavor, so I added less. Tweak it to your liking!

I should also add that they aren’t completely healthy, what with 1/2 cup oil and a whole cup of sugar added. I really wanted to add some kind of delicious streusel topping, but I stopped myself at sprinkling a bit of brown sugar on top because I was planning on eating these for breakfasts and didn’t want to give myself an early morning sugar rush 🙂

I would love to hear any tips you all have for lightening up recipes! One that I use often is replacing eggs with Greek yogurt. It acts as a binder AND keeps baked goods moist! (hate that wordddd)

Pumpkin Spice Muffins
makes about 1 dozen

1 1/2 cups flour (I used 1 cup all purpose and 1/2 cup whole wheat)
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup oil (I used canola)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
brown sugar, for topping

Adapted from Simply Recipes’ Pumpkin Bread

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the pumpkin, oil, eggs, water, and spices together. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda together. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients just until combined. Fold in the nuts.

Line muffin tin with liners. Fill each until 2/3 full. Sprinkle a bit of brown sugar on the top before putting in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. These tasted the best when warm (muffins tend to dry out a bit as they cool down), but they lasted in an airtight container for a whole week!

Notes: adjust spices to your liking (most pumpkin recipes also include nutmeg). I didn’t have ground cloves, so I sort of infused the canola oil with whole cloves instead. Adjust water as needed — I didn’t add as much because my homemade pumpkin puree was pretty watery.

Friday Faves

With the shocking news my family got just over a week ago, I thought it fitting to focus on some positive things this morning. Here’s what has been keeping me happy this past week!

1) Space Jump!!

Did any of you guys watch this? I didn’t know about it until the day before when my brother (the one sitting on the floor watching in awe) told me about it. We streamed it on YouTube for the last 30 minutes of our drive home from the Bay Area and made it back just in time to see him jump! That dude broke so many records!

2) This sink.

After a couple of the BEST.G&Ts.EVER at happy hour, it was totally the coolest thing ever. Cool enough to take a picture with, even. Obviously.

3) Lacey’s Cookies

I went to my grandparents’ house a couple of times last week and my grandma seemed to have a never-ending supply of these puppies in her kitchen. They are LIKE CRACK. Go to Costco right now and buy them. Your soul will thank you, your thighs will not.

4) The SF Giants!! ….or not.


My family (and a lot of my friends) is all pulling for the Giants, buuuuut with 2 straight losses, it’s not looking great. Still lots of fun to watch!

5) Hot Fudge Sundae Pop-tarts

Would you believe me if I told you that I had to get them cause they were the healthiest that CVS had? (They had the smallest amount of fat, and 3 whole grams of fiber?! What!?)

Also, I’d like to point out that I went to CVS to buy Drano…So when I went to the register, Drano and Pop Tarts in hand, and said, “Oh ya know, Drano and Pop Tarts….the essentials….” I felt pretty hilarious when the cashier gave me a sympathy chuckle.

6) Pumpkin errythang.

So far, I’ve roasted three pumpkins and made 2 loaves of pumpkin bread, a dozen pumpkin muffins, pumpkin curry, and a tray of roasted pumpkin seeds. Oh and drank at least 3 of my parents’ pumpkin beers. I guess I like pumpkin now…

7) This crew neck “I” made for my Papa

So I should totally wear it to his memorial, right? Sweater dress chic? No?

8) This friggin ginormous veggie sandwich I had for lunch yesterday!!!!

From top: mashed avocado, sprouts, red onion, more sprouts, roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts, pepperoncini, cucumber, feta & kalamata olives! All on wheat walnut bread.


Have a great weekend everyone! I’ve got a YMCA auction and a Haunted Corn Maze on my agenda. I’m not gonna lie…..I’m nervous about the corn maze. Wish me luck!!

How to Make Pumpkin Purée

I’ve been doing a lot to keep my hands busy lately.

There’s my Papa’s impossible puzzle… (which I actually made a ton of progress on on Saturday! Look!)

And all the moving pieces coming into place being sewed into place for my Halloween costume.

But one thing that I’ve been doing lately that involves using my hands requires much less time and concentration, and delivers results of the most delicious variety: roasting and puréeing pumpkins!

I’ve already told you all about how I don’t like pumpkin stuff much. I’m discovering that it isn’t actually pumpkin or pumpkin pie spice that I have an aversion to — it’s the canned stuff! I’ve been having a blast experimenting with the homemade stuff.

It’s really easy, I promise, and it will take you barely an hour. Plus, most of it is downtime. And it makes a lot, so you can easily store it in the fridge or freezer for later.

Start by picking out a small pumpkin. This one was $1.99 at Safeway, and I found slightly smaller ones at Bel Air for $.69!! Quite a steal, eh?

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and cut your pumpkin into quarters. I have two methods for doing this:

1) use a large knife and use a heavy object or rubber mallet to help you safely guide the knife through the pumpkin. (True story, I used my cast to help me carve large objects when my hand was broken. Maybe that thing was handy after all..)
2) Carve around stem first, like you’re making a jack o lantern, then use that opening to carve the rest of your pumpkin.

(Now that I have no cast, I use large bottles of dish soap to assist my carving…..lol)

Scoop out the seeds and as much of the insides as you can get. Don’t worry if it’s not perfectly clean. It should look something like this:

(Imagine those cut in half)

Lay the quarters on a baking sheet. It doesn’t much matter if you lay them skin side up or down…I usually do half and half, and turn them halfway through.

Put in the oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until fork tender.

Now comes the fun part! Once the pumpkin has cooled a bit, peel the skin off the back, and carefully remove the tough (charred) parts of the flesh, plus whatever stringy insides you couldn’t get before.

Place into a food processor, and purée away!

T-Man got me this food processor for our anniversary… (that may sound weird…but I probably said “I NEED A FOOD PROCESSOR” abooouuuut 3489274 times during the months I had a broken hand. The man was only granting my wishes!) She is a beaut.

I also made some at my parents house, and their Cuisinart worked just as well:

When the pumpkin is being processed, it may need a tablespoon or two of water to help it along. This is OK. Don’t add too much though, because you want the pumpkin flavor of the purée to be concentrated.

You can store the purée in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or two, OR do as Pioneer Woman suggests (and what I did the 2nd time) and measure out 1 cup baggies to put in the freezer.

Use in place of canned pumpkin in all your favorite pumpkin recipes!

You pumpkin weirdos.

Meatless Monday: Pumpkin Curry

My original plan for this month was to show you all how to roast & puree a pumpkin, and then share a bunch of pumpkin recipes.

After pumpkin bread on Friday and pumpkin curry today…I’m totally going backwards.

Since I didn’t exactly think a Weekend in Photos post was appropriate (my weekend consisted of only 2 things: crying with family and roasting a bunch of pumpkins), I decided to put one of the roast pumpkins to immediate use for my next Meatless Monday installment.

Let me put all of this into perspective by saying I do not like pumpkin. I repeat, I (normally) do not like pumpkin. I always opted for chocolate cake pecan pie over pumpkin pie as a kid. Canned pumpkin just icks me out. Apparently, all that changes when you make your own pumpkin puree…It gives it just a hint of pumpkin flavor, and lets all the other typical pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, etc) shine through. But more on pumpkin puree later.

A little over a year ago, my mom found a recipe for pumpkin curry that was probably the best curry I ever had. OK, so it was the best curry made by a white person I’ve ever had. So I set out this weekend to recreate it. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t have any coconut milk in their pantry, so I improvised:

Enter: the poor man’s (or 20-something who hasn’t gotten groceries in 2 weeks) curry base.

Hear me out. Cream of mushroom soup is a largely flavorless soup. It adds the same creaminess that coconut milk would, PLUS it takes on the flavor of whatever spices you add to it.

That being said, coconut milk would be fantastic in this recipe. But I didn’t have coconut milk, so this is what I used, and it was amaaazing all on its own. It is a very mild curry spice-wise, but it packs a ton of flavor.

Pumpkin Curry
feeds 4

1 1/4 cups prepared cream of mushroom soup
1 clove garlic, grated or finely minced
1 tsp ginger, grated or finely minced
1 can green chiles (4 oz can)
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cumin seed
1 small pumpkin
1/2 small onion, diced
4-5 white mushrooms, diced
1 tomato, diced
oil, for sauteeing

Carve your pumpkin into 4 quarters and remove the seeds and insides. Put in oven at 400 degrees for about 45-50 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork tender. After it cools, remove the skins and any stringy insides that you may not have been able to remove earlier. Then, cut into cubes. For me, one small pumpkin produced a good 3-4 cups of cubes.

While the pumpkin is roasting, prepare cream of mushroom soup. This usually consists of adding a can of water or milk to a can of soup and heating on the stove. Measure out 1 1/4 cups of the soup and add to it the garlic, ginger, chiles, and all of the other spices except cumin seed. Stir well, notice how delicious it smells, and set aside. Also while pumpkin is roasting, prepare onion, mushrooms and tomatoes by dicing them.

Heat oil on a sautee pan over medium heat. Add cumin seeds to pan and let toast for about 2 minutes. Then, add in onion and cook until translucent. Next, add in cubed pumpkin and mushrooms. Feel free to add more oil at this point if you need to.

Once the pumpkin has started to brown, add in the cream of mushroom mixture, stirring to coat. Add in diced tomatoes and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Serve over rice or grain of choice!

pumpkin and veggies riiight before their soup bath

Notes: You could roast the pumpkin for less time (just until it’s soft enough to cut easily), but it would mean a longer simmer time on the stove in the final step. Coconut milk can be subbed for the soup, and you can also sub your favorite veggies for mushrooms and tomato.


Also… blog announcement!

I finally decided on a domain name (which is difficult with an apparently super-common blog name) and purchased a domain this weekend! You are now visiting blondeambitionblog.net! Woo hoo!

Weekend in Photos

Happy Monday, all! Today is Columbus Day (or so I hear)…I am always surprised when it rolls around, ’cause we never got Columbus Day off when I was in school!

Anyhizzle, apparently I was up to a lot this weekend, because I have lots of pictures to share. Let’s get to it, shall we?

After it was 100 degrees on Monday and Tuesday, by the time Friday rolled around it was finally sweatshirt weather! (Does anyone else have one super ratty cozy sweatshirt they’ve owned for years? I bought this one my senior year of high school, when I went to Spring Open House at UCSB and decided I’d be attending in the fall :-D) In our sweatshirts, we played board games…kind of a typical weekend night for T-Man and I!

Not so typical……the fact that I bought a pumpkin to make pumpkin puree with! I am not the biggest fan of pumpkin flavored things (blasphemy! I know), but I’m determined to try out some REAL from-scratch stuff this year and see if it doesn’t change my mind!

After the pumpkin roasting and pureeing was done, I hopped in the car and headed (through traffic, when this picture was safely taken :-P) to Napa!

T-Man’s mom and I belatedly celebrated our birthdays (they’re on the SAME DAY!) with a little bit of bubbly at Domaine Carneros. We each got Sparkling Wine Samplers and shared a smoked salmon plate!

Later, we enjoyed the view from her backyard, barbecued up a storm, (drank more wine, of course) and played with her German Shepherd, Kona!

Once a Harry Potter lookalike, always a Harry Potter lookalike 😉 And Kona again!

I returned the car to my parents with more gas than it started with (have my fellow Californians seen how expensive gas got last week?! It rose .40c in like 1 day!), and used some of that pumpkin puree to whip up some muffins for them. The muffins turned out great for me…read: not too pumpkiny. Recipe to be shared soon 🙂
What fall things are you excited for? Sweatshirts? Apple pie? Pumpkin spice lattes? Hot cider? My favorite hot drink has to be mulled wine…So warm and fragrant, plus it reminds me of living in France! I usually have to wait until winter for that, though 😛