Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey, Everyone! I hope that your Monday is off to a better start than mine. My work laptop totally flashed the blue screen of death, so I spent all morning waiting to have a brand new one sent over. On the plus side, now I have a brand new, out-of-the-box laptop woohoo!

I was lucky enough to participate in the first ever Food Blogger Cookie Swap this year, and I want to give a HUGE shoutout to the girls over at Love & Olive Oil for organizing the hundreds of bloggers who participated! It was seriously awesome to send out some goodies, and get a few dozen in return.

I would first like to take the time to give a huge thanks to the 3 fabulous bloggers who sent me cookies. Receiving each of these packages really made my day, and all of them were very good. Thank you so much!

Package #1 came from Alexis @Lex’s Life as a New Wife.

She sent me a batch of her favorite Chocolate Chewy Cookies, and they were soooo good! I don’t normally like chocolate flavored cookies, but clearly I liked these because I ate half of them before even remember to take a picture 😛

Package #2 came from Carol @ Lucky Zucca.

She made really cute frosted sugar cookies that were fun to look at and eat 🙂 Shown next to my only Christmas decoration lol.

Last, and certainly not least, my final package came from Chelcie @ Chelcie’s Food Files.

She made an amazing batch of All-In-One cookies that satisfied every possible cookie craving in one little lump of goodness.

Thanks again, ladies! I really enjoyed each of them 🙂

Now, this should come as no real surprise, but I’m not what I would call a “food blogger”, but I do love food and cookies. I had a hard time figuring out what to bake because I kind of suck at it, and I would be sending cookies to people who like food, too. No pressure. I’ve been obsessed with pumpkin, so I decided to make pumpkin chocolate chip cookies 🙂

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (from this recipe): Makes about 20


  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I added more due to elevation)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon + pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1) Combine pumpkin, sugar, vegetable oil, and egg.

2) In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Dissolve the baking soda with the milk and stir in. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix well.

3) Add vanilla, chocolate chips and nuts.

4) Drop by spoonful on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for approximately 10 minutes or until lightly brown and firm.

5) Enjoy! I put my cookies in some cute reindeer tins I found at Hobby Lobby, and off they went 🙂

I hope that Traci @yellowWishbone, Kate @ Passion for Life, and Missy @Cooking for Two enjoyed them!

Long Run Sundays: Winter Blues + Awards

Happy snowy Sunday! It has been an absolutely freezing past 5 days, and I’m not adjusting very well. It’s been an unseasonably warm winter so far here in CO, but winter is here in full force. I’m not looking forward to my commute tomorrow morning.

That's supposed to be a road.

Birthday Bash

Since my birthday fell on a Wednesday this year, I had dinner with some of my closest friends on the day of and decided to save the bigger celebration for yesterday. I almost had to cancel because of the snow, but it finally stopped. I spent the majority of my night at Japoix since it’s such a chill place, they have free garage parking, and the happy hour prices are awesome.

With Quynh and Thao 🙂

It was really good to see a lot of my other friends since I don’t really go out as frequently anymore. They took full advantage of the situation, and ensured I got blitzed out of my mind. That makes me sound like an alchy, but I normally only have 2-3 drinks max.

Yummy birthday cake, courtesy of the owner, Lawrence!

It was a great way to end my week of birthday fun. Until next year!

Some of the other girls.

Long Run Sunday…

did not happen because I finished it yesterday 🙂 I knew I would probably not be in any condition to run today, so I stuck to my word and finished my 9 mile run a day ahead of schedule.

I probably looked either really hardcore or like a total nut case (probably a little of both) because my run started out around 22 degrees and ended around 12 degrees. This is the first time I had to use my thermal Nike running tights, and I definitely should have worn another layer on top of it. On top I wore a DriFit tank, thermal long-sleeve, and a full zip top. It was also my first time having to run with a hat and gloves…brrrr.

The run went very slowly because there was snow and ice on the sidewalks. It was probably not the smartest idea to run outdoors, but I would have stabbed my eye if I had to do the entire thing on a treadmill. I took a 4 mile route to the gym, completed 4.5 on a treadmill, and then ran the last half mile home. While I managed to not break a leg or slip, I got my first minor running injury 😦 Because the zipper on the backs of my running tights didn’t have a cover, I got blisters. One of which was bleeding while I was on the treadmill. The person behind me must have been grossed out lol.


I did not get in the 4 mile run that I was supposed to do today. Oh well, things happen.


Since the alums from my sorority don’t get to see each other nearly as often as we did during undergrad, we started a monthly book club as an excuse to eat and chat. Thao hosted this month’s book club, and she made us homemade pho! It was freakin delicious. Be jealous.

fresh and steamy 🙂

All the fixins.

I just finished making my last batch of cookies for the Food Blogger Cookie Swap that I have to mail out tomorrow, so I hope they turned out good. I am not a baker for a very good reason lol. I’ll be sure to post up pictures and the recipe when we all mass post them later in the month.


Last but not least, I received two blogger awards over the past week and a half, but haven’t had time to post them up or send them out to new people. First, big thanks to Thao @Snapshots of Happiness for giving me the Liebster Blog award!

The Liebster award is for up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. Here are the rules around the award.
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!

I’m going to try to not pick the same people that Thao picked. Also, I’m sorry if you do have more than 200 followers.

Liebster Blog Awardees 🙂
1) Heather @Just a Colorado Gal
2) Michelle @Michelle Does Germany
3) Anna @Food Fitness Frolicking
4) Ashley @AlmostVegGirlie
5) Kathleen @The Daily Crumb

Second thanks goes to Heather @Just a Colorado Gal for selecting me as one of the bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award!

I’m supposed to share 7 random facts about myself and then select other bloggers I want to know more about, so here we go.

Fun Facts
1) I always have to wash my hands before I take a shower. It makes absolutely no logical sense as to why I need to do this, but I do. ALWAYS.
2) I’ve only done the splits once in my entire life. I was in elementary school and rollerblading on ice. Yeah, I was a special kid.
3) I was valedictorian in high school and did very average in undergrad. Way to drop the ball.
4) I’m one of the least flexible people in the world. I cannot even touch my toes, and I’m slowly working on it.
5) I never knew that pineapples grew from the planted tops of other pineapples until I went to the Dole plantation in Hawaii.
6) When I eat, I have to eat one type of thing at a time. If I order a steak with mashed potatoes and veggies. I have to eat one of these things first and then start on something else.
7)  I picture myself dying at least 10 times a day. No, I’m not suicidal, nor do I hate my life. Depending on what I’m doing, I could imagine myself getting into a million types of car accidents, getting hit by a car while crossing the street, having a crazy man shoot me as I’m walking down the street, etc. The funny thing is, none of these thoughts scare me or make me uber-vigilant. It’s just part of my “normal” thought process…if you choose to stop reading my blog, I understand hahaha 😛

Versatile Blogger Awardees (I’m only picking 5 because I named several for the other award.
1) Tracy @Tracy’s Treats
2) Kim @Eat, Live, and Blog
3) Simply Life Blog
4) Heidi Nicole @run.around.aroo
5) Maria @ La Piattini

Okay bloggers….ready, set, and GO!

Question of the Day: What was the most fun thing you did this weekend?

Linger for Awhile

Hey Everyone! Thank you for all of the birthday wishes, they really brought a smile to my face 🙂 <–see?

For my birthday dinner, ten friends and I went to check out linger. It’s spelled with a lowercase “L” because it resides in the building of the former Olinger Mortuary, so the “O” isn’t lit up at night.

Yeah, it’s a bit morbid to put a restaurant in a former house of dead people, but they play it up nicely, and it’s a lovely restaurant. It’s quite a hot spot because I made reservations a month in advance and it was almost booked that far ahead.

To keep with the theme of being in a former mortuary, they kept some small details. All of their water jugs are in what look like old formaldehyde bottles, the drink menu looks like a metal clipboard, and some of their separate menus have little taglines up top that say things like “attach to toe”.

They use all locally-sourced and organic ingredients except when it’s not possible. A lot of their foods come from local farms in the area, so it’s all very fresh.

Everything Almost everything is served as a small plate, so everyone ordered 2 or 3. It ended up being way too much food, but at least everyone was full.

Doner Cobb Salad- Warm Flatbread, Grilled Chicken, Greens, Roasted Vegetables, Bacon, Brussel Sprouts, Medjool Dates, HardBoiled Egg, Avocado, French Feta & Harissa-Yogurt Dressing

Maple Leaf Farms Duck Wings- Shaved Fennel, Blood Orange Hot Sauce & Celery Root Ranch

Korean BBQ Pork- Chinese Spring Onion Pancake, Poached Egg & Kimchi

Pad Thai- Fresh Rice Noodles, Farm Egg, Peanuts, Bean Curd, Pickled Vegetables, Garlic Chives & Cilantro

Strongbow Cider Mussels- Garlic, Thyme, Celery, Grain Mustard, Maple Drizzle & Grilled Spicy Cheddar Bread

St. Germain Cocktail- St. Germain, Cava & Soda w/a Lemon Twist

Overall, the food was just okay. A lot of it was so salty that we didn’t even finish half of the plate. The drinks, on the other hand, were FANTASTIC! They were probably the best drinks that I’ve been served in Denver, and the prices were reasonable. The above cocktail was $10, but they fill the large wine glass and give you the leftovers to refill with.

I ❤ food.

At the end of it all, I thought my stomach was going to explode. Then our server brought out a bread pudding cupcake with red bean & chocolate ice cream and a card signed by the restaurant staff. While everyone was having me take pictures with it, I accidentally blew it out while laughing…whoops.

I swear I have the greatest friends ever. For my birthday present, they all chipped in money for my Garmin fund! Actually, they fully supplied my Garmin fund, so it looks like I’ll have one this weekend! Thank you, friends!!! Special shout-out to Thao for organizing the rest of my awesome friends 🙂 You are freakin awesome, and I love you to death.

As a gag gift, my friend, Lily, gave me a tin of bacon-strip band-aids lol. It was fun to play with.

Hesitantly preparing to munch real bacon while holding up my band-aid bacon.

It was an awesome day spent with great people. My co-workers decorated my cube with streamers and balloons, and I had enough cookies to put me into a diabetic coma. On top of that, I also received my first tin of cookies from the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I’m going to wait until I get all of mine and send mine before posting up pictures, but they were yummy and came in time for my birthday 🙂

While at the dentist’s office, I got a nice cleaning and had no cavities woohoo! I also got myself a snazzy Sonicare toothbrush. No exercise for today, but I think that’s alright. Have a good night!!!

Question of the Day: Are you participating in any cookie swaps?