Sunday, September 23, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

I posted some pictures a while back of my baking bonanza with my neighbor Kayla and got some requests for the recipe.

Nothing screams fall more than pumpkin, and Pinterest has been full of cool new recipes and fall decor. Kayla and I got together a few weeks ago to bake and she shared her aunt's pumpkin chocolate chip bread recipe with me. It was a huge success both at home and at work, so I thought I'd share the recipe with all of you!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread

- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 2 eggs
- 1 2/3 cups flour
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. cloves
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (canned is perfect)
- chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350

Mix together dry ingredients and wet in separate bowls. Slowly mix in dry ingredients to your combination of shortening, water and pumpkin. Mix well. Add chocolate chips as desired (I found 1/3 of a bag to be perfect, but if you like it extra chocolaty, go for half the bag) and stir in with a spoon. Grease a basic loaf pan and bake for one hour. Test with a fork or tooth pick after one hour to make sure it's baked all the way through.

It's seriously one of the easiest recipes ever! Plus, your whole house smells like yummy pumpkin the rest of the day. Happy Fall!!

And then there were three...

Wednesday night I flew home with some extra special cargo - my little chihuahua, Punchy. I've had him since he was four weeks old (he's six now) and we're completely obsessed with each other. The past year I've been up here without him has been really difficult - and my schedule has finally freed up enough to where I'm able to have him.

He'd never been out of my hometown in Southern California before, so hopping on an airplane and landing in the northwest was a huge change for him! We've spent the last few days together taking long walks, snuggling, and purchasing new toys and treats. Portland is really one of the most dog friendly cities in the U.S., with the most vets, pet supply, and dog parks/doggy daycares per capita. 

He's the perfect addition to my husband and I - making us a perfect little family!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Honeymooners: Our trip to Hawaii

Hawaii was amazing! We spent five wonderful days on the island of Oahu at the Royal Hawaiian hotel. Here's some pictures from our trip.

The entrance to our amazing hotel

Waikiki Beach at sunset

A must-stop at Leonard's Bakery for their famous malasadas, Portuguese donuts. They come filled or not filled, and I say don't waste your time if they aren't filled. My husband loved the coconut custard and I was partial to the lillikoi)

Breakfast every day at our hotel was amazing. Kona coffee, fresh-squeezed pineapple juice and the most delicious fruit ever.

Several people recommended Matsumoto's Shave Ice, so we made sure to visit that place when we rented a car and drove to the North Shore. It was awesome! Finely shaved ice covered with syrup and condensed milk (yes please!)

At the Valley of the Temples - such a beautiful and serene place to make a stop at

Breakfast on the beach on our last day!