Super Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m a crazy fall lunatic. As soon as September hits, I’m running down the grocery store aisles yelling “Where’s the canned pumpkin!?” (Side note, I can NEVER remember where the heck the canned pumpkin is. Canned Vegetable aisle? Canned fruit? Baking goods??? I’m always at a loss….) But I digress. I love fall. I love pumpkin. And I live in South Florida where fall doesn’t technically hit until December, which means I have a LONG pumpkin baking season. But alas, I married a man who doesn’t necessarily love pumpkin. Which means Leah and I stuff our faces with pumpkin baked goods around the clock, plus my friends at work basically hit the jack pot with me bringing them pumpkin goodies on a weekly basis. So after who-knows-how-many-times I made pumpkin bread I thought, “Hmmm, let’s make pumpkins into COOKIES!” And what goes better in cookies with pumpkin than chocolate?! And with that, my super soft amazing pumpkin chocolate chip cookies were born. And yes, I did totally make this recipe up, and yes, it makes a LOT of cookies (so really, unless you are a crazy pumpkin fanatic like myself, feel free to cut the recipe in half) but, I do have to admit, these cookies came out AH-MAZING. So obviously I need to share.

Super Soft Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream together:
1 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (I always do a little overflow on both tsp)

In a separate bowl mix together:
4 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Slowly add dry mixture to wet and mix well.

Mix in one can of pumpkin puree.
Stir in 2-3 cups of semi sweet chocolate chips (totally depends on how chocolatey you want them!)

Bake at 375 for 16 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

Let’s here it for New York…

So as I’ve said before, hubs and my relationship blossomed in NYC. While I was a grad student, livin’ it up in the big city, he was a student in Boston, 4 too many hours away. But we made the most of it, and man oh man did we enjoy exploring the city as a couple.

Of course, now that we live way down here in south FL we don’t get into our city of love very often. So we need to make the most of it whenever we are in the area. And the most of it did we make over Thanksgiving. We ventured into my old neighborhood, the upper west side, and took a long, long walk down memory lane.

Prepare for photo overload.

Our first stop: Broadway Pizza. I don’t even know how many Broadway pizzas Brett and I ate in the two years I lived there, but I do know that it’s a lot. A whole lot. So many that it made me thank my lucky stars that both hubs and I inherited super sweet metabolisms, otherwise we more than likely would have gained over 10 lbs from pizza alone.

Next stop: checking up on my first NYC apartment. This apartment was amazing, cozy and perfect with an exposed brick wall and built in book shelves in the family room, complete with a ladder. Swoon. Crazy enough the whole brownstone is now under renovation as the family who owns it is taking over all 6 floors. Talk about a huge apartment.

Just standing in the middle of my old street.

W 90th-my old home.

West 90th.

Oh, New York, how I miss you. Hubs and I dreamed of winning the lottery (or suddenly making millions of dollars….how, I’m not sure yet….) and buying a cozy one bedroom apartment overlooking Central Park. You know, just for some much needed weekend get-a-ways.

While in Central Park, Brett and I visited “our castle” where we took our first ever couple photo, back in 2008.

And yes I happen to be wearing the same scarf. not on purpose

Steps to our "secret magic garden" in Central Park

 

I LOVE the smell and the look of Christmas trees, just waiting to be bought as you walk down the sidewalk. Walking under their canopy is a little piece of heaven.

I was so excited to get to see Marika, a great friend of mine from grad school, and her family. Her little Lucy has gotten so big since I last saw her and man, was she adorable.

Apartment #2.

Hubs and I got bagels here on our first ever NYC hang out

We love, love, LOVE NYC and we were so happy that we could spend some time there, as brief as it may have been. And hey, I’m still holding out on winning some millions and buying our Central Park apartment. It could happen, right?

Happy Wednesday.

Thanksgiving…

was wonderful. The weather could not have been more perfect. I was a little worried after the arctic temperatures Brett and I experienced in Virginia last week, but New York could not have been better. Sunny, crisp and a perfect 68 degrees…for all 4 days. Unbelievable.

Thanksgiving dinner Becker style meant that everyone made a dish of their choice. Hubs chose mashed potatoes (fitting, since he is a potato making expert) and I decided to make my first ever pumpkin pie and homemade whipped cream. And it turned out pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

Hub’s beautiful pictures of our Thanksgiving table:

It felt so amazing, sitting around the dining room table with my new extended family, everyone saying what they were thankful for. All I had to do was look around the table, and that was it. I am so thankful for having wonderful in-laws, for having a relationship with two beautiful sister-in-laws (I’m tellin’ ya, I lucked out) and, most importantly, for having an amazing, handsome man I get to call my husband. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

Thanksgiving at the Becker’s also meant that we got to spend some time with the newest, cutest member of the Becker family.

Meet Maggie:

How adorable is she?! This puppy can be naughty, naughty, naughty, but how can you get mad at a face like that? And really, I came home with only one hole in my shirt from her sharp puppy teeth, so really, I would say we came out ahead.

Long Island was wonderful. And I enjoyed every minute of it. You gotta love time with family.

Stay tuned for part two of our Thanksgiving trip…where Brett and I headed into NYC, aka “our city of love.”

Happy Monday.

Home.

We are back in Florida. After a very, very wonderful NY trip. Thanksgiving was amazing. Full of love, family, laughter and the most gorgeous fall weather hubs and I could have asked for.

And now I am exhausted and ready to climb into bed and sleep for as many hours as possible before I have to wake up for work in the morning.

Be back tomorrow for a Thanksgiving vacation recap.

Back to the heat

Well, Brett and I are back home after a long weekend in VA. And let me just tell you, Virginia is cold. There I was all excited to step off the plane and finally feel fall and instead I stepped off the plane and experienced…winter. It seems although we must have missed fall completely. Darn it.

Hubs is the greatest at scoring sweet deals on hotels and flights (I mean, come on, he IS basically an extreme couponer after all so getting sweet deals must be in his blood) and he found us a great hotel, right off of 95. Of course, being the awesome deal it was meant that we had some beautiful views from our window. Right across the street? Why, that would be a Hooters.

Just keeping. it. classy.

The wedding was wonderful. Where are the pictures, you ask? Well, here’s the thing. The ceremony took place in a church at 7 pm, which means it was really dark. And no one seemed to be using their flash (including the photographer) and I didn’t want to be the one blinding everyone in order to catch the precious moments. So I just took mental pics in my head. And you’ll just have to believe me that it was beautiful.

On Saturday the Lord blessed us with a wonderful, beautiful, crisp fall day, most likely because he was sick of hearing me complain about the weather non-stop since we arrived. Since our flight wasn’t until later that evening, Brett and I decided to drive into Carytown, a cute little area of Richmond, where the police officers still patrol the neighborhoods on horse back.

Carytown is just the cutest. And the houses in the area? Well, let’s just say I wanted to buy almost every other one I saw. And the fall leaves! I was just about ready to shove them in my suitcase and take them back to Florida with me.

This is the point where hubs told me to stop taking pics of cats.

My dream house:

Walking around Richmond did make me miss the rich history of Virginia. My dream is to one day live in an old, historic house, which will not be coming true where we live in south FL unless by “old” and “historic” I mean a ranch house from the 1950’s. Which I don’t. FYI. But hubs seems to think that there are historic FL homes, somewhere. We’ll see.

And I have to say, after sitting in the airport for far too long, I was nothing but thrilled to step outside, smell the sweet salt water breeze and realize that, although it was after midnight, I was not shivering. We’re happy to be home, but even happier that we will be jumping back on a plane in just three days to head up to NY for Thanksgiving!

Hope your weekend was fall-tastic.

And we’re off…

Hubs and I are getting ready to head to the airport and jet off to VA for a long weekend. One of Brett’s good friends is getting married tomorrow and hubs has the honor of being one of his groomsmen. And I’m mainly excited to finally feel fall for the first time all year. Let’s just pray it’s not rainy and freezing all weekend. But seriously, I’ve never been so excited to pack as I was for this trip. I was all like, “Ohhhh, I forgot about this sweater!! I want to bring this one too!!” That’s what happens when you move to FL and sweaters become a thing of the past.

The groom-to-be (second from the right) as a groomsmen at our own wedding.

Speaking of packing, let’s just take a minute and look at the difference between my carry on and the husband’s:

Guess you can’t tell which one is mine, right? And I didn’t even overpack, I promise!! Okay, so maybe I brought an extra sweater or two because I couldn’t make up my mind, and maybe I packed 4 pairs of shoes, but I really needed my running shoes, dress shoes for the wedding, flats AND boots (because, hey, I haven’t been able to wear cute fall boots in practically forever) so really, I only packed the absolute necessities.

Now all I need to do is figure out what the heck I did with all of my coats….

Have a great weekend!!

Florida’s fall



Tonight I am sitting out on my patio in a zip up. Yeah, you heard me correctly, a zip up. Oh Florida, your 95 degree days with 98% humidity had me worried for awhile that fall would never come. Oh how I doubted you. But then you brought me two glorious days this week with perfect temps-mid 70’s during the day with bright skies, warm sun and cool, crisp air, and low to mid 60’s at night, perfect for sleeping with the windows and patio doors open, snuggled under our duvet (which we never ever use). Fall is here. Now Florida, don’t go breaking my heart by bringing back hot weather next week. You can’t play with a girl like that.

Hope you are enjoying some perfect fall weather, wherever you may be.