This morning I woke up to THAT smell. You know, the smell of fall that wisps up under your nose filling your hair and clothes? Well I woke up to that wonderful smell of fall this morning and it inspired me to bake something. I wasn’t sure what, or what I had at the house, but I was determined to whip up something very fall-esque. So here it is, a chocolate chip pumpkin bar. Enjoy!
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups mini chocolate chips
- ½ cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh in season)
- 1/2 cup almond slivers
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, at medium-low speed with a paddle attachment, mix the butter with the sugar and brown sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until light and fluffy. Scraping down the bowl as needed.
- Add the vanilla and eggs. Mixing together until incorporated. Fold in the pumpkin puree until incorporated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread mixture onto baking sheet and sprinkle almond slivers evenly.
- Bake at 350° for 20 minutes and allow to cool. Cut into bar size and enjoy!
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For my second year in a row, I have attended the annual Literary Sojourn held here in Steamboat Springs. What is the Literary Sojourn? Simply put, it’s a “Festival of Authors” and for dedicated readers, it’s a day of information, informality, and inspiration from the authors we have read and are eager to read more of.
[Literary Sojourn is an annual festival of authors and readers celebrating the power of the book. Each fall, an esteemed slate of authors and 500 book lovers from all over the country gather in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Together they revel in the written word, fueled by award-winning writers who share the stories and inspiration behind their exceptional books.]
There were six highly notable authors in attendance this year and from the bunch, Travis and I narrowed down with much difficulty, three different author’s books which we were excited to read and have signed at the event. I was entertained and intrigued with each author as they bared the stage in front of 1,000 eager ears, all wondering what had inspired these talented individuals to pursue their passion in writing.
We heard the stories of their journey to publishing and literary fame, each unique and most with rocky beginnings. They offered bits of advice for aspiring writers – to read, read some more and never stop. When they felt periods of discouragement in their own writing, they read, and read some more until they ignited a spark that led them to complete their work.
The event was a success, as usual, each year outperforming the last on every level. The authors were so grateful to have been invited and that gratefulness reflected back from the crowd, 500 attendees who could not have been more satisfied from the experience, myself included.
In the midst of mud season, I am happy to have little to do but read, read some more, and keep reading – my three new signed books and continue on from there!
Want to read with me? Check out this Reading List from the event - I'm starting with Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.