Dear Diary: 100 Miles, Pumpkin Cupcakes, & Hobbies with Kids

Dear Diary,

We have so much to catch up on, I don’t know where to start!

First things first, Joe ran 100 miles. Yep. You heard that right. 100 miles.

At about the halfway point

It’s been a goal of his since before we got married, and I almost feel like I did at his graduation. He worked so hard to get to the finish line.

At the finish

But, I have a feeling it was more the start of something new – which he himself admitted.

Ultra–ultra-running, here we come!

I also made the most amazing cupcakes I’ve ever made this week. I was trying to copy one of my favorite desserts from Kneader’s Bakery πŸ˜…, and it seriously turned out.

So, for you, just in time for Fall:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcake Batter:

  • 1/4 C Canola/Vegetable Oil
  • 1/4 C Melted Butter
  • 5 T Milk
  • 1 C Brown Sugar
  • 1 t Real Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 1/4 C + 2 T Flour
  • 1 t Baking Powder
  • 1/2 t Baking Soda
  • 1 t Cinnamon
  • 1/4 t Ginger
  • 1/4 t Nutmeg
  • 1/4 t Cloves
  • 1/4 t Salt
  • 1 C Pumpkin Puree
  • 3/4 C Milk Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 350Β°. Allow the melted butter to cool so that it doesn’t curdle the milk. Mix the oil, butter, and milk till blended. Add brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well. Sift the dry ingredients together on top or in a separate bowl. Stir until well blended. Add the pumpkin puree and the milk chocolate chips. Mix, but try not to overmix to keep your cake light and fluffy. Bake for 30 minutes (check at 20, our elevation is around 5200ft.).

Optional Chocolate Fudge Filling (This makes the cupcakes extra rich. You can eliminate or just spread a dollop on top for less heavy/sweet):

  • 1/2 C Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 C Granulated Sugar
  • 5 T Melted Butter
  • 1/2 C Milk or Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 C Powdered Sugar

Mix the cream and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let boil for 6 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Pour into a bowl to cool. Add the chocolate chips and the cream mixture should melt them easily. Whisk till smooth and allow to cool for a few minutes before adding the melted butter. Refridgerate for 10 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and then beat with a mixer or whisk quickly till smooth.

Pumpkin Buttercream:

  • 1 C Softened Butter (Don’t let it melt or it will be too runny.)
  • 4 1/2 C Powdered Sugar
  • 5 T Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • Pumpkin Spice to Taste (I just put in a dash, because I like the fresh pumpkin taste more, but it’s up to you)

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time so it doesn’t get all over. Add the pumpkin puree, vanilla, and spice. Beat until the whole mixture is light and fluffy (whipped). You can cool it in the fridge if it is too runny and beat it twice, as needed.

When the cupcakes are cool, fill them (I used the lid of a root beer two-liter to make my holes, but they have tools for that πŸ˜‚, or you could try a butterknife). Then frost and enjoy! I topped with a few extra milk chocolate chips as well.

Finally, my kids are officially learning to entertain themselves!

Which means Mom has had time to get back into some of my favorite hobbies (baking included).

Another thing I love is learning new songs on the piano. Though, there are definitely still intermitten interruptions:

But, surprisingly, my favorite moments of the day are simply when we are all together and happy. My #1 love language is quality time, did you know??

I’m so grateful to these littles for keeping me company no matter what we’re up to. And to my sweetheart for putting together moments like this:

My kids love all things tractors right now.

Here’s to our home being each other.

❀ Jenny

14 thoughts on “Dear Diary: 100 Miles, Pumpkin Cupcakes, & Hobbies with Kids

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