These pumpkin swirl brownies are something else, my friends. Super rich & moist, and they have the perfect taste of brownie and pumpkin in every bite. Plus, I can never get over that gorgeous swirl on top. It almost pained me to slice into them because they were just too pretty!
Someone emailed me asking me how I fit blogging into being a full-time Mom. Blogging is something I have to squeeze in when I have time during the day. Some days, I don't get in as much as I should, but it's because something else came in the way. And that something is usually my kiddos. And my kiddos will always win. Hence the year hiatus I took after my youngest was born - more on that in a different post to come.
Here is what my typical day looks like right now - sure there are sometimes when other things are added in here and there, but for the most part, this is it.
I feel like we're getting into more of a groove with the kids schedule these days. We wake up around 6:30am, my 5-year-old son makes his bed, cleans his room, gets dressed, gets his shoes on (with a little help - this Momma didn't realize how much of a pain tying shoes is versus just getting him Velcro ones), we do hair and teeth, then head upstairs for breakfast between 7 & 7:20.
Next we drive from South Jordan over the heck to West Jordan for Kindergarten. It's not my favorite drive in the world, but starting in November, our commute will go from twenty minutes down to less than seven from door to school. While he's at kindergarten, Liam and I have loved going for a run in the jogger around our favorite lake in Daybreak or along the corridor. I haven't been able to wake up early enough to go by myself in the morning (dang you late-night Netflix binge-watches with my husband!!!), so this is what's been working well enough right now instead. The jogger isn't my favorite to push around, but until I get up early enough to run by myself, this is the option I have.
Next, I come home, put the little one down for his first nap around 9 or 9:30am, then cram as much blogging into an hour as I can. I try to cook/bake & shoot everything I want to do that week into Thursday. Sometimes it's 4 recipes, sometimes it's just one. Depends on how many recipes I have stocked up and ready to blog about. Quick shower, then back to West Jordan to pick up the kindergartner.
We come home & eat lunch between 11:30 and Noon, do homework right away, and then things are pretty free (like any errands I need to run or my sons just get to have free play) until around 2:30 when I put them down for naps. Yes, my 5 year old naps. This is when I usually clean, do blog work (edit photos, write out and edit posts, plan out social media stuff, plan out recipes for the next month or two, answer emails, and continue working on transferring this blog over to wordpress in the new blog redesign), or sometimes I just throw in the towel and take a nap, too. They're usually up around 4:30 again and can have free play until dinnertime. If it's my turn to cook (I trade off with my sister-in-law), I start dinner around this time. Dinner happens, then Ryan comes home between 6 and 7 (usually later these days). Bedtime for the littlest is 7 on the dot. Bedtime for our other son is around 7:45 or 8pm (they sleep through the night perfectly, and are up again around 6:30am). And then the night is free until we go to sleep around 10-midnight.
So I blog when I can, really. I have scheduled time that I use, but then I also usually have my phone on me answering emails, researching new recipe ideas, and making sure my social media isn't getting too nuts.
It's a lot of work, but I love trying new recipes and sharing them with you! So to answer the questions I've been getting - blog when you can, but don't let it take over you life. You have to make the time for it - schedule it out on your calendar, or the time will just pass too quickly and you will find yourself going through another day without at least attempting to do anything for the blog. haha. I still consider this a hobby, even though it is a small income for us, so although I'm not as "serious" as some of the other pro foodie bloggers, I still make sure to make the time for it each day to get at least something done to help it all move forward.
Now should we FINALLY get to these heavenly brownies!? Yes. Yikes, yes.
It starts with a 8x8 glass dish - you can use a 9x13, but your brownies won't be as deliciously thick as these ones. The batter originates from one recipe, then splits into two different ones in the middle. One half goes the way of the brownie chocolate land, the other takes a quick train to pumpkin spice land.
I used both pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to get as much pumpkin flavor as possible in the pumpkin swirl part of the brownie. I think it helped a ton! Also, instead of melted chocolate, I changed the recipe to using cocoa. I'm more likely to have cocoa around than chocolate chips (I guess because we end up eating all the chocolate chips too quickly, haha).
You plop large globs of the batter alternating between the chocolate and pumpkin and then swirl them all together using a butter knife (or sometimes I use a chopstick, haha). Overswirling can be a problem, so go easy and stay delicate with each swirl. I've learned a figure 8 pattern looks the best and makes the coolest marbling effect.
Next, bake, bake, bake. These come together so quickly, and we gobbled them up way too fast. Must be a good one, I say! They tasted like a thick brownie, but with all the pumpkin flavors you could dream of; taking you straight to fall town. Hope you enjoy! xoxo
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
makes 9 servings (8x8 dish)
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cups cocoa powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 T pumpkin pie spice
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep an 8x8 glass baking dish with parchment paper and a little spritz of cooking spray.
2. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate in the microwave in 30 second increments until hot and bubbly. Stir until smooth.
3. In the meantime, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat sugar, eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Slowly beat in the flour mixture until just combined.
5. Divide batter between two medium bowls (2-3 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one of the bowls, and then add in pumpkin, oil, and pumpkin pie spice into the other.
6. Working about a half cup at a time, add in one scoop of pumpkin batter, and one scoop of chocolate batter to the prepared baking pan. Repeat until all the batter has been used up. Use a butter knife to swirl the batter together in a figure 8 pattern (not too much, or you'll lose that cool marble effect).
7. Bake for about 40-45 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cut into 9 squares, enjoy!
Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart October 2004 Magazine