Cookie-Cocoa Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Cookie-Cocoa Swirled Pumpkin Bread I’m starting to think with all of the food blogs out there, you probably don’t need another pumpkin recipe.  Unfortunately, I have a couple of pumpkin things I’ve made recently.  I can’t help it!  I love pumpkin so much.  I’ve already had a few pumpkin spice lattes and coffees… just ask for the pumpkin spice syrup in your coffee and add milk.  It’s like a cheaper PSL!  So thrifty.

Also, I had my first pumpkin pie concrete of the season, from Andy’s Frozen Custard, since I visited my family in Springfield this weekend.  Sooo good.  It’s frozen custard with a slice of pumpkin pie blended in.  I don’t care to know how many calories are in it. 
Now if you want some really good pumpkin bread, I have a nice recipe for you.  I used the Cookie & Cocoa Swirl from Trader Joe’s, and swirled it into the pumpkin spice bread batter.  If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you, I’d substitute either Nutella or Biscoff spread.  It’s like Biscoff spread + chocolate Biscoff spread in one jar.
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 I also used chocolate chips in the batter, too, in case the Cookie & Cocoa Swirl wasn’t chocolate-y enough.  Eric and I loooved this.  I wish we had another loaf right now.  Enjoy!
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Cookie-Cocoa Swirled Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm milk
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup Trader Joe's Cookie & Cocoa Swirl

Instructions:
Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter, brown sugar, vanilla and pumpkin until creamy.  Beat in egg, one addition at a time, until well incorporated.  Reduce mixer speed to low and beat in milk, alternating with flour mixture until just combined.  Stir in chocolate chips until well combined.

Spread 1/3 of the batter into prepared pan.  Warm the Cookie & Cocoa Swirl in the microwave for about 10 seconds until softened.  Swirl the spread into the batter.  Spread the remaining batter on top.  Bake bread for 40 minutes or until well risen and a toothpick inserted into bread comes out with moist crumbs attached.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 1 loaf

Savannah Part II

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So let’s see… where did I leave off?  Oh yes, we went to bed after a long day of Savannah adventures.  The next morning we (me) woke up late in the morning so it was a little late to be eating breakfast.  We decided to have lunch instead.  But first, a quick stop into Chocolat by Adam Turoni.  Chocolate should always be the first meal of the day!  Look at these amazing pumpkin chocolates he crafted.
IMAG4524_1 It was the cutest chocolate shop, and I enjoyed looking at all of the different chocolates with my Mom.  Each individual chocolate was a little pricey, so we didn’t get too crazy and only bought a couple.  We chose a dark chocolate peanut butter cup with sea salt, a spicy mole chocolate, a red velvet, and a chocolate filled with savannah bee honey. 
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My mom accidentally sat on them when we went to lunch, though.  This was the aftermath.  Haha.  It didn’t matter though; they were still delicious!  Maybe even better… some of the honey chocolate got on the peanut butter cup. Mmm I love peanut butter and honey together. 
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We had lunch at Flying Monk Noodle Bar and it was fantastic.  I wish Flying Monk was in St. Louis because I would eat there every week.  The aroma when you walk in the door is incredible – it smells like ginger, lemongrass and sriracha.  I watched the kitchen prepare some of the dishes and was really impressed with the presentation; everything looked so fresh and delicious. 
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I ordered the chicken pho and it was sooo good.  I wish I could have eaten the whole bowl.  The broth was very flavorful and it was full of tender chicken, caramelized shallots, cilantro and rice noodles.  I loaded it up with bean sprouts and sriracha.  I wish I had taken a picture of my mom’s dish.  It was the Buddah noodles – Chinese egg noodles with fried tofu, carrots, onion, bamboo shoots and squash.  Her noodles were even better.  I am dying for the recipe.
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We walked by another cupcake shop called Sweet Carolina, so yes, we had to stop.  Must eat all the cupcakes!
IMAG4529_1 They had a lot of good lookin’ flavors.  I went with what I thought sounded the most interesting. 
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The Sweet Carolina cupcake is their signature flavor, and it similar to a red velvet cake, except they use pink food coloring instead of red.  Oooh pretty. 
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The Sweet Georgia Brown is brown sugar pound cake with chopped peaches and pecans, and honey cream cheese frosting.  Yum.
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Both were very tasty.  Mabel’s still wins, in my opinion.

Next stop was Leopold’s Ice Cream, a famous ice cream parlor that’s been around since 1919, started by the Leopold brothers.  All flavors are made on the premises using top-secret family recipes handed down from the original brothers.  They don’t use any artificial dyes, and use only the best all-natural ingredients.
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I chose their most famous flavor – Tutti Frutti.  I’m not sure if most people would enjoy this flavor because it contains lots of candied dried fruit and nuts.  I really did!  My mom made homemade tutti frutti ice cream once when I was a kid, and I always wanted her to make it again because I liked it so much.  Unfortunately no one else in the family liked it.. 
IMAG4541_1 My mom got the lavender ice cream and it was really good, too! 
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We spent the rest of the day walking around and exploring the neighborhoods.and parks.  Then that night we went to Lady & Sons – but you already know about that!  Thanks for reading along with my Savannah adventures!  I’m so glad I got to visit the city and spend some much needed time with my mom. 

Savannah

SAV 014 I had a week off from work, so my mom and I decided to fly down to beautiful Savannah, Georgia for three days!  Savannah has always been a city we’ve wanted to visit and I’m so glad we did – we had a great time.  My mom drove to St. Louis on Monday morning and then we flew to Savannah and arrived late afternoon.  We were starving and decided to have pizza and beer at Vinnie Van Go-Go’s.
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Vinnie's was just a short walk away from our hotel.  Thank goodness, because right as we walked up, it started to pour.  Luckily, there was one table left inside the restaurant.  There seemed to be plenty of seating around the bar and outside, but seating inside was limited.  The interior is not much to look at, however, it doesn't matter - you're there for the delicious pizza!  It took a long time to decide what we wanted because everything sounded so good.  We finally chose an artichoke and sun dried tomato pizza with red sauce.  We ordered a medium-sized pizza and it was huge. It was absolutely delicious!  It tasted like New York-style pizza.  I would definitely go there again if I'm ever in Savannah.
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After dinner we took a walk and strolled through the city market area.  It’s full of little shops and restaurants. 
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 There’s me and my gal Marilyn!
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There’s my mommy standing in front of the fountain!
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We walked along the river when it started to get dark and it was really pretty.  IMAG4495_1
We were tired and turned in fairly early.
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The next morning we walked to a cute little cafe called Goose Feathers, for breakfast.
SAV 007 It took us about twenty minutes to figure out what we wanted because everything on the menu sounded delicious!  I chose the chocolate waffle with chocolate chips and a latte.  My mom had the egg and bacon croissant sandwich and a mocha.  Everything was SO good.  I wish we could eat brunch there every day.
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Then it was time to explore Savannah!  We walked and walked all around the streets and squares of Savannah.  I loved the Spanish moss hanging all over the trees. There were so many Magnolia and palm trees.
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The historic homes were amazing on the outsides.  I’d love to take a tour of some of them.
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It’s really a beautiful city.  I can’t believe how many squares there were!  There was a little park on every block.  I love that.
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Our goal was to walk to Back in the Day Bakery… Google maps said it was a 45 minute walk.  45 minutes later we were at this fountain, and only half way to the bakery.  We spoke to a local and she said she wouldn’t recommend walking to the bakery because we’d have to walk through some sketchy neighborhoods.  So we threw in the towel and headed back in the direction we came from.  I didn’t want to go to that bakery anyway!  ;)
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Look at this fountain!  I’m glad we took the time to walk here.
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DSLR selfie.

We walked to Chippewa Square and sat on one of the benches to pay tribute to Forrest Gump.  Apparently, the bench they used for filming isn’t there anymore.  Oh well!  We can pretend.
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We also visited The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
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Gorgeous.  It was so quiet inside and peaceful.
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It was snack time at this point, so we stopped into Marche de Macarons for a macaron or two.
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It was hard to pick just two!  I suppose we could’ve gotten more.  They were a bit pricey, though.  I chose the Tybee Turtle and my mom tried the pistachio.  They were delicious!  Definitely some of the better macarons I’ve had.  The turtle macaron was chocolate with a salty caramel buttercream, dipped in chocolate and pecans.
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We also walked by several candy shops.  It was overwhelming when you walked in because they had every candy you could imagine.  Plus ice cream.  I wanted to eat everything.
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These apples were HUGE. + Chocolate covered rice krispie treats.  What?!
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Fudge + Bark
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Pralines.  I guess Savannah is famous for their pralines just like New Orleans is.  My mom and I tried some samples they were giving out.  That little bite was enough for us.  We agreed that we didn’t think we could eat an entire praline.  They’re very sweet.  But good.
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Chocolate covered Oreos, peanut butter cups, chocolate dipped fruit, truffles….
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Taffy.  Lots and lots of taffy.
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Ice cream!!  Sadly, we didn’t get any because we were on our way to dinner.  They had blue moon! 
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Wait, my story isn’t adding up.  We were actually going back to the hotel to clean up and then walk to the river area for dinner.  We walked by this cupcake place called Mabel’s, and I knew I had to buy some cupcakes to take back with us.
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This is the only cupcake picture I have.  I took a picture later of the two cupcakes I bought, but it got deleted somehow.  Anyway, my mom picked out a pistachio cupcake (she loves pistachio!) and I chose the Famous Mabel’s.  The pistachio with pistachio buttercream was very good.  The Famous Mabel was even better; it was moist yellow cake topped with creamy buttercream.  It was a simple cupcake with a lot of flavor.  I would like to go back to try more!
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For dinner we chose Cotton Exchange Tavern & Restaurant – a seafood joint along the river.  I wasn’t that impressed by this place.  It certainly was not bad…. we had delicious praline beer and creamy crab chowder that was good.  My mom ordered a French dip sandwich and liked it.  I snuck a few bites of her meal because I didn’t care for mine.
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I ordered the crab cake sandwich and it was a little sad.  I’m not a crab cake expert so I’m not sure how they’re supposed to be.  I was imagining something crispy and flavorful; this crab cake was mushy, wet, and tasted like nothing.  i struggled to pick up the sandwich because it was so damp.  Haha.  The fries were good, though!  And looking on the bright side, I had more room to eat my cupcake when we got back to the hotel!
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This has gotten really long, so I think I’ll wrap things up in another post.  In the meantime, have you been to Savannah?  What did you do while you were there? 

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