Because it's November and by now you've probably heard enough people pledge their loyalty to Fall as the most superior of season, I will avoid a long soliloquy about how I love oversized sweaters and would die for crisp temperatures and bonfires year round. But just know that I do and I most definitely would. Instead, I'll talk about traditions.
Growing up it was a running joke that our family's tradition was having no traditions. I don't know if it's because my family likes to reorganize plans two hours before they're supposed to be carried out making it nearly impossible to actually uphold any sort of regular event or that we just didn't have any sort of sentimental value surrounding the idea of having them. This lack of emphasis on traditions might sound kind of sad to those of you that have super awesome traditions, but in our house the absence of traditions left so much room for spontaneity. One of my most favorite Christmas memories was the year we spent Christmas day at an indoor water park. The lines were short and the gift of being together and experiencing something became the present we actually cared about.
Josiah on the other hand comes from a family that places a much stronger emphasis on traditions. When we first got married it was hard for me to understand the value that he placed on cutting a tree down the day after Thanksgiving or making donuts on Christmas Day. Don't get me wrong, I thought those things were cool (I mean, hello, donuts!), but it wasn't until recently that I fully understood how important it was to him and could relate to the importance he placed on them.
Although Josiah and I have yet to create any of our own traditions together surrounding the Holidays, one tradition that we have started is a yearly Fall drive to see the changing colors. Each year our trip looks a little bit different. The first year we did it we lived in Illinois and so we headed up to Wisconsin for a day of exploring. Our second year we were living in Colorado so we made a trip to Steamboat Springs, CO where we spent the weekend and enjoyed some great brunching and browsing in the little shops. This year we're in Chicago so we took a drive up to Lake Geneva, WI. We spent the day walking around the lake with Henry and then grabbed brunch at a cute little place that had a dog-friendly patio. Because of the business of wedding season we almost skipped our trip this year, but the thought of forgoing this short-lived, but meaningful tradition made both of us far too sad. Despite our crazy schedule, we packed up the car and ended up enjoying a full day together and I am so, so glad. I now see why Josiah thinks so fondly of even the simple things that his family does year after year. Going forward I hope that no matter how hectic October becomes, we continue to prioritize that time together and are always able to maintain this simple tradition.
Whether it's a yearly thing or just a this-year thing I encourage you to bake these muffins, grab the people you love, pack up the car, and drive (through your neighborhood or across the state) to take in some Fall views. The sweetness of the chocolate combined with the comfort of pumpkin make these muffins the perfect treat for Fall. There are few combinations that trump chocolate and peanut butter, but chocolate and pumpkin comes pretty dang close. They're insanely moist and for sure going to become your favorite Fall road tripping snack.
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Muffins
- 2 cups oatmeal
- A pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup pumpkin or butternut squash
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup coconut yogurt
- 2 TBS coconut oil, melted
- 2 eggs
- 8 oz of Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375. Combine the oatmeal, salt, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in one bowl and set aside. Next, combine the pumpkin or butternut squash, maple syrup, coconut yogurt, coconut oil, and eggs in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until they are all mixed together. Stir in the chocolate chips. Portion out into a greased muffin tin. Bake at 375 for about 16 minutes. Cool and serve.
And here is Henry begging for some of the muffins.