There are so many things I’m thankful for everyday. All of usual suspects (family, health, friends). But I’m going to be materialistic and tell you that one of the things I am thankful for everyday is my home. As in my house. I love my house so much. I love it’s location. I love the view out my back window. I love that we have a screened in porch (although I often wish we had my parents’ screened in porch if I’m being completely honest). I love my kitchen. I love the light we get from our windows. I love our yard and all the work we have planned for it this spring and summer to make it feel more like the relaxing haven we want it to be.
Just like everyone else, I have a long list of things I’d like to change/improve about our house. But for the most part, every day I am thankful for it and for the fact that we are able to live in a house we love so much and that works so well for us.
I’ve been thinking about our house a lot recently not just because of our ambitious yard plans, but because it looks like Gerrit’s parents have finally sold their house. They are only moving because they want to downsize, and I have appointed myself their house hunter (and I am grateful that they are grateful for this…because like Gerrit said, I was going to look for houses for them whether they wanted me to share those finds with them or not). But because of all of the house excitement going on, it inevitably leads to discussions between Gerrit and me about our house and whether or not we will move any time soon and what would make us want to do so.
We love our house, and I love my city. I love how we are nestled against the mountains. I love all of the outdoor space that is so close to our front door. But I don’t so much love the things that have been going on in our school system. And I wonder if as we move through the future we might decide we want a bigger backyard or bigger bedrooms or a playroom. Or if we might decide we want a more updated kitchen and decide it’s better to move than to take on such a project ourselves.
I don’t know the answers to those things right now. But I do know that right now I am thankful for our home every day. I am thankful for the roof we have and our HVAC and our windows and walls. I am thankful for my old range. I am thankful for the trees and the way the sunlight comes through our windows. I am thankful for our kitchen island and nights when I stand there and sneak just one more blondie. I am thankful for our bedrooms and I am even thankful for our inevitably moldy shower. I love it all.
These are rich. They are full of browned butter and salt and chocolate and they come out of the oven like a gooey blonde version of a brownie, which is exactly what blondies should be. Be wary of leaving these on your kitchen counter in plain sight. Each bite seems to feed the addiction you might develop.
- 1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) unsalted butter
- 2 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
- First, brown your butter. Melt butter in a medium-sized skillet or saucepan (you want a good amount of surface area on the bottom) over medium-high heat. Continue to cook, swirling it every so often, until the butter begins to smell nutty and there are little brown bits collecting on the bottom of the pan. Watch it carefully so it doesn't burn. It can take about 10 minutes or so, but once it starts browning it can burn quickly. Once the little brown bits have formed, remove the pan from the heat. Pour the butter into a large bowl and let it cool, about 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with parchment paper or spray with non stick cooking spray.
- Add the brown sugar to the butter and beat with an electric mixer until combined, about 1 minute. Then add the eggs and the vanilla, beating until combined.
- In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture, mixing on low speed just until combined.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix just until they are incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to spread it out evenly.
- Bake for 30 minutes. They will be quite gooey when you pull them out, but as they cool will firm up a bit. Cut into squares and serve.