Once upon a time in California, when I was but a wee babe, my mom would sneak off to a little German bakery. Apparently, she “sneaked” often enough for them to not only remember her but swap recipes. They made these Pioneer Chewy bars that she adored and they offered her the recipe, presumably since they didn’t create it themselves. I grew up snacking on these every so often, coming to crave this perfect mix of vanilla and chocolate in a way that no other blondies recipe has ever come close.
These blondies are a little more cookie bar than brownie with a sweet deep flavor from the brown sugar. The chocolate chips add the right amount of cocoa but don’t overwhelm the flavor. Technically, you can cut these into about 30 bars. I might get a dozen because…. well, portion size is a very subjective thing when it tastes this good. I also strongly recommend that you use the dark brown sugar in the recipe. I’ve made them before with light brown and always regretted it after because it was just missing something.
This is also the first time I’ve gotten a chance to play with a Kitchenaid stand mixer. Let me tell you, it’s a life changing experience. It’s like riding the sexiest Harley for the first time. Or winning a very small lottery. I wants it, Precious!
Pioneer Chewies – The Ultimate Blondies Recipe
- 3/4 C butter, softened
- 1 2/3 C packed dark brown sugar (1 C + 5 T + 1 tsp Brown Sugar Splenda if you’re diabetic)
- 3 eggs, room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 C flour
- 1 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 C chopped walnuts, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 baking dish.
- Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla, and incorporate.
- Stir in the flour until mixed.
- Add the chocolate and walnuts. Mix until evenly distributed. Spread the mixture in the pan.
- Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown.
- Cool completely, then cut into bars.
The same day that I made my second sale, I was also featured on Building Bridges Marketing blog! I felt like that was just a win all around. Building Bridges is a new blog featuring handmade small businesses and already has some great stories. I was lucky enough to be featured and I would love for you to check it out and show some love. Here’s a little sample:
Zylo Handmade – Simplicity Works
ZyloHandmade seems an obvious choice for a shop name, but it answered two important questions that I get a lot: Your name is what? and Where did you buy that? It’s Zylo and it’s handmade – sometimes simplicity works. The products that I’ve been making for my shop are usually things that I made for myself and have migrated into other things. I figure that if I love something enough, maybe other people will too. I recently had my first sale of a hand knit forest green cowl in a delicious chenille yarn that I loved playing with. It was exhilarating to see that email waiting in my inbox – I swear my coffee tasted richer and the birds sounded sweeter that day.
Read more here and check back to see who she’s featured next!
I wanted to title this, oh crap, it’s Father’s Day again, but restrained myself. I always get yelled at for missing holidays and birthdays. I’m nearly 30 so you’d think that people would be used to me only remembering Christmas at this point but nooo. Anyways, here are my favorite Father’s Day gift ideas if I had money to spend buying them for
myself my dad. So for those of you who are more prepared than just sending a quick email to your dad this Father’s Day, I salute you and offer you some of the coolest gifts for dad’s of all tastes.
- Industrial Watch Movement Cufflinks
- Roku connects your TV to your Netflix, Amazon Prime, and more without buying a fancy TV. I want one. For my dad.
- Vintage Flip-Up Sunglasses. Bonus if your dad looks anything like Michael J. Fox.
- Hand Printed Mini Notebook “My Secret Plans of World Domination”
- Red Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, S3 vintage rotary phone cover
- Poo-Pourri Master Crapsman Gift Set. I got this for my step-dad for Christmas and still think it’s hilarious.
- Reversible Scarf with Pockets and novelty faux-bois and mustache fabric. Keep his mustache warm in style.
- Samsung Gear 2 Neo Smartwatch. Can your computer and a team of mules do it? So can this watch.
- Lettuce Turnip The Beet Unisex Tank Top. Get the funk rolling.
Thought about getting dad another tie this year? How about not? Actually, how about helping dad clear out the last decade’s worth of last minute tie gifts and turn them into something he’ll actually use? How about these Cool Father’s Day Gifts Made with Dad’s Ugly Ties!
I just made my first sale. So you know what that means, right? Blatant bragging. Look what you can’t have!
Sold! Done been sold! You can’t have!
You better check out what I have left before you miss out on something else!
My ex brought this yarn back from Turkey for me and I’ve loved it for years, swearing that I would make something with it just for myself. That day has come. Truly, I wanted something simple that would show off the yarn and a stockinette shawl is just what the doctor ordered. But I am not nearly crazy enough to handknit it. It would take me years, so I whipped out the knitting machine. For two large skeins of yarn, it took me about 8 hours to make and more time to wash, block, and weave in ends. I love the result. However, I should have used the larger weaving piece because it rolls like crazy. I want to learn to do crochet borders and I this is the perfect candidate. Maybe a fiery red or a striking emerald? Bronze? I’m not sure yet. So I will love it for what it is now and hope for something a little… flatter in the future.
The yarn is black with metallic silver tinsel, so it’s really hard to get a good shot of it because it’s quite shiny. Here are some of the things I was thinking. Maybe a lustersheen type yarn in white or cream. Or I have some Diva sequin that would be fun and also shiny, but might also be overkill. Here is some bright red, though I would use a smaller weight. Hmm…
In celebration of my 600th post (really), I wanted to do a free pattern. This tutorial uses recycled plastic bottles and upcycles them into life as a fashion accessory. It’s a knitting pattern meets recycling tutorial.
So here’s the scoop. My mom drinks damn near everything from a single serving bottle and they don’t recycle. It drives me nuts! So I’ve been hoarding them in bags and stashing them in my closet. While there are a lot of really great plastic bottle DIYs, a lot of them aren’t practical for my space or really my style. So I had to really think about what I wanted to try with them. As I was examining the tiny Coke bottles that dominate my stash, I noticed that they have one perfect smooth band in the center. That’s kind of perfect for a bracelet base, says I. The plastic gives a sturdy base for the cable pattern while also lending it a natural curve. Continue Reading →
Psst. Guys. I have the best banana pudding recipe you’ll ever try.
It has 6 ingredients, takes 15 minutes, and brings the boys to the yard. You’re grandma has nothing on this.
I am part of an Etsy forum on Ravelry, so I was poking around and looking at everyone’s shops. I landed on Linen Spirit and was immediately hooked. I’ve been thinking about linen yarn for a while. I started the Monge pattern not too long ago, but didn’t want to shell out the money for linen yarn. Plus, I had a project idea flittering around my head. Once I saw this picture, I knew I couldn’t hold my trigger finger steady. Welcome to the stage, my latest Etsy purchase.
I am now the proud owner of four gorgeous skeins of lace-weight linen yarn in four different, delicious colors. Tell me those are brilliant together. I’m so excited that it’s a real chore to finish my current projects before skittering off to play with it. Plus, I always enjoy getting packages from different countries. I can’t wait to see what their postmarks looks like. Here’s my box!
I’ve been wanting to make a linen shawl with a crochet linen border for a few weeks. About a week after I ordered my yarn, I ended up getting some orange linen from my mom’s stash – serendipity! I think any of these colors would be an outstanding compliment to orange fabric. Now, I just need to figure out how to crochet and which lace design to use and how to attach it and oh my god. I wonder how much these colors will bleed…
I’ve found a few crochet borders that may work with a shawl. I’m thinking these would look nice and they have tutorials so I might actually be able to make them.