“I’d be smiling and chatting away, and my mind would be floating around somewhere else, just like a balloon with a broken string…” — Haruki Murakami, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
You know what’s sad? I feel really upset for all of the future blondies which I haven’t yet met. None of them will ever compare to these amazingly fudgy and moist white chocolate pumpkin spice blondies that TOTALLY HAPPENED today:
I kid you not, they (almost) outshine fall itself…
Going back to something that the amazing Alex wrote the other week on “The fear that everyone else already has it figured out” – something which affects young people a lot, and I’ve been thinking recently how, isn’t it so great that we are born with this choice to believe in ourselves? That’s actually quite an empowering realization. Like, hello?! Why do we as humans tend to not reap this as much as we should? There’s not any particular age group that I’m about to address here, but I’m sure it will strike a chord with many…
Take a passion, for example. Sometimes we may feel guilty about activities we enjoy or choose to invest a lot of time in if we are surrounded by people who don’t appreciate quite the same things as us. It can be hard when we can’t immediately share some of our favourite things that bring us joy because we aren’t surrounded by like minded people.
Confusion is inevitable; you may often find yourself wondering where all of your interests are ever going to get you? It’s all too easy to feel irrelevant in a world filled with alien agendas. All of your dreams might seem like light years away. Everybody is doing something that you aren’t, or simply can’t bring yourself to do. Everyone else seems to be content and decisive enough about with whatever it is they’re doing – but you can’t shake that feeling of restlessness; as if you’re just floating around with nobody to talk to in an otherwise organized world that everyone else has already blended into…
But going back to ‘the fear’, it can be all too tempting to fall into the arms of social convention when we don’t have enough confidence about what we simply want to do now – sacrificing time that we could otherwise have spent getting to know ourselves in the process. After all, SOCIETY taught you that you will always miss something amazing if you choose a night in over a night out – even if you perhaps did have some (probably irrelevant) stuff which you’d actually enjoy getting done. But you know what you should do? Believe in yourself. If you really, really don’t feel like going to that event or whatever it was, it’s not the end of the world -you’ll just arrange another day. You always do. Oh, and don’t feel pressured to be busy either – the sun rises again tomorrow, and people only care about themselves anyway. Trust your decisions. Time is completely relative – so ultimately, quality is only added by you. It is impossible for time to be “better spent” elsewhere unless YOU were the one to place that value on it yourself with a good reason. Nobody has it sussed. There is quite simply: nothing for you to “miss out” on. There’s no need to get neurotic over stuff, just remember that life is soooo much easier when you don’t give a crap over what other people think about you…You can be you, and never worry about there being an opportunity cost to it: there is none.
“You don’t need to have it figured out this year, this month, by Friday, at this moment…You just need to be in the moment” (Alex)
So, you know what I say? Relish this independence and do whatever you want. Albeit baking pumpkin blondies solo and then photographing them for the rest of the afternoon because you like to blog about food (hehe, loser).
- ½ C white sugar
- 1 C dark brown sugar
- 1 C softened salted butter
- 2 large/3 small eggs
- 2 1/2 C flour
- 200g white chocolate chips
- 1 x can pumpkin puree
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 1 tbsp mixed spice
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ C milk/cream/evaporated milk (add more if batter is still too thick)
- ½ C salted butter, softened
- ½ C brown sugar
- 1 C icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- 1-2 tbsp Greek yogurt (stop when you like the consistency).
- Cream the butter and sugars, and then add the vanilla, spices + egg.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl before folding together.
- Add the chocolate chips.
- Bake in a 9×13 tray (16 bars) on 180/350* for 35-40 mins. The blondies will brown, and should be fudgy but firm when removed from the oven.
- Frosting: Cream the butter and sugars and add the vanilla, but the yogurt last.
- Refrigerate while the blondies cool, as it will be thicker and nicer to spread over the tray.
For some reason I really wanted to include Greek yogurt (?!) in the brown sugar frosting. I had visions of a super thick and whippy swirly white vanilla frosting (something like cookie dough) that created a Neapolitan-like layering over these buttery pumpkin beauties. As it happens, the frosting does indeed include Greek yogurt – only, err – a little too much. My dream of fluffy, whipped frosting turned to pourable, drippy icing when I thought it was a good idea to stray from my original yogurt amount and triple it instead (1 heaped tbsp to 3 heaped tbsp) Oops. Although it hardens in the fridge, it can’t handle room temp that well. However, I actually really like it! The recipe above is the identical to the one that I used. However, if you’d like the thicker ‘cookie dough’ kind of frosting – then add 1/4C of flour in addition, and perhaps replace the yogurt with heavy whipping cream. Just experiment! Frosting is great because you can see it as you make it, and it’s pretty hard for it to go horrendously wrong. Adjustments to meet your preferences are easy!
“Be in the moment enough to receive some guidance about what is more aligned with your deepest, truest, and highest self,
Be in the moment enough to give yourself what you need.
Be in the moment enough to hear where you are called to next.
Figure out how to listen to those whispers of desire coming from somewhere magical within you…
Those whispers become your guides.
..Now watch your life unfold into everything you never knew you wanted” (Alex)