Monday, June 24, 2013

Blondie Recipe and a Cookbook Connection

 Well, the summer of 2013 is off to a fine start.
I hope that is true for you too.
The outdoor concert has become a yearly tradition.
Through the years we've had everything from scorching heat to heavy downpours that sent us scrambling for the car where we sat dripping wet and drinking a glass of wine until it was decided that the concert would be cancelled that year.  It was a disappointment at the time, but has now become a fond memory that we get a chuckle out of every time it gets brought up.
This year, however, the weather was just perfect.
By the end of the evening I even put on a jacket which has never happened in June in North Carolina since I've lived here.

The blondies were a hit.
This was the first time I've made them, but I guess they are kind of like the blonde version of brownies.  With the chocolate chips sprinkled on top, they fill that chocolate craving without being overly chocolatey.  They taste kind of like a chocolate chip cookie in bar form.
I had to smile when Vee requested the recipe (more on that later).
So, for Vee and anybody else who is interested, the recipe is as follows:

Blondies with Pecans & Chocolate Chips
recipe from the book Recipes From a Very Small Island by
Linda Greenlaw & Martha Greenlaw 
 serves 8 to 10


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder 
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter & flour a 13 x 9 inch baking pan.
2.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.
3.  In a large saucepan, melt the butter over low heat.  Stir in the brown sugar until melted.  With the pan off the heat, whisk in the eggs and then the vanilla.  Gradually stir in the flour mixture and half of the pecans.  The batter will be thick.
4.  Spread the batter in the prepared pan and sprinkle evenly with the chocolate chips and the remaining pecans.  Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the blondie comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it
5.  Cool the blondies in the pan on a wire rack.  When cool, cut into squares and serve.  These may be prepared a day ahead of time, covered, and held at room temperature.


 Now, as for the reason I smiled when Vee asked for the recipe...
I suppose it will sound rather silly, but here goes:

Long before I knew what a blog was I was at the Goodwill one day and they were unloading a huge box of brand new cookbooks.
Really good ones with beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipes.
In no time I had a cart full of these irresistible books, one of which was this one:

 I suppose it would help if you knew that I love to read cookbooks and learn about different ways of life through them.  Since entering blogland I now know that I am not alone in this.  In fact this is one of the things I love about blogging too... learning about the way everyday life is in different areas.
Anyhow, this particular book is written by a mother & daughter, Linda and Martha Greenlaw.  They live on a very small island in Maine called Isle au Haut where Linda is the captain of a lobster boat and both women share a love of cooking.
I have only visited Maine once, but it was an experience I will never forget.  I would love to go back someday, but in the meantime I have enjoyed getting lost in the lives of Linda & Martha as they bake things like this:

 and share a bit of what it is like to live  on this small island.

A way of life so different from my own, but through the gorgeous photos, recipes and stories, I feel as though I've been transported there for a short time.  


A few years after purchasing this book, I entered the blogging world where I met Vee who also lives in Maine, although not on this tiny island.  Through the years I have so enjoyed learning more about day to day life in the lovely state of Maine from Vee.   

So now you know why Vee's simple request for the recipe caused me to smile.  It's all about the Maine connection.  
 Either that or it doesn't take much to make me smile



  1. I would love to visit Maine one day in the not too distant future. Those are my favorite kind of cookbooks, written by good home cooks and regular folks like us. Your blondies recipe is a "keeper", Kim, I am saving this one. xo

  2. How cool and if you ever run into any of Linda's other books at Goodwill, snag them! She was portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in "The Perfect Storm." She writes really well and I have been trying to get ahold of some of her books myself including "The Lobster Chronicles."

    Did I say how cool I think this post is? Ha! Oh and I pinned it, too.

  3. This sounds like a lovely event for a summer evening. I think I have that recipe somewhere. Must be a living next to Maine thing. :)

  4. Maine blueberry pie sounds like a delicious treat for these hot summer days we're having. (And cookies baked all in one pan are perfect too, because the oven doesn't stay on as long.)

  5. It's fun to recount the stories behind recipes or other items we collect. I read Vee's comment and thought how interesting that Linda was portrayed in The Perfect Storm.

    Glad the concert went well this year. We're having cool weather here just now, cloudy days, rain showers, and lower than normal temperatures. But next week is supposed to be sunny, so I'll wait.

  6. What a lovely post and one I really enjoyed.
    Glad the concert went well and those blondes look so good!!!

  7. I love blond brownies! I prefer them to the chocolate brownies. I use my mother's old recipe and it is very much like this one, except it calls for 2/3 cup of Crisco instead of the butter. I'll be trying your version soon!

    I love cookbooks and will have to keep an eye out for this author. Wonderful post!

  8. I immediately recognized the Greenlaw name as I read her book about lobster fishing many years ago! her cookbook looks wonderful --thank you for sharing this scrumptious recipe!

    I've visited Maine a few times and sadly never had a chance to visit Vee. Definitely, If I am lucky enough to go to Maine again, I will make sure I do!

  9. I pinned this sounds good. sandie

  10. See...the recipe was meant for Vee! Great story...yummy looking squares. BTW...we are headed across the Maine...this summer.

  11. I love the connections we make blogging! We're just like a whole bunch of girlfriends, sharing ideas and recipes at all times of the day! I love it!

  12. Our oldest daughter, her husband and six children just spent a week in Maine and she is now in love with the state. She continues to talk about all the beautiful aspects of Maine. This cookbook looks so interesting, and I too always enjoy reading cookbooks from cover to cover. My family would thank you so much if I made the chocolate blondies. I appreciate that you shared the recipe. I enjoy visiting Vee's blog too.


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I will do my best to answer any questions here in the comments section.