Perhaps it is the opportunity to see into so many windows that we can feel both immensely blessed and envious at the same time.

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Great Adventures, Double Chocolate Brownies

Double Chocolate Brownies

Have you ever wanted to just pack up your things and jet? Having lived in San Francisco for nearly a decade, I’ve been feeling generally exhausted by the challenges that come with city living. I don’t entirely want to give up an urban lifestyle, but there are days when pots fall on my head from the far crannies of my kitchen cabinets, and I forget where I street-parked my car, which leads to endless wandering around my neighborhood. Days when I have to walk past a belligerent drunk guy on the street, or the train car is delayed because a car is blocking the tracks.

I know that in today’s political environment, it feels trite to complain but the truth is our daily lives — the little things, are significant, and they’re hard to ignore.

Double Chocolate Brownies

No matter how many times I tell myself how lucky I am to live here, in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, steps away from one of the largest urban parks in the world, within walking distance to some of the best restaurants in the world — I feel overwhelmed by the fact that it often feels like a rat race.

Like many folks my age, some of whom are married, others with small children, I had convinced myself that at a certain age, I’d be able to buy a home (a modest one, at that) where I’ll have more room, a place to park my car and store my bike, and a yard where my daughter can play. But the reality of living in the Bay Area (which has become a talking point in and of itself), is quite different from that of the rest of the country (even New York). Delapitated shacks sell for over one million dollars, and are fought over by multiple bidders. Many of our friends have given up on the home search entirely. Few of them have talked about fleeing the Bay Area, but it’s something I think about a lot.

Double Chocolate Brownies

I daydream sometimes of Seattle and Portland, or even Austin — places where the life I want feels a little (or a lot) more attainable. I wonder, what is my great adventure? Am I living it? Am I blinded by images of what a great adventure should be? Am I putting images out there that suggest I’m living the sort of life I think I should be living?

The thing is, readjusting your life plan to fit reality can be a hard pill to swallow. Whether it be with regards to your love life, career, children, travel, or place of living. It is, I’ve been realizing time and time again, an unfortunate circumstance of adulthood. Despite being 31 years old, a mother, a relatively seasoned working professional, a well-traveled human being — I rarely feel like I’m an least not the sort who should be thinking about a future any farther than five years out.

Double Chocolate Brownies

Perhaps it is the opportunity to see into so many windows that we can feel both immensely blessed and envious at the same time.

Double Chocolate Brownies
adapted from Flourless

5 ounces of semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups of light brown sugar
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of real vanilla extract

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 square, non-stick pan with aluminum foil and spray it with cooking spray.
2. Add the chocolate and butter to a heatproof bowl and place it over a pot of simmering water. Stir until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth. Remove bowl from the heat and transfer mixture to a large bowl.
3. Add the sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla, stirring to combine.
4. Spread the batter in the pan, smoothing the top with a rubber spatula. Bake the brownies for approximately 40 minutes, or until the tops are firm to the touch. Let the brownies cool in the pan for 1 hour.
5. Lift the foil out of the pan once the brownies have cooled. Place it on a cutting board and refrigerate for another hour. Once the brownies have set in the refrigerator, slice them into 16 brownies, and serve at room temperature. The brownies will last for up to 1 week, stored in an airtight container.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • I get this. We’ve been house-hunting and even in Nashville it’s a trip for our limited budget, but mostly I’ve been so surprised at how looking for a house (seemingly a, values-wise, small thing) affects so much else. Like: Do we want to live in the city for sure? Or are we willing to travel longer to everything in order to have a nicer house? Do we need three bedrooms or do we just think that because of what XX says? What are our future goals? Do we want to stay here forever? on and on it goes. It’s almost funny but simply thinking about moving can become an existential crisis. Ah, being young and having so many possibilities before you: it is such an undeniable gift and yet it feels wasted on someone like me. Ha! Rooting for you guys, wherever and however and whatever happens, both in the next 5 years and beyond.

  • What a great post; yeah, I’ve definitely wondered a lot about what’s the place to be for me… I don’t know if there really is an answer for me. Maybe I’ll always find myself between places, never being able to fully settle. But oh these brownies! Decadent pieces of chocolate. In love.

  • As you know, it was a similar set of circumstances that led me to flee Brooklyn last year. And now, I empathize so much with what you’re going through Kasey. Here’s hoping that you discover your next adventure, whether it’s staying put or striking out for a new view. (I must say that I am so glad to have left NYC and haven’t looked back once, even as I sip sub-par coffee or search for decent take out.) And these brownies? They look reeeeeally amazing!!!

  • elalderson

    Oh man, if I had a dollar for how many times I’ve wondered if I’m actually an adult or just faking it, I could probably afford a house in the bay. I think one of the best things I’ve done was to not limit myself to the adventure I thought about/was planning and when the opportunity presented itself to experience something new, I jumped. Great post, Kasey. (and ps- I *totally* look up to you as an adult who has a wonderful family and knows how to get shit done in a career, so there’s that.)

  • Nicole

    Oh Kasey, I can see how you feel torn in your current circumstance. You have great instincts and I just know they’ll serve you well whatever your future holds. It doesn’t hurt to have a pan of delicious brownies to balance out the rough edges 🙂 Completely in love with that brownie side shot. Dreamy!

  • maiamcdonald

    This post really resonated with me. I have been having a lot of the same feelings lately. Do we stay or do we go and find cheaper, greener pastures. There is so much worth staying for but can I really enjoy everything the Bay Area had to offer if I’m always stressed about money?! This is what I keep asking myself.

  • This feels timely; I’ve been mulling these same thoughts. While I love my neighborhood of Brooklyn, city living is undeniably wearing. We recently spent nine months being outbid for expensive, dilapidated shacks, and I finally just had to concede. Adulthood is not nearly as clear-cut as I once thought it would be. Ah well. For the time being, brownies!

  • Urgh. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been going through something similar, Shanna. It’s weird how many questions you start to ask yourself — questions you’ve never asked before! For us, even the ‘burbs feel unreachable — the Bay is a weird place, geographically. But yes, the commute is something I def. wonder about, especially since I’ve been enjoying living AND working in the city for the first time in years. But you’re right, the fact that we CAN ask ourselves these questions is a blessing in itself. We’ll all figure it out 🙂 xo

  • Thank you! I moved around a lot as a kid, and always thought I’d ‘settle.’ The funny thing is I’ve lived in my current apartment longer than I’ve lived anywhere else! I always remind myself of this quote I saw a long time ago: “home is where they understand you.” The more places you’re understood, the better, right?

  • Hi E! I remember your struggles!! I always see your Instagram pics and think about the fact that you did it — you took the dive! I’m so happy to hear you don’t look back — that’s one thing I worry about, if I ever left the Bay. Would I look back? I guess we can never know 🙂 xo

  • Let’s pool our dollas and get a ranch somewhere 🙂 But seriously, I appreciate this so much, Erin. I have immense respect for you –for the life you’ve built, the career you’ve built, and the chances you’ve taken. It’s awesome to have so many amazing examples of incredible women around me — both in real life, and on the Internets. xo

  • Thank you, Nicole! I’ve always been a ‘driven-by-my-gut’ type of person, and you know? Generally, my gut’s served me well. The weird thing is my gut is going “WTF! I don’t know what to do!” I’ve had a few moments where I’ve realized I’ve convinced myself of some things that aren’t really true, so I’ll keep chipping away 🙂 xo

  • Hi Maia! It’s comforting to know that it feels like everyone around us is asking these same questions. They become more pressing once you have a babe, don’t they? I ask myself the same questions, but I’m starting to think — maybe we ask them all our lives?

  • Man. I’m sorry to hear that. We haven’t bid on any homes yet, but we’ve had situations where we thought we found the home of our dreams, only to realize there was no way we’d get it, in light of our budget and the competition. It’s pretty heartbreaking. But I’ve been thinking lately about the best times of my life, and how they happened here! In my crappy apartment! One day, we’ll look back at this time and think: we were LIVING! I think our world is getting more complicated, for sure, but we also have access and opportunities our parents and grandparents could only dream of. To be able to ask these questions! To be able to pick up and go anywhere, on a whim. I hope you find clarity soon.

  • Let’s do a city swap!

  • Kate Ramos

    Hi Kasey! These brownies look incredible and I will probably go home and make them tonight, even though I’ve been trying to cut back on the sugar. 🙂 Your post is very thought provoking and beautifully written. We left SF 5 years ago, cause we couldn’t make it work. Now we live in rural ND and I really feel no different than I did 5 years ago. Just like SF there are things I enjoy and things I hate. I don’t know if you ever find your perfect place—at least we’re still searching.

  • Katie

    I hear you, Kasey. Great as SF is, sometimes city living can be exhausting, especially when you add kids into the mix. Brownies help.

  • Kasey – I totally agree with you. Like Kate, I left SF for a lot of those reasons and have to say, while I miss it everyday, I have loved this latest adventure that living in LA has given me.

  • I’ve heard that the property market in the Bay Area is even more crazy than London so you have my deepest sympathy – when we bought our place last year, it seemed like there were so many other emotional decisions we had to make on top of all the hard and draining financial/logistical points that it made the whole process so exhausting. Being a grown up is a real pain at times. At least we have brownies.

  • Ha! Which city?!

  • Hi Kate! I don’t think I’m quite ready for rural, but I keep telling myself there isn’t a huge urgency. It’s nice to know that changes can be really, really good..and you can always come back 🙂

  • Yes, the kids are the problem, ha! But, yes, brownies. Always.

  • I love that you are so good about spending time in both cities, even though you are not based here anymore. LA is a foodie mecca and the weather. The weather!!

  • It is funny how emotional this whole ‘where to live’ thing is — being an adult can suck sometimes, but it is so great is so many other ways (brownies anytime you want them!) x

  • made the brownies whilst listening to gooey by glass animals. truly, the perfect combination.

    “what is my great adventure? Am I living it? Am I blinded by images of what a great adventure should be?” how i feel exactly. in need of great adventures.


  • I sympathize and feel so much the same way. I’ve lived in the bay area for my whole life, but the million-dollar teeny-tiny condo that won’t be soundproof – ack. I cannot imagine have kids in the mix. You are a brave lady 🙂

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