10 years. A decade. Where were you a decade ago? In March 2000 I was about two months from high school graduation with an acceptance to a small liberal arts college in Ohio. I was in love with my boyfriend (we made out in the stairwell before math class!) and I had great friends and a full lunch table. I was in the middle of planning a post-grad road trip to take all of my friends to my family's beach house on the Gulf coast. And I couldn't wait for summer.
I didn't know at the time that a magazine was launching in New York that I would eventually come to love, and work for. In a post-Y2K/George Bush-elected world, it was a magazine that simplified a woman's life by offering easy solutions to her daily challenges, whether in the kitchen, in her home, or in her closet. Turns out that "real simple" lifestyle stuck, and 10 years later we're celebrating the 10th anniversary of my favorite magazine.
It's a special thing to work at a magazine. With the day-to-day meetings and conference calls and deadlines it's easy to forget, but when I stop to think that I work on a great brand at one of the country's top three publishing houses in the middle of Manhattan - a brand that touches over 10 million consumers each month - it's a pretty exciting thing. I'm thrilled to be there and happy to celebrate the magazine's 10th anniversary next month, and hope you'll join me. I'll be at both events, so let me know if you can stop by!
One really cool thing about working at a magazine is access to some of the most respected editors in the business. I found this recipe on our website and emailed Sara (the editor) to let her know how much I loved these bars. I was curious about the combination of ginger and chocolate but they turned out like a much-improved version of a chewy blondie. Give them a shot the next time you're in the mood for a bar-cookie, I'm sure you'll love them! And, of course, they're "real simple" to make.
Ginger Chocolate-Chip Bars
Real Simple, by Sara Quessenberry
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
12 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
Heat oven to 350 F.
Butter a 9x13-inch baking pan and line with 2 crisscrossed pieces of parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking soda, and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugars, using an electric mixer, until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40-50 minutes. Cool completely in the pan, then cut into 32 bars.