Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I Smell Brownies- Are the Kids in the Kitchen?

Kids in the Kitchen

What I love is the fact that my kids (11 & 13) have spent a lot of time in the kitchen. They really like to experiment too. Sometimes or really most of the time, their kitchen food experiments turn out just fine. There have only been a few flops. But I too have had and will continue to have kitchen flops, but I do have a lot more successes.

I am trying to now get them to do eyeball measuring. I hate, despise, loathe, ??? washing a bunch of measuring spoons and cups! Maybe it is because they sometimes don't get clean in the dishwasher. They always fly and flip, flop in the dishwasher if they are not strategically secured.

I rarely measure and the only time that is a problem is when someone wants a recipe and I don't have exact measurements. But I can always figure it out for them. Eyeballing works for me. I know it doesn't work for everyone, but it does for me.

So Pilot (my 13yo) has created this unique brownie recipe. We got a case of brownie mix a little while ago at a price that was too good to pass up. So instead of making them from scratch, we have some mixes to use.

Now a mix is just too boring to use, it only has four ingredients and my son wanted to spend more time cooking. So he decided to put some additional items in the batter, this allows him more time to measure and 'play'. The best thing is that he has also been doing math. If he needs 1/2 cup of something and can only find 1/3 cup measuring cup he has to do math to see how much more or less he needs.

This has been good for me and for him. I gave him a little direction in the beginning, and now he understands the relationship between measuring cups and fractions. It is cool how my kids are getting the fact that math is all around us. We used it all the time, but it is mostly in disguise or camouflaged.

So this takes us to Pilot's Out of This World Brownies, or Dark Poo as Angel believes they are. Everyone loves these except Angel. She just likes them, she says that they are too chocolaty.

What does too chocolaty mean? That is a foreign concept to me, that anything can be too chocolaty. (This really is not true, even me, a true chocolate lover, has found things too chocolaty at times. But I would never admit that to anyone, except my true friends. But NOW that I have told you, I'm going to have to ???? you. share the recipe with you.)

Pilot's Out of This World Brownies

1 19.8 oz Brownie Mix (Western Family)
1/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips
4-6 crushed regular Oreos, chocolate sandwich cookies
3 Tbsp imitation Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil - we use peanut oil
2 large eggs

Mix altogether and pour in 8x8 glass pyrex baking dish. We line ours with Non-Stick Reynolds foil that we clean and reuse several times.

Bake in the center of the oven at 350 degrees F, for 35 minutes. Then raise temperature to 360 degrees for an additional 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Remove foil with brownies from pan and let cool until set. Flip Brownies over onto a cutting board. Remove foil, to be cleaned and put away until the next batch. Use a plastic picnic knife to cut brownies into bite-sized pieces. They are pretty rich. Pilot changed from a tannish colored plastic knife to the white plastic knife in the photo. The white one cut without gooing up.

Pilot loves to be inventive and unique. This is why he has added so much vanilla, the chocolate chips and the Oreos; and why he has done the change in temperature in the baking. I will take the brownies however he wants to make them, as long as he continues to make them. Then of course I don't have to make them, I just get to eat them. Works for me!!

Just as I am finishing this post, Angel gets home from school. "I smell brownies," she says. "Yes, they're on the stove cooling," Pilot says, "don't touch them!"

So as they continue to cool, I tell her what I wrote. The next thing I know Pilot has cut them and Angel is taking a piece. We joke about how 'chocolaty' they are, they are quite creamy because they are not completely cool yet. She goes back into the kitchen and I hear 'words' but I don't understand what is being said. Angel comes out with a plate and has more brownies on it. "What are you doing? I just told everyone that you only like the brownies. You never really eat them. What are you doing?" I ask.

She answers, "I know I really don't like them, but they are good. I am hungry." I know the hungry part, she always comes home from school- hungry. That is very normal, at least in our home over the years it has been normal. Then she gets ready to go up to her room to do her homework. Next thing I see is she is putting down all her stuff and she heads to the kitchen again. She comes back with another piece of brownie, puts it on her plate, gathers up her stuff and goes up to her room. No, Angel doesn't love her brothers brownies, she just likes them. Go figure! I doubt I will ever figure my own kids out.

Pilot and I have had one bite sized piece, she took a whole bunch! Today must be a backwards day!!

This really does work for me - Having my kids in the kitchen. They like to cook breakfasts and dinners too. They are big helps and are learning a lot of what they need to know to run their own homes someday. I think that is one of our goals as a mom, teach the kids to be prepared!! It's working for me!!


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  1. Yummy. They really do look out of this world delicious!

  2. I love that inventive, creative spirit--what freedom! What a lovely childhood you've given them, with time to experiment and access to kitchen use. Love it!