Note: Please forgive me for the increasingly blurry photos on my blog these days. My camera has, to speak in technical terms, somewhat “carked it”. I hope to get a new one soon, but I’m at a bit of a loss as to what to buy. Help?
Here are a few of the reasons why I like it so much when my brother, E.TeacherLord, comes to visit:
1. He’s one of my best friends.
2. He’s a really good guitar player and we have a fair amount of overlap in our musical tastes, which translates into multiple guitar-and-singing jam sessions. Such musical interludes make me deeply happy.
3. While not quite attaining my level of dedication to vegetables, he too believes that green things are a necessary component of daily life. See the glee in his eyes upon being handed these zucchini fritters at Easter lunch? (Okay, the glee may have been partly due to the halloumi.)
4. He teaches me humility by unfailingly beating me in all arguments we have. I’m fairly certain this has something to do with my ingrained younger-sister mentality. In other words, whenever his tone deepens and he challenges something I’ve said, a little voice within me whispers “E.TeacherLord is older and wiser and older and wiser and clearly you are young and sound stupid, therefore retreat retreat retreat wave white flag retreat”.
5. However, I can trounce him in Boggle like there’s no tomorrow.
6. So that I can show those of you interested in fashion my new dress, he’ll happily take photos of me doing my best flamingo impression. This impression comes complete with leg raised, arms bent like wings, and head tilted as if I’ve just heard the mating call of my flamingo husband.
8. And, if I’m lucky, he’ll bring along a friend whom I can also bake for.
I miss having boys to bake for regularly.
Although, of course, there’s something to be said for baking a batch of brownies and being forced to eat them all yourself. Particularly when peanut butter and chocolate are involved.
Because they are very, very tasty, and a horde of menfolk might just be waiting outside the door for you to do so.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
From Baking Bites
- 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used crunchy, because crunchy wins forever)
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips (or do what I did and finely chop a block of chocolate until you get a cup)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F), then grease and line a 20cm (9 inch) square pan.
2. In a large bowl and using an electric mixer (unless you’re the Hulk), cream the butter and peanut butter together until smooth, then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla.
4. In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, then mix into the peanut butter mixture at a low speed until everything just comes together. Stir in the chocolate and then pour into prepared pan.
5. Bake for… the time needed. I did 30 minutes, and as you can see the brownies were super fudgy when we ate them warm, but they did firm up as they cooled. The original recipe says you should let the brownies cool completely before eating them, but who in the world can resist the lure of warm brownies with melting chocolate chips and peanut butter hidden inside?
6. Oh, the recipe says this makes 16 squares. Hah! Luke, E.TeacherLord and I had eaten two-thirds of this brownie batch within half an hour…