The Rich, Bold, Deep-Flavored Brownies

After cleaning the pantry on Friday, the boy found a box of Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie mix.  It had previously been buried beneath a pile of granola bar boxes, soup cans, bags of pasta, jars of sauces, and two bottles of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, that expired in 2011.

I know.

I should hang my head in shame over that.

Who let’s two ENTIRE BOTTLES of Mike’s expire, after forgetting they’re in the pantry?

On Saturday morning, the boy carefully reached into our pristine, ultra-organized pantry to get the box of brownie mix, so that he and his little brother could whip them up for lunch.  Sadly, their mother rained on their chocolate parade and informed them that lunch would consist of something other than sugar, and that the brownies could be a little post-lunch treat.

Mothers are always so good at ruining a boy’s life.

My favorite part of the morning was when the boy asked me, “Can I use olive oil in the mix, instead of vegetable oil?  Because I threw away  your bottle of vegetable oil yesterday, since it expired last month.”

My boy was asking ME for BAKING ADVICE.

I sort of stared at him, like a deer gazing straight into the headlights of an oncoming truck, and said, without stuttering, “Yes.”

And then I whipped around the corner to quickly type in the phrase, CAN YOU SUBSTITUTE OLIVE OIL FOR VEGETABLE OIL IN A BROWNIE MIX on my phone.  Thankfully, Siri came through and allowed me to continue looking exactly like I knew what I was doing in a bakery, because she told me that I could, INDEED, make the substitution, although the taste of the final brownies might be a little bolder and deeper.

I walked back into the kitchen and announced to the boy, “The flavor of the brownies might be a little bolder and deeper, with the olive oil, but they’ll bake up just fine.”

I like to hide the fact that I really have no idea what I’m doing in the kitchen, and that everything that emerges from my oven is all just done with a lot of WINGING IT and PRAYER and CONSULTATIONS WITH SIRI.

IMG_4988 IMG_4991And really?

Whose kid is this?  The one who dares to stick his tongue out at the photographer?!

IMG_4994 IMG_4996 IMG_4997 IMG_4999 IMG_5000 IMG_5003 IMG_5004 IMG_5007 IMG_5014 IMG_5019In the middle of all the batter-mixing, Thing 2 discovered A GIANT BUG crawling on our kitchen drawers!

Thing 2, being filled with testosterone and the spirit of rambunctiousness, NEVER, EVER overlooks an opportunity to investigate a bug.


Well, our preschooler does NOT practice a CATCH AND RELEASE program with bugs.  Mostly, he invites them to quickly meet Jesus, which is what happened to this monstrosity on Saturday.

Under the cover of a Bounty paper towel burial cloth, he was buried at sea, with one giant flush.

IMG_5020 IMG_5022 IMG_5024With the capture and burial over with, Thing 2 returned to the bowl of brownie mix…

… and sang his big brother’s praises in a hearty, love-filled voice, when the boy handed over the spatula and said, “You can lick the bowl.”

Is there anything better as a kid?

Licking the egg-filled, salmonella-infused batter off the spatula?

I think not.


IMG_5032 IMG_5043I fed the boys a hearty lunch of leftover chicken and potatoes, despite their protests for a meal of brownies, and then we went ice skating.

Thing 2 skated 14,841 miles in two hours.  He came home starving.

So, I told the boys, “Why don’t you cut up some brownies for everyone to have, as a post-ice skating snack?”

They happily plowed right into that task.

The brownies were delicious, with a little bolder, deeper flavor than normal.

Olive oil (and Siri), for the win.

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