The best Chocolate Brownies recipe – Timo 10

I will write this post before it’s too late as Timo’s birthday was more than 2 weeks ago and I wanted to write down few things about my youngest. I can’t believe it has been already 10 years of being mum for 2 wonderful children, who sometimes drive me insane, but most of the time they are pleasure to be around, especially last couple of years they have really grown up and I can’t remember many cases I had to raise my voice.

Timo has always been mature for his age and very independent. You wouldn’t believe that few month old baby can be stubborn, but he definitely showed his strong will already then. I bottle fed him from very early age and he was always wriggling around and didn’t settle down on my arms – as soon I put him to his bed and placed the bottle on the pillow next to him, he calmed down and enjoyed his meal. So you can imagine he fed himself more-less when he was a year old.

We admired his determination to learn things. He must have been 7-8 month old and we had lovely time at my hometown beach, but Timo wouldn’t settle to play with sand or his toys, he was spending nearly an hour working out, how his pushchair clips work and he succeeded.

He chased his football around our courtyard in Parnu, when he was 1 and half  and he learned to kick amazingly and now at age of 10 his ball control is great and he has been asked to join local football club, but unfortunately he loves to do lots of things and there is only so many hours in a day so he had to give a miss to this one for time being.

He was on his bike being just 3 years old, with no stabilisers, whizzing long the beach. People were amazed and asked us how old he was.

And that how it been all his life, he always tries to learn things he interested of. At the moment he’s big passion is guitar, so his wish for his birthday was electric guitar and amplifier – I added some headphones, for us really :). He has been learning guitar rifts from You Tube.

Electric guitar

He can be handful and I can’t really teach him a lot as it seems in his head he thinks that you have to have qualification to teach someone. I can’t teach him maths, but he’s fine to take all the tips from his tutor. I can show him how to cook, daddy can show some motorbike stuff and his lovely sister aloud to explain some things only big sisters know.

Birthday boy

He is our lovely boy and we love him dearly.

Another things he loves – Chocolate cakes. He’s quite fussy about the cakes and traditional birthday cake might be good look at but he has no interest to eat it (it doesn’t always mean that you can have his piece of cake :))

Birthday Cake

His birthday cake was made after my favourite brownie recipe, it’s  the one thing he likes and it’s one I use when I need something quickly and I’m not sure what people would like. the browniw will be moist and plate empties quickly. I made kind of birthday cake out of it this time but usually it goes well just as a tray bake brownie. It’s probably one of my most used sweet recipe

You’ll need

225g butter

100 g cocoa powder

4 free range eggs

450 g caster sugar

vanilla extract

150 g self rising flour or 150g flour + 1tsp baking powder

Icing sugar for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.

Grease one 4cm deep, 28cm x 19cm baking tray and line with baking paper.

Melt the butter, remove it from the heat and stir the cocoa in, leave for 10 minutes.

Whisk the eggs and sugar and vanilla essence together until light an foamy. Stir in the cocoa mixture and flour and poor in to the baking tray.

Bake 35 minutes. If the top is firm, but middle is still on soft side, you done take it  out of the oven and leave it cool for 10 minutes. Turn over to the wire rack and peel of the paper. Leave it cool completely. When cool, cut to squares, dust with the icing sugar and enjoy.

If you want your brownies firmer, not so gooey, just add 50 grams of flour more. I did so, when I wanted it to use for a base of the cake.

Choclate Browniw Birthday Cake

What do you feed your children? Today it was Kung Pao Chicken!

I think it’s the question lot of parent ask daily bases from themselves. You want to feed them healthy fresh food, but most of children have totally different idea from you, what they need and want. With my first one I tried to follow books and follow them word by word, but she didn’t have any of it.  You could eat the veggie yourself and meal without fruit wasn’t going down very well and porridge – this grey stuff, which came out from HIPP box was only good enough to go straight to bin. Then the second child came around, veggies were welcoming addition to any meal. Fruit was flying around the kitchen and porridge filled him up to have good run around up until lunch. By age of 6 his favourite was bowl of mussels in some tasty, spicy dressing, which made him lot’s of admiring fans in our dinners at pubs.

Then I had period when I cooked things in two different saucepan – one for us and another one for children, using same ingredients but leaving out anything I thought would put them off their dinner. It was mission impossible as they had very different tastes – my daughter likes anything traditional and quite bland, my son loves spicy and well seasoned food.

Now, my children are almost 10 and 12 there is no more messing around they have to eat what I make to us, but they are aloud after tasting it to say that they don’t really like it and eat plain rice or whatever we having with our meal. No extra meals! Have to wait until next meal time and hope they will like it.

I’m just too lazy to have a argument with them and I deffinetly don’t like them develop unhealthy relationship with food.

I’m sure they have sometimes bit too much of sugar and maybe not enough veg, but I’m hoping that my passion to food will leave some kind of mark to their attitude to the food.

Kung Pao Chicken

Enough for 3-4 people

Around 500 grams of chicken breast, cut about 1cm pieces

1 tablespoon cornflower

2 tablespoon oil (I used walnut oil as I’m using just nut oils or olive oils only nowadays , but you can use vegetable oil)

3 spring onions

3 garlic cloves – I chopped it

dried chilli flakes – according to the taste, I didn’t’ use too much as my daughter not keen on too spicy food, but enough to get her used to more spicier food

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped

4 tablespoons of rice vinegar

4 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablspoons oyster sauce

4 teaspoon sugar ( you can reduce the qty, but I liked it like this)

dry roasted peanuts about 1/2 dl

I also added 1 medium courgette and 1 small aubergine, chopped

Cooked rice for serving

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1. Mix the chicken pieces with cornflower in the bowl.

2.Heat the oil in the wok or big frying pan

3. Add chicken and stir fry until cooked through – about 5-7 minutes

4. Remove the chicken from the pan an set aside

5. Add the veggies if using and add bit more oil, stir fry 2-3 minutes and then add ginger, garlic, spring onions and chilli flakes, stir fry another minute or two.

6. Remove from the heat

7. In a small bowl mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar and oyster sauce. Stir well and add to the pan to the vegetables.

8. Return chicken to the pan and stir until chicken is coated with the sauce.

9. Add peanuts, heat through an mix well

10. Serve once with cooked rice.

Both my children eat all the chicken I put their plates . They did leave some vegetable bits and my daughter don’t like any nuts, but I think it went down well and one new thing in their list they have tried.

Mission successful!

Chicken