Thursday, March 10, 2016

thursday recipe: emily rose brott's chocolate pecan brownies

We're moving house this week.

I'm surrounded by brown cardboard boxes, a few filled, many empty waiting for the contents of our cupboards and shelves to be placed inside sealed with tape and transported to...our new home!

Our new home that we've waited almost ten years for.

When River was six weeks old we moved to our current little beach shack which is in a fantastic location between the ocean and the bay.

We've had what I think is possibly the cheapest rent in Australia while we've been here - believe me the antiquated kitchen and bathroom haven't deserved a dollar more - but the location is the drawcard.

It has been the perfect little nest to raise our babies into boys, and the easy to handle rent has given us freedom, freedom to travel each winter to remote communities for Peter's work and freedom to save.

For the past three months Pete has treated getting our new house ready like a job leaving home early each morning to go 'on site' and work through a long list of plastering, painting, laying new floors, designing and creating new bathrooms and kitchen and and and the list goes on. We've been blessed to have the help of my uncle with this work and a great young carpenter who has enjoyed honing his craft on Pete's creative design ideas.

I'm looking forward to showing you some photos soon!

But for now there's brownies. I thought you'd be ok with that. Personally I don't see what the fuss is about brownies I'd rather eat chocolate but I know a lot of people love them. My sons and husband included!

Thanks to mum of four and cookbook author Emily Rose Brott for sharing her brownie recipe here today. This recipe comes from Emily's most recent book My Secret Ingredient. If you don't eat wheat flour you can use spelt or your favorite gluten free option. I also don't use rice bran oil so I'd use almond oil or butter.

You can read more about Emily and get her recipe for apple, oat, cranberry and chocolate muffins here.

Ok I'm off to make school lunches and then pack some more boxes.

Enjoy the recipe x

Emily Rose Brott's Chocolate and Pecan Brownies
3 eggs
2/3 cup (165ml) rice bran oil
120g 70% dark chocolate
2/3 cup (190g) honey
¾ cup (120g) wholemeal (whole-wheat) plain (all-purpose) flour
¼ cup (25g) almond meal (ground almonds)
¼ cup (60ml) milk
½ cup (55g) chopped toasted pecans (refer to cooking tips)

To make
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F) fan-forced.
Beat eggs and oil together. Melt chocolate, and mix honey into the chocolate until dissolved. Add chocolate mixture to egg mixture, and beat.
Mix in flour, almond meal and milk until combined.
Stir in toasted chopped pecans.
Grease a brownie tin (28cm × 18cm) with oil, and line base with baking paper. 
Pour mixture into tin, spreading it evenly, and bake for 25 minutes.
Leave to cool in tin for 20 minutes before removing and leaving to cool further on a cake rack. 
Slice and serve.
Makes 15

Cooking tip: As an alternative to pecans you can use toasted walnuts or macadamia nuts.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

are you mothering or smothering?

Are you mothering or smothering?

In different words essentially this was a question asked by an Elder at a public forum of about 100 people that my husband went to in Alice Springs last year.

It was a good question that made me think. Smothering is different in a way to what we think about when we use the term 'helicopter parenting'. It is more about getting kids do things for themselves and in fact getting them to do way more than most of us probably do right now.

Another way to look at it is that lots of kids today are raised sitting on the couch so to speak. You know, they don't do much around the house, aren't expected to do much or parents have given up asking.

Before we go on, I am as guilty as the next parent of doing things for my kids that I know full well they can do for themselves OR that I really should take the time to teach them to do for themselves.

My boys have their jobs to do around the house - make their beds, empty the compost bin, empty the recycling bag and the rubbish bin, wash and dry dishes (I'm not consistent enough with this one yet), putting their clothes and toys away, and from time to time sort and fold the washing. Looking at that list it isn't much really.

So why do I and so many other mums I know do too much for their kids?

One of the number one reasons some of my friends tell me is because they don't want to have to listen to their kids whinge about whatever the said task is.

One of my main reasons is because I know I can do it faster myself and often I can do it better.

Really, none of these are good enough reasons.

We are not doing our kids any favours (or the other people around them at school, at friends houses and later in their workplaces) if we are not teaching them to be capable and independent.

I am making a concerted effort before I just do a task, I make a point of asking River or Sol to do it.

Instead of feeling like you have to do everything around the house, start delegating. Not only does it lighten your load and teach your kids skills, it relieves any underlying resentment you may be feeling about having to keep on top of the household chores and perhaps you're not even aware of it.

So join with me, take the time, let go of perfect and let's put the effort into raising capable, independent kids.

Love to hear your experiences with this in the comments.
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