I processed several new(ish) Miles videos over the weekend. Enjoy.Flickr Video Flickr Video Flickr Video Flickr Video
This recipe produces a slight variation on a batch of brownies Denny’s coworker Jay brought for us shortly after Miles was born. They were seriously the best brownies I had ever had in my life. Admittedly, I was sleep-deprived, starving from breastfeeding, and easily influenced. Still, they will remain in my memory as the greatest treat in the world.
I was in the mood for a batch tonight, and I decided to make a few tweaks. They’re still in the oven, but if the raw batter is any indication, they are fan-freaking-tastic. [Update: the batter did not lie.]
The Best Brownies You Ever Put in Your Face
Preheat oven to 350F.
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto (original called for 1 tsp vanilla)
1/2 cup AP flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (original called for 1/4 tsp table salt)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt 1 stick the butter. While it’s melting, mix the eggs, sugar, and amaretto in a medium bowl. Add flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder, sifting the cocoa through a fine mesh strainer.
Brown the butter: after it has melted, it will foam up. Stir it frequently. The foam will subside, then after a brief break from foam, more foam will appear. Keep stirring often until it is a nice medium brown. Remove from the heat. Don’t let it get too brown, because it will continue to brown a little after it’s off the heat.
Carefully pour a little (maybe 1/4 of the saucepan’s contents) of the butter into the batter. Stir to incorporate. Repeat, a little at a time, until it’s all blended. If you dump it in all at once it will separate, and that is gross.
Pour into a nonstick cooking sprayed 8×8 baking dish. I had about half a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips lying around, so I sprinkled those on top. You could do that too, if you wanted. You could also use Andes mints, nuts, cut-up Snickers bars, whatever. If I were you I wouldn’t get too crazy, though, since you don’t want to overwhelm the awesomeness of these brownies in their pure state.
Lick the bowl. It’s your duty as an American. When I did it, I actually said “Oh hell to the yes” out loud.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Do not overbake—check it a little early.
“What do you mean, there are no more brownies?”
This is huge. The Beard Award is the Nobel Prize of the food world.
Not only does he make fantastic, creative, local and seasonal cuisine, he is humble and funny and kind. Matt and his restaurant are an asset to our state. Between the Lincoln Café and gay marriage, Iowa is pretty much the best place ever.
“Miles, who’s that?”
“Do you love Daddy?”
“Do you love him a lot?”
“Eight, nine, ten!”
“Daddy Mi night-night!”
“One two ee oh igh!”
“Uh-oh doggy eyeball.”
This has been the month of sentence-building. You don’t always have all the parts of speech in the places one might expect, but you’re getting really good at verbalizing what you experience. Tonight at the dinner table, your dad and I were having pizza, and you were having some extra shredded cheese in a cup. You looked at your dad’s plate and said “Daddy pizza.” Then you looked at my plate and said “Mommy pizza.” Then you looked at your tray and said “Mi chee!”
You’ve also embraced the idea that people can have more than one name. Tonight I walked into the play room, and you were sitting on the floor, playing with your Magnadoodle (which you call your I-O, since those are your two favorite letters to write on it). You were murmuring “A-pull Mommy, Denny Daddy.” You’re also getting good at saying your own name. You still like to call yourself Mi, but now and then you’ll make it to Mile. The s still eludes you, but your doctor said it’s nothing to worry about. She was too busy being impressed that you noticed there were two d’s on the cover of the book she gave you.
Now that the Christmas and birthday excitement have died down, we’re all getting kind of antsy for winter to be over. We’ve gone out to play in the snow a few times, which you love, but nowhere near as often as we go out when it’s nice outside. I think it’s hard on you. You run up and down the hallway. You dance like the floor’s on fire. You’ve recently taken an interest in the Beach Boys, and the change of pace is great, but it makes me crave sunshine and the sea even more.
While we’re stuck inside, we find ways to stay busy. You are very, very proficient at using my iPhone. Last week we made an unexpected call to Uncle Tyler—you got a concerned look on your face, and I checked to see what you had done. It was dialing. Since we’d gotten that far, we went ahead and waited for him to pick up and chatted with him a little. That’s one of the more pleasant surprises that has resulted from you messing with my phone. I didn’t like it so much when you changed my wallpaper to something stupid. I’m sure there are other Easter eggs waiting for me, and I’ll find them as I get around to my lesser-used apps.
We have begun some very gentle potty training, or it might be better described as potty familiarizing. You got a potty seat for your birthday, the kind that fits on a regular toilet, and you’ve sat on it a few times. You’re okay with it as long as you’re fully clothed. You don’t like it so much nude (or, as you would say, “Nuuuuuuuu”). Maybe you don’t quite get the concept yet.
You don’t get to be nude much these days, since it’s cold out and you don’t have a lot of body fat. At your doctor’s appointment, we found out that you’re between the 75th and 90th percentile for height, but below 50th for weight. That’s not necessarily a problem—it’s probably just your build. But the mommy in me (which is basically my entire me) feels a compulsion to feed you, so you often find me chasing you around with fruit and cereal and turkey and ABC cookies.
I’ve noticed a jump in your ability to understand more complex ideas this month. You’re starting to get “If x, then y” propositions. For example, in the bathtub, you don’t like leaning back to have your hair rinsed. You do, however, like getting extra hot water added. After asking you several times to lean back so I could rinse your hair, and after you refused several times, I told you, “If you lean back and let me rinse your hair, you can have more water.”
Plop. Back you went with no argument. Ten seconds later, your hair was clean and you were upright again, enjoying the stream of hot water from the faucet.
Really, you have been a delight to hang out with lately. You haven’t been throwing hardly any tantrums, and you’re funny and affectionate. It’s so satisfying to see you be able to communicate better, how proud you are of yourself when you make an observation. You always know exactly what you mean, and sometimes it’s frustrating when your dad and I can’t understand you, but we usually figure it out.
Your sleeping has gotten a lot better too. We think we’re going to convert your crib into a big boy bed soon, and in preparation, your dad has changed your night-night routine so that you fall asleep in the guest room bed, and then he moves you to your crib. You seem to really love it. Sometimes I can hardly get through milk, stories, and tooth-brushing before you’re scrambling to Daddy for night-night. You still end up in our bed before the night is out, but that moment has been arriving later and later. Besides, I don’t mind. You’re awfully cuddly.
Happy last month of winter, Little Scoop. We’ll make it.