Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Evil Think Tank (ETT) with the Professor... Fresh Raspberry-Chocolate Crumble Bars

Last week I got to go see my family for my mother's birthday and family reunion. It was the first time we've all been together in 3 or 4 years and it was epic. Among the grand events of the weekend, I got to do an Evil Think Tank with my darling brother John the Professor. He got that name from being...a real professor. Plus he's a super-smartie-pants-sassy-dude and I don't know if he'll ever stop being an older brother who is great at teasing me. We've been friends for years though I have to admit that in my teen years he had to drive his snot-nosed little sister to school every day. I know for a fact that a lot of people thought I was his girlfriend...and not because he was kissin' on me (that would be gross). They thought I was his girlfriend because I was so freakishly adorable and certainly way out of his league. Geesh. Actually  Professor John is a genius.John has written two Books! Composite Materials: Fabrication Handbook #1 (Composite Garage Series) and Composite-Materials-Fabrication-Handbook- #2 If you're at all smartie-pants-design inclined you should visit  John's Amazing Blog.
As of today, John is now the master-genius Evil Think Tank Guy. Yes. We're having matching T-shirts made. Be afraid when we walk down the street my darlings. It is a scary sight to behold.
Hello. Yes we're cool.
So Professor John had his little kiddos with him and his stunning way-out-of-his-league wife Queen Charlotte. She's seriously the most beautiful chick I know. So it comes as no surprise that their daughter  is just breathtaking. Here she is overlooking the gardens that my dad grew.
Then she started skipping. Why don't I have daughters? Boys don't skip. They punch each other and talk about bodily functions. My niece skipped...and then sat down and asked my brother to sit cross legged like a princess.
 Sorry sista'. He's not going to ever sit cross legged and act like a princess. I tried for years to get him to sit like a princess and he would pass me on the street the very same way he is here...{ Yes, he's saying in his very boy-mind,"I can't see you girlie-girl-princess with your legs crossed."}.
So all the girls sat down and crossed our legs like a group of princess chicks. It was cool. Oh...my nephew was in on that action. I'm okay with that.
 Here lies the fundamental difference in a nut shell between boys and girls.

Boy nephew (I call him "The Extra Miles" because he's just so busy!)

Me: "Extra Miles...what are you doing?" 
Extra Miles: "I'm covering a hole."
Me: "Um...why?"
Extra Miles: "Because that's what you do."

After I stopped giggling to myself I realized that it was just the age old truth coming together.
Truth: There is no reasoning with a boy. They have their own set of rules and logic. However, I decided that it wouldn't stop me from having some Evil time with my brother creating in the kitchen. Queen Charlotte picked up some beautiful fresh raspberries at the farmer's market while the Professor looked at cars. Further proof that girls are cooler than boys. ( Just kidding John...or am I? )

After eating an inordinate number of fresh berries...we decided it was to our best interest to make some dessert. I will not mention any discussion that my boy-brother had about bodily functions and too many berries. I will mention that I punched him in the arm. I will also mention that he still thinks I'm freakishly adorable and totally out of his league.

Chef Tess Fresh Raspberry Chocolate Crumble Bars
2 cups pastry flour
3 cups 6 grain rolled cereal or oatmeal
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla or rum extract (I opt for rum most often...no comments
1 cup fresh raspberries (or frozen)
1/2 cup sugar
2T cornstarch

1 cup chocolate chips

Directions: Combine the first 7 ingredients until crumbly and thick and press half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking pan. In a small saucepan combine the berries, sugar and cornstarch. Stir and cook over medium heat until berries release juice and cook into a thick jam-like mixture. Remove from heat. Allow to cool 5 minutes. Spread raspberry mixture over the crumble mixture in the pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips in your mouth over the raspberry mixture and then top with remaining half of the crumble mixture. Look at the Professor...
 There are many different layers of good and evil at play in the world. We just happened to capture all of them in one dish.
 Bake at 350 degrees 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven. Eat immediately with ice cream. Show a little restraint and take a nice picture for your blog. Eat a bar and cry because my stinky-genius smarty-pants brother is still so cool and freakishly, unquestionably... out of my league.
Our next exercise in pure evil was this double chocolate raspberry cobbler with fresh whip cream. Evil. Wrong...and total Perfection. I could share that recipe...but then I'd have to kill you and blame it on my brother.

Instead I'm just going to confess some age old truths:
  • Boys will always be smarter and cuter when they bake with their snot-nosed little sister on any given day in July.

  • Girls will always be perfect and totally out of their brother's league...especially when they sit cross legged like a princess.

  •  Family will always be the most important thing in life.

  •  My mom has the best kids in the universe.

Chocolate, like family, is forever.

There ya go.

Always My Very Best,
Your Friend Chef Tess


Kim said...

I love how the boy had to be different in the photo! Hehehe!

Herbalpagan said...

I got "lucky" and so far have all boy grandchildren (5 so far). You are spot on with the comparisons. lol I will definetely keep this recipe for my next get together!

Kristi said...

This recipe just got pinned! You had me at "chocolate" and "raspberry". Is there anything more decadent? Yum-thanks for sharing!

The humor didn't hurt the post, either. An enjoyable read all around!

Anonymous said...

I have to agree - your family totally rocks! Glad you were able to have so much fun playing with them!