Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bruschetta Tomatoes

Hello!  Long time, no see!  Milton and I have been over here, eating delicious things and not sharing them with you.  Sorry about that, it's not very nice.  So, to make up for it, we have a delicious recipe for some tomatoes that I've been making all summer.

Once again, my friends at the farm have hooked us up with a CSA for the season (by hooked us up, I mean we bought it).  And, once again, there was a tomato boom for a few minutes; that's when I started making these tomatoes.  They're kind of bruschetta like, but I basically put them on anything. I had them at my birthday party and I took them to a potluck. Both times, people have asked me about the recipe, so now it's here.  Come read my blog and learn how to make tasty tomatoes.

Fair warning, as per usual, I haven't measured anything, so these amounts are kind of guesses.  Do what feels right to you.

Bruschetta Tomatoes:
1 Container Cherry or Grape Tomatoes
1 Clove of Garlic, Minced
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Chop the tomatoes in half or fourths, depending on how big they are.  Add garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Stir to combine.  Let them sit for a while so that the flavors can meld together.  Serve.

Milton approves!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Peanut Butter Cups - The Leftovers Club

Hi friends!  How are you?  Enjoying your summer?  Milton and I are - he's very glad the weather is consistently nice enough for walks now.  However, there is a small downside - some days it's too hot to cook.  However, we're problem solvers here at Cooking with Milton, so for the Leftovers Club this month, I made peanut butter cups.  No oven required!

This month, I was paired up with Hetal from Pretty Polymath.  She made me delicious cookie butter truffles.  YUM.  The Leftovers Club is a group of bloggers who send each other treats once a month, you should definitely join!!

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups, from The Comfort of Cooking

24 Ounces Chocolate Chips (I always use semi-sweet, but use what you like) 
1/2 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter 
1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter, Softened 

Melt half of the chocolate chips.  While they're melting, line a muffin tin with liners. 

Attempt to evenly distribute the chocolate between all 12 cups (be conservative with your scoops, it's less than it seems).  Thump the tin on the counter a few times to make sure the chocolate is even in the cups.  Scare the crap out of your adorable furry helper in the process.  Freeze it for 15 minutes. 

While it's freezing, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, and butter until smooth. 

When the 15 minutes are up, distribute the pb mixture between all the cups.  Do that counter thumping thing again, but warn the dog so he doesn't flip out again.  Freeze for 15 minutes. 

While those 15 minutes pass, melt the remaining chocolate.  Distribute that across the cups, slam on the counter.  Freeze for 15 minutes.  Realize you should probably freeze for another 3-4 minutes due to the time you spent standing in front of the freezer, basking in the glory of cold before you realize how sad winter made you last year.  

After the last 15 minutes of freezer time are over, you're done.  Depending on the climate control situation in your home, I would recommend keeping these in the fridge until you're ready to eat them or send them to your friends. 

Check out what my friends made!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Best Brownies Ever - The Leftovers Club

Hello!  How is everyone?  Enjoying the spring?  We are, Milton is so glad that we can go for walks again, I think he missed the geese.  And I missed the sunshine and not wearing eleventy billion layers every time I walked out the door.  Spring is magical.

You know what else is magical?  Getting random treats in the mail from your brand new interwebs friends!  The Leftovers Club allows you to do that; you get paired up with another blogger and then you exchange treats.  Total win for everyone.  And this month, I was paired with Noha from Sugar and Garlic.  Definitely check out her blog - everything looks amazing!  I can't wait to see what she has in store for me.

I asked her what she might like and she said she was good with anything chocolatey, so I thought I'd keep it simple and make brownies.  I don't think I've ever made brownies from a recipe other than my grandmothers, so that's what I went with.  They really are the best, so why mess with perfection. Except I did; I've always been "strong-willed" (that's the PC term for does whatever the F she wants...), so no one is surprised.  But this time there was a good reason - I didn't have quite enough unsweetened chocolate, so I added some extra chocolate chips.  Definitely didn't want to risk them not being chocolaty enough.  No worries, Noha, that's not a problem!

The Best Brownies: 

2 Ounces Bittersweet Chocolate
2 Sticks Butter
2 Tablespoons Cream
3 Eggs
2 1/2 Cups Sugar 
1 1/2 Cups Flour 
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Cup Chocolate Chips 

Pre-heat the oven to 350 and grease a pan super, duper well.  

Melt the bittersweet chocolate and the butter.  While that's melting, mix together the cream, eggs, and sugar.  When the chocolate and butter have melted, add that to the sugar, cream, and eggs mixture.  I have never waited for it to cool or tempered it in anyway and these have always turned out fine, so don't worry!! 

Then, add the flour, vanilla, and chocolate chips.  You can also add nuts if you're into that, but I'm going to take a few of these to a birthday party of a nut allergic person.  Seems rude to try and kill him at his own party?  

Bake at 350 for 30-45 min, until a fork comes out clean.  It's pretty easy to overcook them, so I try to check frequently.  

There are, as usual, amazing.  Usually, there are no chocolate chips and instead another ounce of bittersweet chocolate, but I think these turned out just fine.  Make sure you have a big glass of milk or a large bowl of ice cream to go with! 

Check out what my friends made :) 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Chocolate Chip Heath Bar Cookies - The Leftovers Club

Hello!  Guess what!?  It's kinda spring.  And by kinda spring, I mean that it isn't 18 degrees anymore and you can walk without shoveling a path first.  Thank God.  Milty and I are super excited.

In other news, I have re-joined the ranks of The Leftovers Club this month, because I love to get treats in the mail and make new friends.  This time, I got paired with Faye from Live...Bake...Love.  I haven't gotten my treats yet, but based on everything else she posts, I think I'm in for a pleasant surprise.  

For her, I made these chocolate chip heath bar cookies.  A few months ago, in a fit of snowstorm related boredom, I went through my fridge and cabinets and made a list of all the random, half full jars/bags/boxes of stuff I had, so that I can figure out how to use it.  I'm trying to be more conscious of my food waste, so figuring out what all I have seems like a good start.  One of the things I found was a bag of heath bar pieces.  I am assuming that I got them for some kind of baking project that never quite materialized, but I seriously can't remember.  I do remember really liking them as a kid (always got that as my topping at TCBY...), so I put them in a cookie.  Then I added chocolate chips, because why the hell not.  

Chocolate Chip Heath Bar Cookies:
2 Sticks of Butter
1 Cup White Sugar 
1 Cup Brown Sugar 
1 Teaspoon Vanilla 
1 Teaspoon Salt (I used a little less salt because I was using salted butter.) 
3 Eggs 
3 Cups of Flour 
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar
1 1/3 Cups Heath Bar Pieces (One bag) 
Chocolate Chips (I didn't measure this, I just dumped them in there.  I think it was maybe 1/2 - 3/4 of a cup)

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Mix together butter, sugars, salt, and vanilla until smooth.  Add the eggs and mix well.  Then, add the flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar.  Mix in the heath pieces and the chocolate chips.  Form into 1ish inch balls and bake for 8-10 minutes.  

This is a pretty dry and crumbly cookie dough, so my cookie scoops didn't work that well, I think it's better to use your hands so you can mash it up a little better.  The first batch kind of fell apart (I gave them to my classmates who assured me they still tasted fine), so for these I cooked them the full 10 minutes and spent a little more time smooshing the dough together before baking.  They turned out really well though, highly recommended!  

And now, for the best part of the Leftovers Club, check out what my friends made:

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Back in the fall, I went apple picking.  It was fun (obvi, because apple picking is the best) and I got a lot of apples.  Then, I had to figure out what to do with them all; that's always the challenge with apple picking, isn't it?  I used a ton of them to make some super tasty apple butter, ate a few, and then got stuck.  So, I started looking up recipes for apple cake, thinking that'd be a good way to use up the rest of them.  This was a glorious idea.

The last time I made this confection, I baked it in a casserole pan.  However, I wanted to take some in for class (night classes are rough on the eating schedule), so I needed it to be easily transportable to work and school.  So I made them into muffins.  I know it's not apple season anymore, but these are good for any day.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins - Adapted from The Pajama Chef

For the Muffins:
1 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar 
1/3 Cup Oil (I used vegetable, but canola would also work well.  I'd stay away from oils that have a strong flavor, unless there is an apple oil that I'm not aware of) 
1 Egg
1 Cup Buttermilk (You can make this at home by putting a tablespoon of vinegar in a measuring cup and then filling the rest of the cup with milk.  Let it sit for a few minutes, and then you have butter milk)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla  
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
2 1/2 Cups Flour 
1 1/2 Cups Chopped Apples (I just used two and chopped them pretty small, peel and everything.  No need to be mega precise) 

For the Topping:
1 Tablespoon Melted Butter 
1/2 Cup Sugar 
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 325 and line 20 muffin cups with liners, or grease a 9 x 13 baking dish very well. 

Combine the brown sugar, oil, egg, and buttermilk in a bowl.  Then add the vanilla and baking soda. 

Lastly, add the flour and apples.  Mix to combine.  I did not use a mixer for this, the whole thing works fine with just a whisk or a wooden spoon. 

Melt the butter and mix in the sugar and cinnamon.  Spoon that on top of the muffins before putting them in the oven.  If you go the whole cake route this will not cover the entire cake, but that's ok, it kind of spread out in the oven anyways. 

Bake at 325 for about 40 minutes, until a fork comes out clean. 

These muffins are super simple and come together in no time.  Also, since they have apples in them, they're basically a health food, so it's got that going for it.  Whip these up anytime you're craving a bit of fall (or bought too many apples and don't know what to do).  Maybe avoid taking the dumbest picture ever, like this one.  My brain doesn't work real well at 6:30am....I somehow thought this was a great idea.  Weirdo, but it gives you a good idea of how big the muffin is?  

Question of the Day:
What is your favorite kind of muffin?

Monday, February 23, 2015

Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole

Hi, guys!  Long time, no see.  I got a little busy shoveling snow and going to school.  On the bright side, I have a pink backpack and lunchbox, and a hat with a pom pom on top.  So, the average 6 year old thinks I'm stylish; I'm fine with this, have you ever spoken with a 6 year old?  They're hilarious.

Anyways, I got the lunchbox because I'm trying to spend less money on food at work.  I added it up, and for a while there I was spending a shocking amount of cash every week on bagels, deli sandwiches, and coffee.  Still have a solid coffee problem, but I'm fixing the other things.  And one of the ways that I've fixed it is by making this casserole once a week.  It's super easy, freezes well, and you probably already have half the ingredients on hand anyways.  Best part?  You can change it up depending on what you have on hand and what you're feeling like that week.  Beautiful.

Make Ahead Breakfast Casserole:
6 Eggs 
1/2 Pound Sausage 
3/4 Cup Shredded Cheese 
2 Small Squash, Chopped
4-6 Slices of Bread, Cut into Cubes
1 Cup Milk 
Salt and Pepper 

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  While that's happening, brown up the sausage on the stove.  

While the sausage is browning, beat together the eggs and milk.  Add the bread, squash, and cheese. Season to taste. 

Allow the sausage to cool for a bit, so that you don't scramble the eggs.  Once it's cooled off, drain it and add it to the egg mixture. 

Pour into a WELL GREASED casserole dish.  Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes, until it's brown on top and the eggs are set. 

The awesome thing about this is that everything but the eggs are completely interchangeable.  If you don't like squash, you can either skip it or replace it with a veggie you do like.  Or, add in some greens that are on their way out.  You can use whatever kind of meat or non-meat product you like, or skip it entirely.  And the bread?  Well, I've used a stale piece of baguette, a bagel and a half (no idea how I had a half bagel but I did), and some kind of mixture of random bread ends that I found in the freezer.  So definitely make this casserole, it's a great way to use up odds and ends.  

Question of the Day:

What's your favorite make ahead meal? 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies - The Leftovers Club

Oh man, I don't know about you, but where I live, we are in the middle of some kind of deep freeze. Current temperature, 0 degrees.  With a wind chill of -20.  School is cancelled, which is exciting for most kids, but work isn't.  Silly adulthood, getting in the way of my heated blanket time.  Milton is done - I pretty much had to shove him outside this morning.  Poor little guy, he just had his hair done, so he doesn't even have a coat to warm him up.

On cold days, I find the most efficient way to heat myself and my home is through cooking.  Having the stove or oven on for a while makes it nice and toasty in there, which is nice, because as much as I love the heated blanket, sometimes you have to leave the cocoon.  So, over the weekend, I made some chocolate peanut butter chip cookies, to share with Kathia at Basic N Delicious.  She made me some Mini Sweet Cheese Empanadas and I am really excited to get them.  If you want to get in on the fun, check out The Leftovers Club and join us.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies - From the back of the PB Chips Bag (Go here, they have directions for making ice cream sandwiches with them - if you're not deeply frozen)

You will need:
2 Cups Flour 
3/4 Cup Baking Cocoa (not hot chocolate mix, unsweetened baking cocoa, it's by the sugar and flour at the store)
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda 
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
2 1/2 Sticks Butter, Softened
2 Cups Sugar 
2 Eggs
2 Teaspoons Vanilla
1 Bag Peanut Butter Chips (10 oz)

Preheat the oven to 350.  Feel free to do this about an hour before making the cookies, because having feeling in your fingers is AWESOME.  

Mix together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.  Set aside. 

Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Then, add eggs and vanilla and beat well.  Add in the dry ingredients.  This is a pretty sticky and thick cookie dough, so don't be alarmed.  It's supposed to be that way. 

Stir in the peanut butter chips and bake at 350 for 7-9 minutes.  I took mine out before they were quite done (pro tip courtesy of Tony's mom), so I let them cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack.  They stayed SUPER soft this way - highly recommended.  

Check out what my friends made: