Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Tomato and Zucchini Pie

So, apparently many of my northern friends haven't heard of the delight that is a tomato pie.  For those of you who are uninformed, it's basically tomatoes in a pie crust with pimento cheese on top.  Then baked.  Don't think about it too much, you'll be sad about the calories.  I can assure you though, it is absolutely worth it.  It's kind of like a combination of my two favorite summer sandwiches: tomato and mayo and tomato and cheese.  Clearly, I enjoy summer tomatoes.

I thought that I'd try to lighten this up a little bit, and add in some other farm share goodies that are about to go bad.  So, I lightened up the cheese topping with Greek yogurt, and added zucchini.  The results?  Amazing.







Summer Tomato and Zucchini Pie:

For the Pie:
2 Medium Tomatoes
1 1/2 Zucchini
1 Pie Crust

For the Topping:
1/2 Cup Mayo (please God get the full fat - the low cal isn't worth it)
1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 Cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
4 Sweet/Spicy Cherry Peppers (I found mine at Trader Joe's, but any kind of jarred pepper/pimentos would work)

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Roll out your pie crust and place into a greased pie pan.  Poke a lot of holes in it, then pre-bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is a little brown.  Allow it to cool somewhat before filling, but do not turn off the oven.

While that's cooking, chop the zucchini into circles and the tomatoes into slices.  Place the tomatoes onto paper towels and salt both sides.  Allow to drain for 20-30 min; this helps the pie crust stay firm.

Next, make up your topping.  Since my peppers were large, I threw them into the food processor for a second, so they'd be chopped up.  Mix everything together, adding more cheese if it seems too loose. Salt and pepper to taste!

To make the pie, simply layer the tomatoes and zucchini into the pie crust.



























Top with the cheese mixture and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.



























I like mine a little more on the crispy side, so I did about 40 minutes.




























Allow to cool, then enjoy!

Question of the Day:

What's your favorite thing to make with summer produce? 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Liebster Award

So, the other day, something really awesome happened.  I was nominated for a Liebster Award by the delightful Lizzi at Relish the Scoop.  I'm super excited, especially since I never win anything, and am touched that she nominated me.  Also, her name is Lizzi, so she's clearly amazing.  Thanks girl!  And, what a great way to get to know each other better.








The rules for a Liebster Award are as follows:


  • You must link back to the person who nominated you. 
  • You have to answer all the questions you were given by the person who nominated you.
  • You must choose 5-11 bloggers who have less than 200 followers (I used Facebook likes), and come up with a new set of 11 questions for them.
  • Let your nominees know they are nominated.
I have chosen the delightful bloggers at:
Bagels to Broccoli




1. How did you decide what you were going to write about on your blog?

It was pretty easy for me; cooking was the only hobby I had that I felt would translate into a blog. I'm not super fitnessy (I go to the gym just enough to moderately offset the cookies), I don't really craft, etc. I do love to read, but I didn't think that would be a great blog topic for the long haul. So, cooking it was.

2. Do you have any children? How do they influence your blogging?

I don't have kids, but I do babysit a lot, so I'm around them. A couple of them have starred on this blog before here.  I try to cook with them as much as possible, since I want them to have good life skills, but I don't think they really influence my blogging. Definitely my life though.

3. What is your favorite thing to read?

Honestly, basically anything.  I just really, really love reading.  A lot.  Right now, I'm reading Conduct Under Fire, which is about 4 American doctors who become POWs under the Japanese during World War II.  I find that time period absolutely fascinating and kind of (definitely) wish that I had lived in it.  Before this, I read The Poisonwood Bible, which is about a Christian missionary family who goes to the Congo right before/during their independence.  I seriously love to read everything, so any suggestions are more than welcome.

4. How has blogging changed your life?

Well, it's definitely made me a more confident cook.  There are many things that I'm not sure I would have tried, had I not thought that putting them on the blog would be fun.  Some of them are fails, which is ok.  So that's maybe the other thing it's taught me - failing isn't the actual end of the world.  Even if you put in on the internet.

5. What is your favorite blog?

Ooooh, that's a tough one.  The first blog I ever read was Cheap Healthy Good, so that obviously has a special place in my heart.  But I think my current favorite is How Sweet It Is.  The women who writes it is absolutely hilarious.  Clearly, we share a sense of humor.  And her recipes...gah.  SO GOOD.

6. What is your happy thought/place?

Milton

7. Do you like to cook, bake, or both?

I used to prefer baking, but I think I've switched and now prefer cooking.  Don't get me wrong, I still love to bake, but I think cooking better lends itself to experimentation.  There is a lot more science in baking, and while I'm a good directions follower (which I swear is really the key to being a decent baker), to be a good cook, you don't have to be as precise to get a delicious result.

8. What could you talk about for hours?

Basically anything.  I'm chatty.

9. Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Oh so very many.  In no particular order: Applebee's, Wendy's, trash TV, day-long naps, Pinterest, Danielle Steel novels....I could go on, but it's just getting embarrassing now.

10. Are you a dog person or a cat person?

Dog person all the way.

11. What is your favorite board game?

Cards Against Humanity.  I love anything that brings out the most ridiculous and sketchy in people.

Now, love ladies listed above, it's your turn!

1) Why did you start blogging?
2) What is your favorite Robin Williams movie?
3) Do you have any pets?
4) If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
5) What's your favorite book?
6) What do you do to relax?
7) If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want the most?
8) Did you go to college?  If so, where?
9) If you could chose to go anywhere on vacation, where would you go?
10) What is your favorite 90's television show?
11) What is your ultimate comfort food?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Almond Butter Thumbprints with Espresso Chocolate Truffles - The Leftovers Club

Once again, it's Leftovers Club time, that joyous club in which I make yummy things and then I get other yummy things in the mail; if you have a blog (or are considering starting one), you should totally join.  You get food in the mail.  How is this bad?

This month, I've been paired with Ruthy, from Omeletta.  As always, she's got some delightful looking treats on her blog, as well as a really adorable baby.  I'm a total sucker for a really adorable baby.  And, the baby food she's making looks amazing.  She also has a really cool series called 5 Great Recipes, in which there is a main ingredient or theme and then 5 recipes using it.  Genius, pure and simple.



If you hadn't noticed by the title, I made her some FANCY treats this month.  And, they're totally worth every step.  They're basically a more sophisticated version of the beloved PB thumbprints that people only seem to make at Christmas.  Why is that, it's as if PB and chocolate isn't delicious the rest of the year.

Almond Butter Thumbprints with Expresso Chocolate Truffles: Adapted from The Kitchn

For the espresso truffles
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (10 ounce) bag bittersweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons Kahlua liqueur

1 teaspoon espresso powder

For the Cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup almond butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk (I actually used Fat Free Half and Half, because I had it, but I'm sure whatever kind of milk you usually drink will be fine)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate espresso truffles (recipe above)

Start by making the truffles.  Heat the cream over medium heat until simmering.  In a separate bowl, combine the espresso powder, Kahlua, and chocolate. Combine with the cream until melted (I actually mixed it all together and put it over the heat again, but you could also pour the cream over the chocolate and melt it that way, off the heat).

Allow the chocolate to cool for about 10-15 minutes.  Then, load it into a bag of some kind (I just use a gallon storage bag, and start piping.  You want it to be runny, but not overly so.  I think the easiest way is to line a plate or sheet with parchment paper, cut a VERY small hole in the tip of the bag, and go to town.  If the hole doesn't seem big enough, then you can always make it bigger.


























While those are setting, start on the cookies.  Pre-heat the oven to 375.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.

Beat together the butter and almond butter, then add the sugars and cream together.

Mix in the eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Finally, add in the dry ingredients.

Roll the cookie dough into small balls and place onto a baking sheet.  Push a thumbprint lightly in the middle, so the chocolate has somewhere to go.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes.  Press the truffle into the middle as soon as it's not too hot.


























I absolutely loved these.  So much, that this is the second time I've made them - and I usually don't do that. They're not overly sweet, but instead a lot nuttier than typical PB cookies.  I hugely recommend subbing out some Almond Butter once in a while, this can only lead to good.

Check out what my friends made!!