Food Without Morals

February 21, 2010

Brownie Bites

Filed under: Brownies,Food — by Katie @ 3:53 pm

Since I have been VERY GOOD, and posted two, count ’em, TWO savory recipes in a row, I deserve this one.

IT’S MUFFIN TIME AGAIN.

Okay, some people may bring up that these are brownies, and those people would be right (also: jerks). But I thought these would be adorable if only I baked them in a miniature muffin tin, and then I could show them off to all my friends, and they would realize how unappreciated I’ve been all along, and the popular kids would finally ask me to play foursquare with them at recess.

Then I laughed and laughed. That scenario is ridiculous: I don’t have any friends!

Start with one cup of chocolate chips- semisweet would be best, but I had milk on hand, so I used them. I love this measuring cup; I was at my Aunt’s when I made these, and she has all of the awesome bakeware that my Mom took to the dropoff/pickup at the dump years ago. Also, does it bother anyone that I cook in four different kitchens? Because it kind of bothers me.

Add half a stick of butter (that’s four tablespoons, and two ounces, don’tchya know?) to the chocolate. In a separate bowl. Don’t try to fit the butter in the measuring cup, it will only end in tears. YOUR TEARS

Melt yo chocolate and butter in the microwave (or on a double boiler if you’re industrious/have a dishwashing fetish) until it is smooth.

Add half a cup of sugar to the chocobutter mix. I used the same measuring cup (I know, it’s probably highly inaccurate, whatevs) because I was feeling kitschy. I would have made an excellent Stereotypical Fifties Mom, except my nose started to run and I wiped it all over my sleeve. Bet you wanted to know that!

DO NOT PANIC. You will be all, “What the eff is this crap??” but keep your pants on. Just keep stirring, getting all the sugar as mixed up as you possibly can. It’ll be thick, it’ll be hard, it’ll be double entendre, but it’ll come together all right in the end.

Add one egg. From a chicken. From the box or the chicken butt, I don’t care. PS: Lovin’ the IKEA counters, Auntie!

Now isn’t that nice? I told you it would all work out. But don’t trust me, because I’m totally going to screw you when we get to the flour! SUCKS

Add some hoity-toity vanilla extract. A teaspoon of it. ALSO GOOD: skipping the extract and adding a teaspoon of cinnamon. Oh my GOD, or BOTH. I have the best ideas (also the worst).

Oh, there was a teaspoon of baking soda in there, too. You know, FYI.

Look, you only have to add one cup of flour. And it’s going to be difficult, moreso than adding the sugar was. But it’s only one cup, you can do it! If you’re using a mixer or a spoon (read: don’t have an irrational love of whisks), this will be a billion times easier.

This is the final result. Not so much “batter” as “dough.” Oh man, I bet these would make bangin’ cookies with some more flour in them. But enough of my crackpottery! We got brownies to make!

Oil your pan really well if you’re making brownies this way. They poof up, and if the pan is not really, really, extremely well oiled, then when you try to remove them the brownie tops will come off (scandalous!) while the bottoms stay behind.

Alternatively, you can bake these in an 8×8 pan; it takes about twenty minutes.

When these came out, I was so optimistic. I even swirled on some melted chocolate and put an M&M in the center, because I didn’t know…

…that these would be approximately a bitch and a half to two bitches to remove. Lesson learned: be more liberal with the fat on the pans. Whatever, though, because the broken ones were still good. So good that I accidentally ate too many bottoms and some tops were left alone. Short, stout, requiring someone to lean on- I could empathize (unfortunately).

The pretty ones I drizzled with white chocolate and plated up. But I didn’t eat them! No, they had to wait so that they could be auctioned off at a church fundraiser later on. I don’t know how much they sold for because I had gotten conned into cutting the cake. Church fundraisers, man. You volunteer to help set up, and next thing you know you’re cutting cake for people who don’t want end pieces, or pieces with too much frosting, or chocolate.

Brownies
pretty sure this is a Good Housekeeping recipe
1 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Melt together the chocolate chips and the butter. Stir until smooth; add the sugar. When combined, add in an egg, stir until combined. Add the vanilla and the baking soda, then add the flour. Spread in an 8×8 inch greased pan. Bake ~20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Alternatively, these can be baked in minimuffin tins, just decrease the time to about 10-15 minutes.

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February 18, 2010

Roasted Carrots: Or, a Recipe Cop-Out

Filed under: Vegetables — by Katie @ 3:27 pm

I love to go to church. Wait, come back! I am not proselytizing, promise! In fact, if I must admit it, what I like most about church are not the sermons (sorry, Reverends I Have Known and Loved) but the community factor. I like to go to church events, I like listening to the Joys and Concerns, the ritual of handing my money in to the altar plate, of pretending to like coffee at social hour.

And so, when I received an email last week on the church’s listserv letting me know that a member of the congregation was having breast cancer surgery, and would people please sign up to bring her meals? I said, “Um, yes!” Meal Delivery is something my old church never did, and it is a practice that I wish every religious institution and/or social group participated in. Essentially, my church mysteriously finds out that a member of the congregation is ill/recovering, and arranges for meals to be delivered to them. This is awesome if you are like most people and want to not leave the house to grocery shop during periods of recovery.

I made baked chicken meatballs, with roasted red pepper couscous and roasted carrots on the side. Unfortunately, I am an idiot, and only have pictures of the carrots. This is dumb, because roasting carrots is as easy as:


Cutting up some carrots.


Putting them on a pan, adding enough salt, pepper, and olive oil to coat, and then sticking them in a 400° oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Trying hard not to eat all of them while you package them up.

Oh, and by the way, these are fool proof. I have roasted carrots in a 300° oven alongside a pork loin, I have gone the non-roasting method and pan-cooked them in a skillet (it takes about 20 minutes if you go that route), I have fancied it up and added brown sugar and maple syrup on top during the last ten minutes of cooking.

I would feel silly even posting this if they weren’t so damn good. Don’t think of it as me copping out on posting a “recipe.” Think of it as me spreading the word of truth! Justice! And the beta-carotene way!


Also, fact: Vitamin A is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, and so eating carrots roasted with olive oil will totally give you heat vision. Just like Timmy Turner.

February 15, 2010

Valentine’s Day Wrap-Up

Filed under: Dinner,everyone has problems,Food,I am going to die alone,Pasta — by Katie @ 9:24 am

So how was your V-day? Did a married woman proposition you? Did you go to a performance of The Vagina Monologues? Did you have sloppy makeouts with that dude next to you at the bar? Do tell!

Me? I made pasta and got drunk with a friend. And when I say “with a friend,” what I mean is that I got drunk and apologized for three hours straight (I am an apologetic drunk; we are an annoying breed) to said friend.

But, pasta! No one wants to hear my drunk stories. Oh, except this one! This one time I got drunk and tripped over three chairs entering a room, and then stood up and told everyone, “I’m okay! This happens all the time!” I don’t remember this, but I was told it happened so it’s probably true.

NOW PASTA. This is a bastardization of this baked tomato sauce except I made it on the stovetop and not in the oven, because the oven had no knob telling you the temperature and when I was toasting breadcrumbs in it I set off the fire alarm.

First, chop up some garlic and cook it lightly in a pan, just until it’s fragrant. Or, be like me and forget the head of garlic you just bought, and end up with a tasty, but not garlicky, sauce. It’ll still be good without garlic, people will just want to make out with you more.


THEN chop up a bunch of grape tomatoes and add them to the pot. I forgot to start off with that whole “garlic sauteéing” business, which is why you don’t see that here. I used a pint of grape tomatoes for two people; I would go with more tomatoes next time.


While you’re doing that, toast some bread crumbs! This is about half a cup of bread crumbs, from a roll that I tore into small pieces and toasted at some temperature (no, really, the oven had no temp gauge) until they were brown. Then I crumbled them into bread crumbs.


Also, set a pot o’ water a-boiling.


Cook your tomatoes over medium-high heat until they start to release juice, like this. Squish them to make them release some more juice. Really abuse these things, they’ll be providing sauciness later.


And add the pasta! Reserve some pasta water to add in here in case things get too dry; I didn’t, and the pasta was a little dry as a result. You want to stir until everything is incorporated. I think this would be tasty with smaller pasta, like farfalle or fusilli (ME + FUSILLI = TRU LUV), but I had angel hair so I used it.


Add in your bread crumbs, stir to combine.


Plate up and serve! Then, because you just made dinner and have proven you are a sane, functioning adult, get your booze on.


Man, chihuahuas really can’t handle their wine.

February 13, 2010

Peanut Butter Apple Muffins

Filed under: Breads,everyone has problems,Food — by Katie @ 2:43 am

The muffinocolypse is over with this post, promise promise. I COULD have sold out to COMMERCIALIZZZZM and done a Valentine’s day post, but considering that my V-Day plans look like this:
1) Go to church in the morning
2) Go to the “New to Unitarian Universalism” class after church
3) Drink myself into an oblivion (hey, it’ll be the afternoon so that’s okay)

I am not exactly in the Valentine’s day spirit. So, anyways. Muffins!

I based it off of the banana muffin recipe from the previous post. And, seriously? Can we talk for just a minute about my atrocious handwriting? Because I don’t know where that came from. Honest, look at my mom’s handwriting:

Man, the 1950s. Nothing teaches kids good penmanship better than Communist witch hunts and widespread discrimination against minorities.

But enough. Here’s what you need for dese MUFFINS. Except for butter and honey. And peanuts. Please note that my mother buys prune yogurt. This is the house I grew up in, folks.

Measure a 1/4 cup of peanut butter, put it in a bowl.

Add a 1/4 cup of yogurt to the bowl. It does not have to be prune, although that does not affect the taste at all (no, really, PRUNE YOGURT? It’s about a month later and my mind, it is still blown).

And you’re also going to want to put in 1/2 cup of applesauce and one egg. From a chicken. No people eggs, please.

Mix it up with a whisk (or whatever, I just am in love with whisks) and add in 3/4 of a cup of brown sugar.

Spices: Probably why I’m still alive today. 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon allspice. I just eyeball it though, but I also have mental illness (true story! I’ll tell you some time).

Once you’ve whisked that all together, add in your flour. Stir JUST until combined, or everyone will hate your tunneled, glutenous muffins, as well as YOU, by association.

Fold in your diced apple. It should be a cup; this cup is half full. But I’m still a pessimist.

Divide evenly amongst 12 muffin greased or lined muffin cups. Or, um, ten? I only got ten, but there’s no way that twelve wouldn’t work; that just would involve a mind capable of equal portioning, which I don’t have.

Bake at 350° F for twenty minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

Oh, muffin. At least you’ll be my valentine.

Peanut Butter Apple Muffins
1 cup diced apple
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup yogurt
1/2 cup applesauce
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Whisk together all of the wet ingredients (this includes the sugar) except for the apple. Add in the spices and the baking soda, and then stir in the flour until just combined. Fold in the apple. Divide amongst twelve greased or lined muffin cups, and bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool enough to handle, and then remove from the tin to avoid soggy bottoms.

February 4, 2010

Banana Gingerbread Muffins

Filed under: Breads,everyone has problems,Food — by Katie @ 4:42 pm

HEY! WHO LEFT A BAG OF POOP ON MY CLEAN COUNTERS?

Sorry, but we’ve been doing digestion in my Nutrition class, and my retiring-this-year professor decided we needed to spend ten minutes on why one says “elimination” and “waste products” and not “crappity crap crappington.”

I mentioned in my first post that I had been making too many dang muffins. I have a Muffin Problem. A tasty, tasty problem.

My dad proclaimed these muffins as “They’re good, sweetie!” which he says about everything I make, but he pleaded with me to take half of the batch home with me, since my mom is allergic to bananas (I know, CRAZY) and he didn’t want to finish the entire batch by himself. He then bought a giant tub of cookies at Stop and Shop, so take whatever he says with a grain of salt (God love that man and his affinity with fatty, highly processed foods).

I adapted this recipe from a banana muffin recipe I found on epicurious.com. I could search for it, but my bedtime is in fifteen minutes! How do you expect me to get my required nine hours of sleep? I am a growing girl, despite what my height and weight chart says!

Banana Gingerbread Muffins
Makes one dozen

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 1/4 cups mashed banana (see note)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons molasses

Note: I roasted my bananas in the skin at 350° F until the skin was black, but if you wanted to forgo this step I’m sure it wouldn’t be a disaster.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Lube up a muffin tin, or use liners, if you’re one of those people.

Stir together the butter and the sugars until combined. Add in the egg, the milk, and the banana, stirring until combined. Add the molasses, stir one more time. Add the salt, the baking soda, and the spices; stir. Add in the flour and stir until just moistened. Divide amongst twelve greased muffin cups. Bake at 350° F for about 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the muffin tin as soon as they are cool enough to handle.

These will keep for at least a week, but if you want to enjoy one now with the morning paper, I won’t be the one to stop you.

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