Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. Ferris Bueller
GOING for GLORY, IT’S SUMMER:
We’ve sprinted into August. If your past two months haven’t included Joy, Mirth and Gaiety, take these next two months and try again. Go for Glory.
We all expect dumpy days. It’s not that I haven’t escaped my own ‘take a deep breath’ moments lately. When your new, well-considered dermatologist pats you on the shoulder, saying, “We’re going to be seeing a lot of each other,” that’s not good. Who knew Johnson’s Baby Oil, Iodine and Florida State’s sunshiny days were a lethal combo?
After nine years, Lady Lexus and I parted company. For me, losing that car was traumatic. We shared 155,000 miles of memories together.
These luscious window boxes (below) are no more. Our resident pine squirrels have enjoyed nibbling the flowers. A mini-flash hail storm in mid-July pummeled the foliage. And, a week ago I finally put up my 4th of July decorations. God Bless America.
GLORIOUSLY COOKIN’ UP A STORM with …..
Let’s get back to the Glory theme. Our Cook-the-Book-Fridays group is officially digging into Everyday Dorie, the Way I Cook by cooking through her 300+ recipes. Since October we’ve posted teasers including My Newest Gougères, Mushroom-Bacon Galette, Green-as-Spring Soup. No one just no one walks you through a recipe like Dorie.
We’ll blog her recipes the second and fourth Fridays every month. Next Friday it’s Fresh-off-the-Cob Chowder and August 22, Shrimp Tacos. Why not grab your book (your library has one also) and cook along, no blogging required.
On alternate Fridays I’ll post recipes I’ve adapted from the superstar home cooks I follow on line. There are arguably 31.2 million food bloggers in America but these women who cook/post from their own kitchens, draw a crowd.
Here are four of my favorite food bloggers:
- Liz Berg, Indianapolis, https://www.thatskinnychickcanbake.com
- Deb Perelman, New York City, https://smittenkitchen.com/
- Andrea Mohr, Bonn, Germany, http://kitchenlioness.blogspot.com/
- Chris and Scott Scheuer, Asheville, North Carolina, https://thecafesucrefarine.com/
Although you’ll learn more about these women as I spotlight their recipes, here’s the Cliff Notes version:
Liz, Andrea and I met through French Fridays with Dorie, our five-year romp through 350 recipes in the Around My French Table cookbook. Liz and I enjoy a wacky, midwestern Six Degrees of Separation connection.
Nobody does European food markets like the Kitchen Lioness. When I was in Paris, I met Andrea in Antwerp and we did just that. Andrea loves Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes as do I.
More than any blogger, Chris Scheuer has inspired the most Keepers, those emergency recipes stuck in your back pocket. Quinoa & Black Bean Salad with Lemon-Vinaigrette. Herbes de Provence Pork Tenderloin with Braised Lentils. My Go-To’s.
The hilarious Deb Perelman, with two tots and cookbooks to her credit, rose to foodie fame through her imaginative Smitten Kitchen blog. Here’s her Best Blueberry Muffins recipe. Anyone who competes against Ina, Martha and Jordan Marsh (American department store that ceased operations in 1996) and emerges unscathed with the Crown, I want to know better.
MARY’S AUGUST SCHEDULE:
2nd – The Best Blueberry Muffins (Deb)
9th – Off-the-Cob Corn Chowder (Dorie)
16th- Ridiculously Easy Seeded Focaccia Bread (Chris) & Southern Peach Bread (Liz)
23rd-Shrimp Tacos (Dorie)
30th-an Ottelenghi recipe (Andrea)
THE BEST BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
(according to Kitchn’s recent blog contest) by Deb Perelman, the Smitten Kitchen
(Caveat: No recipe is totally new. Adaptions happen. Ingredients change. Location. Location. Location. (I live at high altitude, 8,000’.) Although this recipe no longer resembles its humble beginnings at Cook’s Illustrated, Deb credits CI and suggestions from Stella Parks at Serious Eats and Blythe Danner for its success.)
Serving: 9 standard muffins
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold is fine
1/2 cup sugar
Finely grated zest from 1/2 a large lemon or all, if small
3/4 cup plain unsweetened sour cream (yogurt, if desired)
1 large egg, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use high altitude flour)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (no need to defrost)
3 tablespoons Turbinado sugar (raw sugar) (BUY A BOX if you don’t have.)
- Heat oven to 375°F. Line a muffin tin with 9 paper liners or spray each cup with a nonstick spray.
- Using ONE large bowl, melt butter in the bottom of it. (If no microwave, melt on stove.) Whisk in sugar, zest, sour cream and egg until smooth. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt until fully combined. Lightly fold in flour and berries.
3. With batter that is very thick, like a cookie dough, divide between prepared 9 muffin cups. Sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon Turbinado sugar. (DO NOT SKIMP.) for a perfect crunchy lid.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of muffins comes out clean (except for blueberry goo). Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then on a rack.
Although these are best served the day they are made, I just popped the cooled muffins, bagged separately, into the freezer to pull out when needed. Deb suggests if you run them split open under a broiler with a pat of salted butter, it’s heavenly also.