Sunday Cooking

Sunday is my cooking day, more so in the fall and winter than in the warm months, but even in the summer it’s a good day to prep food for the week.  I usually bake something, make a few salads, and prepare a soup or ragú.  Tonight Chuck is leaving for New York, and when he returns we will be going away for a few days, so I need to restrain myself from cooking too much.

I made hummus yesterday, having soaked the chickpeas all week, and I started it with tahini paste that I made from scratch.  Sadly it was a bust – the flavors were off.  I’m sorry to say that I threw out the batch and started again today, with store-bought tahini and canned chickpeas.  I use a fair amount of garlic and a lot of lemon juice.  I will happily eat this all week.

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Barb brought me all her ripe zucchini before going on vacation, and asked me to make double-chocolate zucchini muffins to share when she returns.  We have a good co-operative system going – she brings me ingredients, and I prepare goodies for us both.  We go through a lot of pesto in this way.  I will bake the muffins, but I fear that will only use up one zucchini, so I will make a zucchini-carrot kugel and freeze it, and some kind of zucchini slaw (with apples and shredded brussels sprouts, I think).  Cochon in New Orleans serves a ribbon squash salad with goat cheese and toasted pecans that is better than it sounds, and even better than it should be.  The flavors combine and boost each other up into salad heaven.  Even people who don’t like summer squash or zucchini have enjoyed it.  Maybe I’ll make that too.

 

In the most recent Barrington Times there is a recipe for Blueberry Ricotta Muffins.  It sounded good, and one woman in my office said she would eat them if I made them.  This is a big deal for me, since I am curvy woman who loves to eat surrounded by thin people who hold back.  I made a few changes to the recipe (as I usually do).  They are moist and flavorful.

Blueberry Ricotta Muffins

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), melted & cooled
  • finely grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup turbinado or demerara sugar
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour (KAF)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh or still-frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix together turbinado sugar and 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, and set aside for topping.

Whisk together eggs and cheese until completely combined, then mix in melted butter, lemon juice, remaining lemon zest, and granulated sugar.  In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients, then add all at once to cheese mixture.  Mix gently until mostly combined – doesn’t have to ball complete and shouldn’t be over mixed.  Add blueberries, and stir just to combine.

I use an ice cream scoop to measure out portions of the batter into a greased or lined muffin tin.  Sprinkle reserved lemon-sugar on top, then bake for about 30 minutes.  Check with a toothpick for doneness.  Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Carefully remove muffins to a plate, basket, or cooling rack.

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