It has been a long time coming, but being able to, in a moment’s notice, decide to cook or bake and just KNOW that you can do it…
it’s an amazing thing for someone who, two years ago, didn’t know her way around her own kitchen.
A couple of weeks ago, I was at a friend’s house and we were all waiting for some out-of-town guests to arrive. About thirty minutes before the scheduled arrival time, my friend’s husband (who is also my friend of course!) commented that “perhaps I’ll make some cookies”.
I checked my watch (okay, my iPhone) and looked at him somewhat surprised. “But they’ll be here any minute.”
What came out of the following conversation was the point that once you’d made a food enough times, you could do it effortlessly and quickly…at any time. He had so much experience making cookies that he could throw the basic recipe together in minutes and simply add whatever cookie…accessories, shall we say….that he had on hand.
I haven’t gotten to that point with cookies yet. I have worked with substitutions but I still need a recipe.
I’m sure B would argue that means I simply HAVE NOT MADE ENOUGH COOKIES! So, I’ll fix that…eventually. 😉
But yesterday, I had a similar moment with muffins. I had company coming over and shortly before arrival, not 30 mins I admit…more like an hour and a half ahead of time, I suddenly decided to make muffins. Again, I don’t necessarily have a basic recipe memorized, but I have mixed the base ingredients enough times now that it felt do-able.
It was an awesome feeling!
To feel confident enough to start making a mess in the kitchen as company were on their way, knowing that you could finish and even have the dishes done before they arrived!
It has taken a long time to feel that kind of comfort in my kitchen.
I like it.
So, yes, this recipe was simple. The hardest part was grating the zucchini and cheddar, but put on some good music, start singing along and enjoying yourself,
and suddenly every vegetable in your kitchen has been grated while you were zoned out dancing to Peter Murphy!
Dry ingredients in one bowl…wet in another.
Fold the wet into the dry and then add the zucchini and cheddar.
Could it be any easier?
I changed a few things in the recipe. Partly because I like applesauce in baked goods and also partly because I feel proud of the fact that I can confidently substitute and NOT follow the recipe exactly. (This is notable. I am a Capricorn and, when I began cooking, I REQUIRED a recipe. Read the conversation at the beginning of this entry to see how to make a Capricorn’s head explode.)
So, for the 2 eggs, I substituted 2/3 cup applesauce.
For the buttermilk, I made my own using lemon juice: 1 1/4 tbsp lemon juice in a measuring cup, followed by enough milk to have 1 1/4 cups.
Then, I lightly coated my muffin tray with some butter, filled the cups? (Is that what you call them?) and placed the tray in the 400 degree oven for 25 minutes.
These muffins didn’t rise very much so you can really fill the tray. I left 1/4″ or less at the top of each and that worked out well.
Simple, straightforward and delicious.
Make them just before company arrives. I dare you!
Zucchini Cheddar Muffins
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs (I used 2/3 cup of applesauce)
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I used 1 1/4 tbsp lemon juice plus enough milk to make 1 1/4 cups of “buttermilk”)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed shredded zucchini
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Whisk together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, salt.
- Mix eggs OR applesauce, buttermilk, butter in another bowl. Gently fold that mixture into the dry mixture.
- Fold in the zucchini and cheddar.
- Prepare a muffin tray, I added a light coating of butter. These muffins didn’t rise too much so I was able to fill my tray, leavning the slightest bit of room at the top of each.
- Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 10 min before removing from tray.
Makes 12 muffins.