Thursday, July 9, 2009

a little "help" from my friends

Finally, my Kina makes her solo internet debut! Which means she finally stood still for half a second so I could get a picture to show y'all her pretty green eyes and little white chest freckle.She's been very helpful lately, as a matter of fact - today she "helped me" wrap Abe's birthday gifts -- by which I mean she ate the paper, and then the ribbon, and then got her fur stuck in all the tape. In this picture, she was helping me bake.

What else? Zucchini muffins! When I lived in Portland and cooked for one, I used to make these and freeze them. If you take a muffin or two out of the freezer the night before and put it in the fridge, it will be perfect by breakfast (and warm if you toaster oven it for a minute!) This recipe calls for lining the muffin tins, so it gets bonus points for easy clean-up and minus points for wasting paper.

3/4 c. flour (I use a mix of soy and white flours)
1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
about 1/2 c. sugar (I used less - bonus health points and minus delicious points)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. grated zucchini
several handfuls of chopped pecans

Stir together: flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt. Use an electric mixer to beat oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in zucchini. Add dry ingredients and stir only until everything is moistened. Gently stir in nuts. Bake in a lined 12-cup muffin pan at 375 degrees for 20 or so minutes.

Then try not to eat them all in one sitting (it turns out zucchini muffins are nearly as good for lunch as ice cream sandwiches).

*I do have to issue caution for those of you who are now inspired to bake with your pets. You should really never bake with anyone (friend or feline) whose hair you're not willing to eat. (This may be why Abe and I rarely cook together these days. His beard hairs have gotten far too long and coarse to go in my couscous.) I took pictures of my muffins this morning - because looking at the pictures is the bulk of the fun - and I was especially proud of one shot in particular. So I emptied the camera onto the computer, ready to post it here - and then realized that there was a long white kitten hair sticking straight up from the top of the muffin in front. Like a birthday candle, saying "ew."

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