Tuesday, September 29

Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel

Tender muffins, bursting with juicy blueberries and sprinkled with a cinnamon crumb topping

Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping

One of the most common questions people ask me about my pregnancy is "have you had any weird cravings?" and, so far, the answer is no. I am just hitting the 20 week mark, halfway through my pregnancy, and am happy to report that my appetite has significantly improved since the first trimester. I'm certainly hungry, but I wouldn't categorize any of my food cravings as unusual (although they might be a little random). A couple weeks ago, I got it in my mind that I really wanted muffins and found this recipe on Food52 for blueberry muffins with cinnamon streusel topping. Fresh berries are still wildly abundant at my farmers market and we ended up finding some of the sweetest, plumpest blueberries I've ever had to put to use in this recipe. As the muffins bake, the berries melt into jammy, juicy pockets and the cinnamon crumble gets crunchy. The addition of the lemon zest and not-too-much sugar keeps these berries from tasting too sweet or dessert-like. These kept in an air-tight container on the counter for four days, making them a perfect thing to grab for breakfast or snack throughout the week.

Related Recipes:

Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Streusel Topping:
- 2 c. all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 1/2 c. blueberries
- 1/2 c. + 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1/4 c. milk
- 1/4 c. canola oil
- 2 tbsp. melted butter
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • Preheat the oven to 400F and grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together 1 3/4 c. flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt.
  • In another mixing bowl, whisk together 1/2 c. brown sugar, sour cream, egg, and canola oil.
  • Stir half the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, then half the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients and milk. Mix until just combined, then gently stir in the blueberries.
  • Divide the batter into the muffin tins as evenly as possible.
  • In another bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 c. flour, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter.
  • Sprinkle the cinnamon streusel over the muffins and place the pan in the oven.
  • Cook for 20 minutes, rotating the pan 1/2 way through, or until the muffins are lightly golden on top and the fruit is bubbling.
  • Let cool on a rack and enjoy. Cool to room temperature before storing in an airtight container.

Makes one dozen muffins

Tuesday, September 22

Huevos Rancheros Verdes

Tortillas stacked with beans, eggs, and cheese, and smothered with salsa verde

Huevos Rancheros with Salsa Verde

We were in San Diego a few weeks ago to celebrate my birthday and ate a lot of delicious food while we were down there. One meal that stood out was the huevos rancheros I had for brunch at Prepkitchen in La Jolla.  These huevos rancheros were unique for two reasons: they were stacked and layered like a cake, and they had a green tomatillo sauce instead of a red sauce. The layered effect made it so every bite had a bit of beans, eggs, cheese, salsa, tortilla, and avocado - basically every bite was a perfect mouthful. I recreated the dish at home using a few shortcuts (store-bought salsa verde and a fast version of refried black beans) that make this a great recipe for a weeknight dinner or for a casual weekend breakfast. Feel free to customize the toppings and layers at you like - or prep all the ingredients and let each person assemble their own. This is an easy recipe to double or triple.

Related Recipes:
- Chorizo Huevos Rancheros
- Chilaquiles
- Black Bean Huevos Rancheros

Huevos Rancheros Verdes:
- 4 corn tortillas
- 14 oz. can of black beans, drained and rinsed*
- 1 c. salsa verde
- 3/4 c. grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 eggs, scrambled
- splash of milk
- 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. chile powder
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- canola oil
- salt
- pepper
- sour cream, hot sauce, fresh cilantro (for garnish)

  • Preheat the oven to 400F.
  • Brush both sides of the tortillas with canola oil and lay in a single layer (slight overlap is ok) on a baking sheet.
  • Cook the tortillas for 5-7 minutes in the oven, or until crispy. Remove and let cool a bit.
  • Meanwhile, add the beans, 1/4 c. water, cumin, chile powder, and a big pinch of salt to a small pot and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then mash with a potato masher to form a spreadable consistency. Continue simmering until it reaches the desired consistency, adding a splash more water if needed.
  • Whisk the eggs, milk, and a pinch of salt and pepper together.
  • Heat a little more canola oil in a skillet and scramble the eggs. Slightly undercook them as they will be going in the oven.
  • To assemble the huevos, add a little bit of salsa verde to the bottom of 2 small baking dishes.
  • Spread the beans on 2 crispy tortillas, then lay them in each baking dish. Top each with another tortilla and divide the eggs and then the cheese on top. Pour the remaining salsa on top.
  • Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
  • Add a dollop of sour cream, sliced avocado, and cilantro on top of each dish. Serve with hot sauce.

Serves two, generously
*Or cook your own beans, add in some of the bean cooking liquid, and skip the water and additional seasonings.

Wednesday, September 16

Zucchini Ribbon Spaghetti

Thinly shaved zucchini and spaghetti with lots of garlic and crunchy breadcrumbs

This dish is a late summer's take on this romanesco pasta. Super thin slices of zucchini are sautéed in a garlicky aglio olio sauce and tossed with spaghetti. The ratio I like is about half zucchini and half pasta with a good handful of toasted breadcrumbs on top. I don't own a spiralizer and haven't quite jumped on the bandwagon where vegetable "noodles" are an acceptable substitute for real pasta, but this dish is a good compromise between the two. You can use a wide vegetable peeler or mandoline to shave the zucchini into thin slices (or if you do have a spiralizer, this is the time to use it). This is a simple weeknight meal, but the addition of toasted breadcrumbs and fresh basil add texture and flavor to make it feel special. Leftovers manage to taste even better once reheated - just keep the breadcrumbs separate or they will get mushy.

Related Recipes:
- Spaghetti with Asparagus & Poached Egg
- Couscous with Zucchini & Feta
- Whole Wheat Pasta with Grated Zucchini

Zucchini Ribbon Spaghetti with Toasted Breadcrumbs:
- 4 large zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/8" ribbons, then cut in half lengthwise
- 1/2 lb. spaghetti
- 1/2 c. fresh breadcrumbs or panko
- 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
- large handful of fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- 2 anchovy fillets
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 5 tbsp. olive oil
- pinch of red chile flakes
- kosher salt

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt.
  • Meanwhile, add 2 tbsp. olive oil to a small skillet over medium heat.
  • Add in the breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt to the skillet and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until crunchy and golden. Set aside.
  • Add in the pasta to the water and cook until al dente, about 1 minute before the recommended time on the package.
  • While the pasta is cooking, heat the remaining olive oil with the garlic, anchovies, and red chile flakes in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and the anchovies have melted, then add in the zucchini and a big pinch of salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender.
  • Drain the pasta, reserving 1/3 c. pasta cooking liquid and add the pasta and some of the pasta water to the pan with the zucchini.
  • Add the basil and parmesan and toss everything to combine. Check for seasoning.
  • Divide pasta onto plates and top with breadcrumbs.

Serves four

Wednesday, September 9

Eating for Two

A food diary of my first trimester

The last time I took a long break from this blog was over two years ago. I got married, went on the most amazing long honeymoon in Europe, and started a new job. This time, I've been absent due to another major life event - I'm pregnant! We are expecting a baby girl due mid-February. I've wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember and my husband and I are thrilled about the news, but it doesn't mean that pregnancy has been easy. Cooking and eating are a daily struggle from a lack of appetite, dietary restrictions, and barely having the energy to cook a quick meal. Here's a look at what I have and haven't been eating the past three and a half months:


  • Alcohol - This goes without saying, and to be honest, I haven't been feeling well enough to miss it. The hardest thing about being pregnant and not drinking was how suspicious it was to our friends and family. I spent many nights fake sipping cocktails, which my husband would chug as soon as no one else was looking.
  • Raw Stuff - Sushi was the last meal I ate before I found out that I was pregnant. But it's not just the obvious raw stuff that I have to avoid. The biggest let down has been avoiding soft eggs, which I love.
  • All The Good Dairy - Non-pasteurized dairy and juices are the most difficult foods to avoid. Pretty much all of my favorites cheeses (brie, goat, queso fresco) are off-limits until after giving birth.
  • Cured Meats - Considering my ideal meal is a cheese and charcuterie plate with a fresh baguette, this is another disappointment. Anything with nitrates (most bacon, sausage, salami, etc.) need to be avoided, although I have had luck finding nitrate-free bacon at Whole Foods.
  • Chicken - I developed a strong distaste for chicken shortly after I found out that I was pregnant. We joke that it's definitely my husband's child in me because he likes to talk smack on all my chicken recipes in favor of red meat and now I do the same. I haven't eaten a chicken breast since I got pregnant and at this rate it doesn't seem like I ever will again.