Suzi’s Blog

Garlic Green Muffins from Garlic by Jenny Linford


Muffins. Does anybody not like muffins?

How about a savory muffin? Yes, something you do not goop up with strawberry jam. You can still use butter or cream cheese on these but, frankly, jam would be a distraction when you already garlic, yogurt, zucchini, pistachio and Cheddar cheese.

These muffins, from the new Garlic by Jenny Linford, are the perfect side dish for chicken or fish. Or, for brunch just pair these complex and richly flavor muffins with salad. And some white wine.

This combination of ingredients is quite something. Suzi is putting this on the menu at Cooking by the Book where teams come into our kitchen and cook a meal together. This is the perfect team recipe where different people can be cooking garlic, grating zucchini, and also grating that cheddar cheese. Lots of manual effort, but don’t these look worthwhile?

We made these yesterday with zucchini fresh from the farmers market. Perfectly wonderful. That is our photo at the top and the book's photo at the bottom.


Green Garlic Muffins

Yield: one dozen


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 ¾ cups self-rising/self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • ⅓to ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 ¾ cups grated zucchini
  • ½ cup chopped pistachio nuts
  • ½ cup grated Cheddar cheese


Heat the oil in a small frying pan/skillet and gently fry the garlic until golden, stirring and taking care not to burn it. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, yogurt and ⅓ cup milk. Pour the egg mixture over the sifted ingredients and stir together, taking care not to over-mix. If the mixture appears very dry, then add the extra milk. Fold in the fried garlic, grated zucchini, chopped pistachios and grated Cheddar.

Divide the mixture among the muffin cases. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until risen and golden brown. Serve warm from the oven or allow to cool.

Source: Garlic by Jenny Linford [Ryland Peters & Small, 2016]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/5 for 1/60th second at ISO‑2500





Lemon-Parsley Marinade



Do you use marinades or rubs? Are you disappointed at the flavor results? I understand. That’s why I love Rubs: Over 100 Recipes for the Perfect Sauces, Marinades and Seasonings. Author John Whalen III is a meat guru and every page in this book proves that. You can see a full review of the book here.

This was the first marinade we tried from Rubs and it is, in a word, fantastic. It provides a strong flavor boost. Yes, this chicken breast still tastes like chicken, but it’s really good chicken now, not the flat, uninteresting chicken we are often subjected to. The lemon flavor penetrates all the way through, making each bite happily lovely.

Lemon-Parsley Marinade

Yield: about 1 cup


  • 2 medium lemons, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh sea salt
  • ½ cup olive oil


In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients and allow to rest for 15 minutes for the flavors to marry.

Add whatever meat you are cooking to the marinade, transfer to the refrigerator and let marinate for about 4 hours. If the marinade does not fully cover the meat, rotate the meat two or three times during the 4-hour period.

Source: Rubs by John Whalen [Cider Mill Press, 2016]

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/30th second at ISO‑800




Classic Chewy Oatmeal Cookies from Cooks Illustrated



By now you may have heard about management changes at Cooks Illustrated magazine. While who running America’s Test Kitchen is not your most important priority in life, the quality of their recipes just may be quite important. Many of us look to Cooks each month for the best in both recipes and the cooking science explanations that tell us why the recipes work.

So, Suzi and I ran a test. She made the cookies and I tested the batter. What better test recipe than a classic cookie? It’s a key test because cookies are baking and baking is the most demanding of kitchen activities, both art and science. This cookie is even named classic. And, it tastes like those old-fashioned, delightful oatmeal cookies that made you smile as a kid.

These cookies are also called chewy, and the Cooks article explains why. A cookie can be cakey in nature or chewy. The difference is in the fat content. More saturated fat, like butter, will produce a tender texture while more unsaturated fat, like vegetable oil, creates a more chewy texture. This cookie has both butter and oil, and, as a consequence, is delightfully chewy. And that ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon comes through, with a quiet subtle force.

If you love oatmeal cookies, and want that perfect texture, then get some butter, get some vegetable oil, and get some cinnamon.

Regular old-fashioned rolled oats work best in this recipe. Do not use extra-thick rolled oats, as they will bake up tough in the cookie. For cookies with just the right amount of spread and chew, I strongly recommend that you weigh your ingredients. If you omit the optional raisins, the recipe will yield 18 cookies.

Classic Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

Yield: 20 cookies


  • 1 cup [5 ounces] all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup [5 ¼ ounces] dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup [3 ½ ounces] granulated sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups [9 ounces] old-fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup raisins, optional


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

Melt butter in 8-inch skillet over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally, until foaming subsides. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pan with heat‑resistant spatula, until milk solids are dark golden brown and butter has nutty aroma, 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl, scraping skillet with spatula. Stir in cinnamon.

Add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and oil to bowl with butter and whisk until combined. Add egg and yolk and vanilla and whisk until mixture is smooth. Using wooden spoon or spatula, stir in flour mixture until fully combined, about 1 minute. Add oats and raisins, if using, and stir until evenly distributed (mixture will be stiff).

Divide dough into 20 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange dough balls 2 inches apart on prepared sheets, 10 dough balls per sheet. Using your damp hand, press each ball into 2 'A-inch disk.

Bake, 1 sheet at a time, until cookie edges are set and lightly browned and centers are still soft but not wet, 8 to 10 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let cookies cool on sheet on wire rack for 5 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely.

Source: Cooks Illustrated, October 2016

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60mm Macro Lens, F/4.5 for 1/40th second at ISO‑160