Monday, December 30, 2013

These Broken Stars, by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: The Titantic Sinks in an Outer Space Blue Lagoon!

These Broken Stars
Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Hyperion: New York, 2013.
ISBN: 9781423171027
ARC provided by publisher
Book Club Recipe suggestion: These Broken Ration Bars (aka Date Bars with Almond and Coconut)

Ms. Lilac La Roux and Major Tarver Merendsen were passengers of the Icarus, the finest, newest and most technologically advanced spaceship across the many galaxies.  Tarver is a war hero, recently returned from battle and being paraded around and shown off by the military on tour.  Lilac is the only child of the richest man in the universe.  Now, though, they are the only two survivors after disaster befalls the ship.  Stranded on a strange planet, they must survive both the unknown planet, strange whispers they are hearing, and their mutual discord if they have any hopes of living long enough to repair the beacon that will signal their SOS.  But, as they grow to develop a slow-burning bond that is more than mere friendship, they begin to wonder: are they really better off being rescued?  Fast-paced, dramatic, and unexpected, this is a spectacularly fun, engrossing, and totally accessible Sci-Fi title filled with adventure, romance, and intrigue.   It is a STRONG recommendation for anyone who likes their Sci-Fi light on the Sci and heavy on snappy writing, adventure, high-stakes, and romance.  I’m looking at you, readers of this blog. 

This super title came into my orbit (see what I did there?) this summer when I was lucky enough to be working at the best bookstore in all the lands (all of them).  One of my fellow booksellers and I were chatting about what we’d been reading and she’d just finished it.  She summed it up as…Titanic in space.  And she’s TOTALLY RIGHT.  OMG you guys.  It was a tonic to my 13-year-old self, she of the three viewings of Titanic in movie theatres and listening to the CD so much it broke (that must have been awful, sorry, family).  I’m pretty sure I’d re-read this at LEAST three times in a row if I were 13.  I’d go one step further and add that it’s like Titanic in space with shades of Outlander and a healthy dash of Blue Lagoon… Which is why, readers of this blog, I suspect that the vast majority of you will more than dig this.  Even the dudes.  I’m not genderist (okay, well, ladies will probably dig it a little more).   

THIS IS WHY WE ARE BEST FRIENDS.

Now, let us take a walk with my brain through this super fun read together, in bullet form, because my brain is unable to form full paragraphs and desperate for some vacation!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Roomies, by Tara Altebrando and Sarah Zarr: Minifridge vs. Microwave - let the negotiations begin!


Roomies
by Tara Altebrando and Sarah Zarr
Little Brown: New York, 2013
ISBN:
9780316217491
ARC reviewed provided by publisher
The summer before you go to college is a big one – you’ve got to pack your room up, say goodbye to your oldest friends, leave your childhood behind, and you’ve got to figure out which roommate is going to bring the mini-fridge.  Elizabeth and Lauren are about to start their freshman year at UC Berkley and have received the news that they will be roommates.  Elizabeth reaches out to Lauren, and the girls strike up a conversation that spans the course of a summer that is filled with personal growth, the challenges of change in family ties and childhood friendships, the increasing complexities of adult decisions (and not just about that minifridge), and romance.  Though they’ve never met, they rely on each other to get through it all – nervous as they are about their own burgeoning friendship not working out.  This is a strong recommendation for adult female readers for the nostalgic reasons (remember when?) and for high schoolers looking to make their own leap into the vast world of college roomie-dom (or college kids in it!)!
This is such a fun book you guys.  I really enjoyed reading it!  There’ s a lot to love as a book pusher for teens (the frank way old bonds get tested by new challenges, how its okay to realize you may not be bff’s forever, interracial dating, dating, sex, complex family decisions, parenting your parent, etc. etc.), but there’s also a lot of just sheer enjoyment of walking down memory lane.  I mean, many of us went to college/university, and many of us can recall the nervous feeling you had when you found out who your roommie was going to be – let alone if they’d be a friend!  It’s a fun exploration of a really pivotal time of life.   
Two thumbs up – and a great gift idea for that high school senior in your life if you are last minute holiday shopping…

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Saenz: and make this Pocho starry-eyed along the way

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Benjamin Alire Saenz
New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012.
ISBN:  978144240892

Aristotle, or Ari, as he prefers to be called, is fifteen, introverted, bored, and a bit of a loner.  While teaching himself to swim at the local pool, he meets Dante.  Dante is fifteen, extroverted, artistic, has a way with words, and can swim.  Dante offers to teach Ari to swim, and the boys develop a quietly powerful friendship.  Ari’s boundaries begin to be chipped away by Dante’s curiosity, and he begins to ask himself questions about his family, himself, and his world.  When Dante’s family needs to move away for the year for his father’s job, their friendship is tested by distance and, over the course of the year, by the admission of one of the two that he is not attracted to girls.   This story is beautiful, simple, and yet complex on many levels.  It is a strong recommendation for teens 14 and up, and adults.  Every library with an ounce of self-respect should have this in their catalog!

This book is nearly impossible to summarize.  That’s not because it’s super complex, or because I don’t want to spoil it, but the exact opposite (well, except the spoiling part – I hate Uncle Spoiler!).  The story itself is relatively simple as a realistic look into the worlds of two boys and their families, the nuances and secrets that all families have, their related personal growth and search for identity, and the increasing acceptance of self that is true of many coming of age stories.  But this is not a simple coming of age story.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ketchup Clouds, by Annabel Pritcher: In which love triangles are proven bad buisness


Ketchup Clouds
Annabel Pritcher
Little Brown: New York, 2013.
ISBN: 9780316246767

Zoe has a secret that she's only able to share with her pen pal, Mr. Stuart Harris, a death row prisoner in a Texas prisoner.  He's the only one that she feels can understand, and time is running out to share her story with him.  She's drowning under the weight of her guilt, and writing to him in the dead of the night in her parents garden shed is the only thing that helps her keep treading water.  She fell for one brother, won the heart of two, betrayed them both, and killed one.  Her family is struggling with their own load of guilt, in-fighting, and bitterness, and fraying at the edges.  This epistolary tale is initially bleak, yet it is gripping and hopeful.  The emotions are real, as are the problems.  Though sometimes our protagonist can come across as a little self involved, it is recommended and will be an easy sell with girls ages 13-16.  

Despite the hugely depressing premise, and my natural inclination to be like, "Okay, teenage drama queen, you unreliable protagonist you - let's not blow this confession out of proportion, but DUH. Love triangles are never a good idea," I grew to really enjoy reading this book.  Sure, Zoe totally meets this description.  But there's enough redemption and understanding that builds through the story to understand why she feels terribly responsible.  Any sophisticated reader will figure this one out, but it's not so much the story as the exploration of how things can go so wrong and how we can find redemption and forgiveness that makes me want to recommend this title.  I'd say go for it, even though Zoe is kind of thoughtlessly cruel to Mr. Harris with her blunt statements like:
"I'm less brave than you, so don't feel too bad when you go for the lethal injection, which I wouldn't worry about, because when my dog was put to sleep it really was peaceful" (5)
Or this one, which I'm having a lot of trouble swallowing, to be honest:
"All I can hope is that I'm wrong about Death Row and there's a friendly inmate in the cell next to yours.  I'm crossing my fingers that he's a chatty rapist who knows a few jokes as well." (57)

Maybe it's gallows humor...but it's a little tasteless, especially that second line.  It does prove a point later though, when Zoe become more attached to and supportive of Mr. Harris, increasingly familiar (addressing him as Stu), voicing her dismay over his imminent expiration date, etc.  
There are other redeeming qualities, like Dot, who is Zoe's deaf 5 year-old sister. It's kind of great to both acknowledge the difficulties therein, but to show that Dot is totally healthy, happy, delightful, and thriving. I also loved the descriptions of a culture similar to but different from American culture; Guy Fawkes day you guys! If you can stomach my earlier quibbles about Zoe's initial callousness and are okay with the appearance of teenage drinking (remember, this is an English import, and it's a slightly more socially acceptable behavior with our colonial masters), check this one out.  
If you've read this and are in need of a warming hug, and/or a book club recipe, I did some cooking inspired by the title/cover art, which I'm calling Cloud Soup, but which is actually probably better dubbed Roasted Cauliflower and Eggplant Soup. It's making miso hungry (recipe joke, self low five).


Roasted Cauliflower and Eggplant Soup
aka Cloup Soup for Ketchup Clouds


Monday, November 25, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower and Eggplant Soup aka Cloud Soup (Recipe 8)

Roasted Eggplant and Cauliflower Soup (aka Cloud Soup)
I've been wanting to try to learn to cook with new ingredients that I don't really understand the whoseit whatits of, other than that they taste awesome when other people do.   I'm looking at you, restaurants of the Japanese/Indian persuasion!  We also know that when I get an idea in my head to do something, Ima do it.  I have been digging roasted cauliflower (is cauliflower is totally the darling of the foodie blogs/magazines/restaurants this fall-winter season or is it just me?) and am always partial to roasted eggplant, but if you remember, I wasn't totally sold on the recipe I adapted from Smitten Kitchen.  It's also North Pole cold in Boston, with a windchill of snot freezing in your nose (seriously, that's a real science term.  But wind gusts of like 30 mph in 24 degrees?  No thanks.  Guess who was grumpy for ten miles on the treadmill today as a consequence?). 



I digress, as usual.  Miso has always been something I've enjoyed, and attempting the combination of all these great things seemed a worthy pursuit.  PLUS, I just finished Ketchup Clouds, a new to us, but not new to the UK title (review to come), and thought this would be a respectful homage (or to any other book involving clouds - I'm drawing a blank)...but really, I didn't need any more excuses besides my belly.  I also really love the cover (and maybe want that dress).  So this afternoon, off I trudged to the grocery store to get some vitals after said terrible treadmill ten, bundled up to my eyeballs.  The first grocery store failed to have miso.  The second grocery store failed to have miso, which was just insulting as I'd walked a mile there in windgusts that whipped my bag off my shoulder.  At this point, I became embittered by the hardships I was facing (and also the wind), nutted it up, got a Zip Car, and done what I should have done in the first place instead of gambling on my local (insert choice explictative here) grocery store: rented a Zip Car to go to a far away place known as Whole Foods where they would have all the things and will make you pay double for them.  Oh, they didn't just have one kind of miso.  They had like EIGHT for me to choose from.  Take note, local grocery stores!  
At this stage, this soup may be the most unattractive,
unappealing thing you'll see all day.  Seriously, are those frog eggs?
Brains? Diced octopus in red mud or blood? Gross. 
Stick with it. 

Anyways.  Rant over.  The soup was totally worth the crazy $20 for miso odyssey, and it's surprisingly quick and low maintenance to prepare.  Pop the things in the oven, pop the things in a pot, blend away, enjoy.  Not too much cleanup, unless you get overzealous with your blending like moi and Pollock your wall!  I will say that I  hoped it'd be a more...white shade of cloudy, for the effect!  I don't know if it's the roasting, the eggplant seeds, or the broth (the broth I used was rather brown, though I suspect other brands may be more light in color).  I think the garnish of sesame seeds really helps complete the cloudy look though; they're like tiny raindrops all over the soup!  I'd strongly recommend this recipe for a terribly bitter day or a meeting of your book club when your book is either Ketchup Clouds, or say, a cloud themed book.  Seriously drawing an embarrassing blank...feel like I'm missing an obvious choice!



Roasted Cauliflower and Eggplant Soup
(aka Cloud Soup)



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tidbits: Are you Hungry for the Divergent trailer or just drooling over butterbeer and Hobbit pancakes?

Movies and adaptations
  • In case you've been camped out under a rock or working out your daddy issues on a deserted island like the stud my new favorite brain vacation show, The Arrow, the new  Hunger Games movie is about to drop, with the requisite frenzy and hooplah.  Here are some things:
Books
Misc and nonsense

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Things I Ate: A Hershey's Dark Chocolate Mint Truffle Kiss

Hershey's is like eighteen times more excited about the holidays than you guys are.  I bought some super special Kisses for my candy drawer at work.  I am generally grossed out by white chocolate and have students with nut allergies, so I chose the Hershey's Mint Truffle Kiss.  I just ate one.  Let me paint you a word picture.
It tastes just like an Andes Mint candy, but less flat.  Those candies always remind me of retirement homes, but that's besides the point.  It even suspiciously has the exact same aftertaste (although the Googles tell me that Andes is owned by Tootsie ending my chocolate conspiracy) and mouthfeel. Yes, I just said mouthfeel about a Hershey's Kiss.  Minty, chocolately, but not waxy chocolately like your regular, un-super special Kisses can be, perhaps because of the use of dark chocolate.   It melts in your mouth, but also probably your pocket or hand.

The verdict:  

Ultimately, it is not bad for super special Hershey's Kiss, if you like Andes Mint candies that are shaped like what they are named for.  


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Reality Boy, by A.S. King: Reality Bites


Reality Boy

A.S. King
New York: Little Brown, 2013.
ISBN: 978-0-316-22270-9
ARC copy reviewed

Do you ever what happens to the kids whose lives are televised for the world to see in the booming age of exploitative reality television?  A.S. King certainly does.  In her latest novel, protagonist Gerald Faust can tell you from personal experience that it is not a burden you wish on anyone, especially a child.  Now a teenager, he is still known and mocked for his fecal exploits on the reality TV show SuperNanny, and the subsequent and unwanted Internet replay stardom.  Not surprisingly, he has some serious anger management issues.  He boxes, has regular sessions with a therapist, attends special ed classes, and holds a job as he strives to get through his day, despite the bullying that makes him want to explode, and his rather dysfunctional family.  He is on the brink, either of collapse or major change.  This title is an engagingly and thoughtfully crafted alternative coming of age title.  It is strongly recommended to high school aged teens and adults.  

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tidbits: Hallowinners




Monday, October 28, 2013

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock, by Matthew Quick: Forgive me for disliking yet wanting to hug the protagonist?

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock
Matthew Quick
Little Brown: New York, August 2013.
ISBN: 978-0316221337
ARC reviewed, provided by publisher


Leonard Peacock has resolved to do something on his birthday: say goodbye to the four people who have influenced his life, and then kill his former best friend and himself.  Though he begins the novel as ultimately unlikable, in visiting his four connections, Leonards own story is revealed in fits and spurts.  Though he is justifiably disturbed and his thoughts are often upsetting, he humanizes himself despite his best efforts to alienate the readers.  Not the cheeriest or most uplifting of premises, this is both a book worth picking up and sticking with.   Despite the bleak outlook, Matthew Quick turns out what is ultimately a hopeful novel that demonstrates the importance of the human connection. For the right person at the right time, this book could be a very powerful tool.  It is recommended for older teens 16 and up, and adults.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tidbits

Dearest readers,

I've been hoarding these links up since mid-September, because I am 2 parts monster, 1 part super busy and 1 part perhaps need to learn to say no.  I got rid of the stuff that I'm pretty sure you'd have fallen into a deep well in Siberia to have missed (Bridget Jones is back, Mark Darcy is not, JK Rowling is writing a movie set inside Harry Potterworld but prior to it.  I'd say spoilers, but whatever, the Internet took care of that weeks ago).  So, without further adieu, read on, and enjoy with your tasty Tuesday lunch.

Libraries and Design

Literacy and Literature

Movies and TV
  • I am really, really excited about Outlander being a TV series.  Here's why you should be too.  But really: KILTS.  
  • There are so many new things Divergent movie related.  Or...no longer new.  Maybe even old.  But posters!  Four!
  • I had no idea that If I Stay was already in the casting process.  Plus, can we briefly discuss The Giver adaptation?  I agree with Lois Lowry that a movie audience will probably better buy an older teen cast, but does casting older teens then turn The Giver into YA, when I firmly feel it is in the (best of all-time) Children's literature category?  Help me ponder, please, all two readers and twelve spambots who regularly follow this blog.  

And just because...
Until the next time I horrify myself by having to weed through 40 links I've hoarded up....
Truly, madly, deeply,
Moi

Monday, October 21, 2013

Recipe 9: Butternut Farro Risotto with Beans, Spinach, and Mushroom

Butternut Farro Risotto with
Beans, Spinach and Mushrooms.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that I’ve been neglecting my blog of late...it’s been a super busy overworked, overbooked, overtired kind fall until recently, and I’m not quite sure how that happened.  My goal was to do as much reading, cooking, and updating as possible, and I’ve met approximately zero of these goals.  The beginning of the school year always seems nuts, but this was like every kind of nut, crushed together, rolled in more nuts, roasted with more nuts, and served on top of nuts.  I also cleverly started upping my mileage for an upcoming half, and while my talents do include travel to South Beach occasionally, they do not include cooking and running, reading and running, copying and pasting links and running...running and running is about as much of a motor skill challenge as I can handle at a time.  

Some of the terrible sights to see
while running in my hometo
This has meant that I’ve also been fairly lazy in the kitchen, mostly doing quick sautes of veggies for dinner when I’m getting home late, along being a gym nerd and trying to up my protein intake.  I was feeling kind of bad about not cooking almost anything of substance in a while, and uninspired to boot, until my good friend Bean had me and some other lovely ladies over for dinner on Friday.  Bean is an awesome cook, and made a really fabulous recreation of a butternut farro salad from the Smitten Kitchen.  I have been intrigued by using alternative grains, because they have a lot more nutritional value than normal rice, grits, or pastas.  I’m especially excited about farro because it has a ton of fiber and protein (perhaps I should have thrown up a nutrition nerd alert?), and it actually tastes good - almost nutty.  I should also note that Bean is a former roomie from the Kilsyth days, and is responsible for bringing a delicious butternut risotto into our lives that became a frequent recipe request.  It was tweaked and recreated from and original recipe in the Vegetarian Food For Friends cookbookI was so inspired by both that I thought I’d try and see if I could turn out a similar risotto using farro, and perhaps adding some extra goodness to it to see if I could make it a meal in a bowl.  

A Cooking Light recipe for Farro Risotto with Mushrooms confirmed I could, so I added mushroom in its honor, spinach because we're questing for delicious here team, and then figured some beans would be a tasty source of protein - so I added the beans for Bean!  This turned out to be what I think might be one of my greatest ever creations.  It’s warm, warming, filling, and delicious.  It’s hard to put down your utensils.  Eat it all fall and winter, preferably with good friends and awesome wine (it seems to pair well with Chianti and Montepulciano)!  
Caps off to you if you make this delicious dinner!
Butternut Farro Risotto with Beans, Spinach, and Mushroom
Butternut Farro Risotto with Beans, Spinach, and Mushroom
Serves 4-6




Thursday, October 3, 2013

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell: Wear your heart on a mix tape (and hope it doesn't get banned, punks)

Eleanor and Park
Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin’s Griffin: New York, 2013
ISBN: 9781250012579

Eleanor and Park are two 16-year-olds living in Nebraska.  They couldn’t be more different: he comes from a middle-class family, has the right clothes, music, and a good family.  Eleanor doesn’t.  She shares a room with four younger siblings, her mom is on a second marriage to an abusive, alcoholic stepfather, and there’s never enough to go around.  Eleanor is roundish and has red hair.  Park is short, and Korean-American.  She is bullied, he is not, but when they sit next to each other on the bus, slowly, very slowly, a deep and true affection begins to develop.  This achingly realistic novel of first love is as authentic as it is simple.  It stunningly redefines what romance means for the YA market, and is strongly recommended to anyone who has a heart (aged 15 and up).  

I’m not kidding.  This. Book.  GAWD.  It was on my radar for many, MANY moons, my amigas kept telling me to read it, the Internet went crazy for it...it took me forever, but I’m very glad I finally did.  It is so profound, yet so quiet and unassuming.  It is simple.  Yet it is...brilliant.  It is incredibly moving yet not extraordinary, which makes it so, and I hope to see more books like this, and way less sensationalism and love triangles from now on in YA because of it!  I want to just throw a bunch of adjectives at you to describe it, like heartbreaking, breathtaking, delicate, moving...just trust me and read it, already - both boys and girls of all mature(r) ages reading this!  Here are a few of the details I’d like to debrief:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Case of the Terribles: How is this clothes, exactly?

Perhaps I am just grumpy today.

But in what world does this top count as clothing, Nordstrom Rack Juniors Department?


It's called a Bralette, for pete's sake.
What is that, even?  


Friday, September 13, 2013

Case of the Terribles: Book Therapists among us

Are your BS meters at the ready after this long work week?

If this was not a free service already provided by librarians already paid by our tax dollars in ALL public libraries, anyone trying to sell you a book at a fabulous independent book store, or like...the entire Internet, I might actually be terrified by that incredibly professional looking sign.  

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Dream Thieves, by Maggie Stiefvater: Let's get lost in this summer dream together!

The Dream Thieves
Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press: New York, September 17, 2013
ISBN: 9780545424943
ARC provided by publisher 

Picking up right where she left us agonizing over Ronan Lynch’s admission that he can bring his dreams to life in The Raven Boys, Maggie Stiefvater does not disappoint in her second entry to this unique, lavish yet subtly magical YA cycle.  The Dream Thieves begins with a new point of view: Ronans, and takes us straight back to Henrietta, Virginia.  It is summer vacation, and Gansey, Ronan, Adam, Noah, and Blue are still on the hunt for Glendower, though there have been subtle and not so subtle shifts in the group dynamic.  Adam’s rogue sacrifice and pride begin to affect his relationships with Gansey and Blue, who finds herself closer to exploring prophecy that has defined her life.  Ronan, meanwhile, struggles to control his newly admitted powers, but all, including the refreshing, interested adult psychics of 300 Fox Way, are challenged when a stranger arrives in town searching for the Graywaren.  Who, what, where this is will all be revealed in the scintillating new addition to the Raven Cycle.  It is a recommended read for humans over the age of 12, and all libraries, personal, public, and scholastic, wise enough to boast The Raven Boys as part of their holdings.  


Let’s cut right to the chase: holy sh*tf*re and tarnation, cowpokes.  Jonesing for a book I could get lost in, I loved The Dream Thieves, maybe even more than Raven Boys. Sophomore syndrome? What is that?  Aside from a setting for the climax best described as Hollywood dance movie meets Fast and Furious meets Alien v. Predator (which still, somehow, works), this book is allll a-game, no steroids (I’m looking at you, MLB).  
Continued:

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tidbits:

Let's play two lies and zero truths: I haven't been hoarding these links since July or anything...it's also not September, and I'm not back at school. 

Mish mash and some bookish things

Movies and  TV show galore!

Until next time I realize I've been hoarding links, I'm back to school, back to school.  If you need to find me in September, I'll be busy. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Zucchini Bran Muffins

Zucchini Bran Muffins
I don’t have a reading inspiration for this recipe - I just made a really great thing I want to gift to the Internets.  Terribly sorry to ruin your Tuesday with that news.  I just happen to love bran muffins, and weirdly often find myself embarrassed by them.  Their reputation gives the impression they are the old man of the muffin family, or something.  They’re not the family dog everyone loves, like blueberry, or your zippy mom, like a lemon poppy, or a corn safe bet, like your dad, or cool and trendly like your popular older siblings (donut muffins) or even like the hot cousin blowing into town at the holidays (I’m looking at you, pumpkin).  They’re just kind of there, sitting heavily in the back of the case.  But I love them.  I truly, madly, deeply do.  I’ve loved them since I was a kid, and they were DEFINITELY not cool, because who coats a bran muffin in sugar, like all the fancy blueberry muffins the other kids would fight over after sitting through a Sunday morning church service?  


Soon you will be delicious Zucchini Bran Muffins.
I also love this time of year for the bountiful crop of zucchini that you can find at your local farmers market, or even grocery store.  I enjoy zucchini bread half as much as I enjoy the actual vegetable, which is to say an indecent amount.  When I started thinking about how much I love both of these things on a long run, it only made sense to put them together.  Let’s just call it a wild success; pretty sure this is one of the top five things my brain has ever made my hands cook.  My mouth seems to believe that this recipe will be one I make for years to come.  They are beyond delicious, filled with flavor, and presumably healthy from all the nutrients in the vegetables, grains, nuts, and fruit (just play along, guys).  They’re basically all you need aside from a strong cup of coffee on a cool, August morning (or ever).  Get cooking!

So soon. 
Zucchini Bran Muffins:
Proudly elevating Bran Muffins from Old Man status to Hawt Young Thang status (since 2013)
Notes:
  • I consulted a few sources, and then, shocker, went rogue.  If you’d like to consult too, check out Shipyard Galley’s Zucchini Muffins, The Farmgirl Fare's Zucchini Bran Muffins, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook's Carrot Golden Raisin Muffins, and The Joy of Cooking’s recipe for Bran Muffins.
  • I used golden raisins because I thought they’d be a nice, visual contrast, and are slightly larger and chewier.  You can use regular raisins, dates, or another dried fruit of your choosing.
  • For nut allergies, I’ve got a few ideas.  I’d suggest either doubling the dried fruit (or trying two different kinds), omitting them entirely, using the equivalent in dried coconut or grated carrot, or (crazy) going for chocolate.  
  • Allegedly, this batter will keep for four days, refrigerated.  I’m also contemplating the potential for freezing it.  I didn’t try either (how could I wait?!), but want to; it sounds like a great gift idea!

Zucchini Bran Muffins

Recipe below:

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