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Triumph of the Mundane

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muffins

The Lazy Cook

What with work and all the other stuff of life clamoring for my attention and zapping my energy, the joy of cooking has eluded me for months. Fortunately, the cooler days are perking me up a bit. A bit. Let’s not overstate the case.

So I’m adapting my cooking ambitions – Welcome to The Lazy Cook. Once again, the interwebs provideth.

The Lazy Cook 1

First up, the laziest cookie recipe ever – plus I found it on Nordic Northwest‘s* Facebook page so it pings the Nordic cooking button, too!

Mash together oatmeal and banana, then toss in a flavor. Here, I added mini chocolate chips because this was not an exercise in creativity. Blop vaguely round mounds on a cookie sheet and bake for the usual cookie-baking amount of time at the usual cookie-baking oven temp.

The result: Edible and not entirely unpleasant. Chewy would be generous assessment; after a day rubbery is pretty much spot on. But if mid-morning you need a big snack, you can eat several of these (providing they hold together) and not feel guilty.

I’d make them again but maybe add a little water or yogurt to help hold the dough (if it could be classified as such) together. But maybe not because, well, you know. . . The Lazy Cook.

The Lazy Cook 2

Next, falling in with the sheet-pan cooking craze: Blueberry muffin blob from Food 52. Since I didn’t bake this when blueberries were in season, out came the humongous bag of frozen wild blueberries from Costco. And if you keep ingredients like this a smidge (spelled W-A-A-A-Y-Y) past the best-by date, you get the bonus frost that melts when mixed, giving that ‘unique’ (yes, that’s the word I’m looking for. . .) purplish haze to the batter.

I couldn’t even be bothered to get out the mixer and just mixed it all together by hand. Rise and fluff wasn’t the aim because, well, you know. . . The Lazy Cook.

The result: Color notwithstanding, actually quite tasty. I unnecessarily fretted a bit about over baking, so a few minutes longer would have crisped up the edges a bit more. And I’ll aim for a thicker, smaller blob. Mebbe get out the mixer for some added fluff factor.

I cut them in squarish pieces – like Chicago pizza the way it’s supposed to be cut, ahem! – and can stack two in a container for a portable snack.

I’d show after pics for these but, well, you know. . .The Lazy Blogger.

What’s next? Maybe a whole meal on a sheet pan – most likely a gooey mess. And granola in the slow cooker. Yes, that’s a thing and, like the sheet-pan muffins, why not?

*Yes, I see the apostrophe is wonked. I tried three ways to correct it. Obvs, unsuccessful. Left as is because, you know. . .The Lazy Editor

The B Side

Blueberry crumble

Went to a soiree last Saturday evening at a friend’s swanky new home. In the email invite exchange, he said the savouries were covered and I could bring a sweet if desired, but not required. We’re both Midwesterners so no invitation comes without an offer to bring something, and a host never insists guests bring anything — but we both know that bringing something is Official Midwestern Policy.

The day before, in our fridge was a Costco container of blueberries. The plan was to make blueberry muffins, experiment with carbonated blueberries (saw this on New Scandinavian Cooking), and eat the rest in yogurt.

Paragraphs 1 and 2 were to be separate events. But when I opened the binder of misc. baking recipes, on the flip side of a recipe sleeve was Blueberry Crumble Bars. Hmmmm. So I broke the first rule of cooking for guests: I used a new recipe. And I upsized it. The recipe called for a jelly roll pan of smaller dimensions than a standard cookie sheet. So I just made a generous smidge more of shortbread crust, gooey filling, and strudel topping. Plus, I’d already started eating the blueberries in my yogurt, so I added frozen Maine wild blueberries (in-house stock for blueberry muffins and blueberry buckwheat pancakes) to cover the deficit.

Blueberry crumble 2

The result was pretty terrific, and I don’t have only my opinion to back that up. The hubs, the hosts, and the blueberry-fan guests were also impressed. I may just run with scissors more often.

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