Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mini Book Reviews: The Semi-Sweet Hereafter, British Manor Murder, Murder of a Queen Bee

There are so many cozies coming out this week that I have to resort to mini reviews to get to them all. These reviews are short and sweet, but (hopefully) get the main point across.

Title: The Semi-Sweet Hereafter (A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery #3)
Author: Colette London
Genre(s): Mystery| Culinary Cozy
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: September 27, 2016
Page length: 352 pages
Source: NetGalley
Format: e-galley
Author's website:

My Review: This is the first book I've read in the series, and I find Hayden a very fun and likeable heroine. However, I found her constant rambling when nervous, and continuous need to reassure us that Danny was “just a friend” rather annoying after a while. 

The final clue that helped her nail the murderer was great, and her quick thinking was both amazingly resourceful and also pretty funny. 

Although I don’t feel an intense need to read the previous books in the series, I will definitely keep an eye out for the next one. For all you chocolate-lovers out there (and honestly, if you don’t like chocolate, I just…I don’t know about you), make sure to check out this fun and tasty entry to the Chocolate Whisperer series. (also, what an awesome, fun, and unique job)

Rating: 4/5

Title: British Manor Murder
Author: Leslie Meier
Genre(s): Mystery| Cozy
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: September 27, 2016
Page length: 304 pages
Source: NetGalley
Format: e-galley
Author's website:

My Review: This was a short and sweet read. A few of the characters felt like cliches, and there was at least one throwaway character, but I do applaud the complexity of the relationships between the characters. A decent way to pass the time on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Rating: 3.8/5

Title: Murder of a Queen Bee (Henny Penny Farmette Myster #2)
Author: Meera Lester
Genre(s): Mystery| Cozy
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: September 27, 2016
Page length: 288 pages
Source: NetGalley
Format: e-galley
Author's website:

My Review: Let me start by saying, mystery-wise, there's not much there. It's less of a whodunnit (not because they tell you who it is, but because it's so obvious), and more of a "How will they prove it's them?"

That didn't really bother me because I found the characters both interesting and engaging, though the role of Kat (her best friend) felt rather thin. The fact that Abby, our protagonist, is a former cop was interesting and brought a certain level of authenticity to her sleuthing. She didn't make the typical dumb decisions, and even when she was overly aggressive in her search, she was smart enough to know how to handle the situation.

I was worried that her myriad love interests would be annoying, or take away the focus of the story, but overall, it made Abby's life and problems feel more realistic.

I haven't read the first book in the series, though I may check out new additions. Great protagonist and interesting premise. A worthy addition to Kensington's cozy lineup. 

Rating: 4/5

Monday, September 26, 2016

It's Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

A bunch of cozies are about to come out, so expect nothing but cutesy covers and adorable/ridiculous pun titles for the next two weeks. I've done a ton of reading, a bit of writing, and a whole lot of reviewing, so keep an eye out for that. And I know I still haven't blogged about my BoucherCon experience, but the longer I wait, the lazier I get. I might manage a very short update sometime this week, but if not, here's my favorite photo from the convention:

The legendary Sara Paretsky. We're totally gonna become besties

Time to organize my week by posting about what I've read, what I'm currently reading, and what I plan on reading in the near future.

Hosted @ The Book Date
What I Read Last Week:

Mostly cozies, but I managed to pull myself away from my usual cache of mysteries to read Americanah and it was fantastic. Definitely need to read more of her stuff.

Review later this week
Review later this week
Review later this week

Absolutely wonderful. 5 stars
Review here

What I'm Currently Reading:

All NetGalley cozies set to come out September 27th




What have you been reading lately? Which of these picks are you most interested in? Let me know in the comments!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Recipe for Fun Friday - Alexandra's Carrot Muffins (Murder Most Fowl)

So, muffins: a convenient breakfast/snack, cake masquerading as breakfast, or the ugly stepsister of cupcakes? Personally, I absolutely love muffins and quick breads. I'm not really a fan of frosting, so cupcakes are pretty meh to me. Pretty to look at, but not a lot of substance. The only frosting I like is cream cheese frosting, which I love so much I could eat it with a spoon (which I have, leaning over the sink with shame).

Carrot cake has always been one of my favorite cakes, heavily spiced and topped with thick layers of cream cheese frosting. And since there's carrots in there, I can always pretend that it's actually healthy! Luckily, I don't have to do that with these muffins. Since these are meant to be breakfast, there's no cream cheese frosting (sadly), they are absolutely packed with carrots and very lightly sweetened with honey and not sugar.

These are fast and easy to put together, with a wonderful, moist texture. They make a quick grab-and-go breakfast, which I like to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea on the front steps while my dogs romp in the yard before work.

Despite how tasty these are, there are two changes for the next time I make these muffins: a tiny bit more sweetness (either by increasing the honey to 1/2 cup or adding raisins) and a lot more spices (probably 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves).


Alexandra's Carrot Muffins

Mia's Note: I prefer using coconut oil in my baking, since it's tasty and healthy. Also, I never keep buttermilk around, preferring to mix a bit of vinegar with regular milk. Works like a charm. Lastly, I use Ultragrain All-Purpose Flour, which packs in the nutrition of whole grain flours while working like a regular all-purpose flour. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Makes one dozen. Use as many locally produced ingredients as possible.


2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup safflower or canola oil (See Note)
1/4 cup buttermilk (See Note)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (See Note)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 4 medium)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


Beat eggs light, and then mix in honey, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla In a large measuring cup, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda, salt, and spices. Add dry ingredients, carrots, and nuts to the egg mixture, and mix lightly with a fork until just combined.

Bake in greased muffin pan for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown on top (mine only took 15 minutes).

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts - Murder Most Fowl by Edith Maxwell

Hosted by Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

Thirsty Thursday and Hungry Hearts is a weekly meme where I share tasty snippets from the book(s) I'm currently reading.

This week, I'm focusing on Murder Most Fowl by Edith Maxwell. I'm including two parts from a rather long scene: one focusing on drink, the other food.

The scene: It's St. Patrick's Day and Cam (the protagonist) and her friend Lucinda have just been served been served their Irish stew, fish and chips, and requisite green beers at the local pub. Paul Underwood, a suspect in the ongoing Wayne Laitenen murder investigation, has just joined their table.

"A double Irish whiskey neat, with water back." At the waitress's look of confusion, he groaned. "Just bring me a small glass of water when you bring the whiskey." 
When she'd gone, Cam remarked, "I don't know what a water back is, either." She took a bite of the stew and let a chunk of meat dissolve on her tongue as she saved the stew's rich flavors. 
"Adding a little water to whiskey opens up the flavor," Paul said. "I should stop saying it anyplace but at the bar itself. The server ought to know the term, but..." 
Cam swallowed. "So you weren't friends with Paul anymore? But I saw you driving away from his place Saturday afternoon." 
"Yes, I went to see him." Paul looked at the band. "We were trying to sort of work through a couple of things." 
"You mean the reason you stopped being friends?" Cam asked. 
"Yes," Paul said without meeting her eyes.

They ask more questions, and Paul gets upset and leaves. They continue on with their meal.

She pulled her attention to the most delicious beef stew she'd ever tasted. 
"Is that good?" Lucinda asked, popping another French fry into her mouth. 
"Very." Cam poked her spoon around in the bowl. "Beef, carrots, onions, potatoes, of course. But the flavor is what does it. I wonder what their secret is."
"I read a recipe that calls for a bottle of stout in it. Can you taste beer?" 
Cam rolled a spoonful around on her tongue. "That might be it. I'm going to try this at home. Make it for Pete whenever he solves this case." 
"You could do it all local, too." Lucinda waggled her eyebrows. 
"Absolutely, and then give the recipe to the shareholders next summer or fall, when I harvest carrots and potatoes. Good idea."

Beef stew is probably in my top 5 of delicious comfort foods. I'm definitely going to try this recipe once the weather cools down, but until then, stop by tomorrow to check out a recipe for carrot muffins. They're cooling on the counter as I speak/type!

So everyone, what would you include in your top 5 comfort foods?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Book Review: Murder Most Fowl by Edith Maxwell

Title: Murder Most Fowl (A Local Foods Mystery #4)
Author: Edith Maxwell
Genre(s): Mystery| Cozy
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: May 31, 2016
Page length: 304 pages
Source: Bought (at BoucherCon!)
Format: Hardcover
Author's website:

Spring may be just around the corner, but a cold-blooded killer has put the big chill on the residents of Westbury, Massachusetts. It looks like organic farmer-turned-sleuth Cam Flaherty will have to set aside her seedlings for the time being as she tills the soil for clues in the mysterious death of a local poultry maven. 
With the weather getting warmer, Cam should be spending her days pruning blueberry bushes and taking care of the new batch of chicks that just hatched. But murder knows no season. So when her fellow fowl-raiser Wayne Laitinen is found dead at his breakfast table one morning, Cam must put down her trimming shears and put on her crime-solving hat. 
The kind-hearted chicken farmer didn't have any enemies--or did he? A wealthy financier has been working hard to convince him to sell her his land, while a group of animal rights activists recently vandalized his property. Money troubles were threatening to sink his marriage. And a thirty-year-old scandal was driving a wedge between him and one of his oldest friends.  
Murder, blackmail, cover-ups. There's a fox in the hen house. But where? With some help from her off-again, on-again flame, police detective Pete Pappas, Cam will have to crack this case before Wayne's killer flies the coop forever. Goodreads

My Review: This is the 4th and latest book in the Cam Flaherty Local Foods Mystery series. I haven't read the earlier books, but I never felt confused or like I was missing anything. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I'm definitely going to go back and read the rest of the series.

As with most cozies, my favorite part of the story was the setting. Cam Flaherty runs a small, organic farm that her great-uncle passed on to her after he was no longer able to take care of it. I wouldn't think that I'd find farming all that interesting, considering I can't even remember to water my bamboo plant (good thing it's hardy). Yet I was genuinely interested in her day-to-day affairs, and found the life and worries of an organic farmer oddly fascinating.

Also very important, Cam is a great protagonist. She doesn't put herself in harm's way, and she doesn't conceal useful evidence or information from the police, choosing to work with, not against them. She's also rather resourceful, a very refreshing change from the "too stupid to live" protagonists who are usually saved by mere luck and not their wits.

The supporting characters were mostly well-fleshed out, and the romance is realistic and well-done. It enhances and adds some sweet points to the story without overtaking it.

The subplots involving a missing girl and an overzealous animal rights group were handled quite well, and added necessary layers to the plot.That being said, the resolution of the main plot was a bit of a letdown. The big reveal of the murderer was anticlimactic and fairly straightforward, though the final confrontation had a good level of tension.

Despite my nitpicking with the ending, I absolutely devoured this book, finishing it in a day (I know author's hate hearing that since they spend so much time writing it, but I couldn't help it!). It's a fast read, but with a depth and lack of frivolity I don't often find in cozies. Definitely recommended.

Final bite: A wonderful addition to the world of culinary cozies. Great setting, great protagonist, great read. Go buy it!

Rating: 4.5/5

Sidenote: I think the reason I love cozies so much is that I'm a big-city girl; the charm of small-town life and running a business that's part of the community really appeals to me, but only from the outside looking in. It's not a life I'd actually want to live, so these stories let me try on lots of different hats without having to commit; one week, I'm an organic farmer, the next I'm a tea shop/cafe/bakery/clothing shop/etc owner, but with none of the woes of owning a small business in a tiny town (this reasoning goes double for my love of historical fiction. Wonderful reading, but as a woman of color and fan of modern medicine, no thank you).

Make sure to stop by Thursday and Friday, as I share snippets of the foodie scenes and an excellent recipe for carrot muffins, provided by Alexandra (one of Cam's volunteers). Have you read this book before? If not, do you plan on reading it? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

First Chapter First Paragraph Tueday Intros - A Killer's Guide to Good Works, The Semi-Sweet Hereafter

Hey everyone! I know I know, right after I said I was going to post at least once a week, I disappear again. In my defense, not only was I super busy at BoucherCon from Tuesday - Saturday, my boyfriend and I ended up making this crazy decision the Sunday before my trip:

Two rescue dogs!

My boyfriend's pick: 6-year-old Bayley (named after a female wrestler he loves)

My baby: 5-year-old Max Power (Simpsons reference)
Seriously, how adorable are they? Ever since my dad stole my dog (not really, but there's a story there), I've missed having a dog. My bf and I had been looking to adopt for almost two years now, but hadn't found the right dog for our household. There was a brief, disastrous interlude involving a puppy that had to be returned, so we decided to exercise more caution when choosing our next family member. 

There was an adoption event near us on the 11th, and I told him that if we couldn't find a dog at this event, we would hold off until after we move to L.A. (a plan for the near future, hopefully within the next 2 years). Who knew that we would fall in love with not one, but two dogs? And senior dogs at that, though Max has the energy of a dog half his age (which makes me wonder if the lady from that shelter was lying to me...) The most surprising part was my bf's reaction. He likes dogs, but he was really only entertaining the idea because I wanted one so badly. He was always the practical one, making sure I wasn't rushing the decision like I did with the puppy. And yet adopting two dogs was his idea; he immediately fell in love with Bayley, and when he heard what usually happens to senior dogs at shelters, he decided both of them needed to come home with us. Two dogs is a LOT of work, but snuggling up with them on the couch while reading a book or playing video games has been such a comfort. Puppy love <3

I also need to talk about my New Orleans/BoucherCon trip, but so much went on, I think I'll save that for it's own post. Moving onto my Tuesday meme...

                                                         Hosted by Diane @ Bibliophile by the Sea

I'm focusing on some NetGalley picks this week, so first up is:

Henery Press - 2016

Veracruz, 1595

The Franciscan friar lifted his eyes to the open window in the room he had rented by the harbor. Veracruz was a coastal town, more liberal in its ways, and only an outpost of the Inquisition. So it suited his purposes. After working in secret for the last two days, he set down the goose quill and stared impassively at the final page of his work, a satire about the Inquisition he titled "The Entertainment of Spain." Then he carefully set the pages inside the acacia wood box that used to hold family papers.

Hmm, doesn't really give you a whole lot, does it? I guess that's the problem with prologues, particularly ones that start way in the past with the main work taking place in present day.

My other pick is a culinary cozy (surprise surprise):

Kensington - 2016

When most people find out what I do for a living, they have one of two reactions. Either they think my life is a nonstop vacation (because of all the traveling I do), or they think I must have a sweet tooth the size of Texas (because of all the chocolate I sample). The truth is, those people are not wrong.


So which of these openings catch your attention? And who are the pets in your life and how did you name them? 

My bf had Bayley's name picked out from the get-go, but since we never pictured adopting a boy dog, we had no names chosen. I tried out a bunch (some contenders were Mr. Peanutbutter from the show Bojack Horseman, and Kanji, a character from my favorite video game), but his name at the shelter was Maxwell and he responded best to Max. I figured I had to geek it up at least a little, and what better than a random Simpsons reference?

Check back in tomorrow for a review of Murder Most Fowl by Edith Maxwell (I love that stupid pun title):

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Weekend Wrap-up

Hey everyone, how's your week been? It seems like the last few weeks have been dedicated to reunions with old friends. This past weekend, I got to hang out with my friend Ahmed and his wife, who are visiting from Japan. He moved to Osaka right after uni and only manages to come back home once in a blue moon, so it was great seeing him again. Our friend Jumi managed to join us too, and it's crazy to think that we've all been friends for over 10 years now, and that we originally met on an anime convention forum. Amazing the people who come into your life and manage to anchor there and become important to you.

Always good to see old friends

Souvenirs! Cute pouch and mirror set and green tea Kit-Kats

Also, last week was the end of the second cycle with my class (each cycle/semester is 6 weeks long and we stay with one class for two cycles, then switch to a new class), so I not only had to prep them to move up to a new level, I also had to say goodbye to one of my favorite classes ever. So last Friday, we decided to have a little party with lots of food and they even got me presents. So, so sweet :)

Hard to see, but tons of food

The cookbook is from the whole class, but the silk scarf, book, and chocolates are from individual students <3

For the school Olympics, they chose "Miaholic" as their team name. We came in last place, but had the coolest name, so... 
<3 <3 <3

It's been rather quiet here on my poor neglected blog because I'm busy prepping my classes for my subs. I'm taking a few days off for BoucherCon next week, so I have quite a few things to get in order, particularly since the semester just started and I have a brand new class. I'm going to try and have a few posts set to auto-post next week, so that I at least manage one post a week from now on.

Can't wait to let you guys know about my BoucherCon adventures! Take care!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Book Review: Salem's Cipher by Jess Lourey

Title: Salem's Cipher
Author: Jess Lourey
Genre(s): Suspense| Thriller
Page length: 480 pages
Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publication date: September 8, 2016
Source: NetGalley
Format: e-galley
Author's website:

A troubled codebreaker faces an epic plot reaching back through centuries of America’s secret history 
Salem Wiley is a genius cryptanalyst, courted by the world’s top security agencies ever since making a breakthrough discovery in her field of quantum computing. She’s also an agoraphobe, shackled to a narrow routine by her fear of public places. When her mother’s disappearance is linked to a plot to assassinate the country’s first viable female presidential candidate, Salem finds herself both target and detective in a modern-day witch hunt. Drawn into a labyrinth of messages encrypted by Emily Dickinson and centuries-old codes tucked inside the Beale Cipher, Salem begins to uncover the truth: an ancient and ruthless group is hell-bent on ruling the world, and only a select group of women stands in its way. Goodreads

My Review:
WARNING: If you're not a proponent of women's rights, you will not enjoy this book. Then again, if you don't believe in women's rights, you can back the hell away from my blog 'cause ain't nobody got time to deal with your BS.

That being said...

I don't read many thrillers and I never got into the Dan Brown-craze (which seems to be a common comparison), but this was definitely a page-turner for me. The beginning had a bit of a rough start, with some clunky language that never completely goes away, though it does get better as the story progresses. However, once you get past the awkward beginning, you get a compelling, fast-paced story with some fairly complex characters.

Salem, our protagonist, has many flaws but they never make her unlikeable. Not that protagonists, especially female protagonists, have to be likeable, but it's a refreshing change in the era of Gone Girl and Girl on the Train and other books without "Girl" in the title.

In fact, it is because of these flaws that you cheer her on and want to see her overcome all the obstacles in her way. The POV changes several times throughout the book, and there are occasional flashbacks, but the short chapters keep it from slowing down or getting too confusing. 

I found the history of code-breaking interesting, but not riveting, which lead to me skimming some parts.

The bad guy is suitably terrifying, the stakes high, and the ending satisfying.

I must also commend Jess Lourey for including two things that are particularly important to me: diversity in the main cast and healthy female relationships. It's very easy for minorities of any kind to be pushed into the background, or not featured at all. And I can't even count the number of books/shows/movies based on the premise that women hate other women. There's none of that here.

Salem is mixed race and her best friend Isabel is a lesbian. Their mothers are inseparable, and so are they. The bonds between the women in Salem's Cipher get tested again and again, but they hold strong. Call me a sap, but I love it.

Final Bite: A flawed yet entertaining read, with an interesting premise and a good lead-in to the next book. Definitely recommended.

Rating: 4.25/5 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Recipe for Fun Friday: Hannah Swensen's Cappucino Royales

I know that I bitch and moan about this series way too often, but this is legit my favorite recipe (that I've tried so far) from Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series. Every time I try one of her recipes, I complain about certain inaccuracies in the recipe and the lack of flavor in the finished bakes, which means I need to fuss with the recipe to get them right. However, this recipe is near perfect; I make very minor adjustments and the result is a huge heap of cookies that everyone loves. Enjoy!

So, so good

Hannah Swensen's Cappucino Royales

2 cups melted butter (4 sticks)
1/4 cup instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons brandy or rum extract (I usually use all vanilla extract or sub actual rum for this)
3 cups sugar (she specifies white, I like to swap at least half with brown)
3 beaten eggs
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups chocolate chips (she says milk, I prefer semi-sweet)
5 1/2 cups flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter in a large microwave-safe bowl at 3 minutes on HIGH, or melt it in a saucepan over low heat on the stovetop.

Mix in the instant coffee powder, vanilla and rum or brandy extract. Stir it until the coffee powder has dissolved (this could take a while).

Add the sugar, beaten eggs, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix well.

Stir in the chocolate chips. Mix until they're evenly distributed.

Add the flour in one cup increments, stirring after each addition. Mix until the flour is thoroughly incorporated.

At this point, I like to chill the dough overnight to really let the flavor develop and make it easier to scoop and hold its shape. However, this is not included in the recipe, so I'm assuming you can go right ahead with the baking.

Form walnut-sized dough balls with your fingers (I use a medium-sized cookie scoop). Roll them in a small bowl with granulate sugar if you decided you wanted them sweeter (the cookies are already plenty sweet, so unless you've got a raging sweet tooth, I don't advise this).

Place the dough balls on greased cookie sheets, 12 to a standard-size sheet.

Flatten the dough balls with the back of a metal spatula, or with the palm of your impeccably clean hand (also unnecessary, but your choice).

Bake the cookies at 350 degrees F, for 9 to 11 minutes. Let them cool on the cookie sheets for 2 minutes, and then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to complete cooling.

Yield: 12 to 14 dozen cookies (according to Joanne Fluke, but I get about half that yield)

This recipe is probably in the top 5 of my favorite cookies. What's your favorite cookie recipe? Share it with me in the comments!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Recipe for Fun Friday - Zucchini Goodness!

For a site that bills itself as a Book/Baking blog, there has been a dearth of recipes lately. Not because I haven't been baking, but mostly because I was posting so many reviews. I posted one yesterday and another will be up either tomorrow or Sunday, but I decided to skip the review that was originally going to be posted here, simply because I gave up on the book. I tried and tried to finish it, but it just felt like a waste of time when I have so many other books in my TBR pile worthy of my attention. 

I used to feel super guilty about not finishing a book, and would usually push myself to finish, even if I didn't enjoy it. Now I have so much to do/read/write/etc that I've started to just cut my losses and move on.

Ah well, at the very least, that leaves time and space for me to post some yummy recipes! I probably should've posted these recipes in the heart of summer, when zucchini was cheap and plentiful, but I'm always a tad bit late to the party. Although the weather's getting cooler and Fall produce is starting to appear at the farmer's market, there's still plenty of zucchini to go around.

First up is a recipe from Laura Childs's Tea Shop Mystery series: Zucchini Quiche, featured in Devonshire Scream. It's fast, tasty, and easily adaptable. I love quiche, but I never make it because I hate making pastry. Love eating it, don't enjoy making it. This recipe circumvents all that with the simple addition of Bisquick mix in the batter. Sounds strange, but I love it!

The cast of characters

Nom Nom Nom
Zucchini Quiche 
1 cup onions, chopped
1 cup Bisquick
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup cheese, grated (recipe calls for Parmesan; I've used Parmesan, cheddar, dill havarti...all delicious)
1/4 tsp salt
3 to 3 1/2 cups grated zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients except zucchini in a bowl. Add zucchini last and stir gently. Pour into a buttered pie pan (recipe calls for 9 inch, I use a 10 inch). Bake about 30 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Yields 4 servings.

That was our savory selection, next up is sweet. This recipe is from Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen series. I've said it a million times, but even though it's a flawed series with some flawed recipes, I do love using it as a template for some fun and creative recipes. 

These zucchini cookies are super tasty but need some work; their texture is rather cake-y, which is cool if you like that kind of thing, but I prefer chewy cookies. The original recipe didn't have you wring out the zucchini, and I'm sure all that excess moisture contributed to the texture. I also added a bit more flavoring, since her recipes are usually kind of bland. Also, this is gonna sound crazy, but I didn't care for the chocolate chips. I'm a big chocoholic, but I felt like with all the other flavors going on, the chocolate was unnecessary. Other than that, these cookies were great. They were like individual portions of zucchini bread, and I LOVE zucchini bread. Let me know if draining the zucchini works for you, or if you have any tips on how to make a cookie less cake-y.

Not pretty, but very tasty

Rose's Zucchini Cookies
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup softened butter (2 sticks, 8 ounces, 1/2 pound)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs (beaten)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon (not in the original, but great addition)
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (peeling optional)
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)
4 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Measure out the sugars into a large bowl. Add the softened butter and beat until the mixture is nice and fluffy.

Mix in the baking soda and make sure it's evenly distributed. Add the beaten eggs to the bowl, as well as the vanilla extract, and mix everything thoroughly.

Wring out the shredded zucchini to release as much liquid as possible. Measure out 1 1/2 cups zucchini, packed really well. Add it to the bowl and stir it in. 

Add the nuts and chocolate chips, if you're using them, and mix well.

Add the flour in one cup increments, stirring after each addition. When all the flour has been added stirred in, the resulting dough will be quite stiff (I mix everything up in my KitchenAid since it's way too thick to do by hand). 

I always refrigerate my dough for at least an hour (usually overnight), but the original recipe doesn't seem to think that's necessary. I like to let the flavors develop and the dough just sets better, since this is an especially soft dough.

Scoop the dough onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake in a 350 F oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned. 

Cool the cookies on the cookie sheet for two minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yield: She says 8 dozen, I got 4 dozen. She must make really tiny cookies.


Well, that's all for today! If you try either of these recipes, let me know how it goes. And if you have a favorite zucchini recipe, please share it in the comments. Enjoy your weekend!