Most quick-bread, muffin, and batter recipes advise stirring together dry ingredients (flour) and wet ingredients until “just combined”. That’s a loaded phrase that shouldn’t be overlooked. Overmixing can yield a tough, dense crumb. The more you work the flour, the more the gluten develops. Reserve that method for yeasted breads. Fight your intuition, and stir until just combined, borderline undermixed.

A couple weeks ago, we had friends over for the first time since moving to Connecticut. It was monumental. I had been putting it off for weeks. Things still felt a little out of place. My desk area was a disaster. And our kitchen still looked too tiny to prepare a meal for more than two. But we did it. We christened it. And now it feels like home. Read more