Posts tagged cookbook
Just in time for Easter, Brette Sember, shares some recipe ideas for making much more than sweets and sides in your muffin tins–you can make your whole meal! Thanks Brette, and make sure to check out her newly released The Muffin Tin Cookbook for more recipes.
Easter in a Muffin Tin
After the baskets have been found, eggs have been hunted, and chocolate has been consumed (or at least the ears bitten off), it’s time for Easter brunch. By the time I get through the festivities of the morning, I want something simple and delicious, and I’m thrilled if it’s a dish my kids want to help make. This Easter, I’m going to be cooking brunch in muffin tins. Muffin tins are my new go-to kitchen cooking item. Your muffin tins can do much more than just cupcakes and muffins! This versatile pan can be used to make entrees, appetizers, breakfasts, sides, breads, desserts, and much more.
One at a Time
Muffin tins are a handy way to cook a variety of dishes easily, but are also a great way to manage portion control. You can’t fool yourself by saying you’ll just have a little more—one “muffin” cup is one portion. Muffin tin cooking is easy to serve too. You can bring the whole tin to the table (cute if you have a blue stoneware muffin tin), or arrange the cups on a plate. Perfect for Easter brunch are the pretty cupcake “trees” you can buy; display your brunch delectables this way.
Muffin tin cooking is a great way to get your kids interested in cooking and eating healthy foods. They love choosing the liners, arranging food in the cups, and seeing the transformation when it comes out of the oven. There’s something about food that is round, small, and perfectly shaped that appeals to kids. They’ve been conditioned to believe that anything served in a cupcake liner is fun and delicious, so they’ll be willing to try many new foods this way. Since Easter is already a day filled with surprises and the unexpected, build on this excitement by serving up brunch gorgeous muffin tin cups.
Variety Makes Muffin Tin Cooking Fun
There are so many types of muffin tins available now. Not only can you buy cast iron, nonstick, and silicone tins, but they come in so many sizes: regular, jumbo, mini, and even in squares now. Everyone grew up with paper muffin cup liners, but today there are many choices in that realm as well. You can buy colored or patterned paper liners, foil-lined paper liners, and reusable silicone liners. The reusables are my favorite because not only are they nonstick, colorful, and green, but you can even use them by themselves on a baking sheet without a muffin tin pan. You can even use things like slices of ham, tortillas, and pie crust as your cup liners, for tasty results.
Ham and Egg Cups
Makes 1 (make 1-2 cups per person at your table)
1 slice round or oval deli ham
Salt and pepper, to taste
½ tablespoon shaved Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Prepare 1 regular muffin cup by spraying it or using a muffin cup liner.
- Place the center of the ham into the middle of the cup, and arrange the edges along the inside of the cup. If it sticks up a bit above the cup, that’s fine.
- Crack the egg, and place it inside the ham.
- Season with salt and pepper, and add the cheese.
- Bake for 15 minutes, until the white of the egg is set.
Buckwheat Pear Muffins with Glaze
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons skim milk
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup buckwheat flour
½ cup flour
1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped (about 1 cup)
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Glaze (recipe below)
- Preheat oven to 400°F, and prepare 12 regular muffin cups by spraying with cooking spray.
- Mix egg, milk, oil and sugar, then add dry ingredients.
- Stir in pear and spices.
- Divide among muffin cups and bake for about 16 minutes. Drizzle with glaze if desired.
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon milk
- Completely combine in a bowl, then drizzle over the tops of the muffins. Serve.
Along with The Muffin Tin Cookbook, Brette is also the author of The Parchment Paper Cookbook and The Organized Kitchen. Her web site is BretteSember.com and she blogs at MarthaAndMe.net and NoPotCooking.com.
Reading the description of chocolate yogurt loaf in Debbie Koenig’s Parents Need to Eat Too cookbook I was struck by two ideas: the recipe was inspired by New York City delis (as a former New Yorker I was intrigued) and it’s chocolatey goodness is hypnotic while still being dietlicious.
I’m all for chocolate treats that taste decadent but don’t pack too many calories or fat (think: brownie craving satisfier right here). But I wondered if I could boost the nutrition just a bit. That way I wouldn’t feel too bad adding in some chocolate chips too (hey, we all need more anti-oxidants in our diet and dark chocolate happens to have them, which is why I try to get a little dark chocolate in each day–it’s tough, but I somehow manage).
I figured this recipe with a hefty dose of yogurt would be perfect paired with whole wheat instead of all-purpose flour. I also added a tablespoon of ground flax, 1/4 cup chopped almonds, orange zest, and mini Ghirardelli chocolate chips.
Kid reactions: Well, it’s chocolate, of course they loved it! My teen who has quite the discerning taste buds didn’t like the added orange zest. In her words, “the orange zest brings out the flavor of the whole wheat instead of the chocolate so I’d skip it next time.” If your kids are begging for brownies but you want to try something that might be just a little healthier than your standard recipe, you might consider making this loaf.
Prep time: 15 minutes + baking
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (I used Greek)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a loaf pan. (I thought two mini pans would work nicely here too).
- In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips.
- Beat the butter and sugar together on high speed. Then add in the egg and vanilla.
- Add half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture; blend.
- Add half of the yogurt into the batter; blend.
- Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and yogurt. (The batter will be stiff.)
- Mix in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts, if using.
- Spread the batter into the pan and cook for 35-40 minutes or until cooked through.
It’s been awhile since I’ve been awake all night with a fussy baby. These days when my “baby” can’t sleep, usually because of a thunderstorm, she’ll curl up in her doorway in her favorite blanket and I’ll find her there dozing in the morning.
When I flipped through my review copy of Parent Needs to Eat Too by Debbie Koenig (it came out today!) it brought back so many memories of harried days trying to keep my baby–and toddlers–happy and occupied while I tried to turn out a meal that involved more than flakes, a bowl, and milk.
Koenig understands the often daunting task of wanting to have good food for your family and holding on to your sanity at the same time, especially when you’re a new parent. The cookbook draws on her own experiences as a new mom and is divided into handy sections on meals to make while your kids nap, last-minute dinner ideas, good-for-you snacks, a whole section on slow cookers (I’ve already dog-eared that chapter) and cooking tips sprinkled throughout.
What surprised me about that book is that Koenig doesn’t shy away from flavor or dishes from around the world. Tucked in the pages you’ll find Polynesian flank steak, fish nicoise, Indian potatoes, soba noodle salad with tahini-lime dressing. And two. Count ‘em two recipes for homemade black beans. Sure, I won’t need the sidebars on how to make these dishes into baby food (well, maybe the next time they tighten my tween’s braces). But I thought the tips, tricks, and recipes in the cookbook work well for parents like me who may not have a baby in the house, yet we’re still trying to make good food for our kids between laundry, work, sports practices, piano lessons, field trips…
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Nearly back-to-back parent teacher conferences. Somehow the day I planned to make the stuffed chicken breast recipe from The Parchment Paper Cookbook fell on the same day I had about 20 minutes at home between conferences.
Originally, I had intended to take my time figuring out how to neatly fold the parchment paper like the examples in the cookbook, it didn’t quite work out that way: Instead my pepper shaker was poised between the pages showing how to fold the paper while I madly cut each chicken breast in half and then squished the stuffing inside.
My twisting technique ended up looking more like a king-sized tootsie roll than the neat folds described in the cookbook. I was sure that the sauce was going to leak out and I was going to have a messy plan to clean up despite the books plug that these are ‘no pots, no pans, no mess’ recipes. It didn’t. No leaks! The chicken breasts turned out moist with stuffing cooked inside and coated in a light, mustard sauce, despite my lack of folding skills. I’m looking forward to trying more recipes, especially the s’mores crepes. I’m including my tweaked recipe of Stuffed Chicken Breast from The Parchment Cookbook by Brette Sember. You can find more of her recipes at NoPotCooking.com. And for easy dishes for Thanksgiving, there’s even a 99-cent ebook of no-mess recipes available through November 19th.
Recipe: Stuffed Chicken Breast
Prep time: 20 minutes (or less:)
3 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons walnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped ham
3 tablespoons bread crumbs or panko
6 teaspoons chicken broth, plus 4 tablespoons reserved
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 tablespoons white grape juice (or chicken broth)
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon white Balsamic vinegar (optional; any light vinegar will do)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut three 20-inch pieces of parchment paper.
- Line your baking sheet with foil (just in case ).
- Put the chicken breast on the parchment and carefully make a slit into the side, careful not to cut all the way through.
- In a small food processor, chop up the nuts with the ham, rosemary, garlic then toss in the olive oil, 3 teaspoons chicken broth, bread crumbs, paprika and salt and pepper to taste.
- Divide this mixture equally among the slits in the three cut chicken breasts.
- In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons chicken broth, white grape juice, vinegar, cornstarch, and mustard. Divide and pour equally on the three chicken breasts.
- Fold the parchment according to the instructions.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Open the packet and serve. I also squeezed a little fresh lemon over each chicken breast.
Recipe note: This recipe was originally to serve one, but I tripled it for three chicken breasts. My chicken breasts happened to be pretty big so I cut them in half for serving (it took about 10 more minutes to cook too). Also, I poked a digital meat thermometer right through the parchment and into the meat so I knew when it was done. I fixed wild rice and green beans to go along with the chicken.
One more note: I wanted to thank Brette Sember for passing along a review copy of her latest cookbook–she has two more in the works!
Don’t forget to check back in tomorrow when I’ll be announcing the winner of the Hardwood Oak Cutting Board Giveaway.