February 27, 2012

Cornbread Stuffed Hot Dog Muffin

I was inspired by this idea I saw at Tasty Kitchen for a Healthy Corn Dog Muffin. The recipe looked easy, however I want easier!

I am a HUGE fan of Trader Joe's and thankfully I live down the street from one now (just opened a few months ago). I finally tried their Cornbread muffin mix and I LOVED it! Mr Tasteful actually raved about how good it was (which he doesn't often when it comes to cornbread). I had been using the Jiffy box mix for a long time and would doctor it up to taste more to my liking. But after trying TJ mix I cant compare it to anything else I have tried out of the box. However that doesn't mean you cant use your favorite recipe for cornbread!

Before I started making these Muffin Hot Dogs, I got my little Cupcake her own bowl and spoon to mix up her own concoctions.Thankfully that distracted her enough to allow me about 10 minutes to get this going.

Pre-heat oven to 350
1 or two boxes of cornbread mixture (or make yours from scratch) depending on how many muffins you want. My 1 box made 8 HUGE muffins
2 Hot Dogs (I prefer Hebrew National Hot dogs because they are Kosher therefore all natural)or more depending on how many muffins you have.

First follow you cornbread box mix directions for batter then set aside. Next slice hot dogs into 1 1/2 inch sections, I was able to get 8 slices all together.

Next grease your muffin pans with oil. I love the spray Canola Oil TJ has. Then start spooning in batter into muffin pan. I have a 12 slot muffin pan, however I was only able to make 8 large muffins. I read someplace if you have spaces unfilled in your muffin pan to fill the empty muffin slots half way with water. This is suppose to help create even baking.

Once your muffin slots are filled take hot dog piece and place one hot dog into each muffin batter. Push all the way down, then evenly spread batter around to cover up.

Bake for 25 minutes (just verify if your mix has instructions for cooking time. My mix did not have it for muffins, so after 20 minutes I checked), check to make sure it is done by inserting a knife or toothpick into muffin, if comes out clean then it is done.  Let cool for 5 minutes. Then take a knife and cut around edges to loosen up. I then took my cooling rack placed on top so I could flip my muffin pan upside down, then took my knife and started banning  the pan, this helped muffins to come out...I did have 2 muffins that got stuck, so just make sure you put enough oil in your pan.

Any muffins left uneaten, I just put in a freezer bag and put in freezer for later.

February 26, 2012

Buttermilk French Toast with Crispix Cereal Crust

My little Cupcake is a finicky eater, as I am sure many other parents can identify to when you have had a toddler. Trying to figure out what food they will eat that day is a challenge! However I do see patterns in my Cupcake. She loves things with a nice crunch! She would eat an entire bag of tortilla chips with salsa if you let her. If I give my daughter cereal she likes it crispy, not soggy. Unlike me, I LOVE to let my cheerios sit in milk and soak up the milk and get that chewy texture (by the way the ONLY cereal I will do this with). I have a cereal addiction, I always buy boxes and boxes of cereal, and strangely they don't always get eaten entirely, but I will keep buying more boxes. Mr.Tasteful rather I stop and wait until a box is finished, completely understandable!

Anyway, I found myself with 7 boxes of cereal in my pantry. I was going to make my Cupcake some breakfast, but I did not want to  give her another bowl of cereal and milk. I was craving french toast, so I thought "why not make a crusted french toast?". Now I just had to figure out what type of cereal I would use. I looked through all my cereal and I determined the Crispix cereal would be the nice crunch I need for the french toast. After all is done once I served to my Cupcake she almost ate the entire slice of french toast, which for her was a HUGE deal because normally she would only eat a couple bites of regular french toast. But I think this crunchy texture is what added to her desire to eat more of the french toast.

You can use any custard you like for your french toast, I have a few different types. Sometimes I like to add fresh squeezed orange juice to my mixture, or grated orange zest. But for this recipe I am just going to give a basic custard that can be adapted to your taste. Well I guess its not basic because I do use Buttermilk, but instead of Buttermilk you can just use any kind of milk you desire. The type of milk will just create a different richness to your custard.

3 eggs
1/8 cup of Half & Half cream
1/8 cup of Buttermilk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
6 slices of buttermilk bread (you can use any type of bread and you may be able to get more slices of bread depending on the size of the slice)
3 cups of Crispix Cereal
Cinnamon (based on your liking)
Powder Sugar

In a pie dish or any other container that has sides and is large enough for slices of bread to fit, mix together 3eggs, cream, buttermilk  and vanilla until whipped nicely together.

 In a separate plate take 1 cup of cereal at a time and crush with your hands until broken into smaller pieces.

 Quickly dip one slice of bread at a time on both sides into custard batter, personally I do not like to let my bread soak, unless it was a hard stale bread, then I would let is soak a little. But I find that when I soak a regular slice of bread it becomes to soggy and falls apart easier when transferring into pan. I actually did try both ways with this bread and preferred not to let this bread soak, so just keep that in mind for yourself. Also do not dip all the bread into the batter all at once, only make one or two slices at a time or however many slices you are able to cook at once (if you have a griddle and can fit up to six slices that be perfect). Also the reason I only crushed one cup of the cereal at a time was because I found after I dipped the bread into the cereal it got wet, so I didn't want any of the  cereal still on plate for the other bread to get soggy.

Preheat your pan, you can use a non-stick skillet or a cast iron pan (like I did). Place on a low to med heat. Make sure your pan doesn't start to smoke, if it does take off burner and let it cool down for a min, because you don't want your butter to burn.

 Once your bread is dipped with batter take bread and smash into the Crispix cereal, and then lightly dust both sides with cinnamon.

 Place a pad of butter into your per-heated pan, let it melt then place your coated bread into pan, let simmer on the low-medium heat for about 5 min on both sides. After you flip the bread place another pad of butter into pan and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
 (I forgot to dust my cinnamon before I placed in pan, but no worries I did one side at a time in the pan.)

 After done cooking dust with powder sugar and enjoy your meal!

February 24, 2012

What was I thinking? Pictures are gone.

I want to apologize that I no longer have many pictures on my blog. I really like to make sure I have pictures for as many steps as possible. This blog is not for those talented cooks/bakers, its for newbies learning how to cook or try new things for the first time.

Well I will tell you being this is my first blog page I am learning as I go how to manage this blog. I dont know what I was thinking but I had uploaded many of the photos however I was trying to figure out that webpage and I deleted all my pictures! I didn't think much of it until I came to my blog to see all my pics are gone too! Ugh!!!! So I will have to redo many of these post with new pictures. I wish I had a camera instead of just my cell phone! But hopefully I can change that soon too.

Thanks for reading!
New Mom