Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mini Banana Muffins

I've never been much of a "from scratch" girl, especially when it comes to baking. Every once in a while I'll get crazy and try to make a yeast bread or a cheesecake from scratch or something, but those ventures almost never turn out as intended. (And no, I'm not referring to the time I left the sugar out of the Raspberry Cheesecake I made for Valentine's Day. We don't talk about that.) Yet I keep trying in hopes that one day I'll master this thing called baking. Sigh...

When I found this recipe for Banana Bread I knew it was meant to be because there are only 7 ingredients in this recipe! Seven ingredients is all I need to create the perfect banana loaf (or muffin) completely from scratch? It had to be too good to be true. I'll save you the suspense...it wasn't! And bonus, you probably already have most of these ingredients on hand, including those bananas that are going bad on your counter.

I've made this recipe many times, as bread and as muffins. I'm sharing it with you today in mini muffin form, because I just heart anything that comes out of a mini muffin pan. I'll be honest, I have no idea how many mini muffins this makes...about a bazillion. We'll just call it a bazillion. I'll also confess that I can't remember where this recipe came from. Is "somewhere in internet land" too vague? Since it made so many, I froze a large portion of them and pulled out a couple handfuls each day to serve the kids for breakfast, and they were still fantastic after being unthawed. If muffins aren't your thing (who do you think you are!?) then just make this in a loaf pan, its just as good!




Banana Bread/Muffins

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter 3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas
Optional: mini chocolate chips or nuts (just throw in a few handfuls, you can never have too much chocolate or too many nuts!)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350

Spray muffin tin (or loaf pan) with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar.

Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.

Stir banana mixture into flour mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-30 mins (60 to 65 minutes for bread), until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.

Egg Muffins

You've heard it time and time again..."Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!" If you're like me, its also one of the most difficult meals of the day to actually eat. Between getting myself and the kids ready in the mornings, its all I can do to remember to get dressed! These Egg Muffins are the perfect breakfast to make ahead of time and grab in the morning. They can even be frozen! I wrap them in saran wrap individually and grab one to take to work and heat up. Of course, its a muffin so what does that mean? Kid friendly!


One word of advice though, I used a silicone muffin pan for these the first time and realized that an actual muffin tin is a better choice. The ham and/or wonton wrappers get nice and crispy with a tin whereas the silicone makes them a little soggy - still delicious though! I'm going to post the recipe the way I made them, but the possibilites are totally endless here. Some additions that come to mind...bacon, canadian bacon, sausage, peppers, broccoli, asparagus, and on and on and on. Feel free to change/add anything you want and to use any kind of cheese you have on hand. I promise you can't go wrong here.


Egg Muffins

9 servings

Wonton wrappers
Sliced ham
1 carton Egg Beaters
1/2 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 C cooked, drained spinach (fresh or frozen)
1C mushrooms
1t chopped garlic (that pre-chopped kind in the jar is a lifesaver!)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350

1. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Line the muffin tin with the wonton wrappers and/or the ham. I made 6 with wonton wrappers and 3 with ham. For the wonton wrappers you'll need 2 per cup. Place one along one side of the muffin hole and one on the other (see the first photo below) and press into the tin.

3. Saute mushrooms and garlic using non-stick spray on medium heat until tender.

4. Divide mushrooms and spinach among the cups.

5. Top with about 1T of cheese.

6. Pour egg beaters into each cup, filling to the top. (Optional: You can sprinkle a bit more cheese on the tops if you like!)

7. Bake at 350 for 20 mins. The tops should puff up when they are done.





Wonton wrapper



Ham






Aren't these the cutest things you've ever seen!?


Source: Adapted from http://www.ourbestbites.com/

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BBQ Chicken Nachos

We make a lot of nachos in our house. There are a couple of males, who shall remain nameless, that love to snack while they watch football, and nachos are the perfect finger food to munch on mindlessly. The possibilities are basically endless when it comes to nachos, but today I'm sharing a non-traditional nachos "recipe", if you can even call it that. I know nachos are more of a "snack" food, but these really are substantial enough to eat for dinner. Want to know how I know? Because I ate them for dinner last night.




This probably isn't the healthiest thing I'll ever post, but it can be a decent if you use 2% cheese. Now, I'm all about easy and fast, so I used canned chicken in this recipe. Let me just say a word about canned chicken because I know a lot of people just read that and went "gross!" I am not canned chicken's biggest fan, but somehow when you add BBQ Sauce to it, it transforms into something magical. No really, it does. Stop looking at me like that. Sometimes we have BBQ Chicken Sandwiches on buns using the same method I used for these nachos, and its really quite good. Of course, if you want to you can use chicken breast that has been cooked and shredded or cubed, thats totally fine...but I'll probably call you names for showing me up. You've been warned.

I am estimating the measurements for this recipe because you can really make as much or as little as you want, and of course if you want more BBQ sauce, add it, etc. If you have extra chicken mixture leftover it keeps for several days in the fridge. Try making a BBQ Quesadilla with the leftovers!


There is also an optional dipping sauce you can use for these, because if you're like me, nachos aren't nachos unless you dip them in something! If this doesn't float your boat you could just use sour cream.

Dipping Sauce

3 parts BBQ sauce (recommend 3-4T)
1 part ranch dressing (recommend 1-2T)

Mix and dip!



BBQ Chicken Nachos

1/2 cup bottled BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
Tortilla chips (I use Restaurant Style Tostitos)
Shredded cheddar or mexican blend cheese
1 10oz can of canned chicken


Preheat oven to 400.


1. Spread tortilla chips out on a large baking sheet in a single layer.

2. Drain chicken and flake into a bowl.

3. Stir 1/2C of your favorite bottled BBQ sauce into the chicken.

4. Heat chicken mixture in the microwave for 1 minute at a time, stirring in between until the mixture is incorporated.

5. Evenly distribute chicken mixture among the tortilla chips.

6. Sprinkle cheese on top.

7. Bake at 400 degrees until cheese is melted.

8. Insert into pie hole!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spaghetti Pie

In honor of my first post here on Pie Hole, I thought it only fitting to post a pie recipe! Now, if you're expecting a dessert recipe...look elsewhere. I've never been a fan of traditional fruit pies, I prefer my pies with chocolate, but that's for another day. Today's pie is a savory pie. I've learned that my kids will eat just about anything in the shape of a pie or a mini muffin. I found this recipe on http://www.weelicious.com/, and stuck pretty close with the instructions given, but this is so versatile. The combinations of meat and/or veggies is endless. This was a huge hit at my house and. So much so that when I asked for dinner requests for the next night, one of them was..."Spaghetti Pie?"


Spaghetti Pie (Serves 6)

8 oz Spaghetti, cooked (about 1/2 a package)
2 Large Eggs, whisked
1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese, divided
1 Lb Ground Turkey (you could also use ground beef or chicken)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
2 Cups Marinara Sauce
1 Cup Ricotta Cheese
1/2 Tsp Italian Herbs
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place the cooked spaghetti in a bowl and coat with 1 tbsp of olive oil.

3. Combine the eggs and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese in a bowl. Add mixture to the spaghetti and mix.

4. Place the spaghetti mixture into a greased deep-dish pie plate and spread to make a “pie crust”.

5. Heat 1 Tbsp of oil in a sauté pan over medium heat and cook the ground turkey, salt, garlic and onion powder for 5 minutes or until the meat is cooked through.

6. Pour the marinara sauce over the meat and stir to combine.

7. In a bowl stir the Ricotta cheese, the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and Italian herbs to combine.

8. Spread the Ricotta/Parmesan cheese mixture over the pasta, then layer the marinara mixture and finally, top with 1 cup of mozzarella.

9. Place dish on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes.

10. Cool, cut into wedges and serve.



Behold...Spaghetti Pie.





One satisfied customer!





Yummy, cheesy goodness!