Savory Breakfast Muffins

muffins2

Good morning to you! After a long stretch of working crazy hours, I am happy to have time to get back into the kitchen and play again. Today, I bring you a wonderful breakfast treat to help get you motivated to get dressed, get out the door, or fold the five clean laundry bins that are waiting patiently for you. These muffins are quick and easy to throw together. They can be individually wrapped and kept in the refrigerator for 3 days or frozen for up to a month. Warm them up in the microwave for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on your microwave settings.

savorymuffins

I adapted this recipe slightly to include the use of ham. The original recipe called for Canadian bacon, which is salted and cured ham. My grocery store had regular ham included in a 5 for $19.99 special, so good ol’ fashioned ham it was. These muffins are delicious and filling. It’s almost like eating a Denver omelet, which is the only type of omelet that I can bare to think about eating. The sweetness of the red bell pepper helps to add a bit of sweetness to an otherwise savory muffin. They almost make it possible to change out of those yoga pants during your day off…almost.

Savory Breakfast Muffins
slightly adapted from EatingWell

Ingredients
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/3 cups buttermilk
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup thinly sliced scallions, (about 1 bunch)
3/4 cup diced ham, (3 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.

Combine whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, pepper and salt in a large bowl.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper.

Whisk eggs, buttermilk, oil and butter in a medium bowl. Fold in scallions, bacon, cheese and bell pepper.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Add the wet ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just moistened. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan until the muffin cups are full.

Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen the edges and turn the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

How I Shop and Weekly Menu

20130210142821200

I have ADD…not kidding. When I grocery shop, I have to be super careful to keep myself in check or I will end up buying anything and everything that looks good to me. Seeing as how I have a shower and very pretty dress to save up for, I have to be careful about every penny I spend.

To help me stay focused, I create a very detailed list prior to shopping. I find recipes that I’d like to try and paste the URL into a web document. I categorize my list into Meat, Canned, Produce, and Dairy/Refrigerated based upon the flow of the store where I shop. I always make sure to have a pen handy for crossing off items as I purchase them. This helps to cut down costs and frivolous purchases.

This week’s menu:

Flemish Beef Stew
Ravioli and Vegetable Soup
Greek Pastitsio Casserole
Baked Manicotti
Pineapple Chicken
Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes

 

Cha-cha-cha-changes

Wow…it’s been three months. That is CRAZY. I can’t believe it. I’ve been trying to find things to blog about – but nothing has really given me the motivation. I planned a ton of crockpot meals…none that I’d honestly share or make again. I work nights all.the.time and only cook a day or two a week. But a lot has happened – it’s catch-up time. 

I lost my job, not my self-worth. 
Wow, that feels good to type, see, and say. I’ve had a really hard time dealing with the loss of my teaching job and the opportunity to blog about food and education in the classroom. I’ve tried to keep a brave face, but I can’t live with my head in the sand anymore. It’s time to get on with my life. 


So…I’ve been at my current job for three months now. Just had an employee review. It’s going well and I enjoy it. I am really excited about the opportunity to go back to school – I just need to figure out what I want to major in and get started on the course work. 


Maria got engaged shortly after Christmas to an awesome guy. They’re getting married in July of 2014. I am so excited to stand next to my sister on one of the most important days of her life. We hit the ground running on the bridesmaid dress shopping and it didn’t take long…forgive the bad model. 

I am so excited about the shower and have tons of ideas and motivation in my Pinterest. My only hope is that I do not go all Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids.


I look forward to this weekend – actually having two days off will give me tons of time to get into the kitchen and make some deliciousness happen. It also means actual time to figure out meals for the week, ones that I hope to share with you soon!

End of the World Coupons

So, if you’ve been living under a rock, you know that tomorrow is where the Mayan calendar ended. Yes, the end of the world is tomorrow. I plan to spend the day baking up a storm for the Christmas festivities at my house…just in case they were wrong. In case you want to hurry up and stock up your house, here are some coupons that will get you through should you survive the end-of-the-world-insanity or last minute Christmas shopping, whichever should come first. 

Coupons For The Apocalypse
Fighting Zombies all day can be a real headache:
You’re gonna want something to do on those long cold nights:
Don’t forget the kiddos, they’re our only hope at repopulating the earth:
When your husband is out slaying the walking dead, he needs to smell good:
I hear blood stains are hard to get out of clothes:
And you certainly need to wash off the Zombie guts before dinner:
Snacks. Snacks. And More Snacks. Fighting Zombies is hard work!
Keep the putrid smell of Zombies out of your house (or what’s left of it):
Fido and Fluffy can defend the homestead while you’re scavenging for food:
Leaves and berries can be bland, sweeten them:
If you take to the seas to escape the Zombie herd, you’ll need this: 
Doesn’t this stuff last forever?
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:
Where else are you going to store the food you scavenge?!
You do have one of those camp coffee makers right?
And last but not least, you gotta look and smell good in the new world!

Tip: Defrosting Chicken Without Cooking It


Thought I was leaving you high and dry today? Nope. I’ve been indulging in the beginning of my weekend. DJ let me sleep in today, we’ve enjoyed a breakfast in our jammies, and finally went to buy his costume and fixings for treat bags for the 14 kids in his class. And what’s an 80 degree-ish day without a trip to the park?


So now we’re home and I just realized that we’re having chicken tonight for dinner. Not a problem – except the chicken is frozen solid in a bag in the freezer. When I first started cooking and had frozen solid chicken, I would throw it in the microwave on defrost. The pieces of chicken would be partially cooked when the defrost was done. Gross. 


I’d love to share my preferred method of defrosting chicken without cooking it before, well, cooking it. 


Step One: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. 
Step Two: Place chicken on aluminum foil in a single layer. 

Step Three: Turn off the oven and place chicken in, setting the timer for 25 minutes. I’ve tried 20 minutes for smaller batches. 

Step Four: Take the chicken out of the oven and begin preparation for the delicious meal that you have ahead of you tonight. For us, it’s Chicken Chop Suey. Another clean plate club recipe, maybe?

DO: 
Preheat oven to 200 degrees and turn it off when you put chicken in. 
Set the timer and forget about it. 
Dispose of the foil properly. No one enjoys salmonella. 

DO NOT: 
Peek on the chicken to see how it’s doing. Precious heat will be lost. 
Try to eat the defrosted chicken raw. This process is purely for defrosting without cooking it, allowing you to totally control the cooking process. And everyone loves control. 

Enjoy!