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Yes, muffins.  But not the type you’d serve at breakfast or even with a cup of coffee.  Since we’ve been talking about our fall and winter crockpot recipes and handy hints, I thought we’d talk about what to serve with our soups, stews and roasts.

Muffins fit the menu.  So do salads and breads, but we’ll get to all of them.

This week I’d like to talk about jazzing up and thinking outside of the box with muffins.

Now my family loves to have corn muffins with some chili powder and roasted corn added.  If you‘re into really spicy, add a couple of shots of your favorite hot sauce!

The point of using the crockpot is to make the prep time less when we walk in the door, so even though it takes but a mere 5 minutes more to measure everything out, starting with a package of mix does lessen the amount of utensils for this simple project.

I always go for the least expensive package at the time.  I use soy milk (dairy issues) and a whole egg.  But you can also use an egg substitute or just two egg whites in place of the whole egg.  

Now watch the size of egg you use!  One reader tried my biscotti and used EXTRA large eggs and her batter was too loose to form.  In baking, measurements and size do matter!

As for adding the extras-don’t overdue, more is not particularly better-again, this is science and you do have to watch the amounts.

Try not to add more than a teaspoon of spices or herbs in total.  As for the corn (or grated cheese)keep it to about 1/3-1/2 cup.  

Some nice additions if corn or cheese and chili isn’t what you‘re looking for:  chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, basil, add a bit of bacon bits or ham!  All are wonderful savory additions that go very well with all the creations in your crockpot.

If you don’t particularly care for corn muffins, try a basic plain muffin recipe and add the same amounts.  

Prefer sweet?  Try doubling the amount of cinnamon, nutmeg or cloves-the sweet and spicy are great.  Add some shredded zucchini, apple, pear or dried fruits that you’ve plumped up in some wine or fruit juice.

To fancy things up even more-top the muffins with some of the bacon bits or some struesal topping before baking.  For the struesal combine equal parts of flour, oats, toasted chopped nuts, sugar and shortening.

Muffins not your thing at all?  Come back Wednesday-let’s discus biscuits, breads and quick breads for a change of pace!



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