The theme this week for Muffin Tin Monday is "Favorite Foods." I've been serving dinners each Monday night for the past several weeks in muffin tins. However, I was doing a lot of baking and cooking on Sunday and thought it would be good to do a muffin tin meal for Sunday night's dinner.
"It's not Monday, Mom!" Olivia said.
"Yes, that's right. It's Sunday," I replied.
"Well...you always do the muffin tins on Monday...not Sunday."
Hmmm....I guess I didn't realize that the girls had come to expect a muffin tin dinner every Monday night. How quickly routine can set in...and something for them to expect and to look forward to each week.
"Favorite Foods" Muffin Tin Meal
This week's Muffin Tin Meal includes the favorite items:
Top Row: Banana bread, deviled egg, Chex mix, chicken salad
Middle Row: Carrots, celery with peanut butter and raisins (aka "Bumps on a Log"), orange slices, homemade pizza dipping sauce
Bottom Row: Rice Krispie bar, brownie, cheese stick cut into small bits, foccacia (to go with the dipping sauce)
Here's another (crooked and dark) view of the muffin tin from above:
The girls enjoy freshly-baked bread, so when I saw a recipe for foccacia in the new Taste of Home magazine, I wanted to try it. I'm going to add the recipe to the 52 Weeks of Baking cookbook I'm writing for Sophia and Olivia. The bread itself is very easy and flavorful.
The toppings, as called for in the recipe, were thinly-sliced plum tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and Parmesan cheese. These would be fine for most people. However, as Sophia said, "You could leave off the tomatoes and put something else on the next batch." I agree. The tomato slices didn't enhance the bread at all...maybe it was because they weren't as flavorful as the tomatoes the girls and I grew here during the summer.
Also baked or cooked on Sunday and included in the tray were:
- Brownies - made from a mix-in-a-jar that Olivia and I had made last month. Having all the ingredients pre-measured and in a jar make baking all that much easier when you need a quick dessert. All I needed to add was three eggs and a bit of vanilla extract.
- Rice Krispie Bars - I make these dairy-free so Sophia can have them. Used up most of the Rice Krispies making the recipe and a bag of marshmallows. Cleaning out the cupboards in the process...always a plus.
- Chex Mix - Used the recipe on the cereal box as a guideline, but didn't have over half of the ingredients (e.g., garlic powder, onion powder, pretzels, dry-roasted peanuts). Substituted what I had on hand and used up all the Chex cereals, Spanish peanuts, and bagel chips.
- Pizza Dipping Sauce - This is the Papa John's Pizza Sauce recipe that I've modified a bit. The girls enjoyed using the dipping sauce with the foccacia. I've also made homemade breadsticks which taste very good with the dipping sauce as well.
- Chicken Salad - Using up leftover chicken from a dinner a couple nights ago. Added fresh red pepper, celery, and chopped almonds to it.
- Banana Bread - Used seven overly-ripe bananas (the best kind!) to make the bread. The recipe is from my grandma (my dad's mom). Made the bread as muffins rather than in loaf form.
- Deviled Eggs - Made several deviled eggs not following any recipe (served others on a plate since I didn't want to put one egg in each spot in the muffin tin). This used up the remaining eggs in one carton.
When I was growing up, my mom used to do dinners of leftovers on some Saturday or Sunday nights. Often, the items were just reheated in the oven and served in a variety of pans. It was a simple way for her to serve dinner and ensured there was very little food waste.
This week, I wanted to do the theme of "Favorite Foods" with the goal of using what I had on hand. It's nice to have a bit more room now in the cupboards and refrigerator now.
The Muffin Tin Monday website has a lot of great ideas and links of other families who use the Muffin Tin Monday concept...and not just on Mondays. (However, I may have to do another version of this meal tonight since Olivia is looking forward to having a Muffin Tin Meal on Monday.)