Easy Brunch: Ham & Cheese Muffins

This week, I am at the beach with my kids in a condo with a full kitchen.  We are having lazy mornings where breakfast happens around 10:30-11am (right before we head down to the beach and eat a late lunch).  I brought some handy Biscuit mix with me because there are many quick and easy things I can make that are kid friendly and portable.  Yes, I am not a big fan of ‘mixes’ but we are on vacation!  I made these ham and cheese muffins for brunch yesterday and will be serving them with a salad for lunch today!  Can you say fast and deeeeeelicious!

Prep time: 10 min.  Total time: 30min   Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups Bisquick mix
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 TB vegetable oil/melted butter
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped fully cooked ham

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 400°F. Spray bottoms and sides of 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. (Spray will work better than greasing or using paper muffin liners.)
  • Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl with fork. Stir in Bisquick mix, milk and oil just until moistened. Stir in 3/4 cup of the cheese and the ham. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese evenly over tops of muffins.
  • Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until light golden brown. Immediately remove from pan. Serve warm. Wrap and refrigerate any remaining muffins.

 

   
   


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Nutritious Breakfast Oatmeal Muffins for Families On the Go!

With summer being in full swing, many of us have finally gotten into a routine -again.  Whether it’s summer camps, sitters, family members, activities or staying at home,  many of us feel overwhelmed with the long day ahead and skip breakfast.  During the school year, I always have things my kids can eat with their hands on the way to school (home made waffles & pancakes, home made pop tarts, etc.).  Sadly, we do not have an official breakfast time at our house and with the morning rush to get to school I have to be prepared!  Summertime, is no different.  I have two or three ready-made breakfast options my kids can enjoy each morning.

Meet my friend Mrs. Oats. I am an oatmeal lover.  It’s healthy, loaded with vitamins, fiber, protein and complex carbohydrates that will ensure my kids makes it through the morning with a positive attitude (no sugar peaks from processed breakfast foods).  After testing many recipes, these one bowl oatmeal muffins are a winner!

One-Bowl Oatmeal Muffins: Basic Recipe

Oatmeal is one of the constants in the recipe and provides, in my opinion, necessary texture.

Be sure to read the recipe all the way through before getting started. You will note that the oats soak in the milk 1 hour prior to assembling the rest of the ingredients, so take that into consideration before starting out.

Makes 12 medium muffins

  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups of added “toppings” total (chocolate chips, fruit and nuts, shredded carrots & raisins, coconut & PB chips)

Directions:

  1. Combine milk, vinegar and oats in a large bowl and let stand one hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a twelve-cup muffin tin and line with cupcake papers.
  3. Crack the egg into the oat and milk mixture; add brown sugar and mix to combine. Stir in melted butter.
  4. Sift remaining ingredients into the bowl: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, & spices. Gently fold into batter, taking care not to over mix.
  5. Sprinkle add-in and flavorings of your choice and combine muffin batter gently.
  6. Use a large ice cream scoop or 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop batter into muffin tins. Bake until light brown and tops spring back when gently touched, about 10-12 minutes. Note: Muffins will take slightly longer to bake if you are adding fresh fruit such as blueberries or rhubarb.
  7. Remove from oven and cool in tins. To remove, run a sharp knife around the edges and pop muffins out. Enjoy!

 

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Photo Credit: Simple Bites

 

 

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Save Money With Zero Waste Lunches

 

If you’ve gone to the grocery store lately, you might have noticed the price increase in milk, bread, eggs, fruits and vegetables.   I nearly choked when I saw that tomatoes were $3.99lb (non organic!) and a gallon of milk went up by 59 cents in less than two weeks.  With food prices in the rise, I can sympathize with parents who decide to pay the $1.50-$2.00 a day for their kid’s school lunch.

Packing a wholesome lunch for your kids (or yourself) doesn’t have to break the bank.  While buying packaged snacks may seem convenient and not that expensive… they add up.  A healthy home made lunch becomes expensive if your child doesn’t eat it or it gets thrown away.  Uneaten lunch usually ends up in the garbage.

In most schools, lunch is between 20-35 minutes; which means, that your child does not have sufficient time to eat a huge lunch!  Think about it.  It may take them a few minutes to get situated with their friends, find a lunch table before they take their first bite.  In many cases, lunch is the only opportunity your child has to socialize outside the classroom. It’s hard to talk and chew at the same time!

A way to prevent food waste and reduce your grocery bill is to pack lunch smarter.  A whole apple takes a lot more time to eat than when it’s cut up into slices.  Limit your child’s choices to three-five items.  Often times, a child becomes overwhelmed by too many options in their lunch box and will usually pick the item that is most familiar to them.  Portion control is very important.  While a high schooler may eat a sandwich, fruit, vegetable and dip,  plus a treat; it’s unrealistic to expect a six year old to eat that much food in a short period of time -not to mention that it’s too much food for their little bodies!  By packing less lunch they will eat more of the wholesome choices you’ve made for them.

I am a BIG fan of nutritious after school snacks!  If you don’t own a mini muffin pan you are missing out on fun, wholesome treats with built in portion control.  One of my favorite recipies is Chocolate Chip Banana Flax Mini Muffins (recipe follows).  If your child rides the school bus, you can pack it inside a “bus-snack” container (make sure it’s smash proof).  Otherwise, you can bring it for them to eat on the way home or have it ready to eat upon arrival.

Preparation is easy and the taste is delicious!

Chocolate Chip Banana Flax Mini Muffins

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Yield: 36 mini muffins

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour (you can use 1/2 whole wheat)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
11/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1 (6-ounce) container nonfat Greek yogurt (or regular yogurt)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips
– Cooking spray
Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, butter, eggs, bananas, yogurt, flaxseed, vanilla and walnuts in a large bowl, mixing well. Pour batter into mini muffin pan(s) coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire rack. Will store 2-3 days at room temperature or 7-10 days in refrigerator. Freeze in zip bag up to 2 months.

 

This delicious recipe was tested and enjoyed thanks to Ingredients Inc.

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