Sausage & Cheese Muffins

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I made breakfast yesterday, using one of the breakfast muffin recipes that I posted last week.  The bacon and cheese muffins sounded good to me, so that was the plan.  I had sausage  but not bacon, and remembering my vow to be resourceful and not wasteful, I decided to use the sausage on hand instead of buying bacon.  I used Applegate Natural links which are gluten free.  I thinly sliced two links for the recipe.

 

20140501_112016      Usually, when I fill muffin tins, I tend to put too much batter in each cavity.  As a result, I often end up with only 10 or 11 cavities filled , and thus not a complete dozen. This time, though,  there was only enough batter to fill six of the twelve cavities.

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The recipe came from a muffin cookbook I bought years ago.  It did not specify using a mini-muffin tin, and the muffins in the photo appeared to be regular sized.  So, why after using the measurements prescribed, did I end up with only a half-dozen?  The biscuit mix was a gluten-free variety.  That sometimes affects the consistency of what is baked, but it shouldn’t affect the amount of  batter produced. Any thoughts?

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Muffins for Breakfast on the Go

I had a request for recipes for hearty muffins for a quick breakfast, so here are links to two recipes, plus one more below. After that recipe are suggestions for a hearty, yet meatless muffin idea.

http://www.food.com/recipe/ham-cheese-and-mushroom-breakfast-muffins-331669

 

http://www.yummly.com/recipe/external/Easy-cheesy-bacon-biscuit-pull-aparts-334779

 

 

And, here’s one more quick and easy recipe:

Bacon and Cheese Muffins

2 cups biscuit mix

5 pieces bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled into small pieces

3/4 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

12 cubes cheese (1/2 inch), of your choice – cheddar, Swiss, Colby, pepper jack, or mozzarella

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease or butter a 12-muffin cup pan. In a medium bowl, combine biscuit mix and bacon.  Add milk and egg, stirring just until moistened.  Fill each cavity of the muffin tin halfway with batter.  Press a cheese cube into each cup.  Top with remaining batter, covering each cube of cheese.  Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve warm.

 

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If you want to go more sweet than savory, try this:

Use a serrated knife, to hollow out the center of a muffin, leaving about a 1/2-inch base.  (You can use the removed pieces for another recipe or as garnish next to the muffin.) Spoon yogurt into each muffin and then top with assorted fruit such as mandarin oranges, sliced strawberries, blackberries, seedless grapes, or sliced apples.

Breakfast Brownies (Gluten-Free)

Twenty-some years ago when I graduated college and got an apartment, I bought a couple of cookbooks and clipped recipes from the newspaper, so that I could teach myself how to cook a variety of foods, so that I could have a variety of meals.
One of the first recipes I came across was called Morning Brownies. This, of course, appealed to me as it was an excuse to have not only chocolate for breakfast, but brownies to boot!
I still have this recipe, though, I’ve upgraded the newspaper clipping into a typed word document.
As I came across the Morning Brownies recipe the other day, I thought that I should redo it so that it will be gluten-free. I will post the original recipe on the Recipes page of this blog; I also have it posted on wwww.tasteofhome.com as Breakfast Brownies Recipe. Keep reading here for the gluten-free variety.

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April 7 is National Coffee Cake Day

Foodimentary - National Food Holidays

Cinnamon-Streusel-Coffee-Cake

Interesting Food Facts about Coffee Cake

  1. Coffee cake was not invented, rather it evolved from a variety of different types of cakes.
  2. Cakes in their various forms have been around since biblical times, the simplest varieties made from honey or dates and other fruits.
  3. The Danish came up with the earliest versions of coffee cake.  Around the 17th century in Europe, it became the custom to enjoy a delicious sweet and yeasty type of bread when drinking coffee beverages.
  4. There are many available combinations, everything from blueberry coffee cakes to cinnamon walnut coffee cake and more.
  5. The hole in the center of most coffee cakes is a relatively recent innovation—it became popular in the 1950’s.  This “bundt pan” was invented to allowed heavier batters to get cooked all the way through without any dough left unbaked in the center.

Fun Fact:

The first coffee cakes are thought to have originated…

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Gluten-Free Pancakes

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A couple of weeks ago, I made waffles with Bisquick Gluten Free and was very disappointed in it. This morning, I made pancakes, using Cherrybrook Kitchen’s Gluten Free Dreams Chocolate Chip Pancake Mix. It is rice flour-based, something I am learning to tolerate more and more as I attempt to cut back on gluten.

The directions require rice milk, so that is what I used. I have only used rice milk once before, and I remember it being a much thinner consistency than milk. I kept this in mind, thinking I might need to add more dry mix to thicken out the batter.  I often do this anyway when making pancakes.

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Is Gluten-Free Meant to Be?

So, I am still willing to give gluten-free cooking a try.  With a renal-restricted diet – limit sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorous – one more thing to monitor is making it even harder to find foods to prepare.  Many low-fat and low-sodium foods were not necessarily prepared without phosphorous.  (Check the ingredients – notice words like disodium phosphate or phosphoric acid?) There are many brands which offer gluten-free products, but what is the sodium content of these foods?  Believe me, I’ve gotten good at checking labels on foods (though there are still times when I feel lazy and make a purchase without checking the labels).

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I purchased King Arthurs’s gluten-free all-purpose flour and muffin mix, Cherrybrook Kitchen’s Gluten Free Dreams Pancake Mix, and Betty Crocker’s Bisquick Gluten Free. Now, we’ll just gloss over the fact that I shouldn’t have purchased the Bisquick due to the fact that two of the ingredients contain the word phosphate – but that was my error, not Betty Crocker’s.

It was morning, time for breakfast and I wanted pancakes.  I reach for the Bisquick Gluten Free and begin to read the directions on the box.  As with regular Bisquick, the back of the box contains directions for preparing pancakes, waffles, and biscuits.  When I saw the word “waffles,” I thought, “Mmm, waffles would be even better than pancakes.” I prepare the waffle batter exactly as the directions stated.  I pour some batter onto the waffle iron pan.  The heat level on the stove is medium, the temperature I use with this waffle iron.  I flip the pan after a couple of minutes.  A couple of minutes later, a lot of smoke is coming from the waffle iron – fortunately, the smoke detector did not go off.  I turn off the burner, remove the waffle iron, and open it up to find the waffle sticking to either side of the scallops.  This was a surprise, as less time has passed than usual when making waffles with this pan.

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Go Gluten-Free – Maybe, Maybe Not

I have read a couple of online posts regarding gluten.  One was a study, while inconclusive, stated that people with kidney failure may regain kidney function by having a gluten-free diet. The other site featured posted comments, including a woman who stated that her kidneys hurt whenever she eats gluten, another woman who regained kidney function within weeks of going gluten-free, and a man who has been gluten-free for a long time but has experienced no improvement in his kidney function. My kidney doctor agrees that the research is inconclusive right now. However, it can’t hurt to try, can it?

Well, I already watch sodium because of my blood pressure and fat due to blood cholesterol. Now with kidney failure, I am to not only limit sodium, but also potassium, calcium, and phosphorus. Cut out gluten, and it makes it even harder to plan meals, grocery shop, and cook food with flavors which will make me want to eat it. I am used to buying low sodium and salt-free products. I do not use salt when I cook, the exception being certain recipes which will need some salt in the baking process. I flavor foods with herbs and other natural ingredients. Baking without gluten, though, not only changes the flavor, it often changes the texture as well. I’ve tried gluten-free burritos and pizza, the tortillas and pizza crusts made with rice or potato flour. They tasted good, yet neither one tasted as it should. In other words, the pizza looked like a pizza, but it did not taste like a pizza. Same for the burrito.

Recently, I purchased a box of Gluten-Free Apple-Oat Scones.  It is from Sticky Fingers Bakeries.  I have bought scone mixes of this brand in the past (not gluten-free), and I have been pleased with both appearance, texture, and taste of the scones.

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March 7 is National Cereal Day

Thank you, Foodimentary, for sharing food and food product histories with us:

http://foodimentary.com/today-in-national-food-holidays/march-food-holidays/

 

On tablespoon.com, there is a recipe called, Bottom of the Cereal Box Cookies.  What better way to celebrate  National Cereal Day than to make a batch of these. I will copy the instructions to this on the Recipes page of this blog.  The great thing about it is that you use whatever cereal you have on hand:

Bottom of the Cereal Box Cookies

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