Thursday, January 28, 2010

Cream-Filled Muffins

I think I've mentioned before that I have a bad habit of getting a recipe or idea in my mind that won't go away until I try it.  This is another one of those concoctions.  I don't think I have ever made filled muffins or cupcakes.  I enjoy eating them but as far as baking them goes - something has always stopped me.  Anyways, I picked up a pouch of berry muffin mix a few weeks ago and thought it would be fun to fill it with cream - and maybe jelly too.  So over the weekend I picked up a container of strawberry cream cheese and decided to give the cream filling a try.  And they turned out very well.  A sweet little treat with a surprise inside!  I chose to bake them in a mini muffin pan because I think little treats are super cute.  I didn't try filling them with jelly yet.  Maybe next time.

The creamy filling sunk a bit to the bottom of the muffin.  I think I need to practice a few more times to get the technique just right :)

The first thing my little kitchen helper said when he woke up was "Mom I smell muffins!"
He wanted to be the first to taste them.  He wasn't sure about the creamy middle...

but I think he really liked them!

Cream-Filled Muffins
1 pkg. berry muffin mix
8 oz strawberry cream cheese
1 c. powdered sugar
2 T. melted butter
1/3 c. cinnamon/sugar mixture
Prepare muffin batter as directed on the package.  In a small bowl, mix together cream cheese and powdered sugar.  Fill muffin tin 1/3 with batter.  Spoon about a tablespoon of cream cheese over batter.  Pour remaining batter into pan - covering cream cheese.  Bake as directed on mix package.
Melt butter in a small bowl.  After muffins are finished baking dip the tops in the melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar. 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Breakfast Strata

I know this isn't a "sweet" recipe - I wanted to post something a little different for a change.  It has been so cold and dreary here in Central Illinois for a long time now - I don't even remember the last time I've seen the sunshine.  It has been good weather for hearty, warm comfort food.   This is a delicious egg strata I made over the weekend.  (I confess I didn't know what strata meant until I looked it up in the dictionary tonight.  It means a layer of material formed one upon the other - which makes sense when you read the recipe!) It is not too difficult to throw together and it is very filling.  You can add whatever type of meat and veggies you like.  I'm a fan of Italian sausage so that's what I choose to use and you'll see my choice of veggies as you scroll down.  My little kitchen helper didn't appreciate seeing bright green and red (peppers) in his eggs but I think they add great flavor!

Breakfast Strata
8-9 slices, torn bread
2 c. cubed ham, bacon or sausage, cooked
1 lb shredded shedder or mozzarella cheese (I mix them together)
Mushrooms, Peppers, Onioins (optional)
8 large eggs
2 c. milk
1 tsp. salt
Butter 9x13 baking dish.  Arrange torn bread in bottom of dish.  Layer meat, cheese and veggies over the bread - in that order.  In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt; pour over the top.  Cover with foil and refrigerate 12-24 hours.  Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes with the foil on.  Uncover and bake additional 15 minutes.