Savory Bacon-Cheddar Muffins

Surprise, surprise! I am posting another recipe for hand held food. These savory little gems are really nice any time of the day. Brunch-y, and lunch-y, and hearty enough for dinner all at the same time. And in a move I didn’t see coming, my 2-yr old took the muffin right out of her dad’s hand and started chowing down. She lives on tomatoes, olives, and fish crackers so intensely picky is she, we did not even think to offer it to her.

Savory Bacon Cheddar Muffins

Savory Bacon-Cheddar Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 oz thick-cut bacon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

Prep

  • Bake your bacon according to package instructions. Drain, dry, and dice roughly. Yields 2/3 cup.
  • While bacon is in the oven, sauté your onions in a tbsp of olive oil until soft and translucent. Set aside.
  • Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a large bowl, mix all your ingredients for the batter, except the bacon, cheese, and onions.
  • Fold in your remaining ingredients gently. Don’t stir too much. The batter should be lumpy but all the ingredients should be mixed in.
  • Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups.
  • Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
  • Let the muffins rest for 15 minutes before serving.

I didn’t expect the toddler to like it, but she yanked it right out of daddy’s hand and started chowing down!

Kid Friendly Savory Muffins

What are my garnish options?

  • If the muffins seem a little dry to you, I recommend either a spiced sour cream or a chunky salsa.
  • This may sound nuts, but if you like that savory-sweet-tart combo, I would try serving with sugar-free apple sauce. I was raised eating latkas (savory potato and onion pancakes) with sour cream and apple sauce so I think it could work here, too.
  • These could also just have a few dashes of hot sauce added if you are eating on the road and need some heat.

You should be good to go!

~Nom On

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Herbed Cream Chicken Turnovers

In preparation for fall, my very favorite season, I dreamed up this little turnover recipe. It makes a nice, savory treat for dinner and of course, turnovers are so easy to take for lunch the next day. Enjoy!

Herbed Chicken Cheese Turnovers

Herbed Cream Chicken Turnovers

Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated pie crusts
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, diced
    Tip: I use frozen chicken breasts. You can pop one straight into the oven or toaster oven and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Take the chicken out at 155 or 160 degrees internal temperature and it’ll finish cooking as you prep the cream cheese filling.
  • Herbs – I used dill and chives but you can play around with different combinations. Just go with fresh herbs over dried for this recipe.
  • Salt and pepper

Prep

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Soften cream cheese in a medium bowl by microwaving for about 15 seconds.
  • Dice your chicken breast. The finer the better.
  • Prep your herbs – depending on what you chose. I usually just rip a little of what I need off the bushel or use kitchen scissors to snip.
  • Add your herbs and 1/4 tsp of salt and 1/4 tsp of pepper to the cream cheese. Using a hand mixer, beat on medium until the mixture gets soft and smooth.
    Note: If you cheese is just piling up in your blades, you need to turn up the speed and beat against the side of the bowl. It will get the mixture out.
  • Fold in your diced chicken to the mixture and set aside.
  • Roll out your pie crusts and cut each crust in half.
  • Spoon your mixture in 4 equal portions on each crust in the center of one side.
  • Fold the top half of each crust over the mixture and crimp the edges together to seal. Cut 3 small slits in each turnover.
  • Beat the egg and using a pastry brush, brush the turnovers all over to coat. This is what gives it that nice, brown and savory crust.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

A word of advice…

Turnovers can be dry. The cream cheese in this one does help, but you can offer garnishes, too. Sour cream or apple sauce could work, even a little dijon mustard.  Serve with a side salad or tomato slices dusted with salt and pepper. I wouldn’t serve with a starch, but if you really want to carb out you could do mashed potatoes and gravy. The gravy can be used to cut the dryness of the turnover as well.

~Nom On

Lasagna cupcakes: Lasagna goes mobile

I don’t know about you, but lasagna is a love-hate thing for me. It’s got great flavor, but it’s really time consuming to make and it’s really heavy. Must one go without Garfield’s favorite dish unless it’s 40 below outside? Apparently not. I found these cupcakes to give you the flavor without the heavy or the time consumption. What fun, what fun?!

Lasagna Cupcake

Ingredients:

  • 1 pd ground turkey or chicken (*Don’t be cheap alert)
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (*Don’t be cheap alert)
  • 1 package 24 count wonton wrappers
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese (Skim or regular is fine.)
  • 1 tbsp Herbs of Provence
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese, freshly grated (Never skim, it melts for shit. If you are eating lasagna in any form you are not on a diet that day. Trust me.)
  • 2-3 oz parmesan or romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 jar of pasta sauce (I really like 5 brothers cabernet marinara but you can use plan tomato sauce or your own homemade marinara if you have it handy.)

Prep:

  • Heat up your EVOO in a skillet until it is slightly smoking.
  • Toss the onion and garlic in the oil and cook over low heat, stirring regularly, until softened and translucent. About 4 minutes.
  • Add the ground meat and cook until browned.
  • Drain the meat mixture and set aside.
  • Mix the Herbs of Provence and a little salt and pepper into the ricotta, to taste.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Rub a little EVOO into each cup of your 12 space muffin tin.
  • Layer two wonton wrappers in each muffin tin in opposite directions, so each cup is fully covered. The tips should be sticking up out of the cup.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture, then a spoonful of the meat mixture, then a spoonful of sauce, and finally a pinch of mozzarella and parmesan to top.
  • Repeat for each muffin cup.
  • OPTIONAL: If you and your co-munchers like spicy food, add a pinch of red pepper flakes to each muffin cup for a little kick. 
  • Back for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the wonton is lightly browned.
  • OPTIONAL: Sprinkle a little fresh or dried basil in each cup immediately after pulling out of the oven. It adds a nice speck of color and sharp flavor, but its not a deal breaker if you don’t have any. 
  • Lte cool a few minutes before serving.

What’s with the ‘freshly grated’ dictate?

Freshly grated means you buy the cheese in whole blocks or chunks and grate it your lazy-ass self. Why? Because once cheese gets grated and sliced up before packaging, it alters and dampens the flavor. I know, I know; cheese graters are scary. But trust me, it’s worth the effort and shredded knuckles. Grate your cheese when you are ready to mix it in to your recipe. The cheese lasts and holds it’s flavor longer if you just grate what you need, when you need it, and store the rest in tupperware until you need it again!

~Nom On

Mini Chicken Pot Pies

So, you like a good pot pie, but you don’t like the amount of time and mess and clean up it requires. Enter this hand-sized pie. I will, of course, be giving you the shortcut-loaded approach so you can have this ready to rock, faster. As a side note, if you have a member of your family that finds pot pies a creamy mess, but you love them, this recipe is a great middle ground because it’s savory, but not creamy. I can attest that it is both bitchy-spouse and fickle-toddler approved.

Chicken Hand Pies

Ingredients:

For filling:

  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 pd chopped chicken breast or ground chicken
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth OR water with 1/4 cube of chicken boullion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

For crust:

  • 1/2 cup heart smart bisquick
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 eggs

Prep:

  • Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Spray 12 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray.
  • In 10-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center.
  • Add onion and chicken broth; heat to simmering.
  • Add frozen vegetables and seasonings. Heat until hot, stirring occasionally until almost all liquid is absorbed.
  • Cool 5 minutes; stir in cheese.
  • In medium bowl, stir baking mixture ingredients with whisk or fork until blended.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture into each muffin cup.
  • Top with about 1/4 cup chicken mixture.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon baking mixture onto chicken mixture in each muffin cup.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool 5 minutes. With thin knife, loosen sides of pies from pan; remove from pan and place top sides up on cooling rack.
  • Cool 10 minutes longer, and serve.

This is a good, light dinner when everyone is busy doing their thing and makes an even easier lunch. Hope you like it, and if you are a food snob, find it in your heart to ditch the attitude about bisquick because it’s actually awesome.

~Nom on