Friday, July 22, 2011

Ham & Cheese Buttermilk Breakfast Muffins

I work with children for a living. Although I LOVE my job and the fact that all my co-workers are under the age of 5, meal times can be pretty stressful. I have come across more children that are picky eaters than not since working in my field. Where I come from, if you are not a foodie, there is something wrong with you. This goes for kids and adults alike.

Since kids need variety, just as adults do, I've had to become creative in the kitchen. I make a point to hide oodles of goodness in my kids food at every meal. They think they're eating muffins, but they are really devouring a good chunk of their daily nutrition.

I came across this muffin recipe when we were in North Carolina via New York en route to Florida in a Dallas newspaper. Take a moment to digest that. I ripped it out and saved it for a time I knew I would be desperate.

Well, desperation came knocking on the door this summer. Aside from the usual picky suspects, my daughter's eating habits have gone down the toilet since school let out and my son will eat anything within his grasp, I want to make it count.

My daughter calls them pizza muffins.

I call them a lifesaver.

Recipe adapted & slightly modified from The Dallas Morning News Newspaper

3 cups all purpose or whole wheat flour (or a combination of both)
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
4 tablespoons flax seeds
3 large eggs
cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup thinly sliced scallions (I used fresh chives in this recipe, but you can also use a finely diced medium onion and toss it in)
1 cup diced ham
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
½ cup finely diced red bell pepper

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or use cupcake liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pepper, salt, cayenne pepper/chili powder, and flax seeds.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and butter.  Stir in the scallions/chives/onion, ham, cheese, and bell pepper.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just moistened.  

Scoop the batter into prepared pan (heaping ¼ cup each for unlined muffin pan or scant ¼ cup each for lined.

Bake the muffins for 20 minutes or until the tops are browned. Let the muffins cool in pan for 15 minutes then loosen the edges with a knife (if necessary). Transfer muffins to cooling rack. Serve warm.

Yields: 12 yummy muffins

Happy Baking!

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