Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Kitchen Gadgets and Baby Food

I am in love with kitchenware. I have a Keurig, a blender, a toaster oven, a NutriBullet, a Baby Bullet, a juicer, a 2-tiered steamer, a baby food steamer, an ancient (and very heavy!) food processor, a mini 3-cup processer, a rice cooker, three crockpots, a pancake-puff maker, a slider burger maker, a hand blender... the list goes on and on. I am one of those people that has to have cool kitchen stuff.

I always have big plans for every new addition. Sometimes the new item is so beloved it finds an exclusive place on my countertop for easy access (like the blender). Sometimes, the novelty of buying the item is all I can stand and it sits in the back of my pots and pans cabinet, never to be used (the pancake-puff maker).  I also have baking pans of every shape and size (springform, bundt, muffin tops, minis and regulars, insulated and not, with sides and without, etc.). Some people may say I'm a hoarder. I prefer the term "well-prepared".

I purchased a mini muffin tin a bunch of years ago. I envisioned churning out batch after batch of tiny two-bite morsels in a variety of flavors. And guess what? It is one of my can't-live-withouts. Everything from mini pumpkin pies and cheesecakes to baby quiches and made-from-scratch muffins has had its day to shine in that fantastic pan. Between the mini and the muffin top pan, I could probably toss the standard size pan and never look back. But enough about that. Back to the food!

Even though I make my own baby food, someone was kind enough to give me a bunch of jars anyway. I went online for some inspiration, but just found lots of different people saying the same exact things - use the greens in spaghetti sauce, squash in mac and cheese, and apples on toast. That's it? Tons of moms with leftover baby food (jarred and homemade), and this is all we could come up with? I had to figure out how to use this stuff up. And since my muffin pan was starting to look neglected in the storage drawer, I got to thinking. What better way than to hide fruits and veggies in mini muffins that I knew my family would eat without question? Genius!

I made two different kinds, Surprise Banana Muffins (on the left) and Sneaky Oatmeal Muffins (on the right). Here is a pic, but since I hate recipes attached to long posts, you can find the recipes by clicking on the names above.

I made 96 muffins and within an hour, there were only 54 left, and I only ate two!
 What is your favorite kitchen gadget? Do you have any creative ideas for using up leftover baby food?

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