Muffin tin cooking is the all the rage. Recipes featuring the previously all but forgotten little baking pan are all over Pinterest and FaceBook with recipes being shared daily. But why the trend toward mini food? For starters, it’s fun for kids and better yet, it facilitates more reasonably sized portions. I myself have been using muffin tins for some time in my Once a Month Freezer Cooking for these reasons and more. Food cooks quicker in them, cools faster, and stores in the freezer in individual servings so that they thaw and reheat faster as well.
Lately though I’ve noticed a trend in the pinned recipes. They’re little more than processed foods all thrown together – there’s nothing really balanced or nutritious about them. So I couldn’t have been more excited to receive the Muffin Tin Chef: 101 Savory Snacks, Adorable Appetizers, Enticing Entrees and Delicious Desserts cookbook where I found that it’s not only authored by a nutritionist and freelance nutrition writer so the recipes are balanced, but they’re made from scratch, and they’re as simple as the processed food recipes that are so popular.
Cookbook Author Matt Kadey with a lovely bunch of Kale - Source: MuffinTinMania.com
I got the opportunity to ask the author, Matt Kadey, a couple of questions about his brand-new cookbook. I was interested to learn what he thought was the biggest challenge to writing the book? He responded, “When I first started working on the book, we were experiencing a brutal heat wave and the last thing I wanted to do was turn on the stove. That’s how some of the frozen muffin tin recipes in the book came to be.” And there are numerous incredible frozen recipes contained in the book. My favorite? Frozen Berries with White Chocolate Cashew Cream – it’s a combination of unsalted raw cashews (I’ll be substituting almonds or walnuts as I’m not a fan of cashews), high-quality white chocolate, vanilla, and fresh blueberries, currants, and raspberries. I’ve never made a nut cream before but it looks very easy and I’m defiantly going to give it a try soon.
You can’t help but notice Matt’s unique style in the book, “Developing the recipes was also a big task as I wanted them to be unique but approachable. It was not always easy to take something that is usually prepared flat and make it round, such as the tuna noodle casseroles.” And what about portion control? Muffin tins come in all sizes – mini to maxi, how do I choose? Matt notes, “Indeed, portion control is a big bonus. I think many recipes can be adapted to various muffin tin sizes. However, I find the standard medium sized is the most versatile pan and still produces portions that are good for tykes.” So what size is a “standard” size? One that has approximately 1/2 cup capacity.
Muffin Tin Chef Cookbook
So what’s next for Matt? He’s focusing on his freelance nutrition writing and developing recipes for magazines (his work has appeared in dozens of publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Shape, Vegetarian Times, Fit Pregnancy, Runner’s World, Bicycling and Men’s Journal), but he’s continuing to cook in his muffin tins and he shares the efforts at his website, Muffin Tin Mania.I pointed out to Matt that I believe that Freezer Cooking and muffin tin cooking seem like a perfect marriage and I asked if he had any tips for freezing and baking or baking and freezing in the book? Matt points out, “Yes, I have a few recipes that don’t involve any baking as you freeze the contents in the muffin tin. Works out great for the summer heat. For each recipe, I indicate if it can be frozen for latter use. Often I will make up a batch of something such as muffin tin meat loafs and freeze some for times when I am too busy to cook. I find its best to wrap cooked items individual and store the lot in a zip-top bag in the freezer. To defrost, often I just put them back in the muffin tins while still frozen and bake for several minutes. I also have a recipe in the book for frozen muffin batter that can be baked at a later date.”
- 101 recipes and 65 full-color photos
- Appetizers, entrees, snacks, desserts, and more.
- Help on choosing the right pans
- Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and Freezer options are marked
- Resources for tools and ingredients
- Publication Date: April 17, 2012
- ISBN-10: 161243052X / ISBN-13: 978-1612430522
- Kindle Edition (available 6/12/12)
We rate this a must-own cookbook!
Photo Credit: Muffin Tin Chef