Saturday, September 11, 2010

Muffin Tins

Sometimes it's nice to know that the items taking up space in your home are good for multiple functions.  I've been thinking a lot lately about muffin tins, which typically don muffins and cupcakes. 

Many moms out there are serving up bento style lunches at home in muffin tins.  It's a way to use up leftovers, offer a variety of foods to your child, and it's also fun for your child to eat out of a muffin tin on occasion.  Here is a blogger who I like to follow, she does 'Muffin Tin Mondays' with her child.

My garden has had an over-abundance of basil and parsley this year.  While I still have a LOT to use, I decided to save some for use in the winter months when my garden is long gone.  I washed mounds of the leaves, big and small, then stuffed a muffin tin full.  Each one is about 1/2 cup of packed basil.  I then filled up the muffin cups with water and placed it in the freezer.  Once frozen solid, I was able to remove the big cubes of frozen basil and place in a large zipper bag and freeze out in the deep freezer.  If you decide to try this and are having difficulty removing the cubes from the muffin tin, try tilting the tin near the kitchen sink and spraying with lukewarm water on the underside.  This should help them loosen up without melting them!

I work an early morning shift at my job so that I have the ability to pick up the girls in the afternoon when school lets out.  The downside is that I have to rely on my husband to feed them breakfast in the morning.  About once a week I'll prepare something that will be healthy or just different from the ordinary stuff.  I think that making a pot of homemade oatmeal or grits, then freezing in muffin tin cups, would allow him to defrost breakfast in portions as needed!

Why not make quiche or breakfast casserole in muffin tins?  This is a fantastic idea for brunches or pick-me-up breakfasts on the go.

Having a casual ice cream social?  Put different toppings in the muffin cups, add some spoons, and it's an easy setup/cleanup!

What about non-food uses for muffin tins?  If you and/or your kids like to work with beads, you can separate out beads by size, color, use tins for different string types, etc.  Easy for hands to reach in and pick out, and keeps things organized!

Use  your muffin tins when cleaning up small things that pile up in the laundry room.  Emptying out pockets?  Hair bows in one cup, money in a cup, crayons... then when you're done doing laundry, or cleaning up, take the tin with you to put those little things away!
What ideas do you have for muffin tins?
My friend Kimmy chimed in on Facebook, and so I had to share (thanks, Kimmy!):
"I like to make meat loaf in them!! Also at Thanksgiving I make my stuffing in them., called stuffin muffins! :) You can melt down old crayons in them and make new round crayons!!"

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Took time to smell the flowers today...

We went to New Bern, NC, today.  We visited Tryon Palace.  If you're local, you may like to know that they currently open up the gardens FREE on the first Sunday of each month.  We took LOTS of pictures, and here are just a few.  I love North Carolina, and how green it is most of the year.

Hope you can appreciate some of these beautiful pictures!
Have a wonderful Labor Day, and muffin tin ideas are next, I promise I've been working on that!  Also coming soon, a series of lunchbox pictures.