Wednesday, January 18, 2012

monkey cheese•muffins

I will, without shame or regret, put shredded carrots into just about anything...  Cookies, cake, oatmeal, rice, pasta, and certainly into the kids' mac and cheese (which comes out sounding like "monkey cheese" when Oliver says it).  That's why I was really excited to find this simple and really yummy recipe for Carroty Mac and Cheese on Epicurious.  Mojo was happy, too.  He loves carrots and comes running (or more truthfully, at his age, ambling) from anywhere in the house at the sound (or smell?) of me shredding carrots.  
Honestly, my kids still prefer their Annie's (with or without carrot shreds) to this version, but will tolerate this.  Baking it into muffins makes it a little more fun thus a little more acceptable.  
But, really, this one's not so much about them-- Brock and I prefer this one by far.  And baking it into muffins, in our humble opinions, makes it even better-- there's more area to get crispy and chewy.  Comfort food at it's epitome...

the veggies & the love:

Prepare as instructed in the original recipe at:, except bake in muffin tins.  Mini-muffins will take about 12 to 15 minutes, and regular-sized muffins will need 15 to 20. 


I make this pretty true to recipe, with a few simple substitutions (Barilla Plus elbows for the macaroni, plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream, and margarine instead of butter) based on what I usually keep around the house.
* From this recipe I made 12 mini-muffins and 8 regular-sized ones.  We thought the mini ones were the best, but I, sadly, only own one mini-muffin pan.  I'm guessing this would make about 3 dozen minis or about a dozen regular-sized ones, if you just did one size.
* Be sure to grease the muffin tins really well before adding the pasta mixture-- this will be key to getting the muffins out in one piece once they're done.
* Don't forget to reserve a half cup of the cheddar for on top.  Once I wasn't reading the recipe closely enough and I mixed the entire three cups into the pasta, and it didn't come out as good-- it was a little too greasy.
* Let the muffins cool for as long as you can stand it before removing them from the tins (though don't wait 'till they're cold).  The longer you wait, the easier they'll come out in one piece. 
* To remove them: run a knife all around the edge between the muffin and the tin.  Then, use a spoon to lift the contents out in one piece.

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