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Being a snowed in sort of weekend, we stayed in. And, being a snowed in sort of weekend, I started craving two things; soup and bread. So I made an old standard around here. Lasagna Soup. And a new recipe from King Arthur Flour; Spicy Cheddar Muffins. The Lasagna Soup was as good as ever, especially on such a cold day and the Spicy Cheddar Muffins were the perfect bread to go with it. My daughter loved them so much she ate three! And they were SO EASY to make. Want to see?
I can’t remember where I found this recipe…I know it was a website, but it was so long ago that I just don’t know! I can practically make it from memory, but here is the basic recipe I use. I change it every time I make it. This time I used linguini noodles, but have been know to use broken lasagna noodles, bow tie noodles, and rotini. My favorite is simple egg noodles, but I didn’t have any. I didn’t use spinach this time which was purely by accident. I bought it. I just forgot to put it in.
1 pound bulk Italian sausage (I used ground beef this time)
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups sliced mushrooms (fresh)
2 tablespoons minced garlic (I think I used more like 3)
4 cups chicken broth
1 can (15 oz size) Italian style tomatoes (I used two. Can’t have too many tomatoes!)
1 can (15 oz size) tomato sauce
2 cups fresh chopped spinach
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
4 teaspoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 cup mafalda pasta (or other pasta)
Brown your meat. Add in onions and garlic. Then add in broth, tomatoes, sauce. Get the soup boiling. Add in the pasta. Cook until barely al dente. Add in cheeses and chopped spinach. Turn off stove. Pasta will finish cooking as it cools. This tastes like lasagna in a bowl! Serve with crusty garlic bread.
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (I omitted this)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I omitted this too. See next ingredient.)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (I used my pepper, garlic and sea salt grinder.)
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) extra-sharp grated cheddar cheese, divided (I used more like 2 cups. What can I say, I like cheese!)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick, 2 ounces) butter
1 cup (8 ounces) milk
1 large egg
*To add fiber to your diet in delicious fashion, substitute 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour + 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) King Arthur All Natural White Whole Wheat Flour (or 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour All-Purpose Flour) for the 2 cups all-purpose flour.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease the wells of a 12-cup muffin pan, or grease muffin papers and place them in the wells.
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, peppers, and 1 cup of the grated cheese. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat together the butter and milk, stirring until the butter melts. Cool to comfortably warm (e.g., it doesn’t burn your finger when you test it), whisk in the egg, and pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir just till everything is thoroughly moistened. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them nearly full. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese, then very lightly with paprika, if desired, for added color.
Bake the muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Remove them from the oven, cool them in the pan for 5 minutes, then serve and enjoy warm; or transfer from the pan to a rack to cool completely. Store muffins wrapped, at room temperature. They’re best enjoyed warm, so when you’re ready to serve, reheat briefly in the microwave (15 seconds or less), or in a preheated 350°F oven, lightly wrapped in foil, for about 10 minutes.
Yield: 12 muffins.
These muffins are cheesy in the best sense of the word! With their slight kick of pepper, they pair beautifully with your breakfast eggs, with a salad or soup, or even as a substitute for garlic bread with pasta. They’re a snap to put together, and can go from inspiration to ready-to-enjoy in less than 30 minutes.