Sunday, September 12, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - There's No Place Like Home!

This week's MTM theme is movies. And boy, was I stumped. Little Z hasn't seen many movies. Little Mermaid 1 & 3 (she wasn't interested in the non-Ariel mermaid one,) parts of The Princess and the Frog, and the end of the live-action Alice In Wonderland. I don't have any mermaid cutters, but I do have some ocean life ones, but it would involve a lot of customization, which I wasn't in the mood for this week, seeing as how I'd be gone for 2 days. I have a frog prince sandwich cutter, and a princess crown, but not much else. And I couldn't think of anything other than masks to do with that (I don't have an alligator or firefly cutter, although I have a bee that could fake it.) So I settled on Alice In Wonderland. I could cobble together an olive caterpillar, a berry mouse, I have rabbit and cat cutters, maybe a playing card sandwich, and something with 'Eat Me' and 'Drink Me' on it. But I'd have to buy strawberries, and I don't have any teacups, which would have looked awesome with it. I thought of some other stuff, but it would require buying more food, and wouldn't look as good as if I had cutters the right shape(s.) It would be okay, but I knew I'd be disappointed in how it turned out, since it could have been so much better.

But then... Saturday. Mail arrived. In it? MY NEW CUTTERS! I got a princess set with a shoe, a dog set, and some Halloween sets with witches and hats and brooms. Hooray! Wizard of Oz had been an idea I'd been toying with, but I didn't have a shoe or witch cutter, and didn't want to freehand them. But now.... SHAZAM!

From left to right, top to bottom: Fruit leather Wicked Witch hat & broom, 'fairy bread' Glinda, cornbread 'yellow brick road,' Cowardly Lion quesadilla, Tin Man's heart sandwich, Scarecrow quesadilla, cheese Toto, apples (we were a little bread and cheese heavy on this meal, and I had a space to fill,) 'fairy bread' Ruby Slipper, cheese No Place Like Home, jam-covered bread heart (made on a whim, and used as filler, really.)

The Plan:

The Reality:

Wicked Witch: I used the hat from my new mini Halloween set, and the broom from my regular Halloween set. Fruit leather is hard to punch through, but I'm getting better at it. Once you press the cutter deep enough that it's not just falling of when you pick it up, it's then fairly easy to push up from the bottom to get the cutter all the way through the fruit leather. I slice 2-3 sides of the fruit leather wrapper and keep the fruit leather on it. This keeps my cutting board sticky-free, but is also easier on my hands, since the cutter punching through the leather is then blocked from cutting into my flesh by the plastic!
I then fold the plastic back over the scraps, put them in a Ziplock, push out all the air and save them for another project or another snack. (If there's too much air exposure, they tend to go dry. So putting them in a tupperware-type container isn't as good.) You can also pre-make shapes out of the fruit leather and store them this way for when you want to use it. I like to put them back in their own plastic so that the Ziplock doesn't get all gooey, so I can just re-use the same one over and over, to reduce waste. If you are just making fun shapes, you can also try and space them so you can make 'negatives' - cut squares around the shape hole, and have 2 shapes - a square with a star cut out, and a star!


Fairy Bread (Glinda & Ruby Slipper): Apparently, fairy bread is a big thing in Australia. It's just buttered bread with sprinkles on it. For Glinda, I used one of my new Sandwishes Lunch Punches. [For best results, slice off the crust first. This helps improve the punch details, since the crust does a pretty good job of 'supporting' the frame, making the bread tear more, or stretch taut and resist the details imprints. Also, be sure to use a flat surface, like a cutting board or counter, rather than a plate. Trust me.] I decided to just color her crown and dress, and luckily, I had blue sugar sprinkles! (My sprinkle assortment only has red and blue sugar, which worked out perfectly for me today!) I buttered on little green sprinkle eyes. I was a little sloppy with the sugar, assuming that I could shake off any excess on the unbuttered parts. Ha ha. No. So next time I'll be more careful! I used my new princess shoe cutter for the Ruby Slipper, and I didn't have to be as careful using the sprinkles on that one!


Tin Man's Heart: I couldn't figure out how to make a tin man, other than using foil, and I'm trying to make these as edible as possible. I might eventually use a decorative pick or something, but that could be used as a utensil, so I could justify it. The best thing I could think to do was use foil to line that muffin cup, and make a tin man head, but I was worried it would look a lot like the scarecrow. But when brainstorming with Unka Seesee, he asked me what the characters were looking for in the story, and I had an AHA! moment ad decided to make a heart! He was trying to suggest some complicated layered sandwich, but then I remembered my graduated hearts cutters, and decided I could have the bottom slice be largest, and the top slice be smaller, with another heart cut out of IT. Hooray! I have squeezable jelly, so I squirted in what looked to be enough and gently spread it around with a butter knife to even it out. I thought the little cut-out heart was too cute, so I put some jelly on it and saved it.


Lion & Scarecrow: I had originally planned a scarecrow sandwich and a 2-cheese lion, but my cheddar wasn't big enough to be either the mane or the face. And I was worried that there were too many bread/sandwiches. I had toyed with making a tortilla roll-up 'diploma' for brains, which made me think of trying to make shaped quesadillas! I used a biscuit cutter to make 2 circles for the scarecrow head, and the hat part of a witch's head (from my regular size Halloween cutters) to make 2 hats. I used my large flower to make 2 'manes' and then used my medium biscuit cutter to cut a face out of one of them. I grated some cheese onto a plate and sprinkled it between the layers on all 3 shapes. My husband took the tortilla scraps and some cheese scraps to cook to snack on.

Sadly, while I successfully turned both dials to BROIL this time, it never occurred to either of us that BROIL has a range from 400-500 degrees, or that maybe the top rack wasn't the best idea. Luckily, I decided to check on them just to learn about the process. WHOA! Charred quesadillas! I decided that punching shapes out of that particular brand of tortilla was not fun for me, and I didn't want to bother, so she could eat burnt lion. (No idea what brand. They're HUGE and some brand I've never heard of. Plus the bag has been sitting open, so they're all stale and crispy on one side now.) I had to use scissors to finish cutting out the flowers/manes the first time. Not a fan of doing it again!

Z and daddy came back from their walk as I was working with the cheese. She saw the foil-lined pan, the tortilla and the cheese and came to the right conclusion. "Can I help you decorate with the cheese?" (I think because 'grate' sounds kind of similar, and you sprinkle the cheese on, 'decorating' the tortilla.) So she went to work mangling my sliced cheese and destroying my first cheese Toto, but she made a bunch of mini egg and mini tombstone cheeses! (I had toyed with using the tombstone somehow to make the lion's snout. Maybe cut one out and then use the rounded end again on the flat side to make an oval. But It didn't end up needing one.)

I used chocolate 'jimmies' (the one's I've been calling budgies and midgies!) as lion whiskers and just pressed them into the melted cheese. The sliced olives I had planned for the eyes looked way too big/wrong, so I used mini chocolate chips instead. And another for the nose. Weird combination, I know, cheese and chocolate. But Little Z dips broccoli in her ice cream and apples in her ketchup, so I knew she'd be fine.

For the scarecrow, the sliced olives looked fine, and I used one of Z's mini easter-egg cheeses for a nose. Glued them and the hat on with cream cheese, and sprinkled some shredded cheese 'straw' around it on the tin.


The Rest: We had made cornbread yesterday, so I opted for that instead of toasted cheese Triscuit nachos for the yellow brick road. I made a cheese house with the mini house cutter from the Halloween set, initially to use with the ruby slipper, like when the house fell on the witch, but I decided to have it at the end, like a little 'No Place Like Home.' And used the little jam heart too. I used my new dog cutter to make Toto out of cheese.
As I was putting it all on the muffin tin, I had one space left. Ugh. I couldn't think of how to do a wizard, and every time my eyes slid away, little pudgy fingers would start creeping up, trying to reach the "rhedt spinkle sannich." I thought about making an O and a Z, using my large and mini Easter egg cutters for the O, and free-handing the Z. But golly. I really didn't want to, and the chances of the finished parts surviving that long were rapidly diminishing as the Princess realized she can push her little chair around the kitchen and use it as a stool to reach anywhere on the counters!
I managed to stall her long enough to toss some apples in the last muffin cup, drag her downstairs with me to see if we had "The Wizard of Oz" on DVD (we don't) and take some 'beauty shots' at the table. She was sitting patiently on the table, eager to get started.

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth


  1. HA! I hadn't planned it to be clever, but she even had water to drink with it! I should have had the broom and hat by a cup of water, like she had already melted!

  2. Great idea. It turned out so cute. I am definitely saving this idea.

  3. Great tin. I just love Wizard of Oz. I haven't shown it to my 3 yr old yet. Wonder if he'd like it? No telling. Sometimes he gets taken up by the oddest things ;-)
    Your Glenda is just charming. Love that blue sparkle!

  4. WOW! I'm impressed!

  5. You planned! I usually open the fridge shortly before lunch and stare blankly inside.

  6. This is amazing! I love all the planning that went into your meal. It really came together so well.

  7. Wow, what an awesome, well thought out tin. I usually have a glimmer of an idea ahead of time, but end up throwing it together last minute.

  8. kewkew - Oh, I'm DEFINITELY last minute too! I usually end up making this elaborate meal just after lunch, while she's napping. So she just snacks on a little of it, so I can get my pics! :)

    I got Scrabble Cheeze-Its (with letters stamped into them,) so now I'll have last-minute letters if needed! I also just saw a tub of Eating Right letter cookies at Safeway, that are actual letter shapes, rather than a square with a letter on it (like Earth's Best's cookies.) I should have bought them :P
    But my mini letter and number cutters are on a boat somewhere from Japan, so I'm super excited! Got some circus and Xmas cutters in my mail today, and 2 Xmas silicone muffin pans. WAHOO! I love eBay!

  9. Very cute tin! Love your blue sparkly Glinda. :) Lots of clever ideas!

  10. you really are creative. I just showed my hubby the picture of the completed tin, and he was able to guess what the theme was! nicely done with the new shapes.

  11. OMG! How clever and creative!!

    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.
    Have a nice day!


Go ahead! Tell me how awesome I am. Or ask a question. Whatever.

(Please note that I had to disable Anonymous comments. Too many spam comments coming through the filters.)