Sunday, March 6, 2011

Muffin Tin Monday - Seuss on the Loose!

Since last Wednesday, March 2, was Dr. Seuss's birthday (and also Read Across America!) I decided to try a Seussical Muffin Tin Monday meal. I had originally planned some elaborate sandwich/colored cheese/cut veggies Seuss lunch. But I really wanted to incorporate Green Eggs and Ham, and Z loves her "dippin' eggs" (over-easy.) Since I was already going there, I decided it would be a lot easier to just make pancakes to fit the rest of the book themes I wanted to portray. Ha ha ha. Little did I know...

Green Eggs and Horton Hears a Blue Fish in the Hat
Cat In the Hat, Horton Hears a Who, and One Fish Two Fish pancakes, maple syrup*,
"ham" toast, and "Green Egg"
*Please note - the reflection in the maple syrup is my hand holding the camera! Love it!
Cat In the Hat [aka: Cat in the..."Oh, Darnit!"]: I saw Jenni Price's pancake art and some of the step-by-step photos, so I figured I could do something much sloppier more basic. First I found an empty condiments bottle that I think I bought just for this purpose, and mixed up a batch of pancake mix. I started with the plain batter, to make an outline of the hat. You do this part before heating up the pans. This way you don't burn the earlier stuff while still adding stuff later.
Then I added a little red food coloring to the leftover batter in the bottle and filled in the red strips on the hat. While I was at it, I made a red fish too. I *almost* just dumped out the rest of the red, but decided to pour it into an empty cup juuuust in case.

Horton Hears a Who [aka: Horton Hears Mommy Cussing]: My original plan had been to do something with my elephant cookie cutter, like just punch a shape out of a regular pancake. But while rooting around in the cupboard for a nonstick [HA!] pan, I found an animal head pan I had bought for my sister, then traded her for one with even more animals on it. It has an elephant head imprint on it. Hooray! So I filled in the outer area with the plain batter (before washing it out for red, as mentioned above) and then mixed up a batch of blue and filled in the elephant head area, plus added a blue fish under the red fish on my regular pan (see photo above.) 
I poured on a little more plain batter after, just to fill out the pan. (Also on an unheated pan.)

One Fish, Two Fish. Red Fish, Blue Fish [aka: One Fish, Two Fish, I am SO done with this!]: I made the little colored fishies as I was doing the other colored parts, but I added a blob of plain batter over the top to make a regular-shaped background. It was a perfect little circle. Super cute!

For those of you paying attention, never once did I mention greasing the pans. Arrrrrgh! Nonstick, my a...ssets! The only one that didn't immediately buckle and crunch up was the elephant, because I wasn't using the spatula on it. I just tried flipping it out of the specialty pan and into the regular pan. Fail. But I could at least see that my blue-elephant was a feasible idea. If I wanted to try, try again.

So for attempt two [sigh. Thank goodness I had saved the leftover red batter!] I slathered butter everywhere the eye could see. This caused whole new problems. Since my bottle still had the blue batter, I made my blue fish first this time, and then poured the rest into an empty cup (since I'd need the plain batter in there to fill the holes around the elephant's head.) I squeezed out plain batter, then just poured on the rest of the blue, rather than bother with the squeeze bottle again for that.
It still fell apart a little coming off the pan, but I no longer gave two figs felt it was good enough.
I did the white outline for the hat again, but each part that was filled in red was a little island floating in a sea of butter. The whole thing came apart when I tried moving it. And the blue fish floated off on a wave of golden deliciousness when I poured the plain batter over the top, so I had to make the pancake larger than intended. And for some reason the fish pancake had black smooge all over it.

At this point I was SO done. So since I still had red in my squeeze bottle, I just did some red stripes and poured plain batter into a vague hat shape... nope. Okay. Into a circle shape. Good enough!
In hindsight, I should have just done the whole outline in red too. Ah well.

Green Eggs and Ham [aka: Gross Eggs and Ham]: After throwing out making a bajillion pancakes, I was so not in the mood for any of this anymore, so I asked my husband to make the over-easy Green Egg for me. Plus he's better at flipping them without breaking the yolk. My original plan had been to make a perfect egg [HA! Fat chance!] and then pop the yolk and mix some blue coloring to make a kind of green. Instead I just told my husband to mix green in with the egg whites before cooking and called it good. Looks completely disgusting Thanks, honey!
Since she and I like dipping toast into our egg yolks, I made toast and used a pig-shaped cutter to be the "ham." Plus we don't have any actual ham. Or bacon. Or anything remotely close, other than possibly a pork chop.

Since I know I'd want a liner for the maple syrup (in case she needed to move it closer or something) I pretty much had to stick to either a regular round muffin pan, or else my heart-shaped one, since those are the only shapes that I have loose silicone liners that fit. I just decided to use my regular pan. So to jazz up the other holes, I decided on my StayBrite Polka Dot liners since they're kind of fun and wacky, like I Dr. Seuss books. Plus the package I got came with a bunch of deformed ones with huge hunks cut out. If I were using these to make cupcakes or muffins, I'd be seriously peeved, but since I'm using some just for show, I just hid the deformed side towards the front of each muffin compartment. No harm, no foul!

After an initial "I don't like green eggs and ham!" [where I delightedly got to do the "Try it, try it and you may! Try it and you may, I say!" line] she went for her Horton pancake.
 And then quickly moved on to her "green egg" and "ham." She dipped her toast into the syrup...
 ...and then into the egg! Ewwww Yum!
She ended up eating all the toast and egg yolk (she rarely eats the whites anymore anyway, so I didn't sweat it) and most of her pancakes. Ahhhh!

Check out the other fun Muffin Tin Meals this week!
Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth


  1. This looks fun! I really should do something Seussish in the way of a muffin tin, but haven't yet!

  2. You did an awesome job! This was a lot of work.

  3. Oh dear, I was just about in tears laughing reading this! I'm so sorry it was so stressful for you, but it's so nice to know other people stuff everything up occasionally too! Besides it looks like Little Z enjoyed her lunch. And I love your elephant pan - very cute!

  4. Wow, this tin truly was a labor of love! I love your whole Suess concept!

  5. Wow! You got creative this week! nice job!

  6. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!! I am a stay at home dad, and I truly love reading your posts and getting new ideas for my little girl, who is about to turn 3. My blog is I really enjoy hearing all your ideas for various things. Thanks. Keep it up, you do a wonderful job.

  7. NIce job I want to try that pancake thing as well. Happy MTM!

  8. Yeah. And can you believe I had FAR loftier ideas planned for this MTM originally. Craaaazeeee! I was all like "Ooh! Pancakes should be MUCH easier than shaped sandwiches and cheese and stuff!" HA! I could have made MTMs for her whole preschool class in the time it took me to make three - that's right. THREE - little pancakes. And they didn't even turn out perfect or anything.
    I'm TOTALLY investing in some more squeezy bottles! A lot of the hassle was rinsing and changing colors. Then re-rinsing, changing BACK, then doing it all again. Argh.
    So Dana - if you try that pancake thing, plan ahead... and don't skip pesky little steps like greasing your pans! Maybe I could do it with Ziplocks and corners cut off... like pastry bags...

  9. She seems perfectly thrilled with her breakfast, great job!

  10. Hey Girl...gotta say I did enjoy your adventure! You have quite a way with storytelling! I sure do hope my tutorial today helps ya...and I have tried the ziplock bag with the corners cut off and I promise you, you will have more of these kind of adventures to tell! Hee! Hee! Seriously, just get some more squeeze bottles and use the cooking spay (you'll like that better!). I do really hope you try it again....after the dust settles! Loved your post!

  11. So cute, I'm impressed with the pancake idea!


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