Monday, July 23, 2012

Southeast Meets Western Frontier: Make-Ahead Muffin Melts

Welcome to the beginning of a Southeast Meets Western Frontier series in which I'll attempt a number of recipes from the delicious portfolio published by the ever-talented Pioneer Woman- Ree Drummond.  I imagine I won't be able to wrangle my creativity to follow the recipes exactly as published, but I promise to disclose all acts of rebellion (including links to the original masterpieces) with apologies to their original creator. 

The Pioneer Woman Cooks:  Food from My Frontier by Ree Drummond is the primary source of my Southeast Meets Western Frontier series.  While I do not have the windows overlooking pasture like Ree, I do have a beautiful resident mascot in the kitchen... that would be Supreme Touch of Velvet (the American Saddlebred horse in the picture... just one more thing American dreams are made of).

This breakfast bunch of yum was an easy pick for me.  I generally eat breakfast when I first arrive at work (while checking email).  This recipe struck me as a mobile, freezable, low-cost and filling option.  I made a few changes for my particular diet restrictions/preferences/calories (it's such a complicated lifestyle adults live).  The original recipe can be found here: Make-Ahead Muffin Melts, and below, you'll find an amateur's rendition with modifications to get a yummy product of:

305 calories/16 g carbs/20 g fat/16 g protein per serving.

First step:  Shopping (...the goal being a balance between quality and price)

Ingredients I used.  (Minus the garlic powder, red onion and bell pepper)

The specific ingredients I used:
  • 21 slices Oscar Mayer Turkey Bacon w/ Sea Salt (Smoked Cured - Low Sodium)
    • originally called for 12 slices... but I voted for 21 slices instead ;)
  • 12 hard-boiled L & R Farms, Inc. eggs, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups Great Value Finely Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 cup Duke's Mayonnaise Light
  • 1 tablespoon Ba-Tampte delicatessen style mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon generic garlic powder
  • 5 dashes of French's Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped (~1 cup)
  • 1 cup red, green and/or yellow bell pepper chopped
  • Sea Salt and Chef's Black Pepper to taste

Second step:  Cooking

If you're dieting, this will be the hardest step because the aroma of frying bacon is VERY tempting.

These eggs peeled fairly quickly (a relief since there were 12 of them and I'm impatient).  I boiled them in a tablespoon of table salt and 6 cups of water for 20 minutes.  

The already smoked, cured bacon fried just as quickly.  The original recipe calls for chewy bacon, but I prefer extra crispy so I'd recommend frying to your individual palate's preference.  I used the remaining bacon grease to saute half a red onion chopped (~ 1 cup) and 1 cup of red, green and/or yellow bell pepper chopped. 

Third step:  Preparation

I prepared the spread ingredients in a mixing bowl after chopping and/or sauteing.

Once I had all the ingredients in the bowl, I added the garlic powder, delicatessen style mustard, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper for taste.   

Fourth step:  Baking

The mix makes heaping helpings for each muffin half so feel free to indulge.

I preheated the oven to broil and proceeded to add the spread to each muffin half.  After broiling on the bottom rack for 5 minutes, you get the yummy product below.

Fifth step:  Enjoy!

Yum!  Makes 12 servings (so basically 2 weeks of breakfast if you freeze). 
305 calories/16 g carbs/20 g fat/16 g protein per serving.

  1. The spread can be kept in the refrigerator to prepare fresh each morning.  I prepared all 12 at once, wrapped them in aluminum foil and stored them in the freezer until it was time for me to go to work.  Defrost for 4 minutes and broil in a toaster oven/oven for 4 minutes and enjoy! 
  2. These are filling... Trust me- I work out in the morning and even with heightened metabolism I can eat these at 7 A.M. and be tied-over until 11:30 A.M. for lunch.  A friend and I even tried these before a river floating trip; we ate them at 10:30 A.M. and made it until our next meal at 5:30 P.M. 
  3. If you leave these tasty morsels on broil a couple of minutes too long, you will set off the smoke alarm... trust me- 6am with your hair still in a towel is not a good response time for anyone.  


  1. 1) i am excited to try out some of your future creations!

    2) who writes a blog post at 5am?

    1. Lol! 5 AM on the West Coast so only 8 AM EST... Just a lil ray of sunshine to kick start your day ...and stomachs! :)

  2. So does this mean you have learned how to cook? :)

    1. I feel like cooking is one of those arts that only gets better with time... (or at least that's what I'm hoping :)