Sometimes I like to play a game with myself during the holidays. When I’ve got a fridge full of leftovers, and a pantry full of odds and ends, I open them up and challenge myself to create something completely original. No running to the store for extra ingredients. It turns out to be great fun. I dare you to try it. Today I played my game and came up with a savory and sweet option to serve my friends who are coming over tonight. My crisp pops taste like a sweet, caramelized churro on a stick, and my mini quiches are delicious warm or served at room temperature. I used my mini muffin tins as a starting place, to inspire easy hors d’oeuvre-sized portions.
Toasted Coconut Cinnamon Crisp Pops
1 cup toasted coconut
2/3 cup butter
10 ounces (1 package) cinnamon flavored or regular marshmallows
6 cups cinnamon flavored cereal
12-18 lollipop sticks
In a large pot over low heat, melt the butter. Lightly grease mini muffin tins and sprinkle a pinch of toasted coconut into each one. Add marshmallows to the melted butter and stir frequently until marshmallows have melted entirely. Stir in cereal, folding it in to incorporate all of the marshmallow and butter mixture. Spoon cereal into each muffin tin and press down tightly to fill the tin and adhere the coconut to the cereal. Push a lollipop stick into the center of each tin and allow to cool completely before serving.
Mini Veggie Quiche
3 tablespoons half-and-half (milk or cream will do)
2 tablespoons dry pancake mix
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4-5 mushrooms, diced
1 small tomato, diced
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk eggs, half-and-half, and pancake mix together. Stir in cheese, mushrooms, tomato, and parsley. Add remaining seasonings, stirring until well combined. Spoon full tablespoons into greased mini muffin tins and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve at room temperature.
HINT: Use your own creativity in these recipes. Nearly any cereal will do for the crisp pops, and the quiches can be a canvas for whatever meats, chesses, and veggies you’ve got in the house. Use what you’ve got to create something completely original!