Saturday, January 1, 2011

Mac & Cheese Cupcake Recipe for kids!

So just what are Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes?  I wondered the same thing when I first saw the previews for Giada De Laurentiis on Food Network one morning.  I yelled for my kids to come quick knowing if they hear Mac & Cheese there interest would spike.  Put it together with the word Cupcakes and they would sit through the whole episode :)  The recipe is pretty simple and can be changed in many ways.  If you would like the original recipe it can be found here Baked Macaroni and Cheese CupcakesThis is the original Food Network Recipe and here are the changes I made, keeping my "skinny jeans" in mind.

Our Recipe Used: 

  • Summer Squash 
  • Zucchini
  • Red Pepper
  • Diced Roma Tomatoes
  • Fresh Spinach (chopped) 
  • Part Skim Mozzarella
  • Reduced Fat Mild Cheddar Cheese
  • Chopped Ham
  • Pepperoni (cut into small triangles)
  • Elbow Noodles (tossed with Summer Squash Puree, see below)
  • Italian Style Breadcrumbs
  • Olive Oil
I used the Mozzarella because my son isn't too crazy about baked macaroni and cheese to begin with so I wanted to put a milder twist on the cheese in these cupcakes.  Again the "picky eater" my son, will not eat meat so I diced up tomatoes (his comfort zone) and added a Summer Squash Puree to the elbow noodles after they had been cooked and cooled for added nutrition.  The Summer Squash Puree Recipe is posted on another blog post and can be found here Summer Squash Puree Recipe.

The kids put the elbow noodles into the Cupcake pans a spoonful at a time, eating some elbow noodles here and there.  Sprinkled some cheese and veggies and whatever choice of meat the preferred, or none, if you can guess which one that was :)  We sprinkled breadcrumbs on top, some more generously than others, then drizzled the olive oil on top.  With the oven preheated to 350 degrees F we let the Mac & Cheese Cupackes bake for about 7-8 minutes.  They came out looking like this!

Very Colorful and not quite as full as they could have been.  This was the first time making this recipe and I am thinking we could have been a little more generous about packing the ingredients in so we will be prepared for next time.  I hope you enjoy making them with your kids!

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