You won’t find this information at any home or kitchen store. You won’t find this information in the pages of the latest women’s magazine, but I will let you in on a little secret. Your muffin pans are for more than just muffins these days … especially in my house.
I am a multi-tasking mother of three and these days my mottos are: Less Mess = Happy Mama!, Busy Kids = Thrilled Mama!, Easy Dinner = Ecstatic Mama! I bet you never guessed that muffin pans could bring you such joy.
Here are some great ideas for muffin pans that don’t include a Betty Crocker box mix, but will save you hassle, mess, and keep your little ones occupied for hours (well, minutes).
Get out a piggy bank, mismatched craft supplies, or jumbled jewelry and set your children loose at the table. Give them some direction and let them sort. It gets you organized, gives them a purpose, and works their brain while they are having fun. This is a great activity for learning the different coins or for teaching color identification. Make sure you have a reward waiting for when they complete their assigned task.
This is just a different twist on a tried and true recipe. Meatloaf is easy and by adding some creative toppings or layers, you can turn it into a new entrée so you don’t hear, “Awww man, meatloaf again?”
Simply mix up your favorite meatloaf recipe and fill your muffin pans accordingly. Use cheese as a middle layer or top with some wild rice and “Voila!” You have a new family favorite.
Sundae Toppings Organizer
Grab your nearest muffin pan and fill each cavity with a different sundae topping. Use graham cracker crumbs, nuts, chocolate chips, sprinkles, cherries, and any other favorite add-ins and let the crowd loose with their individual bowls of ice cream. Look at it this way—you only have one pan to clean as opposed to many bowls.
Taco Night Ingredients
See above but replace ice cream toppings with taco toppings. Shredded lettuce, peppers, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and even some olives are only a few favorites in our house. The beauty of this is that if you have a large family or are having a party you can use multiple pans to set up different stations around the kitchen and keep the traffic flowing.
Kids love to make their own wrapping paper. Lay out some large plain paper (the back of existing wrapping paper works, too) in a spot that can handle some stray paint. Choose one or more paint colors and paint the circles on the bottom of the muffin pan. Stamp design onto paper and let dry. Wrap gift in its one-of-a-kind designer paper.
How often have you had a toddler throw the crayon bin on the floor and you saw a sea of broken crayons? Don’t throw them away. Keep your little one busy with peeling the paper from them and placing the unwrapped crayon butts in your muffin pans. Spray with non-stick spray first. Place your pan in a preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees until the crayons are almost fully melted. Take out and let cool. This fun activity will clear out your broken crayons, create fun new coloring tools with mixed colors and they make great favors for birthday parties, too!
See, told you so! Muffin pans aren’t just for muffins anymore!