Susan S. Yeske: Dining In - Recipe of the Week

For school lunch, try corn dog muffins



Mini corn dog muffins are a homemade treat you can put in kids’ lunches for school.

The return of the school year means the return of making lunch for children to take to school. With those lunches comes the wondering if the kids are really eating what you make, or whether they are judging their lunch by its value for trading.

Some folks are lucky and have kids who are happy with the same peanut butter sandwich every day. We have one of those in our family, but we also have one who demands variety.

Many of today’s kids have sophisticated appetites and are willing to try foods that we would have been puzzled by in our day. Sushi and Thai food were unheard of back then, but now you have kids who are willing to try almost anything. Those are great when you are at a restaurant and have time to let them experiment. But lunchtime at school is short so the kids need food that can be eaten quickly and easily without a lot of mess, so expediency is the priority.

You can find hundreds of artistic and alluring lunchbox suggestions on the Internet, but most of them are time-consuming. Even the familiar Ants on a Log (celery sticks with a smear of peanut butter topped with raisins) can take longer to make than a sandwich, depending on how many “logs” you have to make.

That takes us back to the staples, peanut butter (with or without jelly) or cold cuts, apples or other fruit, bags of chips or pretzels, sandwich bags stuffed with salad with dressing on the side, granola bars, nuts, homemade cookies, muffins and yogurt. These are all good ideas that keep the kids fed until they get home after school for a snack, which is the true goal.

If you find something they like, stick with it as long as you can.

There is nothing wrong with sandwiches, but if your child likes corn dogs, you might try these muffins from iowagirleast.com, which can be made using traditional flours or gluten-free. And who knows? If they don’t like them, maybe they will be good for trading.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins
½ cup melted butter
½ cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal (find gluten-free if avoiding gluten)
1 cup all-purpose flour or gluten-free baking blend
½ teaspoon salt
8 to 10 all-beef hot dogs, cut into 1-inch bites

Preheat oven to 375°F. Combine butter and sugar in a bowl then whisk to combine. Add eggs then whisk to incorporate, and then add buttermilk and whisk to incorporate.

In a separate bowl, combine baking soda, cornmeal, flour, and salt then stir to combine. Whisk into wet ingredients in two batches.

Spray a mini muffin tin very well with non-stick spray then spoon 1 tablespoon batter into each mini muffin cup. Place one hot dog bite into the middle of each cup.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until cornbread is golden brown. Cool in mini muffin tin for 5 minutes before serving.

Store leftovers in the refrigerator then re-heat for 20 to 30 seconds before serving.

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