Muffin Mania and Pancake Art

By: Kirsten Vala
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Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so I was really excited to put together our online Breakfast feature. After the pancake explosion I created for Mother's Day, I tried to focus mostly on bacon and eggs for this one. But the carb-lover inside me couldn't resist adding French toast and sticky buns. (I love to watch Bobby struggle with baking in Throwdown: Sticky Buns)

And, of course, I added muffin recipes. Muffins are a great grab-and-go breakfast treat, and they usually freeze well, so they can be a cheap, healthy, home-made frozen pastry. Ina's Blueberry Muffins look like the most-loved on FoodNetwork.com, but Sunny's Sunny Morning Muffins caught my eye.

Along with blueberries, Sunny mixes in chopped strawberries, mashed bananas and walnuts, for a muffin bursting with fruit flavor. For a healthy twist, I substituted a cup of whole-wheat flour for white flour and added a tad less sugar. They turned out great! I would suggest using less nutmeg and more cinnamon, but that's just my personal taste – I usually take it easy with nutmeg, as the flavor can be a little overwhelming. And before you dive in, make sure to watch Sunny's video for tips and the story behind these treats.

Don't miss: Pancake Art! This is a great story from the Food Network Magazine, about a diner owner who creates pancakes in the shape of mermaids, dinosaurs and, yes, people. See Food Network Chefs in pancake art (hilarious!), and our how-to slideshow for attempting it at home. I even tracked down the video from Diners, Drive-ins and Dives that inspired the magazine story, so you can watch Mustache Bill in action as he creates a Guy pancake.

Cool recipe that didn’t make the cut: Alton's Toaster Pastries – Try making your own toaster-ready fruit pies for a quick breakfast.

- Kirsten, Web Editor
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Pancake Art

Using a batter-filled squeeze bottle, Smith drew the outline of each face and let the lines cook slightly, then filled in the gaps with more batter. The outlines cooked longer, so they were darker than the rest of the pancake.

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