Muffin Mania and Pancake Art

By: Kirsten Vala

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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