Spotlight on Savory: Southwest Pecorino Romano Bacon Mini Muffins

by Irvin on February 17, 2011 · 22 comments

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Once a month, I’ll be highlighting a savory item on this blog, because there is only so much sugar and butter one can eat. Today’s savory item is a Southwest Pecorino Romano Bacon Mini Muffin.

Savory Muffins

Before I left my day job back in September, a coworker of mine pulled me aside and confided in me a secret. She was pregnant! She had been trying for quite some time, and finally FINALLY it happened! I couldn’t be more thrilled about it for her. My former coworker is a pretty amazing person, and she has gone through some incredible obstacles in her life, but having her there, telling me her dream of having a baby was coming true, was so fantastic and joyous. And then she asked me if I would cater her baby shower. How could I say no? So four months later, I found myself trying to come up with a decent menu for forty people for a baby shower. One of the items was the Southwest Pecorino Romano Bacon Mini Muffin which I made with New Mexico Hatch Valley fire roasted green chiles.

Shower Buffet

My former coworker’s friend Janet was organizing the brunch. She had contacted me about the menu and requested that I make cupcakes. Not a problem for me. Janet, however, was very VERY specific about what she wanted. The cupcakes were to be baked in pink muffin cups with jumbo confetti sprinkles on top. In fact, she went out and bought the exact muffin cup that she wanted them baked in AND bought the jumbo confetti.

My favorite part though, was her telling me that she bought the jumbo confetti sprinkles, emptied them out and took out all the orange dots, because they didn’t go with her brunch theme colors. I LOVE that.

Cupcakes

No orange dots there!

Once I arrived at the shower, I was totally blown away by how awesome it looked, and, frankly a little intimidated! What if my food didn’t stand up to how amazing the rest of the baby shower was? It was like a wedding reception, complete with name tags and tiered “baby diaper” wedding cakes that Janet and a friend had made as centerpieces for each table. Insane! They looked totally professional and fantastic. Every guest marveled and stared at them.

Baby Shower

Diaper Cake

Baby Shower

The cupcake tower Janet had gotten looked pretty fantastic as well and made my cupcakes look gorgeous. And thankfully, everyone there seemed to enjoy the food I brought (though I realized that I probably didn’t provide enough “nonspicy” food for people to enjoy, as the chicken skewers, mini muffins AND mac and cheese were all spicy). I think I might have gone a little heavy handed with the cayenne pepper on the mac and cheese. Oh well, live and learn.

Cupcake Tower

My former coworker looked radiant and beautiful. Janet got emotional when she gave the toast (with non-alcoholic sparkling apple cider of course). Nearly every baby present that my coworker got was utterly adorable. And luckily there were no baby shower games. I am not a fan of trying to figure out what type of candy bar has been melted in the diaper or guessing what the baby food is.

Janet

Janet giving a heartfelt toast

You can probably guess that I do occasionally cater, but every time I do, I’m pretty nervous about it. Usually my catering skews towards sweets and desserts (as you can tell by this blog) and I usually don’t cater for a crowd this big. So the cupcakes were a breeze to make; dark chocolate cupcakes with vanilla Swiss meringue frosting and vanilla cupcakes with chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream. I’m in love with Swiss meringue buttercream. It’s now my favorite frosting ever. Though note to self, if you have someone asks you to cater a party with cupcakes, buy some more muffin tins. One muffin tin to make 48 cupcakes just doesn’t cut it.

But the savory stuff. Well I sort of winged it. I tried to come up with items that would taste decent at room temperature as I knew that I would not have access to kitchen equipment when I got there to warm stuff up. My final menu:

Vegetable Mini Fritatas
Creamy Spinach Dip
Mexican Adobo Rubbed Chicken Skewers
Spicy Smoked Gouda & White Cheddar Mac and Cheese
Southwest Pecorino Romano Bacon Savory Mini Muffins
Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Vanilla Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Luckily Janet put a call out to people and a few of them brought salads as well, to balance all the protein and carbs I provided!

Baby Shower Buffet

thankfully there were salads

But it was these mini muffins that I really loved. Maybe it was the bacon in them. Maybe it was the Hatch green chiles that I used. I recently fell in love Hatch green chilis when I went to a New Year’s Day brunch at my friend Sean and Paul’s house. They made enchiladas with hatch green chiles and I was immediately smitten with them. So when I found canned ones I snatched some up.

Sean, of course, turns his nose up at the canned ones, but I don’t have the connections that he has, to procure some real ones, so I make do with the canned.

Baby Shower Buffet

My former coworker seemed to really appreciate all the food. Which is what matters most. Janet had provided lovely “gift bags” for coming to the shower. Inside each bag, a hand sanitizer for when my former coworker gives birth and we go and visit the baby. I can’t wait to use it and meet the child. She’s going to be an amazing mom.

baby shower favors

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa February 17, 2011 at 5:17 am

What an incredible meal!! You are a natural talent. It’s so lovely that even though the job wasn’t right, the people are still in your life and at the end of the day, that’s what counts. Congratulations to mom.

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

The job wasn’t perfect for me, but I definitely met some wonderful people there and I’m still in touch with them. I know the person we are throwing the baby shower for will be a wonderful mom!

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yikes February 17, 2011 at 11:40 am

Janet sounds a bit psycho, but this is all looks great!

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:25 pm

LOL. I wouldn’t call Janet psycho so much as very particular and knew what she wanted. Which I can certainly relate to! It was actually a good thing.

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Garrett February 17, 2011 at 11:48 am

Wow, props to you. I would never cater something myself. You have more moxie than me.

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Thanks Garrett! It wasn’t fancy catering, so don’t be too impressed. It’s not like I’ve ever worked at a bakery or restaurant while working on a thesis or anything like that!

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The Daily Palette February 17, 2011 at 11:56 am

Congratulations! The food looks great, and I’m sure delicious! You just made my peppers to grow list longer.

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Thanks! Everyone seemed to love the food at the event. And if you can grow Hatch Valley peppers, do it. They are wonderful!

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merri February 17, 2011 at 11:58 am

How useful. On Saturday I will be attending (via skype) my sister’s babyshower brunch. They are making the food themselves, my sister and mother. I emailed mum your recipe, it looks good. I think she may not make it since my sister is vegetarian… The bad thing about attending via skype is I don’t get any of the food. Your whole menu looks yummy. I was also interested to see what the shower-goers were wearing, as I’m still having a wardrobe question..i’m really not a baby shower veteran since I don’t hang out with females very often! Yay for new babies & congrats to your friend!

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I hope the baby shower went well! Most of the baby shower attendants were nicely dressed, but not super dressy! I think I showed up in nice jeans. And yes, yay for babies!

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Lawyer Loves Lunch February 17, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I love party posts! I can’t believe she made a diaper cake for each table. That is hardcore (almost as hardcore as picking out the orange confetti dots). And really, you can never have too much cayenne ;)

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I totally feel that way too! Never have too much cayenne. And everyone was marveling at the diaper cakes. They were amazing!

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Kim - Liv Life February 19, 2011 at 3:22 pm

What an amazing job you did!! And I’m loving those muffins… I literally just cooked bacon for my daughter’s lunch and have enough left over for this recipe with the fat in the pan. Nice timing!

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Whoo hoo! I can’t believe you have leftover bacon. That never happens in this household!

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Phuoc'n Delicious February 20, 2011 at 4:08 am

Ngaww… That’s so sweet of you to do that! And lol at Janet for taking out the orange confetti, I think I would have done the same!

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:51 pm

I know! I was highly amused when Janet told me she had taken out the orange confetti. Hilarious!

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Brian @ A Thought For Food February 20, 2011 at 6:34 pm

I think there’s a collective swoon from all of us who have come across this post. Savory muffins? I’m sold!

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Irvin February 21, 2011 at 5:52 pm

A collective swoon? That’s so sweet. But really, savory muffins rock. You can make them brunch or have them with soup or chili or serve them for dinner instead of rolls. I love them.

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Rita February 23, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Niiiice baby shower!! I love that she picked out the orange confetti dots. I would totally do that.

I am a fan of the guess-the-chocolate-bar-in-the-diaper game. It’s hilarious to see everyone frowning and studying and even sniffing, passing diapers around. I never knew that was the activity that made you look most like a parent.

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Irvin February 24, 2011 at 4:36 pm

I am just not a fan of any baby shower games. And the chocolate bar in the diaper game does not sound fun at all! But I can see you totally being into it…

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Emmie February 24, 2011 at 2:49 am

Impressive! I read your menu with interest, since I am a Nazi about serving food at optimally hot temperatures. It would be tough to do a room temperature meal. It all sounds delicious. Especially the meat. Especially the bacon.

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Irvin February 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm

It’s all about the right food. If you are serving a large buffet, you just have to accept that not all food is going to be at the hot temperature. You can only do so much, especially if you don’t have heaters available. So you make food that works for room temperature.

I’m actually not that great with making meals where all the food is hot at the same time when I entertain. It’s just too difficult to get the timing right. I want to enjoy the dinner party as much as everyone else as well, so if the food isn’t piping hot, oh well. It’s one of the reasons I like to make desserts. I can prepare the food all ahead of time and just enjoy the party during the event.

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