Many Ways With Corn Muffins

Do you ever get tired of fixing the same meals over and over again? Are you in a cooking rut and want to yank yourself out of it?

The easiest way I've found to experiment with new tastes is to add different flavors to something you already make and like.

Case in point: we love cornbread at our house. But having the same pan of the same cornbread mix too many times makes us not like it so much anymore. Instead, we've decided to doctor up the old standby and give it some new life.

This recipe is adapted from one I found in a magazine a couple of months ago. The major difference is that I used a box mix to make the cornbread while they wanted me to make it from scratch. Lately I do not have the time nor the energy to do this, so out came the box of Jiffy mix. If you don't have some of these on hand at all times...shame on you!

Cranberry Streusel Corn Muffins
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line or spray nine cups of a muffin tin.
2. For streusel topping, combine 6 tbsp all purpose flour, 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 tsp allspice. Then cut in 1/2 stick cold butter until well combined.
3. Prepare cornbread mix as directed.
4. Fill each muffin cup 1/2 way with batter, then top with 2 tsp whole berry cranberry sauce. Top liberally with streusel mix.
5. Bake about 15 minutes, until edges are brown and they are done all the way through.

There are probably a hundred and a half different ways to adjust cornbread to fix your taste, personal preference or the season. Try one of these combinations next time:

* shredded Mexican blend cheese and chopped green chiles
* shredded cheddar cheese and chopped cooked broccoli
* shredded or grated Parmesan cheese and diced red, yellow and green peppers
* finely cubed cream cheese and chopped green olives
* cottage cheese and chopped scallions
* shredded mozzarella cheese, pepperoni slices and Italian seasoning
* shredded Muenster cheese, chopped bacon and diced tomato

Then this plan of attack can cross over into other foods: What can you do differently with your pasta sauce? How can you update your favorite cookie recipe? Is there something you could add to your slow cooker meals? Experiment, have fun and enjoy reaping the benefits of trying something new in the kitchen this week!

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