Here is a relatively slim, colourful book that promises to help you `make magic in your muffin tin'. In many ways it does that, as it certainly finds a few innovative uses for your metal bakeware that this reviewer had not considered before, despite after the fact being `so obvious'...
Yet no obvious enough one can say without any intended sarcasm. In countless kitchens around the world the humble muffin tin stands in readiness for any occasional cake making duties that may be presented to it. Yet how many people would have thought to use their muffin tins for stuffed French toast, pizzas and casseroles? All in all the book features 101 recipes that are certainly not variations upon a chocolate chip muffin.
The author hits upon an interesting idea here, noting that these smaller dishes have a much faster cooking time and the smaller portions can be good (psychologically, if not physically) for those who are looking to lose a bit of weight. You can still have a bit of what you like, as long as you don't load up several miniatures instead of one regular portion! In addition these miniatures can make a nice difference at a buffet or party too.
Another great idea the author suggests is using the muffin tin as a freezing mould. Instead of then freezing one big block of food you could freeze several food `muffins'. Once frozen just put in a freezer bag to protect and when you are hungry... a ready portion can emerge courtesy of your microwave oven. Of course, nowadays there are many different sizes and shapes of muffin tin available and it is clear that the regular shape is the one under consideration but if you really want Hello Kitty shaped meat loaf or a Barbie horse box pizza... well, why not! As well as different shapes, there are different forms of muffin too and the author looks at the pros and cons of silicone, metal, stoneware and cast iron muffin tins.
When it comes to the recipes themselves there is a pleasing range, accompanied in part by some photographs of the finished dishes. The recipes are matter-of-fact to follow with a general introduction, clear instructions and a coding as to whether the dish is suitable for vegetarians, whether it is free from glutens and whether the dish could be frozen for later use. It would have been nice, as we state so often with many recipe books, for an approximation of preparation and cooking time to be clearly stated. It is not an impossible thing to ask for or calculate and can just help when browsing for ideas when you are "idea and time poor". Apart from that, readers in countries which use metric measurements will need to dust-off their conversion tables as the recipes are written for a US-centric marketplace.
Here the author has managed to find a great little niche for a great little book that is reasonably priced. It has the potential to deliver a lot if you will allow it to do so.