Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Savory Bites by Hollis Wilder

I am obsessed with cupcakes and all things in cupcake form. One of my favorite cupcakeries (yes, I made that up) is Sweet By Holly. If you watch the Food Network, you are probably familiar with the owner, Hollis Wilder, she was the first three-time winner of Cupcake Wars.

Photo Credit: Errol Colon
Hollis has recently released a cookbook entitled, Savory Bites, which is packed with recipes you can make in your trusty cupcake pan. Hollis takes the traditional sweet cupcake in a new direction, with fresh flavors and a new savory look. The trusty cupcake pan works just as well for satisfying mini meals as it does for decadent sweets. Small, uniform portions make it easier to avoid overeating, and the meals are perfect for making ahead of time and freezing for the week in single or family-size portions. Hollis provides tips for having children help with the cooking to make a more enjoyable family mealtime. With 100 exciting recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, such as Apple-Sausage Breakfast Cakes, Fig and Blue Cheese Tarts, Pumpkin Risotto, and Curried Chicken with Mango, Savory Bites proves a cupcake pan isn’t just for sweets and is sure to please any palate or budget.

I am all about easy, inexpensive and tasty meals for my family. Plus, making anything in a cupcake pan greatly increases the chances of my kiddos eating it with minimal complaints.

I was able to check out some of the yummy recipes from Savory Bites and here is hands down, my favorite recipe.

Photo Credit: Tina Rupp
Westphalian Ham & Gruyere Grilled Cheese
Oven: 350°F (175°C)  Prep time: 15 minutes Baking time: 20 to 25 minutes  Yield: 12 sandwiches

Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
18 slices thin white bread, such as Pepperidge Farm’s Very Thin White Bread
8 ounces (225 g) thinly sliced deli ham
12 ounces (340 g) thinly sliced Swiss or Gruyère

This is a delightful way to reinvent a childhood favorite! These adult grilled cheeses are chic little sandwiches with several thin layers of pure delicious flavors. Play with the cheese and meat combinations to create flavors that will excite your guests. Try tuna salad with a slice of pepper Jack, turkey and smoked Gouda with a side of applesauce for dipping, or roast beef and cheddar with a red pepper relish. The variations are endless! You can use any extra bread scraps to make bread crumbs, and the ham and cheese scraps would work perfectly in an omelet. Try using the tomato jam from page 105, the apple ketchup from page 48, or the apple compote from page 108 in one of these sandwiches. Delicious!

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a 12-well classic cupcake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Using a 2-in (5-cm) round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter of any shape, cut out 36 pieces of bread. Do the same with the ham and cheese.

To assemble, place a piece of bread into each well. Next place one slice of ham, one slice of cheese, and another slice of bread. Repeat twice more, ending with cheese on top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the bread is toasted. Loosen the sides of each sandwich with a table knife and pop them out of the pan. Serve with a dollop of your favorite mustard, or dip in tomato soup!

Yum, right?! There are nearly 100 recipes in Savory Bites, plus Hollis includes all of the essentials that you need to create these yummy recipes. The recipes are perfect for parties or just for your family meals.  I can't wait to start adding more of these recipes to our weekly menu!

You can find Savory Bites on

Disclosure: I was given a copy of Savory Bites to preview. The opinions expressed are my own.

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