deviled eggs

photo by zesmerelda
DEAR SARA: I've been looking for deviled-egg variations. How do you make your deviled eggs? -- Debbie, Maryland

I like my deviled eggs simple. I combine mayonnaise, yolks and mustard. It's the basic and traditional way. I don't like pale filling because it looks unappetizing. As for variations, I wouldn't turn down stuffed eggs with the following additions: pickle relish, Dijon mustard, cheese, crumbled bacon, paprika, ham, olives, celery, chives, Tabasco sauce or Old Bay seasoning. Sometimes I pipe the filling and sometimes not.

DEAR SARA: I need a small-gift idea for a co-worker. It's for our gift exchange. It has to be less than $10. The catch is that something about the gift has to be reusable. -- Carrie, Indiana

DEAR CARRIE: I saw a gift being sold at a local pharmacy and immediately thought it would be easy to make for my kids. It's a great solution for you, too. Buy a wide-mouthed sports bottle, and place small items such as lip balm, candy, lotion and facial tissues inside. The bottle is reusable, and you don't have to wrap it. Add a bow, and you're good to go.

DEAR SARA: I have four boxes of rice baby cereal left over, and there's no way my baby is going to eat it. Any ideas what I can do with it? -- Jodie, New York

DEAR JODIE: You can donate it. You can bake with it, too. Think of it as rice flakes. Add it to stew, soup, meatloaf, meatballs, muffins, cookies, pancakes and quick breads. Simply decrease the amount of flour in a recipe, and replace it with baby cereal. You'll find that recipes using baby cereal will be stickier. Here are a few baby-cereal recipes that were submitted by Kathy from Texas.

Baby-Cereal Cookies

1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups baby cereal
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a cookie sheet. In a large bowl, cream molasses and butter. Mix in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cereal. Add to the butter mixture, and add milk. Mix to combine all ingredients. Drop on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes.

Baby-Cereal Pancakes

2 eggs
1-1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup baby cereal, any flavor
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients, and mix until smooth. Cook as you would regular pancakes in a hot nonstick frying pan until top bubbles, then flip and continue to cook until golden brown. Serve with syrup.

Baby-Cereal Muffins

2 egg yolks
1 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups baby cereal
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin pan or use paper liners. In a medium bowl, beat eggs and stir in milk and oil. Add remaining ingredients, and mix until moistened. Don't overmix. Batter will be lumpy. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20 minutes.