Kid-friendly Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes + Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle + Spiced Apple Cider Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Gloriously Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes + Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle + Spiced Apple Cider Cups

Family Meal Plan: Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes + Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle + Spiced Apple Cider

Gloriously Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes + Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle + Spiced Apple Cider Cups

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by luisangelmarin/Shutterstock.com
prep time
20 minutes
cook time
23 minutes
makes
6-12 servings

Fun Food Story

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Gloriously Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes

When someone says, ”grilled cheese and tomato soup,” it brings me back to long soccer practices in the summertime and coming home to a plate full of tiny grilled cheese sandwiches (tiny because my mom cut the crusts off for me) alongside simple tomato soup with goldfish crackers. I wanted those same flavors for this recipe but in a compact, bite-sized variation with our Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle (see recipe) on top. This version is similar to a bread pudding but savory and packed full of gooey, cheesy flavor, and it works equally well as a lunch or snack!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief
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Shopping List

  • DAIRY AND EGGS
  • 1 1/4 C heavy cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk or cream)**
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1 T flaxseed + 1/4 C warm water—more info below)**
  • BREAD
  • 1/2 medium sized baguette, roughly 3 C chopped **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub 4 to 6 slices of gluten-free/nut-free bread)**
  • PANTRY
  • 1/4 C shelf-stable grated Parmesan **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free grated cheese)**
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 4-oz can or 1/2 C tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried basil or a handful of fresh basil
  • 1 pinch sugar or dash honey
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 C apple juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch ground ginger (or nutmeg/allspice)
  • HAVE ON HAND
  • 1 C water
  • paper cupcake liners (optional)

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • combine :

    to merge two or more ingredients into one mixture, like a batter of flour, eggs, and milk.

  • crack :

    to break open or apart a food to get what's inside, like an egg or a coconut.

  • drizzle :

    to trickle a thin stream of a liquid ingredient, like icing or sauce, over food.

  • knife skills :

    Bear Claw (growl), Pinch, Plank, and Bridge (look out for trolls)

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • season :

    to add flavor to food with spices, herbs, and salt.

  • simmer :

    to cook a food gently, usually in a liquid, until softened.

  • tear :

    to pull or rip apart a food, like basil leaves, into pieces instead of cutting with a knife; cutting breaks cell walls more, so herbs can discolor faster.

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

Equipment Checklist

  • Small saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Can opener
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large saucepan
  • Cups
  • Oven
  • Muffin pan
  • Cutting board + kid-safe knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Paper cupcake liners (optional)
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Ingredients

Gloriously Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes

  • 1/2 medium sized baguette, roughly 3 C chopped **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub 4 to 6 slices of gluten-free/nut-free bread)**
  • 1 C heavy cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk or cream)**
  • 1 egg **(for EGG ALLERGY sub 1 T flaxseed + 1/4 C warm water—more info below)**
  • 1/4 C shelf-stable grated Parmesan **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free grated cheese)**
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 T vegetable oil

Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle

  • 1 4-oz can or 1/2 C tomato paste
  • 1/4 C heavy cream **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub dairy-free/nut-free milk or cream)**
  • 1 C water
  • 1 tsp dried basil or a handful of fresh basil
  • 1 pinch sugar or dash honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Spiced Apple Cider Cups

  • 3 C apple juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 pinch ground ginger (or nutmeg/allspice)

Food Allergen Substitutions

Gloriously Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes

  • Gluten/Wheat: For 1/2 medium-sized baguette, substitute 4 to 6 slices of gluten-free bread (roughly 3 C chopped). 
  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk or cream for heavy cream. Substitute dairy-free/nut-free grated cheese for Parmesan.
  • Egg: For 1 egg, substitute 1 T flaxseed + 1/4 C warm water. Stir and soak flaxseeds in warm water for 5 minutes or until fully absorbed and thickened.

Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle

  • Dairy: Substitute dairy-free/nut-free milk or cream for heavy cream.

Instructions

Gloriously Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes

1.
intro

When someone says, ”grilled cheese and tomato soup,” it brings me back to long soccer practices in the summertime and coming home to a plate full of tiny grilled cheese sandwiches (tiny because my mom cut the crusts off for me) alongside simple tomato soup with goldfish crackers. I wanted those same flavors for this recipe but in a compact, bite-sized variation. This version is similar to a bread pudding but savory and packed full of cheesy flavor!

2.
chop + rip

Start by chopping or tearing 1/2 of a baguette into roughly a large dice. Put all the bread into a large mixing bowl.

3.
measure + crack + whisk

Measure 1 cup heavy cream, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard, and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil into a separate bowl or measuring cup. Then, crack 1 egg into the mixture. Whisk to combine.

4.
soak + preheat

Pour all the liquids into the bowl of bread and allow it to soak for at least 5 minutes. Stir to combine the bread mixture. While that mixture soaks, preheat your oven to 350 F.

5.
fill + bake

Place cupcake liners, if using, in your muffin pan. Add a few tablespoons of the bread mixture to the muffin pan. Fill all the wells and cook them for 8 minutes or until golden brown on top.

6.
cool + drizzle + enjoy

Cool the Gloriously Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes for a few minutes before drizzling with (or even dunking in) Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle (see recipe). Bon appetit!

Creamy Tomato Soup Drizzle

1.
measure + simmer

Start by opening 1 can of tomato paste and scoop the tomato paste into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Measure and pour in 1/4 cup of heavy cream and 1 cup of water. Bring this mixture to a simmer.

2.
season + serve

Measure and add 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1 pinch of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Simmer this super simple tomato soup for 5 minutes (or more). Eat the soup by itself or drizzle over Gloriously Gooey Grilled Cheese Savory Cupcakes (see recipe)!

Spiced Apple Cider Cups

1.
measure + combine

Measure and combine 3 cups apple juice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 pinch of black pepper, and 1 pinch of ground ginger in a large saucepan over medium heat.

2.
simmer + pour

Simmer the mixture of apple juice and spices for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off or reduce to very low before serving. Pour the cider into a mug and say "Cheers" with your family!

Surprise Ingredient: Bread!

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Photo by Raul Mellado Ortiz/Shutterstock.com

Hi! I'm Bread!

"I'm a popular food all around the world and I come in many different forms! You can make a sandwich with me, serve me as a side with a meal, toast me, or cut me into cubes to make a stuffing or bread pudding!"

  • Bread is considered a staple food in many countries and can be an important part of a person's diet. 
  • The history of bread probably started with primitive flatbread made from flour from available edible plants. The plant roots would have been pounded and ground against a rock to create a starchy substance that could be made into dough. If the dough was left to rest outside, air-borne yeast spores might have acted as a natural raising agent.
  • There is archaeological evidence that a 14,500-year-old Natufian culture in Jordan made bread, and Neolithic peoples began using grains to make bread around 10,000 BCE. In 6000 BCE, the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia baked leavened bread using wood ash, and in 3000 BCE, the Egyptians improved the method by adding yeast to their flour.
  • Eventually, bakers started experimenting with other sources of yeast, such as beer and wine. However, it was more common to set aside some fermented dough from a previous batch to form a starter for a new batch of bread dough. Bread starter is sometimes called the "mother dough" and is still used when baking sourdough bread. 
  • Today, active dry yeast or instant (rapid-rise) dry yeast is an easy way to add leavening to your dough when making homemade bread.
  • Bread is typically made from wheat flour but can also be made from corn, oat, rye, and other grains. Wheat sometimes has to be added to these other flours because it has more gluten content, which creates a more elastic dough.   
  • Gluten-free bread, made without wheat or other grains that have gluten, began to be sold in the early 2000s for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and wheat allergies. These breads may include flours from almonds, corn, rice, or garbanzo beans, and potato or tapioca starch. 
  • In addition to sourdough bread, famous in San Francisco, other white yeasted breads with a hard crust include French baguettes and Italian ciabatta. Italian focaccia bread is a flatter, leavened bread brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with coarse salt. 
  • There are also whole wheat, multigrain, rye, oat, and potato breads. Rustic breads are typically hand-shaped before baking rather than put in a loaf pan.
  • Bread is typically baked in an oven, but if you do not have access to an oven, you can bake it on a stovetop in a cast iron Dutch oven or a large pot or saucepan. You can also bake bread in an air fryer, slow cooker, toaster oven, or microwave, with varying results. Bread machines that mix, knead, proof, and bake are popular with some home bakers. 
  • Breads made with an enriched dough that includes eggs, milk, sugar, or a combination, include French brioche, Jewish babka and challah, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls, and doughnuts. 
  • The type of bread and the flour or other ingredients used determine the amount of nutrients it contains. For example, whole-grain bread has more fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals than other breads. 
  • Adding whole-grain bread to your diet will help with digestion and control blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and weight. It also lowers your risk of diabetes and heart disease.

History of Bread Pudding!

Photo by MSPhotographic/Shutterstock.com
  • Bread pudding's history dates back sometime between the 11th and 13th centuries. Known as "poor man's pudding," it was created to salvage stale bread. The bread was soaked in milk or water, sugar, butter, fruit, and spices were added, and then it was baked. Sometimes the mixture was housed in a "sop," a hollowed-out loaf of bread. 
  • Today, bread pudding is still made, but its current forms tend to be far more luxurious than their humble origins. Modern bread puddings often utilize fresh, gourmet bread, such as brioche, and may include expensive ingredients. 
  • However, it is still considered comfort food. The dish is made by layering bits of bread and add-ins in a baking pan and then pouring a custard sauce over before baking. The possibilities are endless because cooks can vary the type of bread and any ingredients they choose to add! 
  • Bread pudding can be either savory or sweet, although it got its name from the British "pudding," which refers to any dessert.

Let's Learn About the United States!

Photo by JeniFoto/Shutterstock.com (July 4th Picnic)
  • Most of the United States of America (USA) is in North America. It shares its northern border with Canada and its southern border with Mexico. It consists of 50 states, 1 federal district, 5 territories, 9 Minor Outlying Islands, and 326 Indian reservations. 
  • The country's total area is 3,796,742 square miles, globally the third largest after Russia and Canada. The US population is over 333 million, making it the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
  • The United States of America declared itself an independent nation from Great Britain on July 4, 1776, by issuing the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Revolutionary War between the US and Great Britain was fought from 1775-1783. We only had 13 colonies at that time! On September 9, 1976, the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and declared that the new nation would be called the United States. 
  • The 13 colonies became states after each ratified the constitution of the new United States, with Delaware being the first on December 7, 1787.  
  • The 13 stripes on the US flag represent those first 13 colonies, and the 50 stars represent our 50 states. The red color of the flag symbolizes hardiness and valor, white symbolizes innocence and purity, and blue symbolizes vigilance and justice.
  • Before settling in Washington DC, a federal district, the nation's capital resided in New York City and then Philadelphia for a short time. New York City is the largest city in the US and is considered its financial center. 
  • The US does not have a recognized official language! However, English is effectively the national language. 
  • The American dollar is the national currency. The nickname for a dollar, "buck," comes from colonial times when people traded goods for buckskins!
  • Because the United States is so large, there is a wide variety of climates and types of geography. The Mississippi/Missouri River, running primarily north to south, is the fourth-longest river system in the world. On the east side of the Mississippi are the Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains, and the East Coast, next to the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • On the west side of the Mississippi are the flat Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains (or Rockies), and the West Coast, next to the Pacific Ocean, with several more mountain ranges in coastal states, such as the Sierras and the Cascades. Between the coasts and the north and south borders are several forests, lakes (including the Great Lakes), rivers, swamps, deserts, and volcanos. 
  • Several animals are unique to the US, such as the American bison (or American buffalo), the bald eagle, the California condor, the American black bear, the groundhog, the American alligator, and the pronghorn (or American antelope). 
  • The US has 63 national parks. The Great Smoky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, and the Grand Canyon, with the Colorado River flowing through it, are among the most well-known and visited.
  • Cuisine in the US was influenced early on by the indigenous people of North America who lived there before Europeans arrived. They introduced beans, corn, potatoes, squash, berries, fish, turkey, venison, dried meats, and more to the new settlers. Other influences include the widely varied foods and dishes of enslaved people from Africa and immigrants from Asia, Europe, Central and South America, and the Pacific Islands. 

What's It Like to Be a Kid in the United States?

  • Education is compulsory in the US, and kids may go to a public or private school or be home-schooled. Most schools do not require students to wear uniforms, but some private schools do. The school year runs from mid-August or the beginning of September to the end of May or the middle of June.
  • Kids generally start school at about five years old in kindergarten or earlier in preschool and continue through 12th grade in high school. After that, many go on to university, community college, or technical school. 
  • Spanish, French, and German are the most popular foreign languages kids learn in US schools. 
  • Kids may participate in many different school and after-school sports, including baseball, soccer, American football, basketball, volleyball, tennis, swimming, and track and field. In grade school, kids may join in playground games like hopscotch, four-square, kickball, tetherball, jump rope, or tag.
  • There are several fun activities that American kids enjoy doing with their friends and families, such as picnicking, hiking, going to the beach or swimming, or going to children's and natural history museums, zoos and wild animal parks, amusement parks, water parks, state parks, or national parks. Popular amusement parks include Disneyland, Disney World, Legoland, Six Flags, and Universal Studios.
  • On Independence Day or the 4th of July, kids enjoy a day off from school, picnicking, and watching fireworks with their families. 
  • Thanksgiving is celebrated on the last Thursday in November when students get 2 to 5 days off school. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are popular December holidays, and there are 2 or 3 weeks of winter vacation. Easter is celebrated in March, April, or May, and kids enjoy a week of spring recess around that time.  
  • Barbecued hot dogs or hamburgers, watermelon, apple pie, and ice cream are popular kid foods for 4th of July celebrations. Turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie are traditional Thanksgiving foods. Birthday parties with cake and ice cream are very important celebrations for kids in the United States!

Lettuce Joke Around

My friends said that I couldn’t cook alphabet soup. 

Now they are eating their words!

THYME for a Laugh

I named my dog Cinnamon!

He's a lot of bark!

THYME for a Laugh

Which comic book hero loves soup?

Souperman!

THYME for a Laugh

What are Sticky Fingers Cooking students called?

Souperstars!

Lettuce Joke Around

I can't use my laptop anymore because someone spilled apple juice on it.

It was a cider attack!

THYME for a Laugh

How do you fix a broken tomato? 

Tomato paste!

The Yolk's On You

What did the butter say to the bread? 

"I'm on a roll!'

Lettuce Joke Around

What did the ghost order on Halloween?

Scream of Tomato soup!

Lettuce Joke Around

Cheese is good...

...Parmesan is grate!

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