Tiffin & a Movie – Join us on April 27!

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This is a really fun event that we are doing in a few weeks on Thursday, April 27 at 7pm. Come enjoy a delicious Indian meal made by Simran’s mom and enjoy a private screening of one of our favorite movies, “The Lunchbox”. It all takes place at 18 Reasons (18th and Dolores in SF). It’ll be a fun night out and we promise the food will be great!

TICKETS: The cost for the event is $35 for 18 Reasons members & $45 for non members. Tickets will go fast, so get yours ASAP! Click here to buy tickets.

MENU: Classic and comforting dishes typical to an Indian lunchbox, cooked just for you by Roop Soni (Simran’s mom). If you’ve been lucky enough to try Roop’s cooking at one of our classes, you know how tasty it will be! You will enjoy Roop’s famous channa dahl, spiced dry potatoes, mint raita, pickled onions, flakey parantha and chai masala!

MOVIE: A mistaken delivery in Mumbai’s famously efficient lunchbox delivery system connects Ila, a neglected housewife, to Saajan (Irrfan Khan), a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Through a series of exchanged notes that they pass back and forth through the lunches, Saajan and Ila find comfort in their unexpected friendship. Check out movie reviews on Rotten Tomatoes (it’s “96% fresh” for all you Rotten Tomatoes readers).

We hope to see you there!


Indian Tea Time Snacks Cooking Class at 18 Reasons


As much as we love to cook with kids, periodically we teach grown-ups as well, at one of our favorite venues in San Francisco, 18 Reasons.   We hope you can join us on Nov 13th at 4 pm for a super fun Indian tea-time class.

In this hands-on cooking class, we will teach you how to make a variety of sweet and savory Indian snacks from samosas to fritters, dipping sauces and, of course, spiced chai. Along the way we’ll cover the basics of sourcing and using Indian spices and other pantry staples, as well as tricks and techniques for simplifying these classic treats. The class will culminate in a tasting of dishes made in class (= tea party!).

Grab your tickets from the 18 Reasons website. Continue reading

Cheese-making for Kids at 18 Reasons

MM Cheese for Kids

It sure is good to be a kid these days.  Amazing summer camps, parents shuttling you from one fun activity to another and now this super-fun cheese-making session with San Francisco’s very own milkmaid – Louella Hill.  We recently met Louella at a potluck party and she showed up with some gorgeous cheeses to share, all that she made by herself!  They were spectacular and we are in awe of her cheese-making skills.  She is offering, what I am sure will be very informative and fun class home cheese-making class, on February 8th at our favorite foodie venue in San Francisco, 18 Reasons.  Unfortunately our kiddos cannot make it, but if you are around and available, you must sign your kids up!

In two fun-filled hours, you’ll learn about chemistry and food history as you magically turn milk into curds and whey. While that recipe drains, you’ll have a ball making braids and lassos out of just-stretched mozzarella. Plus you head home with your very own cheese project to complete. Continue reading

Upcoming Family Event: Barn Dance

Barn Dance

We attended 18 Reasons’ first Barn Dance a few years ago and had the best time ever – dancing and eating possibly the best burger we had ever eaten.  Our little one was asking for months to go back to a barn dance.  We did attend the fun but albeit over-crowded Pie Ranch Barn dance, but it was not quite as much fun as the 18 Reasons Barn Dance.

The afternoon will start with games and activities for adults and kids, including farm tours, lasso lessons, face painting, and a lively game of horseshoes.  Fatted Calf, Bi Rite, and Primavera Tamales have generously donated dinner, which will be served picnic style and accompanied by fresh lemonade, beer, and wine from Casey Flat Vineyards. Hang out on a hay bale and enjoy a beautiful late summer evening. Continue reading

2014 Summer Camp Registration is Live

We had so much fun cooking and traveling the world with our tummies last summer that we’re doing it again! Registration for our 2014 A Little Yumminess Around the World is now live. Space is limited and tickets are going fast, so if you’re interested it’s a really great idea to sign up right away. Read on for more details or jump over to our summer camp page for the registration links. And if your little ones can’t join us this summer, we also have some other exciting family and kids’ programs in the works…. so please stay tuned!A Little Yumminess Around the World_Collage Image_2014_web

This summer  in addition to cooking, eating, tasting and learning about cuisines of the world with our campers — everything from Indian paranthas,  Argentinian empanadas to Thai curries — we are thrilled to announce a partnership with a wonderful children’s writing teacher named Tessa White who will lead two writing-focused days each camp week. We found that our kids had so much enthusiasm for what they were learning about, and so much to say, that we thought that they would love the chance to wash their hands, pick up a pen and write about their experience. Tessa does wonderfully imaginative projects in her afterschool program called The Writing Club and we absolutely can’t wait for the party and reading by campers which will conclude the fun each week on the Friday of each session. (Please take note: we had to increase the age of campers by a year –entering 2nd through 4th grades in fall 2014– to make sure the writing component would work well.)

We’re totally excited about the venues this year, too. First we’re taking over the kitchen at Marin Preparatory School in the Castro and then we’re back at one of our favorite foodie places in all of SF, 18 Reasons:

As we’ve been planning all the details over the past several months we keep finding ourselves saying, “Boy, we wish there had been a camp like this when we were kids!”

Cherry Cornbread Muffins (and congratulations Andrea G. our giveaway winner!)

It’s been pretty eventful over here at A Little Yumminess HQ. Over the weekend, Simran and I had a chance to teach an Indonesian homecooking class at one of the coolest culinary venues in San Francisco. 18 Reasons (the nonprofit arm of the always awesome Bi-Rite market and creamery) is located on 18th and Dolores streets, smackdab in the middle of food heaven. You can walk out the door of 18 Reasons and literally stumble into such drool-worthy spots as Tartine, Delfina, and Namu. Just driving through that neighborhood makes my stomach growl! 18 Reasons organizes a fantastically diverse line-up of events — you can pop in for their regular soup suppers, bring a homemade topping to share at a community ice cream social, learn how to make cheese, taste artisan whiskeys, or practice the art of Japanese knife skills and sharpening….. To say that we are honored to be a part of their community is a major understatement. In about a month we’ll be back at 18 Reasons to kick off our first ever “A Little Yumminess Around the World” summer camp, where we’ll cook, eat and craft our way around the world with a dozen 6-8 year olds. Talk about a food adventure — and we couldn’t be more excited.

But where does one’s mind wander after weeks of obsessing about curry pastes and fiery sambals? In this case, sweet summery cherries and crispy-edged cornbread — two of my family’s absolute favorites rolled into one perfect little muffin. As these things often go, we lucked onto this recipe while searching for something else (a recipe for pumpkin muffins from Arizmendi Bakery). We never did find that one, but came across a fellow Arizmendi fan, Andrew Molitor, on The Fresh Loaf blog who tinkered until he was able to re-create their also delicious blueberry-corn muffins. [Sadly neither of these muffin recipes appear in the Cheese Board Collective Works cookbook.] These cornbread-like muffins are not too sweet and manage to be both crispy and moist at the same time which makes them pretty near perfect. You could use any kind of fruit (fresh or dried), but we really like them with fresh cherries and the mini muffin size is just right for little snackers. These are really (really!) good and I hope you have the chance to give them a try.

Last, but certainly not least… congrats to Andrea G. who won our giveaway of the “Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids” by Helen Olsson and muchas gracias to everyone who chimed in with camping-related comments and tidbits. Stay tuned for our camping and trail food recipe collection — coming soon!

Muffin Time!

Cherry Cornbread Muffins

Adapted from the Arizmendi Bakery-inspired recipe by Andrew Molitor. Makes 2 dozen mini muffins.

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and mist your mini muffin pans with vegetable oil (if you don’t have cooking spray, you can grease the muffin tin with butter)

2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them well:

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

3. Cut 5 tablespoons of butter into pieces and use a pastry cutter to blend the butter into the dry ingredients. The mixture will be clumpy and crumbly and the butter should be fairly evenly distributed into the dry ingredients.

4. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and whisk well:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

5. Fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just blended but don’t overmix. Scoop batter into prepared mini muffin tin, sprinkling a few fresh, sliced cherries into each muffin as you go.

  • Fresh Cherries: I used about 1 pitted, quartered cherry per muffin, so you’ll need about two dozen whole cherries which should be about 1 heaping cup of fruit before pitting and quartering.

6. Bake at 425 degrees until deeply golden on top (about 20 minutes for mini muffins in my oven, but start checking them after 15 minutes).

Get Your Kids in the Kitchen & Garden!

There a bunch of kids cooking events sprouting up all over the Bay Area.  There seems to be a growing interest in educating our young children in the culinary arts.  Like most things, if you start young, children are more likely be into cooking and eating right.  In fact, with my sample size of one, I have noticed that if kids are involved in the “creative” process of cooking, they are more likely to eat what they helped make.

Everyday Knife Skills Class for Kids at Bernal Cutlery

We recently ambled into Bernal Cutlery and met up with the folks who run it.  In addition, to owning a very cool business, they periodically run some wonderful classes for children and adults.  The class that caught our attention was the Knife Skills Class for children.  The class is for ages 6-11 and will be taught by Tia Harrison, executive chef and co-owner of Sociale, founding member of the Butchers Guild and co-owner of Avedano’s Holly Park Market.

The class will cover:

  • Knife safety and cutting rules
  • Lessons on how to properly handle a knife
  • Basic cutting techniques
  • Making simple cuts and prep of a quick dinner/recipe to take home

The classes will be at Bernal Cutlery on 331 Cortland Avenue on 3/23/2012 and 3/25/2012.  More details and tickets can be found here.

18 Reasons Cooking and Gardening Summer Camp 

We aren’t teaching this one but wish we were or at the very least that our kids were old enough to attend what has got to one of the “funnest” kids cooking and gardening camps right here in the city.  18 Reasons in their collaboration with Sanchez Elementary School are organizing an “All Plant Parts Cooking and Gardening Summer Camp”. Perfect for the budding farmer and chef, this day camp will focus on the science and art of growing and cooking edible plants.  They will start with seeds and roots, and make their way up to stems and then out to leaves and flowers.  Each day campers will get their hands dirty both in the garden and the kitchen, and use lessons from both to make their own snack and lunch.  This means no need to pack a snack or lunch for your kids.

What: A four-day summer camp that teaches students about the science and art of growing and cooking food, from the root to the flower.
Who: entering 4th-6th graders (ages 9-12)
When: May 29-June 1, 2012, 8:30AM-2PM
Where: Sanchez Elementary School, Sanchez St between 16th and 17th St, San Francisco, CA
Cost: $325 ($300 for 18 Reasons members and for siblings) * includes all snacks and lunches.
Teacher: Camper ratio: 1:4

You can find more details and purchase your kids’ spots here.

Our “A Little Yumminess Around the World” Summer Camp in collaboration with 18 Reasons is sold out (yay!!) but if you want to get on the waitlist, please email info@18reasons.org

A Little Yumminess Around the World Summer Camp @ 18 Reasons

We are super excited these days about a kids summer camp we are going to be teaching at 18 Reasons in July.  From Japan to Mexico to Norway and beyond, our one-week cooking camp will feature some of the tastiest cuisines around the world.   The camp will be for children aged 6 to 8 and is perfect for children who love to eat and cook.  It might also help in getting picky eaters interested in eating via the process of cooking and “travel”.

Each day will focus on one country or cuisine. Campers will learn through hands-on cooking activities and eating.  We will also have lots of books, arts and crafts (courtesy of Stacie), and music to transport your kids from San Francisco to places far away.  More information on this brown paper bag tickets site.

We love 18 Reasons because they host some of the most interesting food related programming in San Francisco.  They are Bi-Rite Market’s non-profit arm and are an innovative “food community center” for adults and children.  However, what we like best about them is that they let us teach classes there and we are deeply appreciative of our collaboration with them. 🙂

In June, we are also teaching an Indonesian Nasi Campur cooking class for grown-ups at 18 Reasons.  Nasi campur refers to a dish of rice topped with various meats, vegetables, peanuts, eggs and fried-shrimp chips and is a very tasty and inexpensive meal idea.  Tickets are still available here.  When I told a friend about the “Around-the-World” summer cooking camp for kids, she remarked that she would be interested in something like that for adults.  Pretty neat idea – I know I’d love to attend such a camp and make our nightly dinner table more “international”.

Give Back This Saturday 5/14: Letter Carriers’ Food Drive and Food Bloggers Bake Sale

Did you know? Some 35.5 million people face hunger every day in America, including 13 million children? Here are two easy ways your family can help.


“Stamp Out Hunger” Letter Carriers’ Food Drive

Just bag up non-perishable items (the post office requests no glass jars) and put them by your mail box this Saturday 5/14. Letter carriers in the Bay Area and more than 10,000 cities across the US will pick them up and deliver them to a local food bank. Most-needed foods include: cereal, noodles, canned tuna, meats, and soups/stews.

It’s a cause close to our hearts. Simran and I have both had the chance to see first-hand the incredible work that the San Francisco Food Bank does each and every day. They get food to those who need it most by partnering with than 400 local nonprofit partners who run programs ranging from food pantries, and soup kitchens, to senior and children’s programs. In addition to supporting this one-day food drive, you can also:

2nd Annual Food Blogger Bake Sale 
As if we needed another excuse to satisfy our sweet tooths. Here’s your golden opportunity to sample baked good hand crafted by local food bloggers and support local programs that fight hunger. Not-your-average-bake-sale items might include anything from blueberry hand pies, to macaroon pops, cinnamon oreos, mochi, and salted caramels. We’re bringing old-fashioned gingerbread with lemon icing and sugared rose petals to the 18 Reasons location here in San Francisco. The sale is happening in dozens of other cities coast to coast. Check the national Food Blogger Bake Sale website for info on where and when.