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).

Giveaway: The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids

Summer is upon us and many of us have camping trips planned with the family…or wish we had our act together and had camping trips planned.  In conjunction with the start of summer and because we love supporting moms/dads who write books on top of everything else that they do, we are delighted to give away a copy of Helen Olsson’s Book – The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids.  Helen Olsson is a freelance travel and skiing writer and a contributor to the New York Times Travel and Escapes sections, where she writes about family, outdoor and adventure travel.  You can also check out her blog Mad Dog Mom: Adventures with Kids.  Perhaps, Stacie and I should go on some adventures that don’t involve food.

Helen shares the lessons she’s learned over the years camping with her family. In her informative and often humorous book, Helen guides parents to the different camping activities they can do with their children of all ages (from infants to teenagers.) Parents and children will learn about campfire safety, sun protection, first aid and the perfect way to roast marshmallows over an open fire.  You may want have your older kids even read this book before a trip, so they can help you with the packing and planning.

The book is broken up into four helpful parts: Getting Started (planning and gearing up), In the Field (campsite basics and camp grub), Activities and Adventures (recreation, camp arts and crafts and boredom busters) and Hygiene, First Aid and Safety (important stuff).  Stacie and I are obviously most interested on camp grub and Stacie is going to be doing a post on food to take along or make while camping.  Sunset Magazine – another favorite of ours – has a spread of some pretty awesome and easy camping recipes.  If you have any favorites, do share them with us.

The GIVEAWAY: – “The Down & Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids”.   To enter, you MUST leave a comment at the end of this post telling us about your favorite camping experience (with or without kids), link to a camping recipe, your summer camping plans, why you do/don’t camp (you are allowed to say you “hate camping”) with your kids or anything else related to camping (or not camping) with families. You can even leave a comment as simple as “wish we were going camping this summer”.

Be sure to include your email address on the comment form  (it’ll be visible only to us) so we can contact you if you win.

The giveaway will be open till 12:00 midnight PST Monday, June 25th, 2012.  We’ll select a lucky winner using random.org and announce the winner here on the blog.

* * * * * * * * * *

MORE WAYS TO WIN OUR GIVEAWAY – if you really want this book!

Because this book is so great and we know you’re going to want a copy, we’ve included a few other ways to win. We’ll give you an additional contest entry for each of the following, up to 4 entries total per person. To register your additional giveaway entries, please let us know that you liked/followed/subscribed in your comment.  Please leave the comment on our blog and not on our Facebook page or Twitter.

  • Like A Little Yumminess on Facebook or let us know that you already like us.
  • Follow @alittleyum on Twitter or let us know that you already follow us.
  • Subscribe to A Little Yumminess (use the subscription form in the top right corner), or let us know that you already subscribe

Good luck and thanks for participating!  Open to US and Canada residents only.