Family Ski Meal – Chili and Citrus Cornbread Muffins

We went skiing (finally) last weekend.  As usual I brought my vegetarian chili.  The great thing about this dish is that I make it the day before and freeze it.  Then we bring the frozen chili in the car on the drive to Tahoe.  By the time we get there it may or may not be totally thawed (depending on traffic).  Then we have a sure fire meal for the evening and can go out play without worrying about making dinner.

And while my family likes the chili, they really like what I make on the side even better…Citrus Corn Bread Muffins.   These muffins are a favorite from The Petit Appetit Cookbook, and are a little sweet and a little savory.  They’re made moist by the addition of banana.  Happily this recipe makes 12 – 15 full size or 36 mini muffins so we have lots to share or save.  My kids think it’s the perfect snack for packing for school or on the go – like heading to the snow.  These can be made and stored in a air tight container for about 3 – 4 days.

Citrus Corn Muffins

1 tablespoon grated orange zest (about 2 medium oranges)

2 cups unbleached flour

½ cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

2 large, cage free, organic eggs

½ cup organic light brown sugar, packed

½ cup mashed banana (about 1 large banana)

 

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Lightly grease 12 cup standard muffin tin or 24 cup mini muffin tin with vegetable oil.  Using a small knife or zester, remove 1 tablespoon on zest from oranges.  In a large bowl combine flour, cornmeal, powder and salt and whisk to mix.  In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, eggs, brown sugar, banana and zest.  Mix well.  Using a rubber spatula, fold wet ingredients into dry mixture.  Be careful not to over mix, as muffins will be tough.  Spoon batter into muffin tin cups, ¾ full.  Bake 15 – 20 minutes, or until muffins are brown on top and test pick comes out clean.  Remove from oven and place on wire rack.

 

Get Picky!  Keep toothpicks or small wooden skewers on hand to check muffins and other baked goods for doneness.  Simply insert pick in center, and when comes out clean, muffins are done.

 

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Message from a Fellow Mom – Share the Love, and Food

 

A well marked Petit Appetit Cookbook

I get a lot of nice emails from parents and caregivers thanking me for help with recipes and information in my cookbooks.  I received this message on New Year’s Day which was a very pleasant way for me to start year.  This DC mom not only made Petit Appetit recipes for her son, but also shared gift boxes full of homemade treats with her playgroup too.  I love that!  So with permission, here’s the story (and her fun photos) I’d like to share…

“I am a first time, stay-at-home mother to Nicholas who is two years old. I breastfed my little guy for the first year and fed him both handmade and store bought organic purees while he was still tiny and learning to eat.  As he grew bigger, he ate and still eats like a little bird. He is pretty typical, in that he likes pasta, grilled cheese, cheese wraps, Mac and cheese (he loves cheese) and turkey dogs, but while I was making these things healthier (whole wheat or veggie pasta, whole wheat bread and cheddar cheese, etc.) I longed for a fruit or veggie to be thrown in there, and perhaps a little variety (gasp- I know).

I went to my local library and checked out a slew of cooking for kids sneaky type books and yours was one of them. I went through it and marked about 20! recipes that I wanted to try. I have made the graham crackers, Lisa’s cookies, fruity gelatin, citrus corn muffins, banana apple bran muffins, couscous pudding, and this very morning my son and I enjoyed a mango tango smoothie together.  Your book was definitely my favorite as I believe in the organic lifestyle as much as I can find and that doesn’t break our budget, and the recipes are truly tasty to me, and more importantly to my son!

I do quite a bit of baking, and this year for the holiday season, instead of making tons of unhealthy cookies to give to my son’s friends and their mommies, I made gift baskets full of healthy goodies that could be eaten as a breakfast (citrus corn muffins or banana apple bran muffins), or snacks (graham crackers or Lisa’s cookies). Therefore, saving my mommy-friends a little extra time in the kitchen, and they had the piece of mind knowing that their kids were eating something homemade, healthy, and organic to boot. Some of the kids ate all the snacks right then and there during the play date and for others the goodies didn’t even last overnight. I was seriously happy that an entire morning in the kitchen paid off and well, they are your recipes so I have you to thank. Thank you again.  Sincereley, Aimee from a DC Burb”

 

Chef Nick
adorable zoo pancakes
fruity gelatin
Gift boxes of healthy, homemade muffins and cookies

 

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