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Triple olive muffins for Foodie Exchange

There's no such thing as too much fun. Or is there? Naaah really not. So when Charis of Culinary Storm organised a Foodie Exchange, there was little you could do than jump at the opportunity. This way we'd get to meet new bloggers and learn so much. She decided to pair the participating bloggers from different parts of India who were all to send each other a goodie bag of surprises - some edible and some not! And the joy she spread, don't even get me started on that.

Those who participated included:

Charis of Culinary Storm  
Deeps of Naughty Curry
Madhuri of Cook Curry Nook
Sarita of The Clean Toothpick
Pratiksha of Honeyed Pandemonium
Jeetendra of Moody Foodie
Apeksha of Veggie Wiz
Poorna of Presented by P
Ameya of Kitty in the Kitchen
Sid of Chef at Large
Siri of Cooking with Siri
Geetha of Fragrant Kitchen
Renuka of Pinch of Salt
Marsha of The Harried Cook
Sangeeta of Health Food Desi Videshi
Rekha of My Tasty Curry
Nikhil of Nonchalant Gourmand

I was paired with the Harried Cook, Marsha. I'd been reading about Marsha on the Chennai Food Guide, and many a times stumble across her blog on several blogrolls. She is just awesome. A baby, a business and a blog - that's quite a handful she has going on. We landed up chatting with each other gtalk, often wondering what we should send to each other. Leading questions, reading the blog didn't really help. We just had to then had to go with our gut feelings. And I must say I was super pleased with what I got!

Lookie here!! 

 Goodie! © Cookaroo

Marsha sent me this awesomely fun tin from Chumbak, which she said in her letter, she uses to mainly store her icing tips and cookie cutters in. I'm going to do the same, except I've got to empty out all my cookies :). She also send me an oven mitt - with the sweetest owl print, a doodle book, xmas sprinkles from her own stash, kalamata olives paste and vanilla sugar.

Except a teeny boo-boo happened. The Kalamata Olive paste leaked a tiny bit and soiled itself and the letter a bit. Everything else was perfect. But it made the letter hard to read. But I thought it made it more fun. Piecing together the letter was like doing a puzzle. Really, there's no such thing as too much fun!

But then, came the next question, what should I make with this? Marsha suggested I make bruschetta, I did. The olive paste tasted wonderful with it. I sprinkled vanilla sugar on some carrot cupcakes. That was superb too, but not inspired enough. And then I spotted two kinds of olives in the fridge. Why don't I make savoury muffins using the olive paste, I asked myself and three kinds of oilves?

I sat on the idea for a couple of days, thinking of a recipe. And then I figured I should use seven grain flour, the same I sent to Marsha, to keep it more themey. And this is what I got

 Say cheese © Cookaroo
The muffins were moist, I used both milk and buttermilk. Healthy - used a mixture of butter and oil. I also had some olive gouda lying around in the fridge... I wasn't sure if that would make it too salty, so I stuck to mature cheddar (one of my favourite cheese) as it has sweet undernotes. I also kept the salt minimal, added dried red chilli for an extra oomph and instead of chopping olives and bunging them into the batter I decided to use one as a topping and the other as a whole surprise. The kalamata olive took charge as the prime flavour. I also threw in some onion to make it mildly sweet yet crunchy. 

I have to say these muffins came out really good. They were salty enough to be slathered in butter. They were healthy too - for guiltless eating. And they were great fun to make. I'm sure substitutions will be super easy too. Sundried tomatoes, fresh basil, feta - gosh I could go on and on. 

So here goes - The Harried Cook inspired muffins

Triple olive muffins and cheddar cheese with seven grain flour 
Serves 6 large or 8 medium muffins

1 cup seven grain flour (or plain all-purpose flour)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp italian herbs
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp + 1 tsp olive oil
2 tsp butter
1 egg
2 tblsps kalamata olive paste
1/4 cup cheddar cheese
1 onion finely chopped 
Whole green olives

For the topping
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
25 piece sliced black olives
Chilli flakes


1. Finely chop the onion and saute it in a teaspoon of olive oil. Let them remain crisp, yet mildly caramelised. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree centigrade

2. Mix milk, buttermilk, egg , oil, kalamata olives paste and cheese together in a small bowl.

3. In a big mixing bowl, add the seven grain flour, baking soda, herbs, salt, sugar and butter. Pour in the liquid and stir till the the mixture combines well.

4. Put a tablespoon of the mixture into the muffin-line cupcake tin. Drop a single whole pitted green olive into the centre of the mixture. Top with another tablespoon of the muffin batter.

5. Bake for 20 minutes. And then add the topping. Sprinkle a tablespoon of mozzarella cheese and press 4 rings of sliced black olives. Sprinkle with chilli flakes. Bake for another 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese melts and the olives are embedded into the muffins. Eat warm with butter.

Split wide open © Cookaroo

Thank you Charis for this fun experience and thank you Marsha for the most fun goodie box and for inspiring a yum recipe!

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  1. The foodie exchange sounds like a fun thing to do, and your muffins looks delish :-)

    1. Yup! It totally was! I wish I could send you some, they were really good

  2. eek! on the other hand, you are possibly the second person on this foodie exchange who got vanilla sugar. lets see how many more gets it!

  3. Your foodie package is awesome! I'm in love with those muffins..so beautiful!
    And I absolutely love the Chumbak tin..HUGE fan of Chumbak products!!

    1. Thank you Honey! When are you putting yours up? The Chumbak tin toh you have Marsha to thank for, she's really the sweetest!

  4. Gorgeous post, Ruchira! I am so sorry tht that the Olive paste bottle leaked :( I should have packaged that separately! The post is beautiful, and those muffins look really yummy!!! I wish I could taste them for myself!

    I am sorry I still haven't posted. LOTS of camera trouble. But I will get around to it next week, for sure! I LOVE what you sent me and I can't wait to share it :)

    1. Marsha, you are so generous, so kind. Thank you so much for inspiring me. I am so glad you liked what I sent you.
      I hope your camera gets well soon, I am really looking forward to seeing your inspired creations. Much love

  5. OMG I want that Chumbak tin! what lovely gifts :) And the muffins look divine!

    1. Charis! Thank you so much for the oppurtunity... you are such a goof organiser. And yes, Marsha sent me awesome stuff. Thank you for the compliments on the muffins!

  6. wow, thats a lovely stash u recieved! love the tin and oven mitts (how cute!)savoury muffins look fabulous

    1. Thanks Deeps, i loved what charis sent you too :)