SPEAKING OF FOOD: Cheesy ham muffins worth fighting over

On Sunday, my sister, Donna, and my niece, Hannah, drove down from Michie, Tenn., to tour 11 holiday homes in downtown Tupelo. They had read a story I had written in the Daily Journal about the tour when they were visiting at Thanksgiving, and decided it would be a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
The three of us piled into Donna’s big green SUV (two people is about the limit in my little red car) and headed for the six houses on the north side of Main Street.
Our first stop was the home of Josh and Amanda Westmoreland, where we purchased our tickets and had a few snacks. I tried a cup of hot cider and Donna picked up a cheesy muffin, which she stuck in her jacket pocket.
Two houses later, Donna got a little hungry and fetched the muffin from its resting place. She took one bite and, I swear, I saw her eyes roll back in her head.
Hannah then proceeded to snatch the aforementioned snack from her mother’s fingers and she, too, took a bite. The next thing I knew, the two were practically in fisticuffs, right there on Robins Street, over that little muffin.
Before heading south to Mill Village to tour the six homes on that side of Main, we stopped by Josh and Amanda’s again. This time, I asked Josh for the recipe. He said his mother, Jo Ann, had made the savory morsels and she’d be happy to give me the recipe.
“See, Mama,” my niece said. “Aunt Ginna has your back.”
On Monday morning, Aunt Ginna dutifully called Jo Ann Westmoreland and procured the recipe for Ham and Cheese Muffins (although you can make them with sausage). Jo Ann said the recipe was so simple, she was embarrassed to give it to me.
I told her simple was the best kind.

Ham and Cheese Muffins
3 cups all-purpose baking mix, such as Pioneer or Bisquick
8 ounces cubed ham*
11⁄2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
1 can condensed cheese soup
3⁄4 cup water
Combine baking mix, ham and shredded cheese in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Mix soup and water together and add to ham mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins, filling to top of cups. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
Makes 24 to 30 muffins.
* Note: You can substitute a pound of cooked, drained and crumbled sausage for the ham, if desired.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal