There has been an alarming increase in the height of my children recently. It always happens in the spring. They seem to shoot up, as soon as the sun hits. The Teen is near enough my height now, and her sister seems able to look me in the eye a little bit more easily, than I’d care to admit.
And as for the Boy, well he is taking on the appearance of someone who has begun to stretch. Looking just as willowy as his sisters. Watch any of them for long enough, and I swear you can see them growing.
Now, they are not managing this on meal times alone. Continue reading
I have a new favourite muffin. Or maybe I should call it a small cake. Whichever, it is my newest favourite. Move over blueberry muffins, there is a new little cake in town.
Today was one of those baking sessions when I had not quite the right ingredients, so I improvised. A few days ago, I saw Rattling On’s raspberry and almond cake. I couldn’t help wondering how I had forgotten the wonderful combination of almonds and raspberries. I thought about it enough to remember to pick up a small container of fresh raspberries whilst out shopping. I like buying local and in season produce, which these were not, but my urge to combine these two flavours was so strong.
Turns out that I didn’t have nearly enough ground almonds or any vanilla extract, so I turned to my muffin recipes. Turned out I didn’t have muffin cases, so I pulled out my little cake cases. I had no light oil, but I did have olive oil. I had raspberries and flaked almonds, so I was still on a roll. I even found a small bottle of almond extract. The need for an extra shopping trip had been averted. Yeh! Baking commenced and these yummies turned out just fine.
I’m sharing the recipe, in the spirit of friendship, and also it would be unfair, after all the Yehs! and Yummys!, to leave you dry. Also I have to share a little story from today. TF had taken his favourite book, of the moment, into school for show and tell. The teacher didn’t have time to read it, but asked if it was OK if she kept it at school to read to the class tomorrow, as she liked it.
“Oh yes.” My little son said. “My Mummy loves to share. She won’t mind.”
I was so surprised when he told me about this conversation. He was pleased with himself for saying it. He knew he had done good! I can’t think of a better principle than sharing for my 4 year old to pick up on, but he has obviously taken it on board and understood. I was genuinely amazed. There is hope for my parenting skills (shoe buying and haircuts aside)!
So, seeing as I apparently love to share, here is the recipe. Usual method of muffin making – dry ingredients in one bowl and wet stuff in another. This makes 24 small cakes or 12 muffins.
- Mix in first bowl – 50g of ground almonds, 290g self raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 150g caster sugar
- Mix in second bowl – 2 eggs, 225ml milk, 100ml olive oil, 1 tsp of almond extract
- Add contents of second bowl to first and gently mix until just mixed. (Muffins refuse to rise if you over mix.)
- Line or grease two 12 bun trays. Half fill each case with mixture. Pop in two or three raspberries and cover the raspberries with more mixture until the case is almost full.
- Sprinkle flaked almonds on the top.
- I popped it on to the third shelf down in the Aga baking oven for 10-15 mins, turning half way through. Based on similar recipes, it looks like 200c/400f/Gas 6 for 10-15 mins for other ovens, but please check. Cakes should be golden brown on top.
- When ready remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
Yum! The smell is amazing. My cakes are ready for our Friday craft group get together tomorrow. I hope they like them.
While I’m sharing, I thought I’d show you my finished dragonflies from our house sign. I’m no painter or sign writer, so the sign is basic and fun. I’ll leave the masterpieces to the artists among us.
Difficult to see the glitter on the wings in these photos. I’m hoping it will come into its own when the car headlights shine on it at night or if the sunlight catches it. We’ll see.
The name of the house is just below the three dragonflies and is the bit that people should see from the road. Hopefully the dragonflies will add interest as visitors open the gate.
Can you tell that I had fun with the wings?
The sign is just waiting for a lull in the rain and it will be fixed in place. In the meantime, I think just one more of those cakes in celebration of an actual finished project. Yeh!
We made the most delicious blueberry muffins today. Its a recipe that I have made before but this time I used frozen blueberies instead of dried blueberries. They are so yummy and a real taste of summer, as the berries burst in your mouth. The muffins are not overly sugary to taste.
I know that there are many muffin recipes out there, and this one is not unique, but I thought I would share it anyway. Here’s the recipe.
I cooked it in the Aga so I have not tested it in a regular oven, but most recipes I’ve seen require an oven temperature of 350f.
450g/1 lb plain flour
175g/6oz caster sugar
4tsp baking powder
2 beaten eggs
100ml/4floz oil, I used olive oil as I had nothing lighter in the cupboard
225ml/8 floz milk
225g/8oz frozen blueberries
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix the rest in another bowl.
Lightly mix the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients, but don’t overdo it!
Spoon ingredients into 12 paper cases in a muffin tray.
(For a two door Aga, put the tray on the runners third down from the top in the roasting oven.)
Bake for 15-20 mins, until muffins are risen and firm to the touch.
Try and cool on a wire rack, but who can resist tasting them when they are warm.
On a green living note, I managed to get two loads of washing onto the washing line. For the first time this year they dried completely on the line and I have not used my tumble dryer today. Yah!