The school holidays are almost finished which means back to school... back to making some snacks for the lunch/morning/afternoon teas. I've just realised that I have just over one year left of school lunches/snacks, with my baby getting towards the end of her high school days. I'm sure I'll still be making muffins long after our family's school days have finished, though!
Muffins are quick to make, easy to mix, and as long as you don't over mix the mixture, are delicious, moist, tasty and tender. You can pack them with different flavourings as well. A favourite in our house is the classic muffin flavour combination of raspberry and white chocolate. I've been trying to make a lot of new bakery goodies lately, and this is a newish muffin recipe which I've been experimenting with.
RASPBERRY AND WHITE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS
150 grams spelt wholemeal flour*
150 grams white flour*
15 grams baking powder*
170 grams caster sugar
125 grams butter, melted
125 millilitres milk
100 grams chopped white chocolate
150 grams raspberries (I use frozen)
Heat oven to 180oC.
Prepare your muffin tray or line with paper cases.
Sift flours and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar, eggs, butter and milk. Mix until just combined. Add white chocolate and raspberries, and mix lightly, do not over mix, as this will toughen the finished muffin.
Place mixture into the muffin tray/s.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked. Cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing muffins from the tin and cooling on a wire rack.
* I like to mix my flours, using spelt and/or stoneground flours. These are usually 'plain' flours without any rising agents added, hence I add the baking powder. You could use 300 grams of self raising flour instead, and omit the baking powder.
These make 12 large muffins, or about 20 smaller muffins as in my photos. I've used some of my vintage Willow baking tins with paper cases.
When filling the muffin tins, you only need to fill about 3/4 full. I'm a serial offender to overfilling my muffin pans, and they usually end up exploding over the edges. I don't really mind though, cause these edges crisp up beautifully giving a little extra crunch!
[Recipe adapted from the book 'Bake, Essential Companion' by A Thompson]
We started the morning constructing our own morning refreshment. We were presented with table of delicious fruits, nuts, granola and yoghurts that we styled and then photographed.
Sneh discussed several food styling methods and we were encouraged to style and photograph each one. Styling with only one prop was interesting…
We headed outside for some food styling under the trees. We were directed that our focus was to be on the bok choy.
The ceramic platters (above) came from Natalie Velthuyzen a Sydney based ceramic artist. Love the glazes she used, reminded me of the beach with the soft sand colour of the clay and the blues of the glazes. Natalie can be found on Facebook and Instagram.
This was such a fun day spent with Sneh and a friendly group of women who had travelled from all over Australia (and New Zealand) to attend the workshop. I think there were actually more people from interstate/overseas than there were from Sydney!
And now I have to make time to practice more photography!
Until next time.
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Before we started workshopping, writing, styling and photographing we were treated to a delicious morning tea prepared by Sneh.
Katrina lead the food writing discussion, giving us insights into the different food writing styles. Sneh chatted about food styling, lighting and photography before giving us full access to her kitchen and props.
This lead to our first assignment…. styling a scene with the focus on tomatoes. I used both my DSLR and iPhone to take the photos.
Our next assignment was to write a piece about tomatoes. Here's what I wrote.
We walked over to the table under the trees. It was only metres away from the aqua waters of the Mediterranean. We ordered the saganaki, the sardines and the dish that had become mandatory at every meal we ate on the islands, the village salad. It was not called a Greek salad in these parts, it was a village salad, humble, fresh and fragrant. The plump tomatoes, cucumbers and olives all grown in the local village topped with fresh cheese and oregano. We long still for this simple delicious taste.
Then there was lunch. Again the food was prepared by Sneh and again it was delicious.
The final assignment for the day was another styling/photography session.
This was such a fun and inspiring day with talented people, filled with two of my favourite things, food and photography.
And now I need to practice… both my writing and photography.
Till next time. Thanks for visiting.
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This is the deliciously refreshing smoothie I made this afternoon. I usually make a cup of tea in the afternoon when I'm finishing up my work for the day, but today I felt like some thing a bit cooler (maybe something to do with daylight saving?).
I've been making a lot of smoothies lately, I'm finding them very nourishing, so I thought I'd start sharing some photos of what I've been making and drinking.
Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is coming to Sydney!
Friday 19 September – Sunday 21 September 2014
A Great Day Out For The Entire Family.
Australia’s favourite home magazine and television show is coming to life at Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, from 19 - 21 September 2014 for Better Homes and Gardens LIVE.
Whether you are a renovator, foodie, DIY or craft lover, gardening or interiors addict, Better Homes and Gardens LIVE is the only place to go for all the latest products, advice and tips for your home. Get inspired with live demonstrations and workshops from your favourite Better Homes and Gardens experts and shop for the latest gadgets and technology from more than 350 exhibitors at our one-stop home and garden product showcase.
Fast Ed will demonstrate favourite recipes as well as some exciting new creations at the Better Cooking stage.
Better Craft & Skills Workshop & Make and Take Workshop
The Better Homes and Gardens magazine editors will be showcasing how to create amazing craft projects at the interactive Make and Take Workshop. And at the Better Craft & Skills workshop, discover the overwhelming satisfaction of creating something with your hands.
Better Gardening and Pets
Dr Harry will share his incredible knowledge to help all pet owners and pet lovers to look after the furry, feathered or scaly member of the family at the Better Gardening and Pets stage.
Whether you are already a green thumb or a gardening novice, Australia’s eminent garden and landscaping gurus Graham Ross and Jason Hodges will be creating Australia’s most sought after gardens, whilst offering ample practical advice.
Plenty of Activities for the Kids! Looking for things to do with the kids during the school holidays? Crafty kids will feel right at home at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE! They’ll be spoilt for choice with face painting, balloon sculpting and sand art on offer. And the little ones will love the petting zoo, getting hands-on with their favourite farmyard animals.
Make yourself at home at Better Homes and Gardens LIVE this September.
Now, here's some exciting news..... (Edited, all tickets have now been given away)
I have 10 FREE tickets to give away to the Sydney Better Homes and Gardens LIVE show. If you would like the chance to win a double pass (that's two tickets) to this event, please send me a message via the Ribbons Galore enquiry page.
I've been crocheting away the cold winter rainy nights here, and have made some cute crochet bags.
Just in time for spring, they are now for sale in the Quite Contrary Handmade section at Ribbons Galore. They are perfect for carrying small items bought at the farmer's market or taking the essentials out shopping or to the beach. Theyr'e a great size for younger girls too. All the details are over at Ribbons Galore.
I'm happy to take custom requests if you'd like to choose another colour, please get in touch.
The bags are crocheted from 100% Australian cotton yarn, in delicious colours (perfect for our upcoming spring and summer). They are super soft and the open stitches give some stretch.... and they have been lots of fun to make.
The magazine is now available online (from www.zinio.com) and in newsagencies, supermarkets and craft shops around Australia. Print copies should be available in Europe and North America in two to three weeks time.
I saw a little sign on the stall, labelling these tiny mushrooms "marinating mushrooms". I had to try making the. A recipe guide was included with the little bag of mushrooms, along with some fresh herbs.
They were very quick and easy to make, and made a tasty little snack!
Marinated Mushrooms recipe
(adapted from the Margin's Marinated Mushrooms recipe)
Step 1 ingredients and method:
200grms small mushrooms
100mls apple cider vinegar
Bring the vinegar and water to the boil in a saucepan. Place the mushrooms into the liquid and boil for 2 minutes. Remove mushrooms and keep the liquid.
Step 2 ingredients and method:
60mls olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
fresh herbs (for example thyme sprigs, bay leaves, sage)
a piece of lemon rind
salt and pepper
Heat a saucepan/frypan with the olive oil. Add the garlic, fresh herbs, lemon rind, salt and pepper. Cook this mixture for a few minutes to let the flavours infuse into the oil. Add the mushrooms to the pan with a small amount of the vinegar/water mixture, stir to coat the mushrooms in the oil. Remove the pan from the heat. Place the mushrooms, with the oil/garlic/herb mixture into a jar.
I have been increasingly interested in raw desserts and slices lately, and have been searching for recipes. One lovely blog which I've been following is Live Love Eat Raw. On her blog, Sharlene shares her raw food recipes.
I've made a few of her recipes, and two favourites so far are the raw cherry ripe slice and the raw bounty slice.
The recipe for the raw cherry ripe slice can be found HERE. I used frozen sour cherries, which gave the cherry ripe slice a refreshing tartness. The tartness is deliciously complimented by the slight sweetness of the dates and raw cacao base and the raw cacao and coconut oil topping.
The recipe for the raw bounty bars can be found HERE. The bounty bars have a creamy texture with a yummy vanilla coconuty flavour encased between the date, coconut and almond meal base and the raw cacao and coconut oil topping.
I keep the slices in the freezer, taking them out for a few minutes prior to eating so they can soften slightly. They'd make a perfect treat for Easter next week!