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Saturday, 24 October 2009

Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins

Something you may not know about me is that I LOVE to bake. I rarely find the time, but it's one of my favourite things to do. I generally enjoy cooking, but there's something special about baking :) It tends to get reserved for the weekends and my partner always enjoys helping. He generally does useful things like make sure the mixtures tastes good and testing any chocolate we're using. And he licks the bowl clean afterwards ^^

Today's recipe was strawberry and white chocolate muffins! Very delicious and you can pretend that they're healthy because they have fruit in them! It's just a basic muffic recipe that's been modified slightly. Instead of fruit/chocolate you can always use ginger and nutmeg - a highly recommended combination for the winter months!

250ml milk
125ml oil
1 large egg
300g self raising flour
150g caster sugar
170g chocolate
170g berries
(the last two can be increased/decreased according to taste!)

Makes 12

Preheat the oven to 170oC/gas mark 3. Place 12 paper cake cases into a muffin tray.

Cut your strawberries into quarters and put 12 pieces to one side. These will be used to decorate the muffins :) Crush the chocolate into small pieces. My partner's favoured method is bashing it against the closest wall.

Whisk the milk, oil and egg together in small mixing bowl. You don't have to use an electric whisk, especially if (like me!) you don't have one. I made do with a fork and it worked perfectly well.
Sieve the flour into another bowl and add the sugar, chocolate and berries to it. Combine with a large wooden spoon. Or, you know, a small one. Whatever works for you.
Stir in the milk, oil and egg mix, a little bit at a time until the mixture is nice and gloopy! (Yes, 'gloopy' is a technical term).
Split the mixture evenly between the cake cases and place a piece of strawberry on top of each one.

Cook for roughly 25 minutes - to test, press the top of the muffin down lightly. If your finger squishes through it, they're not done yet! They should feel firm and slightly springy.

Leave to cool slightly and enjoy!

Sadly no photo. Will try and take one before they all get eaten!

Monday, 12 October 2009

Winter Giveaway - What Prize Do You Want?

Right, as Christmas is fast approaching I decided I'd better keep my promise about another giveaway! I am fairly stumped for ideas though - what do you guys want to see on offer?!

My most pressing questions are:
1. What kind of jewellery you want - necklace, bracelet, earrings etc.
2. What material? Last time it was pearls - I'm happy to go with pearls again but equally I can do chainmaille, chandelier glass or a mixture.
3. Something from the shop ( or something created especially for the giveaway?

Seriously, I'd LOVE some feedback on this.
For those of you who don't know how giveaways work, please see the info on my last one here:

And here's some photos of possible prizes :)

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Pearl and Silver Chain

Just a quick one today, guys! A photo of a newly finished commission - a delicate silver necklace with tiny white pearls. I'm pleased with this one and will be making more! It really suits the customer as well. She's a friend of my mum's and she's a small, delicate kind of a person. I hope she likes...

I've spent this evening uploading the audiobook of 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows' to an ipod...sending it to my baby sister (she's in Cambodia for a year) as her Christmas present. There's 20 cds but it's actually not taking that long. I'm about halfway though :)

Anyway, I must go to bed now. Going to try and go swimming at uni early tomorrow as I need to start getting more exercise!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Progress Being Made!

Evening everyone!

It's been a busy, busy few weeks. I mentioned a while ago that I moved back up to Birmingham for the start of the new university term...things have settled down a lot and there's kind of a routine going now.
Lectures are up and running and they're mostly interesting. Not so glad about the Roman history side of the course, but given one of my other modules is basically on 'Xena: Warrior Princess' I don't feel like I can complain! Seriously, I've been told to watch the first episode as preparation for my lecture this week.
How lucky am I?

Societies have started again too, circus was really full on the first session. Numbers will go down over the term, but it's always good to see lots of new faces! Rehersals are starting for the first Gilbert and Sullivan production of term...hopefully it'll go ok. I'm supposed to be playing viola for it, though I haven't had any music yet. I'm sure it'll be fine...
Oh, and I'm going to church for the first time in a ages. It's good, a young congregation as it's at the university chaplaincy and there are some fantastic hymns.

That's the joy at the moment!

Funfunfun :) I've got a fair few jewellery design ideas in my head at the moment and when I have time I will make them and show you all!

And then I shall take over the world.