After dealing with some health issues at the end of last year, I decided to take a step back and simplify my life. The important things had to come first. I needed time and space to look after my little family. And as the carer of that family I also had to take care of me! So for the last few months I’ve been taking time out from the blog. Putting back in after a hectic year writing both for here and for High Tea Cast.
For the first month I didn’t bake at all (there may have been a tiny exception for someone’s birthday). It felt good and I think we all benefited from the reduction in sugar. But then as time went on I could no longer resist. The wee one loves it and I really want to teach her the skills. So while continuing to bake sweet treats for the occasional birthday I have been trying to make my “everyday” bakes more nourishing.
I rarely bake the same cake twice but after trying the banana cinnamon cake from Love Bake Nourish: Healthier cakes, bakes and puddings full of fruit and flavour with my trusty sidekick I knew I would be back. It is delicious. Despite using wholegrain flour which can often be heavy and dry this is light and moist. Not to mention the flavour. Plump sultanas soaked in earl grey tea add an extra flavour dimension to the banana and cinnamon. So basically this is my new favourite cake and I may be making it a lot.
Although I intend to bring you more delicious muffin recipes at some point, I am still in need of some care and attention myself as well as trying to get my head around a low cobalt diet. So please be patient with me and in the meantime I’d highly recommend Love Bake Nourish.
Apologies for the silence and lack of muffin last Monday. My excuse is that I was on holiday. That’s right I actually had some proper time out and a complete rest and I’m feeling a whole lot better for it. The holiday was partly to celebrate a birthday so I will have a birthday cake to share with you soon but my week has been muffin free…well almost…
Even although our holiday destination was only a 30 minute drive from home we still had a stop off on the way. We managed a little bit of creativity and a bite to eat including this blueberry cheesecake muffin. It had been heated in the microwave for just a few seconds which left the centre deliciously gooey. I may just have to recreate this effect in a muffin at some point soon.
I confess I’ve had my copy of Lily Vanilli’s Sweet Tooth: Recipes and Tips from a Modern Artisan Bakery for quite a while now but have yet to make anything substantial from it. That’s definitely not to say that I don’t like the book. Quite the opposite. It’s a great resource for all bakers, new and experienced. The descriptions of the types of ingredients i.e. different flours and sugars are a valuable resource along with lists of useful tools. Each basic recipe provides variations for readers showing that one simple cake can be made in so many ways. It in no way suggests that this list is complete but rather provides a spring board for inspiration.
My bucket list has grown enormously just by looking through it. Given my current little pause in baking I’ve had time to reflect. A note of my must makes seemed like a good idea and where better to make my list but on here. So when I have time I would like to make the following (in no particular order):
Apple and rosemary olive oil cake
Chocolate avocado cake
Pear, parsnip and ginger cake
Hazelnut and pineapple upside-down cake
Spiced apple custard tarts
Wholegrain spelt scones
I’m going to be one very busy lady and this doesn’t even include all the added extras at the back of the book like pecan brittle and honeycomb.
So here’s a thing about me, I suffer from eczema. It might not seem like a big deal but a recent flare up has made me pretty ill with head to toe yucky skin and swollen glands to boot.
There’s many a story I could tell about doctor’s advice but my personal favourite was when I was told that the drug (for a completely unrelated issue) I was yet to take would not be affecting my current skin condition. Thanks very much for pointing out the obvious, I thought that as soon as a doctor prescribes something it mysteriously makes its way into my blood…
I’m not really one to feel sorry for myself but instead I wanted to know more about my condition. After all knowledge is power. I’ve experimented a little on here with muffins for different diets. This was sparked in part by my own “feeling” that dairy or wheat could be affecting me. I started reading The Eczema Diet: Eczema-Safe Food to Stop the Itch and Prevent Eczema for Life and it turned my whole understanding on its head. For example, I’ve been drinking almond milk thinking those particular nuts are good for my skin but she believes that they are not eczema safe.
I’m still trying to get my head round all the different foods that I “should” be eating and what I “should not”. And trying to work out whether this is a workable solution when I am responsible for feeding my family. I don’t doubt that it’s a very healthy diet and we could perhaps benefit from it but as a working mum do I really have time to make so much from scratch? And will limiting my little one’s diet so severely (albeit for a short time) be good for her?
Anyway, these are some of the issues that I’m tackling at the moment. Now onto muffins, the diet advocates pears instead of apples. I’ve never been very keen on eating pears as they are only perfectly ripe for such a short time. So this is my small attempt to adopt pears into my life. And I must say I even rather enjoyed both the muffin and the pear.
There’s nothing like eating a savoury muffin alongside a bowl of hot steaming root vegetable soup on a rainy autumnal day. At least in my opinion there is nothing better. Muffins are also pretty tasty for breakfast, afterall who doesn’t like cake for breakfast? They also make a pretty good portable snack for the more adventurous among us who spend their weekends in outdoor pursuits. And then who can say no to a glazed treat with their afternoon coffee?
So my question to you is when is the best time to eat a muffin?
Thanks to you everyone who completely my poll on what else should be included on Much ado about muffin. If you haven’t had a chance to fill it out you can find it here and I’d love for you to tell me what you think in the comments too.
Meanwhile I think I’ll give all my ideas plus your suggestions a whirl and see where they take me. Watch this space for huge amounts of information on fruits, vegetables, special diets and even my attempts to exercise…