Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Mincemeat Muffins

This post is for Fran at Being Me as she asked what they were.
Mincemeat Muffins have become a bit of a staple in our house: they taste of Christmas but involve none of the bother of making mince pies. The recipe came from a Sainsbury's Magazine. (And we've eaten them all so no photo!)

295g plain flour
75g dark brown sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
284ml buttermilk
4 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
75ml whole milk
1 large egg
250g mincemeat

Preheat oven to Gas 6, 200°C
Sift together the dry ingredients and stir to mix evenly.
Mix wet ingredients (except mincemeat) together.
Add the liquid mix to the dry and mix lightly.
Add the mincemeat and stir. Don’t aim for a smooth blend, it should be blobby!
Line a muffin tin with muffin papers – it will make 12-15 muffins
Fill the muffin papers ¾ full.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

These are best eaten on the day you make them, and we like them warm - but you can gently reheat them which cheers them up - I give them a few seconds in my microwave.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Happy Christmas!

Don't seem to have photographed this year's Christmas card designs so this is one of last year's... never mind, the sentiment is the same!
No doubt you too are not lurking on the interweb but doing useful organising, planning, cherishing, catering and caring or possibly icing, decorating, wrapping and panicking, depending how your arrangements for the festive season are going.
We are largely sorted. Sufficiently so that we are off to the pictures tonight. If the lovely weather continues we will be mulling wine on our patio tomorrow night as proposed, and attending an 11pm 'midnight' Mass on Saturday evening. Just us on the day itself: lovely!
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Friday, 16 December 2011

A Tale of Two Cakes

Last weekend Youngest was spoilt lovingly by her grand and godparents. Today she’s being indulged by us and, once she’s been to school and taken a Physics test (“How unfair is that?”) , we will have a giggle of teenage girls to pizza and a movie at our house. She is 15 today.

Sunday’s cake was a large version of Delia’s Lemon Curd cake: melting, lemony and tasteful.

Tonight’s is Barbie dressed in a coffee flavoured confection and dripping in Smarties. I haven’t made a Barbie cake since they were small, and never before for Youngest – a fact which she clearly felt I should put right! She’s not seen it yet. Barbie is hiding in the (cold) spare room. I think she will go down well - despite Eldest helpfully remarking that "She looks like a pineapple".

Friday, 9 December 2011


I’m sure I’m not the only one who resorts to displacement activities: today, instead of tidying and cleaning the house, making a food plan for Sunday's birthday lunch (or, more specifically, a Pavlova for Sunday’s pudding and a birthday cake for Sunday tea) wrapping the Christmas presents I’ve bought so far, getting on with making the Christmas cards, or even writing one or two, I have been making Apple Chutney.

It's a lovely sunny day so I've taken a couple of shots to update the building work that's now complete in the garden  - though not yet the planting, it'll have to wait for the spring. I can't help thinking an 'apre ski' style party on the patio might be fun. Hmm!

And for my next distraction I’ve updated my blog! Oh well: there’s always tomorrow…

Thursday, 1 December 2011

End of term report

Upholstery classes ended today.
We all worked much harder than usual trying to get help on the bits we don’t understand before being on our own until late January. I have some homework that I may know how to do… And we enjoyed a shared lunch to kick off the festive season – though I must say it seemed far too early to be wishing people a Happy Christmas!