#30daywritingchallenge: Day 10- Teaching Children To Cook.

My latest challenge is to write about something which I feel strongly about. I just wish I had the money and the power to do something about it. It is getting children to gain life skills, especially by teaching them to cook. Nowadays it all seems it’s Literacy and Numeracy in schools and nothing else seems to matter. But life skills, such as cooking should be a priority. After all, we all have to eat!

Now, I’m not trying to do a Jamie Oliver (even though I have a lot of respect for the guy) and tell everyone that they shouldn’t use convienience foods or get a takeaway on the way home from work. After all, life is so busy and hectic nowadays that people feel shattered when they get home. The last thing you sometimes feel like is to be cooking a dinner from scratch. Who doesn’t need a few shortcuts now and again?

What I think is useful is if children are taught to cook basic meals from an early age and have a repetoire of recipes to fall back on, then when they grow up and have to cook for themselves they don’t have to rely on takeaways or pre-packaged dinners. Not only that, but you will be more aware of what you are putting inside your body.

I was born in the 1970s and I remember my mum cooking most meals from scratch with the odd shortcut like a cooking sauce. We would have fish fingers and burgers now and again. But things began to change when my mum went back to work full time as a teacher and we got a microwave. This would have been about 1985 when the ready made meal revolution began to kick in. I do remember Home Economics lessons at school and we were taught to make lots of different things. It isn’t the same everywhere, though. By the time my children went to school they did not have a single cookery lesson in primary school, except my son made some Christmas biscuits once. When they were at secondary school they had Food Technology and I don’t remember much cooking going on there. My daughter was meant to make fruit salad in her first food tech lesson at school and left her fruit on the school bus!

As soon as I had children I wanted to teach them skills that I had been taught as a child. This included teaching them how to cook. I wanted them to be able to cook a meal for themselves and to enjoy cooking together as a family. This also included baking. This, in turn would help them out so that they could pass on their skills and knowledge to their families when they are older. Unfortunately, it is all too easy nowadays to buy ready made stuff or to order a takeaway, especially with apps such as Just Eat which deliver to you. We do have the odd takeaway or some fish and chips but living where we do, no apps deliver to us. So my daughter was in her element when she discovered Just Eat when she went off to uni, despite all my best efforts to show her how to cook. Thankfully, though the novelty has well and truly worn off and she saves money by cooking lots of frugal and healthy meals using a couple of useful student recipe books I bought for her.

My son has no interest in cooking at the moment, even though he has been taught to cook various meals. When he has cooked things in the past, they have tasted wonderful. I just want to encourage people to cook and to gain enjoyment from producing something homemade. Having said that, when you get in from work absolutely exhausted, the last thing you want to do is to get the frying pan out. But I think my slow cooker is the most wonderful invention for those nights.

I am so passionate about teaching children to cook and passing on my enthusiasm for it, that I got to run an After School Cookery Club at the school where I worked at in a permanent job for eight years. Three of those years were spent running a weekly club where children came to cook traditional and favourite meals and recipes with me after school. If appropriate, the children got to eat their creations at the end of the session. I felt proud seeing the children sat there around the table tucking into meals like spaghetti carbonara, vegetable soup and muffins that they had created themselves. What’s more, they were so excited that I used to write up the recipes for them and they had their own special recipe folder to keep them in. When I bumped into one of my ex-pupils the other week, she said how much she had enjoyed my cookery club and how she still remembers how to cook spaghetti bolognese. Another mum said she couldn’t get her son to eat tuna until he came along to my cookery club!

In an ideal world I would love to have premises where I could run cookery clubs and lessons for adults and children alike. Adults can come along and learn to cook the things they weren’t taught at school because the curriculum had changed. Or to gain the skills their parents hadn’t taught them because they didn’t learn themselves previously. Students could learn some basic skills before going off to uni or children could come along and have themed cooking sessions, such as a Christmas baking one. But lack of space at home prevents me from doing this and also a lack of finances. I need to sit down and work out how I can do this but I really want to be able to help.

Answers on a postcard please. How can I do this without needing lots of money?

Sam xx

#30daywritingchallenge: Day 9- Words Of Wisdom.

I’m really enjoying my #30daywritingchallenge as it is a total change from talking about baking all the time. Today’s challenge is to write about some words of wisdom which mean something to you. Now, as a Wet Wet Wet fan the first thing that came into my mind is that Words of Wisdom is the title of one of their early songs from the Popped In Souled Out album. But I guess I really need to write about are life quotes which resonate with me

#30daywritingchallenge: Day 5 – Five Places You Want To Visit.

Here we are on Day 5. It’s easy to find the time to write when you are on school holidays but let’s see what happens when I get back to work next week! Never mind, I’ll see how it goes for now. Today’s subject is to write about five places that you would like to visit. I’ve always loved travelling and these places I’m going to mention are definitely on my bucket list. They’re not in any particular order but one day I will get there I hope.

Vancouver, Canada

I am fortunate to have been to Canada twice and am going again later this year. So Vancouver “might” be a reality depending on my travel arrangements. My brother and his family live in Alberta and have recently moved up into the Rockies. On my first visit to Canada in 2016 we went to Banff which was amazing but I am so excited about being able to see more of this wonderful country. My Mum went to Vancouver on her first visit to Canada and loved it, so I am determined to go there myself. It depends on time commitments and how the flights fit in around the train through the Rockies to the town where my brother and sister in law live.

Australia

Mr SmartCookieSam is Australian. His mum and dad went to live in Australia in the late 1950s as “ten pound poms” and he was born there just outside Melbourne. He and his parents came back to the UK when he was little, though and moved to Wales. His younger sister was born in the UK although she has been to Australia on holiday. He has an Australian passport which is really handy when we go on holiday. While myself and my children are standing in the EU Citizens queue at passport control at airports, Mr SmartCookieSam has already sailed through and is waiting at the baggage reclaim. He gets some lovely stamps in his passport whereas I have only had them when I’ve out of the EU. We keep meaning to go on holiday there but with the way things are in the UK at the moment I would be tempted to stay there. Also it would be great to see the sun more than on two days a year as it feels like here at the moment. Our ambition is to have our photo taken with Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background. This is because we have a photo of my late mother in law and also another photo of my sister in law in exactly the same spot 30 years later. Now to complete the picture, we need a photo there too!

Italy (to see more of it!)

I have been to Italy twice before. My first visit was in April 2007 when Mr SmartCookieSam and I went to Rome for a few days. It was a lovely break although we ended up having to move hotels and also nearly got killed by a crazy taxi driver who drove like a lunatic along the dual carriageway between Fiumicino Airport and the city centre. The driver saw a funeral hearse coming along in the opposite direction, took his hands off the steering wheel and made the sign of the cross! He also scraped a car wing mirror near the hotel.I was so shocked I said to Mr SmartCookieSam that we were getting the train back to the airport. Our second visit to Italy was a trip for my 40th birthday in July 2012 where we stayed in Lake Garda, Lake Como and also had a road trip up to the Stelvio Pass and a train trip to Venice. I loved it, although I wasn’t impressed with all the ants crawling around all over the food in the first hotel we stayed at. But, I love Italy and what I’ve seen of it and want to go back. I was so blown away by Lake Garda and Como that I want to see Lake Maggiore and also to go to cities like Florence and to Pisa. I also want to go down to the Amalfi Coast. I see pictures of these places or see programmes like Michael Portillo’s Continental Railway Journeys and it inspires me to want to go myself.

Norway

Now Norway isn’t really that far from the UK when you think about it but it’s not somewhere I would think of going for a summer holiday. Yet it is a stunning looking country. I always want to go down to the Med or to the sun in the summer as we just don’t get it in the UK. We plan to get on a ferry over there and drive around or go on one of the Fjord cruises. Our other thing is that Mr SmartCookieSam won’t fly from anywhere except Leeds Bradford Airport unless he has to as he doesn’t want all the extra driving on top of the flight. As far as I know you can’t fly to Norway from there at the moment so we tend to choose places we can get to from there for our summer holiday, such as Ibiza or Spain.

San Francisco

I’ve been to the USA twice but to the East Coast. San Francisco is one of those places I see on TV and in pictures and it just looks like an exciting place to visit with the street cars and the hills, etc. I’m not that bothered about the rest of California, although I would like to travel across America driving along Route 66. To Mr SmartCookieSam who drives a lot in his job, this would not be a rest for him. But it would be exciting and a great way to see the country. We just need the time to do it!

#30daywritingchallenge: Day 4- What do you want to be?

I’ve changed the subject of today’s writing challenge. Or should I now say yesterday’s writing challenge as I completely forgot to post it last night. As well, I struggled to find images to illustrate my post, so I’m apologising for using these clipart images! The theme for this post was meant to be about me writing about someone who inspires me. I have so many people that have or who continue to inspire me in lots of ways. I guess I just had writer’s block over this. So I looked at the original notebook bought from Paperchase a couple of weeks back which gave me the inspiration to write these posts in the first place. Day Four in the Paperchase notebook (aimed at children, to be honest) asks you to write about what you want to be. I presume this means talking about what job you would like to do when you grow up.

I didn’t always want to be a teacher. When I was in primary school I wanted to be a nurse. I imagined myself in one of those blue dresses with a starched white apron and a hat looking at my watch and feeling people’s pulses. That was as far as my dreamings went because I’m really squeamish and faint at the sight of blood. My Mum and Dad went to our local blood donor session in our village and it was me who had to have the tea and biscuits as I nearly passed out. That was the end of my aspirations to be a nurse. My mum was worried about how I would cope giving birth with my squeamishness but I managed. I guess you just have to get on with it.. and close your eyes!

After the nurse phase I fancied being a fashion designer. I used to spend hours designing clothes and drawing them, getting inspiration from magazines at the time. This was the mid 1980s so it was all shoulder pads and puffball skirts. Thinking back to all those designs I drew years ago I cringe! Thankfully when I moved house I threw them out, I’d be so embarrassed and humiliated to see them now. My Art teacher at school was very encouraging but I never actually made any of my designs up. I probably would have looked a sight walking around town in them!

All that changed in June 1987 when everyone in our school year (Year 10) was sent on a weeks work experience. I chose to go back to my local infant school. There wasn’t anything remotely fashion design based near us. I liked children and often babysat for my mum and dad’s friend’s children. By the end of that week my mind was made up. I wanted to be an infant’s teacher (or KS1 as it is called nowadays) This seemed a much better option for me and more attainable. I went home and told my mum. My mum had returned to teaching full time and the National Curriculum was just about to be introduced. She said to me if I really wanted to work with children, why don’t I be a librarian instead? Of course I didn’t listen to my mum! Other family members were less than enthusiastic. I’ve mentioned in another post about my granddad who thought teaching infants wasn’t being a proper teacher. Three years later I went off to uni and got my teaching degree. I taught for three years full time until I got pregnant with my older child. Now twenty odd years later I’m in the same job but on a supply basis which suits me down to the ground.

If I was given the chance to go back to age 16 and retrain in something else, would I do it? Yes and no. I’m glad I became a teacher. It is scary to think that my very first pupils now probably are married with kids of their own (that does make me feel very old) and that I played a part in teaching them to read, write and to be numerate. I hope I also taught them other useful life skills as I did later on when I ran an after school cookery club. But if I was my children’s age now I would definitely not go into the teaching profession. When my mum first returned to teaching she did have a little time to herself on the evenings and weekends. But gradually as each successive government put more and more crap into the pot, I saw my mum spend more and more time working. She used to fall asleep with her laptop on her knee on the sofa most nights. Every time I phoned her on a Sunday she would be planning with The Archers on the Radio in the background. More recently this has happened to me when I’ve been working in a long term supply post. I had to stop meeting up with friends because I couldn’t even spare an hour of my time. Doing supply teaching though gives me the best of both worlds. I can be at home if I need to be and I can teach children which is what I set out to do over 30 years ago. Thankfully my own two children are following their dreams. My daughter is training to be a prosthetic make up artist and my son wants to be a film director.

Being in my mid forties now I have another twenty years to go before retirement. I don’t see myself teaching for another twenty years. I would love to turn my passion for baking into a business. I have baked cakes as a sideline before but when I ended up teaching more (more money involved) I put the cake decorating on hold. I get friends saying go for it but there are obstacles in my way. I need a bigger kitchen so that my domestic space isn’t taken over by the cake decorating. Mr SmartCookieSam doesn’t like it when he comes home from work and I’m still finishing off a cake and it’s stopping him from making a cup of tea. Or from me cooking his dinner. I need business premises. But to do that you need money. And to get money you have to work, so that’s why I continue to teach.

But for me the most important job that I do is something I always wanted to be and that’s to be a mother. I honestly thought I wouldn’t be lucky enough to have children and that someone would actually want to be with me. Sadly this is an ambition for some that never gets realised and I have seen people who have been denied the opportunity to become a mum who would have been fab mums. I think life can be so cruel. I think myself lucky every day that I have two healthy children that I am proud of. Being called Mum is even better than being called Sam or Mrs Smith. Of course there are times when I think I’ve totally mucked up. I’ve said and done the wrong things. Kids are kids when all is said and done. After all parenthood doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Oh how I wish there had been one, especially designed for teenagers! In an ideal world I would have loved to have a houseful of kids. Maybe not twenty like the Radford family but perhaps four or five. But practicality won there!

#30daywritingchallenge: Day 3: My Pet Hates.

So, I’m on to Day 3 of my #30daywriting challenge. Today I’ve been asked to write about my pet hates or peeves. What would I put into Room 101 if I ever went on that show? I don’t like being a Moaning Minnie or a Victor Meldrew type but these things do wind me up. Some of these are just minor nuisances in the scheme of things but are sent to try us.

Slow drivers:

It would be lovely to have all the time in the world to crawl along at 30mph in a 60mph limit being totally unaware of the line of traffic you are holding up behind you. The rest of us stuck behind you have a job to do. Fair enough if you are driving a tractor or a lorry but if you are in an ordinary car which is capable of going at the intended speed limit for that road, please stick to it if the conditions allow you to.

Selfish drivers:

You would think from my previous grievance that I am a selfish driver. Far from it. I use indicators, I do not tailgate people even if they haven’t managed to find second gear up to now. I do not cut corners when turning into a junction and I let people out when merging in traffic. The selfish drivers I find are getting more and more common. The other week as I was driving along the York Ring Road being tailgated by an idiot driving an Audi, I wondered why he was behaving like this towards me. I was doing the speed limit and couldn’t drive any faster along that section of road. In fact it was a miracle I could get up to the speed limit along there! Usually that section of road is gridlocked!

Management Speak:

I really get wound up by phrases or words that are used in certain areas of society. You watch programmes like The Apprentice and see some of the stupid comments that the contestants use. Such as “I gave it 110% on that task” or “I was thinking outside the box!” What the hell does that mean? Other words which have changed their usage in the English language annoy me, too. A couple of years back it was all about sourcing. You would read sentences like “I source my ingredients locally,” For crying out loud! Why don’t you just say you buy them locally? Another irritating word I find is signposting. I went along to a teacher’s course once and the leader said “You could signpost parents to this information,” Why not say “show this information to the parents?” To me a signpost is something you see at the side of the road. And while we’re on the subject of roads, to me a journey is something you do in a car or on a bike. It is not a diet or reading a book!

Condesending people:

I am an intelligent person or I like to think I am and I hate being talked down to or treated as if I am thick. Too often I have seen this in various aspects of my life. From the snooty woman at my child’s playgroup who said “That’s hummous,” to me when I was serving the children’s snack on my parental rota duty. She obviously thought I was too “lower class” to know what hummous was. More recently I have seen condescending teachers and teaching assistants treat me as if I’m stupid because I’m a supply teacher. Some people think supply teachers are on supply because they can’t get a job. Not in my case. I choose to be a supply teacher and I do know how to use the Interactive White Board, thankyou very much!

Snoring:

People snoring really winds me up. I am married to a snorer and he won’t do anything about it. He thinks because he’s asleep and I’m lying wide awake listening to him rattling the windows that it’s ok. But it is not. Anyone who even shares a house, let alone a bedroom with a snorer is in for a wakeful night. I often think I’d get more sleep if I laid down next to the runway at Heathrow Airport!

British Weather:

I love the UK and living here but let’s face it our weather is dire. I don’t think I have to explain this to people as we all know what it’s like.

Getting up early:

I am not an early riser, especially in the winter. Who wants to get up when it is still dark? There should be a law against it. I don’t have any problem getting up in the summer but any time between the clocks going back and then going forward again is a big no-no with me.

Shops selling Christmas things from September and Easter things from January:

I know people like to be prepared but to me Christmas is in December. I might prepare and get a few things in November but why buy mince pies in September? I love Mini Eggs but not in January. I also get riled when all the summer clothes are in the shops when it’s still Winter. Then you find when you actually get to Summer and you want to buy a new bikini there are none left in the shops! Or who wants to buy wellies in August? It’s like the seasons don’t match.

Adverts:

When you are on Facebook and you want to look at an article. Only you can’t read the whole article because you are bombarded with pop-up ads which you have to sift through to even read one sentence. Or an advert pops up over the article and you have to sign up to read it. I’m sorry but this really puts me off and I end up giving up reading the article.

People who stand and block the aisles in supermarkets:

I know you sometimes bump into friends or people you know when you are out doing the weekly shop. But if I see anyone I know and start chatting to them I always think that there might be someone who is whizzing around the supermarket and needs to get to the milk. Too often I go around and see people having a good old chinwag with their trolleys blocking the whole aisle. I remember trying to get my Christmas food shop done and getting a mouthful off an old man because I said “excuse me” to him when he was stood in front of the cream. He then said I “was a nuisance” because I then asked him to move again (politely) so I could get some milk. Oooh, I am sorry but I thought the whole idea of a supermarket was to buy food!

Right, that’s enough of my whinging! What are your pet hates or peeves?

Love Sam xx

Half Term Baking

It feels like an eternity since I last updated my blog. I was working in a long term and full time post last half term. Baking, let alone any blogging was the last thing on my mind.

The last few weeks have been extremely stressful. Even though baking helps me to relax and unwind, I didn’t have the time and the energy to lift a wooden spoon. As soon as my work was finished for the night, it was bedtime and the cycle would start again at 6.00am the next morning.

Although half term week was last week up here in Yorkshire, it’s taken me that long to get my head back to writing up my latest post. But I was so happy, esctatic even to be back in my favourite place doing what I love. So I am sharing with you what I have baked this last week.

At Christmas I was given a copy of Jamie Oliver’s latest book “5 Ingredients” which I really love. As there are only 5 ingredients in each recipe, a lot of the recipes are simple to make and quick to throw together after a busy day. Although poor Mr SmartCookieSam ended up cooking our dinner most nights last half term! As usual, whenever I get a new recipe book I’m always looking at the sweet stuff at the back of the book.

On the Monday of half term week I went over to Leeds to meet up with my cake club friends at one of our friends’ houses. Linda cooked us a delicious Spanish Chicken Traybake (from the Hairy Dieters first book) and we had some sweet treats afterwards. This was a real tonic to catch up with my friends as I hadn’t seen anyone for a couple of months. My contribution was a Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake (more of that to follow) and some St Clements Polenta Biscuits from Jamie’s 5 Ingredients.

The St Clements Polenta Biscuits could have been used with lemons or oranges but I used just lemons in my recipe. The five ingredients were: butter, fine polenta, self raising flour, caster sugar and lemons or oranges. The biscuit dough could be made up in my food processor, so it was really quick to put together. When the dough had formed into a large ball, I split the dough into 24 equal pieces and laid them onto a lined baking tray. The biscuits spread a lot during the baking so I needed to space them well apart on the tray. I usually put 6 biscuits per tray. These were baked for about 10 minutes in the oven, but my oven temperature is a bit out at the moment so I was watching them like a hawk.

I was very pleased with the biscuits and they went down well. My only problem was not to eat them before I met my friends! It’s the first time I’ve used polenta in a biscuit recipe. I’ve baked polenta in savoury recipes and also in a cake. The latter was a complete disaster and the cake fell apart. Cake balls, anyone?!

The other bake I took along to my friend’s house was a Chocolate Orange Bundt Cake. Anyone who knows me well will know that I collect Nordicware Bundt pans. Much to the annoyance of Mr SmartCookieSam who complains about them taking up space in the garage! I chose to use my Elegant Heart pan to make my cake in, being as it was two days before Valentine’s Day. I had a packet of mini Chocolate Orange Lindt D’Or balls in my baking cupboard which I could use to decorate the top. I’m still confused. How were they still there in the cupboard? I’m surprised they hadn’t been scoffed.

I adapted the Tunnel of Fudge Bundt recipe from one of my Nordicware cookbooks and used one of my favourite products in the mix. I’m a huge fan of Sugar and Crumbs’ Natural Flavoured Icing Sugars and Cocoa powders. I used the chocolate orange cocoa powder in the cake itself and in the glaze on top.

The third bake of the week was on the Thursday of half term week. I was at home on my own that day just catching up on jobs around the house and by the afternoon I was fed up of doing boring chores. The kitchen beckoned again so I had a go at making another recipe from Jamie’s “5 Ingredients” This time I baked “Buddy’s Flapjack Biscuits” Jamie must have made the recipe for his son, Buddy. The five ingredients in this recipe were: butter, mixed dried fruit and nuts, porridge oats, self raising flour and golden syrup. Basically a flapjack style recipe without sugar in it, only syrup and more sweetness derived from dried fruit. I chose to substitute the dried fruit for a packet of Vahine choco-caramel chips which I had in the baking cupboard. They had been brought back from France last August and I hadn’t got round to using them. They melted into the mixture, though and turned it darker. I was hoping they might stay solid, rather like chocolate chips do in a cookie. Once again, this recipe was simplicity itself pulsed together in my food processor.

I also treated myself to Mary Berry’s latest book “Classic” and used her recipe for flapjacks which definitely are a classic to me. If I could only ever eat one thing for the rest of my life, it would easily be a flapjack. Though it has to be said, both my son and Mr SmartCookieSam ate these.

Finally, I had a very special cake to bake at the end of half term week. My friend was celebrating her 60th birthday so her husband asked me if I could bake her a cake. Marion and I met a couple of years ago before our favourite band of all time Wet Wet Wet were playing in Scarborough at the Open Air Theatre. Her husband was bringing her away for the weekend at Nidd Hall near Knaresborough in North Yorkshire and they asked Mr SmartCookieSam and I to come over to Nidd Hall for drinks and afternoon tea. I baked Marion’s special cake the day before and had great fun decorating it with a fanastic cake topper from mycupcaketoppers.co.uk. I used the image from Wet Wet Wet’s very first album cover Popped In Souled Out and added stars, hearts and sugar coated crispy balls around the edge. The cake itself was a Madeira sponge which I cut in half horizontally (not straight as you can tell from the photos), and layered with strawberry jam and buttercream. I then crumb coated the cake with buttercream, left it to dry and then added the sugarpaste layer. I hate covering cakes with sugarpaste and even though I’ve been decorating cakes for years, I still get anxious and nervous about the sugarpaste breaking and falling off the rolling pin. But thankfully today, it all worked out fine.

As I type, it’s now the following Thursday morning and I’m not at work today. I’m wondering what I can bake. I daren’t bake anything as I know I’ll eat it though. Maybe I’ll have to keep out of the kitchen and do my knitting instead once I’ve done all my chores.

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx

Boxing Day/ St. Stephen’s Day Muffins- The Great British Bake Off Christmas.

26th December 2017.
These muffins are a great way of using up all that leftover Christmas Pudding.  Only Mr SmartCookieSam and I eat Christmas pudding in our house but our two children don’t like it.  My daughter usually makes a dessert for herself and her brother.  This year she baked a delectable Salted Caramel and Chocolate Roulade but last year it was Sticky Toffee Pudding. 
As it was just the four of us for Christmas Day and Boxing Day this year I knew there would be loads of Christmas pudding left.  Mr SmartCookieSam was a bit put out that I used some of our Christmas pudding leftovers for something else but I had made the pudding at the end of November even before I knew who was here for Christmas and who wasn’t. 

In The Great British Bake Off Christmas book, the recipe introduction states: “St. Stephen’s Day is the Irish holiday that we more typically call Boxing Day.  As to be expected, 26th December marks the start of enjoying all the leftovers from the previous two days and these boozy muffins are no exception,”

The recipe makes 8 good sized muffins so I found some left over Christmas themed muffin cases in the cupboard and put them into the muffin tin first, even before switching on the oven.  I would not call these muffins healthy by any stretch of the imagination though I ate one for a late breakfast on Boxing Day!  They contain sherry as well but 3 tablespoonfuls for the whole batch.

My son was working all day so I baked them after I had driven to York to drop him off at work.  When I got back Mr SmartCookieSam and my daughter were out so I had the house to myself.  I set up BBC Iplayer in the kitchen and caught up with the Christmas Special of Call The Midwife while I baked and cleared up in the kitchen.  

The muffins were quick and simple to make which is what you need at this time of year when you are battling with the Christmas leftovers.  I took 200g of the leftover Christmas pudding off what was left and crumbled it into a bowl.  There was still plenty left! 

In another bowl I mixed together flour, baking powder, some mixed spice and some light brown muscovado sugar into a bowl.  In another bowl I whisked together two eggs with some milk and some melted butter.  Though the melted butter nearly got left in the microwave and got forgotten to be put in the bowl! Ooops! I then raided the drinks cabinet and took out three tablespoonfuls of sherry. I don’t like sherry but I had a cheap bottle bought last year for the trifle.  The two mixtures were then folded together carefully along with the crumbled Christmas Pudding.

After baking for 20-15 minutes the muffins came out of the oven.  Tbey had turned a gorgeous golden colour and although well risen did not rise as much as shop bought muffins do.  I must admit they tasted amazing though and I had one there and then for a late breakfast.  I had one the following day, too! 

Happy Baking!

Love Sam xx