Monday, 24 December 2018

Just In Time for Christmas

We are home just in time for Christmas. There's been rain while we've been away, the grass is long and green and the Poinciana trees in our little pocket of suburbia are covered in their showy red flowers. I think I will pick a spray of them for our Christmas table. So gorgeous and festive!

A Poinciana tree in glorious bloom decorates our neighbourhood.

As I write, a fluffy pavlova is baking slowly in our oven, dollops of meringue dotted around a circle to make a wreath shape. I made it the way Fiona, over at Stay Home Instead does. I can't wait to decorate it tomorrow with lashings of thick cream and slices of fresh fruits.  In many hours time, when I can take that pavlova out of the oven, I'll roast the chicken and the root vegetables for the salads that we'll share with our family for Christmas lunch tomorrow. It's simple, homemade food made with lots of love, baked with plenty of time and seasoned with much gratitude. There'll be leftovers too!

A cluster of Poinciana flowers.

I am looking forward to setting the table out on our verandah tomorrow, with a spray of those Poinciana flowers in the centre, and then sitting down to share the delicious meal we've made along with all the laughter, storytelling, memories and joy that comes with being together.

Wherever you are, and whether or not it is a day of celebration for you, I hope you can spend time tomorrow with the ones you love and that love you.

Merry Christmas to you.
Meg Xx

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Where I'll Be

It's a cloudy, overcast morning here so my view, out to the East's horizon, is obscured. A sliver of sea and our glimpse of today's destination, our beloved Straddie island, waits behind that cloudy cloak. By late afternoon, we'll be there.

Where I'll be is not that far away from home but it is a world away from city life, from work and school routines and from bustling Christmas crowds. We'll while away our time surrounded by Straddie's beauty and absorbed in her nature. The mainland will be far from my mind.

I'll catch up with you all again in a few weeks. Until then, I wish you many happy moments as your days unfold.


Tuesday, 4 December 2018

Chocolate-y Choc-Chip Cupcakes

Small chocolate-y choc chip cupcakes, made light and moist by a mixture including both sour cream and yoghurt, are a lovely semi-sweet treat.

Delicious treat!

I took this recipe, for Sour Cream Double Chocolate Muffins, and tweaked it just a little so I could use up a little bit of sour cream and a little bit of plain yoghurt I had in the fridge. As usual, I made them with spelt flour but you could always use plain flour. Here's how I made them:

Chocolate-y Choc-Chip Cupcakes
(Makes 12 small cupcakes)

Dry Ingredients:                                                                           Wet Mix:
3/4 cup white spelt flour                                                              1/2 cup sour cream                
1/4 cup cocoa powder                                                                   1/4 cup plain yoghurt
1/4 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar                                      1 small egg
1/2 teaspoon baking powder                                                       30g melted butter
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda                                                             1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 180C and prepare pan by lining with cupcake cases.

2.  Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined with no lumps.

3.  Blend wet mix ingredients together in a large measuring jug or bowl.

4.  Make a well in centre of dry ingredients and pour wet mixture in. 

5.  Mix together until just combined.

6.  Half fill each of your cupcake cases with batter.

7.  Bake 15-20mins until cupcakes have risen and are springy to touch.

8.  Cool in pan for a few minutes before finishing cooling on a wire rack.

Silicone cupcake cases.

You can use paper or silicone cupcake cases to line your pan. I tend to use my set of individual silicone cases when I know the cupcakes I'm making are going to be quite moist or I want a little fluted cupcake shape. 

While not overly sweet, these little cupcakes are very chocolate-y indeed! Pop one into a lunchbox or on your afternoon tea plate for a little burst of chocolate-y choc-chip goodness in your day!