Baked Goods

Skip to the end for my White Chocolate and Strawberry Muffin recipe!

For the better part of the year, my over has been broken. This has led to me mastering all things stove top, grill, slow cooker and microwave oven (A gem of a cookbook I found in my mum’s house, “Microwave for Health” was great for a laugh in its over the top 90’s fashion).

The one thing I really missed was baking. Whipping up the classic chocolate mug cake really isn’t the same, as delicious as it is. As someone who had once wowed everyone at Christmas with my individual mini croquembouches with spun sugar, I missed the more challenging and technical aspect of baking.

Passion-fruit Microwave Sponge

Passion-fruit Microwave Sponge

Trying to get it fixed turned out to be harder than I thought. I called the repairman, and he visited within a week and said that a par needed replacing, but he should have it within a few days and he would call.

It was 2 weeks later and I hadn’t heard anything, so I phoned him. He had the part and wanted to come over to fix the oven right at that moment. I told him that since I was at work, I’d be unable to leave, but was available every morning until 11am. He, once again, said he’d call. After a few weeks, I phoned back, only to be given the “I’ll call you back” line.

After nearly 4 months, I was more than a little bit fed up, and told my partner to phone the repairman. The repairman said he could be over at our house in 30 minutes. He turns up, part in hand, and tells us there’s another part that needs replacing. It took 3 days to come in, and he came back that same day he received it and fitted it.

I didn’t care so much that it took my partner to call to get anything done, I was just so glad to have my oven back!

Over the weekend, I decided to make a few batches of cupcakes and muffins for an event I was going to.



2013-09-14 17.52.01

Marbled Chocolate Cupcakes

Pictured above is my Marbled Chocolate Cupcakes (of which I am making a few batches of tonight).

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

Pictured above is my Cookies and Cream Cupcakes, complete with mini Oreo.

And, as requested on the night; My recipe for my White Chocolate and Strawberry Muffins:

White Chocolate and Strawberry Muffins

White Chocolate and Strawberry Muffins

375g Self Raising Flour
1 1/2 tsp Bicarb Soda
150g Caster Sugar
250g White Chocolate, roughly chopped
Pinch of Salt
3 Eggs, lightly beaten
150g Unsalted Butter, melted.
200g Natural Yoghurt
2 tbs Milk
12 Strawberries, washed and hulled
Raw Sugar, to sprinkle

1. Preheat oven to 200 °C and line a 12 hole muffin pan with paper cases
2. Mix flour, bicarb soda, sugar and chocolate in a large bowl with the pinch of salt.
3. Beat together the eggs, butter, yoghurt and milk and then stir briskly into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix! This will make the muffins tough. The mixture will be lumpy.

4.Divide mixture amongst paper cases and insert a strawberry into centre of each cake, making sure that each berry is completely covered in batter.
5. Sprinkle with raw sugar and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden and skewer inserted into the centre of the cakes comes out clean.
6. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


Goodbye Struggle Street

After becoming unemployed shortly before Christmas, my partner has started his first day at a new job. He’ll be fairly paid and we’ll be much better off than before.

I am so incredibly thankful, because the fear of losing things that we’d worked so hard for like our house and car, at the tender age of 22, was a bit too much for the both of us.

Thanks to my keen budgeting skills, we scraped through and didn’t fall behind on any payments. Now we’ll have more spending money for our trip to France in October.

After October I’ll assess my employment and make the jump back over to reception from sales. I’m not sure if this is the case for anyone else, but sales has changed so much in the past 18 months. I now have a script I need to follow and my targets have jumped 150%, doesn’t make for a lot of fun on the job. We’ll cross that job-hopping bridge when we get to it in October.

To the future! I’m excited.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Look, we’ve had some amazing times together. You’ve helped give me insight into the lives of those I know and love (and even those I don’t know, but we’ll keep that between us). You’re always asking me what I’m doing or how I am feeling; helping me put my best self on display. Although, sometimes you don’t stop me from breaking my filter and having an all out whinge. Which you should, because, lets face it, me whining is not very becoming.

So, it has come to this, Facebook. We’ve come to that inevitable fork in the road and we will part ways at the end of this week. I have uninstalled you from my phone and started to make sure I have my dearest and nearest’s up to date contact information. Come Friday, I will deactivate you.

This isn’t to say I won’t be back. For now it is the best thing I can do for me. I have found myself spending most nights staring at you, wondering what my friends are doing. It isn’t healthy.

You have become my social life. I can’t remember when I last actually went out with my friends. That’s not to say I haven’t tried. More and more I would text my friends and ask them if they wanted to catch up over coffee, only to be told that they were busy or to check in another time. Both of which are fair responses.

But I started to notice, some time ago, that my friends were expecting me to see their status updates as us “catching up”. I’d send a text asking the good old, “Hey, how’ve you been?” only to log onto you, Facebook, minutes later and see that they’ve been out to lunch with their mum, who is visiting and their boyfriend proposed! I’d never get a reply to a text asking “How are you?”

I know that’s a silly example, as with things like proposals, it is impossible to tell everyone in person, so a mass text replaced the newspaper announcement, and now you, Facebook seem to have replaced the mass text message. And look out if you don’t “like” that life event. That makes you a bad friend.

It is the politics that I won’t miss. Or the incredibly lonely feeling that you, Facebook, have brought out in me. After reading something as glorious as a proposal or pregnancy announcement on Facebook  I’d try to catch up with those people to celebrate in person. It would get planned, but never actually happen. So the next time I logged in, I would see photos of these people out at lunch with other engaged friends or hanging out with their new found “mummy friends”, I’d feel hurt (not hurt enough, though to then air my dirty laundry all over my wall).

I don’t want that. I do think that ignorance is bliss. So I would very much like to think that when I have made lunch plans with a friend and they get cancelled the day of, that we will catch up “some other time”, and know that I won’t be logging on to Facebook to see who or what they have done instead. I won’t miss the gossip or snarkiness or oversharing that you brought out in my friends, either.

Life will be simpler and I know I will be surrounded with those that do care and that I care about. If there is something I want to know about them, I will just ask and make more of an effort, instead of stalking them online.

I very much look forward to this breath of fresh air. Thank you, Facebook, for the good times. I will admit, when my ego needed inflating, you did a pretty smashing job most of the time, but it is time for me to come back down to Earth and join the real people.

With love,


New hair cut

Well, I have been back at work for a week now and boy has it been busy with silly changes,  which I won’t get into here. Lets just say that as a member of the local repertory club, I have enough scripted conversations in my day without having to have them at work.

My week off involved a lot of nothing. It. Was. Great. First off, I chopped my hair off



Then I got a pet guinea pig.


I haven’t had one since I was 15, and I am glad to be back in the ranks of guinea pig ownership.

I got my eyes tested and it turns out a job that requires you to spend 95% of your time staring at a computer screen isn’t very good for your eyes. So I am getting glasses. I must say though, I think I pull them off. They should arrive next week.

Other things that I got up to was doodling in my visual diary. I wasn’t all that inspired creatively. I did cook up a storm though. I made jars of fig jam, tomato relish, a batch of butter chicken and some baby cakes for my friend’s baby shower.

It was my first baby shower that I’d been to and it set a really high standard. We all brought a bead to the shower and made a necklace for my friend. The idea was that she would be able to draw on the positive energy of her friends during labour. There were cards to decorate and write positive messages to mum to be and baby, a belly cast to decorate and squares of canvas that we could paint on. These would be turned into bunting for the baby’s room.

It was such a cute day.

My pigeon appreciated all of the extra attention during my week off, too.