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Monday, 11 April 2016

A day spent making the most magical memories

11th April 2016
No great thing is created suddenly. Epictetus
What an amazing day was had yesterday, mom and I jumped in the car and drove to Croft Castle, Leominster, the drive itself was full of stunning views and interesting sights, we had a fox run across the road in front of our car with a crow in his mouth, the fields were full of lambs and the sky full of buzzards and on the way back we even saw a pair of kites soaring looking for their supper!  Croft Castle itself is a great place to take both dogs, lovely walks to be had, trees to be hugged (a 1,000 years old oak has to be done), cake to be eaten, they even make their own white wine, which is lush by the way, it would've been rude not to buy a bottle and the proceeds do go to charity after all.

We gave the place an easy 10/10, and after a good walk and cake, we drove to Berrington Hall which is only 5 miles away, I thought we'd just get our NT passport stamped but mom was up for another walk, I think it might have had something to do with the man assuming she couldn't - she showed him!  Again a beautiful parkland, full of spring lambs frolicking in the fields and we were just feet away from them, Alfie would've loved to "play" with them, luckily he was on a tight rein!  Their grounds are the creation of Capability Brown, even the lake is artificial, they're celebrating his 300 year anniversary with artistic installations which are well worth a look.  Yes, yesterday was our best day out so far and we got our 10,000 steps on the fitbit easily, good cuppa too!

We finished our day off with egg and chips for tea, mom's favourite and the fancy food can wait, I'll cook one today then the other tomorrow.  Got a busy day today, vets this morning, dentist this afternoon and lots of paperwork in-between, it's raining outside so we won't be missing out on a sunny day, there was no way I was staying home working on a Sunday on a lovely day like yesterday, everything could wait!

I started the day baking muffins too, made this recipe but omitted the walnuts, only because I didn't have any, they would've added to the recipe, next time I'd add a squirt or two of the caramel no added sugar, Teisseire gourmet drops to the mixture I think to sweeten them up a little more.  Would be worth playing with artificial sweeteners too I think.  The sugar on the top was a nice touch though.  They're just moorish aren't they, I love a warm muffin straight out of the oven!

Coffee & Walnut Muffins
serves 12, 5sp each , 4sp without the walnuts

250 g flour (25sp)
3 teaspoon baking powder  (1sp)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon white sugar (4sp)
1 medium egg (2sp)
180ml strong coffee 
60ml skimmed milk (1sp)
85 g low-fat spread (11sp)
60g chopped walnuts (optional) (13sp)
30g brown sugar (7sp)
Put muffin cases in muffin tin

Preheat oven to 375-400oF (190-200oC), Gas Mark 5-6.

In a large bowl, sift together (or stir thoroughly with a fork); flour, baking powder and salt.  Stir in sugar.  add chopped walnuts
Make a well in the centre and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat egg lightly with a fork.  Stir in milk and melted margarine.

Pour all of liquid ingredients into dry and stir just until combined, scraping sides and bottom of the bowl as you stir.  This mixing should not take more than about 20 seconds.  Batter will be lumpy, but now dry flour should be visible.  Do not over-stir.

Fill muffin cups ¾ full.  Makes 12. 

Before baking sprinkle tops with a mixture of 60g brown sugar plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon.
bake for about 20-25 minutes.  Muffins are done when tops are lightly browned and spring back when touched.  Best served warm.

Right here's to a positive week, almost half way through April already, hope you're working on making it awesome!   Be BeYOUtiful, focus on the healthy and happy and enjoy your week - I'm going too. xx

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