It is surely that time of the year: colder, misty mornings when you wake up and your toes curl up as they touch the cold kitchen tiles and you hurryingly slip your feet into comfy slippers, when a chilly wind can be heard outside and you wrap yourself a little tighter with your old yet functional gown. I really want to get excited for winter’s arrival as I dream of the Highveld winter with it’s sunny, clear blue skies yet freezing temperatures, but I can’t express enough how much I dislike the cold.
As a cheer-me-upper I decided to bake these citrus inspired muffins. I find that poppy seed and lemon baked goods can often be a bit dry, so I added a generous dollop of cream cheese in the center before baking them. They made wonderful lunchbox treats for the kids and they also filled the breakfast hunger spot for myself.
I am not a huge breakfast eater at home. Now I don’t mind going out to a cafè, sit, relax and eat till my tummy is satisfied but that’s a luxury we don’t have at the moment so home cooked breakfasts it shall be. I usually have egg or avo on toast, and there was a time when I enjoyed muesli, fruit and yogurt but the trend seems to wear off and I get bored with my meals.
I’ve seen some incredible creations lately of oatmeal and/or smoothie bowls so this morning I tried making something hearty and warm for myself and the kids. Luckily my pantry is stocked with rolled oats as I often use it for baking the kids’ school treats. The rest of the ingredients I sourced from the freezer and fridge. I made a mixed berry oatmeal, topped with sliced plum, almonds and additional berries. I lightly sprinkled cinnamon sugar over as I know my kids will ask if they can add some sweetner.
Breakfast took me 10 minutes to make and it was filling and satisfying. With winter approaching this will surely become a favorite in the house.
Firstly, happy April’s Fool’s Day! Does anyone have a funny story to share on how they played a trick on someone else?
I have only once played a trick on my sister on April’s Fool’s Day. I can’t remember the year but we were still both living at home. She went out the evening and I decided to play a trick on her. It wasn’t anything to elaborate as I valued my existence. I took a pair of my dad’s shoes and seeing as she didn’t close her curtains before leaving, I placed them on the floor behind the curtain folds just so that the tip of the shoes stick out. I pulled on the curtain folds to make them stand out a bit more, giving the illusion that someone is standing behind the curtains. She would hopefully switch on her light when she gets home and get a fright. Sad to say we both can’t remember what happened next! She reckons knowing herself, she would have gotten a fright. If I’m not mistaken I got a talking to from either her or my mother the following day 🙂
Today is also the last day of daylight savings, as at 2am on April 2nd we loose an hour of daylight. I must say this concept took me a few years to grasp, and my body to catch up on. I find the switch to daylight savings a lot easier than when it ends. Knowing that in a months time we will wake up to darkness and have maybe 10 hours a day of daylight (on days when the sun actually shines) is enough to go into mourning. But this year I am focussing on the positive in all situations so with daylight savings ending comes hearty soup recipes, being wrapped in layers of blankets, having the woodstove heated up with the glow of burning wood and drinking any and every hot beverage known to man.
There is a lovely green and aromatic fruit called Feijoa which is widely found in New Zealand during the autumn and winter months. It is a fruit which our family loves to eat, whether we eat it fresh by scooping the flesh out with a spoon or use it in desserts and baking.
My husband bought 2 bags today, and after dinner the kids each had a few fresh ones to munch on while I contemplated what to bake 😊 I had before baked feijoa and white chocolate muffins but wanted to explore the versatility of this fruit. I found a feijoa muffins with a sticky coconut topping recipe and after reading the reviews I decided to turn it into a cake instead. I made a few changes:
I changed the baking time to 35-40 minutes
I changed the temperature to 190C and after 25 minutes turned it down to 160C
I added approximately 10 ml more cream to the topping (while it was on the stove) as it didn’t seem like enough to cover the entire cake.
The caramelized coconut certainly smelled tropical while baking and the cake came out without a hitch. I definitely recommend eating the cake soon after as the heat provides it with the needed moisture, otherwise you can add a syrup or even a decent dollop of cream. The feijoa looses it’s aromatic flavor once baked so a feijoa syrup will provide it with a burst of fruitiness.
Which seasonal fruits to you enjoy baking with during autumn and winter?