The perfect chocolate chip muffins

This recipe was originally from the Channel 4 site and I was going to post a link to it but the recipe is no longer there.

So, for the benefit of all mankind, I am reproducing it here.  I have made 3 batches of these and they’ve all turned out really well.  I think this is the perfect chocolate chip muffin recipe.

Ingredients

  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 75g plain chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 250ml milk
  • 90ml vegetable oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 deg C, fan oven 170 deg C, Gas Mark 5.  Grease 10 holes of a non-stick muffin pan, or line with 10 paper muffin cases.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder and salt into a large bowl.  Stir in the sugar and chocolate chips.
  3. Beat together the egg, vanilla extra and milk.  Add the oil, stirring to mix.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.  Do not beat or over-mix – the batter will still be a little bit lumpy.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin pan and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy!! 🙂

Jane

Persilles Hjemmedyrk

This is a post that Colin Beavan put on his Facebook page on 7th July 2014:

“This story is amazing!!

A few days back, I asked friends and fans to tell me their stories of how small actions led to big changes in their lives. I reached out privately for more details to some, including Persille. She gave me permission to share her note with you:

I grow all kinds of kitchen scraps that grow entirely out again in just pots with soil in. No fertilizer or such is needed and you can do it year round.

I began regrowing the small root-part from spring onions. They grow out really fast, most of them are fully grown in about a week. My record thus far is eating the same spring onions 11 times and getting them to flower and produce seeds for further germination.

I also regrow cabbage, salad, carrots, cellery, fennel, turmeric, ginger, beets, leeks, onions and even scraps like seeds from lemon and oranges and the stones from avocados and dates are growing in my apartment, even though they can’t really produce any fruit in my neck of the Woods.

I live in Copenhagen, Denmark. My start out point is having anxiety, stress and depression. It’s kind of a long story, but in the end I ended up dumpster diving, in part because I was broke, but also because the sheer industrial waste was killing me emotionally. Also I felt like garbage myself, so dumpster diving was right up my alley.

The financial crisis hit pretty hard here in Denmark and more and more people started dumpster diving. They sometimes even fought over the trash, so I held back and often times came to a dumpster that only had really withered or rotten vegetables in them. That´s when I began experimenting with planting the root-part – and it worked.

I am still a poor person, I still have some degree of anxiety and tendencies toward depression, but the planting of garbage has become my passion and it has just grown and grown in ways I could not possibly have imagined. And it has reduced my feeling of being garbage myself.
At the moment I have almost 3000 followers on Facebook which is quite a lot for a Danish page.

I am in contact with all kinds of people all over Scandinavia, they have begun experimenting with regrowing and they are, as I was, so surprised that it actually works.

Last fall, one of the largest chain of food-stores in Denmark threw out all the seed-packets they had, even though they were still good for another year. Divers all over the country found them and sent them to me and so I hosted a homegrower-award show in my apartment and put it on Youtube. Everyone was a Winner and I sent out the seeds along with home grower-certificats that I had made. I had some musicians come over and play sustainable jazz and we had a blast!

I have tried communicating this thing of growing your own produce no matter how and where you live. And I am still at it. I’ve made music about it, paintings, Facebook posts, Powerpoint presentations and much more. Actually I am writing you from a house where I’m house sitting for a week to finish writing a book about it.”

This is the webpage for Persilles in Danish: www.persilleshjemmedyrk.dk

Or click here to see it translated through Google translate.

 

Donors will go out of their way to save cats. People? It’s complicated.

In Chris Arnade’s article in The Guardian on 27th May 2014, he ponders how easy people find it to donate to support animal charities because animals are ‘blameless’ but become more conflicted about donating to humans.

“It is uncomfortable for many people to contemplate that perhaps homeless addicts are just as smart and just as ethical as anyone else. It requires us to come to realize that maybe “success” (as society defines it) has to do with luck, with being born in the right place and at the right time, and with being subject to laws and law enforcement that are designed to help instead of hurt you.” – Chris Arnade

 

Beautiful and amazing folk art garden in India

Nek Chand’s Rock Garden near Chandigarh is featured in the India episode of Monty Don’s “Around the World in 80 Gardens”.  (Go to 50 minutes 12 seconds in to the video).

The garden was built in secret out of recycled materials.  It is an enchanting example of folk art and a true demonstration of Inverted Commerce, making something beautiful from things that were going to be thrown away.

See more about the garden on the website of the Nek Chand Foundation.

nek_chand

Picture from swirlsfromthebowlofchina.

65 Craft Blogs We Love

Links to 65 craft sites from Doller Store Crafts.

I don’t really go in the UK equivalent – The Pound Shop and it’s variants – but I think it might be time to have a look next time I pass one.

I have also learned via dollarstorecrafts.com that there is such a thing as upholstery paint. I have no idea if / how well it works but – what an amazing idea.

Also, today I learned of the existence of zebra-print duct tape. The possibilities are endless.