Thursday, 22 March 2012

Carrot cupcakes

I've been a right moody old arse today, premenstrual probably. Anyway, baking cakes always makes me feel better, and reading on Twitter that my mum was preparing a carrot cake, I decided I'd make one too once N got home from school.

I searched BBC Good Food website for carrot cake recipes and came up with two: one for Yummy Scrummy Carrot cake, which I've made before for a Church bake sale, and Carrot and Cream Cheese Cupcakes, which I quite fancied because cupcakes cook quickly.

So I made my own recipe from these two. Here it is.

Carrot (, sultana) and orange muffins (makes 12)

Preheat your oven to 160 degrees for a fan oven and 180 if you have an electric all-points-blazing one. Dunno about gas, probably 4.

175 g light soft brown sugar
175 g self-raising flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp mixed spice
zest of 1 large orange
200 g carrots, grated finely

Stir these dry(ish) ingredients together, carefully, as if you were caressing a small baby.

3 large eggs
175 ml sunflower oil
1 tbsp juice from the orange

Whisk these wet ingredients together and add to the dry(er) bowl. Combine gently yet with passion (think of bounding lambs and fields of daffodils, or something).

Put half the mix into 6 muffin cases. Add a few handfuls of sultanas to the mix. These remaining muffins are for the non-fussy family members who don't mind dried fruit in a cake.

Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, check after 20, you just never know. You might need to leave for 30 mins, that would be bad luck.

Add a topping such as orange icing (icing sugar and orange juice), or an orange buttercream (icing sugar, orange juice, and butter). Don't spoil them with cream cheese, that's for filling celery or spreading on Ryvita.

Enjoy! With a cup of tea.

I had a sultana one, because I'm not a fruitphobe

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Observations on a long run

I ran 11 miles today. The route was along the perimeter of Stanley Park in Blackpool, which is 2 miles total. So I had to run around the park 5 times. It gave me lots of time to think about random stuff.

For most of mile 1 I was thinking about not being sick, because I was rather hungover. I was also thinking that I was never going to drink again, which made me laugh because I always say that when I'm badly hungover.

During mile 2 I saw a rather overweight lady dressed as if she were preparing for an arctic trip. I saw her again at mile 4, at which point she'd removed her gloves, and at mile 6, when she finally smiled at me.

During mile 3 I saw a man wearing the same Nike running tights as me (I accidentally bought men's tights from Sweatshop online). I thought he looked very girly in them :-)

During mile 4 I was inappropriately spoken to by some young men playing golf. I laughed at them.

During mile 5 I saw a dog out for a walk. It was wearing a fur coat and had wheels for back legs.

During mile 6 I wondered who lived in the massive houses on North Park Drive and whether they had cleaners.

During mile 7 I was overcome by a bad case of wind and had to keep checking behind to make sure I wasn't making anyone gag. I made myself gag they were that bad.

During mile 8 I realised that saying hello to everyone I met was best done by a forceful HELLO rather than a panting breathy HI. This new tactic paid off and I received some nice hellos back :-)

During mile 9 I saw a blackbird that was stood completely still. I wondered if it were stuffed and someone had left it there for a joke. I also saw ducks, seagulls, and magpies. They were all moving.

During mile 10 I wondered exactly who thinks it's a good idea to bag their dog's poo then fling it into a tree. They look like inappropriate Christmas tree decorations.

During mile 11 I realised I was no longer hungover but my legs hurt a lot. I also was thinking about breakfast. I arrived back at my in-laws' to a cup of tea and a cooked breakfast. I like them a lot :-)
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