Earl Grey Tea Muffin Recipe

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Sometimes you just need a little something to make it through til lunch, or perhaps a little pick up mid afternoon to see you through til tea time. My two favourite things to turn to at such times are earl grey tea and a muffin.  Whilst finding recipes for our latest bento adventures, I cam across this outstanding recipe for Earl Grey Tea Muffins! My favourite things in one yummy package. At 120 calories for a standard sized muffin they are the perfect break time treat. Not only that, but they’re very cheap to make. Please check out Just Bento for this recipe and lots of amazing Japanese and non- Japanese bento recipes, but I have included the recipe here

Recipe: Earl Grey Tea Muffins

The dry ingredients:

  • 2 cups minus 3 Tbs (230g) all purpose or cake flour (with cake flour they will be lighter, but AP flour works too)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 Tbs. Sucanat (see notes) or light brown sugar or raw cane sugar or regular sugar
  • Pinch of salt

The wet ingredients:

  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs canola oil or light olive oil (or other flavorless vegetable oil)
  • 1 1/3 cups buttermilk (or 1 1/3 regular low-fat milk + 1 Tbs. vinegar)

Plus:

  • 1 tsp. or 1 teabag fine Earl Grey tea leaves. If your tea leaves are on the coarse side, grind them up a bit in a mortar and pestle, or just crumble them up by rubbing the leaves between your fingers.

Preheat the oven to 180°C / 360°F. Grease or spray non-stick spray onto your muffin tins if needed.

Mix or sift together the dry ingredients.

Beat together the wet ingredients until blended.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, using a spatula. Don’t overmix. Add the tea leaves.

Spoon the batter into the muffin tins evenly. Bake for about 20 minutes for mini-muffins, 25-30 for regular size muffins, until the tops are browned and a skewer stuck through a middle muffin comes out clean. Note: these muffins will puff up quite a bit.

Take out of the muffin tins and cool on a rack

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I didn’t have buttermilk, so used the milk and vinegar and they were delicious, they taste just like a cup of milky earl grey. The toddler approves of them too!

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Tips for reducing your food bill

Everyone knows that times are getting tougher, and most people are finding ways to reduce food bills as well as many other household costs. I wanted to share this particular shopping trip with you, and tips as to how I keep our weekly to shops down to around £30.

On a Monday morning I go through the fridge and the freezer and find what meals I can make with what we have. If I need a couple of ingredients then I make my list of ‘make up’ ingredients which turns what we already have into meals. Planning is a huge part of keeping your shopping costs down, and it’s not just about planning meals necessarily, but also knowing exactly what you have so you don’t duplicate or buy things you can’t use.

I leave pretty much as soon as the shops open, ensuring that I get the pick of reduced items. They are reduced more later on in the day, but a lot of the items are gone by then. Although it isn’t practical for most, I visit certain shops for certain items. For example, I go to Morrisons for reduced meat, but Aldi for fruit and vegetables  We live in a small town with lots of supermarkets. Even though I don’t drive, I have 5 supermarkets and several discount shops within walking distance of our house.

Even though I write a list for what I need, this doesn’t mean that the list is set in stone. The key to getting a cheaper shop is to be flexible with ingredients, and to have a large recipe repertoire (or to be handy on Google). If your recipe calls for chicken and £4 for a pack, but turkey or pork is reduced, then it makes sense to substitute.

This is the best Monday morning shop I’ve had

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Almost everything you see here was reduced or on offer. This shop came to a total of £28.34, which is a steal as there are multiple packs of branded items and large cuts of meat. The wraps were reduced to 29p a packet, and the hobnob flapjacks were 12p a packet. I didn’t go out planning to buy them, but they’re things we use everyday, so it makes sense to buy in bulk at that price. The packet food actually came from the discount store BnM. I used to work in a store like this before becoming a full time mum, so I know that the food they receive is usually food from supermarkets that is short dated and they wouldn’t be able to sell in time, or a product that isn’t selling very well at full price. The food is exactly the same quality as the supermarkets, just the price is often greatly reduced.

Of course, we do spend more than we should sometimes, and it’s taken us quite sometime to get in to a shopping habit that suits our budget, but this basic routine means that we always have at least a weeks worth of meals and other staples in the house on a modest budget.

Messy Time – SNOW!

We’ve not had much in the way of snow so far this winter, which is slightly worrying considering it’s almost March. We definitely had a couple of hours a week or so ago, but that’s been about it. The toddler has been quite disappointed as she really wanted to play in the snow and build snowmen and the like, so we decided to create a bit of magic and bring the snow to her.

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Tricking the toddler into eating- the magic of bento boxes

It seems our love of Japanese food knows no bounds. I’ve gotten so addicted to the cuisine that I spend an hour at a time searching for new recipes and ingredients. One thing I definitely wanted to try was bento boxes. If you have never seen  bento box, they are really just a Japanese lunch box, but they include a wide selection of nutritional food, often leftovers with rice as the main staple. They are an every day part of life in Japan, but in the west we really only see the works of art like these

geese

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Tricking the toddler into eating

It’s not that she won’t eat, or that she’s fussy with her food, she just won’t sit still long enough to eat it, and even if she does, your dinner always looks better. Cue half an hour of swapping food, and then she doesn’t want any.  Frustrated, and more than a little annoyed at all the food that was being wasted (read  ‘wasted’ as ‘that I ate’) I took to the internet in search of advice. Continue reading

More adventures in using up yarn

I’m still trying my very best to use up all my yarn, and I still haven’t bought any, however much I have wanted to. To continue this effort, I have been slaving away on this crochet granny blanket made of all the brightly coloured balls of yarn that I would never have used for anything else. I wouldn’t usually use yarn this bright for anything, but the more of this blanket I make, the more I love it! It’s fun to make up my own pattern too, and I think it has complimented the colours well, even if it doesn’t match anything else in the house!

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I’ve also started some socks. I promised myself I’d try and push myself this year, so I’ve cast on some lacey socks in  quite a masculine colour way, and I already like them. Let jsut hope they don’t take as long as the last pair (2 years!)

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Experimenting with new diets – turning Japanese

Recently I have been diagnosed with IBS after having a particularly bad few weeks. I have been told in the past that I might have it, and I worked out for myself that I was probably lactose intolerant, but after this particularly bad flare up I decided we really needed to do something about what we eat. Our meals aren’t ‘bad’, but not great either, and the snacks on top don’t help. Continue reading

Toddler science – fizzy colours

I am ever searching for things to keep the toddler occupied that means our house will more or less stay intact. This search led me to Pinterest, which has a wealth of toddler activities and exciting experiments. Continue reading