Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Pumpkin Muffins [vegan]

This recipe is one I've adapted from Well Plated . It's similar to the original but we've definitely made it our own by substituting ingredients we usually have on hand. Last night for tea we ate the less sweet version with scrambled eggs, accompanied by an apple and pecan fruit salad.


  • make flax eggs by whisking 4 TBS ground flaxseed [linseed] with 10 TBS water 
  • 4 oz pure maple syrup [8 oz for sweeter muffins]
  • 4 oz avocado oil [sub melted coconut oil or olive oil]
  • 425g pureed pumpkin [1 tin]
  • 4 oz coconut milk [I usually use homemade or full-fat tinned]
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 3 1/2 cups white spelt flour
  • 3 tsp pumpkin pie spice [or mixed spice]
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda [bicarbonate]
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 8 oz chocolate pieces [leave out for less sweet version]
  • 4 oz pecans or walnuts [also optional]

Preheat oven to 325F, 160C, gas mark 3.

Whisk flax eggs with oil, syrup, pumpkin, and coconut milk. Stir in vanilla and spices. Pour in the flour, baking powder, salt and soda and whisk well. Fold in any additions and scoop into two dozen muffin cups or fourteen large muffin papers. Bake 28 minutes for smaller and 40 minutes for the larger ones. Remove from the baking tins right away to cool on wire racks.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Sixteenth birthday interview with Righty

'

What is the adventure you would most like to have?  A travelling adventure in mountains, forests, deserts and fields. Like Bear Grylls but with better food supplies.

What's your favourite supper?  Chicken pie, mushroom pie, mashed potatoes, peas and cauliflower.

What would you like to do when you are older? Be a professional footballer.

What's your favourite cake or pudding?  Ginger spice cake.

What's your favourite book[s]?  The Redwall series at the moment.

What’s your favourite music to listen to right now? Trap. I like Aero Chord and Pegboard Nerds.

What are your top hobbies right now? Making electronic music, playing with my football cards, listening to music.

What do you enjoy doing with me?  Reading, having cups of tea together and chatting.

What do you enjoy doing with Dad? Sleepovers and FIFA.

What do you enjoy doing with Coo? Tea parties. 


What do you enjoy doing with Lefty? Football practise. 

What do you enjoy doing with Mr J?  Playing Lego Pirates of the Caribbean on the playstation.


What's your favourite thing to do with Silo? Help him kick his little football.


What's your favourite thing to do on your own? Read, listen to music, eat.

What's your favourite family day out together in the last year? When we walked through Walsall and the Arboretum together on our trip back to England in the spring.


What makes you happy? Tottenham Hotspur [Premier League football team] winning their games.

What makes you sad? Fighting.

What do you enjoy learning about the most? Geography.

If you could choose any time in history to live in, when would that be? When the Romans were conquering everything.

Is there anyone famous that you'd like to meet?  Neymar. [footballer]

If you could be a character from a book, who would that be? Harry Potter because it seems real.

If there were any imaginary/pretend things you could choose to do, what would it be?  Have wings and fly.

You can read Righty's fifteenth birthday interview here.



Sixteenth birthday interview with Lefty


What is the adventure you would most like to have?  The adventure that Bilbo has in The Hobbit.

What's your favourite supper?  Chicken rarebit with goat's cheese and cherry tomatoes, peas and potatoes.

What would you like to do when you are older? Be a footballer or a DJ.

What's your favourite cake or pudding?  Chocolate fudge cake and ice cream.

What's your favourite book[s]? The Legend of Podkin One Ear.

What’s your favourite music to listen to right now? I listen to lots of different music. I listen to techno music so I can study how the professionals do it.

What are your top hobbies right now? Playing football cards. Making electronic music on GarageBand. Playing football.

What do you enjoy doing with me?  Helping with different stuff like cooking and cleaning. Talking and playing games.

What do you enjoy doing with Dad? Doing sleepovers, going to eat and playing games.

What do you enjoy doing with Coo?  Playing Playmobil. Having a tea party.

What do you enjoy doing with Righty? Playing football.

What do you enjoy doing with Mr J? Playing football cards and talking. Supporting Man United  when they play.


What's your favourite thing to do with Silo? Reading to him, playing with him and listening to him talk.


What's your favourite thing to do on your own? Football cards, listening to music, or Garageband.

What's your favourite family day out together in the last year? Going to Walsall in the last few days of our holiday in England.

What makes you happy? Improving.

What makes you sad? Not being able to do something. Actually it makes me more mad than sad.

What do you enjoy learning about the most? Algebra, history, geography, science and writing.

If you could choose any time in history to live in, when would that be? In the time of the Vikings.

Is there anyone famous that you'd like to meet?  Marcus Rashford.

If you could be a character from a book, who would that be? Will Treaty from Rangers Apprentice.

If there were any imaginary/pretend things you could choose to do, what would it be? Being able to go into a book and have the adventure the book is about.


You can read Lefty's fifteenth birthday interview here.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Thirteenth birthday interview with Mr J



What is the adventure you would most like to have?  Bilbo's adventure from The Hobbit.

What's your favourite supper? Chicken rarebit with goats' cheese and cherry tomatoes, peas and mashed potatoes.  

What would you like to do when you are older? Be a musician.

What's your favourite cake or pudding?   Homemade chocolate cream pie.

What's your favourite book[s]? Eragon, The Hobbit, The Redwall series.

What’s your favourite music to listen to right now? Spanish guitar, Ed Sheeran, Newton Faulkner, the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack.

What are your top hobbies right now? Playing guitar, playing football cards, reading.

What do you enjoy doing with me? When you read aloud to us.

What do you enjoy doing with Dad? Playing guitar.

What do you enjoy doing with Coo? Play music with her.


What do you enjoy doing with Righty? Talking about, watching, and playing football. Joking around.

What do you enjoy doing with Lefty? Talking about, watching, and playing football. Joking around!

What's your favourite thing to do with Silo? Play Peep-o and read with him.


What's your favourite thing to do on your own? Listen to music, play guitar.

What's your favourite family day out together in the last year? Going to Attingham National Trust house when we were visiting England in the spring.


What makes you happy? A plate piled with good food

What makes you sad? An empty plate 

What do you enjoy learning about the most? History.

If you could choose any time in history to live in, when would that be? 1850, because that's when our house was built. 

Is there anyone famous that you'd like to meet? Paul Pogba [Manchester Utd footballer] 

If you could be a character from a book, who would that be? Eragon

If there were any imaginary/pretend things you could choose to do, what would it be? Own a dragon and fly around like Eragon does with Sapphire.



You can read Mr J's twelfth birthday interview here.



Sunday, June 24, 2018

Ninth birthday interview with Coo



What is the adventure you would most like to have?  
I’d like to have one like Adventure Girl does in the stories that Daddy tells me. They're just fun and exciting. 

What would you like to do when you grow up?  
Be a ballerina, or a musician who plays for people dancing in the ballet.

What is it that you like about that?  
It’s beautiful.

What's your favourite tea?  
Quesadillas, rice and cheese, salad, refried beans.

What's your favourite cake or pudding?  
Homemade chocolate cream pie with strawberries.

What's your favourite book[s]?  

Who do you like spending time with?  
My family, my cousins, and my friends.

What do you enjoy doing with me?  
Baking, colouring, when you read aloud to me, doing birthday interviews

What do you enjoy doing with Daddy? 
Making jokes, playing games.

What do you enjoy doing with Righty?  
Tea parties

What do you enjoy doing with Lefty?  
Playing Playmobil

What do you enjoy doing with Mr J? 
Just playing, like on the trampoline or with Playmobil

What do you enjoy doing with Silo?
Snuggling him


What's your favourite thing to do on your own? 
Dance, read with my blanket, make crafts.

What sort of crafting do you like to do?
Drawing, colouring, pretty writing, sewing, painting, paper craft pictures (like Eric Carle’s)

What's your favourite thing to do with your family?  
Family games, family movies, go to England together

What makes you happy?  
Birthdays and Christmas and Thanksgiving and all the fun days

What makes you sad?  
When people die and people get hurt

What do you enjoy learning about the most?  
Science, with Dad

If you could choose any time in history to live in, when would that be?  
The time when there were Tudor princesses

Is there anyone famous that you'd like to meet?  
Darcey Bussell

If there were any imaginary/pretend things you could choose to do, what would it be?  
I would love to be able to fly.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fifteenth Birthday Interview With Lefty



What is the adventure you would most like to have?  I’d like to go on the same adventure that Sherlock Holmes has in the Hound of the Baskervilles.

What would you like to do when you’re a grown-up? Play football professionally

What's that going to be like? Something I’ll enjoy

What's your favourite supper?  I like so many, but one of my favorites is vegetable chilli and rice.

What's your favourite cake or pudding?  Homemade chocolate fudge cake


What's your favourite book[s]?  The Cats of Seroster and Lord of the Rings

What’s your favourite music to listen to right now? Electronic music. I listen to Aerochord and Rogue the most.

What are your top hobbies right now? Playing football (soccer), experimenting with making my own electronic music, reading, being one of Paddy’s best mates.

What do you enjoy doing with me?  I like to help you clean and tidy everything, and play games

What do you enjoy doing with Dad? When we work together on a project, having sleepovers where we play games and talk.

What do you enjoy doing with Coo?  Helping her with a craft project

What do you enjoy doing with Righty? Play football


What do you enjoy doing with Mr J? I like to help him organise his things, or work on Lego together


What's your favourite thing to do on your own? Listen to music or play with my football cards

What's your favourite family day out together?  Going to Bloomington

What makes you happy?  Being able to rest after a long, busy day

What makes you sad? Seeing other people get hurt

What do you enjoy learning about the most?  I enjoy history, and maths is always my top favourite

If you could choose any time in history to live in, when would that be? During World War II. It would be interesting to know and understand what it would be like to be a German during WWII. 

Is there anyone famous that you'd like to meet?  Marcus Rashford and Eric Dier, the football players. 

If you could be a character from a book, who would that be? Sherlock Holmes

If there were any imaginary/pretend things you could choose to do, what would it be?  Become invisible and fly

You can read Lefty's fourteenth birthday interview here.  

It is interesting to note that many of the boys’ answers are very similar. They are not aware of what the other person has answered until after their interviews are finished!


Fifteenth Birthday Interview With Righty



What is the adventure you would most like to have?  Search for bobcats and mountain lions at night in a silent vehicle

What would you like to do when you’re a grown-up? Be a professional footballer (soccer player)

What's that going to be like? A lot of work, especially to get there

What's your favourite supper?  This is so hard to answer because I love everything we eat. I really liked the homemade pizzas we made a few weeks ago. 

What's your favourite cake or pudding?  Baked cheesecake is good, but I think my favourite is still homemade chocolate cream pie [made with coconut milk custard]

What's your favourite book[s]?  Right now, the World Whisperer series

What’s your favourite music to listen to right now? Electronic music, like trap or dubstep. I listen to Rogue and Aerochord the most.

What are your top hobbies right now? Experimenting with making my own electronic music, playing football cards and football, writing my book, reading, playing with Paddy.

What do you enjoy doing with me? Cooking with you, and when you read out loud to us

What do you enjoy doing with Dad? Birdwatching together, watching football, whenever we get a chance to work on a project together

What do you enjoy doing with Coo? Having tea parties with her


What do you enjoy doing with Lefty? Football (soccer) practise outdoors 

What do you enjoy doing with Mr J? Talking about books and football

What's your favourite thing to do on your own? Read books, listen to music, play with my football cards

What's your favourite family day out together? Going to new places and state parks

What makes you happy? When Tottenham win games in the Premier League!

What makes you sad? When the food is not ready.

What do you enjoy learning about the most? Probably history, at the moment.

If you could choose any time in history to live in, when would that be?  I would go back to the time of Jesus, when there were lots of places that hadn’t been explored and colonised, and there were jungles and deserts to find. 

Is there anyone famous that you'd like to meet?  Harry Kane and Neymar, the football players.

If you could be a character from a book, who would that be? Master Chubb, from the Rangers books. He was a really good cook and ate a lot of food.

If there were any imaginary/pretend things you could choose to do, what would it be?  I’d like to have wings and be able to fly, but be invisible at the same time. It would also be great to have sweets just appear in my pocket, every day. 


You can read Righty’s fourteenth birthday interview here.