Monday, May 23, 2011

Tornado, The Rapture, The Kid, Muffins

What a terrible monster tornado in Joplin, Missouri. The reports are coming in on the TV this morning. 89 dead so far, 2,000 buildings destroyed. The hospital lost its top two floors, a major part of the town was totally flattened. As Sam Champion of GMA said, it looked like an angry storm, things were not just blown around, but crushed into unrecognisable shapes. Work is now going on to try and rescue people who are trapped in buildings. My heart goes out to all of them.

On Saturday all my friends and I were waiting for the Rapture and discussing who, amongst us, would be taken and who lthe-raptureeft behind. However, once our Australian friends said nothing had happened, we decided it must be wrong!! I don’t really understand where these ridiculous predictions come from. There was a funny video on Facebook where a supposed minister was preaching from the book of the Lion King and he was telling people to get down on the ground and some actually did. Guess what, nothing happened. I am sorry if you really believed and were looking forward to going. There have been some extremely funny comments and cartoons on Facebook about this whole thing. This is one:

...ATTENTION ALL JUDGEMENT and DOOMSDAY BELIEVERS: Due to technical difficulties... The scheduled END OF WORLD event has been postponed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. If you've already quit your job, given away your life savings or liquidated all of your assets... Oops... We'll attempt another doomsday event in Dec, 2012. Please stay tuned. Oh & have a nice day

Saturday night I saw a movie I had never The Kidheard of before, Disney’s The Kid, with Bruce Willis. What a great movie. A soon to be 40 yr. old prick meets his soon to be 8 yr. old self and obviously gets to find out why he is unmarried, without a dog and no real friends, or to quote the kid, a loser. I cried at the end. Highly recommend it if you come across it. I forgot to mention Lily Tomlin is his secretary.

I love a good muffin, especially the big ones loaded with chocolate chips. However, I avoid them like the plague because they are so high in calories. I remember visiting a friend in hospital years ago and being able to buy the most gorgeous blueberry muffins. Our local supermarket sell some good muffins too, but they come in boxes of 6 so even if I were tempted, I wouldn’t because Matt wouldn’t eat the other 5 so guess who would? Having said all that, I found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Muffins which is only 166 calories per muffin – there again, what happens to the other eleven muffins? I post the recipe below. I found a picture but the recipe didn’t come with one, I wonder if that means they are not that appealing to look at, not like the big luscious ones one sees most places. I also post a Nigella Lawson recipe – I don’t think she worries too much about nutritional values.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Source: Healthy Oven Baking Book, The

Makes 12 muffins


Nonstick canola oil spray

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (spoon into measuring cup and level top)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 large egg

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips


Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray twelve 2 3/4 by 1 1/2-inch nonstick muffin cups with oil.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt until well combined. Set aside.

In another medium bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at high speed, beat the buttermilk, applesauce, brown sugar, egg, oil, and vanilla until frothy, about 2 minutes. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the buttermilk mixture. Using a spoon, mix just until moistened (there should be a few traces of flour remaining). Gently fold in the chocolate until the flour is incorporated. Do not over mix.

Divide the batter equally among the prepared muffin cups. Bake until the tops spring back when pressed gently in the center, about 20 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool in the pan on a wire cake rack for 10 minutes before removing from the cups. Serve warm or cool completely on the rack.

Nutrition Information Makes 12 muffins 166 calories each.

On the other hand here is a recipe from Nigella Lawson which doesn’t give any nutritional information – what does that tell you?

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Recipe courtesy Nigella Lawson (Copyright 2004, Feast, Hyperion, All Rights Reserved)

Serves: Chocolate Chip Muffins
12 muffins


1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons best quality cocoa powder

3/4 cup superfine sugar

3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling

1 cup milk

1/3 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Special equipment: Muffin tin with paper muffin cases

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, sugar, and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips into a large bowl. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring jug. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together, remembering that a lumpy batter makes the best muffins. Spoon into the prepared muffin cases. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips on top and then bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are dark, risen and springy.

Have a great day


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