Sunday, 16 September 2018

Apple & Caramel Crumble Muffins | Autumnal Baking

Although we're heading into springtime here in Australia, I've been inspired by the transition into autumn back in the UK when looking at recipes recently.  One of my favourite recipes that my mum makes this time of year back home is her homemade apple and caramel crumble. 

I thought I would try adapting the recipe I have for apple crumble muffins to include caramel to remind me of this time of year back home.  Autumn is definitely one of my most loved seasons so it was lovely doing some baking to remind me of this, and I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Ingredients for the crumble topping:

15g of unsalted butter (softened)
25g of plain flour
15g of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of oats

Ingredients for the muffins: 

 300g of plain flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
190g of caster sugar
210ml of milk
1 large egg
100g of unsalted butter
2 large apples
1 tin of caramel


1.  Pre-heat your oven to 180°C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.

2.  Make the crumble topping by rubbing together the butter and flour in a small bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs.

3.  Stir in the oats and the sugar and then set this mixture aside.

3.  For the muffins, take a separate mixing bowl and sift in the flour and the baking powder.

4.  Stir the sugar into the flour and baking powder. 

5.  In a separate bowl melt the butter and then add the milk and the egg.  Mix until combined.

6.  Make a well in the center of the flour, baking powder and sugar.  Pour in the egg, milk, and melted butter mixture.  Fold gently until well combined and set aside. 

7.  Prepare the apples by peeling, removing the cores, and then cutting into small cubes.  Then fold the apple into the muffin mixture.

8.  Spoon a tablespoon of the muffin mixture into each case.  Then gently place a teaspoon of caramel into the center of each paper case, followed by another tablespoon of the muffin mixture. 

9.  Sprinkle the crumble topping over the unbaked muffins.

10.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

11.  Leave on a cooling rack and once cool use the leftover caramel to decorate or leave as they are.  I piped the excess caramel on top of the muffins however, I think in future I would leave them as they are as I think this looks nicer.  

It's been a long time since I was last able to do some baking, so it was lovely being able to spend some time trying this recipe and turning one of my favourite desserts into an autumnal muffin.  You can have a look through my other baking recipes by clicking here.



Tuesday, 4 September 2018

The Seasons Ahead

Ever since I was little, I have loved to write.  It's the method I prefer for processing my thoughts and expressing my heart.  It allows me to think through the words I want to use and to choose my words with care.

Over the past week I have felt my anxiety increase in many areas of my life, mostly due to my habit of overthinking.  There have been points in the past few days when my anxiety felt as though it was suffocating me, although it has begun to settle now and  I'm aware I need to be intentional with my time over the next little while

In the past, when I have been so aware of my anxiety, I have turned to writing as my way of both praying through my anxiety and processing my anxiety.

I am acutely aware of my anxiety slowly wrapping it's way around my heart and can feel myself retreating inwards as a result.  In these times a part of me is also aware that I need to make God my focus even when I'm painfully mindful of my brokenness.  It has been a little while since I've experienced my anxiety in this way and I'm slowly learning to navigate this with God one step at a time. 

A lesson I am trying to learn this year is that of taking life one day at a time.  This has been rather difficult for me and has required patience, humility, and strength; often strength that I do not have.  I'm thankful that God is teaching me that the kind of strength I need can only be found through Him.

Looking back, the past eight months have brought me closer to God in unexpected ways; I have faced heartache and refinement in ways that have brought me to my knees in complete surrender.  Looking ahead this is how I want to continue into the seasons to come; on my knees in full surrender.  I am learning that this cannot be done on my own and that I must look up to Him in order to keep moving forward with Him, especially in the face of my anxiety, and to continue using writing as my way of praying and processing. 

Throughout this year my blog hasn't been a priority for me and I'm beginning to be okay with this.  It will probably continue this way until next year when I've moved back to the UK and I settle back in to life at home.  This doesn't mean that I won't be writing in this time or that I won't occasionally share on here.  But rather that I'll be learning what it means for me to write and to share, whilst also being present where I am, preparing for the seasons ahead, and taking life a day at a time.

The thought of blogging again is a little daunting for me as I am still unaware as to what this will look like, but again, I'm beginning to be okay with this.  I'm hoping that I can let go of the perfectionist mindset and anxiety I have in regards to my writing, and slowly but surely become comfortable with sharing on here again, whatever that may look like.

I am hoping that I can learn the beauty in being vulnerable in my writing whilst also setting healthy boundaries in regards to what I share here.  I am hoping that next year will provide me with more time to share my writing and my life on my blog, in the meantime I will be trying to update my instagram fairly often until I feel ready to be sharing regularly on both platforms again.    



Sunday, 3 June 2018

Thankful // The May List

May has been a continuation of April in many ways; a blend of dark and bright colours that have been brought together over the past four weeks.  There are days that I look back on with regret due to the selfishness that I displayed.  But I am mostly looking back on May with a very thankful heart; thankful for God's much needed refinement, thankful for gracious and loving friends, and thankful for all that I am learning within this season. 

I am thankful for May and the multi-coloured moments that have pieced it together and shaped my heart in so many ways. 

1.  One Good Owner by Murdo Murchison
This book has brought me much comfort and joy whilst I have been reading it.  It is written with such a gentle manner yet it has challenged my heart and my faith.  You can order a copy of the book by clicking here.

2.  The Blue Mountains and The Southern Highlands
It was so lovely to be away from the city for a few weekends this month to visit different friends.  On one of the weekends we visited the Blue Mountains and the Southern Highlands which was truly wonderful.  Exploring little towns, visiting a farmers market, and going for a bush walk, made all the better by the fact I was spending this time with some of my closest friends. 

3.  Volleyball
Something I never thought I would be thankful for yet I have loved playing volleyball with my classmates during our lunch breaks.  I will admit that I'm quite terrible at volleyball but I've had a lot of fun getting to spend this time with classmates each week. 

4.  Friends visiting from Scotland
Over the month of May I have had some friends visiting me in Australia.  To have my closest friends come all the way from Scotland to visit has made me so happy.  Spending time with them and exploring Sydney together has been wonderful.  I am so thankful for each of them and the way that they all point me back to God.  It has been such a joy spending time with them over the past month. 

5.  Grace Upon Grace
This month I am growing in both my understanding of and my appreciation for God's grace.  The ways that God has lovingly been helping me and teaching me to reach out for and accept His grace have been needed.  It hasn't been an easy lesson for me to learn and I know that I still have a lifetime of learning in regards to this aspect of my faith, but I am thankful to be starting out on this learning process.

Looking back on May has opened my eyes to the ways that God has been intricately at intimately at work in my heart and my life.  I am thankful for each moment that He has used to hold together the month of May, and I am thankful for His grace that has held me together throughout it all. 



Sunday, 29 April 2018

Thankful // The April List

April has been a mosaic of both bright and dark colours.  I've found myself facing refinement and being unsure of how to walk through it with my heart in the right place.  But God has been gracious and for that I am so thankful. 

My thankful book had some days in April that were left blank, unsure of wether reflecting on the past twenty four hours would have helped or hindered my heart.

Yet I look back on this month with God by my side and that is what matters most, I got through by His grace and His strength.  And despite my selfishness He has displayed His love to me in beautiful yet simple ways that have soothed my heart. 

1.  A morning at the beach 
This month started off with a morning at the beach with my friend Maire. It was a lovely to start April and I couldn't have asked for a brighter soul to have spent this time with. 

I had the privilege this month of volunteering at KYCK youth conference in Katoomba.  It was a full but brilliant weekend.  The speakers for the weekend were wonderful and the message that was shared had such a great impact. 

3.  Wollongong
At the end of this month I had the chance to stay with some friends in Wollongong for a few days.  It was an example of how God knew what I needed when I was feeling a little fragile.  It was really lovely to be out of the city for a while and to spend time with some friends who shared Gods love with me in such kind ways. 

4.  The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
When this book was gifted to me at the end of last year I had no idea how the story would touch my heart.  This book and the story within provided comfort for me this month.  Then seeing the film last night really uplifted my heart. 

5.  Journaling
Journaling used to be an automatic part of my daily routine, it was a way for me to process and to write out my prayers.  But since the middle of last year I've felt myself struggling with journaling and losing the joy that I once had in writing.  But this month I was encouraged to try again with journaling and although it is going slowly, I am thankful to be writing again. 

I will admit that I look back on some moments of this month with regret due to my selfishness and fear.  But I am ultimately thankful for Gods grace and that each time I fall down, He offers His hand to help me get back up and to keep going. 

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Thursday, 19 April 2018

Ladies Who Brunch | The Tiny Giant

Brunch. 1. (Noun) A meal that serves as both breakfast and lunch. 

I'm quite the enthusiast for brunch.  Any time when people come together to share food and share life is special to me.  At my old workplace a few friends and I used to have brunch together on our day off.  It is one of my fondest memories from my last few months of working there. 

At the start of this week I made some last minute plans to meet up with a couple of my classmates.  We explored Petersham for a while then decided to visit The Tiny Giant for some food.

The café has a beautiful wooden interior as well as an outdoor seating area.  The menu included a great selection of both breakfast and lunch foods, as well as an amazing assortment of pastries and sandwiches in the display cabinet - we were most definitely spoiled for choice!  As someone who is quite indecisive the staff were very kind and patient with us; allowing us to order some drinks whilst we decided on sweet or savoury foods for our brunch date.

Between us we ordered the chicken wrap, the pulled pork bun, and the Belgian waffles, I also went for the mango smoothie to add something sweet to my savoury choice. 

It was such a lovely place to catch up with friends and to spend time enjoying good food.  The café is bright and friendly, and the atmosphere matches it so well - pair this up with amazing food and I know for sure that I'll probably be heading back quite soon.

If you're in the Petersham area I highly recommend a visit to The Tiny Giant, it's a short walk from the train station and I am sure that you will be just as impressed with the café as I was. 


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Saturday, 14 April 2018

The Journey Ahead


I remember the community of cottages,
surrounded by the mountains.
Protected and kept safe
by the very creation that was placed there.

I remember the settled feeling that was within my heart;
I felt at home. 
Walking through the garden
then down to the shore.

I remember my heart feeling exposed;
there was no hiding from the need to be vulnerable.
The setting was overwhelming,
and yet, there was a closeness that comforted my heart. 

And now, He is opening my heart;
teaching me to grow
teaching me to choose Him
teaching me to accept grace. 

A time of raw healing;
a daily refinement
a daily choice
a daily love that is poured out. 

I remember the community of cottages,
surrounded by the mountains.
Protected and kept safe
by the very creation that was placed there.

I remember what felt like home,
and now I look to the journey ahead;
trusting that He will lead me there again,
even as a new place beings to feel the same way.   



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Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Thankful // The March List

Starting a thankful book is something that I have contemplated many times before.  When I was travelling last year it was something I briefly attempted but unfortunately didn't continue with. 

This month I decided it was time to start a thankful journal, to end each day making a list of things that I'm thankful for from that day, and to stay committed in doing to doing this each day. 

It's been a comforting way to finish my days.  It has helped me to reflect on the big and the little moments that have shaped the past month, and now I'm looking forward to sharing some of these moments with you. 

1.  Gods Grace and Refinement
This month hasn't always been easy and there are moments that I look back on with regret.  God has definitely been teaching me the beauty of His grace and the necessity of His refinement. 

2.  The Grounds of Alexandria
At the end of March I visited The Grounds of Alexandria with my friend Megan.  This is something I had hoped to do whilst visiting Sydney last year but unfortunately wasn't able to.  It was such a beautiful place to explore and it was wonderful to spend some time with Megan, she has such a loving nature.

3.  Video Calls
I'm beginning to feel a lot more settled here in Australia; I'm enjoying my college course, adjusting to my new routine, and spending time with some lovely new friends.  But something that I am thankful for is being able to video call home, to be able to talk with my family and close friends has been really lovely and their prayer and support has meant so much to me. 

4.  New Stationary
I treated myself to some new notebooks in the sale at Koorong and I'm so pleased with them.  I don't think I could ever own too many noteboks so I'm quite excited to add some new ones to my collection. 

5.  Painting my Toenails
Sometimes it's the little things that can bring us happiness, and for me this week that was painting my toenails.  This is something that I don't usually do but since I'm wearing flip flops a lot now (or not even bothering with shoes) I thought it might be nice.  It's a little thing but it's made me happy. 

6.  Caitlin
My fellow ISFJ who has been showing me so much love and care since I arrived in Australia.  I am so thankful for this lovely girl; late night ice cream trips, photos of puppies, pointing me back to God, watching cute Cinderella movies together, and sharing good books. 

7.  Maire & her family.
I was able to finish my month staying with my friend Maire and her family.  It was wonderful to end the month spending time with them, they made me feel like a part of their family.  We tried out a new recipe, went to the Blue Mountains for a day, and enjoyed the sunshine by the pool. 

Although it was a busy month, March was a good month and one I can look back on with a thankful heart.  Let me know in the comments what you're thankful for from the past month. 


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