Leave the innocent children aloneTime and again we are facing with news and reports of cruelty towards innocent children. Forced labour, ill treatment, child trafficking, children soldiers and now the shootout at Peshawar. A few days ago a video went viral online showing a Ugandan maid force feeding a toddler, and when the poor child vomited, the maid kicked the child like a football, stepped on the fragile being and basically just went mad. The child is fine and the maid has got a jail sentence. All this was caught on camera which the maid probably had no idea that the parents had installed in their house. Today the world faces the news of innocent children shot at an army run school in Peshawar. How are those who carry out these heinous tasks able to sleep? I guess, not only do they lack feelings, hearts but also a conscious. Surely God does not forgive people who harm these little angels. How many times have we heard that God's angels are the little children. Today watching the news was painful for me. When the world just got over the hostage situation in Sydney, the Peshawar follows hot on its heels. Innocent children lost their lives through no fault of theirs. They probably went happily to school leaving their parents and family at home and met with a senseless death. Little children made to suffer not only the physical pain but also the mental anguish. I remember when the coup happened in 1982 in Nairobi, we could hear gun shots in the distance. I can still hear them till today. Any loud noise frightens me. How are those children who have survived, ever going to lead normal lives?
Today's recipe is for the shhh baking secretly challenge. I was paired with Veena Shankar of great secret of life.com. Keeping the festive season in mind she challenged me with flour and sugar. That was like a huge playing ground for me. Wanting to bake tiny cakes for my uncle's birthday, I decided to make spicy christmas muffins. I used self raising flour and brown sugar. The muffins are full of spices and fruits. Ideal for Christmas parties or even as an after Christmas breakfast treat.
I decorated the muffins with melted white chocolate. I couldn't take the photo as the chocolate just did not set in this heat. When it finally did, the muffins disappeared quickly.
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Should all the countries of the world join hands in fighting terrorism?
SPICY CHRISTMAS MUFFINS
Makes 24 small muffins
2½ cups self raising flour
½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 medium apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
¼ cup sultanas or raisins or a mixture of both
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped nuts - any of your choice
1 tbsp grated orange zest (rind)
⅓ cup oil
1 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder
½ tsp nutmeg powder
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Line the muffin tray or cups with paper cups.
- Sieve flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg powders and salt together.
- Add the chopped apples, raisins, cranberries and nuts to the flour and mix well.
- In another bowl, mix lightly the sugar, eggs, oil, zest and milk together.
- Add the flour to the liquid and mix till just wet. Do not over mix.
- Fill the prepared muffin tray or cups with batter , three quarter of the way.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or till the tops are golden in colour.
- Insert a knife or toothpick in the middle of a muffin. If it comes out clean the muffins are ready.
- Take the muffins out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.
Decoration ideas :
- Drizzle melted chocolate over it.
- Prepare ganache or butter icing and decorate the tops.
- Before baking sprinkle with sprinklers or chopped nuts.
- Top it glace icing.
- To make self raising flour at home, sieve together 1 cup of plain (all purpose flour), 1½ tsp baking powder and ¼ tsp salt.
- Instead of dried cranberries use any other dried fruit of your choice.
- Next time I will make the muffins with home made self raising flour the ready made one probably has too making baking agent. As a result the tops of the muffins are domed and cracked.
- If you don't decorate or ice the muffins, you can serve it as a dessert with fresh whipped cream or hot custard.
You may want to check out the following :
|spinach paneer balls with tagiatelline|
|mini taco salad cups|
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