Valentines' Day. A day for romance. One day out of the whole year?? Nah! Since moving into the Country House with Himself I've been making "moments". Dimming lights, lighting candles and popping the scented oil burner in the kitchen window. It's just an excuse to make sure we spend time together which was the whole point of me moving in. So I make small packages of time - away from work, away from all the decorating projects we still have to do and away from checking weather updates (me) and football results (him) on our phones.

My Valentines Day gift to Himself was a zentangle inspired little drawing which I put in a frame...I'll show you later.

The bread practice continued with the lovely James' Morton's no knead whole meal loaf. Usually I shape and plop on a baking sheet and put in the oven. This is pure laziness and means I don't have to wash up a tin afterwards but this time I decided I'd ask Himself to wash up so it went in a tin :)

And ta dah!

While the bread was cooling down we went for a run in actual sunshine. This is the first we've seen of blue sky for several days. I had time during my warm up walk to take this pic heading out of the village past the tiny, tiny toll house on the left. Himself says in Olden Days there would have been gated access at this toll house to the main street with various charges depending on whether you were driving a herd of geese or riding a donkey.

So, I had some strawberries and the now compulsory cupboard ingredient for muffins - white choc chips. I also had a very reliable Thermomix recipe for muffins which brilliantly gives the basic recipe and at the end says just add 150gms of whatever flavoured ingredients you want. This is my kind of recipe because although I mess around with savoury recipes all the time, I never do with baking recipes. Time to change that....

How gorgeous do those colours look !  And the end result...well there are supposed to be 12 but I had to check a couple before taking the photo so I knew I could tell you they were ok. And yes, they are very ok!

The recipe is below and was adapted by Pam Sihota from Australia who converted it for the Thermomix. (There's no reason you couldn't mix everything by hand I'm just lazy and trying to get more use out of my Thermomix

INGREDIENTS

for 12 muffins

- 220 g Self-Raising Flour

- 90 g Vegetable Oil

- 130 g Buttermilk or Plain Milk

- 170 g Caster Sugar

- 1 Egg, lightly beaten

- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract

- 150 g added Flavours, e.g. raspberry & white choc chip, banana, grated apple

HOW TO PREPARE THERMOMIX MUFFINS

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Prepare muffin tins (lightly butter/oil or place muffin cases).

Placed all ingredients into TM bowl. Mix for 20 Sec. on Speed 4.

Add flavourings. Mix in Reverse. 20-30 Sec. Speed 1.

Place in tins and bake for 15-20 Min. or until lightly browned.

Finally, I think the gift went down well because it's been placed on the mantelpiece.