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Live Well and Be Happy

Undoubtedly, 2020 had been a tumultuous year for all of us. For some, it could even be a year of sadness and loss. Loss of freedom, loss of stability, loss of jobs, and even loss of loved ones. As I'm writing this, the world is still battling hard with the pandemic. 

As we stepped into 2021, let's embrace Faith, Hope and Love. We will continue to learn new things, change and transform our lives to accommodate new ways of working, playing and living. Focus on family, health and the environment. Keep our mind and body active always. Besides family, remember that friends play an important role in our social and mental health. So, my friends, have a truly blessed new year. Whatever life throws at you; all this will pass.    

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January 2021

Tea Time Treats

by , 03 Feb 2016

      

I am an addict. I need a fix every day. I can almost tell the time by the moment the craving hits. 

4pm. Every day. That’s when I have to drink a cup of tea.

I don’t like tea bags; loose-leaf tea is what I prefer. Right now I am drinking a Broken Pekoe from the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia. Bukit Cheeding No. 53 – full-bodied, strong, just the way I like it.

Call me obsessive-compulsive but I do have a particular preference for how my tea is made. 

Put 1½ teaspoonsof tea leaves into a small pot. Add freshly boiled water. Let it steep for 5 minutes. Pour the tea into a cup and add half a teaspoon of milk powder. 

Sometimes, when the fancy strikes me I like to add some ginger, sliced or grated, into the pot for a mild version of tehhalia.

To accompany the tea – some treats. Chocolate is a favourite; but only the dark kind. Try it some time. As the chocolate melts in your mouth, chase it with a sip of tea. Heaven.

Lately, I have been eating muffins with my tea. Chocolate ones are definitely what I like. I made some with a Mayan spice chocolate given to me by a friend who didn’t know what to do with it. 

Mayan Spice Chocolate Muffins

Ingredients

250 g plain flour

75 g castor sugar

75 g muscovado sugar

2 tablespoons Mayan Spice Chocolate (or mix natural cocoa with some chili flakes/powder, ground cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, allspice, and cayenne pepper)

2½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda 

3 tablespoons chocolate chips

pinch of salt

125 g butter, melted

2 eggs

250 ml milk

 

Method

Pre-heat an oven to 180 degrees C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs and milk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir till just blended. Do not over mix. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, filling each cup about three-quarters full. Bake for 15 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

This recipe can be adapted in countless ways by changing the flavours. If you belong to that category of people who for some inexplicable reason don’t like chocolate, you might like to try these Orange Yoghurt Muffins with your tea instead.

 

Orange Yoghurt Muffins

Ingredients

250 g plain floor

150 g castor sugar

2½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda

2 tablespoons chopped caramelized orange peel

pinch of salt

125 ml milk

125 ml plain yoghurt

zest of one orange

2 eggs

 

Make the muffins in the same way as for the chocolate ones. You can make your own caramelized orange peel by cooking strips of fresh orange peel in a simple syrup of equal parts sugar and water till the syrup is reduced and the peel is sticky and soft. I like to add some Cointreau in the syrup to heighten the orange flavor.

 

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