Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins


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I tried this recipe out a few days ago with my best friend and they turned out so good! We attempted to make a melted chocolate sauce to pipe into the middle but when making it in the microwave we sort of burnt it. Next time I make them, I might top it with dried banana or a chocolate ganache. These muffins are so much fun to make and take at the most thirty minutes in total. They are packed full of luxurious chocolate and sugary banana.

Ingredients (makes 10 large muffins or 12 small muffins):

  • 225g plain flour
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 100g chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 2 large bananas

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips in a large bowl.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly.
  4. Beat the egg, oil, milk and bananas together.
  5. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients bowl.
  6. Stir together until the mixture is lumpy and slightly sticky.
  7. Use an ice cream scoop or large spoon to place the mixture in a lined muffin tin; fill the cases half way as they rise a lot.
  8. Bake them for 20 to 25 minutes.

I absolutely love how they turned out and from the original recipe you need to make a well but we didn’t I think that they probably turned out even better then they were supposed to!

-Jacob (3)

 

Origami Transforming Ninja Star


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This 8 point ninja star is perhaps one of the most clever and cool piece of origami in existence. This may make look difficult to make, but the hardest part is actually fitting it all together, not folding the units!

How to make:

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All you need to make this transforming ninja star is two pieces of origami paper, a paper folding tool to crease the corners and a pair of scissors.

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Step 1: Take one of the pieces of origami and fold in half horizontally and vertically.

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Step 2: Cut along the crease lines into four equal pieces.

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Step 3: Take one of the quarters and crease diagonally both ways.

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Step 4: Fold in half backwards and then unfold.

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Step 5: Pop in the centre.

Step 6

Step 6: Fold in the left two corners.

Step 7

Step 7: Fold the upper half to the lower half while inverting the right crease to the centre.

Step 8

Step 8: Repeat this unit process another seven times.

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Step 9: Put one blade between the double flaps of another blade.

Step 10

Step 10: Fold in the flaps of the left blade to lock the right blade into place. Then pull down the right blade so it locks at the end.

Step 11

Step 11: Add another blade to the flaps of the right one and also lock that into place.

Step 12

Step 12: Repeat this process until you have used up all the units.

Step 13

Step 13: All done!

There you go your very own transforming ninja star. This is so much fun to make and so rewarding to play with. I find the sliding mechanism the most entertaining but this origami model can also double as a frisbee!

If you make this, make sure to tell me below.

-Jacob (3)

Wild’s Life Weekly Finds #3


 

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Family Circle by Charley Harper

 

Yay! Another Wild’s Life Weekly Finds. I was going to have as the cover image the Double Chocolatey Chip Frappucino I had at Starbucks the other day, but clever me sort of forgot to take a picture. All I can say about that drink is; HEAVEN! Honestly, you have to try it. It was my first ever drink at Starbucks but it is probably the only one I am ever going to order because it tastes so like chocolate milk!

Anway, the cover image this week is a piece of artwork from Charley Harper called Family Circle. I absolutely love her artwork and this is the second year running I get a calender of her’s.

So, without further ado, here’s this week’s finds.

I am not sure how popular this restaurant will be after serving aeroplane food, although it slowly getting better!

And that’s it for this week’s finds. If you find anything that you think needs featuring, let me know below.

-Jacob (3)

Apple and Almond Cake


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This apple and almond cake I only discovered recently but feel in love with it from the first mouthful. The crust that holds the mixture inside compliments the soft apples perfectly and it was really like heaven in my mouth. This goes so well with custard, cream or ice cream!

Ingredients (serves 8):

For the apples

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 dessert apples
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cinnamon

For the cake

  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 75g white or wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 75g blanched almonds

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan and let it start to sizzle gently.
  2. Add the granulated sugar and stir until the mixture bubbles.
  3. Peel, core and cut the apples into thick slices.
  4. Next, add the apples and sprinkle over the cinnamon.
  5. Cook all this over a medium heat for around five minutes making sure to turn occasionally.
  6. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  7. Preheat the oven to 170°C/Gas Mark 3.
  8. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin with butter and line the base with baking parchment.
  9. Put the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl.
  10. Beat together using a mixer until light and fluffy.
  11. Break in an egg and beat well.
  12. Then add the second egg and almond extract.
  13. Afterwards, pour the almonds into butter and sugar mixture and fold in gently.
  14. Scrape the mixture into the tin and arrange the apples on top.
  15. Bake for 40-45 minutes and serve either warm or cold.

 

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DISCLAIMER: This recipe was adapted from Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall’s cookbooks River Cottage Everyday and River Cottage Veg Everyday.

Wild’s Life Weekly Finds #2


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I was looking forward to writing this post all week but I had a problem with the image I am using for this week’s cover so I have decided to it every other week. I am crossing my fingers that I get to continue this “series” for a long time.

So, without further ado, here’s this week’s finds…

    • The Dories Cocoa Linzer Cookies from Korean in the Kitchen look so perfect as every one of the cookies has the identical pattern on the top. It is just so over the top perfection and won’t look apart in a cake shop!
    • I couldn’t believe that the brownies from Fruits and Routes had sweet potato in! I will just have to take your word for it!
    • I have so been loving the Original Source Mango Body Wash; it is literally like I am rubbing pure mango on my skin!
    • I just love the quote that Smitten Kitchen has used in their Broccoli Pizza Recipe from Inside Out if you have watched it!
    • I am interested in this article from the Miami Herald about trying to build a food computer. Wonder how that will turn out…..
    • I think people go soooo over the top for Instagram especially with food. This article from the Guardian talks about it and I find the pictures really nice but one question is: how long did it take to those that pictures!?
    • Will the world end in Bangkok if they ban street food; what will happen to all the street food vendors? I feel so sorry for them!
    • I have been enjoying looking at pictures of smoothies on Pinterest so I have decided to create a board dedicated to them (psst: why not follow me?)
    • The cupcakes from Recipes from Me for a birthday party are so adorably cute! Perfect for anyone basically with a light heart.
    • Scones I feel are so boring without a filling and these ones from Papers and Pastels fit the mark perfectly; Lemon Blackberry Scones, yum!
    • I really can’t believe in the age of technology one in five adults can’t boil an egg or change a lightbulb. SERIOUSLY?
    • I haven’t had banana bread in so long but seeing this recipe from Days with DBlog made me want to eat it so much!
    • Mug Cakes are such a genius invention and although I have never had one, I think I might need to try seeing the video from Gemma’s Bigger Boulder Baking!
    • Finally, this cheesecake from Serendipity and Bliss looks like it could replace any birthday cake; maybe next year I might have to have it instead!

That’s it for this week’s finds and if you see something that should be featured next week, make sure to either contact me or comment it below. As well as this I have a Pinterest Board dedicated to all the images of anything featured each week so make sure you check that out.

-Jacob (3)

Being a vegetarian at secondary school


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Out of personal interest, I don’t think there is practically another vegetarian apart from my twin brother in my secondary school (or high school for all you American folk.) There is also a common misconception about what being a vegetarian is. One person said, “Google says being a vegetarian is that you do not eat anything living so you would be dead.” Everyone eats things living, plants are living as well as animals. I don’t think people should care about other people’s dietary requirements. Why should I care if you eat meat and you care that I don’t? It’s not something that defines me as a person, it’s a way of living.

People may say I am not a proper vegetarian as sometimes I eat fish but it’s not like people eating meat like chicken or cow every single day. You may if you want to call it in a technical term a Lacto-Ovo vegetarian (excludes fish, meat or poultry and includes eggs and dairy products or pescetarian (vegetarian who eats fish). What I can’t believe is that  at school during Food Technology lessons (more commonly known as Cookery) when our teacher is talking about a recipe involving meat and I ask about alternatives, people talk and make remarks like: “I couldn’t live without chicken” or “I can’t believe you live without chicken.” Someone today (at the time of writing this) when we were tasting pizzas without meat complained so loudly! If I was you I would treasure the experience of trying something meat free!

The Food Tech teachers at school have got better at understanding dietary requirements but I once had an argument with a teacher in Year 7 about not wanting to use quorn in a dish. I said I felt threatened and they did not understand that being a vegetarian meant that I don’t have to eat quorn because I don’t like the meat texture.

In summary, I think that people should not make so many assumptions surrounding vegetarians or vegans and not “discriminate” against them. You wouldn’t like it if I made fun of you eating poor helpless animals so don’t tease me for eating plants.

I also wanted to mention that I am vegetarian because my family is. I am stressing that you should not be vegan or vegetarian because you want to be “on trend” (I am always so late to those anyway) but because you want to take on a different lifestyle for example. I know how bad the conditions are that mass-scaled farmed animals live in and I just wanted to inform you of them.

I hope you enjoy this new style of content as I want to switch up what I write to enjoy doing this blog more.

-Jacob (3).png

Victoria Sandwich


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The Victoria Sandwich, ever so british don’t you think? The great thing about this recipe is that it uses the all in one method which makes it ever so convenient; it takes under 30 minutes to make and put in the oven! I don’t think you can go wrong on a Saturday afternoon with a cup of tea and a piece of cake. Lovely! There is so many recipes also online and one thing I think you HAVE to have in it is strawberry jam and buttercream to complete the classic of all classic cakes.

Ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 225g flour
  • 225g sugar
  • 225g butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder

For the buttercream:

  • 100g butter
  • 140g icing sugar
  • 120g jam of choice

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Method (cake):

  1. Grease two baking tins of equal size and using a piece of baking parchment, rub some butter round the sides and base of both tins.
  2. Using another piece of baking parchment, draw round the bottom of each tin and cut out; place this on top of the base of the tin.
  3. Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl, then add the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder.
  4. After each ingredient is added, beat well using an electric mixer.
  5. Divide the mixture evenly between both tins.
  6. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Method (buttercream):

  1. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy.
  2. Gradually add the icing sugar and beat continuously.
  3. Spread the buttercream across on of the sponges and then spread jam over the other.

DISCLAIMER: As I mentioned there is so many recipes, but I don’t know where the original recipe I used is by. If I find it, I will add the link.

 

Wild’s Life Weekly Finds #1


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The milkshake I talk about later in this post…

Inspired by Cooking with a Wallflower, I have decided to post twice a week, one recipe and one weekly finds post.

This week’s weekly finds:

  • How disgusting do these rainbow corn-on-the-cobs look? I wonder how many bottles of food colouring did that take!
  • I absolutely love the banana milkshake at Gourmet Burger Kitchen when I went on Tuesday. If you ever go there, and I think this is only for the UK but let me know if they have restaurants elsewhere, you have to try the banana milkshake; it is so divine!
  • What do you think of the New Great British Bake Off presenters on Channel 4? I think it is an unusual match but it might just work, we will have to wait and see…
  • The recipe on The Creative Life In Between for Raspberry Dark Chocolate Shortbread Cookies looks amazing! I will have to make these one day and see but they just look soooo good!
  • I love cookies and the size of the ones on Natalie Vinh’s blog look so yummy! When I saw the photographs of them, I wanted to lick my computer screen!
  • A lot of people at school ask me when I eat these, what are they and I reply “I don’t actually know what’s inside these, but they are good anyway.” I am talking about falafels and next time I have them I might have to try out the recipe featured on the OM Project, but originally from the GF Bakery. This sandwich looks so healthy but really tasty!
  • I don’t know about you, but I really like these diys from Artsy Teen. There was so many I liked, but I only chose three; make sure you check out her blog for more interesting posts!
  • Finally, the 45 GIFs Post from Living Like A Unicorn, can only just make you laugh from the lovely selection of heart-warming GIFs.

I hope you enjoy these posts more regularly and I look forward to sharing more of my life on my blog.

Veggie Heaven Pasta Bake (w/ Vegan Alternative)


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Any day anyway, pasta is one of my favourite dishes. I especially like Penne Giardiniera at Carluccio’s (I am craving it right now as I write this post!) This pasta bake is for vegetarians but I have included an alternative recipe with ingredients for vegans as well.  What I recommend to do is to cook the pasta but not fully on the hob as when it bakes it will cook more and not go crunchy (unless you like crunchy pasta).

Ingredients (for 2 people):

  • 200g pasta (any shape)
  • Jar of pasta bake or tomato sauce
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 50g Lentils
  • 100g Mixed Vegetables
  • 1 Pepper
  • 50g breadcrumbs
  • Handful of cheese

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to a medium heat/180° C/Gas Mark 4
  2. Boil a saucepan of pasta and cook according to packet ingredients.
  3. Whilst the pasta is cooking prepare the vegetables.
  4. Drain the pasta using a colander and place the colander on top of the empty saucepan.
  5. Mix the vegetables and lentils together in a bowl.
  6. Prepare the sauce.
  7. Arrange the mixture in an ovenproof dish and pour the sauce on top.
  8. Place the breadcrumbs on top and sprinkle the cheese on top.
  9. Cook for 25-30 minutes.

Vegan Alternative: To create this wonderful dish, instead of using normal pasta, use free from pastas. For the cheese, either ignore or use a vegan cheese and for the bread, either ignore or use a free from bread.

 

Please can you sign my petition to force companies to stop using palm oil in their products. Visit http://bit.ly/WildPetition to sign it. 

 

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