dog songs | seeded mini muffins

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It's usually when I'm on holiday that I try to read more, not just novels, but also poems. They are somehow less self conscious than books; often more difficult to unravel, but more honest. On some previous blog posts I shared quotes by poet Mary Oliver. I think that I, like many people, loved the way she could make emotion and nature somehow intertwine. I saw quite a lot of her poems were inspired by her dogs, one called Percy, or walks she'd taken with her pups. She even wrote a whole compilation of poetry, Dog Songs, that reflects on the love of a dog and their human. I have often written about my own pups, but not dogs as dogs. What having a little furry thing with a leathery nose and big beating heart means. It was global dog day a while ago (August 26th) so I was thinking about pets as a whole. They can teach you so much. About the giving and receiving of love, about loss, about humor, about snuggles. They can teach you that it's not always about the bigger picture, but sometimes the minutiae are worth your time. I could write more about this, but I found a poem Mary Oliver had written about her relationship with Percy that kind of encapsulates loving a dog and learning from one.

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There is always a bittersweet edge that comes with owning a dog, like a low mist rolling off the sea, sinking into valleys in the countryside where it can linger for days. Dogs’ lives seem so short, beauty like a sunset, snowfall, city lights from airplane windows. But. They just bring so much. They make our lives so full. They transform the way you think and the way you act and any kindness of humans pales in comparison to the tireless kindness of dogs. All the worrying you do and the rushing to get home to them and the cleaning dog hair and muddy paws is really nothing, compared to what they give us.
Mary Oliver's poem is called, quite perfectly, The Sweetness of Dogs.

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“What do you say, Percy? I am thinking
of sitting out on the sand to watch
the moon rise. Full tonight.
So we go, and the moon rises, 
so beautiful it makes me shudder, 
makes me think about time and space, 
makes me take measure of myself: 
one iota pondering heaven. 

Thus we sit, I thinking how grateful I am for the moon’s perfect beauty and also, oh!
How rich it is to love the world. 
Percy, meanwhile, leans against me and gazes up into my face. 
As though I were his perfect moon.”

Mary Oliver, Swan

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seeded mini muffins

makes around 24 mini muffs, 12 regular

1 1/4c (125g) oat flour
1c brown rice flour (120g)
1/4c (108g) flax meal
1/4c (35g) sunflower seeds
1/4c mixed small seeds (60ml by volume - chia, flax, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds etc)
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
1/2tsp nutmeg
1c (250ml) plain yogurt
2 free range eggs
1/4c (60ml) olive oil
1/2c (125ml) honey or maple syrup
1tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 180’c, 350’f. Prepare a mini muffin pan, or a regular pan, whichever you have.
Stir together the dry ingredients, including the seeds.
In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt, vanilla and maple/honey. 
Stir the wet mix into the dry mix and spoon into muffin tins.
If making mini muffs, bake for 15-18 minutes. For regular muffins they will probably need 5-10 minutes more. 

The muffins will keep well in the fridge for around five days and you can also freeze them.

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💗some other sweet muffins 💗

electricity | rosemary chocolate chunk cookies

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Apparently it is called petrichor. The distinct smell of the earth after rain, particularly after an extended period of warm, dry weather. An evocative smell, reminiscent of flowing streams and spontaneously flowering valleys; long grass wet with dew; soil dark like freshly ground coffee. Petrichor seems to carry with it the kind of rain that is seen as relief, rather than the constant, hounding rain that chases through northern Europe in winter, driven by wind and, seemingly, despair. But the rain eventually gives way to the dry spells of summer. Circling dust and relentless blue skies, grass and wheat slowly fading.

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The rain started about 15 minutes after I began my run. It was early morning, a warm one, with the kind of clammy atmosphere that leaves skin sticky to the touch. Clouds were heavy, in angry sheets, heather gray and violet. There had been some low rumbles of thunder, when Prune and I took our humid walk by the water. The lake itself was perfectly still, a mirror, soft ripples a portrait of the moody skies suspended above us. Prune didn't notice the thunder; she watched the rabbits scattering between the hilly pastures one side the footpath to the brush lining the shore, where bushes were laden with fading blossom, so a spirited pink looked watercolor.
That first bout of rain only lasted a few minutes, soaking fields and darkening tarmac. The smell of petrichor filled the air, it hummed through all of us that were out in that shower; my running shirt was three shades darker than normal, the cows revelled in the respite, farm workers rushing to the fields on bikes pulled their hoods over their heads.

The rain stopped, which is when the lightning started. It had been a while, since I was outside in a real thunderstorm. I forgot the way that lightning plays with you. The first flash, you think it was something else; a camera; your imagination. Lightning without rain was somehow sinister, taunting, and I was suddenly covered in goosebumps. Not from coldness; it was still disconcertingly mild, but because, when you're out in a storm, there's a feeling that raw nature is so close. I felt a small pounding in my head, doubtlessly from electricity. Bursts of light illuminated the slumbering countryside, mature wheat too bright in the gloom.
It started to rain again.

I made it back to the lake, towards the end of my run. Lightning and thunder played out their duet sporadically, the sheep sheltered together on the hillside. There was no wind and the air was heavy with water and warmth. Electricity was everywhere, dripping from the leaves of the bushes and wire outlining the pasture. Thunder echoed along the coast; lightning punctured the sky and a small boat lolled on the glassy water. There was still a pounding in my head and goosebumps came in bouts, not from the tiredness of a run. I think it was the storm’s way of talking to me.

"I take what's mine, then take some more. It rains, it pours, it rains, it pours"
- A$AP Rocky ft. Skepta, Praise the Lord (Da Shine)

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Hi from deep within the realm of summer weather and chocolate chip cookie science, which is a thing. I have a few ccc recipes on the blog, but I (strangely?) like trying new variations and techniques. The rosemary in these cookies is a very loveable addition, kind of evocative of tangled gardens and countryside. The herbalness somehow cuts through the cookieness.
The method for these cookies is a little… different and possibly fussy, but I enjoy complicating my life by insisting I use higher maintenance ingredients (cough coconut oil) so it is one method I’ve found for super big, flat cookies, like the bakery kind, with all the pug-like wrinkles. It’s actually not complicated but I included a lot of troubleshooting in the instructions so the recipe looks long. I love the other two ccc recipes on the blog which are both great and a little less high maintenance, but if you want giiiant, chewy, bakery-style cookies, I’d try these babies.
Anyway. Love and cookies to you ❤️

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rosemary chocolate chunk cookies

1 1/2c (165g) spelt flour
3/4tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt
1/2c (125ml) coconut oil, either melted/solid is fine
1/2c (75g) coconut sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1/2c (75g) turbinado/pure cane sugar
1 free range egg (best if it’s been at room temp for a bit)
1tsp pure vanilla extract
few sprigs rosemary
110g (4 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped chunky, from a bar (70%-85% cacao content)*


A note to start: the method seems a little odd and involved, but if you want cute looking very spread-y, wrinkled, flat cookies (like in the photos) it’s what I found to work best.

Preheat the oven to 180’c, 350’f. Line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper and keep the trays somewhere a little warm, for example above the oven.
Combine both types of sugar in a small bowl with the sprigs of rosemary. Use your fingers to rub the rosemary into the sugar for around 30 seconds, it should become very herbal and fragrant. You can then take the rosemary out of the bowl - tiny pieces are ok, but I’d check for any leaves that are left behind and remove those.
In a small pan over low heat or in a microwave friendly bowl, gently melt the coconut oil. As it melts fully, stir through the rosemary sugar. The sugar should become ‘melty’ and there should be no visible clumps, it should become a smooth, light mixture kind of caramel in color. Set aside to cool slightly (you will be adding the egg and you don’t want to scramble it), but not too much - you want the coconut oil to be a little warm and definitely with no visible solids.
While letting the sugar-oil mix cool, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. If your sugar-oil mix is just warm and not hot, beat in the egg. If the egg has been at room temperature for a while, there shouldn’t be any visible effects on the sugar-oil mix. If the oil starts to harden (if the egg is cold), heat it veeeery gently, no scrambled eggs necessary. Once the egg is combined, add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Add the wet mix to the dry and combine gently with a wooden spoon. As the dough comes together it will seem greasy, that’s ok. You can add the chocolate chunks at this time and bring the dough together.
Scoop out rounds of about 3 tablespoons onto a baking sheet, no need to flatten. They’re really going to spread, which makes them cute, but I underestimated how much space these babies would need and I had to cut a couple of them away from each other (as you may be able to tell in the photos). So, perhaps limit to 4/5 cookies per sheet, you’ll get 8-10 cookies, so you can do rotations in the oven if you need to.
Bake for 17-19 minutes, this will depend a little on the size of your scoops. The cookies will appear just set. They will firm up as they cool, so give them a few minutes on the baking tray to cool first.
The cookies will keep for a few days in an airtight container, they will become a little more crispy as they sit, but I kiind of doubt they’ll hang around for too long.

*chocolate science is another thing altogether but it’s important you use an actual bar rather than chocolate chips, which are often made so they don’t melt, and retain their shape. You want chocolate puddles, so standard melty chocolate is better. You can just cut chunky pieces with a knife. The higher the cacao content, the less sweet the cookies will be, so choose what you like 💕

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inward restlessness | chocolate + almond snack cake

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There are times when you do more travelling than other times. Perhaps this is obvious, but travelling isn’t always a physical state, rather a state of mind. An inherent inward restlessness, wandering thoughts. When you see something that has been there every day but is really someplace else. The earliest sprigs of white tree blossom along the highway; a smoggy stretch of road between a few Norfolk towns, but not always. They seem to exist in two separate spaces, coexistence in a chaotic internal harmony. The same skies, a pebbly gray; dense, tactile cloud; watery sunshine and a lingering dampness. But this is France, somewhere on the A10 autoroute, after Paris, perhaps direction Orléans, heading south, where the air is milder and there are more green buds on trees. 

Recently I think we have had tropical rain on our minds. The real rain, that falls in crystalline sheets from towering cloud the color of a twilight sky. Pool water. Hot rain, chubby droplets, rippling the pool’s surface and distorting your view of the tiles lining the bottom. That strange similarity of being underwater and coming up for air, only to have warm rain drops in your face. Air conditioning that felt even colder on damp skin and hair as we watched the rusted trucks of the tropics turn rubble roads into rivers of muddy rainwater.

Perhaps it is because it’s easier being anywhere other than where you really have to be. There are no real feelings, no sense of time, in that dream like state. Just glimpses of places and people both completely frozen and very animate. Because slowly the line between those travels in your head and the trips you actually take becomes very blurred. So travel becomes your constant state, and you are everywhere but nowhere, all at once. 

“We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls” - Anais Nin 

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Hello again :) It’s been a while since I last posted but I am back, with cake. A simple chocolate cake based on a recipe for a deeply chocolatey almond cake I tried while visiting our grandparents over the holidays . I’m not sure when a cake becomes a snack cake but this little guy is very simple to make, kind of virtuous and also just a great chocolate cake for any day. It is good to have around since it keeps well for a while, too. I hope you try it.
Also, I appreciate you coming back to visit this space after every time I disappear.
Much love xx

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Chocolate + almond snack cake

1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
1/2tsp basking soda
1/2tsp salt
4 free range eggs
1/2c honey
1/4c plain yogurt of choice (or applesauce)
1tsp pure vanilla extract 


Preheat the oven to 170’C, 340’F*.
Prepare an 8inch round cake pan - even if it is non-stick I usually use a little coconut oil and line the bottom of the pan to be suuure the cake won’t stick.
In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt until the cocoa powder is fully mixed through the flour.
In another large bowl, beat together all remaining ingredients until they’re fully combined and the mixture is smooth. If you have a stand mixer or a hand mixer and a large bowl, this would be really quick.
Combine wet and dry ingredients until the batter is dark brown and smooth. Since there is no gluten don’t worry about over-mixing, a flexible spatula is useful.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan. 
Bake 30-35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. You won’t want to bake this cake too long, it will lose some of its charm if it’s too dry.

This cake will keep well for about a week in the fridge in an airtight container.

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Tiny has appointed herself kitchen assistant

hopelessly captivated | lemon - ricotta scones

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Prune has the most vibrant dreams. She’ll be fast asleep but you’ll hear her growl, the unmistakable gravelly growl of a big dog. In her sleep she’ll be running, her paws moving, her claws tapping against the floor, hot pursuit, deep in the hunt. Endless grassy meadows and shallow streams under warm sunshine, dusty tracks, mazes of cornfields where she loses herself. Other dogs to chase, rabbits, mossy forests, utopia. But she reaches the end of the track and she panics, in her somnolent way. She sees it all, the fireworks, thunderstorms, and she whimpers. Out loud, in her deep sleep. We comfort her, bring her back to now, lying on her cushion in the kitchen, she sighs, stretches and seems to shrug, like it was all nothing. Like it was just a dream and we didn’t all need to be so worried.

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Suzi is a hushed dreamer. She runs a little sometimes, but for the most part she sleeps deep and quiet, her head on her paws. But she lives out loud. She goes outside and she’ll run, just to run, because she’s fast and athletic and she can. She’ll take sharp curves around the cherry tree, maybe pick up a snack, throw it in the air, shake it, hunt it, subdue it. Then she’ll lie down right where she is, prick up her ears and listen. For the first sign that something is untoward in the neighborhood, a hint of something new carried in the breeze. Guarding her place and her people. Alert and watching.

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Prune sometimes won’t walk when she should. She’ll make herself very heavy when she wants to, physically and emotionally. She’s considered to be very much a Labrador - solid, often hungry, gentle. But she is highly strung in her own way. Like a Thoroughbred racehorse or a very expensive sports car she’s not easy to handle, she’s confusing to understand, and is far too precious to ever be tamed. We live with her moods, her spirited independence, her wild streak. Like a painter who has moved to live high in the mountains and is hopelessly captivated by the endless winter.

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If Prune is the winter then Suzi is the sun. Burning at times. She’ll seek you out, often in the evening, and she won’t let go. Because what she really wants is affection, to lay her head on your lap, black velvet. And like the sun of spring, she’s at times timid, hesitant. It’s like she’s not sure what you’re going to do to her and the clouds win. So you volley between the scorch of summer and ripple of spring sunshine, waiting for those mellow days in June. When she’s lying on her side, waiting for you to tickle her neck. But there is a beauty in the mercurial seasons, that capricious volley, that temperamental up-down that brings the purest snow days and the cascades of spring blossom. Beauty even in the deepest winter and most despondent vernal sunshine. And like the artist in his mountain cabin, entranced by the downpour and the melt, I have been boundlessly won over, infinitely. 

“She was my darling. Difficult, morose, but still my darling”     - Vladimir Nabokov 


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Hi :) Been a little while since I was here buuuut I have scones. These scones are cute triangular shafts of citrusy sunlight so they’re kind of well suited to the time of year. I have seen ricotta in a few scones recipes so wanted to try it out aaaand I was really pleased with how they turned out - the ricotta makes these scones quite sturdy but not too dry. They are also more simple to make than it may first seem and come together very fast.
Anyway. Love you xx

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lemon - ricotta scones

2/3c almond meal
2/3c oat flour
2/3c brown rice flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2tsp salt 
2T coconut sugar 
Zest from one lemon
2T olive oil
1c ricotta cheese (or thicker type of yogurt could work)
3T fresh lemon juice 


Preheat oven to 180 C, 350 F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine flours, baking powder, lemon zest, salt and sugar. Stir until sugar is completely mixed. In another bowl, beat together the ricotta, oil, egg and lemon juice.
Combine the wet and dry mixes until a workable dough forms. Sprinkle some flour over a work surface and tip out the dough. Using your hands, shape the dough into a circle, around 3cm (1inch-ish) thick.
Cut the circle in half, then quarters, then again so you have 8 kind of triangular pieces.
(carefully + gently) move the scones to the baking tray and bake for around 15 minutes - they will have become a little golden with some browning on the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. On their own the scones are not super sweet but are still great. They are equally great with honey or jam.

In an airtight container they will keep for a few days in the fridge but can also be frozen and defrosted.

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my two princesses