All right, I know this is the worst picture ever, but we never keep these around long enough for me to get a good photo. So…you’ll have to trust me on this. These muffins are crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside, and taste great even two or three days later. Warm them up, pop on some butter (because come on, these things are calorie-laden already), and be prepared to make more.

 

 

BEST RASPBERRY MUFFINS EVER

 

 

Prep your muffin pan by generously greasing (use vegetable spray) the tin both inside the cups, and on top of the pan. Don’t use muffin liners—they’ll stick to the muffin. Preheat your oven to 357 degrees. Line the bottom of the pan with tinfoil——this is going to overflow!

 

 

Ingredients

 

 

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups + 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup raspberry jam

 

 

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside.

 

Melt butter and mix it with the eggs once it has cooled slightly. Beat mixture into sugar and mix in a stand-mixer, or with a hand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, until fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with yogurt in 2 additions, and raspberry jam in 2 additions, scraping down the bowl as needed.

 

 

Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Make sure your tinfoil is on tight, but give it enough room around the top edges for the batter to spread. This is how it gets crispy.

 

 

Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Rotate half way through for more even baking. This usually takes a while 35 – 50 minutes, depending on how deep your muffin cups are.

 

 

ONLY let the muffins cool in the tin for about 5 minutes, or you won’t be able to get them off the pan. Gently, insert a knife edge UNDER the muffin cap, and lift up enough so that you can twist the muffin out of the tin. Transfer to a wire rack to cool more before serving. These are best served warm. Use extra jam if you like!

 

 

Makes 12 LARGE muffins

 

 

And there you have it. Loads of butter and sugar, so save these for something special.

 

 

heidi sinnett

Posted in food | Tagged Comment

 

 

 

 

Last year, my husband bought me an Instant Pot for Christmas. I’d heard a little about it, but wasn’t sure I wanted to add a new piece of equipment to my already crowded kitchen.

 

 

After using it for a year, I have a newfound respect for it. It isn’t “instant” by any means, and I’ll never again try to make chili in it, but for some things, it’s brilliant!

 

 

THINGS I REGULARLY COOK IN IT:

 

 

  • Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Overnight Steel Cut Oats
  • Turnip, Sweet potatoes, & other veggies
  • Beef Stew

 

It’s soooooo easy to make veggies that are traditionally hard to cook and then mash, like turnip. Ten minutes is all it takes (+ pressurizing and depressurizing time), and they come out soft and perfectly cooked! And overnight oatmeal is a breeze with the timer feature. But one of my favourite easy recipes is the Beef Stew.

 

 

INSTANT POT BEEF STEW

 

 

Ingredients:

2 pounds stewing beef

2 Stew seasoning packets, such as Club House Slow Cooker Stew Seasoning     OR

  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

4 cups water or beef stock

4 medium potatoes, chopped or cubed

1 large carrot, chopped or cubed

2 celery stalks sliced thin

1 small turnip, cubed

 

 

Make sure all ingredients are chopped to the same size for more even cooking.

Add meat, water and seasonings to the Instant Pot. Secure the life and make sure your pressure valve is secure.

 

 

Select “Manual” and adjust to medium temperature. Set the cooking time for 35 minutes. This makes the meat super tender.

 

 

After the cycle is complete, allow it to rest for 5 minutes, than do a quick release on the pressure valve. Remove the lid and stir everything together. Add the veggies, and replace the lid, setting the pressure valve back to secure.

 

 

Set to cook for 9 minutes. After the cycle is complete, let it rest for 5 minutes, then do a quick release again.

 

 

Stew will be very thin. I usually make a roux from some of the broth mixed with about a tbsp of corn starch, then add it to the pot and mix well. If you let it sit for about 10 minutes, the broth will thicken.

 

Makes about 6-8 servings, depending on the size.

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

 

Posted in food | Tagged 1 Comment

 

If I lived inside Instagram….

 

 

I’d want Lightroom and VSCO filters to follow me around on a daily basis. I need more “natural” light, just as a rule. My skin isn’t always clear and shining, and my carpets are less than pristine. But stick a filter on them, and wow…I’ve got magazine-worthy stuff!

 

 

But then, I’d have to find more interesting clothing (my “curated” closet of black, grey, and navy make those filters work hard!), a new couch for my living room (okay, I need one anyway), and my husband would finally have to finish the ceiling in my “inspiration” space.

 

 

Maybe I’ll just stick with photos of coffee and books. (But the dream is there, folks!)

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized Comment

a small plantI heard a question recently on social media regarding content–specifically sponsored content. The question posed was “How is this content adding to someone else’s life?” Isn’t that a great question? It doesn’t only apply to sponsored content, but to everything you put out there for others to read/view/absorb.

 

 

How is this content adding to someone else’s life?

 

 

Of course, sponsored posts on Instagram or YouTube are common amongst influencers. A company will look at a person’s followers and decide they are reaching an audience that might potentially become customers, so they offer free merchandise in exchange for a review.  That person might even receive a discount code to pass along to his/her followers as incentive to grab a few of those customers who might have been on the fence otherwise. Sounds like a simple exchange, right?  Wrong.

 

 

More and more influencers are receiving a lot of negativity from their followers (which might result in people unfollowing) when they use sponsored posts. It feels cheap, like the influencer is getting free things for doing nothing more than taking a photo. It’s kind of like movie stars who get free clothes from designers–the publicity is priceless, but the star could afford it anyway. Maybe influencers don’t have that kind of cash behind them, but to their followers, the posts feel fake and out of place alongside the other content being posted. And no one wants to follow someone they feel is being fake.

 

 

It doesn’t matter if the sponsored items relate directly to a person’s regular content—a woman blogging about her children who receives handmade toys, for example—people are starting to loathe these types of posts. So, the question is, can regular content be considered in the same way? The answer, sadly, is yes.

 

 

If what you post is only about you, if it only says something to an audience of one, why are you posting it? Good content will appeal to a broad range of followers, and might even gain you new ones. That same mommy blogger might post a recipe her family loves, along with yummy, well-shot photos of the food. This is good content, aimed clearly at her audience (who we’ll presume are also mommies), and with the only intention being that she hopes someone else might find a meal to make that is different, or family-friendly. That sort of content is beneficial.

 

 

If you’re a writer, how can you post content that will benefit others? Maybe you have tips for people just beginning their writing journey, or maybe you want to share a short story you think others will enjoy. All of that is good content. It benefits anyone coming to your social media because it’s honest, and it is you. If a writer is gifted a new computer and then posts about all the great features of that device, is that still relevant, good content? Possibly. But the review must be honest. And it must include something for the follower other than envy. Start up a conversation about computers. Contribute to it. Ask people why they love their device over another. Debates are good. Engage. That’s what social media is all about.

 

 

heidi sinnett

 

 

 

Posted in Social media | Tagged , Comment

The timing of this sucks. But I’m going ahead with my skincare review of The Ordinary anyway, because the brand is amazing. (This weekend, Brandon Truaxe, the very troubled founder of Deciem, …the company that created The Ordinary…passed away. After a difficult, very public year in 2018, he was ousted from the company with hopes he would get the help he needed.) Let’s all be more aware of mental health issues.

heidi sinnett
Posted in My Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , Comment