Hello to everyone.  It has been quite some time since I posted, but with very good reason.  My beautiful family and I have been off caravanning for the last few months.  In fact we were away for exactly 90 days taking in the sights, sounds and beautiful landscapes of New South Wales.

This was the first of several caravan trips we plan to take over the next few years to see Australia.  Each year we will take about 3 months to explore a particular region.  For us that is a perfect length of time – not too long away from school and ‘regular routine’.  Next year we will visit Western Australia during the wildflower season.  Can’t wait!

While away, I didn’t blog about cooking but did actually blog about our adventures.  This was a great way for family and friends to stay posted of our travels.  So if you’re interested in reading more and seeing some great photos, head on over to Meandering McArthurs (I do have the last few weeks to add yet).

After being on such a great trip, I was worried about everyone settling back to ‘normality’ but it’s amazing how quickly this happened.  In fact, the weekend we were back we decided to move all the rooms around in the house and have a ‘cleanse’.  Having lived in a caravan for 3 months you realize how much ‘stuff’ you can do without.

It was also great timing as the school fete was looming and they were looking for all sorts of donations.  So far we have taken about 16 large cartons of rubbish, unused toys, magazines, books and other bits and pieces out of the house.  It’s amazing how clutter has its own breeding cycle and builds its own clutter.

Another thing that felt quite different when I first returned was the kitchen.  After preparing and cooking food in such a small space, my home kitchen felt huge (didn’t take long for that to change though).  I’ve really enjoyed getting back into the full swing of cooking since I’ve returned and have been cooking up a storm.  In fact the first night we returned home-cooked pizzas were on the menu – something we dearly missed (see Easy Pizza Dough).

I did very little baking on the trip.  The whole process of beating butter and sugar etc, etc, was just too hard in the confined space of a caravan.  Muffins were something I had planned to make as they are quick, easy and only need one bowl.  However, I discovered very early that my 12 hole muffin pan was too big for the caravan’s oven (should have checked before we left).  So that was the end of that.

I’ve made up for it since though and as it’s orange season here at the moment, I’ve made several batches of these Orange Muffins since returning.  The kids just love muffins and thanks to the buttermilk in this recipe, they are lovely and light and won’t last long.  Enjoy!

Orange Muffins

Orange-Muffins

Ingredients

2 ½ cups self raising flour
1 cup caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind
1 ¼ cups buttermilk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 egg

Method

Preheat oven to 180C (375F) or 160C (320F) fan forced.  Grease a 12-hole muffin pan or line holes with muffin cases.

Combine the flour, sugar and orange rind in a large bowl.

In a jug, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, juice and egg.

Stir wet mixture into flour mixture until just combined.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted skewers comes out clean.

Dust with icing sugar and serve.

The Klutzy Cook Notes

  • Buttermilk makes these muffins nice and light.  If you don’t have any on hand combine one cup of milk plus one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar, and allow to stand for ten minutes before using.
  • Try other citrus flavours such as lemon or lime (or a combination).
It’s good to be back and I look forward to bringing you lots more cooking.  If you have any comments or feedback, please feel free to leave them below.

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