27 November 2010

Hot Mormon Muffins: November Edition

Hard to believe it's already time for another Mormon Muffin post. Is it just me or do the days just fly by at this time of the year? One minute it's Labour Day, the next you're toasting the new year. Maybe that's part of why I like baking so much--it forces you to slow down and enjoy the moment. Helping you enjoy this month's moment is Sallee, 34, and mother of three, and her CTR Chocolate Chip muffins. (Click photos to enlarge.)

The essentials:

Liquids (egg, milk, oil):

The dough is coming together:

Never too much chocolate!

Tempted?

Ready to go into the oven:

Freshly baked:

Cooling:

Ready to eat...



Sallee's CTR Chocolate Chip

[My notes/changes in brackets]

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups [all purpose] flour
1/2 cup [granulated] sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup [semisweet] chocolate chips

Beat egg and stir in milk and oil. Mix in remaining ingredients just until flour is moistened [I added the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mixed until it reached the consistency in photo #4; then stirred in the chocolate chips). Batter should be lumpy.

Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes [in my case, 18-19 minutes would have worked] at 400F [200c] or until golden brown.

Makes 12.

My Verdict

Chocolate chip muffins are one of my favourites and these rank up there. They were a touch dry but that could have been due to slight over-baking. If it's a concern you could always add a little more oil. The only things I might change would be to sprinkle coarse sugar on top (in imitation of Tim's addictive CC Muffins) or to switch the chips with chunks.

Want more Hot Mormon Muffins (and really, who doesn't)? Check out my previous posts:

January (Lisa's Priesthood Praline)
February (Amy's Relief Society Raspberry)
March (Kourtnie's Mormon Marmalade)
April (Charli's Seminary Streusel)
May (Tami's Zesty Zion Zucchini)
June (Lynda's Seven Wives Grain)
July (Cami's Bring'em Young Blueberry)
August (Yayoi's Latter-Day Lemon)
September (Miriam's Missionary Meringue--gluten free)
October (Mya's Pioneer Pumpkin)

Photos by Domicile

18 November 2010

Zootopia

November is time for my annual trip to the Toronto Zoo (and my birthday--shh...) and I always look forward to it. It was a sunny, cool day this year--perfect for strolling and taking pictures. Word to the wise, though: if your camera has an auto scene-selector, don't use it. I thought it would be easier than switching settings for each shot. Well, it was easier. And half my photos didn't turn out. Boo. But here are some of the ones that did turn out. Enjoy (and click to enlarge)!

I love carousels and this one is new at the zoo. It's also possibly the nicest one I've ever seen (and I believe it raises money and awareness for endangered species). Alas it wasn't running the day we were there...




I think this is the first year I got to see a rhino outside. Don't believe Jumanji--they're very calm and gentle. They're also prone (in the wild) to being poached and slaughtered for their horns.

There's a rainforest pavillion with butterflies and birds just flitting about among the visitors. This was the only one of either I could get to sit long enough for a photo:

It's not what it looks like--the little guy really seemed to think going over his buddy was the most expedient path to take. A few seconds later big guy just started walking away:

One of the mama orangutans deep in contemplation (the babies were off in the distance wrestling for supremacy of the high platform):

The reticulated python was unusually active. I felt like I was in that scene from Harry Potter (you know which one):

This guy was very obliging about posing for photos:


The zoo is not only fun, it's also educational. For example--who knew Monkey Chow was an actual thing? Apparently sold at "Just Monkeys." (But shouldn't the gorillas be eating Ape Chow?)

This is truly a gorgeous sight:



The zoo has all sorts of theme areas. This sign is from the African camp recreation. I'm appalled at the anti-goat prejudice:

We actually managed to get a much closer look at the giraffes this year. I couldn't tell if they were anxious about getting fed or because the third guy was being kept in a different enclosure (but within sight):


After making the long trek to the Canada pavillion (the worst part is getting back up the damn hill) this is the sight we were met with (lazy grizzly!):
Although, to be fair, the second grizzly was pacing endlessly in front of the viewing glass. It's sad because that one is always pacing, every year. I don't know why he's so restless (the zoo is very good about keeping the animals stimulated, although maybe not quite enough in this case):

Not great shots but I had to share because this is the cutest animal ever: The Tree Kangaroo!!

Can't remember what kind of bird this is because I was too busy trying (and failing) to get a shot of the turtles swimming below:

Komodo dragons:

Green tree snake. We also got to see her recently hatched babies (tiny and yellow). Very cool.

Part of the lovely coral reef display:



I love these jellyfish (well, anything bio-luminescent, really).

Wallabies!
Some local wildlife that likes to hang out at the zoo (which is set within a massive ravine):

We just happened to notice this red-tailed hawk near the polar bear enclosure:

Snow goose, not quite sporting a winter coat yet:

Arctic fox, going for a drink:


The jaguars were fun this year. This guy just relaxed the whole time but the black one was having a ball chasing a fellow visitor who decided to entertain kitty by running back and forth in front of the enclosure and ducking behind things. It's pretty amusing to see a big cat imitate his domesticated relatives by shaking his butt ever so subtly before pouncing in a playful way. When his original "toy" left, the SO took over. It was just like playing with our cats, only, you know, scarier. But very cool!

When we parked our car at 10:30, this seagull was sitting on the roof of the vehicle next to us. When we returned around 3:30 he'd moved onto our car. He seemed rather put out by the fact that we wanted our car back! I might've been more sympathetic if he hadn't left us a "gift" on our windshield. Jerk.

Overall it was a lovely day at one of my favourite places. Eventually I'm going to have to visit in the spring or summer, so that I can actually see the seasonal animals like the sharks and stingrays (and ride the carousel!) If you're interested in visiting, you can find more info here.

06 November 2010

Day at the Museum II

I love museums, always have. You can have your scorching, overcrowded beaches any day--I'd much rather be wandering through a cool, quiet oasis of awesomeness. I'm fascinated by history and anything old or unusual. So when I was invited to join a few of my family members for a day at the Royal Ontario Museum, I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately it was back when my previous camera was in the process of dying, so I didn't get fantastic photos, but I thought I'd share some of the better ones. Click to enlarge and enjoy!
The ROM had (and hopefully still has) a fantastic new Africa, Asia, and Americas exhibit. There's everything from ceremonial masks to weapons to housewares to a real shrunken head (very hard to photograph, I might add!) The next three photos were taken there (the third is of a terracotta colander).




I'm always drawn to the glassware gallery (I'm a collector as well, although I don't have anything this gorgeous)...


English drawer pull, c.1830-1850:














I dare anyone to say they wouldn't want glasses adorned with gnomes!

Can you imagine your broken Ikea glasses ending up in a museum 300 years from now?

On to the metalwork gallery. The next two photos are from a set of bronze tableware, including tea and coffee serving pieces (it was specifically made for a wealthy family, but I can't remember the year). I love the butterfly details:



Pewter pieces, for the merchant class (the lowest classes used wood for their utensils and serving pieces).



Silverware in miniature!

The Wedgwood Exhibit was still there (it's now over), but since I already visited and posted about it, I'm only sharing this one photo because I think this vase is worth another look:


I have a pretty good story about this ice bucket. Read it here (you'll have to scroll almost to the bottom to get to it).



Yes, that's a toilet (the only one you'll ever see featured on Domicile...probably). They don't still sell these anywhere, do they?


Items made from the first plastics produced. Those odd-shaped items to the left of the accordion are high heels for shoes.

Art Deco coffee set:

This was in a dark space behind glass, so sorry for the poor photo quality, but I love it and had to share:

The chandelier's nifty but check out the ceiling rose:

Going back in time, these next photos are from the Ancient Greece and Mesopotamia gallery:




And home again, look what I found in my garden (and he kindly came close enough to photograph):

Photos by Domicile