Thursday, 31 January 2008

The Recipe for Success and Carrot Muffins

Here are the ingredients for some carrot muffins I recently made:

Ingredients (Makes 12)
2 cups of grated carrot
1/2 cup of raisins
2/3 cup of chopped walnuts
3/4 cup of soft brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup of rice bran oil (or other vegetable oil)
2 cups of self-raising flour
2 teaspoons of mixed spice
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

When I peeped into the oven mid-way during the process the carrot muffins seemed a little flat but I thought no more of it. When the muffins were cooked I took them out of the oven and placed them on a wire rack to cool further - well most of them anyway. After all there's nothing better than the taste of warm muffins.

I bit into one but was disappointed. I had used nothing but the best ingredients - sweet, juicy carrots; plump succulent raisins; crunchy walnuts, free range, organic eggs, organic flour, aromatic spices. The muffins should have been moist and light in texture. Instead they were somewhat - I'm almost ashamed to confess this for I have a reputation for making great muffins - hard.

I went over the recipe in my mind again and then it dawned on me that I had forgotten one key ingredient. I had forgotten the bicarbonate of soda and so my muffins had failed to rise properly.

This brings me to the recipe for success. Many people today are missing that one key element that would transform their results and launch them into the stratosphere of success. Sometimes that missing ingredient is clear for all to see but sometimes it can be less apparent.

Also, it is often difficult for the individual to see where they may be going wrong as someone once said:

"You can't see the picture if you are in the picture."

This is how a coach and or mentor can be of enormous benefit as they can give you an objective view of what's happening in your life and the tactics and or strategies that you are currently using to achieve your goals.

However, there is another aspect to the recipe for success. It is the execution of your action steps in a logical fashion. Even if I used all the right ingredients, if I combined them in a haphazard fashion I still wouldn't get the best results. Similarly, if you work in a haphazard manner, you jeopardise your chances of achieving your goals.

So I guess you're wondering how to combine the ingredients for carrot muffin recipe I've given.

1. Sieve flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, ginger and bicarbonate of soda together in a large bowl. Prepare all the remaining ingredients.

2. Preheat oven to a moderate 180 degrees Centigrade. Place 12 muffin cases in muffin/deep bun tin.

3. Place carrots, raisins, walnuts and sugar into a large bowl. Add combined eggs and oil.

(I used rice bran oil because it has a high smoke point making it ideal for non-stick baking, mild flavour, it is rich in vitamin E and it contains a plant sterol oryzanol which has been shown to help the body reduce cholesterol absorption. However, you could also use grapeseed oil or some other vegetable oil that is suitable for baking.)

4. Add sifted flour, spices and bicarbonate of soda. Combine with a wooden spoon to form a lumpy batter.

5. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases and bake for 20-30 minutes until well-risen and golden.

6. Remove muffins from tin and cool on wire rack.

Recipe for success. Mmm!

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