Sunday, April 25, 2010

Autumn skies

I've been snapping away photos of Autumn colours as I've seen them the last couple of weeks. Capturing the leaves on the trees changing colour. I love autmnal colours. I'm sure it comes with being an Autumn baby. I hope to share some of the pictures once I've got a few more.
Tonight though it was the sky that caught my eye. What beautiful colours and looking very much like autumnal colours. Enjoy :-)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Coromandel (our honeymoon)

We had always planned to have a honeymoon once all our guests went home. It seemed silly to ride off into the sunset while they were all still here so we spent as much time with them as we could while they were here and planned for a honeymoon a little further down the track.
There were many ideas flung around for where we could go for our honeymoon but in the end we decided to stay here in New Zealand and have a new adventure in a part we'd never been to before.

So we packed up our car and headed to the Coromandel Peninsula. It's a long drive so we stopped overnight in Taupo on the way. We went the week leading up to Easter which turned out to be a genius idea because the roads weren't yet full of Easter holiday traffic.

We stayed 3 nights at the Crows Nests Apartments in Whitianga. It was beautiful. The start of Autumn so not particularly warm and in fact it rained a bit - but it was still lovely. We strolled around the town, took the wee ferry to the 'other side' and explored over there and drove a bit further afield to see what was nearby.
We particularly enjoyed Hot Water Beach It was a little like Disneyland in that it was full of tourists. There's hot water springs under the beach so at low tide the place is swarming with people with spades of all shapes and sizes, digging holes, looking for the hot water. On this particular day it was raining quite heavily so everyone had waterproofs and jumpers on over their swimmies. As soon as warm water was struck - off came all the outerwear and everyone swarmed into the hot water pool. Very strange but lots of fun!
We also attempted the walk to Cathedral Cove but some parts of the path were slippy and steep and given I was 21 weeks pregnant at the time we decided not to take any chances once I'd lost my footing once!

All in all, a lovely, relaxing time away. Unfortunately it seems a long time ago now (isn't it always the way just a couple of weeks after you return from holiday!) but will be a lovely time to remember in years to come.

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Raspberry and White Chocolate Muffins

One of my favourite muffin flavours is raspberry and white chocolate muffins but I've only ever bought them from cafes. After eating a particularly nice one whilst on holiday (more on that later!) I declared to Graeme that I would attempt baking my own version. Graeme found me a recipe online which I adapted slightly out of sheer laziness and for quicker mixing times!

Here goes....

  • 2 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 100g butter
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg (lightly beaten)
  • 1 cup raspberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate bits
  • Icing sugar (for dusting)


  1. Preheat oven to 190degrees (I have a fan oven so set it at approx. 170degrees)
  2. Lightly grease muffin tins (I use silicon trays so spray them lightly with spray oil)
  3. Add the flour and sugar to the bowl and mix
  4. Melt the butter in the micowave (for approx. 40 seconds if the butter is chopped) and pour into the dry mix
  5. Add the milk, the egg, raspberries (straight out the freezer) and white chocolate bits
  6. Give it all a stir until mixture is just moistened (don't mix until completely smooth)
  7. Spoon into muffin cups
  8. Bake for 20 mins (I checked them after 15 and they definitely needed the extra 5)
  9. Stand for 5 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack to cool
  10. Dust with icing sugar
  11. Eat and enjoy :-)

The original recipe suggested rubbing in the butter to the flour but that seemed like too much effort to me and they came out fine with melted butter instead.

They are truly delicious and were particularly tasty warm.

This recipe makes 12 (large-ish) muffins.