Thursday, December 23, 2010


I must say this every Christmas but WHERE HAS THE YEAR GONE! Its been a busy one. Moving countries, house, careers, starting Aunty's, renovating & living out of a suitcase. temporarily again Endless list of madness but, hey I create it!

I am flying off to Oz tomorrow for Xmas with the in-laws in sunny (but windy) Geelong & I cant wait to sit on their deck with a big glass of bubbly in hand and watch Oscar play with his cousins and break new toys which is what Xmas is really all about. I had hoped to post a pic of Oscar inside Santa's Grotto on my blog but this is as far as we got as the grotto was pretty creepy & scary this year. Pauline Harper who designed it is legally blind with just 3% of her sight & paints/designs from memory & her dreams. Her interpretation of Santa's elves are more goblin like which I don't think little Oscar is ready for yet (he freaks out at wobbly eyed lions on Teletubbies!). So here we are on the outside of the grotto missing out on the wondrous world of Santaland .


Love Aunty Stef xx

Monday, December 13, 2010

RECIPE - Fish Pie

At last someone is selling fish at the Farmers Market and I bought some smoked filleted kawhai on the weekend. Kawhai is a NZ sea trout and the flesh holds firm when its smoked and is a bit "gamey" I guess if a fish can be gamey. Its a bit cooler today & at last raining after the driest 2 months on record here in Taranaki, so a hearty fish pie was perfect for tonight's dinner.

I amended my normal recipe to make this a little healthier than normal but using soy milk instead of normal milk, rice flour & kumara (sweet potato) instead of starchy spuds.

This was so delicious I ate WAY too much of this tonight and currently sitting on the couch about to pop!


50g butter
2T rice flour
2c soy milk
1c chicken stock
1c smoked fish
1 c prawns or scallops (frozen fine)
1T chopped parsley
1 med diced onion
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper

Melt butter on LOW heat, add onion & cook until soft then remove from heat. Stir in rice flour until thoroughly mixed. Stir in 1 cup of soy and return to LOW heat. When mixed add chick stock, mix, then add 2nd cup of soy and mix thoroughly. Add parsley, bay leaf & seasoning.The sauce shouldn't get gluey but should still be "stiff" (see pic for consistency). Add in prawns and fish and turn off heat once prawns are pink. Remove bay leaf.TOPPING
4 largish kumara
Parmesan shavings
salt n pepper

Boil kumara and mash.

Oil a small but deep dish and pour in sauce. Top with kumara mash and run fork through so you get rows of ridges. Sprinkle on cheese & season and place in centre of 160 degree fan oven. Bake for 20-30 mins and grill top for last 5 mins. Let pie sit for 10 mins before serving. I like this served with a big spoonful of peas. Ugh I am so full but this was so YUM!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My Christmas Tree

The poor old Xmas tree decorations are a bit sparse. A few beads & tin baubles. And an old dolly come angel perched on top.

And this is why!! Oh dear. Oscar wants to drag the beads around playing choo choo trains with them. He's having so much fun with this game but I am waiting for little tiny beads to spray everywhere any minute now. I might need to get some kitchsy tinsel to put up so it doesn't look so sad & bare.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Aunty's New Pinny

Now the weather is warmer I'm not wearing my big jacket at the market each week and have a serious lack of pockets for cash, phone and snacks. What no pockets! Yep. So I whipped up an apron in between baking and amusing my toddler which I have just this minute finished so I can unveil it at tomorrows Farmer's Market.

I wonder if my mother will notice I have made it from a skirt she gave to me some months ago to mend?? Hmmmmm!

Look snappy functional velcro tab too! And contrasts nicely with my stall tablecloth. I think I need to make matching oven mitts now!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Xmas Macadamia Muesli Gifts

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells! I have become very festive since I made these Xmas gifts for the market stall . A nice healthy gift for someones Nana or friends peraps. I thought the cranberries looked really Xmassy mixed in with the macadamias & loved recycling some old Xmas cards that Ive been hanging onto.

Are you tempted to buy a jar??

Thursday, November 25, 2010

RECIPE - Chocolate Tarty Tart Tart !

More wonderful things to do with homegrown strawberries! I have looked at a few recipes for strawberry tarts and my friend on the Happygas blog posted me a really yummy recipe but alas, not enough homegrown strawbs for a whole tart. So I've made a decadent super chocolate tart with a scattering of strawberries on top. Looks and tastes like something from a French patisserie. It tastes really special too and is really good for you *ahem*



150g butter
2c plain flour
3T icing sugar
iced water

Place flour, icing sugar & butter in a food processor and mix until dough is like fine crumbs. Add enough iced water to form a soft dough. Remove from processor and knead lightly, then wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30mins. Roll pastry out between the cling film so it doesn't stick to your bench top. Roll out to a flat circle slightly bigger than your greased tart dish & squish it in so its nice and even in the dish.
Line pastry with baking paper and add some heavy dry beans or barley and bake at 160c for about 20 mins (conventional no fan). Take out the paper and beans and bake for another 10 mins but don't let it brown.

If you cant be bothered with the above use shop bought shortcrust pastry. I won't tell (-;

15g dark chocolate pieces
4 organic eggs
1 T good dark cocoa
1/2c brown sugar
2cup cream
1 shot of a good liqueur like Cointreau, Kahlua, Grand Marnier

In one pot on low heat combine cream, sugar, sieved cocoa, liqueur & chocolate stirring until chocolate has melted. Put aside until just warm. Whisk eggs & combine with choc mix. Pour filling into tart case and bake at 160c for 30mins or until the the tart is just set but slightly wobbly in the centre. Allow to cool before serving & top with sliced strawberries.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Strawberry season at my house

I cant believe I am eating strawberries in November - that I grew!

Couple of close calls - a bird pecked at one below, and Oscar was very curious as they got riper & riper.
But they mostly made it.

I had some on my muesli for breakfast this morning.Taste 100 times better than supermarket/hothouse strawbs.

I'm going to grow them every year!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hollard Gardens Market Day

Sunshine! grass under feet! lots of happy gardening people chatting about gardens!

The Taranaki Farmers Market hit the road out to Hollard Gardens out by the mountain for the opening of the National Rhodedenron Festival.

I loved the Eastern European accordian music playing in the background & Aunty's stall looked splendid with grass underfoot (-:

The scenery was picture perfect. Clear skies, snowcapped mountains, flowers in bloom. Wish the Farmers Market was held there every weekend (-:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Muesli Bars

Its taken many muesli disasters to perfect this sugar-free, low fat muesli bar recipe. And make them nice & chewy too. AND I'm not quite ready to divulge the secret recipe - but you can buy them at my stall at the Taranaki farmers Market each week (-;

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Strawberry shortcake mmm!

I don't have a vegie patch as we dont have that big a section so I have crammed what I can into a small planter. I have oregano, rosemary, Italian parsley, curley parsley, basil & these little babies. I SERIOUSLY did not think my strawberry plants would even flower let alone get to this stage. I am waiting for sticky little hands or beaks to pluck my strawberries away at any moment.

Come on hang in there little berries!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Recipe - Chicken & Silverbeet Risoni Soup

Woke up to a big bunch of silverbeet on my doorstep the other morning (thanks Nelly)& had a rustle round in the cupboards & found some risoni (rice shaped pasta) & came up with this recipe for a nice healthy broth like soup. I luckily had a roast chicken carcass & made the chicken stock base from scratch. Good liquid stock or Massels cubes can substitute. I felt very healthy after eating it!


1.5-2 litres of good chicken stock
2 cups of clean sliced siver beet leaves
Diced red capsicum or carrot or celery
1/2 cup risoni pasta

To make a good chicken stock boil a cooked chicken carcass in 2 litres of water with a whole carrot, whole peeled onion, salt & pepper, 1 bay leaf, sprig of parsley for 1/2 hour. Strain and this is the base of your soup. Add the risoni for 5 minutes then the silverbeet 5 mins later. add lots of salt n pepper. really nice served with Pita bread with some parmesan cheese on top.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Anyone else going TOTALLY MAD FROM THIS ENDLESS SPRING RAIN????(view from my kitchen windows for last 3 days - NONE!)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Recipe - Orange & Poppy Seed Muffins

Hello long time no speak! Ive been living out of a suitcase for 5 weeks while the renovations have been going on at my house so its been hard to get online and post interesting things as my mind has been all bathroom fittings and kitchen dimensions! So to make up for it I am sharing one of my winning recipes with you. These muffins have gone down a treat at the Taranaki Farmers Markets and with my in-laws that have been visiting.

2 1/1 cups white flour pref organic or unbleached
3 level tsp baking powder
3/4 cup caster sugar
125g unsalted melted butter
2 free range eggs
1 tbsp poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp grated spray free orange rind
1/2 cup spray free orange juice

Soak poppy seeds in the milk for 10 mins so they are not too crunchy and stick in your teeth!
Put flour, bp and sugar in a bowl and make a well. Add in melted butter, beaten eggs, orange rind & juice and add milk & poppy seeds and mix really well with a metal spoon. Should blend to a very smooth batter.

Grease a 6 cup Texan muffin pan and bake conventionally (no fan!) for 25 mins at 180c.

Great as a dessert with a bit of cream!

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Its my birthday! Well it was on the 19th. I'm on the wrong side of 35 now.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Roast Chicken with Lemon & Mushroom Stuffing

I've been cooped up inside with a sick baby for a few days now and the rain is endless. Perfect time for cooking comfort food and one of my favourite dinners is Roast Chicken with all the trimmings. Tonight's dinner had roast spuds with rosemary, kumara (NZ sweet potato), butternut pumpkin & roast yams (the funny looking pink vege on the right side of the photo) as well as steamed cauliflower. And all smothered with gravy.

And not forgetting my own Lemon, Mushroom & Thyme stuffing. Yummo! Here's the stuffing recipe. Ugh - my tummy is very full now!

1/2 onion finely diced
2 mushrooms diced finely
2-3 slices of bread
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp thyme
1 egg beaten
juice 1/2 lemon

Pour egg and lemon juice over ingredients and mix/squeeze together into a ball. Place inside clean & dry chicken cavity. Pull skin back over stuffing.

Rain rain rain

I still can't get used to Taranaki rain.
Once it starts it doesnt stop.............................

Friday, July 30, 2010

Recipe for Lumberjack Cake

I've just made this cake which was a total hit at Nic's work smoko today. Not only did it look a million dollars it tasted damn good and was nice and moist in the centre. Phew! Thats always a worry first time you try a new recipe. Word is Nic was OK to leave his company but I had to remain on smoko cake baking duty! I guess this is a sure fire recipe.

Sometimes I follow recipes and wonder why the recipe says "do this, do that" but you never know why so have added in some tips. Enjoy.

Lumberjack Cake

2 apples, peeled, cored & diced

1 cup dates chopped

½ cup dried apricots chopped

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup boiling water

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

75g unsalted butter

150ml vege oil (canola, sunflower)

1 egg

1 ½ cups wholemeal flour

1 heaped tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essence


60g unsalted butter

½ cup lightly packed brown sugar

½ cup milk

½ cup shredded coconut

Line a 20cm round spring tin with baking paper or spray heavily with oil. Turn oven to 180C no fan.

Combine apples, dates, apricots in a glass or metal bowl (retains heat) and add baking soda and cover with the freshly boiled water. Leave for an hour to cool.

Beat butter, sugar & essence in bowl for 5 mins until fluffy. Add egg and beat until combined but don’t overdo.

Add flour & baking powder (don’t ever bother sifting wholemeal as its chunky anyway and adds volume) & mix with a folding action.

Pour mixture into tin. Bake in oven at 180C for 40 mins. Check at 30mins if your oven runs a bit hot.

While cake is baking, make topping by combining butter, sugar, milk & coconut in a saucepan. Stir over a low heat until sugar is dissolved.

Remove cake from oven & spread with topping. Also sprinkle 3 tbsp of Auntys Muesli on top as done in the pictured cake. Bake for a further15-20mins or until topping is brown.

Remove cake from tin after cooling for 15 mins.

Serve in generous portions.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


"Yes Oscar there are some ducks"
" Well they are in the cage because they are going on a holiday"
"Where? Well there is this nice local family that own the Happy Sun restaurant that will come and collect them soon"
" Yes Oscar they have duck eggs on the menu".

Monday, July 19, 2010

Baking for Generations

Sometimes while I am baking for my Sunday market my mind drifts away to when I was little and my mother baked a mountain of afghans, caramel squares and yo-yos for our school packed lunches for the week. And I would eye up the cake mix lurking in the shadows and pouncing on egg beaters and wooden spoons dripping with chocolate biscuit mix or blobs of jam off the bench that didn't quite make it into the yo-yo.

And I think it was all the relished kitchen time with my Mum that has made me want to bake traditional homemade treats for the market.
Here we have a young baker/taster in the making.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bircher Muesli

A lot of people ask me what the difference is between Bircher Muesli and regular muesli. So here is my understanding of it all!

Muesli was introduced around 1900 by the Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his Swiss hospital, where a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables was an essential part of therapy. The original Bircher muesli recipe was soaked in cream overnight but this recipe is a more healthy version.

Aunty's Bircher Muesli

Serves 4

2 cups Aunty's Deluxe Macadamia Muesli or Classic Fruit
2 cups natural yoghurt
Juice of half a small lemon
1/2 cup grated apple
1/2 cup coarse chopped strawberries or berries in season

- Mix ingredients, divide into 4 bowls and refrigerate overnight.

Garnish the four bowls with;
- 1 peeled sliced organic kiwifruit
- 1 tablespoon Manuka honey

Serve immediately.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Its Bastille Day!

Bonjour mes amies!I thought Id send out a Happy Bastille Day to all the guys & gals at Petit Paris who have their delicious and colourful stall next to mine each Sunday.

Mmmm patissierie - JM is now making them and the lovely Alice now mans (or womans) the stall. Check out JMs handiwork.

There goes the diet - again!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Winter in Taranaki

Its currently 8degrees but feels like 5 degrees. But the sun is out and the snow on the mountain is stunning.

Will be a fresh start for tomorrows Farmers Market. Brrrr!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Aunty's Berry Nice Crumble

Here's a delicious recipe using Aunty's Deluxe Macadamia Muesli which has juicy cranberries and sultanas in it as well as local spray free macadamias.

Aunty's Berry Nice Crumble

Serves 4-6


4 green apples - peeled, cored and chopped
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup Aunty's Natural Deluxe Macadamia Muesli
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup plain flour or gluten free flour
75g/2.6oz butter - softened and chopped
200g/7oz mixed fresh or frozen berries (blackberries and raspberries are best)
Extra 1 tablespoon caster sugar


- Preheat oven to 200°C/392°F
- Place apples, caster sugar, lemon juice and water in a medium saucepan.
- Stir to combine. Cover and cook over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until apples are soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, combine Macadamia Muesli, brown sugar and plain flour in a medium bowl. Add butter, using your fingertips rub butter into dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.
- Combine cooled apple mixture, berries and extra caster sugar together, then spoon into a medium baking dish (approx. 30cm x 15cm x 5cm deep).
- Sprinkle crumble mix evenly over fruit. Place baking dish onto a baking tray and bake for 30 minutes or until crumble is golden.
- Serve warm or chilled with yoghurt or ice cream. YUMMO!

Monday, July 5, 2010


So I have BORROWED my 18mth old sons blackboard to display what home baked goodies I have on offer at my market stall. Do you like it? My Sticky Date & Apricot muffins continue to sell out each week. They are HUGE in size and I top them with yummy muesli. This week I ditched the Banana Loaves (boring!) and introduced the world to the tastes of Blackberry & Cinnamon Apple mini loaves. I think the berries on top were pretty tempting.

I did save one for Busker Pete who played some mean accordion toons raising money for the Neurological & Stroke Foundation. Good one Pete!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Busy Buzzing Market

What a difference the weather makes - Sundays Farmers Market saw glimpses of sunshine and people came flocking. I had hoped the piano accordion player would make it down but there was no sign of him. Maybe next week. He'll get the market pumping with some foot tapping toons!

This week I indulged in some delicious pastries from Petit Paris bakery stall. Its positioned right next to me and I could not resist the Croissant Amandine - almond filled croissants. JM's BONJOURS are terribly French & authentic too. I have noticed the little old ladies have taken quite a shine to him. Oh well if his visa runs out soon maybe we could arrange something for him!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Recipe - Mini Carrot & Orange Loaves

Lets not talk about yesterdays market. I think the population of Taranaki was at the Mystery Creek Field Days as it was eerily quiet! Despite the lack of traffic through town, my regulars made the trek through the rain for muesli, muffins and mini loaves. My Sticky Date & Apricot with Muesli Icing are a hit as well as my low fat Wholemeal Mini Carrot & Orange Loaves. So here is the recipe for them. Well not the muffins. I might share that with you another day.

Mini Carrot & Orange Loaves

Mini loaf tray for 8 loaves
2 cups wholemeal flour
2t baking powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
25g butter
2 eggs
1 cup grated carrot
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
2 T milk
1/4 cup orange juice
100ml sunflower oil

Cream butter & sugar until light & fluffy. Add in eggs one at a time beating well. Add orange juice, oil, butter and mix well. Add carrot & mix before adding in all dry ingredients. Finally mix in the milk. The mixture should be quite sticky & gluggy. Spray loaf pan with oil and half fill each loaf hole with the mixture. Bake for 20mins in a moderate oven 160C (no fan). The loaves should spring back when lightly touched. Leave in pan for 10 mins before turning out and glaze with lemon icing. Devour!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Nature's Bounty

It was another wet day at the Taranaki Farmers market last Sunday but the sunshine broke through for the last hour. People still come rain or shine so it doesn't really matter what the weather is doing but I always feel bad for the customers battling the elements as I am snug under the shelter of my stall with my gumboots on. There are some great stalls at the market and this week I remember to buy some produce for myself! I just HAD to buy Mr Mammoth Carrot.
I'll be using him in my Mini Carrot Loaves for next weeks market.

Also I couldn't resist Sue's lovely stall with avocados,tamarillos & fejoas! We are blessed with lots of interesting winter goodies here in Taranaki.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Aunty's Baked Goodies

So I have started out with 3 muesli varieties - Classic Fruit (Lightly toasted oats with honey, dates, apricots, sultanas, almonds), Toasted Tropical (golden roasted oats with honey, nana chips, papaya, sultanas, dates, coconut) and Deluxe Macadamia (lightly toasted oats, honey, macadamias, cranberries, sultanas, dates). They are all delicious but it seems the big hit is the Deluxe Macadamia. I sold out of my 1kg bags on Sunday!

The baked goods went down a treat too and I ran out of the Muesli topped Sticky Date & Apricot muffins in half an hour. The mini Carrot Loaves were a hit too.

But no great love for the Orange & Poppy Seed muffins. Poor poppy muffins. So alone.

Aunty's AuGo-Go!!

At long last, after 3 months of research, baking, packing and sweating in the Galleon kitchen, Aunty's Natural Muesli launched at the Taranaki Farmers Market on Sunday June 6th.

Thank you to all who braved the torrential rain to be my first customers.