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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm back and it's Marathon Madness!

It's been a while and for that I apologise........but I have many awesome recipes to share with you as well as my trip back home to my motherland...the UK. I'm also training for my first have been writing a lot of recipes and testing too....but trying not to eat the goodies myself!

Where to start...well today I've whipped up a batch of gluten free muffins that I found in an old issue of Australian BBC Good Food Magazine. 

They are simply divine and so simple to make. I am heralding Healtherie's Gluten Free Baking mix as the best gluten free baking mix I have ever used...I've tried quite a few from the US Bob's Red Mill to the British organic Dove's farm. But hands down, this is impressive - just replace it as you would normal flour within a recipe and just make sure your baking powder is gluten free! Easy as that! Scroll down for the won't be disappointed.

I also use it to make crumble toppings with some Gluten Free Oats I found in Waitrose in the UK - I wish that store was here - how I miss it so!

A friend asked me to make some 1st birthday cupcakes for a special little lady.... here they are.

I'll be back next week with a great new product that's just been launched in NZ supermarkets and I'll also tell you how to use it!

Have a great week! TPB X


Makes 12-16

Prep 20 minutes
Cook 30 minutes



2 cups gluten free flour mix (Healtheries)

2/3 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
70g almond meal
1 cup trim milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 small mangoes, 1 chopped, 1 sliced (I used 1 can mango slices in syrup and drained them)

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius fan bake. Line a 12 hole muffin pan with cases.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and stir well. Combine wet ingredients in a jug and whisk together lightly. Pour into bowl and stir until combined. Be careful not to over mix. Add the chopped mango and mix again.
  3. Pour into cases and layer with sliced mango on top. Place into oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. If desired, sprinkle with a little icing sugar when cooled.



Makes 32 bars
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20-25 minutes


Spray oil
3 cups rolled oats
½ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup prunes, chopped
¼ cup linseeds
110g reduced fat spread
1 x 400g tin lite sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon light peanut butter
2 tablespoons runny honey

  1. Heat oven to 170°c. Grease and line a 30cm x 21cm bake tray. In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients and mix well to combine.
  2. Place a small heavy based pan on a low heat, melt the spread, condensed milk, peanut butter and honey. Carefully stir until melted, simmer for 1-2 minutes until it begins to thicken.
  3. Pour the melted mixture into the bowl on top of the oat mixture. Stir well until combined.
  4. Press into prepared tray and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden on top. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Once cooled, remove from tray and using a sharp knife, cut into squares.

  • Banana & choc chip – add ½ cup extra oats to dry mixture. Once all is combined, fold through ½ cup mashed banana & 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips.
  • Fruit & nut – Replace sunflower and sesame seeds with chopped nuts and replace the prunes with sultanas.

What we changed from original full fat recipe from
  •      Swapped butter for reduced fat spread
  •      Reduced honey
  •      Reduced peanut butter
  •      Removed sugar
  •      Swapped toasted muesli for rolled oats

Friday, March 23, 2012

A moment on the lips....

Hello, I’m back! Sorry for the lack of blog post for the past 3 months, summer has been less than average in NZ, but there are brighter days ahead!

Over the past few months I’ve been experimenting with a lot of new ingredients, products etc and I’ll show you these via blog, recipes and images over the next few blog extracts. I've been traveling up to the far north of NZ, the first time ever north of Keri Keri - wow, amazing. The places we visited took my breath away. See below and you'll know what I'm talking about! 90 Mile Beach is stunning and our puppy, Cobain loved her first time on the beach. We also tasted some fantastic smoked fish - an every day staple for those who live by the sea, but a rare luxury for us city kids!

The beautiful green feijoa season is nearly upon us…..again!! Having just purchased an ice cream maker (thanks Mr Fly Buys!) I have yet to test it, but on the list is a definite experimentation with feijoas and creamy vanilla goodness! Keep your eyes peeled!

I’ve been doing quite a lot of writing for Healthy Food Guide NZ and recently found out that some of my recipes have been published within the UK HFG! Very exciting, one was even on the front cover! So over the next couple of blog entries I’ll be sharing these with you. Healthy Food Guide has also just launched a brand new website - it looks fabulous and is so easy to use.

It's also been wedding season - there will be an up and coming blog on this soon!

Anyway enough babbling and onto the recipes...

Until next time – enjoy!



Apple & Boysenberry gluten free bake 

Time to make: 35-40 minutes
Makes: 15 slices

125g reduced fat spread
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup Healtheries Gluten Free Baking mix
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 & 1/2 cups cooked apple, cubed
1 cup boysenberries, frozen or canned (if canned, drain beforehand)

1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC. Lightly spray a bake tray with spray oil.
2. In a large bowl, beat spread and sugar until light and creamy. Lightly beat in  egg. Mix in remaining ingredients (except boysenberries) until well combined.
3. Fold through boysenberries and pour into pre-greased bake tray.
4. Place into oven for 40-45 minutes until well-risen and golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool, then slice.
Step 5 Dust with icing sugar before serving, if desired.
Step 6 Will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Freezes well.

Coconut Chocolate Crunch

This has become my new favourite slice…..I could polish it off in one. That’s not good for my hips, but live a little!

Time to make: 20 minutes (plus 1-2 hours chilling)
Makes: 32 pieces

1 cup dark chocolate melts
400g tin lite sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup sultanas
1/4 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
300g malt biscuits, crushed
2 tablespoons desiccated coconut, for topping 

1. Lightly spray a bake tray with spray oil. Place the chocolate and condensed milk in a bowl over a small pan of hot water. Heat through and stir continuously until melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Pour melted chocolate mix on to dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
3. Pour into bake tray and sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours until set.
4. When ready to slice, use a sharp knife dipped in hot water. Keeps for up to a week refrigerated in an airtight container.

TIP – make it gluten free by using gluten free biscuits.

Banana, coconut & blueberry gluten free muffins

Makes: 12 muffins
Time to make: 35 minutes (including 10 minutes prep)

100g reduced fat spread
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup Healtheries gluten free baking mix
1 cup banana, mashed
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup frozen blueberries

1. Heat oven to 180oC. Line a 12 hole baking tray with paper muffin cases.
2.  In a large bowl or mixer combine reduced fat spread and sugar, beating well until fluffy and light in colour.
3. Add remaining ingredients, beating well with each addition.
4. Carefully fold through the blueberries and divide amongst the muffin cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and well risen.
5. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days or place into a resealable bag and freeze for up to a month.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Festive Rocky Road

Well, only 2 sleeps to go until the fat, jolly man with a white beard, wearing a red suit appears! This rocky road is perfect for Christmas and also as a gift during the festive season. Just place some coloured tissue paper into a box, pop on the lid, wrap with gorgeous ribbon and a tag.

Wherever you are in the world, whether your Christmas is chilly and snowy or sunny and balmy – have a great one.

Merry Christmas and see you in 2012!



200g crushed biscuits (digestives are good)
50g dried cranberries
Zest 1 orange
200g mini marshmallows
300g dark chocolate
150g butter
Sprinkles/edible glitter to decorate

    1.  Grease and line a tray bake tin with non stick baking paper.
2.  Place biscuits into a re-sealable bag and bash with a rolling pin. You’re aiming  for chunks of biscuit as  well as a bit of dust. Place crushed biscuits into a large bowl with the cranberries, zest and marshmallows.
3.     In a heatproof bowl, melt chocolate and butter until smooth and glossy.
4.     Pour chocolate mixture into biscuit bowl and mix well, do this quickly before chocolate begins to set.
5.     Pour into tray and flatten down using the back of a spoon or the palm of your hand. Sprinkle with sprinkles or edible glitter and place into fridge for a couple of hours.
6.     Remove from fridge and leave to soften for 5-10 minutes, then using sharp knife dipped in hot water, cut into chunks and devour!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Christmas is on its way!

This year has flown by and I can’t believe it’s nearly the festive season! With that in mind – here are a couple of recipes that you can prep ahead and freeze. The fruit mince is beautifully studded with dried cranberries, pecans and citrus zests, giving that extra twist this Christmas. Fruit mince also makes a lovely edible gift.

I'll be back with more festive treats throughout the next few weeks.

Enjoy the sun!


Zesty fruit mince

Makes: 1kg
Time to make: 5 minutes plus 24-48 hours soaking time

1 orange, zest only
1 lemon, zest only
1 apple, grated with skin on
1 cup raisins
1 cup sultanas
½ cup currants
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried prunes, roughly chopped
1 cup glace cherries
70g Pecan halves, crushed
2 teaspoons ground Allspice
1/3 cup brandy

1. Combine the above ingredients into a large bowl. Cover with cling film and leave for 24-48 hours to soak, stirring every 6 hours or so. 
2. Fill jars with mince meat and refrigerate until required or place into the freezer and use within 6 months.

How to sterilize a jar – Heat oven to 130oc, wash and dry jars and lids, place onto baking tray and leave for 5-7 minutes until piping hot. Carefully remove from oven and leave to cool. Fill with mincemeat and seal tightly.

Sweet mince tarts

Makes: 24 small tarts or 12 large tarts
Time to make: 45 minutes plus 30 minutes resting time

200g plain flour/Gluten free baking mix
1 tablespoon icing sugar
100g butter, cubed and cold
8 tablespoons ice cold water
Spray oil or butter for greasing
1 egg, lightly beaten OR milk to glaze
Portion of fruit mince
Extra icing sugar to decorate

1. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour and icing sugar, work in the butter with your fingertips. Do this until the mixture resembles rough bread crumbs. Add the water bit by bit and use a fork to bring the dough together. If using a food processor, whizz until just combined and add just enough water to form dough.

2. Shape the dough into a circle then flatten and wrap in cling film. Rest in the fridge for 30 minutes.

3. Heat oven to 180°c and grease a muffin tray with spray oil or butter. 

4. Remove dough from fridge and discard cling film. Cover bench surface and rolling pin with a little flour, roll the dough out until it is 3-4mm thick. Cut shapes using cookie/scone cutters and press into base of muffin trays. Fill with fruit mince and top with another star shaped piece of pastry. Brush tops of pies lightly with beaten egg or milk. 

5. Place into the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and pastry has risen.

6. Leave to cool and dust with icing sugar when ready to serve. Store in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

• Mince tarts freeze well – just wrap in baking paper and place into a resealable bag. Remove from freezer to defrost a few hours before needed.
• Serve warmed with cream, yoghurt and even a dollop of brandy butter! 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Citrus Summer

Goodbye winter, hello days of endless sun – well we can’t get too carried away yet, but summer is definitely on its way. With that in mind I’ve created two recipes using oranges that are perfectly juicy and in season right now – they really are delicious. Give them a go and as always, let me know your thoughts.

You're going to see a change in my recipes soon - I've recently had to adapt to a Gluten free diet, so I'll be providing options for Gluten Free baking/alternatives etc over the coming months. It's not all doom and gloom - Gluten Free people can eat tasty, healthy food too! :)

Next month I’ll be getting all Festive, so until then…enjoy the sun!


Soy & Orange Beef Salad

Serves: 4
Time to make: 20 minutes
Plus marinating time: 20-30 minutes

Beef & Marinade
400g Tail end beef fillet
1 orange, zested
½ cup soy sauce, (use Gluten free if required)

4 cups mesclun mix
4 tomatoes, seeds removed, cut into small pieces
½ cucumber, peeled into strips
1 orange, flesh cut into segments
½ 410g can baby beets, drained
3 tablespoons good olive oil (I used Village Press)

1. Trim beef of excess fat and sinew, there shouldn’t be much. Cut beef in half and in a small bowl combine with orange zest and soy sauce. Set aside to marinate for 20-30 minutes. The flavour will intensify the longer it’s left to marinate.
2. Prep the salad ingredients by taking a vegetable peeler and peeling the cucumber as you would do a carrot, creating long strips.
3. Heat a non stick fry pan with a small amount of oil. When hot add the beef fillet and a quarter of the marinade. Using tongs, sear the beef on all sides and leave to cook through to your desired liking (see tips below). Remove from pan and set aside to rest.
4. In a large bowl combine the olive oil and mesclun mix, tossing well so that the salad is evenly coated. Divide between 4 plates and top with the baby beets, cucumber strips, orange segments and the tomato pieces. Thinly slice the beef and place onto the salad. Serve immediately.

Rough guide to cooking the perfect steak.....
Rare: 1-2 minutes per side - rest for 6-8 minutes
Medium rare: 2-2.5 minutes per side - rest for 5 minutes
Medium: 3 minutes per side - rest for 4 minutes
Well done: 4.5 minutes per side - rest for 1 minute

Gluten Free Blueberry, Banana & Orange Muffins

Makes: 12 muffins
Time to make:  25-30 minutes

125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup Healtheries gluten free baking mix
1 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
½ cup ground almonds
1 large orange, zest & juice
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup mashed banana

1. Set the oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole baking tin with muffin cases.
2. In a large bowl or mixer combine the butter and sugar until light and creamy, then slowly add the eggs and vanilla essence, stirring well after each addition.
3. Fold in the flour, baking powder and almonds being careful not to over mix. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.
4. Divide evenly between the 12 muffin cases. Each one will need to be three quarters full. Place into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until starting to brown and springy to the touch.
5. These muffins will sink a little whilst cooling. Dust with icing sugar if desired.

Once cooled, these muffins freeze well & will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.