[A Kiwi adventure – Mt Cook and delicious blueberry muffins]

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There are many advantages about studying in New Zealand: you’ve got less classes, you improve your English skills, and you get to meet sweet people… But the main advantage of studying in New Zealand is actually to be in New Zealand; especially when you have a two-week Easter break.During that break I spent a couple of days in Aoraki – the small village just a few miles down from the Mt Cook. Au pied des montagnes.

It was simply beautiful – a great reward after the 5 and a half hour drive needed to go from Christchurch to Aoraki (when there are only 378km)!
On the way there we stopped at lake Tekapo – gorgeous; it reminded me of the lake in the last Harry Potter movie.
There we had some lovely blueberry muffins I had made the morning before we left – I couldn’t image a best place to have lunch, really!

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As soon as we arrived to Aoraki – and despite winds so strong you could barely stand up without shivering – we went for a short hike that took just to a beautiful spot from which we could see both Mt Cook and the stunning Hooker Valley.

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Sadly the next day we were stuck in our hotel because of a storm.

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But the next day, the weather was beautiful so we went for a 4 hour hike. It was pretty steep but the view was really worth it.

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On the way to the top we (well I) stopped on a rock to have a look at the breathtaking landscape and take some macro pictures.

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Blueberry muffins
This recipe gives delicious muffins with a nice, sophisticated crumb and it only takes a minute to make!
You can replace the blueberries with raspberries or a mixture of both blueberries and raspberries.

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When I go for the raspberry option I usually add a crumbly topping made of rolled oats and sugar. It is a great twist on the original recipe.

Blueberry muffins

makes 12

230g flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
230g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence
100g butter, melted and cooled
3 eggs
200ml buttermilk

250g blueberries, washed and patted dry

Preaheat the oven to 180°C and line a 12-muffin tin with paper cups.
In a bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar.
In another bowl mix the vanilla essence, butter, eggs and buttermilk and beat until smooth.
Pour the liquid micture over the dry ingredients and combine well.
Fold in the blueberries and divide the batter between the 12 muffin paper cases.
Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Allow to cool 10 minutes in the tin and unmould.