February 27, 2011

Last weekend of summer - A day on the boat and thyme, pine nuts and feta muffins


It is the last weekend of summer here in Sydney! Saturday was beautiful so we decided to pack our picnic basket and bags and spend the day on the boat at Sydney's beautiful Pittwater. It was a stunning day and every time we go boating it feels like such a luxury. I love getting away from the city, away from all the traffic noise and masses of people. There is no better way to enjoy this beautiful city than on water and it really is the best way to relax and just get away from it all.

We usually take the boat a couple of hours drive away from the marina, anchor and enjoy lunch at a peaceful bay with no other sounds but the cicadas and the water. There was a gentle breeze and it wasn't too hot so we set up lunch, ate and had a good catch up with my partner's parents. I had prepared us a variation of this couscous salad to go along with savoury muffins of thyme, pine nuts and feta. Lunch on the boat is always the best part of the day!

These muffins are great picnic food. I would usually make this in a loaf form (and you could do that too, with the exactly same measurements), but individual portions worked better for this occasion. They are wholesome with rye flour, just enough salty with feta cheese and the pine nuts along with thyme give them extra boost of flavour.  

Thyme, pine nut and feta muffins
(Makes one loaf or 12 small muffins)

1 cup organic rye flour
3/4 cup organic white, unbleached spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1/4 cup pine nuts
few sprigs of fresh thyme
4 large free-range eggs
1/2 cup low fat milk
100g low fat feta cheese
3 tbsp pine nuts, extra

Preheat oven to 180C and prepare the muffin tins or a medium size loaf tin. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl along with the pine nuts and the thyme leaves. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and the milk. Pour the egg mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix through. Finally crumble in the feta cheese and stir everything to combine. Spoon the batter into the prepared tins, sprinkle each muffin with extra pine nuts and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a tester comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

We were back at the marina late at dusk - a little dazed from all the fresh air, but so happy and relaxed. Looking forward to the next time! Thank you again M & G!


  1. Great muffins with lots of flavor! What a great boat trip. I can't wait for the greener days to arrive.



  2. What a beautiful day to be out on the water - your photos are gorgeous! These muffins look terrific, I love the feta and pine nut combination and that you incorporated rye flour, too.

  3. How stunning, what a beautiful way to spend the day. And the savoury muffins look so delicious, I like the feta in them.

  4. Yikes, it's already the end of summer for you guys. It seems like it just started...I'm bad with time. These don't look bad though, they look super delicious! I might try these, Maria. I've been meaning to make a savory muffin for a while now...!

  5. Woo! I'm sick of summer, bring on autumn!

    This is a recipe that I'm going to try, I haven't actually made a savoury muffin before, and I just LOOOOVE feta cheese. Does it matter if you use Greek or Danish?

  6. Sounds like a lovely weekend! I adore the presentation of your muffins, so pretty.

  7. wow what a saturday! i love leaving the busy noisy city during wkends too!
    i bought a thyme plant for my little garden, so now there's another way to use it! btw, i've not used rye flour before, but does it make the bread tough or hard? i'm still too *scared* to experiment with that hahaha ;)

  8. I love savoury muffins and yours look grand with feta and pine nuts!
    Photos are great too.

  9. Muffins and pictures look awesome!! Feta and pine nuts make a great combo!
    You're so lucky... what a great weekend... I can't wait for the summer days!! It's so cold here :(

  10. Nah, I won't take it, summer's not over until daylight saving ends! What a lovely idea for muffins!

  11. Isn't Sydney great how close we are to the water? Hubby even sometimes goes out on a cold winter's day but I don't enjoy it as much :)

  12. It seems like you enjoyed your last day of summer to it's fullest potential! What gorgeous photos of the water.

    Those savory muffins sound delicious! The perfect accompaniment to your couscous salad and also just for some good midday snacking!

  13. Looks like the perfect way to enjoy the last little bit of summer! Gorgeous muffins too, great minds definitely think alike! :)

  14. Too darn cute. The last weekend of summer for you must mean that spring is soon here for the rest of us! I've been searching for a savory muffin and this looks like a fantastic one!

  15. Gorgeous weather, gorgeous muffins! This reminds me that when I made savoury hazelnut, mushroom and thyme muffins last year, I always meant to re-make them with some cheese. Instead, I'll have to try your version I think! Must find spelt flour...

  16. Thank you all for your comments!

    Vivienne: I've never experienced that with rye flour, you should just give it a go! ;-)

  17. I have never made savory muffins - I am surely missing out on something delicious! Maria, these are wonderful! Love the flavors here - give me anything with feta and I am a happy girl. :)

  18. I'm so jealous! would love to take a boat trip on Pittwater - any tips for this?

  19. Heavenly Ingredients: Hi! Pittwater sure is beautiful. There probably are organised boat trips as well. We're very fortunate to have a boat in the family we can take out :-)



Thank you for your comment!