Stuffed Pumpkin

Well Christmas is done and dusted… I’m living in a little bubble over here. Wishing it was Christmas everyday- reliving every moment in my mind. But alas, only 362 more day to go 😢 😆

So it got me thinking, what better way to relive Christmas than to share one of my classic side dishes. This one is almost more of a stand out than my Turkey.

Ingredients:

1 whole Jap Pumpkin

6 slices of stale white bread (blended into breadcrumbs)

1 leek

3 cloves of garlic finely diced

4 slices of fresh organic ham cubed

1/4 roughly chopped Roasted Almonds

1/4 cup dried Cranberries

Small carton of Full Cream

150g grated Gyerue Cheese

2 tbsp of Chives chopped finely

3 sprigs of fresh Thyme

2 drops of Rosemary Oil

Method:

Cut a round top off your pumpkin and keep it for later.

Scoop out the seeds leaving a neat deep hollow to place the delicious stuffing.

On a medium heat add butter and oil to the pan.

Place the thinly sliced leek to the pan and sauté until soft.

Add garlic and cook for a further minute.

Add ham, fresh herbs, nuts and cranberries, cook for a further 2 minutes.

Turn off the heat. Add the breadcrumbs, Rosemary Oil and grated cheese. Stir to combine.

Stuff the pumpkin, leaving room for the lid to slide back. Do not jam the stuffing in. You’ll need room for the cream to pour through.

Pour cream over. Use a fork to help distribute it to the bottom and evenly.

Place lid on top.

Oil 2 large sheets of foil.

Wrap the pumpkin in them and place on a tray.

Bake for 2-3 hours (depends on the size of the pumpkin).

Just keep checking.

Serve immediately.

Jennifer X

* note: any left over stuffing just place into a casserole and bake seperate. It will no doubt be gobbled up and serves as a back up!

My Christmas Eve lunch. We cooked the Turducken (Turkey stuffed with Chicken, stuffed with Duck) on the spit. It was moist and sensational! We have a glazed organic ham. The sides were my lovely stuffed pumpkin. Sweet potato casserole, carrot and corn bake, duck fat potatoes and sautéed Brussel Sprouts and peas. This was cooked to feed just our family of 7. It has given us leftovers for days.
I simply reheated the leftovers to serve on Christmas Day to accompany my Seafood.

Egg Nog Cocktail

Have you ever gone to a Christmas Cocktail party? Or maybe you just want something that will start off the celebrations with a BANG!

What I love about this cocktail is that I make it for a dessert. Which means no cooking for me (besides toasting a marshmallow 😉). It’s creamy and has those Christmasy elements. Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Butterscotch! It’s really delicious.

Ingredients:

1 drop of Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil

1 shot of Baileys

1 shot of Butterscotch Schnapps

Egg Nog

1 Toasted Marshmallow for Garnish

Grated Nutmeg

Method:

Place the oil in the bottom of your cocktail glass

Add your shots

Top with Eggnog

Place Marshmallow on top carefully. Then garnish with the Nutmeg.

Watch your guests be totally wowed!

Jennifer X

Mama C’s Spaghetti Bolognese

It’s about time I posted this goodie! There’s isn’t a kid I know that doesn’t like Spaghetti…. however once you try mine I can guarantee you would of spoilt them and they will never like anyone else’s.

Keeping things as authentic as I can, this recipe tasted just like the Bolognese I ate throughout Italy.

My secret is in my own sauce. Don’t go buying jars of it if you can. I make mine in bulk and freeze it up for whenever I need.

Ingredients:

* 1 brown Onion

* 2 Tbsp Olive Oil

* 3 Garlic Cloves finely diced

* 1 cup of my sauce or 2 Tbsp of Tomato Paste

* 3 drops Rosemary Essential Oil

* 1 Carrot Grated

* 500g good organic Beef Mince

* 1 whole pack of Italian Spaghetti Pasta (or housemade)

* Good Pinch of Paprika

* Salt and Pepper to taste

* Parmesan Block to grate

* Fresh Parsley

Method:

Cook pasta to your liking.

Fry onion in Olive Oil for 3 minutes until soft.

Add garlic and continue on a medium heat for 2 minutes.

Add carrot for another minute.

Now add your mince, allow to brown. add Rosemary Oil, Paprika, Salt and Pepper.

Once the meat is browned add in one cup of my tomato sauce or if you don’t have any 2 Tbsp of tomato paste.

Allow to simmer to reduce the sauce down. Once it’s reduce ladle about 1- 1 1/2 cups of the pasta water into the sauce.

Continue to simmer for 20 minutes up to 1 hour with the lid on.

Toss some of the sauce through the pasta. Plate up in a huge bowl or platter.

Ladle more Bolognese on top.

Grate cheese and chop Parsley to scatter on top.

A small drizzle of Olive Oil never hurt anyone.

Serve with sourdough and a bottle of your best red!

This meal will serve 10-12 people.

Enjoy

Jennifer X

My 12 Days of Christmas Workshops – Essential Oil Addition

I’ve been working on for a little while now, I’m putting together my first  ‘Christmas Essentials Workshop.’ 

I want to take the stress out of all your gift giving planning. I have created 12 simple recipes and prepared a list of ingredients you’ll need for each one. You now have a whole month to get any little things you might need- oils, jars, moulds. Get all your bits and pieces together now and on December the 1st I’ll be releasing one recipe a day for 12 days! Be sure to SUBSCRIBE TO MY EMAIL LIST for the recipe cards and other such info!!!!

Also, Be sure to follow along on my Instagram @essentially_focused_ in the lead up and for all my low tox, oily ideas. Let’s get into the Christmas Spirit together. 

The recipe booklet is ready for you! Just SUBSCRIBE for the RECIPE CARDS to be sent to your inbox!!!!!

Take a sneak peak at what we will be creating this Christmas as our gift ideas!

Raspberry Ride

HAPPY HOUR (with essential oils……what??)

Oh yes! The Hubs made this one yesterday. One thing you need to know about me is I will never post anything food or beverage related unless it’s outstanding….. and this truly is!

  • 40ml Gin
  • 2 Drops of dōterra Lime Oil
  • 10ml of Raspberry Syrup (we use fresh or frozen berries stew over the stove with 1tbsp sugar and water melted down)
  • 20ml of Apple and Raspberry Juice
  1. Shake well in a cocktail shaker.
  2. Pour into your Martini glasses
  3. Top with Ginger Beer and garnish with a lime wheel and 2 raspberries.

Enjoy!
Jennifer X

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The Best Lasagna You Will Ever Make!

Boy oh boy I sure do love a good lasagna. the classic beef, chicken, vegetarian and one of the most decadent to date was Jamie Oliver’s Duck Lasagna! It was everything warming, silky smooth and the flavours were off the charts good. BUT it takes 4 hours to make! Something I’ve made only twice as a special celabratory meal. In 2010 I had the brilliant opportunity to travel through Italy with my girlfriend. We ate our way around the country for 3 weeks. And my goodness we came rolling home a little wiser on the culinary delights of Italian cooking. So I started cooking the Romans famously known lasagna, however I was still adding the classic Aussie beef. Fast forward a few years later and I met James, he was working with a lovely Italian lady. She invited us over for a party and naturally served us huge lasagna’s. They tasted just like the ones back in Tuscany. Light and delicate. How is a good lasagna supposed to look on a plate? Actually like a hot mess! Not thick and clumpy, not hard. Oozy and once it hits your mouth it’s almost as if you don’t need to even chew. Different parts of Italy make lasagna slightly differently. But in my humble opinion the way I’ve perfected mine is the best (like most nonnas ha!).
If you want the best lasagna you need to make your own lasagna sheets. Now, please don’t be scared! We’ve shown quite a few people how to make pasta now and they are surprised at how simple it really is!

So folks, this is as authentic as an Italian Lasagna can get (except I’m a mother so I add as many vegetables as possible and broth…. I love watching my children chow down on veggies they normally don’t eat).

Ingredients:

  • 800g grass fed, free range any red mince meat. Pork, Veal.
  • 800g grass fed, free range beef mince.
  • 5 Garlic cloves. (only buy fresh garlic thats Australian grown. Why? (Click here and see why…)
  • 2 onions.
  • 2 carrots.
  • 2 zucchini’s.
  • 2 Celery Stalks
  • (Now add anything else that might be about to turn or you’ve been dying to feed your kids… eggplant, broccoli, mushrooms etc)
  • 4 cans of Italian crushed Tomatoes (buy the ones from Italy)
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • 2 Tbsp of dried Italian herbs
  • 2 cups of my housemade broth
  • A generous handful of fresh herbs;
    • Basil, Thyme, Rosemary
  • ALTERNATIVELY: If you can’t find any of these fresh herbs or they aren’t in season and a little pricey, you can use your oils.
    • 2 drops of Oregano
    • 2 drops of Basil
    • 2-3 drops of Rosemary
  • 150g Pitted Olives
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and Pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees.
  2. Blitz the veggies to almost a pulp except the onion.
  3. Dice the onions.
  4. Add a tablespoon of butter and Olive Oil to a large saucepan. Allow to melt.
  5. Add Onions and cook until transparent. 
  6. Add the crushed garlic, cook for 2 minutes. 
  7. Add the blitzed up veggies and cook until darkened in colour.
  8. Place the meat into the saucepan. Allow to brown. 
  9. Now add the tins of Italian Tomatoes, Broth, Red wine, Fresh Herbs, Dried herbs, Olives and the juice if you are using them. 
  10. Bring to the boil.
  11. Season well.
  12. Bring it back, cover and simmer for 3 hour hours.
  13. Once cooled add a little more fresh herbs so keep it vibrant in colours. 
  14. This is now ready to use for Bolognese or Lasagna. It makes a huge quantity for the freezer.
  15. Bechamél Sauce is the easiest thing in the world to make. Really you can find any easy recipe anywhere. James is a wizz at making the stuff. He says the perfect amount of nutmeg makes for a brilliant lasagna!
  16. To layer the lasagna use any size tray, we like to use lots of the disposable foil trays so it’s portioned perfectly and an easy pre made meal for those who are in need! No washing up necessary. 
  17. What you want to do is begin with a layer of meat sauce, pasta sheet, Béchamel and a good grating of cheddar and Parmesan Reggiano. Layer 3 times and top with the cheeses.
  18. Cook until golden and bubbly on the outside.

* note: this will make you multiple lasagnas. They freeze brilliantly for someone in need of for those busy sports evenings 😉

Jennifer X

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