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

Real Hummus

Ever wondered why your homemade Hummus didn’t taste like the stuff you eat when dining at a Middle Eastern Restaurant? I’m sure all my Middle Eastern friends who read this will laugh at me… it actually took me about 9 months to test, try and research to finally find the most AUTHENTIC recipe. Honestly!! I would ask anyone I could and they would give me some recipe using canned chickpeas… I mean, there won’t no cans of chickpeas in the old days. I wanted the most original and best recipe I could find.

So here goes.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Dried Chickpeas
  • 4 Garlic Cloves
  • 1/2 cup Tahini
  • 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2- 2 1/2 Lemons (taste as you go)
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 2-3 Tbsp Chilled Water
  • 1/2 tsp Bi Carb Soda

Method:

  1. Soak and cover chickpeas overnight
  2. Boil chickpeas in water with 1/2 tsp bicarb soda until soft
  3. Drain
  4. In a processor add all ingredients. Taste and add a little more of what you desire… could be garlic, cumin, lemon juice.
  5. Serve with a drizzle of Olive Oil, Paprika and flat bread.

Yum.

Jennifer X

Ps: the will give me 3 contains worth. I freeze 2 of them and thaw when needed. I’m our family we go through one a week. So I make a fresh batch every 3 weeks! X

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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Mama C’s Italian Tomato Sauce

Anything housemade is sure to have the wow factor. What I love about homemade pasta sauce is, it looks impressive! With very little effort. Typical pasta sauce is based around a peasant diet from the 1700’s. So most of these ingredients are around my home most days to add flavour to other dishes.

Ingredients:

2-4 kilos of Tomatoes. Cut in half

4 Onions, diced

7 cloves of Garlic, minced

4 tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 cup Red Wine

4 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar

4 Bay Leaves

Small bunch of fresh; Basil, Thyme, parsley.

2 tbsp Dried Oregano

2 tbsps of Pepper (or 2-3 anchovies… don’t be scared they do the same thing, add salt!)

Good pinch of Pepper

2 tsp of Bi Carb (to make it less acidic)

Method:

Fry Onions and Garlic in oil

Once slightly browned add all other ingredients.

Simmer for 2 hours. Be careful not to boil it.

Blitz to your own consistently. We prefer it chunky and organic.

Store in air tight glass jars. Freeze until ready to use.

Simple. Tasty. Enjoy.

Jennifer X

Sausage Rolls (2 Ways)

This is a standard meal in our home. It’s always served with Noah’s famous Greek Salad and plenty of Tomato Ketchup!

500g Organic Beef Mince

3 sheets of Puff Pastry

1 Onion Diced

2 Garlic Cloves (minced)

1 Carrot Grated

1 Zucchini Grated

1 Egg (plus one lightly beaten as a wash)

1 tsp Dried Mixed Herbs

1 tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Salt and Pepper

OR

500g Organic Pork Mince

3 Sheets of Puff Pastry

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 Onion Diced

2 Garlic Cloves (minced)

1 Carrot Grated

1 Egg

1/4 cup Apple, grated

1 1/2 tsp of Fennel Seeds (smash them down a little)

1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

1 tsp Dried Thyme leaves

Salt and Pepper

Method:

Preheat oven to 190c

Fry onion and garlic in a little olive oil to caramelise. (Add fennel and apple if making Pork Sausage Rolls when almost ready add vinegar, stir in and take off the heat)

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Divide into 3 portions. Place the meat in the middle of the pastry.

Fold pastry gently around the mixture. Secure with egg wash.

Brunch the egg on top and sprinkle with Sesame Seeds.

Cook until lovely and golden.

Enjoy!

Jennifer X

Ever Tried a good Food Bar?

There’s nothing like a Good Old Burger Bar!
Over the weekend we had long time friends over for lunch. We try to get together a few time’s a year. They are what I call refreshing to my heart and soul. Truly God given friends! My girlfriend and I organised food last minute… realising we needed to feed 14 mouths for lunch, it needed to be fast and go the mile.
When was the last time you created a burger bar? Or have you ever made one? It’s too easy to create. Looks impressive and everyone is so satisfied. My go to tips on creating a fun concept;
•Always buy organic beef mince.
•Don’t add anything to it other than an egg and well seasoned.
•The best burgers are how you layer it. Eg; Fried eggs, Jalsburgh Cheese, housemade pickles.
•Make your own condiments if you can.
•Serve condiments in little jars.
•Use different heights to display elements.eg; place condiments on a makeshift shelf.
•Create an easy line up method
•Always serve your burgers on fresh buns and add loads of hot fries!
WINNER WINNER!

Bagel Bar
Ready to entertain this weekend? I’ve discovered in this season of motherhood my favourite time of day to entertain is breakfast. Guests arrive around 9:30-10am. The breakfast ideas are endless. The chats can be long and the day isn’t over by the end of the gathering. Most importantly, I have my most energy to serve! I also love hosting a good lunch too. But as for dinners… That season can wait. I am exhausted from huge days wearing other hats. My mission by 4pm is to get 5 children to bed as happily as possible.
Bagel Bar is definitely worth a try! Don’t forget to buy free range eggs and organic bacon/ham! Help our local farmers that are doing the right thing.

Jennifer X

Yellow Curry

Who doesn’t love a good curry. And making your own paste will give it an authentic taste that will see you NEVER buying store bought pastes again. Not to mention it’s a slow cooker recipe. No fuss meals!

Ingredients:

3 generous Tbsp of yellow curry paste

1kg of Organic Chicken Thighs cut into large portions. Cut off as much of the fat as you can

2 yellow onions slided

2 carrots peeled and sliced

5 white potatoes peeled and cut in half

3 cups of my chicken or veggie broth

1-2 Tins of organic coconut milk (to your taste)

Coriander leaves

Rice to serve. I’m currently loving black rice.

Method:

Place paste, chicken, onion and stock into the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 3 hours

Add chopped potatoes and continue to cook on low for 2 hours.

For the last 1-2 hours add the thinly sliced carrots.

Turn off slow cooker and now add the coconut milk.

(Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5.)

Alternatively you can brown onion and chicken in a pot with some olive oil, place to one side. Add more oil and fry the paste for 2 minutes. Add all other ingredients except the coconut milk and simmer until potatoes are soft. Stir in coconut milk once you remove the saucepan from the heat.

Enjoy!

Jennifer X

Note * this is a larger serve because we are a large family. Halve it if need be or better yet freeze up the leftovers!

Mama C’s Stuffed Peppers

I’ve said it before, I can’t get enough of Middle Eastern flavours. Each bite feels like I’ve been teleported back in time to an age long ago. And in the beauty of it- these flavours are still used and cooked to this day. Recipes are handed down from generation to generation and special secrets are added along the way. The spices are just as beautiful and vibrant and the flavours never disappoint.

Here’s my own take on Stuffed Capsicums. You can always use Zucchinis or tomatoes. This is one I’ll be passing down to my children and I they no doubt will pass the recipe along to their families too.

Ingredients:

6-8 fresh Capsicums (a variety of colours looks pretty)

500g Organic Beef Mince

1 cup of Basmati and Wild Rice combined.

3 Tbsp Pine Nuts fried in a little butter

3 Tbsp Olive Pil

2 Large Onions finely chopped

4-6 Cloves of Garlic crushed

100 g Fresh Tomatoes crushed or canned (organic is best)

1 Grated Carrot

¼ tsp Tumeric

½ tsp Cumin

1 tsp Paprika

Salt and Pepper

Handful chopped fresh Coriander

Small handful chopped fresh Parsley

½ cup Chicken Broth

Tomato Broth

400g can chopped Tomatoes

2 cups of Chicken Stock (or as much as required to cover the vegetables half way up.)

Dash of Cumin

Dash of Paprika

2 cloves of Garlic crushed

Method:

Preheat oven to 185c

Cook rice according to packet instructions. Rinse. Set aside to cool

Slice the tops of the capsicums off and reserve to use later as a lid

Cut out the inner seeds and white flesh

Char around the outsides of all capsicums giving some nice black bits. (Adds a great flavour)

Heat oil in a pan

Cook onions and garlic

Once they look translucent add your spices and cook through

Add the beef and brown nicely

Season

In a bowl mix the meat mixture with the rice, stock, pine nuts and fresh herbs.

In a deep dish fill each capsicum leaving 1cm for filling to expand then place the capsicum lids on top

Combine tomato broth ingredients and mix well.

Drizzle all over the Capsicums, filling it up to half way. Add some filtered water if you need to.

Cover with foil and cook for 40-50minutes until nice and soft.

Serve with flatbread and garlic dip.

Enjoy

Jennifer X

Sourdough Cinnamon Scrolls

After some investigating, I finally found the best Sourdough Cinnamon Scroll recipe, with my own few little tweaks of course. Simple process, over night ferment, no stand mixer or a second rise, they turn out fluffy and super yummy (oh, and addictive!)

Prep Time – 20 mins
Cook Time – 35 mins
Fermenting Time – 12 hrs (Overnight)

Equipment

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Bench-Scraper
  • Cheese Grater

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (113 g) butter (cold)
  • 2.5 cups (300 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) sourdough starter
  • 1 cup (240 g) organic full cream milk
  • Squeeze of Lemon (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) raw honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4 g) fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • icing sugar to coat

Cinnamon-Sugar Filling

  • 3/4 cup (150 g) light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons (56 g) butter (melted)

Instructions

  • Mix the dough 12 hours before you plan to bake: (I did mine at 8pm) Use a cheese grater to grate the cold butter into a mixing bowl. Add the flour and use a bench scraper to ‘cut’ the butter into the flour. Add the sourdough starter discard, milk, lemon and honey. Mix with a spatula until the ingredients are well incorporated. Cover the bowl and let rest on the counter for 12 hours.
    • MAKE SURE YOU DON’T add the salt, baking soda or baking powder. This will be added right before rolling out the dough

      THE NEXT MORNING (8am – depending on your 12 hours)
  • Preheat oven to 190°. Grease lightly with butter a large cast iron skillet (Baking Tray would also work).
  • Mix brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside. Melt butter to also set aside
  • Mix the salt, baking powder and baking soda in a small bowl with a fork until there are no visible lumps. Sprinkle the mixture on top of the dough and mix it in with your hands. Generously flour your bench and turn the dough onto it. Flour the top of the dough. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 30cm x 50cm rectangle.
  • Coat the top of the dough with the melted butter and spread cinnamon-sugar mixture evenly over the surface leaving a couple centimetres bare along the edges. Starting on one side, roll the dough into a log shape. Use the bench-scraper to cut the log into 12 pieces. (approx. 4cm) Place the portions in the cast iron skillet, leaving space in between each piece to expand.
  • Bake the cinnamon rolls for 30-40 minutes or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with icing sugar while hot.

James. @thesourdoughstory