Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones

Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones

After Mother’s Day on Sunday you may have some roast pumpkin swimming around in your fridge. Or maybe you totally forgot Mother’s Day and are looking for a way to make it up to the person who gave you life! Either way, these  Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones are delicious!

Mother’s Day was a bit of a non event in our house. Legoman went to work and Possum and I went to a birthday party. I did get to stay in bed an extra 30 minutes and we had croissants for breakfast. Win! Possum gave me a very sweet book called I Love You Mummy and Legoman gave me/us welding gloves, a small shovel and a metal bucket. Romance hey! The romantic thing is that they are all used with our fire place, and they have already been put to good use.

The scones were made for the birthday party Possum and I went to, which was a combined 2nd birthday party for Possum and a few of her little buddies. We had such an amazing afternoon on a friend’s property in the Kanimbla Valley. Amazing views, a beautiful large creek, heaps of space for happy toddlers plus we even all chipped in and got a jumping castle. Needless to say poor Possum was beyond tired by the time we got home.  And the scones were a success!

These Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones are great for kids as they are low in sugar and actually have some veg in them. If you like you could play around with the buttermilk and pumpkin ratios if you want more pumpkin in there. Possum and I just had to do some quality control when they came out of the oven! Yummo!

Pumpkin Buttermilk Scones – makes 12-15

2 cups self raising flour

1 Tbsp caster sugar

pinch salt

60g butter chilled and chopped

3/4 cup buttermilk

freshly grated nutmeg ~1/4 tsp

1/3 cup roasted pumpkin

extra buttermilk for brushing

Preheat oven to 220°C standard/200°C fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Add flour, nutmeg, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Combine. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour until the mix resembles fine bread crumbs (I used to love doing this as a kid growing up).

Make a well into the centre of mix. Add buttermilk and pumpkin. Use a butter knife to combine until it forms a sticky dough. Turn out onto a floured surface (also put a little flour on your hands). Knead gently until smooth.

Press out the dough until ~2cm thick. You can either cut into desired number of scones or use a cutter to make shapes (I did love hearts, surprise surprise!). Place the scones on the baking tray so that they are just touching. Brush the tops with some buttermilk.

Bake in the top half of the oven for 12-15 minutes or until golden.

Serve with butter, ricotta or even mascarpone for a special touch of yum!

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Oven Baked Pumpkin, Leek and Millet Risotto


oven baked risotto

As a working mumma, my favourite part of my working day is coming home. And not because I’m getting to leave work (which some days I can’t wait to get out of there!), but because as soon as I step through our front door I hear… “Mummy’s home!!! It’s Mummy!! Hello Mummy!!” and have a little bundle of curls come running with her arms wide ready for a big cuddle. Not much can beat that. I have friends with bubs much younger who can’t crawl or talk or who are literally one week old and it’s like knowing that the awesome scene in a movie is coming up in a room of first time watchers. Smiling on the inside and the outside knowing that so much awesomeness is ahead for them.

How that relates to tonight’s recipe I have no idea. But to all you mums who may be having a hard time at the moment, the craziness will pass. The feeling overwhelmed isn’t forever. One day that little face is going to say “I love you Mummy” or you’ll be dancing together in the kitchen, shaking maraccas and trying hard not to cry at how freaking awesome being the mum to YOUR child is.

Now the feels are out… here is some warming autumn food to fill your belly with love.

Oven Baked Pumpkin, Leek and Millet Risotto – Serves 4

1/2 cup arborio rice

3/4 cup millet

500g piece of pumpkin peeled, deseeded and chopped into 1cm pieces

2 tsp dried mixed herbs

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 leek sliced into 1/2 rings and well rinsed

1 Tbsp butter

Zest 1/2 lemon

3/4 cup grated parmesan + extra for serving if desired

1L vegetable stock (I used 1.5 stock cubes to make this up)

Preheat oven to 200°C fan forced or 220°C conventional.

Place pumpkin, dried herbs, salt and pepper with a good glug of olive oil in a baking dish (you will use this dish to hold the whole risotto, I used a large pyrex baking dish). Stir to combine. Place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add leek, cook stirring until soft and golden ~ 5-8 minutes. Add rice and millet, stir to coat grains. Add hot stock. Bring to a simmer. Take off heat and stir in parmesan.

Add rice mixture to the roasting pumpkin. Stir to combine. Cover with foil and return to oven. Bake at 200°C for 30 minutes, then remove foil. Continue to bake for another 15 minutes, the excess liquid will soak up and the top will get just a little crunchy. Enjoy!

My little bundle of awesomeness xxxx

My little bundle of awesomeness xxxx

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Fridge Clearout Challenge

At the end of every week there is the leftover, scrap, random containers of food challenge to navigate prior to doing the weekly shop on Monday morning. Sometimes this is a delicious treasure hunt if what you’ve cooked during the week has been a hit! But other times, like tonight, you stare at the leftovers on offer and think that a piece of toast might be a better option.

There is the Italian Sausage and lentil stew that I did in the slow cooker last night. Possum wasn’t a fan, Legoman wasn’t a fan. I must’ve been hungry as I quite liked it…

There is a BIG container of the Beef and Beer Stew I made earlier in the week (with a kilo of lovely organic beef!) which tasted quite horrible. So disappointing. Still figuring out how to redeem that one.

And then there was the big piece of Jarrahdale pumpkin which was meant to go into a Pumpkin, Chickpea and Lemongrass stew that never got made.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Pumpkin.

Pumpkin.

Pumpkin, Fetta and Lentil Pie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am proud to say this was a winner! My own recipe too! Possum loved it. I loved it. And it was super easy to make.

I thought we had puff pastry (in my head there is an endless supply of it in my freezer), turns out we only had shortcrust. So I made it more of a pastry sandwich than a pie, but if you went to a fancy restaurant they would’ve called it a pie!

Here we go…

Even tasty on its own!

Even tasty on its own!

Pumpkin, Fetta and Lentil Pie

500g piece of Jarrahdale Pumpkin, or another strong flavoured pumpkin

400g tin of brown lentils, drained and rinsed

70g Greek Fetta cut into small cubes

2 cloves of garlic crushed

2 Tablespoons tomato chutney

1/2 cup frozen peas

black pepper to taste

2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry

1. Place whole piece of pumpkin in oven at 160C for 1-2 hours. If you don’t have much time, cut the pumpkin and roast hotter for less time. Possum and I spent the time outside pulling out weeds then vacuuming the house.

2. Take pumpkin out of oven, scoop flesh into a bowl. Discard seeds and skin.

3. Stir in lentils, fetta, chutney, peas and pepper.

4. Cut (or break, as I did) the frozen pastry sheets into desired shapes. Place into oven at 180C for 10 minutes.

5. Take pastry out of the oven, top every second piece with pumpkin mix (more is better), place a second piece of pastry on top.

6. Return to the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes or until golden.

Enjoy!!

I would suggest serving with a green salad on the side if you have the right stuff available.

How do you take a good photo of this??? Here is the finished product.

How do you take a good photo of this??? Here is the finished product.

Pumpkin, Fetta and Lentil Pie

Affordability : EXCELLENT. Pumpkin will cost you about $1, Lentils $1, fetta $2, peas 20c. Pastry is also only a couple of dollars and as its a frozen product, something you can buy on special or in bulk and keep for a long time.

Time Factor : MODERATE. You do need the time to roast the pumpkin, but you could use leftover pumpkin from a roast dinner, or make it a day ahead if you know your schedule in advance.

Complexity : LOW. Very easy, join in your kidlets to stir and scoop.

Deliciousness : EXCELLENT. Surprisingly full of flavour!

Mess : LOW. One or two baking trays and a bowl and spoon.

Tummy Filling Factor : MODERATE. Bulk out your plate with a lovely fresh green salad. Possum ate half an avo with hers.

Possum Friendly? YES. She ate all of it!! I cut it up into small squares for her. She had fun pulling the two pieces apart, picking out the peas and cheese, mushing the pumpkin and lentils. She is also having a really good try with cutlery. Tonight she was attempting to chop her dinner with a full sized dinner knife. The shortcrust pastry thankfully cracked and crumbled at her effort 🙂

Would I make it again? Yes, probably after a busy day.

Leftover Pies

I challenge you to think of a food that isn’t yummy when teamed with pastry… Anchovies? A tart! Strawberry yoghurt? Pastry dip sticks! Steak? Beef wellington! The list goes on and on! If you do think of something, leave a comment, enlighten me!

So it’s the end of a week, when there is food to be used up before the weekly shop and cooking cycle begins again. What better way to use up that food than to surround it in golden buttery puff pastry. The main items that needed eating this week were vegetables, I had been a bit over zealous at the fruit and veg shop last week! Tonight, I made Space Curry but with extra eggplant, no cauliflower and with zucchini, butternut pumpkin and silverbeet. Possum still loved it just as much as she did the first time and ate a heck of a lot of eggplant at dinner. For a bit of added fullness, I added 1/3 cup red lentils, 1/3 cup millet and 1/2 cup extra water and let it simmer away while Possum and I had 5pm dinner.

Space Curry Version 2.0

Space Curry Version 2.0

Just as I tend to over fill my tortillas, I also tend to over fill my pastry. I thought the pies were going to be melted blobs of goo coming out of the oven, but miraculously held together! There was enough filling to make two large parcels and 4 small ones with curry leftover for lunch tomorrow.

Leftover Pie

Leftover Pie

Just a reminder, take off the plastic backing from the pastry BEFORE piling on your filling… lesson learnt the hard way.

Leftover Space Curry Pies

Affordability : EXCELLENT. Cheap vegetables, canned chickpeas and some store bought curry paste and chutney, the added lentils and millet help to fill it out even further. The puff pastry adds about $5 (I buy the stuff made with butter as I don’t believe in margarine).

Time Factor : MODERATE. Quick to get the curry started, but allow 30-60 minutes cooking time depending how cooked you like it all to be. Allow 10 minutes prep to get pies made up and another 20 minutes in the oven. Despite the curry being cooked and ready, tonight’s dinner was a bit late.

Complexity : LOW. A nice simple curry to make. If making pies doesn’t tickle your fancy, then you could just make rice! (Even cheaper still!).

Deliciousness : MODERATE. Tasty but I prefered the Space Curry as, Space Curry. But it did work well surrounded by golden puffiness.

Mess : MODERATE. One pot for the curry, but a couple of trays and some egg mess with the pies.

Tummy Filling Factor : MODERATE. Curry as curry would’ve been more filling, but the extra protein in there helped.

Possum Friendly? YES. Possum loves curry, and Space Curry especially it seems. Her patience was tested waiting for her serve to cool down enough.

Would I make it again? Yes, Space Curry is now planted in the go to list.

Leftover Pies

Leftover Pies

In Possum news, she had her first trip to the library today where she could get out of the Ergo and crawl around. She was more excited by two big kids there than the books (which is surprising as she loves her books!). She is starting to point and has learnt the concept of putting things in, which is a great achievement after months of pulling stuff out. Possum has also figured out a little game. She hides a piece of her dinner under the tray and smiles very cheekily at you and when you say “where did it go?” she pulls it back out and starts giggling. A very cute game, though she played it at lunch with spaghetti bolognese… a messy amount of fun. But worth it to see her be so creative.

We <3 books!

Do I have something in my teeth?

We are well and truly into Autumn now. The leaves are all turning their gorgeous colours, and falling in their relaxed way to the ground. Mushrooms are popping up everywhere. The days are getting a little shorter. The nights are getting a little cooler. But the basil is still bountiful at my local fruit and veg. $3 for a bouquet of fragrant greenness. A little reminder of the summer just passed. Calling out to be made into garlicky pesto.

I have a memory as a child of refusing to eat my mum’s home made basil pesto. Oh the ignorance! My mum is a wonderful cook, everything she makes is delicious (she would refuse to accept that statement). I am so grateful my palate has changed since being a kid. Otherwise I’d still be eating fish fingers, cauliflower and corn on the cob.

After last night’s “night off” the meal plan needed to change a little so as not to waste food in the fridge. We were meant to be having Chicken Pesto Pasta. But instead of chicken (it’s still in the freezer) we had flathead fillets. I also roasted up some butternut pumpkin to stir through the pasta as well. A delicious combination as it turns out! A bit of steamed broccoli on the side and a lovely meal is made.

Pesto is very simple to make and if you can find a big bunch of basil pretty cheap, then it works out to be economical too. It’s able to be frozen and used at a later date, though it may discolour (it won’t affect flavour though). A far healthier option compared to store bought, particularly in reference to salt content. My version tonight had no salt added and was delicious. You can either use a mortar and pestle or a food processor.

Basil Pesto

1 large bunch of basil, leaves picked

4 cloves garlic

4 handfuls of pinenuts

4 handfuls grated parmesan (i used the coarse grater side of a box grater, though you could also use a food processor)

a few generous glugs of olive oil

Put the basil, pinenuts, parmesan and garlic in the food processor. Blitz to desired texture. Keep it running as you pour in the olive oil. Ta Dah!

I had to wait for Legoman to get home before being able to turn the food processor on (poor petrified Possum). Thankfully it only takes a moment to make.

The flathead fillets were on special at our local supermarket (Australian fish, I don’t buy imported fish). Super easy and quick to cook. Get a plastic bag you use for produce at the supermarket. Add a couple of tablespoons of flour with some salt and pepper. Shake the fillets in the bag with the seasoned flour until coated. Heat some ghee in a non stick pan and cook the fillets for a couple of minutes each side. Done! Lovely sweet fish.

And to save time and effort with the pumpkin, leave the skin on, you can eat it! Slice into 1cm thick slices, add a blob of oil then roast for 45 minutes in a 180 C oven. Cut the slices into… slices, then add to the pasta and pesto.

Homemade Pesto Pasta with Pumpkin and Flathead Fillets

Affordability : MODERATE. Fish for two cost me $6.50, cheaper than steak. Basil was $3 for a large bunch. I have enough leftover pesto to feed about 4 people. Pine nuts aren’t cheap but buy in bulk and you can save some money

Time Factor : EXCELLENT. Yes the pumpkin takes a while to roast but that is something you can chuck in the oven and get on with other things. You could make the pesto and the fish in the time it takes the pasta to cook. We cooked the broccoli in the microwave which takes 1 minute.

Complexity : LOW. No tricky steps or fancy ingredients. Just simple cooking using real fresh ingredients.

Deliciousness : EXCELLENT. Legoman said “This tastes at least 10 times better than I thought it would”. And I happily have HEAPS of green stuff in my teeth 🙂

Mess : MODERATE. The downside of using a food processor is having to clean it. So many bits and pieces. Some nights, using a few extra pots but having a quick dinner trumps a one pot wonder that takes 2 hours.

Tummy Filling Factor : EXCELLENT. I did go back for seconds of the pasta and pesto. Can’t let good things go to waste!

Possum Friendly? YES. Possum loves fish, plus the pesto is a great way to introduce herbs and strong flavours. I would choose an easy to handle pasta shape for bubs, like penne or bow ties.

Would I make it again? Yes. Certainly will!

Pesto Pasta and Fish

Pesto Pasta and Fish

In other news, I have very nearly finished (just need to weave in the ends) the gorgeous rainbow dress I have been crocheting for Possum! I bought an amazing skein of yarn hand dyed by Nunnaba at my local yarn shop. It has been such a wonderful experience working with her yarn. The way the colours change and blend together is simply gorgeous. Beats any commercially dyed yarn easily. So here is Possum crawling (!!) in her new rainbow dress.

Rainbow Possum

Rainbow Possum

Meal Plan 30/3 – 5/4

SUNDAY / showers 18

Grilled Lemony Herb Chicken with Leftover Risotto and Vegetables

MONDAY / possible shower 21

Ants Climbing A Tree

TUESDAY / partly cloudy 22

Rissoles and Vegetables

WEDNESDAY / shower or two 23

Fish with Pumpkin and Silverbeet Tian

THURSDAY / shower and chance of a storm 21

Chicken Pesto Pasta

FRIDAY / shower or two 16

Spinachy Bean Burger Tacos

SATURDAY / a few showers 19

Leftover Pies

What do you call this love?

Chops and veg. Easy right? Foolproof dinner of Australian household since the first fleet arrived (nor based on any truth). Then how the &*%^ did I manage to stuff them up. Again.

I’m blaming the oven/grill. I used to rock a lamb chop at our old house, with the trusty no frills rental stove, with separate grill. This new house has one of those kinda fancy in the wall ovens which is a grill as well. The oven is great, love the fact it’s off the floor so Possum can’t touch it. Hate the whole grill side of it. Is the door meant to be open?? But if it is, that’s a whole lot of door that’s open. Plus there are two settings; maxi grill (sounds like a fire hazard to me) or fan grill (what??). Neither of them cook chops well. It’s like you’re baking and grilling at the same time, so my poor little chops end up like jerky at the end. And not in a good way.

Thank goodness for leftover roast pumpkin! The moisture made sure chewing the chops didn’t sap every last drop of saliva from my mouth.

Such a disappointment. These were nice organic chops too… As a side note, organic only tastes better if they’re cooked properly!

On impulse I bought some haloumi this week. At least chewing that made me happy. It makes a noise like you’re walking in snow. That sound always makes me smile. At least initially. Then I get sad that I’m so far away from snow. One day I’ll go skiing again. One day.

I used to live on the Isle of Man, doing the whole work travel thing. I was there for 8 months. While I was there I went skiing in France (the second time I’ve been skiing in my whole life). I came back on such a high. Swooning over how much I love snow. Snow snow, wonderful snow. Speaking to Legoman on the phone early one morning (we were doing the long distance relationship thing, it can work!) and basically I wouldn’t shut up about how much I loved snow. Then I hung up the phone, opened my curtains, and what lay before me? But the most wonderful thick blanket on newly fallen snow I’ve ever laid eyes on! And it was still falling! I ran up and down the corridor of the nurses quarters in my pyjamas knocking on doors and calling out “It’s snowing! It’s actually snowing!!”. Then donning my ski gear (yes I bough ski clothes, in the hope I will get to wear them again one day) went out at 6am to frolick, take photos and watch bewildered as people were attempting to drive. Oh how I loved that day. It was only bettered when something similar happened here in the Blue Mountains last year.

I woke up to a light falling of snow, but none settling. I am super scared of driving in snow so called work to say I’d wait until it stopped to come in. 6 hours later it stopped. 15cm deep. AWESOME!! Snow and no work! I was pregnant at the time but early enough my ski pants still fit! They got another wear!

I digress. Sorry!

Chops and Veg

Affordability : MODERATE. As far as meat goes, chops are a cheap alternative. But a waste of money when you cook them poorly!

Time Factor : MODERATE. Normally you would grill your chops while you roast some veg, using one grill and one oven. What do you do when it’s an all in one??? Someone please help me out here!

Complexity : LOW. Should be low. But somehow I’m doing something wrong here…

Deliciousness : Normally HIGH, can’t beat a good chop. Tonight, LOW, anything beats a bad chop.

Mess : MODERATE. I always think this is a low mess meal. Until I go to use the grill again… hello lard.

Tummy Filling Factor : MODERATE. A good meal to fill up on vegetables. An unhappy and unwell Possum tonight meant the veg selection was a bit average.

Possum Friendly? YES. Cut off some meat to give yo you bub, or if the bones are safe for your baby, give them the whole thing to chew on! Red meat is great at any age, even as a first food! (And who said you had to have iron fortified cereal!). Roast veg are also a great baby led weaning food. Save time and hassle and cook a big tray.

Would I make it again? Yes, and hopefully next time it will be edible.

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