Pumpkin Pie

For the past few weeks we have been at home visiting my family in Victoria for Christmas. My hubby is still getting used to the idea of Christmas in the searing heat, without snow, surrounded by gum trees instead of evergreens, eating cold meals instead of hot ones, going outside of a game of backyard cricket instead of being rugged up to go and toboggan down a hill…

So in order to make his transition to these strange warm Christmas’ I wanted to make some of this festive season feel like home for him.

My family was gathering together on Boxing Day to celebrate as a whole, so for Christmas Day lunch we had a HOT meal – turkey, mashed potatoes, bread and pumpkin pie for dessert! Needless to say, the meal made it feel more like Christmas for him.

This pumpkin pie recipe has been acclaimed as ‘One of the greatest pumpkin pies’ by some Canadian friends (and Aussies ones too!). It truly has a great home baked taste. For my Aussie friends who want to give pumpkin pie a try – this is where you need to start, because the recipes that I have seen in my Mum’s recipe books… well, they just don’t come close to capturing the flavour!

Pumpkin Pie

1/4 Kent pumpkin
2 eggs
1 cup ricotta cheese
3/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger

Pie Crust:
190g plain flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoon milk
pinch salt

Cut and peel pumpkin into large chunks and roast in moderate oven for 40 min or until pumpkin skin is starting to brown.
Combine all pie crust ingredients into pie dish and mix together. Once combined, press crust into pie dish and pierce crust with fork. Bake for 15 mins at 190°C. Remove once baked.
Puree pumpkin chunks, you should have about 2 cups of puree. Beat eggs until fluffy, then add remaining ingredients. Blend together until mixture is smooth. Pour into pie crust and bake for 15 mins at 220°C then lower to 180°C for another 40-50 mins. 


Five Font Fridays: Summer Fun!

In Aussie we are one month into Summer. With Christmas & New Years out of the way, we can now focus on Summer parties! Here are a few fonts that might help make your invite come to life!

FFF Summer

1. The Great Escape
2. Watermelon Sundae
3. Dawning of a New Day
4. SunnySide
5. Peach Sundress

You can download each of these fonts for free by clicking on the name of the font.

Happy New Year!

Five Font Fridays: Christmas Dingbats

This week on Five Font Fridays we are sticking with the Christmas Theme and bringing you some Dingbat Fonts! These are great to play around with and enhance backgrounds of your digital creations wonderfully!

FFF Christmas Dingbats1. Christmas Shapes
2. Christmas Trees
3. Xmas Cartoon
4. XmasDings
5. DH Snowflakes

You can download each of these fonts for free by clicking on the name of the font. I hope you have fun making some Christmas crafts and cards this year!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Pudding

With only 10 days until Christmas, I just had to share my favourite Christmas Recipe.

It’s hard for me to find a year where I haven’t enjoyed this Christmas classic. And I cannot wait to gobble this up again when we go home for Christmas.

May you have a wonderful Christmas season and enjoy the fellowship with your family and friends.

Christmas Pudding

450g raisins
450g currants
450g sultanas
250g peel
250g almonds, sliced
250g glace cherries
1 ½ cups sherry
450g flour
450g butter
450g brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
3 teaspoons mixed spice
300g breadcrumbs
5 eggs
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon bi-carb soda

55g butter
55g flour
¾ cup milk
55g sugar
2 tablespoons rum

Combine all the dried fruit, peel, almonds and cherries in a bowl. Soak in sherry overnight – stir occasionally to increase absorption. Mix butter and flour together, add sugar, spice and breadcrumbs. Once mixed well, add eggs, syrup, milk and bi-carb soda. Lastly add fruit and mix well. Place mixture into greased pudding steamers. Boil in saucepan for 3-4 hours for a large pudding or 2-3 hours for a small pudding – be sure to check on water levels. If you do not have a pudding steamer, place mixture in a greased round ceramic bowl. Cover top with tin foil and use cooking string/elastic bands to seal so that the water doesn’t get in bowl.

Serve with custard and ice cream, or my new favourite – a wonderful white rum sauce. Melt butter in saucepan, add flour to make a thick paste. Lower the heat and cook for 1 minute (be careful not to burn). Using a whisk, slowly add the milk until the paste becomes a sauce (this will take about 5 minutes). Add the sugar and whisk until dissolved. Cook for 2 more minutes. Add the Rum just before serving.


Five Font Fridays: Christmas

Today I am starting a new feature – called Five Font Fridays. Each Friday I will give you a collection of five fonts based around a theme… and with 12 days until Christmas, how could I do any other theme!

Here are my Top 5 Obvious Christmas Fonts. They work well as a feature font on your Christmas cards or crafts!

FFF Christmas1. Christmas Eve
2. Bodie MF Holly
3. Kingsthings Christmas
4. PWChristmas
5. MTF Dear Santa

You can download each of these fonts for free by clicking on the name of the font. I hope you have fun making some Christmas crafts and cards this year!

Merry Christmas!


Who doesn’t love a good pancake?

For me, I have to be in a pancake mood to want them… maybe it’s because I have spent so much time at camp. Camp and pancakes sort of go hand in hand… but I have grown to enjoy this treat again.

Here is basic recipe that has being used in my family since I was little!


1½ cups Self Raising Flour
2 tablespoons Sugar
2 Eggs
1 cup Milk
60g Butter

Sift flour and sugar. Lightly beat eggs and then combine with milk and melted butter and combine with dry ingredients. Mix well. Heat fry pan and cook pancake mixture. Once the edges brown or bubbles appear in the pancake, flip pancake to cook on the other side. Serve with fruit and syrup – or however you love to enjoy them the most! (A favourite for me at the moment is Vegemite on pancakes! YUMMY!)

TIP: If you like thinner pancakes, make a runnier consistency and if you like the fat and fluffy pancakes make it a thicker consistency. Add more milk or flour depending on what you want the consistency to be.


Non-stick Grill

The other day, I was killing some time on Pinterest and something caught my eye in the feed.

“How to make your grill non-stick”

It had a picture of a hand holding something on top of a BBQ grill. What I thought the hand was holding was half of a lemon! And I thought, “Really… lemon juice on a BBQ grill… Interesting… wonder how and why it works… lets check it out”

So I went into the post to get a closer view… only to realize that it was half an onion.

This is one tip that I won’t be trying to see if it works.

Just another day in our Life With No Onions.

Life With No Onions

If you would like to see the post that I am referencing to – here it is: Skip to my Lou


Recently, my hubby and I moved countries. I’ve returned to my homeland and taken him from his! In the few visits that we had back to Australia in the five years that I was in Canada… there was one thing that always satisfied my hubby’s tummy! Yo-Yo’s.

These tasty biscuits were a staple in my house growing up. They are big biscuits and such a good treat.

Needless to say, in the few weeks that we spent catching up with my family, it was necessary to cook a batch of these shortbread-esque biscuits… but with a much better twist!


190g butter
65g icing sugar
250g flour
65g custard powder
Pinch salt

½ cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon custard powder
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and icing sugar. Mix in flour, custard powder and salt. Roll into balls and place on baking tray. Flatten tops of balls with fork to make biscuits.

Bake  in oven at 150°C / 300°F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Mix icing sugar, custard powder with the butter and vanilla. Join two biscuits together with the icing. To make a white icing –omit the custard powder.

Life With No Onions


This past weekend in Canada they celebrated Thanksgiving.

Traditionally, Thanksgiving in Canada is more about giving thanks for the harvest season than it is a story of the pilgrims arriving.

These days, Thanksgiving involves a gathering of family and friends, sharing things that you are thankful for and a feast that includes turkey and pumpkin pie!

After spending five years in Canada and seeing a few varieties on how this weekend is celebrated, it quickly became one of my favourite holidays. It is a holiday that brings people closer and gives you time for reflection. It’s almost impossible to feel down after celebrating Thanksgiving.

Even though we made the bold jump across the oceans back to my homeland, we are still linked strongly to Canada. So this year I wasn’t going to let Thanksgiving pass without us recreating our own Aussie version. This tradition wasn’t going to die in our lives.

Now… to decide on the feast:

Mashed Potatoes
Cranberry Sauce
Bread Rolls – the fresh fluffy one!
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie… or maybe a Crumble..

That looks like a good traditional Thanksgiving feast. But that didn’t come easy. I couldn’t find a turkey anywhere… you can’t just buy pumpkin pie off the shelf (or canned pumpkin filling to make one)… even the cranberry sauce I couldn’t find (only to later realize that I was looking in the wrong section at the supermarket!).

So… we found a frozen turkey breast roll which was great because you didn’t have to deal with bones at all! The only down side was that it didn’t taste as good as the real thing! I bought pumpkin and made a pie from scratch… I even got cranberries and made a cranberry sauce!

This was a first for me – creating a whole Thanksgiving feast. I made up my own recipe for the stuffing and the cranberry sauce. I whipped together the desserts like I was a professional – even though this was the second time I’ve made pumpkin pie in my life!

The guests arrived, the feast was devoured – with plenty of leftovers of course. Thanks was given and laughter was shared. As friends and family, we gathered… we upheld the tradition of thanksgiving and have established a tradition of our own to continue.

But next year… I will make more pumpkin pie!

Things that I am thankful for:
1. A chance to Skype with Cam’s family while they were
enjoying their Canadian Thanksgiving feast.
2. Being back in Australia and enjoying restful and rejuvenating days.
3. Friends who have opened up their home to us
and allowed us to make it our home.
4. The privilege of knowing a beautiful soul that was tragically
taken away from us too soon. *
5. The beach.
6. Chocolate.

Sausage & Cranberry Stuffing

10-12 slices of Bread
8 Sausages
2 Carrots
½ stick of Celery
1 tablespoon Garlic Salt
1 teaspoon Parsley
½ cup dried Cranberries
1 cup Chicken (or vegetable) Stock

Roughly dice bread into cubes. Lay on a baking tray and cook in moderate oven until they resemble croutons – approx. 15-20 minutes. Finely slice and dice carrots and celery. In frying pan, cook sausages. Remove sausages from pan. Add carrots and celery to frypan and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cut sausages into smaller pieces. Return sausages to frypan, add seasoning and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season more if desired!

In a baking dish, place bread cubes. Pour sausage and vegetable mixture on top. Add cranberries. Mix well. Pour over stock. Bake in oven at 180°C / 350°F for 1 hour.

Note: I used beef and garlic sausages for additional flavour – but feel free to use whatever sausages are your favourite. Also – for onion lovers, add a finely diced onion in with the carrots and celery.

* In the lead up to the Thanksgiving weekend, I heard of some tragic news. On Friday morning in Melbourne, a 22 year old woman was shot and died at the scene. I happened to know this woman. She was killed by her ex boyfriend who has been charged with her murder. I was her leader at a camp for several years. There were four girls that were affectionately known as ‘my girls’ to me… she was one of them. I kept in touch with them after each camp and looked forward to the next camp and leading them again. It has been 10 years since I last lead them on a camp. And I have watched her grown into a beautiful woman. We kept in touch, not frequently, but thanks to Facebook we were connected. I was blessed to have her as a part of my life.