Chewy Oat, Coconut and Sultana biscuits

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Gosh! Time has flown by. I can’t believe that by this Sunday, we will be less than 2 weeks out from possibly meeting our little baby that has been happily growing and wriggling inside me. So far, maternity leave has left me with a lot of time on my hands (after all the necessary nesting) to cook and bake. I have baked/cooked so much over the last few weeks that it makes up for the 6-8 months of me not doing much of either at all. Currently, I am a little obsessed with baking quick things to satisfy cravings and most of them end up being slices, simple cakes or cookies/biscuits. It has been a while since I have blogged and if you follow me on Instagram, you will see that I been kept busy with various projects and it has been really nice to just take a week at a time and just do whatever I want to do. A perfect way to relax and prepare for the fun that will come when our little friend arrives.

I can still remember clearly when we discovered we were pregnant and I got the list of things of things ‘not to eat’ and got really bummed out. Whilst there were heaps of options to get around the ‘no soft cheese’, no ‘raw seafood’, no ‘deli meats’ etc., I remembered getting to my 3rd month of pregnancy and realising that I had lost the joy in eating/cooking/baking any type of food. I didn’t even know who I was anymore! I had lost my food mojo. Thankfully, eating out though a little trickier made things easier as I really did not like cooking or preparing food at all. Thank goodness for UberEats!

During my first half of the pregnancy, I had some odd food aversions at the start of my pregnancy, which most of them – thankfully have dissipated and I am happy to report that I am feeling much like myself again, only sporting a massive belly with a very wriggly baby inside. I had lost almost all desire for anything sweet or cake related, developed an aversion to avocados (this one was one of the more shocking food aversions I experienced!) and lamb (one of my favourite meats)! I was getting frustrated about having to eat all my meat virtually ‘well done and beyond’ and not getting any joy at all from eating healthy and eating green food. Funny what hormones can do to you when your body is changing and preparing to host life inside you! So bizarre but amazing!

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Dutch baby pancakes with ricotta and honey thyme peaches 

Dutch baby pancakes with ricotta and honey thyme peaches 

Dutch baby pancakes with ricotta and honey thyme peaches 

It has been a crazy few weeks and I have hardly had enough time to sit down and put my thoughts down in a coherent manner. I had received much love from my return post for 2016 and it has been so great to be apart of the #virtualpumpkinparty. I had a great time exploring all the amazing recipes and bloggers out there. There are so many delicious recipes to try,  I just need to find the time. It really was some good food blogging love at its best!

Now – I know I am a little late to the Dutch Baby Pancakes party but I have to say when I decided to make these pancakes using this adorable blue Le Creuset mini pan gifted to us for our wedding, I am surprised I have not made this sooner. I kid you not, after I made the batter – I literally sat there in front of the oven and watched it rise in all its fluffy glory. The smell of butter wafted through the house, a puffed pancake came out hot from the oven and my morning made.

We recently joined a F45 training program near our house and our eating habits have changed a little from the indulgent days of having cake for breakfast to carefully planned and portioned 5 meals of goodness. As much as I love cake (like this carrot cake), tarts and all things chocolate, now that we are in our 30s, our bodies are no longer burning cake as quickly as it once did – which totally sucks but I have to face reality and some changes must be made. So with a bit of exercise and more conscious eating, we are embarking on new territories of food, flavours and more importantly savoury adventures. There isn’t much room for sugar in our eating plan but we allow ourselves cheat days. And on cheat days, these adorable fluffy pancakes are a real winner because you can pretty much add any topping that you wish and cut out as much sugar as needed. I really shouldn’t be eating processed white flour either but I always believe in the ‘Go big, or Go Home’ saying haha. On this occasion, the pancake toppings I had opted for baked peaches in honey and thyme as well as some fresh ricotta on the side. Continue Reading

Spiced Pumpkin Scones with Maple Butter

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Pumpkin scones with Maple Butter | www.inhappenstance.com

If there is one thing I have learnt about my 15 years of living in Melbourne, it is that Melbourne does not exactly follow the standard rules of seasons. It is a well known fact that we can sometimes get all the seasons in one day. Yesterday, we experienced heavy rain, then sunshine, then windy rain, hail and it hit single digit lows all on a Spring*coughs* day in Melbourne. Normally, I don’t mind a little bit of rain to break up the hay fever spells I suffer from in Spring, but this rain was so significant (it rained all day!) that it put me straight back into winter hibernation. To cheer myself up, I found myself embracing the cool change, huddled inside wearing my ugg boots and drinking hot cups of tea to keep warm with the heater blasting. Mmmmmm cosy.

So I have decided to pretend that it is Autumn again – well, just for the day/week at least (depending on the weather forecast). Australia has really started to get behind the whole festivity of Halloween and the aisles are filled with chocolates, HUGE pumpkins for carving (or eating) and lots of pumpkin inspired dishes and desserts so it isn’t really that far of a stretch to be honest. haha. With the chill in the air and occasional bursts of sunshine, it very much reminds me of why Autumn is easily my favourite season of the year.

Which brings me to this amazing #virtualpumpkinparty hosted by Sara from Cake Over Steak and Aimee from Twigg Studios. I had first heard about this via Claudia from The Brick Kitchen‘s instagram. I had a quick look at last years list of recipes and they were INSANE. We are talking about pumpkin cookies, pumpkin waffles!, pumpkin gnocchi and pumpkin pie martinis just to name a few. It is basically a day when a whole lot of amazing food bloggers get together and share recipes of all things Pumpkin – both savoury and sweet. It is the pumpkin fiesta that keeps on giving.

This year, I put my hand up to contribute a recipe at the very last minute. It would be my very first blogging contribution and boy, the line up of bloggers and recipes are both inspiring and mouth-watering all that the same time. It was the perfect time to share this beautifully spiced pumpkin scones served with generous lashings of creamy maple butter.

So prepare yourself, because today, these amazing recipes (the list is included in this post) that are about to hit the internet all at once and I am not even sure where I am going to start with which pumpkin recipes to make! So, prepare to start pinning all these delicious recipes into that Pumpkin Pinterest board (we all have one right?) of yours. You should start with Sara’s Pumpkin and Kale Risotto Arancini, Aimee’s Sausage Stuffing Pumpkin Bake and Claudia’s Pumpkin, Pecan and White Chocolate ice cream sandwiches.

Let the Pumpkin Party begin! I can’t wait to see all the amazing food that everyone shares today. Continue Reading

Mini Double Coconut Cake with Elderflower Glaze

Mini Double Coconut Cake with Elderflower Glaze | in happenstance.comI have been day dreaming about things I can make in an oven for many weeks now. The day-dream ping and pongs between savoury comfort meals like lamb roast, roast veggies, lasagne to strudels, bagels and delicious fluffy pear and chocolate hot cross buns (Claudia @ The Brick Kitchen is mostly responsible for the last two day dreams). I have also had vivid day dreams about working with choux pastry in my Thermomix and finally trying my hand at making some eclairs or profiteroles.

But I am happy to report that the day dreaming days are over as I have great news! I am writing this post to celebrate the start of the floor works required in our apartment. I cannot believe it has been nearly 5 weeks since we moved out of home and lived in a small hotel room and we survived! The works have started and it won’t be long until we can move back in for good. Continue Reading