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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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

French Apple Cake

French Apple Cake. With simple ingredients and a wooden spoon | www.inhappenstance.com

Want a lip-smacking cake recipe to try this weekend? Look no further,  this recipe is IT!

This cake reminds me of a simpler time – when you could whip up a cake using a few ingredients from your pantry without fancy ingredients or gadgets. The romantic in me pictures myself enjoying this cake in a beautiful cottage in the middle of the French countryside, enjoying quiet day of reading and a nice cup of tea. Simple, easy and uncomplicated.

Forget the kitchen aid or the hand mixer, you can make this cake with a wooden spoon. No elbow grease required.

When you cannot be bothered making an apple tart or pie, this cake is your best friend. The cake batter is a delicious cross between a moist cake and a clafoutis; delicate and just the right amount of sweet. I have made this cake a total of three times for different occasions; for a recipe test, birthday, and dinner party :). This cake is a crowd pleaser.

I have been worried about how much baking I have been doing lately and incorporating fruit is always the best way to feel a little less guilty when you are eating cake. I recently read that apples are one of the best superfoods out there. In all its varieties, flavours and textures, apples are packed with amazing nutritional benefits and a great source of natural dietary fibre. In a world of ‘sugar-free’ diets, clean eating and whole foods, sometimes you just need to look at what nature can provide, and there are so many varieties to choose from to find that perfect apple for you. I personally can never go past a delicious crisp and tart Granny Smith apple. If you love your food science and you love 20+ reasons to get behind something, my friend Helen wrote a 7,000 article listing 34 Science-Backed Health Benefits of Apples. How’s that for some food for thought?

You could start your love affair for apples slowly, by adding it into a delicious and easy to make cake. This cake is bookmark worthy.

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