The first month of Autumn is almost over, the weather has been mild, not too cold but slightly warm. However, we need the rain badly, the soil is dry, very dry in fact, it is not encouraging for the garden. I notice my flower bed is growing very slowly, we have enough sunshine but not enough water for the ground. By saying that, I am so lucky that the self-sown pumpkin in the garden is growing alright, three pumpkins are growing bigger by days.

self-sown pumpkin in my backyard

Two of them at least will make it for harvest.  I believe they are ready to be picked in a couple of months.  Pumpkins keep well on the storage but knowing me, love to cook them straight away or share in pieces with friends.

What I would do with the homegrown pumpkin is for cooking, baking and roasting.  Pumpkin soup I cooked in the past, and also pumpkin cake, mini cakes and scones.
Roast pumpkin I do to complement the roast meat is a winner for my family.

pumpkin soup, pumpkin scone, pumpkin cake, and mini pumpkin cakes

Another pumpkin that I cooked was a baked of the whole pumpkin, cut in a half used for a plate to serve peas, and also rack roasted lamb.

The Lamb and My Herbs Garden


I love to share the recipe of the mini pumpkin cake with you, here it is.
Mini Pumpkin Cake

A cup full self-rising flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup oil
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon heap cottage cheese
Method: in a bowl place the flour and sugar together and in another bowl, mix all wet ingredients together (egg, oil, pumpkin, cheese and water)
Use a blender or food processor, blend and process the ingredients together to make a smooth and thick batter.  If it is too thick adjust it by adding more milk.
Spoon the cake batter and put onto buttered mini muffin/cake tin (almost full)
Bake in the preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 14-16 minutes
When it is cold fill in with pumpkin jam and whipped cream.
the baking process
The fresh herb is essential for me, love to have them in my cooking and use them for garnishes.  At the moment the herbs are looking good in my garden.
Pumpkin is a very versatile vegetable, you can do so much with it.  Hope you like my cooking using the pumpkin, enjoy the recipe and happy cooking.

Leek Pie

Delicious leek pie using homemade pastry, which  is light and flaky.  The pie based on Greek Pie-Prasopita.


Homemade pastry-My water pastry
Filling: a fresh leek uses the white part, eggs, Fetta cheese, milk and salt to taste.

Oil and melted Butter, mix together.  Ready for brushing between the pastry.
The quantity for the filling:
one leek, wash and chopped and pan-fried lightly with the olive oil.
200g Feta cheese, crumbled
4 large free range eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste.
Mix all ingredients together.  Now you have the filling as pictured.

My Water Pastry

The ingredients

1 heaped cup plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon oil
Place all dry ingredients in a bowl
Make a well in the centre
Add in the oil and pour the water at once
Mix together to make a smooth dough
Knead the dough for a few minutes until smooth and satiny
Wrap in plastic and rest it at least for 25 minutes
Roll it out, stretch and roll to make fine pastry sheets.

The Dough
Now, you have a smooth dough.  It is ready to roll to make very fine pastry sheets.  You must remember to brush the pastry with melted butter mixed with oil in between for wrapping the pie that makes very flaky pastry.
The Pie
To Serve the pie, cut into wedges and garnished with leafy salad.
The pie freezes well.  However, at our home it won’t last long, we love to eat it fresh on the day that it ‘s baked.  Excellent to be taken out for a picnic, delicious to serve cold.

Good cooking for Autumn, have a go with the recipe and making homemade pastry is fun.



Pine Stone – Pomelo

Pine Stone

We visited Rome while ago, and I am so fascinated by the beautiful tree and the name is Pine Stone.  The leaf is so green, and the shape of the top tree is broad and roundish that resemble the umbrella – a beautiful canopy.  We saw these trees closely in the Papal garden.  Love to call the tree the Pine of Rome.
Papal Garden

The only souvenir I would like to have was to take one of the trees homes and plant it in the backyard.  Of course, it’s impossible, in fact, I could not get to buy any seedlings.  Just as well, according to the literature, I read the Pine stone can grow very tall and also take a long time to be mature.  No, it won’t be any good to have it in my backyard.

To reminisce about the beauty of the Pine of Rome is to see it through my cooking.  It is a challenge for me, how I go about it and how do I have to deliver it.

The Plan:
The Pine of Rome-Vegetarian Cooking
I have to create the leaves, the branches, the trunk and the fruits.
The leaves made out of leafy vegetables
The trunk and branches-a batter has to be prepared
The fruits made out of Salpicon
(Using Frying technique)

Here it is, it worked well and indeed the Pine of Rome looks absolutely gorgeous.

My Pine of Rome

Often the Pine of Rome standing in a row that makes a beautiful site.

It’s a delicious vegetarian dish was created and enjoyed by the family.  The batter was so light, fried salpicon was soft and the leaf was crunchy.  It’s a success in cooking.


The plant in the backyard is doing so well this year, harvested fruits and they are large enough for their size,  the taste also has improved from last year it’s less bitter, and sweeter.

How to peel Pomelo

To Use and To Serve Pomelo.

Eat it fresh, or add in a fruit salad.  The sweet and sour taste is good to go with fish dishes.

Pomelo salad with Prawns and Mango, Delicious!

Fresh pomelo meat is delicious to eat after the main meal, to clean the palate.

The pith is excellent to preserve in sugar syrup or crystallized with sugar.

Pomelo Mini Cake is a Treat.


A sweet and a creative post, how do you like it?






It is good to grow tomato plants in any backyard garden. I have self-sewn cherry tomato this year, the harvest was not plenty but enough for us. We eat them as salads, and for cooking, but some of them used as tomato concasse and here it is, I will show you how to do it.

Tomato concasse is a tomato that has been peeled, seeded (seeds and skins removed), and chopped to specified dimensions (wikip)

Using Cherry Tomatoes.

Soak in hot boiling water, for one minute for easy peeling.  Score each tomato before putting into hot water and drain to transfer to cold water.  Peel the tomato immediately.

Use the tomato for the base of sauces, and for other garnishes.

The Process
Use a pair of scissors to score the tomatoes before putting in hot water.

I serve it for salads, add into pasta dishes, or chopped up to make tomato soup or tomato sauce. You could discard the seeds before using the tomato if you wish.

Cherry Tomato Salad with Fresh Herbs

Ingredients that readily available in your pantry and cannot afford not to have are anchovies, pasta, olive oil.  To serve the pasta, you don’t need any cheese.

Using tomato concasse to add to pasta.


From the pantry: anchovies, capers, olive oil, add the concasse tomato, fresh herbs to cooked pasta to make a delicious pasta dish.

Delicious meal and easy preparation.

You can make lots of tomato concasse using large tomatoes and cherry,  place in a clean jar, refrigerated for healthy keeping.  It could stay there for a few days.

Happy Harvest Day for You All.
Have fun of making the Tomato Concasse.
Until Next Post