I just couldn't resist pulling over in the car on Friday morning after the 9am school drop offs to capture this moment from the roadside. The morning sun is just breaking through the thick fog and ice has whitened the fields.
There was a spectacular rolling mist reminiscent of the English Moors - in Melbourne! Wow!
My winter time appetite has certainly kicked in too. I tend to hibernate when this season is upon us. I actually detest winter! I try to deny its existence by not venturing out into it. This is the season when I get savvy and start to dig deep into the pantry out of both hunger and desperation:
1) The appetite is on the rise with the cold. Must eat to survive.
2) Let's see how long we can survive the arctic freeze by staying indoors and doing without unnecessary trips to the stores.
Let's see what we can bake with the odds and ends within the pantry!
Could actually say, let's see what oddities are within that pantry altogether and leave it there!
My pantry. Far too small for this family of eight! Once it was organised...and then the kids got to it! Now it's a matter of opening the door with practised stealth, snatching the desired foodstuff and shutting it fast to avoid the avalanche! Unfortunately, all those little spice jars in the door take a tumble every time I try to save something from the main shelves! Sigh...
My jumbo pack of puff pastry has sat buried in my freezer for maybe a year. I was once right into the stuff and then somehow forgot about its existence altogether. That all changed this week though!
I have begun to experiment with puff pastry all over again. So many things to do with it. Last week I re-invented a rather dull family meal with it:
I am calling this my Tuna and Vegetable Pie.
In a large saucepan I added broccoli, 2 celery sticks sliced, 1 zucchini chopped, 1 leek sliced and one cobb of corn. I sautéed this in 2 tablespoons of Meadow Lea margarine. When my vegies were brightly coloured I tossed them into a baking dish along with I large tin of tuna and a dash of olive oil.
Meanwhile I prepared this cheese sauce in a non-stick saucepan:
I melted 2 tablespoons of Meadow Lea and added 2 tablespoons of plain flour until a paste was formed over heat. I then added a cup of milk and stirred this until it thickened. To this sauce I added a half a cup of tasty cheese and salt to taste. (Doing this part from scratch also saved a trip to the shops - how often do we compromise with jars of store-bought sauces)?
I added the sauce to the tuna and vegetable dish, mixed well and topped with two sheets of puff pastry.
My creation before and after:
I baked this pie at around 180 degrees for 30 minutes until the pastry was a good golden colour.
My serve. The kids really enjoyed this take on the regular, cheese topped pasta. They really loved the pastry!
I am now madly thinking up other pastry treats. I might try an apple pie and explore some other savoury ideas.
What do you make most in winter? Do you have a favourite pastry recipe? Please share a comment below (or recipe idea)!
Oh, and please tell me your pantry is in a worse state than mine!