The life that we all find ourselves in and keeps dragging on has taught me to be grateful for what I have.

And it turns out I have a cupboard (or maybe cupboards, fridges and a storeroom) full of food.

Nearly everything kitchen staple you can think of, along with ones you may not except. 

It’s time for me to use up what I have on hand, cook with what’s in the cupboard and limit my trips to the supermarket.

If I look, I can find things like mini marshmallows, prawn paste, six different types of beans and a few boxes of gluten-free cornflakes.

For the first recipe of using up what I have on hand, I’m making a pumpkin pie, but I’m using up the gluten-free cornflakes and making a GF pie crust before I do that.

Gluten-Free cornflake pie crust. 

This recipe makes 2 * 23cm pie shells.


1  * 450gram box of Gluten-free cornflakes

120 grams butter

2 tablespoons of honey

75 grams of sugar*

1 teaspoon of xanthan gum


In the food processor, pulverise the GF cornflakes until they are a fine crumb. Pulse in 1 teaspoon of Xanthan gum. pulverise gluten free cornflakes example  xanthan gum

Heat the butter, honey and sugar in a saucepan until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is bubbling. butter honey sugar  butter honey sugar foaming

Place the pulverised cornflakes in a heat-proof bowl. Stir in the butter, honey sugar mixture. add butter honey sugar to cornflakes  mix together

Line your pie shell.

line pie tin

This mixture will be a little crumbly, but it will hold together fantastically when you add the filling and bake!

See you in the kitchen!


* Note: in the spirit of using up what I have in the cupboard, the sugar in this recipe was from the storage of my handmade lollies.

On the Jacican cook group, you asked for my Tomato sauce recipe.

Here is it …

Tomato sauce

Jacican tomato sauce

This recipe uses 1 kilogram of fresh tomatoes. You can expand this recipe to the weight of tomatoes you have to cook. I would usually do 10 kg at a time.



1 kg Red Tomatoes - roughly chopped

1 clove of garlic

1 whole allspice

5-gram yellow mustard seeds

2 whole cloves

pinch (small one) cayenne

120 ml vinegar

6-gram salt

75-gram sugar



Cook tomato and garlic until well pulped. Put through mouli to break down to a fine pulp and remove the skin and seeds. Rinse out the pan and return the pulp to it.

tomatoes  tomatoes in mouli

Tie spices in a muslin bag and add to tomatoes along with cayenne, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Cook until it does not separate anymore. Approximately 1 and 1/2 hours. Strain to remove spices.

added sugar  add vingar

Bottle and seal in hot sterilised bottles




Purple Potato Gnocchi

I’ve just dug kilos and kilos of purple potatoes out of the kitchen garden.

Now I have to cook them in as many ways as I can think of.

I’m going to start with gnocchi, purple potato gnocchi, that is.

Gnocchi is easier than you think to make.

Best of all, it can be made ahead of when you would like to eat it.

I like to eat my gnocchi triple cooked – blanched in boiling water to cook through, pan-fried in butter, then finished off under the grill.


1-kilogram purple gem potatoes - cleaned

1 egg

250 grams plain flour

1 pinch of salt


1.    Place potatoes in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, then simmer until cooked.

2.    Strain the potatoes. You could peel when still hot but move straight onto step 3.

3.    Place the potatoes in a mouli and process the potatoes straight onto the bench into a mound. You may need to do this in steps, as the weight of one kilo of cooked potatoes may be too heavy to hold.

purple potatoes 04 purple potatoes 05 purple potatoes 06

4.    Make a well in the centre of your mound and shift over the flour. Add the egg and a pinch of salt to taste.

5.    Using your hands, gently bring the dough together until just combined and the dough is slightly springy. Divide the dough into 4.

purple potatoes 07 purple potatoes 08

6.    Roll each piece of dough into a long cigar shape. Cut into 3 cm lengths, using a pastry scraper or knife. Roll each piece on a gnocchi pad or press with a fork to create sauce groves in your gnocchi.

purple potatoes 09

7.    Line an oven tray with a clean tea towel. Put this aside until you cook your gnocchi.

8.    Bring a large pot of salted boiling water to the boil. Add the gnocchi and return to the boil. The gnocchi will be cooked when it floats to the top of the water.

9.    Remove the gnocchi from the water using a slotted spoon and place it on your clean tea towel-lined tray.

purple potatoes 11  purple potatoes 13

At this point, you can add your cooked gnocchi to your chosen sauce. I like my gnocchi finished in butter, with garlic and thyme. 

purple potatoes 10  purple potatoes 12

… I mean make musk sticks.

I don’t call musk sticks, musk sticks as they come in all the flavours including, but not limited to, musk. To me, they are Jacican sticks. 

Lately, I’ve made musk, peppermint, bubble gum and lime flavours. Experimenting with Lemon, Lime and bitter, as well as Gin and Tonic flavours.

Like you like your Jacican sticks with no artificial colours or flavours, they now come in natural raspberry!

lemon lime bitters and gin tonic sticks at jacican  raspberry sticks at jacican

Because lately, we all have time, here’s the recipe for you to make at home if you need something to do. This is a great recipe to do with the kids.

Musk stick recipe


Jacican musk stick ingredients

640 grams of icing sugar

1 teaspoon of glucose

1 teaspoon of gelatine

75 ml of water

1 ml of musk flavouring

1 ml of pink food colouring

Remember you can make any colour or flavour of musk sticks you want!


In a small saucepan combine glucose, gelatine and water. Gently heat until glucose and gelatine have dissolved. Mix slowly to combine.

Jacican musk stick saucepan

Shift icing sugar into a large bowl. Pour in water mixer in three parts, mixing between each addition.

Add flavour and colouring. Mix well combine.

Jacican musk stick flavour

Using a 5 mm star nozzle, fill a piping bag with your mixture. Pipe onto baking-paper lined trays. Leave in a dry place to dry out and harden up. This could take anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days. It will depend on the weather – the warmer it is, the quicker they will dry.

Jacican musk stick pipping 1  Jacican musk stick pipping 2


If you can't be bothered to make your own Musk Sticks, there may be Jacican sticks for sale in my shop. You will have to be quick, they normally sell out! 

jaci on horse 

I grew up on a dairy farm in the Gippsland outside the town of Loch. As a young girl, I would read the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. As there was always flour, butter, milk, and eggs in the house, I was continuously searching for new recipes for baking.

As a girl, I would make spend my weekend baking puff pastry to make tarts, creating new versions of candies and baking all the colour rainbow cakes. Not much has changed; I’m still searching for recipes that I can cook using what I have on hand or growing in the kitchen garden.

Now that I am grownup, I can cook what I want, using any type of milk. How happy was I when Gippsland Jersey started producing buttermilk? I now use that in everything I bake.   

Buttermilk pancakes recipe by jacican

But I am going to start you off with a simple buttermilk recipe, pancakes.

We all need to know how to make pancakes from scratch. This recipe will be with you forever.

This recipe will make a dozen 10 cm fluffy pancakes

Buttermilk Pancakes recipe

  • 2 cups of Oak & Swan stone ground wholemeal flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups of GJ buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons of GJ butter


If you haven’t noticed its same measurement of all the ingredients in this recipe, hence it is easy to remember forever; 1 part to 1 part to 1 part to 1 part.

  1. Into a bowl, sift together flour and baking powder.
  2. Make a hole in the middle of the flour and crack in the eggs. Pour over the buttermilk.
  3. Beat together until smooth.
  4. Heat a little of the butter until foaming in a frying pan. Add two spoonful of pancake batter. Swirl around into a round shape.
  5. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until firm enough to flip. Then cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  6. Serve warm

Buttermilk pancakes made by Jacican

I had mine with topped with berries I saved frozen from the summer, warmed homemade berry jam and whipped Gippsland Jersey Crème Fraiche. #yum

Buttermilk pancakes made by Jacican

Walk amongst the weeds

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Cooking Classes

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Private Classes

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Acknowledgment of country

Hello, I’m Jaci Hicken, from the lands of the Brataualung clan, which is where I’ve spent most of my life.

I would like to acknowledge all of us here today to cook together and share a meal.

I love sharing my dream of growing the food this country has to offer and share it with you.

The traditional place that we come together today is on the lands Gunaikurnai people

And I’d like to pay my respects to our elders past, present, emerging leaders, along with all the young people in our community.

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