Monday, January 21, 2013

I have moved!

I am still cooking, now more than ever, but I have moved to and I would love for you to visit me there! you can also find me here,!/LeonieCooks

thanks for coming to read

happy cooking
Leonie x

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Leonie's risotto!!!

Oh my gosh its been weeks... this cookbook will be looking empty at the end of the year if I do NOT get my act together. It has been a crazy busy time over the last month... report cards, end of term commitments, kids, colds, flu's.... the list seriously has been endless. Currently I am sitting on the gold coast, enjoying a wonderful break from the bleak cold winter of where we currently live. Great company, great food and lots and lots of laughs...

Now onto the food.... This school term has been so busy meals have been quick, easy and warming...My goal for the following term is to meal plan, try new things, and save some money our groceries are getting out of hand.... Starting the new term with a weekly meal planning challenge, would love to start a link for people to join me in this..... (I have one week to get it all in order!) I will be blogging about food and money saved....sounds exciting hey!!! My life is a crazy exciting one!

This has been a weekly standby dinner at our house, and never does it taste the same or look the same! This is one of my favourite things to eat and cook... I know I can have this on the table in half hour, our bellies warm and full.

This is a standard for us, I change the ingredients depending what is seasonal and in the fridge...

500g organic chicken thighs
100g diced pancetta
diced red onion
2 garlic cloves
1 cup aborio rice
500ml good chicken stock
bunch of broccolini
dash of white wine
rind of half a lemon ( I use a micro plane)
olive oil

fry off  olive oil, onion, garlic, and pancetta, just until the onion is see through not caramelised. add in the rice and lemon rind give pan a good stir. add the dash of wine... now I do NOT measure this I am normally ready for an after 5 glass so add a dash from the bottle. allow the alcohol to bubble off add the stock, and brocolini. Put on a tight fitting lid and place in an oven for 25 minutes.

Remove from the oven and add 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan.

seriously its GOOD!!! now I love to stand and stir a risotto but I just do not have the time so this method has become a standard. It works and even Donna Hay uses it...

My favourite bit is ONE PAN!!!! I hate washing up! so I love that for a family of five there are only 5 dishes to do!!! win win in my world! I will add varieties to this over time.

Happy cooking!

Leonie xx

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Donna's one pot pan puff cake!!!!!

OMG this is the most dramatic thing to watch cook, we all love to watch the amazing growing of the puff cake..... this is the perfect Saturday night dessert, a fun easy breaky, or for me the mummy loves you after a shitty day at sport tummy warmer......

Now let me preface to say that today has been tough in this house hold but not tough enough that we cannot all snuggle, cook, eat, and love on each other that the world can be a better place.... seriously it works like magic!!!!

what you need:

 a non-stick fry pan that can go into the oven... I have a kitchen aide brand ones and they are possibly the bestest pans ever and not that expensive... its stock take time people go shopping...I got mine at David Jones this time of year... cheap as chips!I know you can get them at matchbox kitchenware shops too, but seriously just go SHOPPING!!!! (Mel and Nat you need to check the handle can go into the oven!!! xx)

ok onto the other serious stuff like ingredients....

1/2 cup plain four
2 eggs
tbs vanilla extract (you could use essence but seriously DO NOT...... extract is the way to go for everything!!!!)
2 TBS caster sugar
1/2 cup of milk
30g butter

seriously this is sooooo easy!!!!

heat your oven to 180, putting your fry pan in the oven to warm...

while that is warming up in a small bowl place all ingredients except the butter and whisk together to a smooth batter.

remove the pan from oven... place  a tea towel over the handle and leave there.... (seriously I know that most people would think of that but I know a couple of readers personally and seriously they need this tip in bold!!! love you xx)

place butter in pan and coat the pan in the butter (use real butter Lurpak is a fav of mine....)

pour the batter in the pan and place the pan into the oven...

Now watch the magic... seriously very cool.....

after 25 minutes,,,, remove from the oven....

slip out onto a board and serve with berries, ice cream, maple syrup what ever takes your fancy.... it seriously is like a Yorkshire pud.,.... but sweet divine goodness... a perfect late night snack too.....

no berries here today, but maple syrup and Maggie Beers vanilla bean and elderflower ice cream was YUM YUM YUM!!!!
honestly try it....

happy cooking

Leonie xx

Sunday, June 3, 2012

pizza scrolls for hungry cold bodies!

I have to confess I have not made these for yonks! yep you read that right YONKS!!! When I was a tired mum of 2 little people bored with the everyday sandwhich choice of peanut butter, vegemite or jam I would make these... I really think they were one of the first things I cooked with the boys. They were eaten and loved by us all.... now the fillings can vary of course sometimes because of a 'compulsory Pj day' the filling would simply be pizza sauce and cheese, or at times it could be left over roast veges... particularly capsicum, zucchini and egplant YUM... but in all honesty the usual 'go to' toppings are good old ham and pineapple... you just can't beat it. seriously....

Now the weather here is miserable today, overcast, rainy, and not to forget bloody FREEZING!!!! so I thought these would make the perfect tummy warmers for a post freezing footy match.,.... and I was RIGHT... they have gone down a treat!

Now for the recipe I guess...

2 cups Self raising flour
40g butter ( I had not taken mine out of the fridge so I grate it so I can use it right away!!)
3/4 cup milk

rub the butter into flour tile you get bread crumb like consistency, add milk and combine, remove from bowl and knead on a floured bench topuntil smooth and elastic.... not too much! the roll dough until about 2cm thick... try with all your might to get a rectangle, I am a complete failure with this so I just go with whatever happens!
 squirt pizza topping on top of base spread liberally with the back of a spoon... the more the better for us, top with ingredients.

Starting with one side roll your pizza up, you will find some falls out.. my kids like to eat these bits at the end! now once you have a nice firm roll, slice it into 1.5 cm slices and place on baking paper in baking dish. Smoosh them all together as tightly as you can and bake in an oven at 180 for 1/2 hour....

I promise you will not be disappointed!Neither will the little or big people in your life!

Happy cooking

Leonie xx

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The perfect Sunday roast CHOOK!!!! seriously just flippin perfect!

Now this chicken has been around for a long time... I think many of my friends have eaten it... its good, safe, and never ever fails to inpress! it is divine!!!!
Seriously lok bloody good hey!

Now the ingredients are easy to find, it cooks on low in a slow oven 150.... for up to 3 hours.... its a one pot pleaser!

One free range chook
half dozen french eshallots
2 heads garlic cut in half
thyme, rosemary, any herbs you have!
1 lemon, rind removed and cut in half
salt and pepper
10 small potatoes, halved
olive oil
chicken stock and a 1/4 cup white wine.... (seriously there is a theme here... wine, cooking and me!!!)

place a good cast iron pot (you will need a roaster with a lid, you could bung it all in a casserole dish lid on if thats all you have), place eshallots and garlic around base of the pan. Add the clean and dried chook, up the chooks butt place half head of garlic, the lemon halves and half the bunch of herbs. Place the chook in the middle of garlic and shallots. place the potatoes around chook. pour wine and stock around and over potatoes. grind salt and pepper over the chook and drizzle with a little olive oil, pop the lid on and bake for 1 1/2 hours, then remove lid and bake for a futher 45 mins....Now I somethimes start the cooking on the stove top, heating the pan add the ingredients then bunging into the oven.... but depends on my mood and time restraints.

This chook smells divine after about 1/2 hour and takes a great amount of will power to resist until the end of time.....

Once the chook is done, remove and rest, at this time I also remove the veges. I squash the garlic out of their skins and place on a medium heat and reduce the liquid down to make a saucy gravy that I honestly could dive into and drink!!!OMG!!! the roasted garlic would have to be one of my favs!

so any way there you have it my super YUM and super easy and impressive roast chook!!!

happy cooking

Leonie xx

Monday, May 21, 2012

my artichoke dip

This is an all time favourite to serve for friends on a cold wintry dinner.... its super easy, can be made well ahead of time and is so damn addictive I dare anyone to stop and one dip..... seriously even if you don't like artichokes you will love this.... I have tricked many the vege hater....

1 tin Artichoke in brine
3 cloves garlic
1 cup of whole egg mayonnaise
1 cup Parmesan(I cheat with this one and usually buy the already grated)

In your processor whizz up the artichokes and garlic,  add the mayo and cheese give it another whirl, then seriously that my friends is it....

Now all you have to do is put it in a cute little pot, bake in the oven at 180 for around 20 mins until its bubbly and warm through.... I serve mine with some crostini, sliced sour dough, anything goes really, its is honestly GOOD!!!

Now when I am usually serving this baby there is normally copious amounts of wine on hand, great friends and lots and lots of laughs.... the best kind of food usually does!

happy cooking

Leonie xx

oh should mention if you have some that does not fit into your cute little container, it is great on some freshly toasted  and buttered (I have a love for lurpak... danish butter OMG heaven!) sour dough, or even tossed through some pasta for a quick and different lunch....

I think you could change this to suit a cob like dip.... add a few more ingredients such as pancetta, baby spinach, sun dried tomatoes... anything would work really, only limit is your pantry.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

best potato and leek soup EVER!!!

Oh my I have never made this soup which is odd as potatoes are my absolute favourite food group, you know fried, boiled mashed... you get it... surely I am not alone in this love affair... Well over the last few years we have eaten less and less of these divine little beauties... but today I seemed to have an abundance of them, some lovely leeks, onions, garlic.... well it called for SOUP... oh the chilly season also helped.

now this was super easy and super super yum....

2 cloves garlic
knob butter
2 leeks, sliced in half length ways the chopped
6-10 potatoes...(I had a few and they were not very big, the were washed and skins stayed on) chopped roughly
whole nutmeg ( use a microplane or super fine grater to grate)
500ml chicken stock
2 onions, diced

Melt butter in big saucepan, fry garlic, leeks, onions until softened, add potatoes and stock, and nutmeg bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer, once all cooked, about 20 mins, blend like a crazy lady with your stick blender and enjoy!!!!!

Oh to make this even more delicious, a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese after blending makes this TO DIE FOR!!!!!

I will add pictures later..... its a school night and I am tired!

happy cooking

Leonie xx