Chicken and Leek Pot Pies

Now the weather is gradually but finally getting colder, winter type meals are starting to become more common in the household. Soups, stews, curries, casseroles, roasts and pies. The sort of meals that felt far to hot and heavy to eat weeks ago are now desired to chase the chill away.

These pot pies are one of the most simple meals of the bunch. They don't require any pastry knowledge or blind baking so they're perfect for anyone intimidated by making pie crusts.

Let’s begin…

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Hearty Pumpkin Soup

I've spent months complaining about the heat and the humidity and the fires. As we crawled through the beginning of Autumn, the weather remained unrelentingly and record-breakingly hot. Then, suddenly, Melbourne appeared to become sick of at all as well. In the last week the weather plummeted below 30°C and even granted us a whole bunch of rain and storms to go with it. I had lots of fun dancing around in summer dresses remembering what it felt like to be cold once more. It was a welcome feeling, indeed.

Something else we collectively rejoiced was the return of warm, hearty meals. Dinners have been focussed around finding refreshing-feeling meals to help us get through the heat. Now, touch wood, we can return to just eating whatever we enjoy.

This soup is one such meal…

Cook Book Challenge: Week 34

This week I found a moment to complete my next cook book challenge. As mentioned in Week 33, I have a few books published by Philidelphia that were freebies in the grocery shop. They're all fairly mouth-watering books with a huge variety of recipes. This week's recipe comes from "Simply Heaven: Volume 2".

I love home made gnocchi, but rarely do I make it. I find it time consuming so I have to be motivated enough to make it. When I do find said motivation, though, it is incredibly rewarding.

I usually make it with regular potatoes, but this recipe provided a new take on the classic. As soon as I saw it I just needed to try it.

Recipe after the jump…

Chicken Peanut Curry

This curry is one of my all-time favourite recipes. It's rich and flavour-full, but the addition of peanuts takes it to an extra level of taste and texture. I made this one for the family a few weeks back and wanted to share it with you guys.

While I typically use chicken for this recipe, like most curries you can swap the meat for whatever your preferred meat is. Chicken is such a cheap meat here that it makes a delicious budget meal, but if you live in a country where poultry is more expensive, feel free to sub in whatever cut of meat you like. 
Let’s get started…

Cook Book Challenge: Week 33

Every so often, Philly have one of those deals where if you buy so many products you get a recipe book for free. Unlike most of the freebies you get in supermarkets, these books are actually amazing and usually cost $35-45 each to buy on their own. Each is filled with 75 recipes, most of which I'm keen to try out at some point.

A while ago I picked up volume 2 at the supermarket. My dad found the first volume at the op shop. On last week's grocery shop I noticed volume three was out, and eagerly snatched it up. Flicking through the newest copy reminded me of how fantastic these books are, so I decided to dig them out for the cook book challenge. This week begins with the first volume.

I've got a lot of baking on over the next couple weeks, what with the Daring Baker's Challenge, a couple of other challenges, as well as a personal project you guys will find out about soon, so I steered away from the desserts section for once. While there were a bunch of savoury options begging to be tried, I decided to go with something that involved a technique I've always been too intimidated to try.

Bacon, Olive and Almond Filled Chicken

Savoury Ham Rolls

I'm not much of a breakfast person simply because I feel ill if I eat soon after waking, but when my boyfriend stays over I find myself not just wanting to make breakfast, but wanting to make something nice for him. We usually go for something like baked eggs or bacon and egg muffins, but every so often I get the motivation to do something that takes a little more effort.

These rolls are made using a basic scone dough, with a little bit of a twist.

Step-by-step…

Cook Book Challenge: Week 31

Now that my mini-series of cook books has been cooked through, I'm back to indecision in picking a book for the challenge. This week was made a little easier for me, as dad picked up another couple books from the op shop for me. I was flicking through one whilst trying to decide on dinner and came across as recipe I just had to try.

The book is New Idea's "Let's Cook Chinese". I'm such a lover of Asian food, but it's something I seldom have at home. Neither of my parents were equipped to cook Asian dishes, so growing up the only Asian food I got was take away. I haven't learnt enough yet to be able to experiment much with Asian flavours, and so I tend to rely a lot of cook books when I'm making it at home. Some are more westernised than others, and I feel this one lingers half way between traditional and bastardised Asian cuisine, but as a Westerner I'm not picky enough to mind. This book had so many dishes I wanted to try, but there was one that caught my attention above all else. 

Crab Meatballs