Monday, November 26, 2012

thermie goodness...

My lovely friend over at little adelaide kate lent me her oh-so-amazing thermomix last weekend while she escaped for a tiny holiday. We got up to a little bit of fun and made fresh gnocchi with a delicious tomato chilli sauce...

The last photo is not very pretty but I'd forgotten to take photos and then Joel started on seconds...HOLD THE FORK!

A few steps but really simple, thanks to Thermie, and the lightness of the gnocchi was incredible.

Cook on my (well, Kate's) fellow Thermomix MasterChef's...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

weekday wowzers...

I'm delighting in all the pretty Christmas decoration and present ideas this year!

You can follow my Pinterest 'Christmas' board here

I'm pretty sure the giveaway has ended but check out this website.

All the products look amazing.  I hope to purchase some for Christmas and perhaps an organic coconut oil for my new bathroom shelves...

This giveaway has definitely not closed. Thanks Che and Fidel once again for your generosity!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

therapy may be required...

We have been accosted with a crying, slobbering, happy then sad 19 month old. I don't know who this child is but I'd like Nora back! We can't work out whether she's teething, sick, has joined the Bon Jovi philosophy of 'sleep when I'm dead' or just testing the boundaries? Let's just say there has been copious amounts of shoulder shrugging and desperate sighs between Mr and I.

Right now, she's happily playing, opening and closing the window chatting to Daddy.  TWO minutes ago she was howling and throwing food on the floor...What the?

Does anybody know if there are some specific behaviour changes around 19 months? I want to see the light! HELP?!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

fortnightly menus...

Following a few years of chaos, a baby, going back to work and some seriously nutrient-less meals, I've finally put together a fortnightly menu. It allows for nutrition, ease and a little excitement, as well as fitting nicely into our budget and work/play routine.

WEEK 1 -
Saturday:  Cauliflower & Pea Curry
Sunday:  Spaghetti Bolognese (my recipe changes each time but the essentials stay the same)
Monday:  OUT (blessed)
Tuesday:  Eggs/Toast, Fried Rice, Home-made nachos
Wednesday:  Vietnamese Chicken (Thrifty Kitchen)
Thursday:  Vietnamese Cold Rolls (using leftover Vietnamese Chicken)
Friday:  Vegetarian Chilli (Delicious - Quick smart cook)

WEEK 2 -
Saturday:  BBQ Chicken & Proscuitto/Basil Pizzas (Jamie Oliver - Pizza Dough)
Sunday: Chicken, Olive and Fennel Pasta
Monday: OUT
Tuesday:  Chilli con carne, Eggs/Toast
Wednesday:  Beef Stew & Salad (Apples for Jam)
Thursday:  Take Out
Friday:  Carbonara & Greens (Everyday Kitchen)

These meals change each school term (10 weeks), so we get variety and follow the change in seasons. I've organised the meals so that I'm using up all ingredients in one week i.e. week 1, coriander, rice noodles etc; there has been a lot less waste.

I try to stick to my weekly budget of $120, which sometimes includes wine/beer (woot!). I shop according to my list and nothing more, however I do include things like haloumi, proscuitto and dark chocolate so we don't feel we're missing out.  I also bake two different snacks ie jam drops, cheese scones (like we did here) and plan possible breakfasts/lunches to include in my weekly shopping list. 

We're fortunate that my parents care for Nora on Mondays while I work, so dinner is gratefully gobbled at their abode Monday nights.  

Tuesdays is another work day for me so I want something quick and easy.  If I've got energy, I'll give Nora eggs and then lazily make something delicious for Joel and I after she's gone to bed.  Hence the multiple choice Tuesdays...

I make a basic tomato sauce recipe here, that becomes pizza sauce for Saturday and the base of the pasta dish for Sunday (I add fennel and some marinated red peppers into the basic tomato sauce). 

None of the meals, including take out night, are limited to specific nights.  We swap and change depending on how we feel.  It does, however, ensure that we only eat out once a fortnight (of course, this does not include our occasional indulgent weekend brunches...these are not negotiable!).

Phew...hope this ramble helps! I would love to hear your own menu plan / quick recipe ideas.

**If there's no link to the recipe and you don't have the recipe book listed, inbox me and I'll send you the details. 

for the win...

I've just won my first EVER giveaway - and it's so beautiful! Thanks to Lottie Loves and Donna Wilson, I was the lucky recipient of the circular Owl Tray below.

Cannot wait to serve one of these on it during many, balmy summer nights!

 Autumn Apple Cider & Champagne Sangria
Mini Tacos & Mini Margaritas
Fancy iced coffee

Monday, October 29, 2012

a month of sundays...


Enjoying morning tea at Nee and Pa's

Hanging pictures

Nora, trying to see everything at the same time

Having some family time at the park/beach

Sunday is a special day for us. We reflect, serve, support and enjoy on this day. It's important...

Feel free to join me.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

the leibster...


Not so recently I received the Leibster Award from Imogen Eve.  

"The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. |
The meaning: Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome."

This is a truly great way of supporting each other in the blog-o-sphere and I feel inspired to keep going. So thank you Imogen, you are too kind.  Please visit Imogen's lovely blog, I feel as though I'm whisked away to a serene and delightful place each time I read her posts and I hope you are too.

Here are some blogs that I enjoy reading and am passing on the 'dearest' award to.  Please nip over and say hi to:

Oh Me Oh My
evie dear
little wild moose

Thursday, October 18, 2012

relocation dreaming...

I've just come across Beá 's website La Tartine Gourmande - WOW!

Her latest blog post is advertising a Food Styling and Photography Workshop in East County Clare, Ireland....Oh My Word.

To do this would be a dream come true. The opportunity will hopefully show itself when the kid(s) have all grown, the man and I are living in a recently renovated barn on King Island, making cheese, growing 'things' and our superfunds are bountiful. HA!

The 'tell him he's dreaming' scene from The Castle is on repeat in my head right now...DARN.IT.

One day...

Monday, October 15, 2012

weekday wowzers...

Isn't this one of the most beautiful houses you've ever seen?! So natural yet modern AND homey...

 These are my favourites but you can see the rest of the house over here at OH ME OH MY.

 Check out this delightful ensemble, it makes my heart jump just a little.

Thanks Veggie Mama for the tip

And for some serious generosity, head over to the beetleshack for this incredible giveaway. Fingers crossed!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

baby bake off...

A friend loaned me a book recently called 'Bringing up Bebe' by Pamela Druckerman.  It is a life-changing perspective on parenting, femininity and life in general. The book is now being ordered and I will be putting my highlighter to good use. Pamela is insightful, sophisticated and extremely transparent. I hope to write a separate post about it but for now, head over to her website for more details.

One of the chapters in the book talks about how the French teach their children to cook from a young age (we're talking 18 months on). This teaches patience, independence and, I believe, the importance of knowing 'where my food comes from'.

I loved this idea, so we started yesterday! I had planned to make some cheese scones this week anyway and thought it would be a fairly safe starting point.

Here is the (slightly fuzzy) proof:

It was messy, slightly frustrating and it did test my patience.  However, I managed to nullify all those feelings and enjoyed watching Nora mixing, rolling, eating the dough and throwing (literally) the scones onto the tray.

I'm not sure whether she realised the 'scheeeese' (cheese) she was having fun with was what turned into the delightful hot snack 30 mins later but she will at some point, and by then she will be on the way to learning (and eating) all sorts of things.

Let the baking begin baby-peeps!

Monday, October 8, 2012

date day...

Since it's been school holidays my lovely man has been home for the last two weeks. Woot!

Nora still went to childcare last Tuesday so Joel and I took a day out to spend some time together, check out some salvage yards and drink lots of coffee.
And we took our time over was delicious. What a luxury!

I'm not sure you appreciate the small things, like having time to eat and drink slowly, before you have children. It was bliss! And our bellies thanked us.

So here are parts of the day for your viewing pleasure:

Morning tea, including the BEST chai latte I've EVER had,
at the Mockingbird Lounge

Sitting outside for lunch in my oversized sunglasses
One of the many beautiful streets we wandered down
and a blissful end at home...


What would you call an absolute luxury on your days off?  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

a month of sundays...

For a different kind of project** I'm starting #a month of Sunday's.  I will take a picture from each Sunday of every month and share.

Sunday is a special day for us. We reflect, serve, support and enjoy on this day. It's important...

Spending time with my family...
A weekend in Naracoorte...
At the beach...

Before a bike ride...

A time to read, enjoy a coffee (or three) and listen to a bit of Etta.

Hope you can join me...

*the photos won't be all of Nora, it's just happened that way this month!
** different from these projects...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

in memory...

My mind has been absent, hence the lack of posting.  I had some difficult health news shortly followed by a close family friend passing away. More than a friend, more like an adopted Grandma whom we loved dearly.

Aunty Vera loved with an unconditional love that could only come from somewhere other than earth. This was so clear during the funeral where a myriad of people professed the love she had for others and how secure they felt around her. She was passionate and headstrong, which some people found arduous, however this was never in my memory.

I remember the countless days in my childhood where she spent time teaching me delicate folk art, feeding me delicious goodness and reaffirming that life had a lot more to offer than the intimidating girls at school. She was my friend, confidant and teacher. 

In memory of you my dear Aunt Vera. Much love. I know you will be happy and probably singing 'Oh Jerusalem' as you reunite with Uncle Alwent, whom I'm sure, will still be wearing his shorts with knee high socks.

Please God, hold them close, I look forward to seeing you all one day...

Picture borrowed from:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Weekday Wowzers...

Oh my!

Just beautiful. Hopefully our little shack will have some essence of this once finished*. You can check out more of this lovely home over at 'my scandinavian home'.

For another 'wowzer moment' head over to Che and Fidel to enter this amazing giveaway. It'd be like Christmas come early...

*Click here and here to see the beginnings of our bathroom renovation.

Friday, September 7, 2012

waiting for spring to sprong*...

Winter is still lingering throughout my body and I have no genius to share...

So I'll be back soon I hope when Spring has properly sprung and Winter is out of my sinuses.

I'll leave you with some borrowed genius:
1.  I'm eating ALL of this in my mind - Small Measure.
2.  A Birth Story - Described beautifully by Imogen Eve.
3.  Sewing Exploits - Thank God I have such creative friends.

*Sprang?! Sprung?! Sprong?!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


I had terrible taste in music.

Thankfully, my good man gently guided me in the right direction.  My goodness, there's some amazing music out there.

A few of my favourites:

City and Colour
Gin Wigmore
James Vincent McMorrow

A new one in my collection - Birdy. So young, completely amazing!

Check it...

...and no, I won't be divulging the monstrosities I used to listen to.

P.S.  If your so inclined, my Spotify list - 'Lee-Anne's Playlist'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weekday Wowzers...

Check out this inspired coat rack from Weekday Carnival!

And for some seriously drool worthy shoes, visit The Beetle Shack for this fab Sole Society giveaway! I'm gunning for the Mary May Mint and Hugo Boot...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Project Update #1...

Here it is!
As promised in this post, here is the #1 update of my current projects.

1/3 - Bathroom Renovation:

It's a small update for the bathroom as there isn't much I can do other than plan at this stage. We have organised with my very talented Father and Brother to do most of the labour.  This will happen in the January holidays. We plan to knock out the wall between the toilet and the bathroom to make it larger. So even though the toilet will be in the bathroom, I think it will make the house more valuable to any future buyers. Dad will be coming round in the next few weeks to measure and then draw up some plans.

This bathroom would be ideal:

Thanks my scandinavian home

However, I think that something a little more simple will be more appropriate for the future...and our pockets. Especially if we decide to go through with this.

2/3 - Veggie Garden:

Thankfully, I've made some serious progress. (In the midst of rescuing Nora from sitting in idle dog poo and stopping Digby, our dog, lick my feet..ew!)

It's more fruit related than veggie but still in the garden.  Here is our new strawberry plants from Perry's Nursery, which I've planted in a bargain pot we bought from the Willunga Lions Auction. 

We also purchased a dwarf granny smith tree to cross-pollenate with our other apple tree. Advice received from our friend over at One Small Orchard.

It's been refreshing to get outside a bit more!

3/3 - Creative Projects:

Two little newborn beanies to get my juices flowing. I've just learnt how to change colours while knitting...WOOT!

Now for the next creative project.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Knitting Beauty...

My project updates are on their way. This has been a great motivation and I'm looking forward to sharing with you where I'm up to.

For update #2, hopefully one of these will be included. Thank you Purl Bee:

Just beautiful, right?!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Itchy Feet...

There's no denying it. It's in my blood. The irrefutable feeling of 'where to next?'.

My husband and I have lived in 5 different houses since we've been married (that's 5 years). Obviously, the changes have occurred due to circumstances but I think secretly (or not so secretly) we like new spaces, new scenery and for me, somewhere new to decorate.

My current destination craving is for Scotland. Joel and I were considering moving there before we bought our current house. We have family in the UK whom I'd love to be closer to for some part of our children's lives. Every now and then I think 'what if?'.


I can just imagine eating here, running through this field, and hopefully, casually bumping into this man!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Lovely days...

What a weekend!
Thank goodness, it was filled with family, friends and gosh darn whiz bang kitchen appliances.

A friend held a thermomix party (incredible and incredibly expensive). The host was bubbly, full of food admiration, and we ate throughout the entire presentation. Bread, lime butter, risotto, a beetroot salad*, sorbet, a herby dip with crackers - YUM!

Joel and I made it to the movies, read the paper over breakfast, watched this little one strut around in her beads...

and filled my pantry with some deliciousness!

* Beetroot, carrot, apple and lemon juice, process into small chunks and serve.
**Check out Merle's Kitchen for some lovely baked goods.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Projects - 3/3...

After my post last week about never having enough time (and some lovely support), I decided to get my groove on and start some projects.

I have three things in mind...

Our bathroom renovation:
Our current tiny, pink bathroom

The veggie garden:
The weedy, soon-to-be veggie garden

And some creative knitting/crocheting projects like these:

I"ll focus on completing some angle of these projects, however small, and will keep you in the loop about where I'm up to each week.  Hopefully, my interweb peeps will be the motivation I need to keep going...

...even when my floors are crying out to be scrubbed!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pumpkin Soup or Stew...

My poor little Nora fell and hurt her tooth on Tuesday and so that night we were awake...a LOT. At 3am, when I had resigned myself to the fact that it was now the start of my day, I made some coffee and toast, bundled Nora onto my lap, turned on ABC iview and started watching my new favourite cooking show Nigel Slater's Simple Suppers. It was the 'Hot and Cold' episode, which includes lamb and natural yoghurt, caramel apples with apple ice cream, hot porridge with cold milk and a lovely pumpkin dish with sour cream.

With a giant pumpkin sitting in my fridge I knew the soup/stew was a great idea for tonights dinner. The recipe is simple and can be done while doing other things:

40g butter 
2 onions, chopped 
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped (I didn't have any celery so added some red onion and capsicum)
3 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
1 clove garlic, chopped
400g lentils 
1.2 litres vegetable stock
600g assorted pumpkin (total chopped weight) (I also added some sweet potato)
small bunch parsley, chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp sour cream


Preparation method
In a large pan melt the butter and then add chopped onions, carrot and celery. Add rosemary and bay leaves and after a few minutes add the chopped garlic. When softened, add lentils and pour over a litre of veggie stock. Bring to the boil and then leave to simmer.

Peel assorted pumpkin into large chunks.  Add to the stew, season and then pour over enough water to just cover all the ingredients. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes.

When the stew is almost ready, add the chopped parsley.

To make the stew creamier, remove a small bowlful to a food processor and blitz it with 200ml of stock. Pour it back in and the stew becomes instantly more velvety. (I didn't do this as my pumpkin/sweet potato was so soft it turned into a soup just by stirring).

Serve the stew in bowls adding a spoonful of sour cream to each. 
I also made up a batch of Jamie Oliver's Pizza Dough and later added some tomato relish and danish feta for a cheats pizza:

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