Saturday, August 27, 2016

Three days in Paradise...

Surfers Paradise to be precise!
Waaaay back in July, I spent 3 nights on the Gold Coast with 3 of my sisters (my 4th sister was travelling over on the west coast and couldn't join us) for my sister Sue's 60th birthday.  Sue's friend Heather also joined us and became the 5th sister!
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We arrived in Surfers Paradise at lunch time and had time to explore our accomodation - The Dorchester on the Beach.  A nice, airy apartment on the 8th floor with sea views up the coast.  Then it was time to go to a special High Tea for Sue's birthday.  It was a surprise for her and we were frightening her with threats of a stripper being there or maybe we were taking her bungee jumping...
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But it was just a pleasant High Tea with yummy food and some bubbles.
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 That night, after the High Tea had digested, I made chicken bean tacos for the girls.  Just something light as it had been a big day.
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 Next morning, we tackled the tallest building on the Gold Coast - the Skypoint Tower.  We took the elevator up 77 floors...
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Great views of Surfers Paradise...
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We went on a lunch cruise of the waterways which was lovely.
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A great buffet lunch (which we got first dibs at as we were nearest the food!). Beautiful fresh prawns!
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Blue Sky and the sun on our backs!
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That is a guy with water jets attached to his feet, he was flying around everywhere!
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 A relaxing wine before heading back to shore...
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Tuesday night, we headed out to the Outback Spectacular for High Country Legends.  We all had to wear cowboy hats - which I was thrilled about - not!  
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 I thought it was very good value at $140 as we got a complimentary drink on arrival, our hats, a group photo, 3 course dinner (soup, delicious steak and veg then apple pie & cream) and more drinks during the show.  The show itself was well put together and I loved it.  Any international tourists would think its fantastic.
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On Wednesday morning, we boarded The Vino Bus for a day of wine tasting and
sight seeing up on Mount Tambourine.
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Ed was our lively, chatty bus driver and he was a fountain of knowlege when it came to wine and the wineries.
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First stop was TM Distillery where we tasted some liqueurs and purchased some too!
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This is at Witches Falls winery.  Some very nice white wines here and I also bought a Chocolate Port.
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Lastly, we visited Cedar Creeek Estate Vineyard and Winery where we tasted more wine before having a delicious 2 course lunch.
  Here I am showing Eddie (the only guy on the tour) how to use a selfie stick!
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 I had the confit duck and noodle salad - yummy!
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Baked cheesecake ...
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 or the blackest chocolate mud cake I have ever seen!
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One last pic of us girls. Again, this tour was great value at $130 - we did 3 wineries and the distillery, all tastings were paid for (I think they charge $5 head unless you buy something) and the lunch plus lots of laughs along the way.  There was only one other couple on the tour plus us giggling girls (poor Eddie didn't know what hit him).
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Thursday, we packed up and flew back to Adelaide.  
Great times!
Cheers - Joolz xx

















Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I'll get there one day!

Oh, I am so sorry that I've been away so long.  I just need a clear time on the weekend to sit and blog all about July and now half of August!  Everything is good here, but I am still figuring out the best way to blog as I don't use my pc anymore to upload pictures.  This comes to you from my pc at work...sshhh, don't tell the boss!

 I blog straight from my iPhone and I was using BlogGo up until it decided not to allow pictures to load. Grrr!

(Hutchessons Camp Ground on the Glenelg River, South West Vic
- we had 2 cosy night there, last weekend)

Now I am using BlogTouch Pro but it's taking some getting used to.  Hence, the lack of posting.  Believe me, I wanna!  I had big, lovely post about my mini trip to Queensland back in mid July, lots of great pictures and words and then blaaaagh - not pictures published!  Since then, things have been crazy cray cray hectic and I haven't had time to sit and compile another post.  

I will get there, so stay with me.  I have been surfing blogs but haven't been commenting much either.

In the mean time, how have you been?  I have been good and so far have escaped any winter lurgies - touch wood!

Are you sick of your winter (or summer if you are in the Northern Hemi)?
Family happy or driving you nuts?
Sick of cooking dinner?
Have a recipe to share?
Anyhoo, I'd love you to check in - see you soon!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I'm still here...

...and I haven't forgotten you! I've just been extra busy of late. Back soon! :)
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Monday, July 4, 2016

Wintery week...

It's been cold and very wet here. We've had record breaking rains and its still raining!
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I took this photo out my glass sliding door last Tuesday after a big heavy shower of rain then the sun came out and the droplets were glistening on the branches.  I did put a filter on it but its rather nice I think!
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This was on Thursday and it did warm up to 12C!
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It's never too cold for ice cream (with strawberries soaked in strawberry schnapps...
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The financial year ended on June 30th and we've been flat out finishing up everything in the office. My least favourite time of the year!
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Last night I made this Creamy Chicken Penne last night - a ripper of a dish!


Mmm, a great little dessert. Small enough so you don't feel too guilty and definitely satisfying!
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In other news, we head to NSW to pick up our new camper trailer soon.
I'm starting a new blog called
Camping Adventures in Ruby & Pearl to log our trips and camp cooking etc.
Ruby is our red Land Rover Defender and Pearl is our new camper - I can't wait to take a photo of her on Wednesday! Can you tell I'm super excited! Eeep!
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I'm batching tonight so I pulled this Moroccan spiced shepherds pie out of the freezer - winning!
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Cheers - Joolz xx

 


 
 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Winter in full swing!

Wow, it was cold here on Friday! It got down to 6C and it was bitter! The day before was the shortest day of the year and it was dark at 4.30pm...
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Funny, I would still prefer a freezing cold day over a stinking hot 38C day!
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You can see those clouds, that is rain coming!
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Proof on my dash board that it was 6C (that was at 1pm).
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Thank goodness our reverse cycle air-con is working again!
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I spent most of Saturday prepping for a dinner party we were having. Gee, its been a long time since we've had company over for a proper sit down meal. 
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I wanted to make a fruit coulis for my cheesecakes and had bought an expensive bag ($8.50) of mixed frozen berries (Australian). The bag contained big, pale insipid looking strawberries and not many berries at all.   What raspberries there were in there, were just crumbs and I think there was 3 blackberries! I'll never be buying that brand again.
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I went and bought fresh blue berries, raspberries and strawberries...still expensive but fresh!
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I piped these chocolate flowers too...
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I browned off the (10) lamb shanks before adding them to my slow cooker and le Creuset dutch oven.  I had to cook two batches as they were so big!
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I did bean bundles and this worked great as I knew I had the exact amount for us all.  I'll be doing that again.
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As for the mashed potato, I thought I had plenty but only just had enough...  :(
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I made the sauce base using tinned tomatoes, carrot, celery, onion and garlic. I have some Moroccan spice mix so I put in two big heaped tablespoons of that and half a cup of red wine.  Then I let them slow cook for hours until tender.
The table was set...
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Gus did the entrée on the barbecue -charred prawns with a red pepper mayonnaise...
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The lamb shanks were beautiful and tender and tasty...
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My cheesecakes with berry coulis were perfect! Such an easy dessert - prepared at 10am and popped in the fridge until needed.
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I really just made up this recipe - so here goes:

In a food processor, whizz a packet of Arnott's Marie or similar sweet biscuits until a coarse crumb, then add in 100gms melted butter and combine.   Spoon the crumb mix into large wine glasses - mine were stemless ones.
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I slightly softened a block of Philadelphia cream cheese then whipped it with electric beaters, once smooth, I added about 150 - 200 mls of cream, a heaped tablespoon of icing sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice - you can make it sweeter and more lemony to your taste.  Carefully spoon the cheese mix on top of the crumbs.  I made a berry coulis with fresh berries (as above) and added a little caster sugar to sweeten.  You can whiz it a bit with a stab blender or leave it more lumpy if you like.  Spoon this over the cheesecake.  Dollop with cream and add the chocolate flowers if you wish.
This is a great dessert as you can prepare it earlier and pop it in the fridge.  I would imagine a mango or apricot coulis would be yummy too! Gee, I hope yours turn out! :)
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Sitting here this morning, wishing I had made an extra one for today!
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Good food, good wine and good friends - it doesn't get better than that!
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Now I must wash all the glassware!
Cheers - Joolz xx





















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