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





















Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Sluggish sourdough and a birthday...

Remember how I had fed up my starter on Saturday?  I fed it again on Sunday and by the evening it seemed good and bubbly so I made a high hydration loaf, following 
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It was very cold overnight and when I checked the dough on Monday morning, it had risen a bit but not to the top of the bowl like it usually does...
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I gently flipped and folded the dough (I had halved it into 2 bowls) and left if for a while, sitting in a warmed oven which had been turned off...just to get it going.  Then I just left it for the rest of the day while I went to work...
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It had risen when I got home so I made a focaccia with one and a loaf with the other...
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Oh, wow! It turned out great!
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Nice open crumb and it tasted delicious!
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The loaf, maybe could have done with a few minutes less but it was fantastic also!
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Celia from Fig jam and lime cordial said when sourdough is a bit sluggish you just have to wait...which is what I did.  She said this loaf looked 'burnished and grand'!
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The weather has been cold the last few days and we are in for a cold snap tomorrow and Friday...
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We are south of Adelaide and its colder here so I may need to whip up this little number to keep me warm!  Lol!
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Today is my beloved's birthday so I whipped up a chocolate cake to take to work and share with the staff at smoko time...
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This recipe makes the fudgiest chocolate cake without it being a mud cake.  Throw all the ingredients into a food processor, blitz and you are done!
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Dana's chocolate cake (cupcakes) - scroll down a bit for the recipe.
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Perfect bundt cake...
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Frosted to perfection!
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These are a few pics from my archives of the last leaves on my silver birch trees...
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I hope you are keep warm wherever you are in the Southern Hemisphere and cool in the Northern.  I hear California in parts, is reaching 48C which is ridiculously hot!  That is not a problem where I am at the moment, we are going for 13C tomorrow and 11C on Friday.  Providing the wind stays away, it is bearable!
Cheers - Joolz xx







Greek Keftethes...

 I had a hankering for something Greek-ish on Saturday night.    A Year In My Garden is on my blog roll but I don't know how I came to that recipe exactly!
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I made a salad of lettuce and greens, red onion, green olives, tomato, cucumber, fetta and mandarin...
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The keftethes were easy to make, just mix all the ingredients together.  I use a dispable glove for this messy mixing...
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Then they are sat atop a thick slice of potato, drizzled with oil.  More tomato puree is poured over the top...
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Baked and ready to serve...
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I didn't do the full recipe - I just did 200gms flour to 200gms yoghurt and that worked fine...
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This meal was delicious!
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I did a little greek yoghurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper dressing for the salad...
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We sat and chewed the fat late into the evening, hubby and I, and probably had too many red wines...
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Sunday morning breakfast! :(
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Cheers - Joolz xx














Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Saturday at home...

We've had some beautiful sunrises and very chilly mornings of late (this was the only sunrise I captured!)...
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Last Friday, I saw these beauties in a local gift shop and decided they would be mine!   Love!
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Saturday was a home day, I tidied, showered then sat knitting and drinking cups of tea...
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I fed up my Sally Sourdough starter...
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I also cleaned Sally's jar...
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I had a few dead bananas in the fruit bowl...
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These are best for making banana bread!
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I love this melt and mix recipe from Hannah at Honey & Jam...she's been absent from her blog after the loss of her mum ... ;(
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My friend arrived back after 5 weeks away in Europe so this loaf found it's way to her back doorstep, waiting for her to get home in the afternoon...something nice to have with a cuppa.
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Joolz xx






Friday, June 17, 2016

Pizza Monday!

We had a quiet holiday Monday just hanging around the house.  Bri crocheted and I watched DVD's with her then in the afternoon, she helped Gus mow the lawns.
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We made pizzas for dinner.  I used a new recipe for the dough which I found on Celia's blog, Fig Jam & Lime Cordial...


I found that the longer you let the dough sit after you've made it into 4 balls, the better.  The first pizza ball had a lot of spring back which made it hard to smooth out on the paper.  The last ball just spread out very easily (I also sprayed the paper with olive oil spray so it didn't  crinkle up underneath).
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Potato, rosemary, garlic, parmesan cheese...
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Pesto, chicken, snow peas, red onion, mushroom and cheese...
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We tried cooking this pizza in our new wood fire but the fire was too hot and the bottom burnt.  I think our pizzas are best done in Gus's Weber.  We'll try other things on the fire another time.  We needed to keep the heat up so we could stay warm...
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This is my go-to pizza - tomato base, bacon, salami, mushroom, tomato, cheese, pineapple, olives, sprinkle of oregano...
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Joolz supreme
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This was the last ball of dough and you can see, it had relaxed quite a bit...
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and was easy to spread out with my fingers.  This is dinner plate size.
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The last pizza - Brianna's barbecue chicken...
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By this stage we were fairly full so most of this went into the fridge for next day!
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Brianna crocheted me a little cat, in Bonnie's colours - so cute!
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Do give this pizza dough a go, the crust was delicious!
Cheers - Joolz xx










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