Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thai Chicken Burgers and some webs and roses...

THAI CHICKEN BURGERS - SUNDAY NIGHT DINNER
500gm chicken mince
1-2 tblspn Thai red curry paste
1 small onion, chopped
2 tblspns coriander
olive oil for brushing
4 buns/turkish bread
salad leaves
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Blitz first 4 ingredients in a food processor to blend until smooth. Chill mixture for 30 minutes then form into 8 even sized patties.
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SATAY SAUCE
6 tblspns coconut cream
3 tblspns smooth peanut butter
juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tspns fish sauce
2 tspns sweet chilli sauce
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Place all ingredients in a saucepan and heat gently until combined.
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Either barbecue patties on the grill or lightly fry in a pan until golden and cooked through. Assemble burgers in bread rolls or toasted turkish bread, add salad and drizzle with sauce.
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Oh, yeah!
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This cobweb nearly trapped me this morning. It was anchored between the ground and our basketball ring. Erk! I did walk through one the other day - what I sight I would have made! I was taking a bucket of dirty water to throw over our fence when it happened, dressed in my nightie and brunch coat! The web went all over my face so I knocked my glasses flying and was trying to get it out of my face. Then I had the horrible thought that a spider might be on my back so I stripped off the brunch coat - mid back lawn - and continued to brush my self off all over! Neighbours would have thought I was having a fit! Lol!
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Quite a work of art. I do know that the artist if a fat bodied spider who will not take no for an answer. Knock the web down and it is rebuilt and good as new by morning.
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These are webs all over our lawn - icky to think of all the spiders that made them!
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My Bonica standard roses are still putting on a show. They were covered in dew so I took some shots.
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Cheers - Joolz

Friday, March 26, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken Skewers and Oaty Cookies

I think it was one night last week that I made these chicken skewers. Very easy and tasty. I made a dish of baked rice to go with it.
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CHICKEN TERIYAKI SKEWERS
First, soak some bamboo skewers in water (to prevent burning if you are BBQing)
2 tblspn rice wine
4 tblspn soy sauce
2 tblspn mirin
1 tblspn caster sugar
1 tspn minced ginger
500gms chicken thigh fillets, trimmed of fat and 2cm cubed
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Thread chicken onto skewers and place in a lidded container suitable for marinading. Mix all other ingredients and pour over chicken. Let marinade for about half an hour. Either grill or fry in a lightly greased frypan.
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BAKED RICE
1 cup white/brown rice
1/2 capsicum, finely diced
1/2 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cups of salt reduced chicken stock
1 tspn curry powder
pepper to taste
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Place all ingredients in a small baking dish, sprayed with cooking oil. Stir to combine all ingredients then cover with foil. Bake for approx. 30 minutes until stock has been absorbed and vegetables and rice is tender. Serve with Teriyaki Chicken Skewers.
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I made a batch of these Oaty Cookies this morning. Lucy at Attic24 makes these cookies nearly every day for snacks for her family - there is a printable recipe here. I used dried cranberries (Craisins) but you could use raisins, mixed fruit, dates or dried apricots.
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It's Friday in my part of the world. Tonight Angus and I are off to a Photographic Art Show so I am sure I will come away inspired to get out there and take some great photos. I might even enter next year, who knows?
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Cheers - Joolz

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Family photos and a long lunch...

We had friends over for lunch on Sunday so I got one of them to take some family pics of us.
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I got the giggles...
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... I couldn't keep a straight face...
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... come one, try and compose yourself!
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What hope did I have!
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Nearly there...
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... nice but nah, too sunny/shadowy and we are squinting...
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... oh, for Pete's sake!
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I wasn't the only one cracking up...
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Maybe I had one too many wines!
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Okay, that's better!
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We had a lovely long lunch - I didn't take many photos but I will try and get the recipe for the prawn skewers we had up. Delicious!
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Cheers - Joolz

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Topsy Turvey Tomato slow going...

(web pic)
So this is what my Topsy Turvy Tomato planter should look like...
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...but this is mine. It is nearly 3 months since I planted it out and that lone red tomato is the first one that has ripened. I have cut back a lot of the vines as the hot weather had taken it's toll.
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There are plenty more fruit on the vines but they are just so slow to ripen off and we are fast running out of sun, seeing it is autumn here now. I will plant it out again in October this year so hopefully I will have tomatoes all over summer and I will do a separate one with herbs in it. Also, I will just try it with cherry tomatoes and not the bigger varieties. I have found that it really needs watering morning and night to keep the moisture up to it too. Thirsty bugger!
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Cheers - Joolz

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mexican Chicken Lasagne

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(Joolzpic - disregard the salt shaker in the back ground! I promise I never used it! )
I made this lasagne last night and it was very good. This AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) website is fantastic for healthy recipes - thanks Pip for putting me onto it. You can find the lasagne recipe here. I had to use beef mince because good ol' Woolies was out of chicken mince!
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I have been to Mt. G today so I went searching for a healthy recipe book to add to my collection. I discovered a couple of the AIS books in the book store so I chose Survival for the Active Family. This is the fourth in the series (Survival for the Fittest, Survival from the Fittest and Survival Around the World)
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There are recipes for turkey pasties, minestrone, sausage rolls, chicken & peanut stir-fry, beef stroganoff, carbonara, beef with cashews, teriyaki chicken skewers, beef fajitas, mexican pizza, moroccan lamb pizza, san choy bau, chow mein, vegetarian quiche, no mess pasta, cottage pie, meatballs & spaghetti, lamb curry, lamb shanks with dates & pumpkin, beef & spinach lasagne ...
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...then for dessert there is apricot & apple sponge pudding, lemon delicious pudding, caramel date self-saucing pudding, plum strudel, banana split, fruit crumble, choc pudding, tiramisu, summer fruit salad, chocolate slice, raspberry double-choc muffins, fruity oat slice and much, much more!
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Hungry yet? Over the coming weeks, I'll feature some of these recipes and pass on some of the 100 tips that are in the book.
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Cheers - Joolz

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My sky today...

This was my sky at 6.55am this morning as I came back from my walk.
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We are expecting a top of around 29C today after a rather chilly start to the day.
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This lot of photos were taken last Wednesday (10/3) afternoon. This huge cloud bank hung over the town but it was strange because it was completely in the wrong direction for a sunset.
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We never got any rain out of it. It's meant to be thundery showers tomorrow but I won't hold my breath.
Seems we are in drought conditions in the usually greenest part of SA.
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Have a nice day,

Joolz

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Choc Chip Cookie Dough Chocolate Brownies...

We went to Adelaide on the weekend for the Clipsal500 V8 Supercars and to do a few more things at our unit and to see Kirby and to buy Brianna's Deb dress. We achieved everthing we set out to do!
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My girls love choc chip biscuits and chocolate brownies so I just had to make this recipe. Pictured above are the brownies (in all their gooey cookie dough glory) before going into the oven.
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...and this was when they came out. I made a chocolate ganache of 250gms dark cooking chocolate and about 200mls of cream. Place in a saucepan on the stove and gently melt the chocolate and cream until a gooey consistency. Chill in fridge until it thickens them slather it over the brownies.
Yes, you may as well just slather it straight onto your hips because, my darlings, that's where it will end up! Lol!
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I only took half to Adelaide and the other half is in the freezer so at least we didn't scoff the whole lot. I actually only had 3 small pieces the entire weekend. I was pretty good with my 'diet' too.
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I took porridge for breakfast (wow, that sorts out lazy bowels!) and yesterday we had a pub lunch but I chose lemon pepper floured King George Whiting fillets, grilled with a green salad - no fries! Delicious!
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This was my lunch today - a microwaved jacket potato, lettuce, beetroot, tomato, 4 bean mix, carrot, can of tuna in springwater, light sour cream and no oil/fat balsalmic dressing. Yes, I ate it all, followed by a banana and glass of water. Yes, I am overfull and feel like I could explode but it tasted gooood and was gooood for me.
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Bri stayed home from school today because she vomited soon after getting up this morning and has an annoying migrainy-type headache - sorry for all the gory details. She was feeling a little better at lunch time but the headache was lingering still.
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The new kitchen goes into the unit on Wednesday so the girls will be in a right mess for a few days. The flat-pack kitchen will take 2 days (it is being assembled at the carpenter's workshop then delivered ready to install) then the plumber and electrician get stuck into installing new light switches, sink, gas stove, elec hotplates and rangehood, new lighting in kitchen and lounge. The tiler will be in next Tuesday so I hope by the time he finishes, things will be looking quite groovy. We will go back for the Easter longweekend to paint and fine tune things. New timber flooring goes down after Easter. I can't wait to show you some before and after shots. Our credit card is smoking but it will be a good investment in the end!
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I am on the hunt for a good healthy heart/cholesterol-free cook book so I can experiement with some new recipes. I might look on the web too.
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Enjoy your week,

Cheers - Joolz

Friday, March 12, 2010

My cholesterol challenge...


Okay, so I went for my 45-49 year old health check yesterday. I can safely say I am in perfect health apart from............my cholesterol level........... is 7.4 mmol/L !!!
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My (good) HDL is 2.1 - it needs to be above 1.0 mmol/L so thats good
My (bad) LDL is 4.2 - it needs to be 2.5 or less mmol/L
My (ugly) triglycerides are 2.2 - they need to be 1.5 or less mmol/L

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Everything else checked out - BP is 122/69, pulse 92, blood sugar good, urine clear, weight...let's not go there... okay I will ... their scary scales say 74 kgs which means I need to lose those 4 kgs at least!
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My aim - I have 3 months before I get my cholesterol re-tested. In that time, I am going to halve my cheese consumption, halve or cut out butter/margarine altogether on sandwiches and toast, eat rolled oats/porridge and wholemeal toast for breakfast. Eat more tuna, sardines and salmon which I do like. Up to 4 eggs a week are okay - not fried. Cut out processed meats like ham (which I eat a lot of) and replace it with chicken, turkey. Aim to eat lots more fruit and raw vegetables.
I already use the lowest fat skim milk and we eat reduced fat/sugar yoghurt and I like balsalmic no-oil dressing.
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I walk 5 kms each week day morning so I hope to see some improvement in the coming weeks. I'll let you know how I am going.
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This health check was completely free and paid for by the Australian Government and is available to anyone in the 45-49 year age group especially if you have a family history in heart disease, diabetes, cancer etc - the blood work, half an hour with a nurse/consultant discussing general health and well-being, testing bloodpressure, weight, height, eyesight, memory function, social life, diet then half an hour with your doctor to further discuss the blood test results - all free. I am also checked into a skin clinic at the end of the month to have my moles checked for melanoma and abnormalities.
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Breakfast today - porridge with a drizzle of honey, 1 slice wholemeal toast with vegemite - no margarine.
Lunch will be : small can tuna in springwater, lettuce, tomato, carrot, beetroot, 3 bean mix.
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Oh, and did I mention I am making Bakerella's Choc Chip Cookie Dough Chocolate Brownies (thanks Pity Pat) as a treat for my girls? Yup! None for me though...I'll just take some photos!
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Cheers - Joolz

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Geltwood Festival - Quilters delight....

Okay all you mad quilters in South Australia and Western Victoria - Millicent is holding it's annual Geltwood Festival and Tall Timbers exhibition from Friday March 12 to Sunday March 21, 2010.
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Local business in the main street display beautiful quilts and handicrafts. I took these photos last night through the shop windows so apologies for the quality.
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So many beautiful pieces...
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This one was my favourite, so many pieces of fabric put together, it must have taken ages.
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I love these too-cute dollies
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Click on any of the images to enlarge to see the intricate detail.
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This is my favourite, it's been machine quilted and the stippling (I think that's what you call it)
is so fine.
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It is just exquisite!
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Anyhoo, if you can make it down to the Lower South East of SA, the festival is well worth a look. There are workshops to do and lots to see in our area. We even have a huge playground called The Domain - people come from all around so their children can enjoy this fun, safe, mega playground.
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Cheers Joolz
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