Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Brrrr, it's getting chilly!

(8am today)
~
The corellas are still gathering enmasse in the neighbour's tree, squwarking and screeching - such a lovely sound at 6am - NOT! (taken at 7am)
~
We had our first frost last night - crispy, crunchy lawn this morning.
~
An eery fog hanging over the town...
~
(6.45am)
~
Dinner last night - crumbed lamb shoulder chops, baked potato & pumkin; tomato & zucchini bake and a steamer pack of broccoli, cauliflower & carrots and we had gravy too.
~
Off to work now, its payroll day for me so I must pay the troops!
~
Cheers - Joolz

Monday, May 30, 2011

Autumn is all but over...

In the Southern Hemisphere (Australia), it is our second to last day of Autumn. Goodness, where have the past 3 months gone? Our silver birch trees haven't even lost their leaves yet!
~
The mornings are dark and will get bleaker now but I think if I blink, it will soon be September 1st and Spring will be banging on the back door!
~
I play at being a barista in the mornings. Bri likes to take a Vanilla Latte on the bus with her (and sometimes a toasted sandwich too if she is running late for breakfast). It's a tinned variety so I only have to heat milk and add it. We runs like a well oiled machine in the mornings - we leave the house at 7.35 and zip down to the bus stop only about 500m away and at 7.38am the bus comes around the corner and Bri gathers her heavy school bag and laptop and latte and hops on the bus. Then she has a 45 minute ride to school. The bus driver is very punctual so we never miss it.
~
Menu Plan for this week (2 adults, 1 teenager)
~
Monday : Lamb chops and ...................... (insert inspiration)
Tuesday :Pasta of some kind (maybe cannelloni)
Wedesday : Steak, salad, tomato & zucchini bake and a slow-baked potato
Thursday : Stir-fry chicken
Friday : homemade pizzas
~
I'll let you know how I go with this plan and I usually decide in the afternoon each day what we will have.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cherry Shortbreads & Monte Creams...

These are Brianna's favourite biscuits. The recipe is in the Family Circle 'Cooking - a common sense guide' as Melting Moments (see pic at bottom). This is a really good book and has all the essential "how to's" for general cooking. I have already bought a copy for each of my girls to give them when they get married.
~
180 gms butter, softened
1/3 cup icing sugar
1 tspn vanilla
1/3 cup cornflour
1 cup plain flour + a bit
100 gms glace cherries
~
Cream butter, vanilla & icing sugar together until pale and creamy.. Stir in both flours to make a soft dough. I place my dough in a piping bag and pipe the biscuits onto a lined tray. You could also roll them into balls then squash flat. Add a cherry to the centre and bake for approx. 12-15 minutes until just golden.
~
Then I turned my hand to Monte Creams which I got from Sue's blog and I have just realised that they are on the adjacent page to my Melting Moments in the same book! - wow these are so sweet that one is more than enough! Very yummy though!

~
If you'd like a good basic cook book this is the one - it explains all cooking terms plus it has a meat/chicken/seafood/vegetable identification chart, freezing guide and every basic recipe imaginable. If your mum cooked it, it's probably in this book!
~
Cheers - Joolz

My Osso Bucco...

(MasterChef pic)
The recipe is here.
~
I was pleased with how it turned out, being the first time I had cooked this.
First, I prepared the miraproix - onion, celery and carrot.
~
This is the osso bucco - shin of beef (MC used veal)
~
Dust the meat with seasoned flour and fry off to seal and brown. Remove from pan.
~
Add a little more oil and fry off the veggies and 4 cloves of garlic, then add in the tomato paste and fry 2 more minutes. Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of white wine (Mmmm, Cape Jaffa Unwooded Chardonnay!).
~
Add in the can of crushed tomatoes, sprigs of thyme and a bay leaf, salt & pepper and 2 cups of stock - I used chicken stock but MasterChef used a very heavy veal stock which made theirs much richer than mine.
~
Submerge the meat under the sauce and cook for 1 1/2 hours (I put mine in the oven, but you could do stove-top)
~
I steamed some new potatoes...
~
I used canned cannellini beans so I added them 15 minutes before serving. Finish the dish off with chopped parsley and grated lemon zest.
~
I picked up these lovely fresh green beans when shopping so they completed the dish. Simple hearty food and it tasted yummy!
~
Cookie making is on the agenda this afternoon so - stay tuned!
~
Cheers - Joolz

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Osso Bucco...

(Masterchef pic)
Tonight I am trying the Osso Bucco with Cannellini Beans, featured in the MasterClass on MasterChef on Friday night. Gus is on his way home from Melbourne so he will appreciate a hearty warming meal.
~
I'll put my picks up tomorrow and let you know how it tasted. It sure looks good!
~
Cheers - Joolz

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Off to the moviesl...

I made a date with Brianna to see Water for Elephants tonight. Her boyfriend Michael is tagging along - he can be the third wheel, not me!
~
Can't wait for a choc top and a box of popcorn!
~
I'll give a review later - I haven't read the book yet (because Bri gave it to Michael!) so I am starting with a fresh slate.
~
Review: I enjoyed the movie but not having read the book, I didn't have any preconcieved notions of it either. Bri and Michael were a bit disappointed that it didn't follow the book all that well but other than that, they enjoyed it too.
~
Cheers - Joolz

Rascal Flatts - I Won't Let Go



This song was on the Oprah Farewell show last night. Enjoy...
(turn off my mixpod by clicking the ll button)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Devilled Sausages and Marbled Choc Cookies...

The mercury has dropped in our part of South Australia, it was 12C when I left work at 4pm yesterday so I thought something nice and warming for dinner was in order. Devilled sausages, peas and mashed potatoes.
~
I use a few flavour bases in my cooking - I know they have added salt and sometimes artificial favourings but they really do make nice, quick meals... I browned some sausages and one onion, cut the snags into 4-5 pieces each, sliced up 2 carrots and one green apple and added these to the casserole dish with the packet of mix, 2T tomato sauce and 1.5 cups of water. Gave it a stir and popped it into the oven. I gave it about an hour at 180C then backed it down to 150C for another half hour until we were ready to eat.
~
The sauce thickens up nicely and then you are ready to go. A hot, crusty bread roll completed the meal.
~
~
I found this recipe for Marbled Chocolate Cookies at What's for dinner Mum? by Lisha. As you know, I am a sucker for a good cookie recipe, especially if it involves chocolate.
~
It made a big batch and yes, they are really goooood! I did us a slightly different method to make the cookie dough as I believe you get a crunchier cookie by creaming the butter, sour cream and sugars first then adding the dry ingredients. Give them a go, they are worth it!
~
It's 8.30am and it's 11.2C outside at the moment. A windy, rainy day for sure. I must locate my brolly (umbrella) and get out my winter coat for when I have to do the banking etc this afternoon. Winter has really kicked in and we had lots of heavy rain overnight so I think we will have a good winter season which will keep the farmers happy.
~
Enjoy your day, stay warm (or cool) depending on where you are in this world.
(Oh, and my thoughts and prayers are with those people who suffered that horrendous tornado in Joplin, US yesterday. So tragic.)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Longest Lunch...

We attended a 'Longest Lunch' fundraiser for the Royal Flying Doctor Service yesterday. The theme for the lunch, provided by a team of local chefs from the region, was Foraged and Found.
A small amount of goods were auctioned and $2,700 raised from those plus the lunch tickets so it was a very successful fundraiser and will now be an annual event on the Coonawarra calendar.
~
Wild mushrooms in a duck reduction with warragul greens and spinach puree
~
Bouliabaisse of mussells, prawns, crayfish, calamari & schnapper
~
Bolar roast Wagyu beef with a verde of native watercress & parsley, olive puree and steamed fennell served with heirloom purple & orange carrots, Mundulla Crytall potatoes and Hollafresh herb & mesclun salad, dressed with Padthaway estate olive oil
~
Pear & Quince with Muntries sponge with pistachios and apple, apple juice blancmange, brandy snap and quince syrup. Our wines were a sparkling from Katnook Estate, Bowen Chardonnay, Pinot Noir from David Herbert, Mt Gambier and a Patrick T Jessie Semillon.
Burp!
~
Dinner last night was a small serve of Nachos with this chilli sauce.
~
Breakfast this morning was a Egg & Bacon Muffin.
~
Have pottered all day, washed, ironed and put away. Can't wait for bedtime. Hope you've had a nice Sunday.
~
Cheers - Joolz

Friday, May 20, 2011

NZ's most favourite Chocolate cake...

Ann from Eight Acres of Eden recently posted about this famous and favourite chocolate cake recipe so I decided to give it a go last night.
~
The recipe can be found by registering with the Destitute Gourmet which is a great recipe site. Once in, on the Home page, Click on Cupcakes in the left hand margin, then open Newsletter Spring '09 and it's listed under 'Dana's chocolate cupcakes'.
It makes a really nice moist cupcake and I can't wait to try a full sized cake. Thank you, Ann!
(PS: The recipe just says Flour, but I used SR Flour because I had no Plain flour and I used baking powder and they worked perfectly.)
~
I made these for Brianna's b/friend Madalene's 17th Birthday today! They will share them with friends at school at recess time. Happy Birthday, Madds!
~
Cheers - Joolz
~
Added to say :- This mix made 25 cup cakes of which Brianna took 18 to school, Brianna and I ate one each and 3 went to work yesterday. That leaves 2 left and one does have my name on it - I will enjoy it later today! It is a lot less fattening if you give them away... J

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Cool weather and Meat Loaf...

I took this pic a few weeks ago, early in the morning. We had rain coming through but the sun was out making this tree look really ghostly...
~
So last night, I made Marie's meat loaf. I used 500gms of lean beef mince and I squeezed the meat out of 5 plain pork sausages to get the right mix of meat.
~
I glazed it throughout the cooking process...
~
... and voila! A very nicely glazed, tasty meat loaf. Next time I would make double the glaze and put half in a saucepan and cook if off so there was more sauce to have with it.
~
I forgot to take the picture until I was already into my meal - whoops! A nice tasty meal with left overs for lunch today (I like the meatloaf drizzled with balsamic vinegar... actually I like anything drizzled with balsamic vinegar)!
~
Off to work again today (ho hum),
Cheers - Joolz

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Red sky in the morning...

... is a shepherd's warning - so the saying goes. Looks like it's going to be a grey sky, cold, still day. Our autumn is fading into winter. I have my heating set to come on at 4pm so the house is warm when Bri and I get home then.
~
I am trying this Meat Loaf recipe from Marie at 'A Year from Oak Cottage' Recipe site. Marie is a wonderful cook and I have tried many of her yummy things. Meatloaf recipe is here.
~
I will let you know how it goes. The cold weather means belly warming meals so I am always on the look out for something hearty.
~
Enjoy your day, whatever you may be doing
~
Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

70th Birthday...

Brianna and her friends dressed up for a 'P' Party 18th Birthday. They went at Prisoners!
~
Here we have Pikachu and a Punk!
~
On Sunday, we celebrated my m-i-l's 70th birthday.
~
We had marinated mushrooms and prawn kebabs on the barbecue...
~
and these most magnificent steaks (thank you, Stephano!) and yummy salads and twice baked pototoes and homemade bread rolls ... and some lovely wines.
~
All her grand-kids were there...
~
I made a Cappucino cake with Marscapone cheese coffee frosting for the birthday girl ...
Marg had a wonderful day!
~
Needless to say, I was rather pooped by Sunday night and Monday was a very long day!
~
Cheers - Joolz

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...