Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Retro dinner...

A Farmers Wife at Life In The Country shared this recipe so I thought I would give it a blast. It's been many long years since I have had Braised Steak & Onions - probably the last time would have been about 25 years ago (1986). My mum used to cook the bejaysus out of the steak in a grey, watery gravy (probably water, flour, salt & pepper). It stunk up the house while it was cooking and I guess we just ate it ... because! Don't get me wrong, my dear Mum cooked good, wholesome, tasty meals for 5 children and a hungry farmer husband - I guess this was just a recipe that never got tweaked to make it a little better. On the other hand, I still claim Mum's lamb roast is the best and most tender and tastiest I have ever eaten. Lovely browned roast vegetables and a gravy made in the pan with all the meat juices and FAT!
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Anyhoo, the ingredients for the sauce are pictured above - you can link to Life In The Country for the recipe and method.
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This is the dish, ready to go in the oven. I used some Rump steak and some Round steak - I should've used all Rump because the Round just wasn't as nice.
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The sauce was delicious and I could also envision doing slow cooked lamb chops in this sauce but I think I like steak straight off the grill or barbecue. The smell of the meat cooking certainly bought back memories but the flavour was definitely an improvement. Worth a try, ladies!
Thanks, Farmers Wife!
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Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

San Choy... take a Bau!...

I pulled out this book yesterday and decided we would have San Choy Bau - we all like it in this house so that is a plus! There are so many good recipes in this book, I will be doing more during the week.
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Prepare all the vegetables - you could add more if you want (eg. corn kernels, zucchini, beans, peas) ...
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Cook it all off in the wok...
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Add the sauces and admire the aroma!
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Serve in lettuce cups or flour tortillas.


San Choy Bau

1 tspn peanut oil
1 small onion, chopped
100gms button mushrooms, sliced
1 carrot, grated or finely chopped (I added this in)
2 tspn minced ginger (I forgot to buy it so I sprinkled powdered ginger)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
300gms lean chicken mince (I used 500gms)
6 spring onions, finely chopped
2 tbspn Maggi Oyster Sauce
2 tbspn soy sauce
2 tbspn fresh lime juice
1.5 cups fresh coriander leaves (crap - totally forgot to get some! - so I used dried)
iceberg lettuce leaves for cups or warm tortillas
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1. Heat oil in a wok at medium-high heat.
2. Add the onion, mushrooms, ginger and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the chicken mince and cook in wok for 3 minutes or until cooked through, breaking up lumps.
4. Add half the spring onions plus the oyster sauce, soy sauce and lime juice, cook off for 2 minutes.
5. Remove from heat, spoon mixture into lettuce cups and top with coriander and remaining spring onions. Wrap up and chomp!
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I hope you enjoy this one, it's very easy and low fat to boot!
Cheers - Joolz

Monday, August 29, 2011

Weekend of nothingness...


When I was in Adelaide last time, I purchased this very large and cumbersome paperback of Jane Austen's Complete Novels (for $35 which I thought was very reasonable) - Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion and Lady Susan. Phew! That should keep me going for quite a while. I never knew that JA died when she was just 42 years old (b.16/12/1775 ~ d. 18/07/1817). I have always thought of her as a crusty old dame. Only 4 novels were published in her lifetime (the first four listed from 1811 - 1815), the others posthumously later in 1817. The reading is hard going as it is written in the style of English language in the 18th and 19th Centuries. I find I have to re-read to catch on. Maybe that is just me... :/
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I spent a very non-newsworthy weekend just being at home. I did tackle a few chores but nothing that warranted pictures taken. The rivetting photo above is of my Saturday scrambled eggs and wholemeal toast....
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I made a batch of Weekender biscuits - the recipe is here...
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Bri went to an 18th Birthday bash which was 'Burlesque' themed. I know a father who did not want to let his 17 year old daughter out in a black corsette, leather mini skirt, fishnet stockings held up with suspenders, stilletto heels and a black feather boa! She looked pretty cool! This is a modest picture!
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Porridge with bananas and honey for breakfast, same as last Monday. I find if I have this too often I get sick of it so it's an occasional brekky...
~Now, a while back we had some wild weather and this is what happened to a shrub that was growing out the front of our house. It's mate withstood the wind but this one got bowled over.
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Last week, we had another big blow and the other one met the same fate - Yay!
~... so Gus bought two new Silver Birch trees and popped them in the space. I am so glad the other shrubs got blown over, they were horrible!
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These are two older birches that must be coming up for 2 years old. Spring is nearly sprung - can you see the green tinge on the tree on the right? And how green are our lawns? We had a huge amount of rain last night - torrential!
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Out the back, things are starting to sprout out, the cat mint has started to grow back after I burned it back and the carpet roses are springing to life again.
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Turning to the right from the last picture - this area still needs weeding and thinning back and the roses still need pruning too. My back has been sore of late so I just haven't attempted it yet.
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Weeds will grown anywhere, won't they? This thistle thought it would pop up to keep this pot company. There are lots of these little jobs to attend to around the house. I noticed a geranium in a pot has been eaten by snails so some snail bait needs to be sprinkled around too. I feel like doing these jobs on weekdays but I work then I don't feel like doing them on weekends....
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What jobs did you accomplish this weekend?
`
Cheers - Joolz

Friday, August 26, 2011

Sardines, anyone?...

This is how I eat sardines... drained, mashed, hot sauce, tomato sauce, salt and pepper... on toast for breakfast. Not all that often, but occasionally!
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Isn't my new coffee cup cute?
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For dinner, I made these potato and sweet potato wedges - sprinkled with Masterfoods Lemon, Herb & garlic seasoning and a little olive oil. I also made Annette Sym's Cauli & Broccoli Au Gratin.
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We had Annette's Lemon Chicken - very easy. Here is the sauce recipe...

1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tspn lemon rind
1 tspn chicken stock powder
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
2 tblspns honey
1/2 tspn soy sauce
2 tspns corn flour
1/4 cup water
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Mix all these together in a jug, making sure to get all flour lumps out. Cook your chicken breasts until tender, remove from pan. Add the sauce mixture and stir until thickened. Add chicken and juices back to the sauce and spoon over chicken.
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Serve with vegetables or salad.
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I love having these Weight Watcher icecreams in the freezer for a guilt free dessert/treat. They were out on sale 5 for $10 so that makes them $1 each single serve! I like the double choc sundae ones!
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I was given a bag of huge, home grown oranges yesterday so we juiced some up for breakfast! Wow, that wakes you up!
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Have a nice day - Cheers - Joolz

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What I've been chomping...

This is what I had for lunch on Tuesday - a big plate of salad vegetables, tuna (in springwater, drained), a small potato, sour cream and a drizzle of no fat balsalmic dressing.
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Dinner Tuesday night - I made a tomato, onion, zucchini & celery bake (zapped in the microwave for 5 minutes first) then added dried basic, oregano & thyme, cooked spiral pasta and topped with breadcrumbs and a tiny bit of cheese.
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Gus bought some stuffed chicken breasts from Lenards Chicken and we had it with a simple salad.
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I went to MtG yesterday and was very good. I bought this wholemeal baguette which was stuffed with spiced chicken breast, lettuce, beetroot, carrot, red onion and cheese and again drizzled with balsalmic dressing (my favourite).
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Last night I made my own light bolognese sauce to have with spaghetti and grilled some lamb cutlets to go with it. Feed the man meat, I say!
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... and that brings us to this morning's sunrise. After a glorious sunshiny spring day yesterday, we have heavy rain clouds and lots of rain forecast. Back to winter. The sun was nice while it lasted!
What's happening in your corner of the world? Enjoy your day..
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Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It's my Blogaversary...

Back on August 23, 2008 I posted my first blog entry! Wow, those 3 years have gone so fast - I can't imagine not having the connection with all of you fantastic people - thank you for your friendship, wisdom and humour.

Love - Joolz

A change coming...

(My breakfast this morning - 1/2 cup plain instant oats made into porridge with 1 cup Tone skim milk, tablespoon of LSA (ground linseed, sunflowers seeds & almonds), a banana and tablespoon of honey).
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Maybe it is the 'spring' type weather that we are having this week and the fact that I am going on holidays soon, but I feel the need to 'pull my finger out' and start eating healthier and lose some weight. I have so much processed 'junk' in my pantry, it is not funny - and it is costing me a fortune!
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A woman in our town is about to call an 'expression of interest' meeting to set up a SA Weight Watchers group. I am in! The group would meet to weigh in, talk about weight loss, recipes, healthy eating. I would like to get a walking group started too. I'm excited!
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Joolz

Monday, August 22, 2011

The price of produce...

We currently have one adult male, one adult female and a teenage female in our household. I have just been shopping for fresh vegetables and fruit. I shop several times each week for fresh stuff as I prefer to get it as I need it so I don't waste it.
The fruit will be made into 2 lots of fruit salad (added to oranges and passionfruit) and consumed over 3-4 days. The carrots will last us a week. The corn and mushrooms will be eaten tonight and the lettuce and cucumber will last us all week for salad. I have plenty of potatoes which will last the rest of the week too. Tomorrow I will go back if I need stir fry ingredients for dinner tomorrow. That's me - I prefer to grocery shop than shop for clothes! I'm a weirdo! Lol!
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The cost:
1 kg carrots $1.45
3 Granny Smith Apples (delicious and juicy from the Adelaide Hills) $2.41 or .80c each
Iceberg lettuce (expensive but one will last the week) $3.28
Strawberries 250gm punnet $2.48
6 mushrooms (134gms) $1.40
Continental cucumber $1.98
4 brown onions $1.84
2 bananas @ $11.98/kg... wait for it.... $4.41 or $2.20 EACH!
2 sweetcorn cobs (will feed 3 of us tonight) $1.96
tiny knob of fresh ginger for tonight's recipe .82c
2 Kiwi Fruit (from NZ obviously!) $1.31 (cheap!)
1 red spanish onion .57c
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TOTAL $23.91
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What do you pay for an apple, an orange, a kiwi fruit, a banana, etc? We have 3 supermarkets in our small town and I shop for produce at each of them at different times. We don't have a farmers market and as I have said, I don't buy in bulk because I find I end up throwing things out - and I am fussy as far as freshness goes. If a potato or carrot looks a bit old, out it goes! I guess I am a convenience shopper - I choose what we will eat tonight, consult the pantry then shop for it and cook it.
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Tonight it is Annette Sym's Hot and Saucy Steaks - and believe me, you don't want to know what I paid for the 3 steaks!
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This mushroom sauce, with just a touch of heat was absolutely delicious! I made the sauce in a separate pan then pan fried the steaks to our liking then tipped the sauce over the steaks and gave them 2-3 minutes in the oven to get the sauce sizzling.
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Most delicious!
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Cheers - Joolz


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another road trip to the city...

Bri and I headed to Adelaide to check out the University's Nursing courses on offer at Uni SA and Flinders Uni.
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Dinner out Saturday night - a Bollywood Mocktail (fruit smoothy) at Beyond India
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Naan Bread 3 ways...
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We each had our own pot and all ordered chicken - Butter, Korma and mine was a Jaipur special, eaten with basmati steamed rice. Very nice, all three.
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Cold Rock Ice Creamery was our dessert of choice (it was over the road from the restaurant). They will mix any flavour icecream with just about any ingredient you could possibly want (over 3000 combinations).
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I chose strawberry icecream with frozen strawberries and a Mars Bar smashed into it. So, so good! I only had a kiddies size one though, honest!
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This morning after attending Uni SA to check out the Bachelor of Nursing lecture, we headed for the Gilles Street Markets. We came here in January this year and thought we'd take another look.
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If you like vintage, this is the place for you...
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They also have stalls of clever designer baby and childrens wear. Lots of bright, colourful, fun things...
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The cutest little baby slippers you ever did see!
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Pretty bows for little girls hair...
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My girls trying to hunt down a vintage bargain...
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Tiny Louis Vuitton and Burberry bears and other knick knacks...
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Plenty of treasures to browse through if you have time...
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Very cute and nicely made baby burp cloths, comforter rugs, bibs and soft toys.
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More baby gear...
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These cute little crochet dolls were enjoying the beautiful 'spring' sunshine...
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Handmade, quirky jewellery made out of bottle tops, enamel ware, vintage typewriter keys, dominoes and scrabble pieces...
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So many clothes stalls with dresses, T Shirts, vintage denim, furs, handbags and shoes...
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Countless jewellery stands...
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Once we had finished at the markets, we headed to the Maid & Magpie Hotel for lunch before we had to start the 400km trip home again. It was great to spend some time with Kirby too.
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Pizza style garlic bread to start...
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Me, a beef schnitzel parmigiana...
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Kirby had a chicken schnitzel with mushroom sauce...
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... and Bri had a chicken parmy. We could highly recommend.
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Sunset at 5.50pm along the way home...
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I made Bri stop so I could get really good pictures. The colours were stunning. We were home by 6.40pm
(all pics apart from the sunsets are from my Nokia E71 phone)
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Cheers - Joolz

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