Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last day of the year 2011...

Last night we entertained Angus' Mum and Auntie Barbara with a pizza party. We cooked the pizzas in the weber with a pizza stone.
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I used Pioneer Woman's Pizza Crust recipe - it made a nice silky dough (allow about 1 hour for it to rise)

Pizza Crust
4 cups Plain flour
1 tspn salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1.5 cups warm water
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Pour warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the water, stir gently.
2. Add flour to electric mixer with dough hook, then on low speed , drizzle oil ntil just incorporated. Drizzle in the yeast water and mix until a ball of dough forms. Turn onto floured bench top, gently knead into a nice ball. Spray a bowl with spray oil then dump in the dough ball and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours.
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This quantity made 2 pizzas - when rolled out the base will look quite thin but it rises nicely and makes a good crust.
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Potato, rosemary and caramelised onion relish...
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Satay sauce, fresh chicken, red onion, snow peas, mushrooms, bocconcini cheese(baby mozzarella) ...
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... once cooked, dollop with sour cream and sprinkle with fresh rocket...
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This is my new pride and joy - I made the dough in this and it was so quick and easy.
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Margherita - tomato paste, fresh tomato, bocconcini cheese, fresh basil and pizza cheese.
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Other naughty things to come out of the kitchen - last Tuesday Kirby made Pioneer Woman's Olive Cheese Bread - so sinfully delicious that I have banished her from ever making it again! I am going to burn that book!
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Last Tuesday we went to the beach so I knocked up this chocolate cake - it is Dana's Cup Cake recipe and can be found here... just scroll down her page a bit. I make it in a lamington tin and it is honestly the best chocolate cake ever! I use Nestle Baking Cocoa (in the red tin) and this makes it really rich and chocolatey!
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This is a pic of the books I received for Christmas - the curries and cupcake ones were in the hampers and the Australia Women's Weekly Classic Country Recipes was given to me by Kirby and Brianna. It is a lovely book and would make a nice gift for overseas friends.
Finally, after I got everything packed away from Christmas, there was this small lap quilt left over. After a bit of detective work, I found out it was my mothers. She had covered a basket with goodies with it when she came over. She made it several years ago when she went to a craft group - it's a double wedding ring pattern. Anyhoo, she said I could have it! Score!
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What are you up to for New Years Eve? Both our girls are off to different venues and we... are staying put! Gus is cooking lamb curry for dinner and I think we will have an early night.
See you next year!
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Cheers - Joolz

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day 2011 - Part 2

After our epic Christmas lunch, we headed around to Angus' Mum's house for Part 2. Look at all the presents waiting for us! Angus' sister Fiona suggested we give a hamper of goodies to the value of $50 for each couple.
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This is Angus, his mum Margaret, brother Duncan, b-i-l Stephen and Auntie Barbara.
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Opening our pressies!
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My sister-in-laws - Fiona, Mandy & me.
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More food! We had oysters, crayfish, salads, Wagyu rump steaks, cheese cake and Pavlova!
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I think this summed up how we all felt by the end of the evening!
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This was Duncan & Mandy's hamper to us - a pizza stone, jars of goodies to go on the pizza, flour for the dough, a water bottle with blingy stopper, blingy serviette rings, paper napkins, 6 drinking glasses and 2 tea towels.
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This hamper was from Fiona & Steve - 2 recipe books (Curries & Cupcakes), hot chocolate mug & mix, Margarita mix, mortar & pestle, spices, oils, hot sauces, quince paste, onion relish, dip sachets, hot spice marinade for pork spare ribs!
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Angus' Mum gave us a large roasting pan, Lindt chocolates, an apron and candle for me and 2 white serving plates for Angus to use in his culinary pursuits!
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In my rush, I forgot to take pictures of my hampers for them - mine included mini recipe books, home made jam, pickles, tomato sauce, mint jelly and relish (bought from our local farmers market), 2 different spice rubs that I made up for putting on steaks, a chocolate pudding, shortbread biscuits, chocolates, BBQ tongs, fork and slide, pot holder, jar of M&M cookies mix that I made up and probably something else that I can't remember. They loved it like I loved theirs.
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That's Christmas over and done. Now we move onto New Year 2012 - I don't think we are up to much and will probably just stay home that evening. Kirby is coming home for the weekend so we might spend it with her if she doesn't have a better offer (lol)! Bri is off with friends to the beach. NY Day we will go to the beach, it's meant to be hot (36C) so should be a lovely day for it. Monday will be spent putting the Christmas decorations and tree away for another year then the house will be back to normal.
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Blessings to you all for a safe, healthy and happy New Year!
Cheers Joolz

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sisters presents - Wood theme

Okay, so the theme this year was wood and on a $15 budget... I spied these salad servers (bamboo is wood, right?) and thought they needed a salad to go with them.... so I made a paper tossed salad in a 'disposable' salad bowl.
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Yes, I know - I'm weird! But it was better than just wrapping salad servers up...
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Four salads for four sisters...
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From Marilyn I received this rustic wooden tray, ideal for storing garden tools (secateurs, gloves, trimmers or any other odds and ends actually), some potpouri and a wooden sign...
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From Janine, I received this jarrah tea box with tea bags - my kitchen is jarrah so it matches beautifully.
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From Sue, I received this plaque with a cute saying...
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From my sister, Leanne, I received this amazing outdoor wall hanging...
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Anyone living in Australia, knows all about 'outback dunnies' (outhouses) and windmills are part of our country landscape, so too are crooked, falling down fence lines.
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My dear brother-in-law, Snow, fashioned these works of art, with the help of Leanne, creating a rustic treasure. He got handy with the tin snips and she burned the wood for the fences etc. then they pieced them together.
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(Janine's)
Each of us received a slightly different scene, this one has a corrugated iron tank, another Australian icon (found in many back yards and farms) ...
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(Marilyn's)
This one had a drover sitting by the campfire under a starry sky with his trusty horse... how good are they??
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(Sue's)
Looks like the poor old dunny door is about to fall off in this one...
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It's Marilyn's turn to pick a theme for next year and this was attached to our presents - Metal... hmmmmm, better put on the thinking cap and keep an eye out!
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What do you think of these pressies, good eh?
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Cheers - Joolz

Christmas Day 2011- Part 1

Lots of goodies under the tree...
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For the first time, in a long time, the girls weren't up so early! Finally, we got to open our presents... I got spoilt with a Breville Scraper Mixer Pro (plus bonus icecream attachment), YSL Yvres perfume, WW Country Classics cook book, a brunch coat and nightie and a Michael Buble Christmas CD which got played to death all Christmas Day and night! Lol!
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Everyone started arriving at 11.30am...
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Brianna with Nana B!
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Thank goodness we had the bain marie to keep food hot...
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We had roast turkey, 2 muscovy ducks, roast pork, chicken and a glazed ham (which I forgot to take a pic of), new potatoes, potato bakes, roast pumpkin, honey sesame carrots, beans with bacon and peas and gravy and cauliflower/broccoli cheese bake. For dessert we had the pudding, pavlova and Kirby made a chocolate ripple cake too!
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My beautiful girls!
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(my sister Janine (top right) with her son Heath and her two daughters-in-law, Toni (top left) and Leica)
Judging by the loaded plates, the food was good!
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(Kirby, Rylee & Nana B)
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Table decorations - I barely got time to do the tables before everyone arrived. It was so windy under the pergola that the cloths would have blown off if done earlier.
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Mum's pudding - it stuck to the basin a bit but it was still as good as ever, served with cream and custard.
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With so many, it's had to get everyone seated at once.
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The kids had a Limbo game and this kept them busy for quite a while... I think Tayla and
Sapphire were the champions...
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and then, from around the corner of the house... Santa arrived!
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... carrying a sack of lollies and ringing his bell!
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He's a bit scary looking, isn't he?
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This is the crowd of us - 40 in all...
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Santa wanted a cuddle from this lady!
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Here are 14 of Nana's 17 great-grandchildren...(there are two more on the way!)
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I'd like to thank all my family for helping make the day such a success, for bringing lots of yummy food and all coming together and then helping clean up afterwards. It was a big day!
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Cheers - Joolz


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