Friday, April 27, 2012

Apricot Chicken and some flops...

(web pic but mine looks similar to this)
Gee, it's Friday again - where is the time going? I plan to make Apricot Chicken tonight - it's something I can have made and just waiting to serve (with mashed potato and green beans).
~
I had a few flops on Anzac Day - but first up I made some Anzac biscuits to give to a client - we delivered her new car that morning - no flop there - they were crisp and perfect! Ever been given fresh biscuits when you buy a car - come see us!
~
Later in the afternoon I decided to make some more bread rolls - I have had such success with them lately. I only had an open sachet of yeast left which came from a bread mix pack and I wasn't sure of it's age. I mixed it up with the required sugar and warm water and let it sit. It frothed up a bit so I thought it would be fine. I got the dough going in the bread maker but by the time it was ready to come out to be shaped into rolls I could see that it wasn't going to rise properly. I make the rolls anyway but they turned out like little rocks... Flop No. 1!
~
While the dough was being made, I thought I would make an Anzac Cake (I found it here at Our Gang of 7 blog) for our staff to have for smoko on Thursday back at work. I followed the recipe and put it in the oven, baked it for 30 minutes then took it out. It hadn't risen much for it smelled yummy. I left it to cool on a rack. When I looked at it again, I could see that it had sunk to about 2.5cm high and was like a house brick! I 'snapped' off a piece and tasted it - it was fine but it would get stuck in your throat if you ate it... Flop No. 2! Disclaimer: I must have used plain flour intead of Self Raising because when I looked in my pantry, the plain flour was sitting in front of the SR flour... der Joolz! This is a perfectly good recipe so give it a go - just use the right flour!
~
I made a nice beef curry for dinner but the round (stewing) steak I bought for it was quite tough, even after 2 hours of slow cooking . Next time I will use just use rump steak then I know it will be tender. I also made rice by the absorption method (like I always do with no fails) and it was stodgy and really claggy (wallpaper glue comes to mind!)... Flop No. 3!
~
My Apricot chicken had better be good otherwise I may just give up!
Here's how I make it:

350gms chicken tenderloins, cut up into small bite-sized pieces
2 drumsticks
4 wings, trimmed of the tips
1 can apricot nectar plus 1/4 cup water
1 sachet French Onion Soup
big handful of dried apricots
1 onion, chopped in strips
1 carrot, sliced into rounds
1 handful frozen green beans or peas
~~~
Place all items in a large casserole dish and combine well. Bake at 170C for about 1.5 - 2 hours, stirring every half hour or until meat is tender on the bone. Serve with creamy mashed potato and steamed green beans. Can also be served with a nice bread roll if they don't resemble rocks! Lol!
~
And I will make another Anzac cake and will put up pics of it later tonight in all it's successful glory.
~
We are off on a Ruby adventure tomorrow - we are meeting 2 other couples and are being taken to a mystery location for an overnight camp somewhere (??) - should be fun - it's been ages since we've been away in Ruby. Hopefully the rain will hold off for us so we can have a nice camp fire and barbecue.
~
Cheers - Joolz

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Remembering our ANZAC's...

Ode of Remembrance
They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Lest we forget.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Mum!

My 4 sisters and I put on a pooled luncheon for Mum's 82nd Birthday...
~
~
We invited her sister-in-law and two of her life-long friends - when they get together we call them the Golden Girls!
~
We had homemade pumpkin & vegetable soup with bread rolls to start, followed by sausage rolls, toasties, mini spring rolls and quiches and a chicken platter ... dessert was fresh fruit kebabs, baked sour cream and apple slice, chocolate slice and no one really had room for the cupcakes! Most were taken home to enjoy later...
~
~
This is mum with her great-grand son, Brax who was born in January - cute little chubba bub! She had a lovely day. We presented her with a photo book of family pictures (ordered from Snapfish - go here to see what you can order.
~
I'm a bit weary after all that - lots of cup of tea making and dishes stacking! I'm in for an early night - it's been raining here on and off all day so I'm hoping for a few heavy showers tonight.
~
Night all, Joolz

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Food preparation...

I put on a big pot of pumpkin & vegetable soup - onion, celery and tops, carrot, potato, zucchini and pumpkin, salt & pepper & 1 litre of chicken stock and cup of water ...
~
Let it simmer away for 45 minutes...
~
Then I get out my trusty Bamix (stab blender) and blitz it until smooth. Adjust seasoning at this point - more salt & pepper or a bit of powdered chicken stock. When serving add a dollop of sour cream to each bowl and top with fresh chives...
~
I also made a small batch of sausage rolls (2 dozen) - My mum turns 82 on Monday so I am hosting a pooled lunch for here with my 4 sisters. So we'll start with soup and my homemade bread rolls then progress to the sausage rolls, a chicken platter and savoury toasties. My sister Leanne is doing a fruit, nut and chocolate platter for dessert. Not sure what others are bringing but there will be about 14 of us, including 3-4 of mums good friends. I plan to do a cup cake tower for her cake. Should be a hoot!
~
I've got dough in my bread maker that's rising then I'll take it out, knead it some more and form my rolls which I will then freeze until Monday - otherwise Gus will eat them!
~
This is the dough when it's finished rising in the bread maker...
~
Now I knead it for about 8-10 minutes... then cut, roll and shape into rolls, brush with water ... sit in a warm place (oven) for 15 minutes for second rise....
~
... then into a 2ooC oven for 10-15 minutes until golden and they feel hollow when you tap them... so good!
~
I think new Blogger stinks is too hard for me to work out! Have uploaded pictures and can't make them appear... :( so I have reverted back to the old interface and it works perfectly for me! What am I doing wrong??
~
Having a lovely weekend so far - just pottering. I washed all the sheets off all beds from last weekend and remade them, washed Bri's doona cover and remade her bed fresh for her next visit home. A bit of gardening/potting out tomorrow to tidy up for the visitors and maybe some windows will get washed. It is just spitting with rain here - oh, how I wish we'd get a good inch of rain tonight! What are you up to? I might go and pick up my knitting and do a few rows...and have a wine!
~
Cheers - Joolz

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Not much happening here...

This gave me a giggle!
Gee, I don't have much to blog about at the moment - the weather is beautiful, my garden is in ruins, I have to work, Brianna is home for the week (yay!), I have my heart monitor fitted tomorrow (for 24 hours) and I hope to get a new iphone tomorrow too! Will try and get some pictures but have nothing in my camera at the moment. Too busy for food shots, not they have been worth shooting. Catch you later in the week,

Cheers - Joolz

Monday, April 16, 2012

Howzat with Daryl & Thai Green Curry Chicken...

We had a very busy weekend. We had friends from Adelaide come to stay the weekend and also had another couple stay with us on Saturday night. We had a function on in our small town which we all attended - Daryl Braithwaite performed at our Mayoral Charity Cabaret (proceeds to our local hospital). We helped sponsor the event to we got to meet Daryl after the show. He still has a very good voice and was a very friendly guy and he and his band put on a good show. Lots of Aussie women would remember him as the front man for the group, Sherbet in the 70's. He's 63 years old now!
~
Sunday night, after our guest had left to head back to Adelaide, Gus and I cooked up this Thai Curry for dinner. I did all the prep work then he put it all together. It is a delicious recipe - so flavoursome. You really get the 'hot/sweet/sour' combo with this one. Give it a go, you won't be disappointed!
~

Thai Green Curry Chicken
(serves 6)
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Ingredients
Set out all ingredients ready to go…

1 kg chicken breast, sliced medium thick
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
4 tablespoons good Green Curry Paste
2 tablespoons palm sugar, shaved/chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce

6 Thai basil leaves
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced & 1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
100 mls vegetable stock
400 mls coconut cream
big handful of snow peas, sliced
300 gms bamboo shoots (&/or bean shoots)
300 gms fresh green beans, topped, tailed and halved
1 carrot, sliced (be creative – flowers, half moons, angle cut)
1 large onion, finely sliced
1 large zucchini, sliced

Method

Mix together chicken breast & curry paste in medium bowl. Set aside to marinate.
Combine onion, garlic & ginger in a bowl. You are ready to wok!
~
Heat oil in the wok, add onion, ginger & garlic, stir-fry until onion is just browned. Add 200mls of the coconut cream to wok and mix for 60 seconds.
~
Add meat & paste mixture to wok, mix with the coconut mixture on high for 2 minutes. Toss in carrot, beans, bamboo shoots & zucchini, stir-fry, add stock and cook for 2 minutes.
~
Add remaining coconut cream, reduce heat to simmer and cook gently uncovered for approx. 8 minutes or until curry mixture thickens slightly and chicken is cooked through. Stir regularly while curry is simmering.
~
Add kaffir lime leaves, lime juice and Thai basil. Add in palm sugar and fish sauce. Leave to simmer 2 minutes before serving.
~
Serve with fragrant jasmine rice
~
Cheers - Joolz

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Easter Part 2 ...

On Easter Sunday, we drove up into the Adelaide hills to Bridgewater Mill Restaurant...
~
It is an old flour mill which still has the original working mill wheel turning...
~
~
Our gorgeous girls... (all photo credit to them as I stupidly left my camera home (and nearly had a meltdown because of it!) ...
~
Here we are enjoying the day...
~
First we had some lovely Croser sparkling wine...
~
Entree for Kirby and Gus - caramelised scallops, apple, Jerusalem artichoke, sage & hazelnut butter...
~
Brianna chose salad of baby beetroot, Woodside goat's curd, radishes and rye bread (drizzled with honey) ...
~
My entree was absolutely delicious - crisp quail, red curry (oh, that sauce!), pickled shallot, sticky rice & duck egg...
~
Did I enjoy it??? Yes!
~
I enjoyed a nice glass of red wine...
~
For main course, Brianna had Pure suffolk lamb porterhouse, shoulder brik, cauliflower, whipped fetta and olive crumbs...
~
Kirby and I chose slow roasted organic chicken breast, polenta, honey, Kanmantoo bacon and rosemary... I would have to say the tenderest, plumpest, juiciest, flavoursome chicken I have ever had...
~
Angus had the special fish of the day which was Northern Territory Barramundi with a tomato and herb salad...
~
Moving on to desserts... Gus had black sherry custard, dark chocolate, pear, prune & roasted macadamia...
~
The girls chose white chocolate bavarois, apple parfait, blackberries and dry caramel...
~
~
I cleverly chose the banana creme brulee, maple toffee, vanilla butterscotch & honeycomb icecream ... so very good!
~
Outside the windows, a lush fernery...
~
Time to go home...
~
Joolz

Easter Part 1...

We travelled to Adelaide on Good Friday morning... Kirby bought our seafood supplies - prawns, oyster, fresh whiting fillets...
~
This is a recipe that we had last year too (sort of an Easter tradition) - Zesty bbq prawns...
~
Oysters Kilpatrick for Gus and me... so fresh and delicious!
~
The whiting fillets were delicious too but Gus barbecued them on the grill and they fell to pieces - he was mortified! They still tasted delicious but looked like a car crash! Lol!
~
Kirby's Hasselback potatoes with sage and proscuitto...
~
Kirby's Pear, Walnut and Rocket salad... I've taught my girls well - they love to cook and make yummy things too!
~
Saturday night we dined at a lovely Indian/Singaporean restaurant called Hazara Bistro on the Parade, Norwood. We all enjoyed our meals - we seem to keep going back there as the atmosphere is crisp, clean and you can talk without having to whisper. A fun night!
~
Sunday we dined at the Bridgewater Mill restaurant - another post for that gastronomic delight! Sunday dinner was homemade chicken and bean tacos - which we could hardly fit in!
~
Monday night I made a naughty potato bake...
~
Kirby produced a yummy tossed salad and made garlic bread from a nice fresh baguette we bought...
~
Gus did the honours with a butterflied leg of lamb in the BabyQ weber...
~
On the way home from Adelaide, we stopped at the fish van in the Coorong (I call it the Roach Coach)...
~
They sell fresh Coorong mullet fillets for $20/bag... so fresh it is almost still swimming...
~
For dinner, I dusted the fillets with plain flour and lemon pepper seasoning...
~
Pan fried in a little oil... we had it with salad and fresh potato salad I made...
~
Just a picture of my poor neglected standard roses... I can't quite remember the name of this one (it's Deep Purple or something...) - these roses have been in for about 5 years now and have never given more than 2 buds/blooms at a time, no matter how much I prune, fertilize, water etc. I haven't touched these since they were pruned back before Christmas and just look at them! They have a lovely big bloom which has ruffly petals in a pretty deep pink/purple colour. Perhaps neglect is what they thrive on!? That and a lack of rain through the summer....
~
Joolz

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...