Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bits 'n' pieces...

Wednesday night dinner after Weight Watchers - Annette Sym's Macaroni Beef (Book 2)
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After a hard day at the office then a nail appointment which went until 5.30pm, Thursday night dinner - Lamb mini roast and vegetables...
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Today, just chilling at home - Twinings Raspberry, Strawberry & Loganberry tea...
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After a trip to the hairdressers today (my niece's salon) I'm a ... um, er brighter shade of blonde...
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I cut my finger on Wednesday night (on a pineapple can that I stupidly left in the sink...) so Thursday when I had the nail appointment, the technician just coloured the tip of my finger, underneath the bandaid, it's still purple varnish...
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A member of our Weight Watchers group had this handy little tip/recipe for us - slice up apple and banana and place on a baking tray - don't add anything else - roast for 20-30 minutes (turning once) and you end up with...
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Chewy, gooey nibbles that are totally guilt free. The banana flavour is really intensified and they are just delicious! Give 'em a go!
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Joolz

Rainbows and bread making...

It's been a bleak old week here and today was no different - wet and extremely cold! This double rainbow was a welcome sight this morning ... it at last meant the sun was out for a bit...
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Last week I bought some new biscuit racks (they stack on top of each other) and a new baking tray for bread rolls... I had seen it on MasterChef and happened to see them in Spotlight...
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Gus is cooking dinner tonight to I made bread rolls this afternoon - same recipe as the bread sticks from Joyfulhomemaker... I am really happy with the way my Breville mixed and kneads the dough...
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I always worry that things will stick when baking so GladBake or MultixBake is my baking friend. I use it for everything. I almost cringe when I watch MasterChef and they don't line their baking trays with the stuff! I ran a strip of the paper through the baking pan so that the rolls sat on it... No sticky rolls here!
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How good do they look?
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Bit chuffed with them, actually!
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Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The past weeks happenings...

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Friday was Gus' birthday and both our girls came home from the city for the weekend. They love coming home for some of Mum and Dad's cooking and to catch up. I made cupcakes to take to work for 'smoko'. Whoever is the birthday boy or girl, they have to supply cake for 'smoko'.
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In other exciting news... I lost my wallet on Friday afternoon. At 5 o'clock I was frantic. I retraced my steps back to the Subway where I bought Gus' lunch. No, they hadn't seen it. I reported it missing with the police.
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At six o'clock I decided I had better cancel my credit cards so I rang Amex, the Commonwealth Bank and our Credit Union. All said my new cards would be with me within 3-5 working days. It is so hard not to live with a key card for accessing cash! Luckily, living in a small town, my bank will let me withdraw money over the counter without a card - try doing that in a city!
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Anyhoo - my phone rings at 7pm Friday night. It is the lady who has found my wallet. Turns out, I must have dropped it out of the back drivers side door when I put a package on the back seat. I drove off oblivious. The lady went to pull out of her park and saw something on the road, stopped and retrieved it. Unfortunately, she had to attend an appointment so couldn't contact me straight away (before I cancelled the cards!). I was so happy knowing that I would get my wallet back with all the other cards in it - Medicare, Private Health, Drivers Licence plus some other store cards.
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The dear woman delivered it to my door and gave me a hug too! I thanked her profusely and gave her a nice bottle of wine in thanks. I had never seen her before but it turns out she knows my mother in law quite well as she salvaged some standard roses from her when my M-I-L was moving house. Small world. Anyway, she is a darling for finding my purse! End of saga!
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(red velvet cake batter)
Saturday morning, Kirby asked me to knock up some cupcakes for her to take to her friend when she visited. The girl's mother is ill with Motor Neurone Disease and my baking has become quite renowned as Kirby usually takes cookies for the younger kids. Kirby thought they'd appreciate them.
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Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting...
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... and a batch of chocolate ones too!
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This is the platter Kirby took to her friend when she visited. They were snapped up immediately and enjoyed by all!
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We saved some for ourselves... Oh, red velvet! The recipe is at Kelli's There Is No Place Like Home blog. (I use SR flour in the recipe) She is having a blog break at the moment but her site is lovely.
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(Olive Tapenade twists and olive and parmesan scrolls)
Something else I made on the weekend were these bread sticks. The recipe is from Joyfulhomemaker. I followed it to the letter using my Breville mixer with dough hook. The dough turned out smooth and silky after 10 minutes of kneading.
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These are the poppy seed bread sticks - so good and delicious!
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The girls always enjoy a visit with little Brax (my niece's son) when they come home. He is growing like a mushroom and is always such a happy little fella.
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Cheeky chops!
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Bonnie says hello! Oi, get off my car!
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... and finally, dinner of Monday night - a Madras Curry from Taste.com.au - I added a tablespoon of brown sugar just to sweeten it off a bit and 2 kaffir lime leaves and one red chilli instead of the chilli powder. I also added carrot, potato and green beans so we got our veggies in there. Served with Basmati rice and pappadums.
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You might have noticed, I have stopped doing the Photo a Day thing - I struggled with one topic then the weekend got away from me and this week is quite hectic being the 'last week of the financial year' - plenty to do at work so I guess 21/30 days is better than nothing.
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Enjoy your week and I hope the weather is kind to you - it's just cold, wet, windy, sunny, foggy here - just not all at once!
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Cheers - Joolz

Friday, June 22, 2012

Good luck with your exams....

(Bri (on left) and her friend, Kate)
The first semester of Uni is over and Bri has her first Nursing exam today. Here she is washing her 'patient' which is a clinical dummy. It has all working parts and can have its blood pressure and pulse taken, heart monitored, intravenous drip inserted etc. Nursing staff have to use correct bedside manner when dealing with these 'patients' by calling them by their proper name, telling them what procedure they are performing and asking them if they are comfortable etc.
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Good luck today, Bri - we are sure you will do really well!
Love Mum & Dad xxxxxxxx

Thursday, June 21, 2012

First day of the season...?

Why do the European and US summer seasons start on June 21st (mid month) when all our seasons start on the 1st of the month?
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In Australia our seasons run like this...
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Winter - June 1 to August 31
Spring - September 1 to November 30
Summer - December 1 to February 28
Autumn - March 1 to May 31
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Just curious...

#Photoaday June 21

where you slept (via Instagram)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

#Photoaday June 20

fave picture you've ever taken - our girls at the top of the Eiffel Tower, Paris 2010
(via Instagram)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Funfetti cookies...

Cookie dough!
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I made these on the weekend too! Don't get me wrong - I have truthfully only had two - the rest have been gifted away...

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The recipe is from A Feast for the Eyes here. The Nonpareil sprinkles are what we call 100's and 1000's.

#Photoaday June 18

Something we don't know about you (via Instagram)
I played elephant polo in Jaipur, India in 2008
(while I had Delhi Belly - don't ask!)
Added: Goodness, time gets away from you - it was 2006 when we went to India, not 2008!!!

Lazy Sunday...

I bought this book from the book club that leaves books at work... I used it for our dessert on Sunday night. I just spent the day puttering around, did laundry later in the day and got it all put away.
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What a busy Sunday night's viewing it was! We watched The Block...
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... taped Dancing with the stars then watched it after the other shows... and went to bed at MIDNIGHT!
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We watched The Voice and were blown away by Karise Eden - her second song has won her the competition, I think. We will find out tonight!
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We taped MasterChef and I don't know when we'll watch this episode...
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Gus made Beef in Black Bean...
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Then I made late dessert - Lemon Delicious!
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Such a light and fluffy lemon pudding, almost like a souffle...
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... with a gooey, lemony sauce at the bottom... OMG!
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LEMON DELICIOUS
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50gms butter, softened
3/4 cup (170g) caster sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3 eggs, separated
1 and 1/3 cups (330mls) milk
1/3 cup (80 mls) lemon juice
1/4 cup (35gms) self-raising flour (yes, only 1/4 cup!)
sifted icing sugar for dusting
cream or icecream to serve
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Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly grease six 250ml (1 cup) ovenproof dishes (ramekins).
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You also need a baking dish to sit the ramekins in. Boil the kettle.
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Using electric beaters, beat the butter, sugar, lemon zest and egg yolks for 3-4 minutes until light and creamy
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Gradually add the milk, stirring with a wire whisk. Stir in the lemon juice. Sift the flour over and gently mix to combine.
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Using very clean beaters, beat the egg whites in a bowl until soft peaks form. Fold into the batter using a large metal spoon, taking care not to lose any volume.
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Spoon the mixture into the prepared dishes and set them in the baking dish. Transfer to the oven and carefully pour enough boiling water into the baking dish to come half way up the side of the dishes.
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Bake for 20 minutes until the puddings spring back when gently touched (they will still be pale). Be very careful removing the puddings from the oven. Dust with icing sugar and serve immediately with cream or icecream.
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Be still my heart......

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Work, rest, work, rest...

Beautiful sunrise on Monday - the start of our coldest day so far - it rained, the wind blew and it was about 11C - a miserable day.
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Pork & veal meatballs in a tomato & basil sauce served over orichiette pasta...
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Another dish cloth finished... I really enjoyed this pattern.
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Tacos for dinner on Friday night - so easy and a healthy choice...
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I like hard shells but they are a bit messy...
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... as you can see...
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Another dish cloth started - this one has a sweet little girl on it...
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Bri wanted me to knit her a scarf so I bought some Moda Vara Parade yarn in this yummy cherry red from Spotlight. I thought it was $4 a ball but at the check out it was only $1 a ball so that makes for a cheap scarf! I started it last night with 40 stitches but decided this morning that it will be too wide. I unpicked it and started again with 28 stitches and I think this will be better.
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I must say it's boring to knit this feathery stuff and you really couldn't tell if I dropped a stitch or added one for that matter but it is really soft so it should make a nice scarf.
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I sat and watched Christmas at Downton Abbey this morning (90 minutes) - it follows on from Season 2 and I hope Season 3 will follow soon. It was good.
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Another workday week ahead, not sure what the weather is doing but guaranteed it will be chilly!
Cheers - Joolz
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