Friday, August 31, 2012

Remembering Diana ...


Fifteen years ago, Diana, Princess of Wales passed away. She was my idol - I was fascinated by the Royal family but especially Diana. I remember hearing the news that she had been injured in a car accident and was watching the TV when they announced that she had actually died as a result. Such shocking news - I stayed glued to the TV all day - regular programming was scrapped for a constant live feed from Paris and London all that day. I lit a candle for her.
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I have a box of videos, books, stamps, newspaper cuttings and magazines etc of her...
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Not long after she passed away, I worked this fine cross stitch in her memory.
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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Busy, busy ...

Sorry, I've been away fom the blog. I had a busy weekend and have had both my girls home for visits then this week I have been working 9 to 5 so will catch up on the weekend. I am still reading everyone's blogs but just have't been able to get to my home pc to load pictures. Stay tuned!
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cheers - Joolz

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Green & Gold Jubilee Cake...

This is much more like the Jubilee cake I remember my mum making - it's a firm cake with lots of fruit (I used some mixed fruit, raisins and glace cherries). It's not as sweet at the other one I made (a lot less sugar) but is still very yummy. The thin icing adds just enough sweetness.
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Anyone for a slice of cake and a cuppa?
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Have a lovely day,
Joolz

There's warmth in the air...

We are on the count down to the end of our Australian Winter - Spring starts on September 1 and it will start then, right?? Well, maybe not but we can all hope! I have noticed the last few days, when the sun is out, that it actually warms the air - there is definitely Spring in the air!
This pic was taken yesterday morning as I was sitting knitting (instead of doing some housework - don't judge me!) - sun streaming in my front windows. So nice after the bleak days we have had ...
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Today we are back to bleak - its raining and it is cold and 10.6C - so much for spring arriving early!
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Last weekend, Gus and I went for a drive to Mt.G to see if we could find a suitable little table to house our 'surround sound' control box and speakers. Success! We ended up just buying a nest of 3 tables and he mounted the box under the smallest one and the speakers will sit on top, behind our lounge chairs, out of the way. Don't worry, we know what we are trying to achieve!
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I made his take me out to lunch, because I am not pushy at all! I had this lovely small barbecue meat lovers pizza...
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and he had the creamy calamari linguine which he declared just perfect!
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I've been drinking a lot more tea lately - Twinings Chai, Dilmah, Twinings Australian Afternoon Tea... its so nice to drink out of a nice cup too.
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Monday night I made Forbidden City Chicken - the recipe is here ...
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Pop it in a zip lock baggie and throw it in the fridge until you are ready to cook it... then bake in a baking dish as per recipe until done.
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I served it with oven baked potatoes, sweet corn and sweet potatoes and a left over green salad. Delish!
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Tuesday night I tried my hand at a Pot Roast. Australian's usually dry roast their meats and vegetables but I thought I'd try roasting in my Le Creuset dutch oven with a little beef stock in the bottom of the pan.
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I need to find a tenderer bit of beef but it was quite nice and the vegetables were lovely and tender.
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Another jug of juice - see how it settles in layers? I give it a good stir before pouring it out so we get all the goodness together.
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It's becoming a tradition - when I am 'home alone' I make Chow Mein for myself ...
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Do you like my 'clothes peg' hinged chopsticks? Cool, eh?
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Another cute dish cloth...
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I finished it last night. The colour is a bit off in this picture. What pattern will I choose next??
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I will finish with these ever so yummy Macarons - just a picture I found on the web. I have tasted real macarons in Paris but I am not sure I could make them - I think the stars have to be aligned just right to have success! I'll leave it to the experts!
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I have another Jubilee cake in the oven (the old recipe) so will have some pics of that once I ice it.
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Cheers - Joolz

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jubilee Cake ...

Jubilee Cake
Into a saucepan: 1 cup of sugar
2 cups of mixed dried fruit
1 cup of water
60 gms butter
Heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Take off heat and leave to cool (1 hour).
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Pre-heat oven to 180C
Empty the cooled fruit mixture into a bowl and sift in 2 cups of SR flour then add one beaten egg. Mix gently to combine. Pour into a prepared loaf tin (I found this to be a big mixture so you could divide it between 2 loaf tins and make 2 shallower cakes or make a loaf sized one and a smaller cake like I did - in a ramekin).
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I baked mine for 40 minutes then tested the cakes with a skewer. I removed the smaller cake and baked the larger one for 5 minutes more.
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Icing - I just make up icing using a big teaspoon of butter or margarine, softened in the microwave, with enough icing sugar and a little milk to make a runny consistency. Drizzle over the cakes while they are just warm so it drips down the sides - no need to be fancy. Sprinkle with coconut if you like.
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This is a recipe that my sister has given me and is different from the one my Mum used to make. I guess you could call it a 'boiled' Jubilee cake...
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When the icing is set, cut the cake and butter it to serve. I have great memories of Mum's Jubilee cakes and that drizzly icing...
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When I cut the cake, it was darker than what I remember (due to melting the ingredients first)... but delicious none the less!
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Apparently, the Jubilee Cake was created in 1936 for South Australia's 100th Jubilee year
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This first recipe in the Green and Gold cookery book, (the one to be eaten with butter) is more like what my mother made and gives a whiter, firmer fruit cake - a more frugal recipe. I will try this recipe soon.
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Cheers - Joolz

Saturday, August 18, 2012

All we do is eat!

First meal back from Melbourne, Thursday night, had to be a warming curry, it's the same as the last one I posted about. Very warming and delicious...
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The cucumber and mint raita really cool it down and add a sweetness.
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Friday night it was Beef Stroganoff - just a Masterfoods sachet where you add sliced beef strips (rump steak), mushrooms, onion and light sour cream. I served it with Orichiette pasta...
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We are still juicing each morning - this is 3 oranges, 3 pink lady apples, 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks with leaves on - delicious!
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Some baking here this afternoon - bread rolls ready for the oven...
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... and hot, out of the oven. I used JoyfulHomemaker's recipe for bread sticks which is here....
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A few bread sticks using the left over dough...
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As you can see, a much better day here today. I even got some towels dry on the outside line.
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I have a Jubilee cake in the oven so will do a new post for that.
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Cheers - Joolz

Friday, August 17, 2012

To Melbourne and back...

Another week where I haven't had the chance to blog. We had a trip to Melbourne to deliver two cars and pick two up from the auctions so that took up Tuesday (getting there) and Wednesday (delivering the cars).
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The weather has been terrible - on our way home from Melbourne on Thursday, we passed through Ballarat and it was 6C at 11 o'clock. By the time we got home it was only (c here! Friday was a day of high winds and pouring rain (going almost sideways at times). I think it was about 10C all day!
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Whilst in Melbourne, I had plenty of time to sit... and sit... and sit, waiting for Gus to do his deliveries and look at cars at the auction. Lucky I took my Ipad and knitting! I powered my way through this cute dish cloth...
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Isn't it sweet? But do you know what? See the amount of yarn left at the top right hand corner? I had 4 stitches to go to cast off and ONE INCH OF YARN LEFT! I nearly cried! Later on, back at our friends house, I re-cast on some of the stitches then borrowed a small length from the 'cast on' tail at the bottom. I just got it finished!
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On the way to Melbourne, we witnessed the most amazing rainbow we have ever seen. Gus was ahead of me in another car (yes, we drove two over and two back) and he rang me to say 'Wow!' It was the most brilliantly coloured and hugest rainbow ever! And it was a full arc - we could see both ends and every colour of the spectrum. I will never see anything like it again, ever!
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As always, I didn't have my good camera on me, just my Iphone so I apologise for the quality.
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Cheers - Joolz

Monday, August 13, 2012

Comfort food...

I made Minestrone Soup on Saturday - nothing special, just used a packet of McKenzies Homestyle mix. I added celery, carrot, pumpkin and potato and and a can of diced tomatoes. It was really good!
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Dear Gus produced roasted apple & quince pork cutlets for dinner Saturday night... a very easy Donna Hay recipe. Basically, trip the cutlets of fat and place on a paper lined baking tray. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and spread with quince paste. Top with apple slices and oregano leaves then brush with butter. Roast for 20-30 minutes until apple is golden and pork is cooked through. Serve with steamed greens (we had beans and broccolini) and a baked potato. So simple and delicious.
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Angus also bought home some fresh strawberries and some Maggie Beer icecream ... I cut them up and mascerated them in Cointreau and a little castor sugar...
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Yup, they were goood!
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Sunday night, Gus cooked again (as is the custom in our house - me week days, Gus weekends). This time it was Lime and lemongrass prawns (again from Donna Hay).
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The rice had 1/4 cup of coconut milk stirred through it plus some chilli. Yummy served with a quick green salad...
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After dinner, Gus researched our trip to Tasmania. Hmm, for someone who dislikes technology, he sure loves 'my' Ipad!
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And finally, I have gone from this very golden blonde...
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... to a more ash blonde with lighter foils, which is closer to my natural colouring. Happy camper!
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Apart from making the biscuits of Sunday, it was a lazy day. I stayed in my pj's until 1pm then showered and put on fresh pj's! Love weekends like that!
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Cheers - Joolz

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Golden Syrup Biscuits on a Sunday ...

I asked the question on Facebook - I feel like baking, what should it be? Kim from The Serendipity Cafe chimed in with 'Golden Syrup Biscuits'. Who am I to argue? The recipe can be found on Kim's blog, here.
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Gather the simple ingredients together - an egg, 125 gms butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon golden syrup and 1 and 1/2 cups SR flour...
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Cream the butter and sugar until pale (this will give you a crunchy biscuit) ; beat in the egg...
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Drizzle in the golden syrup...
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Slowly incorporate the flour until a nice stiff batter has been made. Drop teaspoonfuls (or roll into small balls) and place on a paper lined tray.
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Ready for the oven ... bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes until golden...
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Golden goodness!
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Cuppa tea and a biccie! Nice!
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Cheers - Joolz

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