Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bound for Tassie ...

I am excited!  Madly packing, loading, tidying, finishing work comittments so we can go!
I will put up a picture a day via my iPhone to show you this pretty place.
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Cheer - Joolz

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Barbecue Sauce and Apple Blueberry pie...

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These are the ingredients for a great Barbecue Sauce - in a saucepan add:
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1/2 cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (barbecue ketchup)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon American style yellow mustard (hotdog mustard)
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Heat in saucepan until sugar has dissolved and it has just reached boiling.  Store in a sterilized jar.  This mix made one jar.
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Our juice this morning - apples, oranges, carrots and strawberries...Yum!
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For dessert last night, I made an apple and blueberry freeform pie... I just heaped on slices of apple and fresh blueberries that I had tossed a bit of brown sugar through...
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I used the shortcrust pastry recipe that I used for that Lemon Lime Tart...
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Baked it...
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and ate it!
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This was another recipe I tried on Monday night ... Gus and Bri liked it, me - not so much.  It was quite rich.

Rigatoni in Blush Sauce with Chicken and Bacon
4 servings

500 grams uncooked rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package instructions
1 chicken breast, boneless, skinless, cut into small pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
4 rashers bacon
2 tbsp spicy barbecue sauce
1 can (2 cups) diced tomatoes
fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
fresh Parmesan cheese

In a large pan, add the bacon and cook it until it starts rendering some fat. Add the chicken, onion and garlic and cook until chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through. Add diced tomatoes, water, basil, hot sauce, and cook for 10 minutes. Add sour cream and stir. If needed add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the pasta to the pan, add the mozzarella cheese and toss it all together to make sure all pasta is covered in the cheese and sauce.
Grate with fresh Parmesan cheese and serve warm.
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 It's windy and blustery here today and it is expected to warm up to about 20C!  I am scrambling to find cooler work clothes to wear.
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Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pics from the weekend ...

 We are having very mixed spring weather in these parts - Saturday was an absolute pearler of a day then by late afternoon, the clouds rolled in and threatened a thunder storm ... but it never eventuated.
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 Sunday morning was bright and sunny, just look at the new growth on our Silver Birch ... then we had light hail at 10.30am!  Crazy!
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Bonnie - check out those whiskers!















A few months ago, I think Bonnie got in a fight.  Her eye looked a little sore for a few days and now she squints a bit and her right eye can sometimes look crossed.  There is no wound.  She is so hard to photograph.  The minute I get out the camera she is off or looking away from me.
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Another silly pose!
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She really is a pretty puss and keeps herself very clean and well groomed, seeing she is an outdoor mogster.  She does get shut in the garage if she comes home each night, but sometimes she stays out way past our bedtime and doesn't come home!
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Another dishcloth finished - I'm good at finishing one every 2-3 weeks!   I start them off then let them sit for a while, them pick them up and finish in one go!  This one is called Baby Block and was a nice
pattern to knit up.
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I am still struggling with blogger - it's putting photos up in a back to front order (compared to how it used to) and in HTML mode, I can't seem to cut and paste pictures into position.  I hit 'insert a caption' but couldn't undo it so it had to stay there.  Baaah!  Hate is a strong word but ... Blogger, I HATE you!
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Cheers - Joolz

Sunday, September 23, 2012

No-Mess Pasta ...

This is a great, healthy one pot meal - great for families who have sporting commitments etc where you want to be able to feed a whole crew quickly on arrival home.  I think this recipe could be done in a slow cooker but probably for only 2-3 hours (eg. put on at 3pm, ready at 6pm) or it takes probably 20-30 minutes to produce on the stove top.
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Assemble the ingredients: 
oil for cooking
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced finely (I added this to the original recipe - I figured the more veggies the better)
1 stalk celery, diced finely (ditto)
4 swiss brown mushrooms, chopped (ditto) - leave out if you don't like mushies
1 clove garlic, crushed
500 gms lean beef mince
400 gm can crushed/diced tomatoes
4 cups beef stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basic (8-10 leaves), plus extra to serve
375 gms small shell pasta
1 cup frozen vegetables (I used peas & corn)
parmesan cheese, to serve
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Heat oil in a large non-stick saucepan or pot over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, celery & carrot  and fry for 2-3 minutes until softened.  Add mince and cook, stirring until browned and breaking up lumps with wooden spoon.
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Add tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, sugar & basil and simmer for 5 minutes.
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Stir in vegetables and uncooked pasta, return to simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Stir regularly.    Taste test and add salt and pepper if you like.
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It's still got a little while to go, put the lid back on...
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Now it's ready, the pasta has plumped up.  Just before serving, stir in 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (or tasty cheese)...
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Serve and top with a little more grated parmesan.  I bet you got back for some more!
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This made a big pot of food, just right for hungry kids!
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Cheers - Joolz

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Blogger, you are giving me grey hairs!

I hate the new interface! I have tried changing the colour of my text, the fonts etc and it won't do it! Grrr - not happy at all!  I do not want blue blog headings, I do not want purple sidebar titles!  Anyone got any solutions to my woes?
- Joolz

Homemade vanilla bean icecream ...

We are pretty much a vanilla flavoured icecream family - you can add other flavours to suit so what's not to like, right?
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I had to buy full cream milk (!) and a carton of cream and also the vanilla beans to whip this up - naughty ingredients but the end result was so worth it.  I have a Breville Mixer with Thermal Freezer bowl attachment which whips the icecream.
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Vanilla Bean Icecream
1.5 cups (375 ml) milk
1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthways, seeds removed
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
1.25 cups pure cream
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Heat milk, vanilla seeds and bean in a saucepan over medium heat until bubbles start appearing around the edges. Remove from heat and allow to infuse for further 5 minutes.
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Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale and creamy.
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Remove vanilla bean from saucepan and add in cream. Add small amounts of milk/cream mixture to the egg, beating between additions.  Repeat until all combined.
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Cover and refrigerate mixture for 4 hours (or be impatient and put in freezer for 2 hours!).
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Attach the freezer bowl to mixer, pour in the icecream mixture and set it going on the fold/knead setting for 10-15 minutes until desired consistency is achieved.  At this stage it's like beautiful soft serve icecream so I popped it in the freezer for a further hour to firm up.
Delicious!
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I also made vanilla icecream here and added in Clinkers lollies for yummy flavour!
Cheers - Joolz

Friday, September 21, 2012

Melting Moments and Anzacs ...

I zipped home from work last night and knocked up these two batches of biscuits.  Two of my sisters are taking my Mum (82) to Adelaide to see her sister (87) and brother (89).  I thought they'd enjoy something with their cuppa.
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The recipe for Melting Moments is here and for some reason, I cannot find where I have ever posted a recipe for Anzacs!  I will get it put up later today.
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Best go and tidy the house before heading off to work.  I'm not sure what's for dinner tonight, something easy would be good!
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Cheers - Joolz

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homemade Naan Bread ...

I found a recipe for Naan bread on the BudgetBytes site and whipped up a batch last night to go with my Thai Green Chicken Curry - OhMyLordy! Best naan bread ever! And the curry was delish too!
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The recipe is very easy to follow - get your yeast, sugar and water mixed up and frothing, add in one egg, some yoghurt and oil. Add this to 1 cup of flour and gradually add in more flour by 1/2 cup measures until you have a stiff dough. I used 2.5 cups of flour all up. I used my mixer with dough hook to mix it all for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball and put it in a bowl to prove until it has doubled in size.
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Next, take the dough and divide it into 8 pieces and roll into balls. Now roll each ball nice and flat - about 5 mls thick. Heat your fry pay or griddle (I have a big, long flat electric griddle that my M-I-L gave me - great for pancakes and this bread!), spray with a little oil spray and fry the bread until bubbles form and it is browned underneath. Spray to the top of the bread then flip it over and brown on that side too.
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Tah dah! Lovely natural naan bread - the one I usually buy in the supermarket is made in India and is tasty (mint & yoghurt flavour) but it has a long expiry date on it so there must be lots of preservatives in it. This is preservative free. We ate half the batch and I have frozen the other for another time to be heated in the oven.
Give it a go!
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Cheers - Joolz

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A bit frosty this morning...


It was a chilly morning here with a light frost... I had to tip some cold water on Bri's windscreen as it was frozen over. Then I parked her car in the sun so it could thaw out and the windows would dry before she headed off on the 50km trip. Mother of the Year, I tell ya! :)

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... but it's going to be a beautiful spring day...
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I cannot work out Mother Nature... both of these Silver Birch trees were planted at the same time, but one sprouts new growth about 3 weeks before the other even starts...
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Bonnie cat was quite happy to sit in my pot in the sunshine...
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Bri and I had pita bread pizzas for dinner last night - I like pizza sauce, lean bacon, onion, salami, olives, mushroom, pineapple, anchovies and I used Lite pizza cheese and sprinkled with ground oregano - yum! Bri had pizza sauce, chicken, bacon, olives, mushroom, sun-dried tomato and cheese.
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Have a nice day,
Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy dance....

My copy of The Pioneer Woman Cooks - Food From My Frontier arrived at work just now! It has so many naughty but yummy things to cook in it - can't wait to try some (I might modify the fat content though). I bought it through Fishpond for $24.97 delivered to my door (RRP is $40+)

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... and yes, I do do some work while I am in the office... well a little bit!

Cheers - Joolz

It was good ...

My corned beef was quite nice and tasty - this is how I served it, with mashed potatoes, steamed carrots, green beans and a white mustard cheese sauce.

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Tanya suggested I buy from my local butcher and ditch the supermarkets - unfortunately the only privately owned and 4th generation run family butcher in our small town shut up shop many years ago so we have to rely on the 3 supermarkets in our town for meat or drive a 100 km round trip to our regional centre. They do have some lovely butcher shops! But because I work, I can only get there maybe once a month.

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Bri is home doing a nursing placement at Community Health in our regional centre hospital. Yesterday she was out and about with the CH nurse, visiting clients in their homes and changing dressings. They visited 2 amputees, a lady with such poor circulation that her toes are black, a lady with a skin tear bordering on an ulcer and a lady who has had her entire bowel removed due to cancer and a few others. It was a busy day and she saw some confronting, eye-opening things but she said it was so interesting. She loves watching 'Embarrassing Bodies' (as do I) so nothing much shocks her! Today she is in the Women's Health section at the hospital.

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A beautiful sunny day here, coolish but sunny none the less!


Cheers - Joolz

Monday, September 17, 2012

Corned Beef ...

Brianna is home because she has a placement for one week at a local hospital so she requested Corned Beef for dinner. I haven't had much luck with corned beef - I usually buy from Woolworths and have found it to be tough and tasteless.

I walked into our locally owned supermarket and happened to run into the butcher man himself. I asked if he did a good corned beef and he told me to choose the Butchers Brand one and not the 'other' one. The price of the piece I bought was $19.90 so it will want to be good!

It certainly looks nice, so it's in the slow cooker with water, vinegar, cracked pepper, brown sugar, a few bay leaves and an onion. I'll let you know how it is later when I serve it up.

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Cheers - Joolz

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sugar butter flower cookies ...


Kim from Serendipity Cafe posted a picture on facebook yesterday for the way to make these cute sugar cookies - I just had to give it a go! There wasn't a recipe so I just used my Cherry Shortbreads recipe which you can find here.
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I made the dough but added extra plain flour to make it stiffer so the balls would roll nicely.
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Fate would have it that I had a shaker of coloured sugars in my pantry (purchased long ago) so that's why I wanted to make the cookies so bad. Roll them into nice balls then swoosh around in the sugar until coated.
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(pic from Homestead Survivial)
This picture is from Homestead Survival's facebook page (but I couldn't find it on their blog) and this is the next step. Take a pair of clean scissors and snip the ball in half (but not through to the bottom) then snip each half into three, carefully laying out the petals ...
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... like this.
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Don't they look cute?
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Ten minutes later and you have sugar butter flower cookies!
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My tip - I started by rolling a ball, dipping in sugar, cutting then setting the petals out.... It's quicker to roll 6 balls then go through the production line.
They are a beautifully crunchy biscuit, just right to have with a cup of tea.
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Ah, that's better...
Cheers - Joolz

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Some new to me blogs ...

These blogs might have been around a while or you may already be familiar with them but I've only just recently found them and they have something that is interesting to me - I love blogs with lots of pictures of family time, cooking & baking, gardening, making do and making things and now of course, chooks! Give these a browse...

Kris @ Simplify
Link
Mrs Woog @ WoogsWorld


Robyn @ Farm Fancies



Egg Poaching Bags - Poachies ...



This clip shows just how easy it is to poach eggs using Poachies. I do mine for 6 minutes but
5 mins 30 secs might just make them that bit runnier if you like them that way.
(no sound to the video sorry)
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Lower the egg in to gently simmering water...
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Drain on kitchen paper...
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Just right for me!
Cheers - Joolz

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lamb Korma ...

A Lamb Korma has become one of my favourite things of late - quite a lot of pubs have them on the menu. Slow cooked and flavoursome, they hit the spot for lunch or dinner...
Julie Goodwin has one listed in her current book, The Heart of the Home. I tried to find it on the web so I could link to it but couldn't find where it was published.
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Not the best looking dish as it tends to always be 'nappy green/brown) but really tasty, without much heat. There are lots of recipes out there so google Lamb Korma and take your pick.
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Cheers - Joolz

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