Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Greetings ...

Easter blessings to you all! We are having a lovely family Easter with lots of good food, wine and conversation and laughs! I'll share some photos in a few days. 
- Joolz xx

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thrifty me...


I love these reed diffusers, especially this scent of Blackberry & Vanilla - it's really tangy and make the house smell really fresh.  The one I have been using had run out of liquid so I bought another one...
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... and tipped some of the liquid from the new one into the old one... now I can keep 2 rooms smelling fresh for the price of one!
-Joolz xx

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Around about ...

Sunday (10th March) we went for a "one nighter" to our favourite beach camping spot.
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 Setting Ruby up ... This time we didn't put on the back annexe.
Nice view...
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Pretty sunset as usual...
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See my little 'ensuite toilet'?
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Barbecue chicken for dinner with salads...
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Breakfast next morning - I discovered that by placing foil on the barbecue grill, it toasts bread or crumpets perfectly, much better than toasting it over the camp cooker flame.
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Prior to our camping trip, I had a go at making Panacotta (vanilla bean flavour).  I made a strawberry syrup and put that aside.  Then I heated some frozen berries with some sugar and let that dissolve.  I chilled that in the fridge until needed.
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The recipe made 4 glasses of panacotta so we had them over two nights.
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  The first night with the berries and strawberry syrup - so delicious! 
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Then the next night I chopped up some fresh mango, mashed it then heated that in a pan with a little sugar to make a coulis.  When I served it cold, I just added fresh chopped mango.  So good!  I think I need to make a 'low fat' version as the recipe used full fat milk and cream.  I think skim milk would work just as well.  It was actually a bit 'fatty' in my mouth so will try that.  Definitely a fan of panacotta though!
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Last Monday, I also made some more pickled beetroot.  I bought 2 bunches of beets for $8 and this gave me 4 jars.
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While the beets are cooking you can make your spiced vinegar. Into a saucepan place:
1 cup water2 cups vinegar - I used apple cider vinegar2 ½ tablespoons sugar½ teaspoon salt2 teaspoons of mixed spices - I mixed up a combo of celery seeds, mustard seeds and peppercorns and used two teaspoons of the mix.
Bring this mixture to the boil and simmer it for two minutes.


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I tried a jar today, after just 1 week and it is delicious.  Um, I ate the whole jar full, some for lunch then I snacked on it later.... beetroot guilt!
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Thursday, I made another delicious beef curry - I like making these when Gus is going to be late home, so I can just have it simmering, ready to go.
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Kirby has been home this weekend which has been lovely.  Just two nights but it's great to see her! :)
Gus did a roasted shoulder of lamb in the Weber kettle and I roasted some veggies inside.  Pumpkin, garlic and red onion, drizzled with oil, balsamic vinegar and cracked pepper and salt, baby chat potatoes.
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I also did Maple Syrup glazed carrots, very nice!
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Today I made some bread rolls for Kirby to take home to share with Brianna.
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I also made some Weekender biscuits (with choc chips)...
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It's been a restful weekend.  Kirby just texted to say she was home safe so...  Life is good!
Joolz xx


Friday, March 15, 2013

US Bucket list ...

... in no particular order... 
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I am going to ride a cable car in San Francisco ...
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 Maybe do a tour of Alcatraz, San Francisco...
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Eat Cherry Pie in a NY Diner ...
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Eat a Pretzel in New York City ...
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Explore Central Park, NYC ...
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Go to the top of the Empire State Building and sing New York, New York (Sinatra) ...
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Buy a hot dog from a hot dog cart, NYC  ...
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Sing "Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain" as we drive into Oklahoma City, ...
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 Eat a Twinkie (if you can still get them) ...
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Try Reeses Peanut Butter Cups....
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Visit Ford Motor Co USA in Detroit, Michigan ...
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Visit the monument at Ground Zero, NYC
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Visit the Bean sculpture in Chicago, Illinois ...
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Put a 'quarter' in the slots in Las Vegas, Nevada ...
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Eat a quesadilla in Albuquerque, New Mexico ...
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Marvel at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri ...
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Stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona and sing Take It Easy (Eagles)
"Well, I'm a standing on a corner
in Winslow, Arizona
and such a fine sight to see
It's a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed
Ford slowin' down to take a look at me"
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I think we need to detour south to Phoenix while in Arizona... we'll see.
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Visit Universal Studios, Los Angeles, California
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Swim in this pool, 28 years after I did it the first time in 1985
Halekulani Hotel, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Not sure what there is in Amarillo, we are only crossing the top bit of Texas but I guess we can sing ...
" When the day is dawnin'
On a Texas Sunday mornin'
How I long to be there
With Marie who's waitin' for me there.
Ev'ry lonely city where I hang my hat
Ain't as half as pretty as where my baby's at.

Is this the way to Amarillo?
Ev'ry night I've been huggin' my pillow
Dreamin' dreams of Amarillo
And sweet Marie who waits for me.
Show me the way to Amarillo
I've been weepin' like a willow
Cryin' over Amarillo
And sweet Marie who waits for me."
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We will be driving Route 66 but how close we stick to it, I don't know.
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Of course, there are lots of other things to see and do but these are just a few that I have on my bucket list.
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Cheers - Joolz


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Rhonda's Scones on this Saturday morning ...

When I woke up this morning I had a hankering for some scones.  I got out Rhonda's Down To Earth book and used her recipe which is here.

I didn't have any buttermilk on hand so I used 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup skim milk (and I didn't 
sour it).
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It made a lovely soft dough.  It is really important not to over work the dough.  I cut in/mix my dough with a bread and butter knife (taught to me by my mother and to her by her mother-in-law). Once the dough is just together, tip onto the floured bench, dust with flour, shape into a round and press out with your fingers to about 1 inch thich.  Use a sharp edged cutter to get the best rise.
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All cut out, brushed with milk, ready for the hot, pre-heated oven (mine was at 200C) ...
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I knew they were going to be good as they started to rise almost immediately.
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Might as well have a cuppa while I wait...
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Perfection!
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If you've never made scones, give this recipe a go.  Remember, don't over work the dough and get them into a nice hot oven so they start to puff straight away.  I wrap my scones in a clean tea towel sitting in a colander as soon as they come out of the oven, I think the steam improves them (another thing my mother taught me).
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I like my scones with 
jam and cream
buttered with vegemite
buttered with jam
 buttered with fresh tomato slices, salt & pepper
buttered with cheese and gherkins
and just buttered!
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Cheers - Joolz

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