Monday, April 29, 2013

Backyard barbecue ...



On Saturday, the weather here was very blustery with wind whipping leaves all around - a day to stay inside.
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 Yesterday, however, was beautiful and calm with just a bit of sunshine.  Perfect weather for a paddock fire.
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 Gus has been itching to try his new Auspit rotisserie so he prepared some lamb souvlaki and made an easy  fattoush salad to go with it.
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 Once he had the fire burned down to coals he set the Auspit spinning...
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 I reckon it took about half an hour to get the meat nice and browned (still a bit pink in the middle).
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 Our fattoush salad wasn't quite as elaborate as the one in the link but tasted just as good.  We used some ground sumac and paprika in the dressing too. The recipe is here.
 The lamb was cooked perfectly and we mused over what other things we could spit roast - I have visions of a rolled pork belly stuffed with macadamias, apricot and cranberries, slow roasted to get the crackling really crispy to that is shatters when you cut the meat into chunks..... Yum!
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 The sheep seemed uninterested in our presence in their yard and soon lay down for a snooze.
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 Gus thought he might try rotisseried cat but Bonnie had other ideas and soon scarpered from my lap.  Poor puss - Gus is always trying to entice her into his barbecue!
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Later, we had roasted marshmallows over the coals - delicious!
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 Gus' Mum came out for a glass of wine and enjoyed the afternoon...
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 We had a sprinkle of rain, then the corellas came in, squarking and flapping about.  Can you see that cheeky one, looking down at us?
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 It's a pity it gets dark so quickly now as we could have stayed much longer...
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The fire was just a perfect way to spend the afternoon...
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Added: It appears we contravened the local council bylaws by lighting the fire on a Sunday and while still in fire season.  Two or three weeks ago, farmers were burning off stubble on a 30C day which totally baffled me (apparently they can get permits).  Rest assured, this fire would not have got out of control as it was built on a green grass base and we had shovel and water close handy if it did.  I am going to ring the council to clarify the Sunday burning to see if it only applies to residents in town.  We are just outside the town limits on 2.5 acres.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Cinnamon Coffee Cake ...

 I bookmarked this recipe at Our Old Homestead way back in October and have only now got around to making this cake...  I don't know why I waited so long!
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The recipe is here ...
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 Once in the bundt tin (this is actually a silicone one from Chef's Toolbox) - I realised I should have made 2 cakes in smaller tins.  It was huge and nearly came up to the top...
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 It also took ages to cook - the recipe says 55-65 minutees but it took 90 minutes before the skewer came out clean.  I baked for one hour then 3 lots of 10 minutes until it was done.
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 I dusted it with a little left over sugar cinnamon mix then waited impatiently for it to cool...
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 It is really moist and delicious.  I will try it spread with a little butter tomorrow...
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 Last night, we had pizzas for dinner.  First up was a potato, rosemary, garlic and parmesan one...
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These flavours just work really well.  Loved it.
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 Next up was your generic salami, bacon, onion, olive, tomato, mushroom, anchovy and cheese variety.  Yummo too!
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Friday night bliss... (jarmys on, recliner reclining, watching The Voice re-runs with glass of red in hand and homemade pizza) ...
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Cardigan Cushion ...

 I posted here about converting an old cardigan of Kirby's into a cushion.  I didn't get to it that weekend so...
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 I gave it a go today!  
First I turned it inside out and tacked the opening closed so it would retain it's shape.
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Then, I pinned it across, under the arms then took to it with a pair of sharp scissors!
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 I attempted to use my sewing machine to sew the top opening shut - this did not work!  It was way too thick and heavy for the machine to handle.  Lots of swearing then happened!  Deep breaths!  I then threaded up a needle with yarn and back stitched my way across the top.
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Next, because the bottom of the cardy had a neat edge, I got some ecru embroidery cotton and just sewed it shut all the way across the bottom.  Neat as! 
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Then it was a matter of undoing the tacking, undoing the buttons and turning the cardy the right way out.  Stuff a cushion insert in there and button it up!
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 Ta dah!  All finished and ready to cuddle on the lounge!
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Probably the quickest craft project I have ever done.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Friday, April 26, 2013

Quick trip to Radels and Anzac Day...

(pretty sky as we passed through the Coorong)
 Wednesday afternoon saw us zipping to Adelaide to deliver one very excited daughter her brand new car.  I nearly wasn't going to go as it is an 800km round trip but then I thought... why not!
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After surprising Kirby with my presence, we ordered Thai takeaway which we all enjoyed.  I just love Thai Green Chicken Curry, I'm almost addicted!
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On Thursday, April 25th we commemorate ANZAC Day.  On this day in 1915, Australian and New Zealand allied troops landed on the beach at Gallipoli but were met with fierce firepower from the Turks.  After a campaign lasting over 8 months, eight thousand of our men had been killed.  Australia took it upon itself to make April 25th a day of remembrance for those who made the ultimate sacrifice in war.  It is the 98th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing.  My grandfather was a soldier in the First World War and luckily survived it - I paid tribute to him here in a Remembrance Day post (November 11th)...

Lest we forget ...
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I made Anzac biscuits earlier in the week but had enough to take a bag to Adelaide for the girls.  Here is a bit of a story about the humble Anzac biscuit - it's origin is still under question but this explanation is what I was told (here)....
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Gus shined up the Ford Fiesta for Kirby and went through the whole delivery process with her...
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Kirby has been working for 18 months now so it was a big decision to buy a new car.  We did give her a good deal, though.  :)  
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 Then it was time to hop in the car and drive home again.  We stopped in at Murray Bridge for a counter meal - I had lamb roast and it was delicious.  Good pub grub!
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We got home around 6pm and Gus had seen a recipe for chicken tacos using roast chicken.   Do you think I could buy a hot roasted chicken in our town at that time of night? Nope!  I bought some chicken breasts and we used those but other than that he followed the recipe and made these delicious tacos.  Recipe from Taste.com.au here... 
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So that was our whirlwind trip to Adelaide (nicknamed Radels by our girls)...
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Cheers - Joolz xx


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Life in the fast lane...

I tried a new bread recipe last Friday night.  I used Tina's recipe for bread (she has a lovely homey blog) - and the bread rolls were a success. Recipe and video tutorial here...
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Also on Friday, I tried a recipe for Thai Chicken cakes - these were really delicious and we just had them with a salad.  Recipe here... 
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Last night we had a Beef & Peanut stirfry (meant to be chicken but we had chicken 2 nights before so...).  It's a recipe from the AIS Survival for the Active Family book.... I couldn't find a link but it is very similar to this recipe here ...
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Last Saturay night we held our staff dinner in our new showroom...
It was like setting up for a wedding ... but we only had 3 tables!
I wanted it to look nice so I ordered bowls of flowers (so each lady could take one home), had candles as the centre piece...
It was a bit hard to jazz up the room as it is so clinical and new...  Balloons helped a bit...
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I stuck to a blue, green and white/cream theme as that is the company colours...
Certainly looks weddingy!
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We had caterers come in and cook a lovely 3 course meal ....
Dessert was a selection of bite size yummy goodies.  We had quite a late night and didn't get home until 2.45am! 

On Sunday, after cleaning up the showroom, we had a visit from 2 British girls, friends of a friend of ours.  We treated them to dinner, bed and breakfast on their way through.
We took them for a quick trip through the dunes to our coast to show them the sights.  It was raining so we didn't get out of Ruby.  Then I did a Chicken curry, homemade naan bread and golden syrup dumplings for dessert.  Phew!
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Dianne and Laura - I made them some Anzac biscuits to take with them...
  
Yesterday morning I made some Cherry Shortbreads to give to my mother...

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After all that, I was happy to sit in my recliner and watch MKR then Who Do You Think You Are...
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Cheers - Joolz xx

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