Monday, May 27, 2013

Retro Chicken Parcels ...

 The MOTH loves his Weber (gas barbecue) and as he cooks on the weekends, he pours over the cookbooks, planning out meals.  Last night he chose to do these Chicken Packets.
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I quartered a fresh chook for him then he got the parcels organised.
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This was absolutely delicious!  The chicken was moist and there was just enough sauce in each parcel which we drizzled over the chicken.
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Add a fresh green salad and a baked potato in its jacket - YUM!
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Naughty dessert - strawberries in Cointreau with Weight Watchers icecream.
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MOTH has a bit of a clean up and loaded up all these bottles for me to take for recycling.  In South Australia, each beer stubby, bottle and can, water bottles, flavoured milk cartons etc all have a return value of .10c - 10 cans then equals $1.00!  We save ours up, put them back in their boxes and take them to the recycle centre which is only 2 minutes away from where we live.
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All our empty water bottles and drink cans.
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 I am $46.20 richer this morning for taking time to recycle.  How cool is that?
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Cheers - Joolz

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lamb Lollipops and cupcakes ...

 After a busy day in the kitchen, Gus was in charge of dinner so I took a nice hot shower and got in my pyjamas and my new Slumbies.  So soft and comfy!
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Gus made Lamb Lollipops, curry sauce and rice with peas and lentils.
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 Seriously good!  Lots of flavour and a very easy meal.
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 My French bread was surprisingly good - a real crunchy crust.  I am happy with that!
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 Reclining watching Rockwiz  - it was a really good show...  Then someone put on the Formula 1 motor racing and I went to bed.  :(
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 This morning I made cupcakes using this never fail recipe from Destitute Gourmet - Dana's Cupcakes - just scroll down the page a little and you'll find it.  It's a food processor job and so easy to mix that way.
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 It makes a lovely smooth batter and they stay nice and smooth on top...
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 Perfect!
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 I went to town decorating them with every type of sprinkle I could find, lol!
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It's my sister-in-laws birthday today so I will take these out when we visit later this afternoon.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Saturday, May 25, 2013

French bread ... sort of ...

 I used this recipe for French Bread from Our Old Homestead.  I used the same recipe but because I used a mixer and didn't mix by hand, it sort of went a bit differently.
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 I was very happy with how the dough rose the first time. Wow!
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 These are the loaves rising for the second time in my just warm oven ( for 35 mins) ... I think I should have just baked them after 15 minutes (in a hot oven) as when they rose the 2nd time they lost all of their shape...
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 Two good loaves...
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This is the plait loaf and it looks more like a Turkish Pide bread ...  All still edible, just not quite
French stick material!  I will perfect this is coming weeks... once we eat our way through all this bread!
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Cheers - Joolz  xx

Kicking Big Blue into action ...

With cooler weather we have been having, I decided it was time to make some Thick pea and ham soup.
I bought a nice ham hock and fresh packets of split green and yellow peas...
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 I boiled the hock for about an hour before adding in the split peas.  I let them go for about half an hour then
added the chopped carrot, onion and celery...
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 At this stage it was time to remove the hock and cut all the meat off the bone...
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 Lots of yummy ham...
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I added the ham back into the soup, gave it a real quick stab with my Bamix blender to give a creamy texture but retain some whole veggies and the job was done.  Delicious Pea & Ham Soup.
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Now, nothing is better with home made soup than home made bread rolls so I made some more of these using Rhonda's recipe that I posted for the Kaiser rolls.  This time I paid special attention to my yeast as I have had some flops recently with the dough not rising enough.  I tried one batch of Lowan's dried yeast (2 tspn with 1/2 tablespoon of honey in 1/4 cup of warm water) and after about 5 minutes it looked kind of dormant.  So I got out a sachet of Tandaco dried yeast and mixed it up the same.  I gave that 10 minutes and I am glad I did - it had frothed up nicely and the Lowan's was still just sitting there.  I don't know why because it is a brand new tin of yeast and has plenty time before it expired.  Any clues???????
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 I used my mixer with dough hook to knead the dough for 10 minutes then left it to rise in my warm oven. I was pleased with the way it rose...
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 I just went with round rolls today, with a few slits across the top and some porridge oats sprinkled on top for a rustic look...
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 I left them to rise another 30 minutes in the warm oven before taking them out, setting the oven heating to 200C then returning them to bake for about 25 minutes in total, until golden.
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 Success!  They looked magnificent!
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... and I can tell you they tasted great with my Pea & Ham Soup!
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Later this afternoon, I am making French Bread (2 sticks) from another recipe so I will let you know how that goes.  I'm having a lovely day home in the kitchen.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Friday, May 24, 2013

Slow Cooker / Dutch Oven Bolognese Sauce ...

 I came across this recipe for Slow cooker spag bol sauce when someone commented on Mrs Woog's blog (she put out a cry for help with her spag bol sauce).  I thought this sounded great to put on at Friday lunch time then come home to the smell of a lovely sauce ready to add pasta for a quick Friday night tea.  I bough the ingredients but plans went awry and I didn't get it on the stove until 5pm!  Never the less, using my Big Blue dutch oven, I got it happening and it still turned out wonderfully.  I used bacon instead of prosciutto and added these lovely big mushrooms and a zucchini.  You can never have too many veg in your sauce!
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The recipe is from Modern Day Mummying and the recipe is here http://moderndaymummying.blogspot.com.au/2013/05/slow-cooker-thursdays-spaghetti.html
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 I fried off the bacon in a little oil ...
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 Then added in the vegetables then the pork & veal mince and I also used beef mince too (to make up the 1 kg) ...
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 All other ingredients were added and then I just let it simmer away for 2 hours...
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 I used orichiette pasts (San Remo) as it hangs on to the sauce nicely...
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 Look how lovely and rich the sauce is!  Lots of flavour in there!
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 I ladled out the sauce and mixed it through the pasta, put it in a baking dish and topped it with parmesan...
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Baked for 20 minutes until the cheese melted and voila!
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 Look how much I have left over.  I have frozen it and will give the girls one to take home when they come for the June long weekend.
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Labelled so I won't lose it in my freezer...
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Modern Day Mummying has other slow cooker recipes on her blog and lots of other goodies too - check it out.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Repost: Kaiser Rolls

I have had a request from Striving Simply to post my Kaiser Roll recipe.
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I didn't actually post a recipe for the bread dough back then but I think this one of Rhonda's at Down To Earth will make nice rolls.
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Kaiser Roll post is here and
Rhonda's recipe is here~
We've had some bleak, cold days here down South but today the sun in shining and it's a lovely day!
Have a good one - Joolz xx

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Camping at Lake Ratzcastle ...

 We set off (with our friends Peter and Kathy) on a gloomy Saturday afternoon, headed for Lake Ratzcastle in Western Victoria.  We had heard that it is a good place to catch yabbies.
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 We set up our camp on the sandy banks of the lake.  We hoped the rain would hold off.
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 The level of the lake was way down due to low rainfall so our chances of wetting our yabby net was very slim!
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 This kangaroo was grazing at the waters edge.
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 The sunset was stunning ...
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 We got the campfire lit as soon as we had set up our bedding arrangements (always first priority).  I packed hot water bottles which saved us from freezing overnight!
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 Next on the list was to make some bread dough.  This would be cooked in the camp oven ...
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Here it is - coals underneath the oven, then heaped around it and on top.  I made bread rolls and arranged them into a cake tin.  To stop it burning on the bottom, I scrunched up some aluminium foil and put it in the bottom of the camp oven then sat the cake tin on top of that.
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 We used the Auspit rotisserie again to roast 2 small legs of lamb (marinated in balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, brown sugar and mixed herbs) ...
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 A new toy was the roasting cage where we put the potatoes, carrot and pumpkin in to roll and tumble around, roasting over the fire....
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 We were blessed the whole night with no rain and no wind (quite amazing for this time of year) ...
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Roast veggies (need to cut the pumpkin and carrots smalled next time as they took longer to cook that the spuds) 
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 The finished meal (Peter didn't want carrot or pumpkin) with green peas/beans and gravy.  My bread turned out well but we burned it on top at the last minute by putting extra coals on top of the oven.  We'll know for next time!   All in all, a successful roast lamb dinner.
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 Breakfast the next morning was poached eggs and bacon ...
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 with campfire toast (which worked so well on the Auspit) ...
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 Yum!
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 Time to head for home, down this dirt track...
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 ... then this dirt track ...
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and finally this dirt track!
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 We were pretty weary when we got home and unpacked.  Everything smelled like a campfire so lots of washing took place.  We had lots of roast lamb left over so I took the opportunity to make Shepherds pie with the left over meat.(we don't usually have much left over from a small roast).
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 I fried off the celery, onion, carrot and pumpkin then added the chopped lamb then all the other ingredients as per the recipe - here
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 Let is simmer away for and hour or so while you boil/steam some potatoes to mash...
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 I cut a sheet of puff pastry and baked that at the last minutes - a pie isn't a pie unless it has pastry, right?  This was a lovely, warming dish - a good way to end a great weekend.  I also froze 2 small portions for another time (bonus!)  ...
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There was even some lamb left over for cold lamb and sauce sandwiches for Gus today.
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Cheers - Joolz xx
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