Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our busy Australia Day weekend...



 
We began by joining our friends from Melbourne in Penola on Saturday afternoon.  We dined at Pipers of Penola.  Magnificent!  
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We stayed the night then on Sunday morning we did a spot of wine tasting and looked around the shops...
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Grapes on the vine at Leconfield...
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We had a lovely lunch at Fodder, Coonawarra then it was time to head home (50kms). Gus and I planned to make fresh pasta to have for dinner.  I left Gus and Gary in charge of the fettuccini and I made a slow cooked beef ragu using shin of beef (took just over 3 hours)...
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The dough was good and went through the pasta machine perfectly.
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Do you like my drying rack? It was a gift from Kirby and Nate for having them home over Christmas and New Year.   Seriously, I don't need to be rewarded!
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Anyway, it did exactly what it was designed for and held the whole big batch of pasta. This much pasta fed 6 adults and I also froze a pack of fettuccini and spaghetti for meals for me and Gus also.
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Now, before we left to go over to Penola, I prepared dessert for the next night (Sunday). This was so easy - crush a packet of sweet biscuits coarsely, add about 100gms of melted butter, just enough to wet the crumbs.
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I have these lovely stemless wine glasses which are perfect for this dessert but any large wine glasses would do.   I spooned the crumb mix into each glass but didn't pat it down.  I made a cheesecake mixture based on a recipe from Ree the Pioneer Woman. I whipped together 250gms softened cream cheese and about 2/3 can of condensed milk and a squeeze of lemon juice. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking.
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The easiest way to get the cheesecake mix into the glasses is to put the mix in a disposable piping bag or a ziplock bag. Snip the end then pipe it on top of the crumb base. No mess up the sides of the glass!
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Next, I heated frozen raspberries (you can choose whatever berries you like) with a little sugar and brought that to the boil until the sugar dissolved. Cool completely.  Gently spoon the cooled berries into each glass.  At this point I covered each glass with cling wrap, ready for the next night.
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Time for dessert! I dolloped on a blob of whipped cream and some pretty sprinkles - job done!
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On Monday - the perks and privelege of owning your own business - we took the day off! We headed to Beachport to try and buy a crayfish so I could make seafood cocktails on the beach (adventurous much?)...
The only cray we could buy was still swimming in the Co-op's tanks - not ideal...but how much fresher can you get?  We bought one and thought we'd try cooking it on/in the barbecue.  I was stressing...
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We drove to Southend via the beach then set up in a sheltered spot in the bay...
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we got the flag and bunting flying...
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We named him Clancy...but his days were numbered...
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Normally, crayfish are best boiled in (ideally) sea water for a short time then drained and cooled.  We didn't have that option so I was a quite stressed as to how this would turn out.
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Once we had him dispatched, we wrapped him in two layers of foil. Nighty night, Clancy!  We popped him to bed in the BabyQ Weber and cooked him for 30 minutes.  When we peeled back the foil we found a perfectly cooked Clancy - success!  
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I cracked the flesh out of the tail and picked all the leg meat then put it in a ziplock bag on ice in the esky to cool.
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You know when you have a vision of something then it comes together just right? My crayfish and prawn cocktails, assembled at the beach, were perfection!  I had brought with me, shredded iceberg lettuce and creamy cocktail sauce and 24 cooked prawns.  These are my plastic Govino wine glasses (not the same as the ones I used for the cheesecake).  Lettuce in the bottom, dollop of sauce, divided the cray meat between 6 glasses, another dollop of sauce then a crack of pepper. Drape 3 prawns on each glass and deliver to hungry, salivating guests! Yah!
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How bloody good do they look?
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Our visitors enjoying the day...
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...and playing coits...
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Our camp, always lots of shade...
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We had a late lunch of lamb chops and salads...
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I trotted out my Lamingtons for dessert...
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All too soon it was time to wobble home through the dunes...
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We had a late dinner of barbecued chicken pieces, salad and baked potato wedges...
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I forgot to take a piccy of these - another dessert in a glass - very easy chocolate sauce and strawberries - (250gms chocolate and 300mls cream - heat in a saucepan until smooth and creamy).  Pour cooled sauce into the glass and drop in 6-8 strawberries. Too easy! 
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Tuesday, January 26th is Australia Day proper and a public holiday in Australia...
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We had a big egg and bacon breakfast with mimosas (champagne and fresh squeezed orange juice).
Then it was time for our friends to pack up and head home to Melbourne...
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Closer to noon, Gus and I enjoyed more bubbles, celebrating Australia Day and the success of our weekend with dear friends.
We spent the rest of the day tidying up and taking it easy.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lamingtons...

Making lamingtons is a messy business. My best tip for you is to freeze your cake.
I made my cake the day before I wanted to do the lamingtons.
I just made a packet butter cake and baked it in a small slice tin. When cool, I wrapped it in kitchen paper then cling film and put it in the freezer.
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When you are ready to go lammo crazy, take out your cake slab and cut it into squares (18).
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A fork can be inserted into the cake so dipping in the runny chocolate icing is easy. Drain off excess icing then roll in coconut.
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Using frozen cake is much easier than fluffy, too fresh cake.
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We enjoyed out lamingtons down at the beach, topped with sweet whipped cream!
So bloody good!
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Cheers - Joolz xx


 
 
 
 

Friday, January 22, 2016

honey glazed salmon with citrus avocado salsa...

(Pic from cookingclassy.com)
We love salmon and I had the chance to buy some yesterday in Mt Gambier..
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I googled recipes when I got home and found this one.  I had oranges and an avocado on the fridge so it was perfect.  I just needed Gus to pick up some coriander on his way home...
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I did some oven baked potato chips and a quick salad...
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The result, a very delicious dinner.  I did add a squirt of maple syrup to the salsa just to take the top off the tartness. 
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I am making sour dough rolls later tonight but I am still getting Sally ready to use.  She was looking a bit flat this morning (after 3 feeds yesterday).  
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I did the glass of water test and she sunk to the bottom...
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...which means she's not ready.  I've fed her again so hopefully she'll bubble into action soon. 7.15am...
Cheers - Joolz xx
(Sally floating on the surface)
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After another feed, by 9.35am she had bubbled up and smelled nice and yeasty. I tried the glass test and she stayed floating on the surface. This means she had enough gas bubbles to be viable, I guess.
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I mixed the dough at around 10.30am then by 6pm the dough had risen beautifully so I made 14 bread rolls...
I used 250gms wholemeal flour and 750gms bakers flour...
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...I also made a small loaf. Perfect!
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Joolz xx
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

bedroom makeovers ...

Apart from some pictures for the walls, the makeovers are complete...
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We added a large mirror over each chest of drawers. The girls are happy and we have room for guests to stay in comfort. Like this coming weekend, we have friends coming from Melbourne to stay. 
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Joolz xx

 
 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Doilies do it for me!

I found this perfect doily at our local antique shop. The colours match the room perfectly! $8
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This pure white doily has a few stains but I just soaked it and the other one in a hot Napisan mix and it came out spotless!
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Its very dainty and in perfect condition!
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I also found this treasure in perfect condition.  It is Burleigh Arden pattern.  They also had a little teapot to match but it was very chipped and stained. The guy said it was around 200 years old. I left that there as I hate chipped china.
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We were invited to dinner at our friends house so I baked some dinner rolls to take.
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I also made this layered Mexican dip from Annette Sym's book 3.  Mix refried beans and salsa together and spread in bottom of dish.
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Mash avocado and stir in taco seasoning...
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Carefully spread avo mix on top of salsa mix...
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Spread yoghurt over avo mix then top with green capsicum, seeded tomato and onion.
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Finally sprinkle with grated cheese and a little bit more taco mix.
This is a great healthy dip to share at a party. Serve with rice crackers or corn chips.

 http://www.symplytoogood.com.au/newsletter-mix-it-up/mexican-dip
 
 We stayed at our friends place last night then travelled home this morning.  I'm feeling a bit slow today!  :)

Cheers - Joolz xx

 
 
 
 

 
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