Friday, March 24, 2017

Swedish meatballs...

I rarely use a packet mix in my cooking nowadays but every now and again I want some inspiration and something quick.

I bought pork mince and some mushrooms and was good to go. When it came time to assemble the meatballs I though, I wonder how some grated apple would go in them? Pork and apple are a match made in heaven, right?

So I grated a peeled apple into the mince mix. The result was very tasty, light and tender meatballs and the gravy that the packet made was delicious. I may just use this flavour sachet again sometime.

Cheers - Joolz xx

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Tomato pasta sauce... freeze for later.
My brother-in-law dropped off these lovely ripe tomatoes so I'm making pasta sauce to freeze for when I want to make spaghetti bolognese or a lasagne. No nasties in this sauce!
So far, I've skinned them and pureed them in my food processor then tipped them into my slow cooker bowl.
When I get home from work, I'll add onion, garlic and herbs and slow cook it tonight for several hours. I should get 4-6 containers of lovely pasta sauce to which I'll just need to add mince to.
Onion and garlin whizzed and chopped...
Lovely fresh, local basil...
Oh, the smell as it was cooking! I let it cook away until 10pm...
Five tubs of red goodness!   This is the recipe I used for Bulk Tomato Pasta Sauce
(I didn't fry off the onion first, I just put it all in the slow cooker from 5pm until 10pm, stirring on the hour).
Into the freezer they go, to be used over winter when fresh tomatoes can't be found. I'm looking forward to a nice bowl of spaghetti bolognese!
Cheers - Joolz xx

Monday, March 20, 2017

Productive weekend...

After completing that fabric bag on Saturday, I had plans to knock up another smaller one to house our green floor matting which is always dirty when we pack up. Gus loved the other one.
I fired up my poor Sally sourdough starter and this took all day Sunday to get her bubbling.
I left her overnight and by Sunday morning she was lovely and bubbly!
I mixed up a dough and left it to sit. I wasn't sure how long it would take to rise. This was taken at 8am.
I hadn't bought any bread for the weekend so I made a batch of scones for breakfast. Cheese and herb with a touch of cayenne pepper.
I gave the bread dough a flip and turn at 10.30am then left it to keep rising.
I had a phone call just then to invite me to a market day with some girlfriends and to meet there at noon. Why not? So I quickly peeled and got the quinces I'd been given, on to boil.  That other fabric bag will have to wait!
Cooked until tender, I then drained them and pureed them in my food processor.  I got 7 cups to which I added 6 cups of sugar.  Sssshh!
Then I popped it in my slow cooker bowl, covered it and let it cool. No time to cook it now, I'll do it later when I get home.
We had a lovely lunch at a local cafe and a wander around the stalls. I bought some lovely local honey and some plum and pear paste and some little cherry tomatoes.
When I got home, the sourdough was up to the top of the bowl so I divided the dough and made 10 rolls...
...and this great loaf. I was well pleased with that!
I got the quince paste on at 4pm and although it's quite labour intensive, stirring every 15-30 minutes, it came together and I had it finished by 10pm. Being in the slow cooker, you don't have to be standing over it all the time.
Once cooked, I popped it in these little containers and it should now keep un-refrigerated quite okay, in a cool, dark place.  I'll be giving most of it away.
I keep dead heading my roses and they keep producing more buds. I'm loving my Soul Sister rose.  My other standards are likely to give another flush also.  Well, that's my weekend, was yours as busy?
Cheers - Joolz xx

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Camping gear bag...

We pack a lot of stuff in the back of our Defender and I hate it when things get marked and scratched, especially if we pack up in the wet and things are also dirty or muddy.

I recently bought four of these mats that interlock together. If it's been raining and you have a puddle at your doorstep, you put one (or more) of these babies down and you will have a dry entrance and won't track mud into your camper or caravan.

When we used these last weekend in our shower tent, they were brilliant for that too. Water just runs away underneath them, unlike the rubber foamy type mats that seem to trap the water underneath.
I needed something to store them in as I could see that using a black garbag each time would be costly and bad for the environment. I bought some medium weight denim fabric, for durability and just made a flat bag the same size as the garbag. I was going to put in a draw string but it just folds over at the top.

Here's the finished bag with the four mats inside, ready to throw back in Ruby. They won't rub against anything and if they're muddy, I can just give the bag a wash when we get back and we won't be wasting plastic bags. Win, win!
I'm pretty pleased with myself!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cockatoo Lake...

to see our weekend yabby adventures at Cockatoo Lake...
 Cheers - Joolz xx

Friday, March 10, 2017

Early to rise...

I like getting up early but I rarely go outside at sunrise to see it...

It certainly was a picture this morning!

It kept getting brighter and brighter!

I made another oat and chia pudding for my breakfast - very yummy, but I will have a change tomorrow morning.

Maybe some tomatoes on toast. That big one was grown by my bro-in-law!
We've had lovely summer weather this week, sneaking up to around 30C but cooling off at night. I can handle that!
Hopefully, we are off on a camping adventure this weekend. What are your plans?

Cheers - Joolz xx

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Oat and chia breakfast pudding...

Fiona from Stay at home instead posted about this pudding so I had to give it a go.

Overnight Oat and Chia Puddings
1 tblspn sultanas
1 tspn honey (you can omit)
1/4 tspn cinnamon
1 tblspn chia seeds
1 tblspn shredded coconut
2/3 milk of your choice (Skim for me)
1/4 cup rolled oats

Give it a good stir then cover and put into the fridge overnight.

This morning I topped it with grated apple and it was delicious. I would have like some natural yoghurt with it also.

Another yummy breakfast dish to add to the list!


Cheers - Joolz xx

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Tszujing the spare room...

Remember I cleaned up our spare room a few weeks back? Yesterday, I suddenly had the urge to revamp the room and get new doona covers. I live in a small country town so my options were limited to Target Country and um, Target Country! These king single beds are rarely used and the old covers are 12.5 years old but still in perfect condition.
I selected another pattern first up, bought them home and tried one, laying it over the bed but it was too bland. I quickly went back as the store was closing in half an hour...and found these ones.
Much better! The cover and 2 pillow case sets were $39.00 each and they are fully reversable so I can flip the thing over to have a darker navy look. I have't made the beds up with sheets as they tend to go a bit musty so I'll wait until the beds will be used.
I love the pattern and it satisfies my love of blue and white...
I also bought this navy and white gingham, seersucker table cloth in Adelaide the other day. More blue and white!
Now I'm off to work, it's going to be a busy day as we have a lot of staff away. Might even sell a car or two!
Cheers - Joolz xx

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Weekend away...

We headed to Adelaide for the Clipsal 500 last Friday, getting up at 5am, driving 400 kms to be at the track by lunch time.
We were invited to a cororate box so that made the hot day pleasant because ... air conditioning folks!
I loved watching the Stadium Trucks going over the jumps, getting airborne!
The weather was hot but superb the whole weekend - Gus went for the 3 days and was a little tired by the end!
Saturday, with one daughter off to a wedding and the other off to work, I stayed home in the cool and entertained myself by watching Netflix - Making a Murderer. The series was quite fascinating and Steven Avery has recently been featured on Dr Phil.
The other thing I did (earlier that day) was buy myself this great foot massager.
Aaah! Heaven in a white, plastic box! You stick your tootsies in and it feels like their is a maseus in there, kneading your feet. There are 5 different massage and intensity settings. It's quite a hard massage but I love it! Using it later in the evening, I actually nearly nodded off!
I knocked up a meal of Macaroni Cheese Deluxe for my solo dinner.
On Sunday, with Bri on an early shift, Kirby and I had Mexican for lunch at. Very tasty empanadas and smoky chicken and pork belly tacos.
After lunch and a bit more shopping here, there and everywhere, I got stuck into some baking and dinner prep. I made Weekender biscuits for Bri and Nate to snack on (web pic - I totally forgot to take any pictures of anything)...
I made bread rolls for dinner (this is an old pic of mine)...
I did two chickens roasted in oven bags (again, a web pic)...these turned out beautifully moist but didn't brown up so I think I prefer the normal roasting style.
I also made individual sticky date puddings from a Donna Hay recipe ...
They were fabbo!
We had dinner with our girls and their boyfriends. Kirby and Nate have been going out for two years now and Brianna has a new boyfriend, Michael. Both are lovely men and we are very happy for our girls.
I was quite pooped after that big day! It's always so good to catch up with our girls.
In my heart, I still feel like they are this age...
...but in reality they are beautiful, grown up women! Love you, my babies!
Cheers - Joolz xx


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