Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Years Eve ...


Is there anything more delicious than a new diary or planner?

Wishing you all a safe, happy and healthy New Year for 2014 - we are off to the beach in Ruby!

Cheers - Joolz xx


Monday, December 30, 2013

Salad recipes ...

I had a request from Judy Y for the recipes of two of the salads we had on Christmas Day ...

This is the Chinese Salad (or 2 minute noodle salad) that my sister Marilyn made on CDay...

This is the recipe she gave me years ago!

This recipe was sent by text to my by my sister, Janine so I have tried to make it into a recipe...

Creamy Garlic Potato Salad

1.5 kgs small chat potatoes or cut up new potatoes, leave clean skins on; 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped; 4 rashers bacon; 2 sticks of celery, finely diced; some fresh or dried chives; creamy roast garlic dressing (Paul Newmans or Deli brand from Coles); salt and pepper.

Par boil spuds with skin on, then quarter and brown in some oil, then cook bacon. Drain both and cool. Microwave sweet potato chunks in a little water for a few minutes until tender, drain and cool. Add to potato and bacon and mix all other things together when cool. Stir in creamy roast garlic dressing. Season with salt and pepper.

I hope that makes sense...

Marie in Sweden also wanted the Carrot Salad recipe so here it is!

2 large carrots, grated; 1 cup shredded coconut; 3/4 cup raisins; 1/4 cup white wine vinegar; 2 tblspn curry powder; 1/4 cup EV olive oil; 1 tspn salt; 1 or 2 tblspn brown sugar (taste when you make the dressing) and 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds.

1. Combine carrots, coconut and raisins in a bowl.

2. Place vinegar, curry powder, oil, salt and sugar in a jar and shake well until combined.

3. Best if all ingredients are at room temperature. One hour before serving, pour dressing over and combine. Scatter almonds just before serving.

(Recipe from Julie Goodwin - The Heart of the Home)

Cheers - Joolz xx


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lovely slow days ...


This is the makings of a trifle - sponge roll in the bottom doused with Tia Maria (use whatever liquor takes your fancy - sherry, port, kahlua are all good) then put in the orange jelly and set it. Then I put in a good layer of brandy custard then layered the (drained) tinned peaches on that. Finally a raspberry jelly is added to the top. Serve with cream if you like. Its a bit naughty be ause I am the only one who likes trifle in my family...its half gone now!

Just when I said Gus didn't need another fire recepticle to cook meat on ... we gave him another for Christmas! This is his new spit roaster - I can see many yummy meals ahead using this beast! This is a small leg of lamb which we all declared delicious!

The smell of the fat dripping onto the coals was amazing.

Morning quiet time - a coffee, some malt roll and a cherry ripe ball! We closed our business on Friday and Saturday to allow us and our staff 5 clear days off work. Its been lovely not having to 'get up and go'!

Someone put this list on Facebook and its exactly how I feel!

Gus made this Pork Tikka Masala on Friday night. I made fresh naan bread and the cucumber, mint raita and the meal was so yummy!

Gus got some pictures hung on walls - he is a Carlton Football Club fan and was given this Mark of the Century picture of his favourite player, Alex Jesaulenko by our staff for his 50th birthday back in June. He was very pleased with it. It is now hanging proudly in our hallway.

He also received this framed guernsey from his family. Go the Blues!

I received this print for Chrismas from Gus and the girls. I have been admiring it in a gift shop here in town for months ... I showed Kirby the other day and she was onto it!

Our 'new' house is just over 9 years old now and we have been very lax in putting up pictures (Gus hates drilling holes in stone walls!) so this wall had been bare all that time. Now it has the perfect print up which I love!

Here is gorgeous Brianna with her boyfriend. They were attending his sister's vow renewal back in Adelaide. She finished up her placement at our local hospital and received a great review from the head of nursing saying she was as competent as a 3rd year nursing student (Bri is 2nd year) and had a great relationship with the patients and nursing staff alike.

Kirby is at The Falls Music Festival in Lorne, Victoria with her friend, Matilda and some others. Four days of camping with minimal showering, no hair straightener or blowdryer (gasp!), dust, flies etc. We thought she went off well prepared (with everything but the kitchen sink!) but when she arrived she discovered that the tent we lent her had NO TENT POLES OR PEGS! Sorry, Kirbz! Parent fail !!

Fortunately, someone else they knew had a spare tent so they are using that! This is a view of where they are situated and where the festival is held (the big marquees in the distance). Apparently 30,000 people attend each year! I could think of nothing worse but she is enjoying it!


Yesterday, I had a lovely catch up with an old schoolfriend, Cindy, who lives away on a big sheep station out of Broken Hill, NSW. She has raised 3 children, home schooling them and also they did School of the Air (out of Port Augusta, SA). Another school friend, Heather, organised the get together with our other friends who are still local - Carmel, Kerryl, Pierina and Helen - we had lunch at our local Community Club. Lots of reminiscing and talk of kids growing up, comparing aches and pains etc. we hope to do this again in July when Cindy comes down this way again! We all turn 50 next year! :)

So thats me in a nutshell since Christmas. We are preparing Ruby so we can go for an overnight beach stay for New Years Eve then have a day at the beach NYDay. If I am good, Gus is taking me out to lunch today too!

What have you been up to since Christmas??

Cheer- Joolz xx


Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Day roundup...

Merry Christmas! I was so busy in the lead up to Christmas, I just couldn't blog.
I made another batch of Candy Cane Cookies to go with the florentines, sugar cookies, cherry ripe balls, cherry shortbreads, malt roll and I also made Fruchoccy Rocky Road.
All of these were bagged up then put on paper plates (in previous years I have used plastic Christmas plated/bowls). Christmas eve morning I did a Santa run and made the deliveries to some of my friends, hairdresser (who is my niece) and nail tech and would you believe, our town's funeral director. She happened to mention on Facebook that she was up early, trying to finish some 'work' before she could get on with her day. I hopped in the car and left a plate of goodies on her doorstep - something to enjoy with a cup of coffee or two!

Kirby did a great job decorating the pergola area...
Now we are up to Christmas Day - I was up bright and early to make mulled wine jelly for the pork plus a beetroot and orange glaze. We had 26 adults and 16 kids for lunch!
I made stuffing muffins (which were fantastic)!
By 9.30am I suggested we have a mimosa - so we popped a bottle of sparkling wine (here in Australia we can't call local bubbly Champagne, only French stuff) but decided not to spoil it with orange juice! Cheers to a big day ahead!
Bonnie, surveying the situation...
This is the first time we have roasted a full turkey and it was quite good. A bit dry but okay. I stuffed it full of lemon and orange slices and shoved a fresh bouquet garni up its jaxy!
The ham was good too but not the best leg we've had. Must take more time picking the leg out next time.
Now onto the food that we had for lunch. Kirby made this yummy Pesto potato bake (white and sweet potato)...
I made a watermelon, cucumber,fetta and mint salad with white balsamic glaze (another Julie Goodwin keeper)!
I made this Carrot salad (by Julie Goodwin) - it has carrot, shredded coconut, sultanas then a dressing of olive oil, curry powder, white wine vinegar and brown sugar. Toasted slivered almonds are tossed through at the last minute. Everyone loved this new to us salad!

The stuffing muffins after baking - these were also a hit!
Potato salad ...
Tossed green salad ...
Roast pork ...
Two minute noodle salad ...
Wild rice salad ...
Roast turkey and gravy ...
Buffet style serving ...
My plate ...
I was really pleased with the pudding and there was even a bit leftover for me to have later! We served it with warm brandy custard and cream...
Dear old Mum was a bit overwhelmed by her box of goodies we gave her - just day to day things - nighties, brunch coat, talc, hand cream, hair spray, body wash, shampoo and conditioner, socks, chocolates and cookies... We weren't sure how long she'd stay before wanting to go back home but she stayed 3 1/2 hours - it was so noisy with all those great-grandchildren!
It was last Christmas Day that Mum had her fall and cut her hand badly. A lot has happened since then, her diagnosis of Alzheimer's, moving her out of her unit into the aged care facility (which is fantastic) and some other health issues. Lots of ups and downs but it was nice to have her come for a few hours.
The little kids ran around, played Statues, played on the slip and slide and had a treasure hunt...
All the 'young ones' cleared out later in the afternoon leaving just my 4 sisters and two brothers-in-law and my two girls. It was lovely and quiet I could finally relax a bit and have a few wines. When it came time for dinner, we just had leftovers and my sister, Maz had done a crayfish platter - I enjoyed dinner so much. Dessert was tiramisu and trifle (by Sue) and pavlova (Janine).
They all left at about 9.30pm so we did a bit of a tidy then watched The Hobbit - well Kirby, Gus and Bri did! I only made it through the first half hour!
As you know, my sisters and I exchange a small gift each year, with a theme. Last Christmas, the chosen theme for 2013 was GLASS. Here's what we came up with!
Leanne gave us a Santa suited bottle of wine, a glass angel ornament and a mini homemade fruitake on a glass plate...
Sue gave us homemade goodies in a silver glass plate...
Janine gave us a mirrored hand wash dispenser...
Marilyn gave us colour tinted wine glasses ...
I gave my sisters a glass room fragrance reed diffuser and a glass Christmas ornament.
Sue chose this for 2014 - better put our thinking caps on, I reckon!
Well, that wraps up our Christmas day - it was a big, long day but it went off very nicely. Some elses turn next year!!
Cheers - Joolz xx