Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Lamb Dopiaza (the hot version)...

I tried Rick Stein's lamb dopiaza on Sunday. Rather than frying and toasting off the spices to release their flavour, in this dish they just all go in the pan and 2 hours later you have a lovely curry with thickish gravy.

His recipe called for coriander and cumin seeds but it didn't stipulate if they needed to be ground or not. I chose to grind then roughly then added them to the ither spices. I cut back the 10 Kashmiri dried chillies to six but wow, it still had some kick! You know how you take a mouthful, it burns, you swallow it down, appreciate the flavour then immediately take another mouthful? Thats what it was like. Wowsers!

I love making accompaniments for my curries, they just make it interesting. This is Apple Chutney - 2 royal gala apples and 1 small onion, grated; One green chilli, diced; a handful of chopped parsley; 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar and 1/4 tspn salt. Combine all ingredients.

I diced the lamb, sprinkled over the spices, threw in the cinnamon sticks and chillies...

Next, I dolloped in the yoghurt and stirred to combine. Re-reading the recipe, I've just realised I missed adding in 60gms of ghee. Hmmm, it just got healthier as I used low fat yoghurt too!

I made naan bread and although this had 40gms of ghee in it, I didn't brush the other 40gms of ghee over them, as requsted, when cooked.

Beautiful, tender lamb chunks...

My standard extra is the cucumber raita which aids in cooling the dish down - greek yoghurt, cucumber, chopped fresh mint, cumin, lemon juice and sugar.

Since buying Rick's book, I have really enjoyed experimenting with his curries. There are so many more yet to cook - Lamb Korma, Rogan Josh, Beef vindaloo, Butter Chicken, Madras Club Sheperds Pie....

I haven't had a cold this winter, maybe the curries are keeping the lurgies at bay?

Cheers - Joolz xx


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Irish Soda Bread and Lamb & Pea Pasta

I was given a lovely book for my birthday called Three Sisters Bake. Three Scottish sisters to be exact.

Gus is cooking a lamb and pea pasta dish for dinner so I thought I'd make a loaf...

It was a nice sloppy dough ...

It baked beautifully. The recipe said it should go nice and dark, very crusty on the outside.


Gus found this recipe in a magazine so he gave it a whirl. He used an Oricchiette pasta instead of the large shells.

This pasta is so good! It's Don Antonio brand (made in Italy) and I swear someone's Nonna hand rolled it!

This is the spaghetti. Its now our favouite.


A simple dish but really delicious! The pasta was perfectly tender...
It wasn't until he was tidying the kitchen that he realised that he'd left out the chicken stock. It didnt seem to matter!
Give it a go!

Cheers - Joolz xx


Saturday, July 26, 2014

More Blue Ribbon cooking...


I treated myself to this book, choc full of simple home recipes cooked for our country shows (fairs for those in the US). There are a few cake, biscuit and slice recipes in here and also a fig jam recipe I'd like to try.

This is the first book by author Liz Harful. It features a recipe by a lady in our town, for yeast buns. I might try that one day.

Liz is currently touring around the country, visiting the local shows and promoting her book.

Cheers - Joolz xx


Thursday, July 24, 2014



These are my yummy balls of cotton from Bendigo Woollen Mills. Lovely and soft and it knits up beautifully. Plenty of dishcloths in that lot! The green one is light teal. I ordered these online and although 2 were on back order, the other ball arrived in about 4 days so they are quick. Worth a look, all you knitters and crocheters!

Cheers - Joolz xx


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

SJ Food files...

I made this Clafoutis on Sunday night. The recipe is from Manu Feidel. I had strawberries on hand instead of cherries and I swapped Kirsch for Cointreau. This is best eaten when it comes out of the oven (cool slightly) as it drops a bit when cooled totally. Still yummy!



I've only made these once before but I think they'll become favourires...

Sweet potato & garlic rolls

and fresh out of the oven this morning, this simple banana bread...



Dinner is sorted for tonight - a piece of rump steak, pan fried with hot and spicy mushroom sauce. What are you having?

Cheers - Joolz xx


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lamb Korma...


I felt like a curry last night but wasnt sure of a recipe and I had to shop before going home. Time for a cheat's curry!
This range of sauces are 'never fail' as they never fail to satisfy our taste buds. I've made quite a few authentic curries from acratch now but these sauces are brilliant. All I had to do was brown an onion, brown off some lamb shoulder (chops that I trimmed off), simmer until tender then add natural yoghurt before serving. I served it with a raita (I am addicted) and I puffed some pappadums in the microwave. I am out of naan bread (usually kept in the freezer)! Another favourite of mine is Sri Lankan Chicken Curry... This one (below) you add coconut milk to it, oh so good!
I did consult my Rick Stein's India book when I got home and next time I am going to try his Lamb Dopiaza - all of the ingredients go straight in a pot and cook for 2 hours (I might try slow cooking for 4 hours in my crock pot)...
Lamb shoulder, onion, garlic, ginger, yoghurt, coriander, turmeric, cumin, cloves, cinnamon stick, kashmiri chillis, peppercorns, cardamon, ghee, salt and water.

I hope you are staying warm wherever you are in Aus - our days are getting longer again, its not dark at 5pm anymore... Yay!

Cheers - Joolz xx


Monday, July 21, 2014

Swedish Meatballs...


These are a great addition to my winter-warmer recipes.

A nice creamy sauce with baby spinach and peas in it...

Served with mash, it really hit the spot!

Meatballs - 2 slices white bread, crusts cut off and torn into bits

1/4 cup skim milk

1 small brown onion

400gms extra lean pork/veal mince

1 egg

1/4 tspn all spice

1/4 tspn nutmeg


1 tbspn olive oil

1 and 1/2 tbspn plain flour

1 and 1/2 cups beef stock

1/2 cup light cooking cream

2 cups spinach leaves

1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed


Soak bread with milk. Dice onion and fry off in a pan sprayed with oil until softened. Transfer to a large bowl.

Add mince, egg, spices and soaked bread to the onion. Season with salt and pepps. I use a food safe rubber glove then I get in there and squoosh it all about to combine. Remove and discard glove, no mess or mince under your nails!

Shape tablespoonsful of mince into balls. Add a little oil to a non stick pan and fry off the meatballs, turning gently to brown them evenly. Transfer to a plate when nearly done.

Add flour to pan and cook off for a minute. Gradually add the stock, stirring constantly (I have a non-stick whisk) then add the cream and cook until smooth and combined.

Return meatballs to the pan and add the spinach and peas. Simmer on low heat for a further 5 minutes to wilt spinach.

Serve with mashed potatoes, rice or fettucine pasta.


I hope you like it!

Cheers - Joolz xx



The BIG 50 !

Last weekend, I celebrated my 50th Birthday with my husband and two daughters at Mount Lofty House in the Adelaide Hills.

This is the ML House but we stayed in their quaint Coachman's Cottage ...

Nestled amongst lots of trees and a garden that would be so pretty in spring...

It is fully renovated and had a lovely wood fire which Gus kept stoked all weekend. We got there Friday evening and just ordered in pizzas for dinner...

Next morning we took a quick walk through the grounds to find our breakfast in the dining room.

Although sunshiney, it was freezing cold. The valley and hills were so pretty...
Fog drifting through the valley...

Kirby and Bri organised a spa morning for us to enjoy - I do love a good foot massage and pedicure!!

(Photos from Cocos website)

We each had a half hour upper body massage - so good!

We enjoyed a champers while being pampered...

We had an hour and a half pedi pampering. They trimmed and shaped our nails, then soaked our feet in an essential oil bath, sloughed off the dead skin, massaged with a salt scrub then applied warm paraffin wax and slipped our feet into booties. Absolute bliss!

The wax solidifies and they just slip it off like a glove with no residue left behind...

The finished product - pretty, moisturised feet!

We had a pub lunch afterwards, joined by Gus, then we headed back to the cottage. I had a nice couple of hours on the bed - Nanna Nap!

We all got tizzied up for dinner at MLHouse. Love my girls!

Our dinner was delicious (but lighting was too dim for photos) but I did get this shot of my Birthday dessert plate...

Gus presented me with a beautiful diamond necklace...

Kirby and Bri gave me this personalised print - how awesome is it? All the things I love in my life are in this print!

After a yummy Sunday breakfast it was time to check out and head home. The girls were home in 20 minutes but we had a 4 hour drive ahead of us!

Monday was my actual birthday so it was off to Penola for lunch at The Vintage Cafe with my four gorgeous older more senior sisters! We enjoyed the chicken, mushroom and champagne pies - delicious!

They gave me this love seat and a small individual present each.

Balloons too! So spoilt!

Now most people would go home to recover from all of this but no, not me! I headed to Hamilton, Victoria in the afternoon to catch up with Gus where he had delivered a vehicle. From there we got to Ballarat to stay the night. Next day we delivered another car into Melbourne, got rid of the car Gus was driving at an auction place then headed back to Hamilton in the trade-in.

Home by 10.30am Wednesday, just in time for lunch at the cafe at Mum's nursing home for my sister Sue's birthday! Phew!


I had been putting together a hamper of goodies for Sue - it included:

A serving tray with tea towel

English breakfast teabags

Homemade apricot jam, cucumber pickles, steak spice rub, barbecue sauce, gardeners sugar hand scrub, chocolate pistachio fudge and a jar of "Emergency Rocky Road"

I made rustic tags from a brown paper supermarket bag that I cut up and it all came together nicely.

So that was by big birthday week. I feel very lucky to have such beautiful family and friends. I received cards and flowers and lots of Facebook messages too.

Cheers - Joolz xx