Thursday, November 16, 2017

A Christmas care package for our soldiers...

(Pic from Facebook)
So, this popped up on Facebook the other day and I thought it would be great to send a couple of care packages to our troops in the Middle East for Christmas.  I know it’s been going on for years but this is the first time I’ve seen the address pop up in front of me. 

If you keep the parcel under 2 kg, Australia post send it free.
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I bought two postage boxes (for a male and female) and then went shopping, having to fill each box but keep it just under 2 kg.  I chose food stuffs over toiletries as they are heavy and you wouldn’t get much in for 2 kg.

This is the tip of the iceberg as far as what you can put in there.  I just thought they’d like things that they haven’t tasted in a while.  A bit of fun!  I also added a pack of Twinings Australian Afternoon tea, a good pair of socks and an Aussie Christmas card, thanking the soldier for their service and a wish that they stay safe.  
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It all packed up well and I was just under the 2 kg mark.  Each box cost about $40 to put together
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If you’d like to send a box of cheer, the cut off point is December 8th.

Cheers - Joolz xx

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

This week...


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I’m trying to grow a new sourdough starter, with little success it would seem.  Patience, is what it takes, I am told.   Today is day 6 (this pic is day 3)...still waiting for good bubbles...

I had a great walk on Monday 13/11 but was so tires Monday night, I think I’ll peel it back a bit.

Tuesday, with Gus...

I’ll talk more about these goodies a bit later...

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Oh, yum!  My moozli, grated apple, my yoghurt and a drzzle of honey...

It was 34C and muggy here yesterday.  Steak and salads hit the spot!

I’m being kind to my liver.  A morning cleanse - 30 mls cranberry juice...

...plus 60 mls fresh orange juice...

...and 90 mls of water.  Drink first thing in the morning.

I love where I live! A hot 34C yesterday, this morning it’s pouring rain and 20C!  Very refreshing!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Monday, November 13, 2017

Easy pie crust...

 The pie crust that I made turned out really well and the pastry was easy to handle - it didn’t break apart when I rolled it out.  I used my food processor to cut in the butter but you can do it by hand too.

Pie crust

2.5 cups plain flour
225 gms cold butter (cut into cubes)
1/2 tspn salt
1 tspn sugar
Iced water

Add 1.5 cups of the flour, the salt and sugar and all of the butter to the processor. 
Blitz in short bursts to chop the butter and blend it with the flour.  It should be clumpy with no dry flour showing.

Add in the remaining flour and blitz again, it should look crumbly.

Tip out the mix into a large bowl.  Add in 4 tblspns of the iced water and gently mix, pushing the dough to the side of the bowl, gradually and gently forming a dough.  The secret is not to mix it with your hands which will melt the butter.  

You might need more water - I did.  Just add 1 tblspn at a time...

Once it has come together, squeeze it into a firm ball and place on a floured surface. Cut the ball in half and form two balls then flatten out to discs for easy rolling out later.  

Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

I use baking paper to roll my dough on.  Select your pie dish then roll out the first round a little larger than your dish.  Flip the dough over onto the pie dish and remove paper.   Trim the pastry edge then roll it under to make a neat edge.

Fill your pie with your favourite filling.  I chose canned cherry pie filling.  Roll out second round and flip it onto the filled pie.  Trim and make the edge crimped - see the video for this.  I mastered it after a few goes.  I have long finger nails which were a bit of a problem!  Cut slits in the top to allow steam to escape.  I brushed with milk (you could use egg) then sprinkled with caster sugar.

Bake for 20 minutes at 200C then back to 180C for another 20-30 minutes.



View the clip here ... https://youtu.be/k9b3RVi181o

Enjoy your pie!

Cheers - Joolz xx

On the go all weekend...


Saturday - I was down to one jar of home pickled beetroot in my pantry so I bought some fresh beets from my local Foodland.

I got them boiling in a big pot of water...

I used apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, a bit of salt, pepper, mustard and celery seeds for the pickling liquid.  I just keep tasting until I like the flavour, adjusting the sugar..  Beware, tasting hot vinegar can take your breath away!  Ten lovely jars to pop away in the dark to cure for a few weeks. Yum!

Next up - I decided to make some toasted muesli - you can check out the last time I made 
Homemade Muesli here...

Again, yum!

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Sunday - up early to get my dried apricot jam on.  I halve this recipe.

I soaked 500gms of (South Australian) dried apricots in 2.25 litres water, overnight.

Simmer for about 1 hour...then add in 1.5 kg sugar and juice of a lemon...boil rapidly until the jam has thickened and passes the cold saucer test.

I sterilized my jars and lids with boiling water then bottled up the jam. It’s a messy business!

I ended up with these 6 big jars plus 2 smaller ones that have a bit less fruit in them. 

We invited Gus’s mum out for dinner.  He marinated a butterflied lamb leg with herbs and garlic...did a chilli chickpea salad, a garlic yoghurt sauce and a tossed salad!

It turned out a treat!  Plus those parmesan potatoes!

I made some french bread...



...and a naughty Cherry Pie!

I was really happy with the crust! It was delicious! I’ll share the recipe a bit later.

By the end of the day, I was knackered but very pleased with what I’d achieved over the weekend.   Did you have a busy weekend or did you take it easy?


I was back out walking this morning and clocked up 4.34kms so was very pleased with that.   It was hot once I got going and it’s expected to be 34C here today, so I was swearing when I got back.  Now, it’s off to work for me!

Cheers - Joolz xx

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Remembrance Day...



Driving through our town, it’s hard not to notice our Cross of Sacrifice in our parklands and the tiny crosses that have been laid for local service men and women who served in both World Wars and others.






At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.....

To all service men and women, posted overseas and here - thank you for service.

A new book, a curry and homemade yoghurt...


This lovely book arrived yesterday.  I am excited to try some of the yummy bread recipes in there!

I made a nice chicken curry for dinner, last night.  

I also did a tomato/cucumber chutney (raw) and a cucumber raita.  These team really well with it.

Stay home fakeaway! As good as any takeaway curry! 

I thought I’d give Outback Tania’s homemade Greek yoghurt.  I followed her tutorial ...

...that’s the yoghurt mixed up (I did use my Bamix to really mix well)...then into the EasiYo yoghurt maker...

...and voila! This morning I have a kilo of Greek Yoghurt!  I refrigerated for a few hours before tasting.  It’s quite firm but next time I might use just a smidge less water for a thicker outcome.  Delicious drizzled with lavender honey!  
This is the most successful I’ve been with the EasiYo - I have tried a few sachets but always have had runny yoghurt.  If you have a kit, have a go at this method.

Cheers - Joolz xx

Friday, November 10, 2017

Walking, walking...


Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Curried, boiled egg...

I love it on toast or on crisp breads...

I’ve become a sucker for succulents!  I have planted out two more...

This one has babies stuck in there which I can transplant later when they’re bigger...

Thursday night sunset over the Canunda flats...

We’ve walked 4/5 work days this week.  We will increase our walk time by 10 minutes to 40 minutes this coming week.  No excuses, lets get moving!

Cheers - Joolz xx
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