Saturday, March 28, 2015

Graduation 2015...

Brianna graduated with a Bachelor of Nursing at the University of South Australia graduation ceremony on Wednesday. She has worked hard over the past 3 years and earned a 5.2 GPA.

We are so proud of our baby girl!

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pre-ceremony with her dear friend, Chloe.

.and her friend Abby...

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Receiving her diploma...

Our beautiful girls!

Family!

With Nana Mac...

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I got her a Pandora charm to commemorate the graduation....
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We went out to dinner at Georges on Waymouth, beautiful Italian food!
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nana Mac was due to go into hospital the following day for an op and could only have clear fluids - without prior notice, the waiter organised a clear chicken broth for her. Fantastic!

Dessert!

We had a lovely evening, a great finish to the day.

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Easy Bread Rolls recipe...

Ingredients:

1 sachet dry yeast

1 tblspn sugar

200 mls warm water

 

600 gms plain flour

30gms melted butter

1 tspn salt

Another 200 mls warm water

 

Note: I use a stand mixer but this recipe works just as well with a bowl and a butter knife to mix the dough. Mix the dough until shaggy, let rise 45 minutes then knead by hand for 4 minutes and follow the method along to finish the rolls...

 

1. In a stand mixer bowl add the yeast, water and sugar. Whisk to combine. Leave 10 minutes - if it doesn't look foamy there is something wrong with the yeast. Discard and try again.

 

2. To the yeast mixture, tip in all the flour, butter and salt.

 

3. Set the mixer going gently and get the dough combined. Scrape down sides of the bowl if needed. Speed up the mixer and knead the dough for about 4 minutes. If it looks extra sticky, add a further 1/4 cup of flour and mix again for a minute or two. Flour varies due to humidity so just eyeball it.

 

4. Pull the dough out of the bowl and pat it into a ball. Drop it into a clean, oiled bowl and cover with a clean dry cloth.

 

5. Place the bowl somewhere warm and let it prove for 45 minutes.

 

6. The dough should rise well and come to the top of the bowl - if this doesn't happened then the result may not be good.

 

7. Tip out dough onto floured surface (preferably a baking sheet) and give it a quick knead, pushing and turning for about a minute. Shape into a neat ball.

 

8. Weigh the dough ball. Divide the figure by 12 (mine was 1082gms /12 = 90gms per roll.

 

9. Now, without adding any more flour to the surface, roll each into a nice round ball, cupping it under your palm and rolling it in a circular motion.

 

10. Place on a paper lined baking tray. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise for further 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, set your oven at 200C and heat for remaining 10 minutes.

 

11. Place rolls in oven and set timer for 10 minutes. Rotate 180 degrees and bake a further 5-8 minutes, until golden. Bases should be golden and rolls sound hollow when tapped.

 

12. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. I freeze mine in freezer bags, in pairs. To thaw, microwave for 25 secs then heat in oven until crunchy. Enjoy!

 

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

My easy bread rolls...

I have been making these rolls for quite a while now and they are just so easy and never fail!

Here's a step by step tutorial on how I make them...

This is the type of yeast I use (Tandaco is another brand) - this is a 8gm sachet...

In a stand mixer bowl, sprinkle in 1 sachet of yeast, 1 tablespoon of sugar and add 200 mls of warm water. Give it a quick whisk to mix it all up. Set your timer for 10 minutes and go and do a small household chore - fold those towels or that basket of clothes - job done!

Using kitchen scales, measure out 600 grams of plain flour - I use baker's flour but good old homebrand plain flour does the same trick - that's what I used at the girls house this past week. Today I am using two flours - 500gms plain white and 100gms wholemeal plain. It just makes the rolls a bit nuttier. Once you get the method of making these rolls, you can experiment with flours and add wholegrains, pepitas, linseed, chia, oatmeal or whatever floats your boat!

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Melt a good knob of butter...about 30 grams...

Once the 10 minutes is up - tip in your 600gms flour, the butter and 1 teaspoon of salt and an extra 200gms warm water.

Set the mixer going and gently get the dough incorporated. You might need to scrape down the sides. Now speed up the mixer and let it go for about 4 minutes.

Your dough should resemble something like this. It will be a bit sticky.

Man handle it into a ball (I didn't use any more flour) and drop it into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and set it somewhere warm to prove for 45 minutes. I usually set a timer for 2 minutes, turn on my oven to 150 - turn off the oven when timer goes off. Place bowl in oven with door ajar. Today, I have it sitting outside as its been 30C here.

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Again, while you are waiting for that 45 minutes to elapse, go do another job.

When was the last time uou gave the inside of your washing machine a good wipe over? 10 minutes...

Straighten a shelf in your pantry... 10 minutes

Tidy the computer desk... 10 minutes

Take the garbage and newspapers out to the outside bins... 5 minutes

Boil the kettle and make a cup of tea ... Aaah!

Ok, there's the timer going off!

Can you see how much it has risen? This is a good rise.

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I use a pastry sheet - I found the flour was starting to scratch and dull my Laminex bench tops - this protects it. Put a little flour down...

Tip out the dough and give it a very gentle knead, pushing and turning it about 10 times ...

Then shape into a nice smooth ball...

Cover your oven tray with baking paper...

Now weigh your ball of dough. We want 12 rolls so ... 1082/12 = 90grams

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I quarter the dough then chop down into 12 lumps, weighing as I go...

12 lumps of dough, ready to roll...

Cup the dough loosely under your hand and roll around in a circle so the ball forms nicely...

One down, eleven to go!

Here they are. Now they need to rise for 25 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn your oven onto 200C for the last 10 minutes so its nice and hot...

After 25 minutes, they've risen nicely...

Using clean kitchen scissors...

...give them a snip - just for decoration. You could also slash with a scalpel...

Now spray them with fresh water. You could spray with oil and add seeds or oatmeal on top at this stage...

Into the oven for the first 10 minutes...then turn around 180 degrees for a further 5 minutes then a few more minutes if needed. Keep an eye on them and keep setting that timer!

All done, lovely golden and crunchy...

The bases are nicely browned and they sound hollow when tapped...

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I hope you'll give these a try - in an hour and a half you can have lovely rolls on the dinner table. There are no nasties in these rolls but moderation is still key. Enjoy when you want to sop up some pasta sauce or gravy and they're lovely with soup. I freeze them in twos in freezer bags, once cooled.

I microwave them for 25 secs when needed then toast up in the oven.

Cheers - Joolz xx

I'll post a more straight forward recipe shortly...

 

Pork curry with green chillies and tamarind ...

With Gus away at the SE Field Days at Lucindale, I had all day to prepare dinner...

 

But first, I sat watching YouTube videos on crochet stitches (single and double crochet) while also watching last Sunday's ep of Downton Abbey.

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I thought a cracking Rick Stein curry would be the go!

I find curries never quite look like the pictures in recipe books....

I started preparing the ingredients - dry frying black mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cloves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and turmeric....

Heat gently until aromatic, see the smoke haze rising?

Once cooled, I whizzed it in my Bellini (bullet style) blender to a fine powder. Done.

Next, the recipe said to process 6 (!) green chillies, 6 large shallots (not the spring onion type)...

...but like these...plus 20 (what the? ...) cloves of garlic (or 100gms). That is a whole lotta garlic! And 30gms of ginger.
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I made the executive decision to use 3 chillies and I weighed the garlic and 12 large cloves equalled 100gms. I whizzed it and made the green paste, above. Done.
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Next, I made flash pickled onion and pineapple salad...I used my mandolin to quickly and finely slice a red onion....

...chopped half a fresh pineapple into small chunks (I was disappointed the pineapple wasn't sweeter)... :(

I pickled the onion with white wine vinegar and sugar for 1 hour then drained off the liquid, added the pineapple and lots of fresh coriander. Done.

I find a good raita cools any over hot curry down and adds nice flavour to the meal. Using 2 Lebanese cucumbers, halve them lengthways and scoop out seeds then grate. Toss cukes with salt and leave to drain in a sieve for 30 minutes. Mix drained cucumber with 275gms natural yoghurt, caster sugar, fresh mint leaves, ground black pepper and juice of half a fresh lime juice. This recipe said 1/2 teaspoon of caster sugar - I put more like a tablespoon! My usual recipe also has 1 teaspoon of ground cumin so that went in too. Very good!

The recipe said to use shoulder of pork but of course in my small country town, that is not always (or hardly ever) available. I bought a small leg of pork and diced it up...

I stir fried it off in a hot pan but it started to stew! Buggerit!

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I continued on, adding the chilli paste then the spice mix and some water to cover...

I had my cool cat apron on, keeping me well covered from splatters...

These aprons are beautifully handmade/sewn and all Australian - I love it!

http://www.retrobutterfly.com/179942739/category/57654/block-aprons

The last addition to the curry after it had simmered for quite a while and just before serving - more garlic and green chilli (again I cut back the 3 chillies to 1 and 5 cloves to 2), some tamarind paste dissolved in hot water and ground coriander.

We are on the home stretch!

All plated up and ready to go!

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I'm glad I started prepping all of this at 3.30pm - its not a dish to start cooking at 5pm!

Luckily, I found 2 pieces of homemade naan bread in the freezer (score)!

Verdict - not as flavoursome as I would have hoped but all together a nice dish. Gus is having leftovers today so it will be interesting to see how the flavour develops...

Cheers - Joolz xx

 

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