Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter in Sydney...

We arrived in Sydney about 3.30pm on Thursday and found our hotel. We met our girls at the airport on Good Friday and checked into a bigger apartment.

With most things shut, we planned to have dinner in our little apartment. We went for a stroll late in the afternoon and Gus thought the bar up in the Shangri-La hotwl would be open so up we went - 36 floors up to the Altitude Bar!

Gus did a superb job in the tiny kitchen to produce linguini with roasted cherry tomato and basil, Moroccan spiced potatoes, tomato pesto topped baked salmon and a green salad. We thought up this combo as we were driving to Sydney - magnificent!

Saturday, we took the ferry from Circular Quay out to Watson's Bay (express ferry took 18 minutes). We had time to relax with a cocktail before being seated for lunch.

I had an Aperol Spritz!

Doyle's is a Sydney institution for the freshest seafood. Where else can you sit with the waves gently lapping the beach right in front of you?


Oysters mornay...

Scallops with a cucumber, onion, capsicum, chilli salsa with ginger and caramel dressing...

Chorizo and prawn, sundried tomato pasta...

John Dory fillets ...

Snapper, prawn and scallop pie...


White chocolate and raspberry creme brulee...



It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. I had a cup-o-soup and toast for dinner, I was so full!

Do you catch up with family for Good Friday and Easter?

Cheers - Joolz xx


Thursday, April 17, 2014

Road trip!


(Web pic)

We hit the road yesterday (leaving from Melbourne), headed for Sydney. We arrived in Gundagai (where the dog sits on the tucker box, 5 miles out of town).

We dined at the Criterion pub and the food wasn't too bad, it just took a while to come out. We are stayed at the Gabriel Motor Inn and it was very clean and comfortable. Toaster in the room so we were self sufficient for breakfast.

Today we have about 3.5 hours drive on into Sydney. We will have to shop today for meals for tomorrow as everything will be shut for Good Friday. We might see whats on offer at the Sydney Fish Market. Some salmon and prawns would be nice!

Our girls fly in for the weekend so we are in for a great time!

Cheers - Joolz xx


Monday, April 14, 2014

Chicken Apricot Curry Pt 2 ...

The curry was beautiful - quite spicy ( and I backed off the Kashmiri chilli powder too)!
It is always best to measure out all of your spices etc before you start. That was you are not running around trying to find things and nothing gets left out.

Gently fry off the whole spices then the onion, until soft.
Add tomatoes, garlic and ginger, fry off.
Add in all other dry spices and fry off to combine. Add in the chicken pieces.
Stir to coat the pieces then nestle them into the mix.
Add in the jaggery, vinegar and water, just enough to cover.
This is the jaggery that I found at an Indian deli. It is concentrated sugarcane juice. It is similar to palm sugar in taste and texture.
The finished curry, tasty chicken pieces!
Ready to serve in my new Indian silverware! Now onto the Aloo Gobi (potato and cauliflower curry).
More spices (mustard seeds, cumin, garam masala, turmeric, garlic and ginger).
Add in diced potatoes and cauli florets, honey and water.
Just before serving add in peas and squeeze of lemon juice.
Sprinkle with corianded to garnish.
Serve with Basmati rice (I do the absorption method - 2 cups of water, 1 cup of rice in a saucepan - bring it to a rapid boil, give it a good stir then turn off completely and put the lid on. Walk away then come back 15-18 minutes later to perfect, fluffy rice. No boil overs or stuck rice.
I also served it with a cucumber, mint raita to help cool it down!  I love that stuff!

A delicious curry, which we will also enjoy for lunch today.
Saturday night, I made this Sticky Date pudding with Butterscotch sauce. Oh, my Lordy - the best!

Sticky Date Pudding
1  1/4 cups dates, chopped
1  1/4 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon baking powder
60gms butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup SR flour
Preheat oven to 180C. Grease a deep 20cm cake tin (or I used a casserole dish). Combine the dates, boiling water and soda.
Allow to stand 5 minutes then blend the date mix with the butter and sugar with a stick blender - I put the mix in a metal milkshake cup. Be careful its still hot!
Tip this mixture into a bowl andd add in the eggs and flour. Stir to combine until you have a nice cakey batter.
Pour into your cake tin or casserole.
While the cake is baking for 45-50 minutes, make the butterscotch sauce - this is the naughty bit!
Butterscotch Sauce - in a saucepan combine
1  1/2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cream
50gms butter
1/3 cup golden syrup
- stir over low heat until all combined, sugar dissolved and sauce has thickened slightly.
When you remove the cake from the oven, poke small holes with a skewer then pour a little bit of the sauce over the cake.
Serve slices of the cakes drizzled with more of the sauce and a dob of thick cream. You are welcome!
Cheers - Joolz xx

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chicken ApricotCurry ...


My turn to cook tonight so I'm making Rick Stein's chicken curry.

I was searching for all the spices I needed so I decided to throw out all the stale crap have a tidy up!

We have nearly every spice known to man - we do love a curry here!

I have all the spices measured ready to go...

I bought a free range chook and wondered how best to cut it up. The recipe asks for 1.5 kg of chicken portions.

I had a look at a couple of YouTube clips and voila! Chicken portions and a good chunk of chicken to use for a lovely stock. Check this clip -

I'll be back with pictures of the curry later ... Joolz xx


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Where did that week go?


Easter is fast looming. We are off on a road trip up to Sydney with our girls joining us there for the 4 day long weekend. Really looking forward to it!

The BreastScreen truck rolled into our little town a few weeks ago so I made my appointment for a mammogram. I turn 50 this year so it was time to join the 'big girls' club!

The truck is (wo)manned by a team of lovely ladies. The mammogram was over in about 10 minutes and I think its less invasive and cringey than a pap smear so I wont be afraid to front up again when the truck next comes to town.

I made Country Boy biscuits this week, some going to my bro-in-law who's recovering from an op. Have a go at making these crunchy, chewy biscuits, they are a winner!

He's also fond of my banana bread so he got this too!

Always nice to get something back from a company!

Hmmm, food for thought? For quite a while, I have cut out buying 'diet' products - anything with artificial sweetners is a no go for us now. I buy the lowest fat milk (0.25g/250mls - Pura Tone) but I buy normal yogurt and ice cream. I'd rather have a smaller serving of ice cream than a bigger serve of diet stuff.


We are in love with this yoghurt at the moment. It comes in several fruity flavours and its delicious. I limit myself to a few of these during the week as the sugar content is higher. But yum, yum, yum!

Babymac had this pic on her blog - a watermelon based fruit pizza! How cool is that?
Easy chicken tacos for dinner last night. The recipe is here:


I added mango to the salsa and it was delicious!

I usually make a double batch of the sauce as it keeps in the fridge. Its a really easy dinner.


This weekend will be spent getting ready to go away on Tuesday. We head to Melbourne first to deliver a vehicle then we'll head up the Hume Highway to Sydney. No sewing, just washing and ironing for me.

Cheers - Joolz xx



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