Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Western Australia - Day 2

Monday 8/2
Today we had an easy morning. The girls went for a short walk and Gus went for swim.  We went into town and bought stuff for dinner and board shorts for Gus!
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Then it was off to Eagle Bay Brewery for lunch.  It is hot!  About 37C I think..,
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We had a lovely lunch and shared some plates - crocettes, dip plate and a ploughmans platter which I forgot to photograph!
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It was rather hot sitting outside but the place wasnt air conditioned, just open to the air...
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Green tea and citrus panna cotta ...
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Bri's weird peanut butter, white choc sultana brownie with honey comb and cranberry coulis...
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When we got back into town, there was a blackout so the shoos had had to close.  We were told by a local the power should come back on by 6pm...
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It did come on shortly after we got to the villa so we all just relaxed for a while. I had a nanna nap!
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At 4.30pm we walked over to the beach for a swim. The water was lovely and warm compared to our southern ocean.
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We headed for home around 6pm and started to  get dinner prepared.  We had bought crumbed stuffed chicken breasts which we were going to bake in the oven with potato and sweet potatoes.  We also had a packet of Rice a Riso and did a simple green salad.  After a big lunch we were in no real hurry for dinner...
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Just as we were getting ready to put the chicken etc in the oven...the power went out again!  Aaargh!
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We had a big torch and a table candle for light so we bumbled our way in the dark. We wrapped the chicken in alfoil and baking paper, put it on an oven tray the coverec it with another tray to make an oven then sat it on the barbecue grill.  I cookef the rice in a saucepan also on the barbecue - worked a treat!
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All this time we realised how dependant we are on power. Nothing much works without it!
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Anyway, we kept joking that as soon as we'd finished dinner, the power would come back on...
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We got the chicken cooked, although it was a tad burnt on the bottom and dishec up...
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...then voila! The power magically came back on at 9.15pm so we ate it quickly! So funny!
Lets hope they have the problem fixed.
It came on just in time for Farmer Wants A Wife so Kirby and I watched that and the others went to bed.
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Cheers - Joolz xx


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Western Australia - Day 1

We boarded our flight for Perth and took off right on time. It was a very pleasant 3 hour flight. It wasn't full which meant we could spread out with a seat between us. Lunch was a hot meal (Cajun chicken with rice, lamb kofta with risoni or a chickpea and prosciutto salad - all yummy!). Staff were friendly and offered lots of wine, tea and coffee, water and Lindt chocolates...
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I watched a movie then colored in for a bit...
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We had a bit of trouble when we got our rent-a-car. We thought a small SUV would do us but we just couldn't fit our 4 bags in the back so we got a Ford Mondeo sedan and they fitted perfectly. The weather in Perth is hot, hot, hot at 40C!  Heading south should be a bit cooler!  
We  This is Bri's little crocheted Yoda. He's coming on our adventure with us..,
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We had a 3 hour drive south from Perth to Dunsborough. Most of it two lane split freeway which was good.  We went through an area that had been burnt and saw a fire burning off in the distance too.
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Isn't he a cutie?
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We stopped for groceries in Bunbury then continued on to our digs at Dunsborough. We love our villa, it is very comfortable and home for 3 nights...
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 We made steak tacos for dinner - yummy!  It cooled of nicely so we sat outside until bedtime. The 2.5 hour time difference made it a long day.

Cheers - Joolz xx



 
 
 
 
 

Monday, February 1, 2016

From the weekend and beyond...

Last Friday I was given about a kilo of fresh mulberries so I ate a few (delicious!) then decided to make jam with the rest...
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Oh, I love mulberry jam on crumpets and toast...and fresh bread!
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I enjoyed more fruit cake...
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...and the last of the lamingtons, microwaved warm and topped with jam!
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I made sour dough bread ...
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...which turned out fantastically!
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Breakfast was so yummy...
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Wednesday, I made another batch of sour dough rolls...
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Absolute winners!
My very neglected roses are on their second flush and are looking better than ever!
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Overloaded with flowers!
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The Bonica's are just starting again...
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Thursday saw me having to kill time in Mt Gambier, on foot, because I had to get a car road-worthy tested.  I happened upon a nail salon and so I sat for 3/4 of an hour and had a lovely pedicure!
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Loved it!
Now I am excited as we fly off to Perth, Western Australia tomorrow (Sunday) for a weeks vacation then we train back on the Indian Pacific...
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Cheers - Joolz xx


 

 
  
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Our busy Australia Day weekend...



 
We began by joining our friends from Melbourne in Penola on Saturday afternoon.  We dined at Pipers of Penola.  Magnificent!  
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We stayed the night then on Sunday morning we did a spot of wine tasting and looked around the shops...
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Grapes on the vine at Leconfield...
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We had a lovely lunch at Fodder, Coonawarra then it was time to head home (50kms). Gus and I planned to make fresh pasta to have for dinner.  I left Gus and Gary in charge of the fettuccini and I made a slow cooked beef ragu using shin of beef (took just over 3 hours)...
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The dough was good and went through the pasta machine perfectly.
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Do you like my drying rack? It was a gift from Kirby and Nate for having them home over Christmas and New Year.   Seriously, I don't need to be rewarded!
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Anyway, it did exactly what it was designed for and held the whole big batch of pasta. This much pasta fed 6 adults and I also froze a pack of fettuccini and spaghetti for meals for me and Gus also.
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Now, before we left to go over to Penola, I prepared dessert for the next night (Sunday). This was so easy - crush a packet of sweet biscuits coarsely, add about 100gms of melted butter, just enough to wet the crumbs.
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I have these lovely stemless wine glasses which are perfect for this dessert but any large wine glasses would do.   I spooned the crumb mix into each glass but didn't pat it down.  I made a cheesecake mixture based on a recipe from Ree the Pioneer Woman. I whipped together 250gms softened cream cheese and about 2/3 can of condensed milk and a squeeze of lemon juice. You can adjust the sweetness to your liking.
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The easiest way to get the cheesecake mix into the glasses is to put the mix in a disposable piping bag or a ziplock bag. Snip the end then pipe it on top of the crumb base. No mess up the sides of the glass!
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Next, I heated frozen raspberries (you can choose whatever berries you like) with a little sugar and brought that to the boil until the sugar dissolved. Cool completely.  Gently spoon the cooled berries into each glass.  At this point I covered each glass with cling wrap, ready for the next night.
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Time for dessert! I dolloped on a blob of whipped cream and some pretty sprinkles - job done!
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On Monday - the perks and privelege of owning your own business - we took the day off! We headed to Beachport to try and buy a crayfish so I could make seafood cocktails on the beach (adventurous much?)...
The only cray we could buy was still swimming in the Co-op's tanks - not ideal...but how much fresher can you get?  We bought one and thought we'd try cooking it on/in the barbecue.  I was stressing...
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We drove to Southend via the beach then set up in a sheltered spot in the bay...
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we got the flag and bunting flying...
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We named him Clancy...but his days were numbered...
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Normally, crayfish are best boiled in (ideally) sea water for a short time then drained and cooled.  We didn't have that option so I was a quite stressed as to how this would turn out.
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Once we had him dispatched, we wrapped him in two layers of foil. Nighty night, Clancy!  We popped him to bed in the BabyQ Weber and cooked him for 30 minutes.  When we peeled back the foil we found a perfectly cooked Clancy - success!  
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I cracked the flesh out of the tail and picked all the leg meat then put it in a ziplock bag on ice in the esky to cool.
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You know when you have a vision of something then it comes together just right? My crayfish and prawn cocktails, assembled at the beach, were perfection!  I had brought with me, shredded iceberg lettuce and creamy cocktail sauce and 24 cooked prawns.  These are my plastic Govino wine glasses (not the same as the ones I used for the cheesecake).  Lettuce in the bottom, dollop of sauce, divided the cray meat between 6 glasses, another dollop of sauce then a crack of pepper. Drape 3 prawns on each glass and deliver to hungry, salivating guests! Yah!
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How bloody good do they look?
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Our visitors enjoying the day...
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...and playing coits...
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Our camp, always lots of shade...
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We had a late lunch of lamb chops and salads...
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I trotted out my Lamingtons for dessert...
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All too soon it was time to wobble home through the dunes...
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We had a late dinner of barbecued chicken pieces, salad and baked potato wedges...
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I forgot to take a piccy of these - another dessert in a glass - very easy chocolate sauce and strawberries - (250gms chocolate and 300mls cream - heat in a saucepan until smooth and creamy).  Pour cooled sauce into the glass and drop in 6-8 strawberries. Too easy! 
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Tuesday, January 26th is Australia Day proper and a public holiday in Australia...
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We had a big egg and bacon breakfast with mimosas (champagne and fresh squeezed orange juice).
Then it was time for our friends to pack up and head home to Melbourne...
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Closer to noon, Gus and I enjoyed more bubbles, celebrating Australia Day and the success of our weekend with dear friends.
We spent the rest of the day tidying up and taking it easy.
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Cheers - Joolz xx

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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