Keeping It Real or is that Reel?

Hello Dear Reader,

Take a look at this little video, welcome to my world-

Do you live with boys? How do you cope when their lives spill out into every area of the house?

Have a lovely day

One Year Ago-Easy Beef Rendang
Two Years Ago-No Post Today (Still in Norfolk Island)

Sunny Side Up Sunday

Hello Dear Reader,

Today I am grateful, again, for the kindness of my readers, I received a lovely package in the mail on Friday, but I didn't open it until after lunch, yesterday, delayed gratification at its best. I did know this gift was on its way, as lovely Katrina had offered to knit me some dish cloths, well along with those lovingly hand made dish cloths were some hand warmers and a fabulous treat of New Zealand Chocolate.

I am so touched by this gesture and know I will just love using those dish cloths as well as the hand warmers and of course the special chocolate with a lovely warm cup of tea. Thank you Katrina, you made my weekend.

I am blessed and lucky, thank you Katrina.

Have a wonderful Sunday,

Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today

What we bought, spent and ate this week

Hello Dear Reader,

I must admit to feeling a bit low at the moment, it's not just one thing in particular, but I think it may be a combination of a heavy work load, a messy house and yard and the lack of afternoon sun on my face when I walk the little dogs. I find I am also missing my sewing, I haven't done any quilting for so long and I really believe having a creative outlet really helps to round out your life.

To address the messy house situation, well what can I say, I live with two fishermen and this week they have been preparing for a fishing charter that they left for this morning at stupid O'Clock. Our lounge room looks like a Tackle Shop, I wish I was kidding. I think they have bought in every fishing rod and piece of fishing tackle they own to sort out what they want to take with them, holy fish, what a mess. I know that it will be eventually cleaned up but it really looks terrible.

And the other thing that is really bothering me at the moment is the mess I look out onto everyday with the garden reno's. I know I just have to put up with it, but again it is such a mess add to that that the boys have really relaxed and let things go outside, they have just left their gear where ever they feel like it. Mess attracts mess I think and once one piece of fishing gear is left on the outside table it attracts more. Boo Hoo!

Let it go, let it go, let it go! That is what I keep telling myself, it will eventually be tidy again, one day, maybe!

Now on with the food-

What we bought
Fruit and Veg from Northside Discount Fruit Barn

Meat from Marjax Meats

Shopping from Aldi

What we spent
Northside Discount Fruit Barn-$45.20
Marjax Meats-$70.70

TOTAL-$213.87, mmm, yes well, all that meat!

What we ate

Saturday-Fish Burgers

Sunday-Slow Cooked BBQ Pork with Warm Potato, Lemon and Parsley Salad

Monday-More Slow Cooked BBQ Pork with Herby Mashed Potato and Sauerkraut 

Tuesday-BBQ Chicken (cooked on Sunday) with Creamy Potato Bake with Garlic, Spring Onions and Cheese and steamed Broccolini

Wednesday-Beef and Black Bean Stir Fry with steamed Basmati rice

Thursday-Beef Ragu with Angle Hair Pasta

Your turn, what did you make this week?

Have a lovely day,

Two Years Ago-No Blog Post Today (Norfolk Island)

This Weeks 5 Frugal Things on a Friday

Hello Dear Reader,

What a cold week it's been in Sub Tropical Queensland, we do go on a bit when it is so cold for so long, but it is winter after all. Our daily temperatures have been as low as 8.3 C in the morning with a lowest maximum temperature of 17.9 C on Monday, brrrr! I know this is not really cold compared to some places but I am certainly feeling it.

More has been done to the garden, with the old fence being removed and the posts for the new fence being cemented in on Wednesday. Now we just have to wait for the schmick concrete sleepers to arrive so the base of the fence can be constructed. Those concrete sleepers simply slide in to the "H" shaped post edges, if that make sense, I will try and take of photo of the concept as they are being slotted in.

Winter makes me even more of a homebody, I just can't wait to get home from work of an afternoon to make a start on an early dinner, so I can get into bed super early. Lovely Hubby is on board with this, so the days that he cooks he has already started preparing dinner by the time I get home. Love, love, love an early night.

Now on with the frugal stuff-

1. Sewed a new strap on to Pippa's old dog coat, I have fixed it before but somewhere, last week she lost the strap that goes under her belly to hold the warm dog coat on. I still had some firm ribbon that I used last time to attach the buckle on to the coat, so more of that firm ribbon became the new belly strap. I also had some velcro in my sewing stash so that was utilised as well. I want to make a pattern of this coat as it is really well made and fits her perfectly to make them both new ones. Their current ones are looking a bit shabby. This little sewing job will make the coat last just a bit longer.

2. Line dried all the washing

3. Made sure all the left overs were used up in a timely manner

4. Rugged up while watching Landline and Gardening Australia, I try not to avoid using the heater if I can.

5. Cooked two pieces of Pork while the BBQ was lit on Sunday, I love the concept of "Cook Once, Eat Twice" or more.

Your turn, what frugal things did you get up to this week?

Have a lovely day

One Year Ago-Our Big Holiday Plans

Slow Cooked Pork in the BBQ

Hello Dear Reader,

I mentioned last Friday that we have started to utilise our Primo BBQ more of late and have thoroughly enjoyed our last two dinners made in this wonderful BBQ. You get a lovely smokey flavour to the meat while it is slow cooked, so not only is it tasty but it is very tender. I thought twice about putting up recipes that involve cooking in a BBQ, but then I thought, why not, a lot of people have and love their BBQ's, so I will go ahead and post the recipes I make utilising our BBQ.

The first one we made was as Slow Cooked BBQ Beef Brisket and it was just wonderful, full of smokey flavour and the most tender beef I have ever tasted, last Sunday we did a Slow Cooked BBQ Pork with a fabulous fennel rub cooked over apples and onions. As usual I tweaked the original recipe to include cinnamon with the bed of apples because apples and cinnamon are best friends and those slow braised apples are just the most amazing accompaniment for the tender pork.

Ingredients for the Pork Rub, clockwise from far left-
2 teaspoon garlic powder, 4 teaspoon fennel seeds, 4 teaspoon smoked paprika, 8 teaspoons white sugar, a good grind of pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoon of salt. This amount of rub is sufficient for approximately 2.8 kg of pork, you can easily halve the recipe

Put all rub ingredients into a mortar and pestle 

And grind till fine

Ingredients for Slow Cooked Pork in the BBQ, clockwise from centre top, 1 or 2 x 1.4 kg (approx) Pork Collar Butts, 2 tablespoons brown sugar mixed with 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, 4 apples and 8 onions. I cooked 2 x Pork Collar Butts at the same time, cook once, eat twice.

Rub pork with prepared rub, set aside till needed

 Next Prepare the base for the pork-peel, core and halve 4 apples and peel and halve 8 onions (Next time I make this, I will increase the  quantity of apples and decrease the onions) More apples I say, I used good old Granny Smith apples as they hold their shape well.

In a large bowl, add prepared apples and onions and sprinkle over the combined brown sugar and cinnamon, give everything a really good mix to coat

In a large foil tray or large baking tray, arrange the bed of apples and onions, lay the pork on top and put in a 140 C preheated lidded BBQ

And cook away for 4 hours, checking the temperature every now and then to make sure pork doesn't cook too quickly, you want the temperature to stay a constant 140 C

I used this apple syrup to glaze the pork but a combination of apple juice and maple syrup would work just as well. I have had this apple syrup hanging about in the pantry for a few years, we bought it back with us from Stanthorpe. Sutton's is quite famous for their apple products.

Pour over 1/2 cup of apple syrup or 1/4 cup of apple juice mixed with 1/4 cup of maple syrup and cover baking tray tightly with foil and let cook for a further 30 minutes

Let pork rest for 30 minute to 1 hour before slicing and serving. 

Cooking in a BBQ is a bit of a labour of love, I certainly couldn't do it by myself just yet, lovely Hubby lights the BBQ about 1 hour before it is needed to have time to adjust the temperature, however, once the Primo BBQ is at the right temperature it is quite easy to control. 

This BBQ Pork Butt did us two nights with plenty left over for lunches the next few days, the first night I served it with Warm Potato, Lemon and Parsley Salad and the second night I served it with Herby Mashed Potato and Sauerkraut. The pork jus is just lovely spooned over the meat and has a delightful flavour from the rub and the sweet cinnamon apples and soft caramelised onions.

Over to you, do you use your BBQ to its full potential?

Have a lovely day

One Year Ago-Really Simple Date Loaf
Two Years Ago-No Post Today (Still in Norfolk Island for the Ballroom Dancing Week)

Salmon with Orange, Maple Syrup and Fennel

Hello Dear Reader,

You know when you read a recipe and you know it will be so good that you can't wait to make it? Well, that happened to me last week, I was browsing the web for interesting looking dinners, when I stumbled upon this corker of a recipe. I had googled "main meals that are quick to make" and this is definitely quick, but it is also absolutely delicious. Perfect for a week night dinner.

I adore salmon and it is the only fish we buy, as lovely hubby and son are avid fishermen we always have a good supply of fish. But as we live in Queensland, of course there are so salmon in our waters. I buy the Aldi frozen Salmon and have been very happy with the quality and price.

The flavours of orange and fennel are just so classic and a joy to eat, especially with succulent, just cooked salmon, that flavour combination works wonderfully well. I served it with steamed Basmati rice and asian greens.

Ingredients for Salmon with Orange, Maple Syrup and Fennel, clockwise from top right-
3 teaspoons cornflour, 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, 2 oranges (juice of one and the other one cut in half and very finely sliced) 1/2 cup chicken stock, 3 cloves of garlic, grated on a microplane, a good handful of mint, finely chopped, 2 bunches of asparagus or green beans, cut into 4 cm pieces, 6 fillets of salmon, skinned, sprinkled liberally with salt and pepper and 1/3 cup of maple syrup

In a jug, firstly add the cornflour, then add the chicken stock, juice from one of the oranges, maple syrup, fennel seeds and grated garlic, whisk well to combine. Set aside till needed

In a large, heavy based, non stick fry pan, on medium heat, add a little oil and add salmon fillets

Cook for 3 minutes, then turn salmon over and cook for another 3 minutes

Now pour over the orange, maple syrup and fennel mixture, add the asparagus or green beans

Pop a lid on and let steam for 3 to 4 minutes or until veg is just tender and sauce has thickened

Cut remaining orange in half then slice as thinly as you can, arrange over cooked salmon and sprinkle over finely chopped mint.

The flavour of the orange is intense but works brilliantly with the salmon and fennel, I served ours with fluffy rice to mop up that glorious golden sauce. Put it on your menu, you won't be sorry.

Have a lovely day

One Year Ago-Setting Up the New Compost Bin
Two Years Ago-No Post Today (I was in Norfolk Island, dancing my legs off)

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