Welcome to my blog. Here you will find my adventures with my family and friends. Thanks so much for stopping by.

I'm so enjoying this wonderful world of blogging where I have met and made so many new friends.

Please leave a comment when you drop by so I can visit your blog and get to know you too

Saturday, June 30, 2012


Having a few old work friends over for lunch yesterday was a good opportunity to try out a new recipe.
Of course then it means that you also need to make some other food as a backup in case it doesn't turn out the way you thought it would.

The weather has been so unseasonal here with rain and very cool temperatures for Brisbane ( 15 degrees C max !!!!) that I thought I might have to serve soup but the day was supposed to bring fine weather and 23 degrees C again so I tried this recipe for a vegetarian loaf. 

I backed it up with a tried and true favourite ( County Corn Bake ) above.
and some chicken  to go with it plus a nice salad.

So here it is:

Kumara and Chickpea Loaf 
1kg kumera ( orange sweet potato ) peeled cubed
3 slices stale bread
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup chopped coriander
2 green onions ( shallots) sliced thinly
1 teasp ground cumin
2 eggs lightly beaten
3 teasp yellow mustard seeds

* Cook kumera until tender. Cool 10 minutes
* Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (160 fanforced ). Grease a loaf pan and line it with baking paper extending paper above the sides.
*Coarsely chop cashews, crumble bread ( no crusts ) and place in a bowl with the cooled kumera, chickpeas, onion, coriander, cumin and eggs.
* Heat mustard seeds in a pan till they begin to pop then add them to the rest. Add salt and pepper and mix thoroughly
* Spoon mixture into the prepared pan, pressing down firmly. Bake for about 50 minutes or until browned and firm to touch. Stand 10 minutes.
* Turn out and cut into thick slices to serve.

The verdict on the vegetarian loaf was universal approval.
I'll certainly be making it again.
And dessert?....

Passionfruit meringue pie.
You can only be good some of the time !!!


Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Yesterday I was rummaging around in my linen cupboard looking for a small tablecloth when I came upon this one.

I made it more than 40 years ago.
These gingham cloths were all the go in those days
and the cross stitch patterns embroidered on them were many and varied.
I remember seeing this one on a cloth owned by Tony's grandmother on my first visit to her home.

I went out and bought some material right away so I could try it out before I forgot it.

Sort of looks like lace from a distance don't you think?

It's had lots of use over the years and is getting shabby but I won't be throwing it away.

I may even do another one.
These old crafts seem to be disappearing don't they?

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Friday, June 22, 2012


It's whale time all along the Queensland coast.

(Here's a little background information.)

HUMPBACK whales are already being spotted making their winter migration along our coastline with the biggest pods since pre-whaling days expected to pass Byron Bay and the Gold Coast this year.
Southern Cross University marine ecology research centre director Professor Peter Harrison said up to 17,000 humpbacks would make the northern migration this year as the population continued to recover by about 10 per cent a year after nearly being wiped out during the whaling years.
"This year will be very special; there will be more humpback whales along our coastline for the first time since mid last century," he said.
"Some whales have already been spotted along our coastline migrating up to the Great Barrier Reef from mid-April and the peak migration will start in the last two weeks of June.
"The humpback whale population was estimated between 26,000 and 30,000 but then crashed down to possibly a few hundred during the massive whaling in the middle of last century and became economically extinct.
"In the early 1950s, illegal whaling by the Soviet Union in the southern Australian waters killed 25,000 humpbacks in just two summers and virtually wiped them out."
Australia's last whaling station in Albany, Western Australia, closed in 1978.
Prof Harrison said about 1500 extra humpback whales were this year starting their migration from Antarctic waters up the eastern coast of Australia to the Great Barrier Reef where they will spend the winter breeding and calving.
The peak group is due to appear in waters off Byron Bay and the Gold Coast from mid-June.
Travelling between 100-140km a day, it will take the whales about two months to make the 6000-8000km migration north.

A whale breaching off the Gold Coast this week. Picture: Sea World Whale Watch Source: The Courier-Mail

Prof Harrison said the whales did not tend to travel in packs until they reached Byron Bay, with the most easterly point of Australia creating a ``funnelling effect'', grouping the whales together in huge numbers and providing amazing whale-watching opportunities.

Famous albino whale Migaloo is expected to appear late June.

Do you remember I wrote about him here ?

By the time some of the last stragglers make their way to northern Queensland in late July, some of early migrators are already heading back south for the summer."
The above article was written byTanya Westthorp

Around September the whales and their calves rest up for a while in Hervey Bay on their way back to the Antarctic so it is a great place to observe them frolicing in the waters of the bay. As you can imagine they are a great tourist attraction but we are very protective of our whales.
There are many Whale Watching Tours that have to adhere to very strict regulations about how close they are allowed to get to the whales ( 300metres), how many boats are allowed to gather together when whales are spotted and even how high planes must fly above them (2000ft) .

Every year Tony and I say we'd love to take a whale watching tour. Perhaps this year we'll do it!



I came upon this on Facebook and thought it was interesting.

What do you think?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Sometimes it only takes a little change in things to make a big difference.

Ever since we moved into this house six years ago I've been complaining about the shower.
You see we were right in the middle of the BIG DROUGHT that held us in its grip for about ten years and forced us to be water conscious.

We were issued with these egg timers  and were supposed to set them to time our showers.

( You can see that ours is still in the packet !!)

We showered with a bucket at our feet to catch the excess water that flowed until the water was the right temperature, then used the water to try to keep our gardens alive as watering them was strictly forbidden.

and we installed these

water saving shower heads

so that only a reduced amount of water was actually delivered from the shower.

You practically had to run around in the shower to get wet !!!!

Well things have changed around here.

That old shower fitting broke.

What a shame!!

and has been replace with this one ......

Oh heaven !
oh bliss!

Just a little thing but what a difference !

( even more cheerful than usual !!)

PS. Of course the Great Drought was broken in 2011 when we had the Great Flood !

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Here's a recipe for you to try on those chilly Winter's  mornings ( or when Summer forgets to happen !!) when something warm is what you need to get you moving.

And guess what? It's good for you too!

In fact it's full of healthy goodness and you'll sail through the morning till lunchtime without those mid-morning cravings.

The secret is in the preparation - set it to cook for 3 or 4 hours in your slow cooker on Saturday. Package up and freeze in portions and you're ready for the week ahead.

No more rushing, breakfast will be delicious and  a breeze.

Brown Rice Porridge   (a recipe stolen from Sally !)
1 cup brown rice rinsed
2 cups reduced fat cream
2 ½ cups water
1 cup coconut milk (~1 tin)
1 tablespoon mixed spice
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
Handful of desiccated coconut
½ cup raisins
2 tablespoons linseeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon goji berries (optional,  but sooo good for you they're worth the effort of finding)

2 tablespoons brown sugar or similar amount of organic maple syrup (to taste)
* Cook on high in slow cooker for ~ 3hours until rice is soft and cooked ( mmmm the smell that begins to waft through the house as it cooks !)
* You may need to add more water at the end of cooking if the rice is not quite cooked and has absorbed all the liquid.
* Portion into zip lock bags to freeze – (weigh them out and anything from 100 to 200gms is great per serve, your choice ). Freeze.
* Defrost and warm in the microwave as required – you might like to add a little milk after defrosting.

Perfect !


Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Well , Winter has finally come to Brisbane.

For those of you who are not familiar with Australia in general and Queensland in particular Brisbane is the capital of the state that we call the Sunshine State here in OZ.

The Tropic of Capricorn runs right through Queensland right about along the top of the word "QUEENSLAND" on the map above, so you can see that a large amount to our state lies in the tropics.

Brisbane, where I live, is therefore sub tropical in climate
so when it is Winter in Brisbane you know you want to be here !

Blue skies,

cool, crisp mornings of around 12 degrees C

which soon turn to warm, sunny days of around 22 degrees C

and nights when you can snuggle down under your doona to escape the cold night air and 8 degree C temperatures.

No wonder the "grey nomads" fill our highways as they move north looking to escape the cold, wet Winters of the southern states.

Of course we think it's cold !

and wear scarves

and coats
and Ug boots!!!
(Well some of us do !)

It's my favourite time of year in Brissy.