JUstDreamInparadise.......JUDI living in Paradise

I am fifty something and I love my family and the life I live. I'm an optimistic person by nature and I try to find a positive for every negative. I'm not a vegetarian, but the animal I eat is. I enjoy cooking, photography and scrapbooking. Since living here I have become a gardener and take immense joy in the beauty of my garden. My husband and I feel that we are the caretakers of the land rather than land owners. We run a grass fed Droughtmaster Stud on our little piece of Paradise and the cattle are a never ending supply of photo opportunities.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Recipe Request

I posted this photo ......



......on Instagram last week and had numerous requests for the recipe so without further ado I give you......

HALOUMI AND PEA FRITTERS WITH TOMATO SALAD

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups (240g) frozen peas, thawed
250g Haloumi, coarsely grated
2 eggs lightly whisked
½ cup (75g) Self-raising flour
⅓ cup (80ml) milk
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
350g mixed medley tomatoes, halved or thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup mint leaves, coarsely shredded
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Greek-style yoghurt, to serve
Lemon wedges, to serve

METHOD:
  1. Place the peas in a bowl.  Use a fork to mash until coarsely crushed.  Stir in the haloumi and egg.  Add the flour and milk and stir until combined.  Season.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat pour three ¼-cupfuls of pea mixture around the pan, allowing room for spreading.  Cook for 2 minutes or until golden.  Turn.  Cook for further 2 minutes or until golden and cooked through.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.  Cover with foil to keep warm.  Repeat in 3 more batches with remaining pea mixture.
  3. Combine the tomato onion mint and pine nuts in a bowl.  Add vinegar and remaining oil.  Season.  Toss to combine.
  4. Divide the fritters and salad among serving plates.  Serve with yoghurt and lemon wedges.


Serves 4 but as they are just as nice eaten cold, make the whole batch for yourself!





Friday, 25 November 2016

Where does the time go.....

My last post was on the 11th November and now it is the 25th.  What happened to those two weeks!  They seem to have been a blur.
The most heart stopping moment was a phone call from our daughter in law telling us that our son had an accident with an angle grinder and was in hospital.  I won't post any gory photos but needless to say it was not pretty.  The wheel from the grinder hit him in three places on his shin and although there has been some muscle damage the bone is still intact.  However he has been into surgery twice to have the area stitched and is now wearing a moon boot for a minimum of six weeks.  Marco spent six days in hospital and is now at home recovering.  Philip has flown down to give him a helping hand with the yard building that we was doing at the time of the accident and also to help with his cattle weaning.  He will be away about two weeks I believe.
Before Philip left we had his mother stay with us for a few days.  We try to take her on as many outings  as we can because she really is a "car dog".  This time we drove to the Daintree Village and then back to Port Douglas for lunch at the yacht club.
Dallas will be 82 in December!

Selfie time!

A decent menu at the Yacht Club - something for everyone

Beef and Bacon Burger for Philip

I ordered the calamari and salad....yummmmm
Dallas also enjoys mustering with Philip in our buggy and one other evening we enjoyed dinner in Cairns with our Kuranda friends.
I have also been busy on Gumtree selling various items surplus to our needs.  I am reducing my camera kit as I now find that I only use my iPhone for photographs and rarely pull out the DSLR.  All the photographs that I took on our holiday where taken with the iPhone.
I have also sold my MacBook Pro as I have replaced it with a MacBook Air.  I love it.  It travelled with me on holidays and as it is lighter than my iPad so I am also going to sell that.
This week we  advertised our Toyota Landcruiser tray back on Gumtree and Facebook.  We received four phone calls within the first hour and I have someone inspecting it today.  We are quietly confident of a sale.  We paid to have it detailed inside and out and it looks a million dollars!



The Julia Creek Dirt n Dust Festival committee approached me a couple of weeks ago to see if I could assist the event co-ordinator with a grant application to apply for funding to erect a permanent venue site.  I said yes immediately as it was a dream of ours when we were on the committee many years ago to have a permanent venue.  So far I have also really enjoyed the grant process and I look forward to working on further projects with these crazy people!

The old DirtnDust crowd...back together after 15 years!





Friday, 11 November 2016

Remembrance Day

As I sat down to write this blog the "Last Post" was playing on the radio and I observed a minutes silence.  I wonder how many others still do this.
We have now been home ten days and it has been full on.  We have had three trips to Cairns....four if you count the trip I have to make later today, a weekend in Cooktown for the races, a visit from our PNG friends, yoga twice this week to try and get some level of fitness again and sleep.....so much sleep! Our body clocks have taken awhile to adjust to the time changes.
In between all this I have been trying to cook some healthy meals to try and lose the kilos that accumulated on holidays.  I have loved watching Jamie Oliver's latest cooking show - Super Food Family Classics, and have purchased the book.  There are so many great healthy recipes and the one we have been enjoying is the Spinach Pici Pasta.  We have eaten it with zucchini, tomatoes and pine nuts and for todays lunch I am going to toss it with my 7 vegetable sauce and leftover chicken.
The pasta is so simple - 300g flour into the blender with 200g baby spinach and when it comes together in the processor you roll into lengths (think beans).




Our trip to Cooktown is now an annual thing that we do with our Mossman friends.  This year we were also joined by some old friends from Julia Creek.  It is a terrific weekend.  The racecourse is one of the nicest I have ever been to and we always book a seat in the marquee area.  It is well worth it, not just because it is close to the racetrack but the food platters they bring around all afternoon are very delicious.  It also helps to have our own private bookie and bar area.  We are not gamblers.  We each pick a horse and put $5 on the nose.  So, seven races equals $70.  Of this we were reimbursed $50 for our winnings.  I pick my horses by their name.  Couldn't give a damn about the stats!

We drive to Cooktown the day before the races and together with our friends we cook a bbq on Friday evening.  The motel that we stay at is situated right on the waterfront at Cooktown.  It is wonderful to watch the sunset over the water with a few beers and nibbles.


My mother-in-law is coming to visit us next week for a couple of days and then we will take her to Cairns where Philip's brother has just had a hip replacement.  The following week we will head to Cooktown Crossing for a couple of nights.  It is a lovely camping spot and we want to make sure that all the wiring for the camper in the new vehicle is working correctly before we head away in December. We have also bought an inflatable kayak/canoe and it is the perfect place to practice using it.  A first for me!





Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Day 28, 29 & 30 - Home

Here we are.....home.  What a fantastic holiday with so many great memories of places visited and friends made.  The last three days are in reality two days because we lost a day as we crossed the international date line.  We were in transit for almost 36 hours with 20 of those hours actually in the air. Thank goodness for the Air New Zealand "lie flat" beds because it certainly made the long haul - 12.5 hours - easier.
We spent a lot of time waiting in areas like this....

and other times we were lucky enough to be able to enjoy the airline lounges. Our first leg of our return journey took us from New Orleans to Los Angeles.  Los Angeles looked lovely from the air....

from there it was the long haul from Los Angeles to Auckland.  I slept for 8 hours of the 12.5 hours so I felt remarkably refreshed when we saw Auckland.....


from Auckland it was on to a bleak old Brisbane.....

Getting through customs took no time at all and there was a bus waiting for us as we exited the International Terminal to take us to the Domestic terminal.  We had a four hour wait for our Virgin Flight to Cairns but were able to enjoy the comfort of the Virgin Lounge in Brisbane.  They have recently renovated it and it is very comfortable but best of all was the shower that we were able to have.  It felt so great to wash the hair and change the undies!
Our flight from Brisbane to Cairns was on time and uneventful.  We both commented that the Mushroom Soup and the cheese platter that we were given on this flight was one of the best meals we had!  Good old Virgin Australia!
Now, we are home and after a 10 hour sleep last night we are ready to face the world again.

PS
I didn't mention on my blog that our good old faithful labrador, Hudson, got a paralysis tick while we were away.  The vets were amazing and each day sent us a detailed update on his progress.  He almost died and it was a slow recovery.  He spent two weeks in the vet clinic but I'm happy to report that we were able to collect him today.  He is still a long way off being fully recovered but he was as happy to see us as we were to see him.  He's getting a whole lot of loving!