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.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Australia Day

I love my country.  Whenever we travel overseas and people ask where we are from we proudly tell them Australia!!!  And just about everyone you say that to says "oh....I would love to visit your country!"  Sometimes we don't appreciate it as much as we should.
Australia Day is the day that we truly celebrate being Australians.  This year we went to "Great Australian Bites Port Douglas".  We arrived at Rex Smeal Park nice and early and set ourselves up under some shady trees and watched as the "new" Australians were welcomed into our great country. They proudly held up their certificates to announce to Australia that they love our country enough to become citizens.


The local indigenous welcomed everybody with their symbolic dance



Thank goodness the rain stayed away and we were able to sit back under the shady trees and soak up the wonderful atmosphere and sip on refreshing drinks.


We watched the Tug-a-War events for young and old.....


and sack races for the kids


The "firies" brought along the little electric car that never stopped taking both young and old for rides around the park

There was a throng-throwing competition

And also a pie-eating competition.  I was amazed at how S L O W these kids ate their pies, unlike some of the other pie-eating competitions I have seen over the years!

For the adults there was a pavlova competition and cooking demonstrations.  I wasn't sure about the margarita with smoked salmon ;-(





And when you got tired or looking at everything going on you simply turned around and gazed out at the passing boats on Dickson Inlet.


There was a large flotilla of jet-skis that made the trip from Yorkeys Knob in Cairns to Port Douglas to raise money for Breast Cancer.


The day was well planned by the organising committee and as I looked around at other families enjoying the music I thought just how lucky we are to live where we live.













Wednesday, 18 January 2017

It's all about the food..

We had a lunch date with our friends at 2 Fish Restaurant in Port Douglas on Monday.  We haven't been to this restaurant for awhile and what a lovely surprise it was!  We all chose the $40 three course set meal and everyone of us enjoyed our choices.  I chose the Prawn Bruschetta for starters


followed by the Crab and Pipi Linguini.


Philip chose the crumbed Squid and Kate chose the battered Mackerel for their mains



For Dessert three of us chose the Pannacotta with Tropical Fruits while Philip decided on the Sorbet Trio


The meals were absolutely fantastic and the restaurant has recently won the award for "Australian Contemporary Seafood Cuisine in the Tropics" and it was well deserved.  If you are in Port Douglas it is worth a reservation.
I have still been trying to think of ways to use pineapples and passionfruit.  We have been collecting about a dozen passionfruit a day.  Today I made Pineapple and Passionfruit Jam.  It is a bit sweet for my taste but that is mainly because the fruit is so sweet.  


As anyone who reads my blog already knows, we have our main meal for lunch and we have a light snack for dinner.  Todays lunch was another recipe from Jamie Olivers Super Food Family Classics cookbook.   I must admit that I changed quite a few ingredients.  I didn't have asparagus or spring onions so I used sugar snap peas and beans and I also used the breast from a cooked chook that I had bought yesterday rather than the fresh that Jamie used. I marinated the cooked chook exactly the way that Jamie suggested and you wouldn't have known the difference.  I also used wholemeal spaghetti that is much healthier and it is very delicious. Oh, this dish is also dairy free.Anyway the recipe is called Spaghetti Rosso Golden chicken & Charred Green Veg and it is page 176 in the cookbook. If you don't own it you should because it is jam packed full of recipes that are not only delicious but also very low calorie. 


To finish off this post I just want to show you a photo of the lovely Bat Flower.  I am so blessed to have a garden that gives me these lovely surprises.


Oh, and the Agapanthas are really doing their thing and also looking there best.









Sunday, 15 January 2017

A little this and a bit more of that....

We have been following the 5:2 diet for quite awhile now and I'm always on the lookout for tasty low calorie recipes on our fasting days.  I came across this one last week....Sweet Potato Chilli.


I am definitely one for using "in season" fruit and vegetables and in my garden this week I have an abundance of sweet potato and chilli.  This recipe was easy and very filling which is just the thing for fasting days.  It comes in at 212 calories so still plenty of room to fit in either a good size breakfast or dinner.
Speaking of the 5:2 diet, our GP told us in conversation that he is also a follower of this way of eating.  We adore our GP who we have been with for ten years.  He is a Buddhist and is just the most gentle person I know.  When you talk to him he gives you his absolute attention and makes you feel like you are the only person in his world.  Such a treasure.
Something else that I have an abundance of at the moment is pineapples.  They are just so sweet and delicious and I love eating them but you can really only eat so many, so I have been looking for recipes that use pineapple.  A winner has been Pineapple Relish.....who would have thought.  It is very delicious with fish, chicken and pork.


I have also been doing quite a bit of reading lately but this book I have read twice, and now Philip is reading it.  Do yourself a favour and go and purchase this No. 1 Best Seller.  It will be the best investment you have ever made.


We have already implemented a few strategies and are just about to make a huge change to our SMSF  so I will keep you informed.  But buy the book.....just buy it!
The rain has continued to fall and we have measured 330ml for January or just over 13 inches on the old scale. It has been wonderful but I really hope that the system moves further south so that son and daughter-in-law could also benefit.






Friday, 13 January 2017

Hands Up!

Hands up if you have a tupperware/container drawer that looks like this.......


Actually, it looks kinda organised but believe you me, it's a nightmare trying to find the right lid for the right container.  Now, last year on the Active Camper Facebook page someone posted a photo of these containers.....


I purchased them for the camper, immediately.  They are so handy and because they fold flat they take up very little room in my very small camper cupboard area.  When we were on our recent trip I mentioned to hubby that we should have these at home as well as camping so we ordered them immediately and they were waiting for us in the mail when we arrived home.  This is what they look like when they are opened up....

That is a large mango in front of the containers and it is not a great photo for you to judge size but you will have to believe me when I say that the containers are good sizes.  And the best thing we find about them when we are camping, with just a small fridge, is that as the contents of the container become lesser you can start folding the containers down to a smaller size.  You can't do that with tupperware.  How many times have I decanted from one container to another to make room in my refrigerator.  And the best part is that my container drawer now looks like this.....


My OCD is very satisfied :-)



Thursday, 12 January 2017

Good Intentions

I had intended to blog our holiday while we were away but unfortunately it never eventuated.  I took all the apple orchard with me.....iphone, MacBook, hard drives and a million cables.....and they annoyed me the whole time we were away.  They always seemed to be under my feet when we were in the car!
Our time away, as predicted, was wonderful.  We left on the 20th December and arrived home on the 6th January.  Our new vehicle, with the camper onboard, behaved beautifully.  Philip did all the driving and we were "those" people. You know.  The ones that drive at 90kmh!  But, we did pull over to let other vehicles pass at any opportunity and at the passing lanes we SLOWED DOWN!  Can't say that about a lot of drivers who speed up at the passing lanes.
We didn't leave until after lunch on the first day and made it to our favourite caravan park at Cowley Beach (just below Innisfail).  Once again we almost had the entire place to ourselves.  Unfortunately the fish and chip shop across the road from the park was closed on Tuesdays so we simply settled for drinks and nibblies.

This shark (actually two) were very close to the shore!

Beautiful Cowley Beach

We have always wanted to explore the region behind Mackay so the next night we made it to Pinnacle where we stayed at the park behind the pub.  It is advertised as having powered sites but once we realised that the power comes from the garden shed via a very long lead we elected to go solar for the night.  We ate in the pub as apparently the pie, chips and peas are a "must eat".  The reputation was well deserved.  We were talking to the owner the next day and he says that he sells, on average, 1400 pies a week.  That's a lot of pie making!

The next morning we woke early, packed quickly and made our way to Finch Hatton Gorge.  It was beautiful and not unlike walking through Mossman Gorge.  Philip walked the whole distance to Wheel of Fire (named after the Fire Trees) but I stopped about three quarters of the way at Calestimon crossing and just soaked up the  atmosphere until the tranquility was disturbed by other hikers.


We walked for about an hour before once again hitting the road.  Our next night was at a van park in Rockhampton where we were given the perfect spot right beside the amenities and laundry.  It was also very quiet.  We were guessing that most folks were already at their christmas destination.
Next day was an easy drive to Marc and Suzies place, "Evergreen", at Gundiah. We detoured off the highway and visited Gladstone and Tannum Sands.  Gladstone was a very pleasant surprise.
Gladstone
We had a lovely time with the family and managed to fit in a trip to Maleny/Montville where we explored the numerous shops and did some last minute christmas shopping.  Lunch was at a lovely spot called Brouhaha Brewery where they specialised in making boutique beer.  I'm not a beer drinker but everyone said it was great.
Christmas Day started with Champagne Cocktails with Ham and Eggs and for lunch it was chicken and salad.  Later in the day it was a magnificent platter full of cheeses, fruits, salami and a trillion other things.  It was the perfect christmas day with over an inch of rain falling gently throughout the day.
Boxing Day was spent in and around the Mary River with family and friends.  So much talking with everyone catching up on each others news.
Our camp on the Mary River

Champagne Christmas Breakfast

Storms on Christmas Day.  The best present.
Philip kayaking on the Mary River

Boxing Day at the Mary River
The next day it was back on the road to Toowoomba where we spent the next couple of days with my family.  We caught up with both my sisters and their family and an aunt and uncle who very tragically lost their son (my cousin) just before christmas.




We also meet up with some old friends from Julia Creek who are now living at Leyburn.  It was a talkfest and the time passed all too quickly before we where in the car again and heading to the Sunshine Coast for New Year.
Our Leyburn friends

Our friends showing us their timber mill
We stayed with friends who are ex Julatten and now live at Caloundra in a lovely duplex.  One of the nicest I've ever seen.  Our friends had organised a cruise around Pumicestone Passage for New Years Eve. We all took our own drinks and nibblies and just sat back and watched the world pass us by and at about 9.30 pm we dropped anchor to watch the fireworks.  After the cruise we went back to our friends place and sat around chatting until the clock brought in the new year.
Cruising Pumicestone Passage

Bullcock Beach

New Years Day we were up bright and early to "bag" a good spot for our bbq lunch.  We found the perfect spot beside the boat ramp at Golden Beach.  We didn't have long to wait before hubby's extended family arrived.  Damien brought his speed boat so we spent the morning boating, swimming, kayaking and enjoying each others company over our bbq lunch.  It was the perfect day.
Golden Beach New Years Day

The extended family
The next day, after saying goodbye to our friends, we made our way up the Sunshine Coast and then across to Kin-Kin, Pomona and Cooroy where we enjoyed a lunch of delicious Fish and Chips.
Point Arkwright


We arrived back at our son's place mid afternoon.  Since we left them the day after Boxing day they had numerous guests dropping in so they looked very tired.  But as they said, better than no friends at all!
After Gundiah, our stop the following night was 1770.  It was a very crowded caravan park but it had a friendly atmosphere.  Our walk along the beach the next morning was just what we needed before getting back in the car for another long drive.
1770 - Tinny Heaven
 The following night we found a lovely caravan park at Clareview (between Rockhampton and Sarina).  This little place had it all.  We loaded up the washing machine and while we waited for it to be done we headed to the little bar that was right on the beach. It was lovely and we have posted on Wikicamps that it is worth a stopover.
The rain began falling through the night and when we woke the next morning there were reports of flooding around Mackay so we quickly packed up the camper and hit the road.  Fortunately all the roads were clear and we made it as far as Balgal Beach (just north of Townsville) for our last night.  This was a free park so our expectations were not high, but what a pleasant surprise.  Beautiful grassed shady areas for parking and and another large grassed covered bbq area between where we were camped and the ocean.  There was a stinger net set up with a lifeguard on duty because as you know, we can't swim in the northern waters in summer because of the very dangerous jelly fish.  Across the road from the camping area was a great little restaurant/bar that sold, you guessed it, Fish and Chips! They were, hands down, the best we have ever eaten.  We will remember this place and will come back, if only for the fish and chips.
Beautiful Balgal Beach


Best Ever
This was the last day of our holiday and we have enjoyed every single moment of it.  Home is always wonderful but we are already looking forward to our next glamping adventure.