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.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Love is in the air....

Last week the rest of the world celebrated Valentines Day.  We only give it a passing thought as we try and celebrate our love for each other every day.  However we did break out the pink champagne and sat outside to watch the sun go down on Valentines Day.

On the weekend we very belatedly celebrated a friends 60th birthday.  We were overseas for his party in October and we apparently missed out on a wonderful night (insert sad face!).  We decided that we should do something special for a 60th birthday present so we booked a two bedroom apartment at Coconut Grove in Port Douglas and made dinner reservations at Nautilus Restaurant.
Coconut Grove is an apartment block that we have had our eye on for a potential place to live out our retirement years but it's not to be as we found out. Although you can own an apartment in the complex you can only live in it a maximum of three months per year!
It was the right choice to stay here because we could really get a feel for the place and I must admit I wouldn't want to live here.  There is so much wasted space!  Although there was a magnificent outdoor area that included a spa and pool, you couldn't relax here because the  apartments above looked right down on to the area.



There were also large cracks in the cement work that could only mean structurally there were flaws.  But, having said all that, the rooms were very comfortable and it was lovely to find a cheese platter waiting for us in the refrigerator.  Just the thing to have with our Bolinger!
Our dinner reservation was for 7.15pm and it is a short walk from Coconut Grove to Nautilus.  Nautilus is an old favourite of ours.  It was the first restaurant we had ever eaten at in Port Douglas, about 30 year ago.  Nautilus has been operating for over 60 years.  You can read about the history here.  It has won many awards over the years and continues to please it's patrons with some very delicious food.  Our choice for dinner was the five course degustation with matching wines and it was a great choice.  We started with cold smoked mackerel, followed by scallops and pork belly.  Next came the Jungle Curry consisting of a variety of delicious seafood.  To follow this was the lamb cutlet with seasonal vegetables and last but not least was the Pineapple Bombe Alaska.


It was a lovely night and the conversation flowed beautifully with the help of all that wonderful wine!  As we left the restaurant there was talk of continuing the night at the IronBar but really we were all a little worse for wear....some a little more than others....yes I'm looking at you DH!  So it was back to Coconut Grove where everyone voted to head straight to bed!  There is something about that 60 year mark that makes us think a little more about how we will feel the next day if we party too much.  Hahhhaaa!
Next morning we all headed to Betty's Bohemian Beach Cafe for breakfast.  Some of us had a healthy breakfast while the rest of us feasted on all that delicious bacon.





By the time we finished breakfast it was almost 10 am and we had to be out of the apartment by 10am so it was a quick dash upstairs to quickly pack our suitcases and say goodbye to our friends who we don't see nearly often enough.  But isn't that what makes a great friendship....

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

It's all about the food....again!

I still have copious amounts of lemons and passionfruit.  I have given away as many as I possibly can but still the fruit bowl groans under the weight of all that fruit.  I have also frozen as much as I possibly can but honestly, I don't like the frozen product as much as the fresh.  So I am forever google searching for ideas.  I came across a recipe for lemonade yesterday that was infused with ginger.  It is so bloody delicious and refreshing.  Just the thing for the warmer weather.



I also found a recipe for Passionfruit Curd that uses 11 passionfruit!  Tick!  It comes from one of my favourite chefs....Nigella.  It made quite a large batch so I was able to give some to my gardener who so carefully tends to all my passionfruit vines.


Something else I stumbled on was a recipe for Avocado Pesto tossed over zucchini noodles and a few tomatoes thrown in for good measure.  It is the perfect meal for my 5:2 fasting day as it comes in at just under 300 calories.  Needless to say it is delicious and also a way to use up some of the avocados that are now ready to be picked.


Now I just have to find some recipes using  BANANAS!  We have three bunches all ripening at the same time!



Saturday, 11 February 2017

Picking up an old hobby

For many years I was a scrapbooker.  Actually I started scrapbooking soon after we lost our eldest son.  Although I could never bring myself to do a full album of photos of our son, I put together lots of albums of family photos.  I found that when I was scrapbooking I could retreat into my own world, and not have to think about anything.  It was very therapeutic.  But over the last couple of years and many dozens of albums later I gave up the hobby.  It dawned on me that even though I enjoyed the scrapbooking, I had no idea how I was going to store all these albums when we eventually moved into a smaller dwelling.  Plus, who really wants to look at albums that are essentially, now,  about the holidays we have taken and the places we have visited.  I certainly couldn't see my youngest son wanting them :-)
However last month when I was reading my friend Tania's blog, she showed us the Heidi Swapp Travel Journal. You can read about it here.  I was intrigued.  It was a very easy way of scrapbooking and right up my alley because it allowed me plenty of room to journal. I also love the fact that it is A5 and also has room for one photo although you could certainly add more if you wished.
My subject was our recent Christmas/New year holiday and I certainly had plenty to write about.  We saw and did so many interesting things.  It has been wonderful to sit in my lovely scrapbooking room and once again engross myself in the craft.  I now only have two more pages to complete and I'm dragging my heels because I don't want to finish something I have enjoyed so much.  I have just ordered a Heidi Swapp 2017 planner and I'm going to see how that goes but it looks like I'm back into the scrapbooking again and, damn it, I will just have to find more storage space for my albums!






Wednesday, 1 February 2017

I love leftovers....

We had friends for lunch on Saturday and I cooked up more food than I needed, BUT,  I love leftovers as it gives me meals for the rest of the week.  My menu on Saturday was this:
  • Hummus with chorizo topping served with crudités
  • Roast Lamb
  • Jacket Potatoes
  • Braised Beef Cannelloni with mushroom sauce
  • Chicken Pasta
  • Tossed Green Salad
  • Homemade bread
  • Fruit Salad and Passionfruit Parfait
Sunday we simply re-heated the leftovers.  I had the cannelloni with leftover salad and Philip had the Chicken Pasta.  Monday we had the same only we swapped over.  Tuesday the lamb went into fritters with the salad that was still very good.  Today the leftover potato, chicken and vegetables from pasta, leftover chorizo crumble, leftover crudités (chopped small) all went into a frittata that I had with the leftover salad (it is now finished).  Each day we have also finished our main meal with a bowl of fruit salad and parfait and that is now also done and dusted.
So, who wouldn't love leftovers!

Leftovers Frittata