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    Saturday, September 01, 2007

    Sunshine Coast in the Spring

    We have left the messy house and we are staying with our friends the Taymacs
    John and JT
    who have bought a Winter house in the winterless north. Queensland Australia.

    It was a painless trip getting here. An early rising but that’s OK with me.

    Dan kindly took us to the airport.
    Checking in with the Koru Club was simple as and the check in lady kindly found a row where she could block the middle seat so we could have some extra space.
    Didn’t hit the Sparkling wine in the lounge (it was a little early even for me,) but there was a nice little breakfast laid out for us.
    Onto the plane, the 777 very spacious which is such a nice change.
    Hopefully all the fleet will be like this from now on.

    It’s not so hard traveling at the back of the bus when one is comfortable.

    I have to say I do belong up front though...but the budget has changed over the years!!!!
    C'est la Vie.
    Lunch En Route

    I chose the little steak pie, it was pleasant fodder and
    Dale got his Vegan option which appeared to be a mingy salad.
    No carbs...Wouldn't want to be starving. But he didn't seem to mind.
    When you choose the Vegan option you get fed first. So there is some privileges!!!

    The Kapiti Cheese Shop produces excellent cheese in New Zealand and also a great ice cream range.

    Black Doris Plum ice cream for pudding. Tasty little finish.

    Picked up a shuttle service from the airport to our destination
    Coolum Beach on The Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia.

    We are lucky only a couple of days ago there was a huge tropical storm...roads have been closed they even closed the golf course for a day.
    But now it is fine, sunny and very pleasant.

    The apartment is right on the main drag of Coolum Beach and you just need to walk out the door and there is restaurants, bars, beach across the road.
    We had a late lunch (sandwiches) at The Coffee Club and in fact we double dipped and ate dinner there as well.
    Simple food…cafĂ© food.

    For dinner I had steak the others ate Barrimundi Australia’s most famous fish.
    Home just in time for Australian Idol. It is the semi finals and the home audience are the judges. We will find out tomorrow if we are right.

    Lots of shouting and disagreements with the judges.

    A bit exhausting really. Time for bed.

    Trip to Noosa Beach. Now I now why everybody raves about this place it is lovely.

    We had an excellent lunch at Season on the beachfront.
    It was an interesting menu and boringly I chose fish and chips I can’t resist it… but I made the right choice it was superb.

    JT had prawn dumplings in a broth with a little herb salad.
    John had a wonderful looking Crab risotto with prawns and
    Dale ate Atlantic Salmon fish cakes.
    All washed down with a NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

    Good shops we all bought something.
    Home for a quick rest then
    Wine at 5,

    Earlyish dinner at home, a bit sick of restuarants.
    We went shopping for food.
    I bought NZ Hapuka/Grouper which was so good looking
    (once again the best fish is obviously exported.)
    and baked it on Golden Potatoes.
    This is very simple and quick.

    Fish and Potato Bake
    1 potato per person peeled and sliced into 1 cm slices
    Rice bran oil
    S & P
    White fish of choice 200 gms per person cut into large bite size pieces
    1 tube Gourmet Garden coriander paste
    Heat oven 200C

    Toss potato slices in a little oil and season with salt and pepper.
    We didn’t have a baking dish so I made a little foil container and it worked well.
    No washing up!!!

    Bake about 15 -20 minutes till golden
    Season fish with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Remove potatoes from oven
    Place fish on top and generously spread the coriander paste over each piece.
    Bake another 8 minutes
    Let rest for a couple of minutes.

    We served this with a delicious salad inspired by Chef Michael Smith

    Watermelon and Basil Salad
    Couldn’t be simpler.

    1 large piece of watermelon peeled and cubed
    Handful basil leaves finely sliced
    extra virgin olive oil
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Dash lime/lemon juice

    Just before serving season watermelon with a little S & P
    Sprinkle with finely sliced basil
    Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
    Just a touch of either lime or lemon juice.
    This was the first dinner eaten at the Winter House dining table

    So after this we plonked down in front of TV in time for Australian Idol.

    Yes we had picked the winning contestants last night.
    Here we go again. Let's see how good we are tonight

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