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    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    A Celebration Lunch No Not Coronation Chicken but Anniversary Prawn Salad

     Our friends the Heinzies have left us, we had several lovely days, even lived through the Cyclone Wilma which really was only rain, (and plenty of that for us) we missed the wind, thank goodness.
    Of course it is a beautiful day
    Mr Heinz driving the boat
    Mr Dale preparing for landing
    It was fun to have them with us and now we are back to Darby and Joan.
    BUT we did celebrate a Wedding Anniversary not a significant one but its a long time
    Popped some Bubbly and I made a delicious Prawn and Potato Salad

    Very simple but so so good.
    I used a couple of different ingredients but they can be substituted quite easily
    I love using the vinegar from the gherkin bottle, it has all those extra flavours and also love the Japanese Mayonnaise, which is on the Supermarket shelves. But you could use white wine vinegar and ordinary Mayo. Not compulsory
    2 medium potatoes
    Handful of Chives
    2 tbs chopped sweet gherkins
    2-3 tbs Gherkin Vinegar
    Sea salt and Freshly ground black pepper
    12 prawns
    2 tbs olive oil
    1 clove garlic finely chopped

    Sea salt and Black pepper
    Pinch chili flakes
    Zest of 1 small lemon

    2 hard boiled eggs quartered
    2 medium tomatoes quartered and seeds removed
    Japanese Mayonnaise about 3 tbs
    Salad leaves
    Basil for garnish

    Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes
    Bring to boil till just tender
    Drain and while still hot, toss with gherkin vinegar, gherkins and chives
    Toss the prawns in oil, garlic, salt and pepper and chili flakes
    Roast for 6 minutes in a 200C oven
    Add lemon zest and cool

    Meanwhile cook eggs and prepare tomatoes

    Add Mayo to potato mix (you just want enough, to coat the vege)
    Toss gently
    Add prawns complete with juices and oil

    To assemble
    Make a bed of salad greens
    Add prawn and potato salad
    Decorate with tomatoes and eggs
    Throw a few Basil leaves on top

    A nice crisp white wine is a great accompaniment 
    Next blog Cows on the move and Fab Pizzas

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    And The Rains Came Down- But we had Excellent Bread

    Whangaroa not so pretty today. The promised Cyclone came and has now passed over us. Still blowing a bit but the rain has gone. 24 hours of persistent rain.
    Thursday it looked like this
    Ms Mary chopping chopping for our Frittata lunch
    That was Thursday
    This is Friday
    Time for soup and bread. It was still a warm day but pretty miserable.

    I made a simple Tomato and Bean Soup
    2 tbs Olive oil
    1 onion chopped
    Leftover steak chopped into tiny piece
    Can tomatoes
    Stock cubes dissolved in a can of water
    Can of Cannelini Beans drained
    Parsley finely chopped
    Basil leaves torn

    Heat oil in pan
    Add onion and garlic
    Cook till soft not brown
    Add steak
    Season S & P
    Add tomatoes break up
    Add stock dissolved in water
    Bring to boil and simmer for about 15 minutes
    Add beans and parsley
    Simmer another 15 minutes

    Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
    Serve with basil leaves torn over the top.
    I have been making pizza bread for ages and have a very simple recipe
    I decided to use the same recipe and make some Foccacio style bread
    The difference was extra time in kneading and rising.
    Gave it 3 rises
    The result Very Excellent bread

    2 cups High Grade flour
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp sugar
    1 sachet dried yeast
    Slug of olive oil
    around 200 mls hand hot water

    Put your flour in a bowl
    add the salt sugar yeast and oil

    Just place them around the bowl. salt can kill yeast so keep them separate till its time to mix.
    Add most of the water, the idea is to have a wettish dough but not sticky
    Below... too dry add more water just a little at a time
    Easier to add flour than water, When dough leaves the sides of the bowl
    Knead until it form a nice ball about 5 minutes
    Oil the bowl, Place the dough back in toss around till it is coated in oil
    Leave about 45-50 minute still doubled in size
    Roll out to a rectangle shape and place into a tin, already oiled

    Leave about another 20- 30 minutes
    With your fingers make dimples in the dough
    drizzle with good olive oil
    I sprinkle with salt or you could put some olives in the holes or maybe rosemary and garlic
    On this occasion...plain
    Leave it to rise another 10 minutes while you heat you oven.
    My old oven on the boat is a bit temperamental
    It is either hot or not
    The bread takes about 15 minutes in this oven
    Leave it to rise another 10 minutes while you heat you oven.
    My old oven on the boat is a bit temperamental
    It is either hot or not

    The bread takes about 15 minutes in this oven
    We woke up this morning to a muddy bay. It looks like horrible
    Looking like The River Plate In Argentina
    We want to look like this
    Much nicer for swimming etc

    Sunday, January 23, 2011

    Jimmy Buffett, Sydney Opera House- A Stunning Concert

    Santa brought for Dale and myself tickets to the Jimmy Buffet concert in the Sydney Opera House 23rd January 2011.

    He is a hero of ours and countless others. He has a lifestyle you could only dream of. Boats, Tequila, Planes, Music and FUN. We first saw him at The Mandalay over 20 years ago. There was a crowd of us. You bought a table and as with Jimmy's Concerts, it is obligatory to drink while you watch. I was a Jimmy Novice at that time but by the end of the performance... was in love. What fun, we were all up dancing. A friend of ours a Radio Host who shall remain nameless, was last seen dancing on his chair. A couple of years later, the same Radio Host was with us in New Orleans at the River Tent once again dancing and drinking to Jimmy and his Coral Reef Band. So we have a history with Jimmy.

    We met at the Opera Bar with our friends Stu and Yvonne
    The fans were gathering

    From the moment after the Opening Act finished, she was good,
     the promoter Michael Chugg announced Jimmy doesn't want to keep you waiting people. Only a 10 minute break just enough time to refresh your glasses Ladies and Gentlemen.
    The Crowd went wild.
    Beach balls appeared and were tossed around the concert hall. Don't think the Opera House sees many of these nights!
    Around us brightly dressed Parrot heads, (The affectionate  name for Jimmy's fans).
     Already everyone was ready. Of course Jimmy's philosophy is Party Party Party, Fun Fun Fun and his fans all know about that. of course the average age is up there... as Jimmy says
    "I'm growing older but not up
    My metabolic rate is pleasantly stuck
    Let those winds of time blow over my head
    Id rather die while I'm living than live while I'm dead"

    And we of the older persuasion, are with him.
    By the way there were children and young people there but basically Jimmy's main fans are growing Older but Not Up!
    The man came on solo and opened with "Changes in Latitudes"
     and the pace never stopped.
    The band were sensational.
    Jimmy is a prolific song writer and is responsible for some beautful ballads.
    'Come Monday', "He Went to Paris", and the nostalgic "The Captain and The Kid",
    Its not all Beer and Skittles...He's a storyteller and Troubadour really.
    It is great to see an artist who is having so much fun. He didn't stop smiling for the whole 2 1/2 hours they were on the stage.

    If you have never heard Jimmy Buffet, put him on your wish list.
    The song that started it all

    Nibblin on sponge cake
    Watchin the sun bake
    All of those tourists covered with oil
    Strummin my six-string
    On my front porch swing
    Smell those shrimp they're beginnin to boil

    Wastin away again in margaritaville
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
    But I know it's nobodys fault

    I don't know the reason
    I stayed here all season
    Nothin to show but this brand new tattoo
    But it's a real beauty
    A mexican cutie
    How it got here I haven't a clue

    Wastin away again in margaritaville
    Searchin for my lost shaker of salt
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
    Now I think
    Hell, it could be my fault

    I blew out my flip-flop
    Stepped on a pop-top
    Cut my heel had to cruise on back home
    But there's booze in the blender
    And soon it will render
    That frozen concoction that helps me hang on

    Wastin away again in margaritaville
    Searching for my lost shaker of salt
    Some people claim that there's a woman to blame
    But I know it's my own damn fault
    Yes and some people claim that there's a woman to blame
    And I know it's my own damn fault
    And a huge Favourite "Cheeseburger in Paradise"
    If you can see this those fans are wearing Cheeseburger Hats

    Thank you Jimmy we love you.
    To top off an excellent evening, we went to Golden Century Seafood Chinese Restaurant.
    Talk about fresh.
    Above Salt and Pepper Mud Crab
    Look at these Alaskan King Crabs
    And the white version
    It's a busy restaurant...took this when we left about 1.15 am

    All go. A Great Night thanks to Santa, Stu, Yvonne and Jimmy.

    Thursday, January 20, 2011

    Sydney - A Wedding and Fabulous Manly

    We have been coming to Sydney regularly, for decades...My first visit 1963 on a cruise ship. In the 70's, we thought it was very smart to stay close to Double Bay, Great shopping...
    then we moved to Kings Cross, in the 80's staying at the wonderful trendy Sebel Town house. One of the most fun hotels anywhere. Who remembers the House Bar?
    We graduated to Mosman in the 90's, where our friends Debbie and David had a place, right overlooking the Ferry, we loved that, sitting on the balcony watching Sydneysiders going about their business. They moved. But as luck would have it our Friends Yvonne and Stu returned to Sydney and provided our next Hotel, just a bit further up the road, still in Mosman. Lovely, almost on the main road.
    This visit, which is for the Wedding of Debbie's daughter Summer, to Christopher, our accommodation, supplied by Erin and Milton is overlooking the water in Manly. This is fantastic. The Ferries come and go every 15 minutes or so and as I write the Australian Navy, well...a little bit of it... is entering the Harbour.
    This is a magnificent view
    I just adore it.
    The wedding was held on Shelly Bay Beach, around the other side of Manly. It's a sheltered Bay, on the Surf side. Just walk a couple of hundred metres and there is the Surf Beach.
     Isn't that amazing?
    Just having the best time.
    My better half... waiting for the ceremony to start. 
    The wedding was beautiful. A young couple, looking gorgeous and enormously happy.
    Summer was like a little girl, opening her Christmas presents.
    Here she comes on David's arm
    Let's forget all the tragedies going on around the world, for a short while and embrace happiness and love.
    Congratulations... Summer and Chris. A proud moment for all.
    And now some pictures of Manly, our side.
    The postie came to deliver a registered letter for Milton. She's a goer... it was too hard for me to get out of the security gate, so she walked down to the walkway and I signed for it there.
    There she goes, back up the path. Go Postie.
    Just keep on walking and there is a beach AND a sea pool. Great fun.
    Can't get much better than this.