Saturday, May 29, 2021

Weekend Cooking: What I Baked in May

It's the last Saturday of the month and that means it is time to share what I have baked during the month of May.

This month I tried a couple of different things which I am pleased with. One of those is something that I have had on my "need to try but this intimidates me" list. Having made them once that means I never have to do it again right? Well, except for the fact that they weren't that hard, and they were delicious!

So what did I make

Apple and Berry Crumble -I posted a few weeks ago about making this apple and berry crumble combo.

Chocolate Cream Puffs - Choux pastry!! Yes, I did it, and they were delicious! And not really that hard, so no need to be intimidated. I will confess that I watched lots of videos whilst I pysched myself up to make these. This was the one that I ended up watching the most, even while I was making then. The recipe is actually for Cream Puffs, but I couldn't resist dipping them in chocolate!  We also had some filled with a chocolate cream.

I will confess that I watched lots of videos whilst I pysched myself up to make these. This was the one that I ended up watching the most, even while I was making them.

Burnt Basque Cheesecake -  I don't make that many baked cheesecakes, but I will be making this one, or variations on this one over and over again. It was so easy, and so delicious. You just have to mix all the ingredients together and put it in the oven and let it cool! And that's it. Simple. And very forgiving. The first photo is when it first comes out of the over when it is all puffed up. It then collapses back in on itself, which is what it is meant to do! I will probably share the recipe over the coming weeks. I served this with roasted strawberries. I then had the leftover strawberries with oats for breakfast one morning this week.

Weekly Menu

Saturday: Honey/char siu chicken
Sunday: Bacon and Egg rolls
Monday: Chicken, leek and mushroom pie
Tuesday: Beef stir fry
Wednesday: Pork Nachos
Thursday: Takeaway
Friday: Curry, rice and naan

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Music A to Z: D

Welcome to the week 4 of my Music A to Z feature. Each week on Thursday, I am going to share a song where either the song or the artist name begins with the letter for that week. This week, the letter is....


Don't You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia - I chose to include this song because it is one that I used to listen to and sing along to in the car with my son!

Wagon Wheel by Darius Rucker - This is one of those songs that I have to get up and dance to whenever I hear it! The reason why Darius Rucker makes this list though, is because I would love, love, love to get see Darius Rucker live. I love his songs and his voice, and if he ever comes to Australia, I will be there.

New Rules by Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa is a relatively new artist but I have loved all her songs since I first heard of her. I particularly love the line in the chorus "And if  you're under him, you ain't gettin over him."

Always the Last to Know by Del Amitri - I remember listening to this album over and over again when I was in my early 20s. I also particularly associate this with a friend of mine because we listened to this as we drove aimlessly around the city on many occasions. Funny thing is one day a few years I mentioned this to them and they have no recollection at all of this album.

Feel free to share your D songs in the comments

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Weekend Cooking: Steak and Pepper with options

We have been on the search for our go to beef casserole for a while now. We have tried lots of recipes but there was either not enough flavour, or a bit watery or just okay, but I think that we have finally found the one! We have already made it a couple of times since the weather started turning cooler and we will be making it again for sure! 

The actual recipe title for this is Steak and Pepper Dumpling Pie, but we weren't enamoured by the dumplings when we made it, so since then we have had it with mashed potatoes, with a pastry lid, with soda bread and as an actual pie and all of those options have been delicious! I also think you could quite easily throw some other vegies in to change it up to. It is just a very versatile recipe.

It comes from the slow cooker/pressure cooker that I have posted about before. Nearly everything that we have made from these two cook books has been delicious, with the notable exception of a soup recipe we made early on that was ....not.

Steak and Pepper Casserole

1.2kg (2 1/2 lb) beef chuck steak

12 shallots (300g), unpeeled (we use brown onion)

2 1/2 tbspn olive oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 rindless bacon rashers, (250g) coarsely chopped

2 tspns cracked black pepper

1 tbsn plain (all-purpose) flour

1 cup (250ml) beef stock

2 tbspns tomato paste

400g (12 and a 1/2 ounces) butto mushrooms, halved

Cut beef into 3cm (1 1/4 inch) pieces. Peel shallots leaving root end intact.

Heat half the oil in a 6 litre (24 cup) pressure cooker. Cook beef, in batches, until browned. Remove from cooker.

Heat remaining oilin cooker. Cook garlic and bacon, stirring, until browned. Add pepper and flour. Cook, stirring, for one minute. Return beef to cooker with stock and paste. Secure lid. Bring cooker to hgh pressure. Reduce heat to stabilise pressure (unless using an electric pressure cook which will stabilise itself. Cook for 25 minutes.

Release pressure and remove lid. Add shallots and mushrooms. Secure lid. Bring cooker to high pressure. Reduce heat to stabilise pressure. Cook for 10 minutes.

If making dumpling you can add these at this point and simmer for a further 10 minutes

Weekly Menu

Saturday: Pea and ham soup
Sunday: Cream puffs
Monday: Spanish Tuna Pasta Bake
Tuesday: Steak egg and chips
Wednesday: "Fried" chicken with mash and beans
Thursday: Out for dinner
Friday: Steak and Pepper Pie

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Music A to Z: C

Welcome to the week 3 of my new features Music A to Z. Each week on Thursday, I am going to share a song where either the song or the artist name begins with the letter for that week. This week, the letter is....


The Father, My Son and the Holy Ghost by Craig Morgan

Today I am starting with two songs that make me cry. I can't say that I know a lot of Craig Morgan's music but I have seen this song a number of times, mostly because for about 6 months last year I didn't miss an episode of the Grand Ole Opry. And then, as quickly as I started watching them, I stopped! I have no idea what that is about. Anyway,  Craig Morgan performed this song a couple of times, and then I went looking for it as well, and I cried every time. It is a song about the death of his son. You can see how emotional it is for him regardless of how many times he sings it.

Piece by Piece by Kelly Clarkson - It is actually just this version that make me cry The album version is more uptempo and doesn't affect me as much, but this one, oh my goodness I cry. 

Flame Trees by Cold Chisel

Cold Chisel are a classic Australian band. Maybe iconic is a better word. Funny story, the first time I went to the US we went on a Contiki tour. When the tour guide asked who had bought music with them that could be played on the bus (think either CDs or cassettes - yes I am that old) everyone handed their music forward. She looked through them and then said hold on...has no one got Cold Chisel with them? It turned out this was her first tour in 10 years where no one had bought an album by them!

I chose this song in particular because I like that it is a song that tells a story. I also can't hear this song without thinking about On Jellicoe Road, a book by Australian author Melina Marchetta.

What Would You Do by City High

This is another story song. I really enjoy the back and forth, like a conversation that you can hear between the two people.

Feel free to share your C songs in the comments

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Sunday Salon: Remembering New Orleans through the pages of How to Mend a Broken Heart by Rachael Johns

Last night I finished reading How to Mend a Broken Heart by Rachael John which is set in New Orleans. It just so happens that this time two years ago we were in Tulsa but we had left New Orleans not long before, and I know that Rachael Johns was in New Orleans at the around the same time doing her research trip for this book. We missed each other by a week or so from memory.

Reading this book has been a walk down memory lane, and really interesting to look at the city through the eyes of a fellow visitor at the same time.

Before I start taking about this book, I thought I would talk about why we were in New Orleans. It was partially because New Orleans is one of the places that I always wanted to visit, but the main reason we were there was to meet up with a group of friends who I originally met in the forums on author Sara Donati's website. I am thinking that we have been friends now for at least 17 years. With the demise of forums, we reconvened in a private group on Facebook. Over the years we have celebrated births, marriages, engagements, divorces, trials and triumphs. 

When I went to the US in 2015 I met up with two of these ladies individually, one in San Francisco and I stayed with the other in Phoenix for a couple of days. Fast forward to 2017, and they were organising a girls weekend in Tuscon and we were able plan our US trip so that we spent a couple of days with them. In 2019 it was time for another girls weekend, this time in New Orleans.  We also then decided to choose a Caribbean cruise which left from the city.

Why get together in New Orleans? Because New Orleans. And because the fifth book in the Into the Wilderness series is set there, and by visiting the city we could follow in the authors footsteps and visit some of the places that she visited as part of her research.

We ended up having a day less than originally planned in New Orleans because our flight was cancelled, but we also happened to be there when there was a LOT of raining. There were rainstorms both before and while we were in the city, and the day we got back from our cruise there was flooding all over the city!

There were lot of things that the author wrote about that was very familiar. The humidity that hits you as soon as you land, the architecture and the food. However, there are some other things that we didn't get to see. For example, at one point there was a wedding band marching through the streets. Because of all the rain, we didn't even see many musicians on the street, let alone anything like that. 

I could see many of the places mentioned in the book from Pirates Alley to Jackson Square to sitting on the banks of the Mississippi and visiting Lafayette Cemetery. Of course, there's no way you can write a book set in New Orleans without mentioning getting beignets from Cafe Du Monde, and some of the other food mentioned.... yum! 

I had to laugh when I was talking to my husband about poboys. We had these as the last meal with our friends at a small place where we had to line up for a while to get in. He insisted that I must have done this with my friends because he definitely didn't line up with us and he definitely didn't have poboys and I was Eventually I was able to find a photo that he clearly took and he was like....oh there! Right!

In theory this year, the girls weekend was going to be in the Pacific NW which I was unlikely to have been able to go to, but given that we can't leave the country for at least another year I definitely won't be attending!

What about the book itself?

I am a big fan of Rachael Johns. Even when I wasn't really reading, I would still read her books and thoroughly enjoy them.  This book is not really a sequel to The Art of Keeping Secrets but it is linked to that book. Where the former was a book about a group of friends, who tell each other everything, travelling together to New York and finding out that actually they do keep lots of really big secrets from each other.

The central characters of How to Mend a Broken Heart are taxidermist Felicity Bell and her daughter Zoe. Felicity, known as Flick, has been divorced for four years. Her loved up friends are trying to convince her to start dating again but she isn't ready.  She has tried to stay friends with her ex, supporting her through gender transition, but when she finds out that Sofia is seeing someone new, it is the straw that breaks the camels back.

She answers a cry for help from a taxidermist in New Orleans who needs sometone to look after his shop in the French Quarter. Flick is not normally impulsive, but this is just the chance she needs. It will give her a couple of months away and the space that she needs. And when she meets the delicious barowner next door, she realises that maybe, just maybe, it is time for her to move on from her ex.

What she doesn't expect is that her daughter Zoe will end up joining her after her marriage to her childhood sweetheart breaks down. Zoe is devastated, quits her job in an art gallery, flees to New Orleans and starts out by trying to drink herself into oblivion. And she is a little oblivious to the fact that she is cramping her mother's style.

When Zoe does get back on her feet it is thanks in no small part to her developing relationship with Aurelia Harranibar, an eccentric artist that Zoe literally knocks off her feet. In the end, Miss H, who is clearly inspired by Miss Havisham from Great Expectations, provides Zoe with the opportunities that she needs both to develop personally and in her art.

For me, the addition of the Miss H eleveated this book. She is one of these eccentric characters who everyone knows and yet noone really knows why she is the way she is. There are stories, of course, but whether they are the truth or not is a different story.

It took me a little while to warm to Zoe, and I felt like both Zoe and Flick went full throttle and for Flick,  in particular, it seemed somewhat out of character.

As you can see, this book triggered a lot of memories for me, and I suspect that if I hadn't already been to New Orleans, I would have been adding NO to my list of places to visit. Rachael Johns clearly loves the city, and it shows.  

Rating 4/5

About the book

Summer in New Orleans means hot days, long nights, spooky stories and surprising new beginnings.

Felicity Bell has struggled to move on after her marriage broke down. Her ex has found love again, her children have their own lives, and it’s beginning to feel like her only comfort comes from her dog and her job as a taxidermist. So when Flick gets an offer to work in New Orleans for a few months, she’s drawn to the chance to make a fresh start.

Zoe is ready to start a family with her husband, but when he betrays her, she’s left shattered and desperate for a change of scenery. Joining her mother on the other side of the world to drown her sorrows seems the perfect solution.

Although both mother and daughter are wary of risking their hearts to love again, Theo, a jazz bar owner, and Jack, a local ghost hunter, offer fun, friendship and distraction. But all is not as it seems in New Orleans…

A chance meeting with Aurelia, a reclusive artist who surprises them with lessons from her life, prompts Flick and Zoe to reassess what they want too. Can all three women learn from the past in order to embrace their future?

An uplifting novel about three women joyously learning to move on after heartbreak by the bestselling author of The Patterson Girls and Flying The Nest.

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Weekend Cooking: Food Sayings

We are big Masterchef Australia fans here. It is one thing that we both like to sit down and watch tgoether although by the end of the series, my husband is about ready for it to be done, but by the time the next season is on we will both be looking forward to it again!

This week on Masterchef Australia one of the challenges was called Meet the Brief with the idea that each of the challengers could choose a well known food phrase and come up with a dish that represents the saying.

The three sayings in the show were 

As cool as a cucumber

Bringing home the bacon

The proof is in the pudding

Surprisingly most people chose cool as a cucumber as the saying, and a lot of the contestants chose to make cucumber granita, which I am pretty sure is not something that I imagine I would ever make or even eat!

In our house, it did get us brainstorming about other food sayings. It turns out that there are a lot. Here are some that we thought of or have found

Bun in the oven

Cherry on top

Icing on the cake

Plenty of fish in the sea

The apple of my eye

If life gives you lemons make lemonade

something being a lemon (for example bought a dodgy car)

The cream of the crop

The cat that got the cream

As different as chalk and cheese

Putting all your eggs in one basket

Crying over spilt milk

Easy as pie

Going bananas or  going nuts

Being in a pickle

Being as keen as mustard

Piece of cake

Thats the way the cookie crumble

Take it with a grain of salt

Spiill the beans

Two peas in a pod

I am sure that there are many, many more. Do you have some other examples?

I think if I was going to have to make a recipe related to one of these sayings, it would of course be related to cake! I definitely wouln't want to have to clean up after the cookie crumbled or spilling the beans!

Weekly Menu

Saturday: Kung pao chicken
Sunday: Takeawy
Monday: Lamb chops with Meditteranean vegies
Tuesday: Butter chicken pizza
Wednesday: Mexican chicken and rice
Thursday: Pork chops, mashed potato ang beans
Friday: Pineapple chicken curry with rice

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Music A to Z: B

Welcome to the second week of my new features Music A to Z. Each week on Thursday, I am going to share a song where either the song or the artist name begins with the letter for that week. This week, the letter is....


Brave by Sara Bareilles - I don't know about you but it takes me a long time to decide that it is time to change my ring tone. By extension, that means that I keep my ring tones for years, so much so that if I hear the song I have to think it that might be my phone or not. I had this song as my ringtone for maybe 3 years before I finally changed it to the one I have now....four years ago! Might be time to change it again. Changed it today, to a song that is already two years old but never mind.

Bed of Roses by Bon Jovi -  I have seen Bon Jovi in  concert several times over the year. The first time was back in Adelaide in the early 90s and then a couple of times at stadium tours. That would be enough to share a Bon Jovi song, but it just so happens that this song contains one of my favourite lines ever at the beginning of the third verse.

With an ironclad fist
I wake up and french kiss the morning

Bed of Lies by Nicki Minaj - I wouldn't call myself a Nicki Minaj fan really, but I do like clever song lyrics, and this song contains one that I think is pretty clever

So does she know I've been in that bed before
A thousand count, and not a single thread of truth

Bye, Bye, Bye by N'Sync - The next two songs are actually songs that were my son's favourites when he was little, around 18 months to 2 years old. I can't tell you how many times we would listen to the CD single of this song - over and over and over again.

Believe by Cher - His first obsession when he was even younger was the video for this song. If it came on MTV it would literally stop him in his tracks, and then he would continue on his way to do whatever he was busy doing. I think it must be the flashing lights!

Feel free to share some of your B songs in the comments!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss

When we first meet Wagadhaany (pronounced wogga-dine), she is a young girl who is accompanying her father as he talks to the recently arrived white men who want to build a house near the river in the new town of Gundagai. Her father is trying to warn them that this is not the place to build because the river will flood but they do not want to listen to the indigenous people.

Fast forward several years and Wagadhaany and her father are both working for (or enslaved by) the white men, the Bradley family. She is working in the house, where they call her Wilma, and her father is a stockman. When tragedy strikes the town, many people are drowned when the river floods. Wagadhaany survives, thanks to her heroic father, and she hopes that with the death of Mr and Mrs Bradley and two of their sons, she will be allowed to return to live with her family, which is all she wants.

Unfortunately, the two remaining sons of the family have other ideas. After James Bradley marries a young Quaker widow, Louise, the young couple and his brother, David, decide to make a new start in another river town, Wagga Wagga. Whilst Louise likes to think that she is becoming Wagadhaany's friend, she still insists that she can't do without the young Wiradjuri woman and so she is torn even further away from her family and her land. 

This separation from all that she knows really affects Wagadhaany, and it is only when she meets the talented young stockman, Yindy, that she feels happiness, gradually being accepted into his family group. And yet, in this as in every regard of her life, she is at the whim of the Bradleys, having to ask for permission to be able to marry. Even then her own family and her own lands call her back. And the mighty river has yet more in store for her and her family.

I had previously read one of Anita Heiss' previous novels, Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but with this book she has gone to the next level. Not only is the title in the Wiradyuri language (it translates to River of Dreams), the text is full of the indigenous language of the nation that the author is a proud member of. That, in itself, is an interesting story as the language had practically died out until being reconstructed over the last 20 years or so and is now taught in the schools in the traditional lands. Heiss uses the language throughout, but it is easy to understand in context, and there is also an index in the book if it is required.

For all that this is a story from Wagadhaany's perspective, as the world around her rapidly changes due to colonisation, many of the personal themes that are explored are universal. The importance of family, culture, loss and identity are both personal and universal.

This book is based on the true story of the flooding of Gundagai in 1852. There is now a memorial in the town to the heroism of the Wiradyuri men who saved many people during these terrible events. I think we are heading up that way in the next few months, so I hope to visit the memorial on my way past. Part of that trip will also take us to Cowra, close to where Barbed Wire and Cherry Blossoms is set. 

I deliberately started reading this book whilst I was at Uluru a few weeks ago but, in the end, I didn't finish it until we were on the way home. This was for a couple of reasons. Firstly, we were busy and needed several afternoon naps after our activities which impeded on reading time. The other reason was because I felt a bit uncomfortable being in the red centre of Australia and reading about the flooding in a completely different area of the country. I think at least part of the reason is because I realised that to think that I am reading an indigenous story at a place like Uluru is all well and good, but the reality is that it is like saying I am visiting Madrid so I am going to read a book set in Paris which doesn't necessarily make sense as a deliberate decision.  There are completely different traditions, languages and cultures from the Ananju people who live in the region around Uluru and the Wiradyuri people who feature in this book. I am, however, glad that my trip prompted me to pick this book up earlier than I otherwise might have done.

In closing, I feel it is only right to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people whose land I live on.

I enjoyed this book and I hope that others will do to. Over the next couple of weeks I have some passages bookmarked to share which hopefully entice others to read it.

Rating 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the review copy

About the book


Gundagai, 1852
The powerful Murrumbidgee River surges through town leaving death and destruction in its wake. It is a stark reminder that while the river can give life, it can just as easily take it away.

Wagadhaany is one of the lucky ones. She survives. But is her life now better than the fate she escaped? Forced to move away from her miyagan, she walks through each day with no trace of dance in her step, her broken heart forever calling her back home to Gundagai.

When she meets Wiradyuri stockman Yindyamarra, Wagadhaany’s heart slowly begins to heal. But still, she dreams of a better life, away from the degradation of being owned. She longs to set out along the river of her ancestors, in search of lost family and country. Can she find the courage to defy the White man’s law? And if she does, will it bring hope ... or heartache?

Set on timeless Wiradyuri country, where the life-giving waters of the rivers can make or break dreams, and based on devastating true events, Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray (River of Dreams) is an epic story of love, loss and belonging.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: Books with nature on the cover





Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's theme is Books with nature on the cover. A month or so ago, I did a post which featured lots of water on the covers. It surprised me to see that I actually only reused one of those covers, and yet, I still have several more watery covers to share this week.

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen - I thought I would start with a garden which instantly brings me to Garden Spells

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert - I love the cover on this book, and I was really surprised when I read it as I wasn't sure what to expect.

Last Bridge Before Home by Lily Malone - There are so many rural romances that I could have featured, but I decided to echo the river scene in these two choices.

Virgin River by Robyn Carr - The reality is that I could have picked just about any book from the Virgin River series. One day I would love to visit the area where these books are set.

The Survivors by Jane Harper - My next two choices are both Australian authors, both with ocean scenes. This first one though is the wild sea.

Tiny White Lies by Fiona Palmer - And this is the calmer sea.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - I think there's a certain synergy between these two covers even though they are completely different types of water.

Bila Yarraghanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss - This is my repeat cover, mainly because I need to hurry up and finish writing the review for this book.

The Burial by Courtney Collins - The covers for these two remind me of the time we spent looking at the stars at Uluru a month or so ago.

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes - Sirius I think?

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Weekend Cooking: Crimble Crumble

A couple of years ago, someone recommended a British comedy series to us called Friday Night Dinners. The premise of the series is that a Jewish family consisting of mum Jackie, dad Martin and two sons Adam and Johnny Goodman comes together for dinner every Friday night.

What ensues is a series of disasters, shenanigans and practical jokes. Martin, played by Paul Ritter, has a tendency to mishearing leading to plenty of misunderstandings and social awkwardness. He also seems to constantly be having some kind of hot flash leading to him offering stripping off. Jackie has a lot on her plate with Martin as he constantly gets into all sorts of scrapes and tries to hide his predicament from her. She is also very houseproud,  something that is difficult to maintain when you are married to a man like Martin.

The boys are practical jokes, from small pranks like putting salt in each other's water, to more elaborate pranks. They also need to hide any evidence of their love life from their parents, as Jackie is desperate for them to pair up. Martin, on the other hand, talks to them about their females. Martin has a number of catchphrases, including saying "a lovely bit of squirrel" and one that I have started to hear a bit around my house on occasion "shit, shit, shit on it".

During the course of the series, assorted family members and friends appear, but, of course, we can't forget about Jim the next door neighbour. he is desperate to be friends with the family rather than just the neighbour, and to learn their Jewish customs. He also happens to hold special feelings for Jackie. He also owns a dog named Wilson who he is absolutely terrified of.

I was very sad to hear  of the death of Paul Ritter who played Martin. Feels like a good place to end the series. They haven't said that it is, but I can't imagine that they will make more without him.

Given that the whole series revolves around Friday night dinners, there are plenty of foody related moments, but today I am focussing on one of the highlights of every week's dinner, being crimble crumble.

I was very sad to hear  of the death of Paul Ritter who played Martin recently. Feels like a good place to end the series. They haven't said that it is, but I can't imagine that they will make more without him.

If you like British humour, then maybe give Friday Night Dinner a go

In honour of Friday Night Dinner, I thought I would make crimble crumble. I have shared a recipe for apple and custard crumble before, so I wanted something a little different.  I happened to be looking through the slow/pressure cooker cookbook I have shared some recipes from previously when I saw this recipe for Apple Berry and Ginger Crumble. Given that we seem to be eating quite a lot of ginger recipes recently I had to give it a go. In the recipe you pressure cook the fruit for 8 minutes, and I have to admit I couldn't be bothered getting the pressuure cooker out, so I kind of adapted it. I also changed the topping, which was full of nuts because I have to make allowances for allergies in my house. In fact, I also changed the filling because I didn't have all the ingredients, so rather than giving an actual recipe, it is more guidelines. I don't tend to do this with recipes. As a rule, I tend to follow a recipe to the letter!

For the crumble, I used a mixture of flour, melted butter, rolled oats and chopped crystallised ginger which I mixed together until it resembled a crumble topping.

For the fruit portion, I used a combination of 4 apples (cut into 1.5cm slices) and then a couple of cups of frozen berries. I mixed this with caster (superfine) sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla paste and a teaspoon of ground ginger. I did cook the fruit for a few minutes in a saucepoon before topped it with the crumble mix and put it into a preheated oven for 15 minutes or so until the crumble mixture was golden.

So not quite a recipe, more an idea of a recipe

Weekly Menu

Saturday: Out for dinner 
Sunday: Chicken kiev tray bake
Monday: Leftover chicken kiev tray bake
Tuesday: Chicken Enchiladas with pickled jalapeno and red onion. 
Thursday: Carnitas tacos with charred corn and zucchini salad
Friday: Takeaway

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Music A to Z: A

Welcome to the first week of my new features Music A to Z. Each week on Thursday, I am going to share a song where either the song or the artist name begins with the letter for that week. This week, the letter is....


And We Danced by The Hooters

It is a coincidence that one of my all time favourite song starts with an A so it seems like a really good place to start. I would suggest that All You Zombies is probably a more well known song by The Hooters but this one makes me want to get up and dance or at the very least sing a long!

Am I Wrong by Nico and Vinz

I loved this song from the first time I heard it. I loved the mix of dance and African influences.

Run to You by Bryan Adams

I can't tell you how many times I played Bryan Adams So Far So Good best of album back in the day. Whilst it would be obvious to choose Summer of 69 as a favourite (I do singalong to it) but I am sharing Run To You instead.

Never Ever by All Saints

And to finish we have a song which I wouldn't necessarily have called a favourite although I do sing a long when I hear it. It does have a line that is very relevant, and that is that alphabet goes right from A to Z

Feel free to share some of your A songs in the comments!

Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: My Ten Most Recent Reads




Welcome to this week's edition of Top Ten Tuesday which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week's theme is Ten Most Recent Reads. 

Snowy Mountains Daughter by Alissa Callen - The first in a series and my first read from this author! Lucky I have lots of back list to explore. (review here)

 A New York Secret by Ella Carey - This is the first in a trilogy. Looking forward to reading the next one (review here)

Sweetheart by Sarah Mayberry - Sarah Mayberry is one of my favourite Australian contemporary romance authors. (review here)

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn - This is definitely going to be on  my list of best books for this year. (review here)

Secrets of the Railway Girls by Maisie Thomas - The third book in the Railway Girls series (review here)

Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray by Anita Heiss - I really enjoyed this book. I will be posting a review shortly!

The Love She Finds by Maggie Christensen -  This is the fourth book in the Granite Springs series which features older couples finding their happy ever after. I have read all four this year, and still have 3 to read!

The Railway Girls in Love by Maisie Thomas - Before you can read the third book in a series, you need to read the second right? (review here)

The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley - I have been listening to this on audio all year. because I just  don't have my audiobook time any more. I finally finished it, just in time for the last book in the series to be released.

The Warsaw Orphan by Kelly Rimmer - This will also make it to my top reads of 2021. 

I am really, really surprised at how many of these I have reviewed already. Now, I just need to write the other couple!

Monday, May 03, 2021

This week....

I'm reading

I finally, finally finished listening to The Sun Sister by Lucinda Riley, just in time for the final book in The Seven Sisters series to be released at the end of this month.

I did start listening to The Jam Queens by Josephine Moon which at around 10 hours in listening time feels a lot more manageable than the 27 hours for The Sun Sister so hopefully it won't take me months to listen to it. As might be expected, there is lots of jam talk in this book, including a mention of a cocktail called Jam-tini. I might need to explore this or some of the other food and drink mentions in future Weekend Cooking posts.

I am reading The Dressmakers of Yarrandarrah Prison by Meredith Jaffe, which I am very much enjoying so far!I am havingto readitviathe Netgalley app on my phone which isn't my favourite way to read. It is a PDF which means I can't make the font big. Lucky it's very engaging so I am getting through it. I am looking forward to going back to the Kindle or paper book for the next book.

I'm watching

We haven't really watched anything other than our normal shows like Masterchef and Great British Bake Off.


After building up to it for a while, we started our ensuite bathroom reno this weekend.  So far, it has been gutted, and now the tiles are on the wall, just need to get the shower, the basin and the toilet in. It looks very different. I should have before and after photos next week.

On the blog, I announced a new music based feature which I will kick off on Thursday. The idea is that each week I will share some songs based on the letter of the alphabet for that week.   To give you a taster, if my theme was days of the week instead of letters, my song for today may well be.....

Posts from the last week

Tuning up for Music A-Z
Weekend Cooking: A Trifle in Music

I've linked this post to It's Monday, what are you reading? as hosted by Book Date


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