Monday 22 June 2015

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

This was my first ever attempt at a Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding.  I started strong.  I had measured up the dry ingredients (all sifted).  Carefully placed pudding and sauce mix into bags ready to go.  Believing this would make life so much easier when I wanted to complete the process later in the day.

Late afternoon, I placed all the pudding dry ingredients into a bowl.  Then added the lightly beaten egg, milk and softened butter.

As I whisked away I was thinking................’this is terribly sloppy for a cake mix’.  

Ummmm........  she sighs as she reaches for her glasses and re-reads the recipe,  which clearly states ¼ cup of milk.... NOT  1 ¼ cups of milk L  This called for a panic reaction, which led to random additions of SR flour, brown sugar, cocoa (all unsifted), more butter (moderately softened) and another egg (not lightly beaten).

I have no idea how much I added.  I just kept adding until the consistency started to look about right.

Needless to say... after pulling the camp oven lid off and ravenously trialing this simple but beautiful dish it was unanimously decided it was DELICIOUS AND A RIP ROARING SUCCESS J

Obviously a lot to be said for random additions or fluking it J

Tip:  This was cooked on gas top cooker in the camp oven.  Pudding was elevated on a trivet.  I cooked it for approximately 40 minutes on low to medium heat.  No top heat was required to get this lovely dish to work.

Meatballs in Rich Tomato Sauce served with Spaghetti

20 mins to prepare (from scratch)
1/2 hr - 40 mins simmer
Serves 4 adults

  • 500 gram mince (any)
  • 1/2 brown onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup of parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of basil (chopped)
  • 1 sachet of tomato paste
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • Paprika
  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • 1/2 brown onion (diced)
  • 1 clove garlic (crushed)
  • 1/4 cup of parsley (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup of basil (chopped)
  • Paprika
  • Salt & pepper to your taste

  • Start with 2 bowls.
  • Chop up parsley, basil, onion and garlic. Place half in each bowl.
  • Add the remaining meatball ingredients to one bowl and sauce ingredients to the other bowl.
  • Squish the meatball ingredients through your fingers until all the egg, flour and other ingredients are all evenly mixed.
  • Roll meat into small balls. Approximately the size of your of your centre palm.
  • Pre heat your pan, add a little olive oil. Lightly brown off your meatballs.
  • Once your meatballs a browned, remove your pan from the heat for a moment and carefully add sauce to your meatballs. Ensure your sauce is room temperature or warmer.
  • Return the pan to low heat and simmer for at least a half hour to 45 minutes so the flavours can get to work.

Garnish with a dollop of cream or Greek yoghurt and basil.

Serve with your favourite pasta and garlic bread.

CAMPING TIP:   Next time you make this dish at home – prep a double batch of mince.  Freeze in a plastic container.  Take container camping with you next outing.  Once thawed, roll your meatballs, then brown off lightly.  Add 1 tin of spicy tomato soup once browned and you will have an amazingly tasty, inexpensive, fast dinner.  

Tuesday 16 June 2015

Cardwell Recovered

Anyone who has travelled to North Queensland will be only too familiar with the spectacular town of Cardwell. Cardwell was severely impacted by Cyclone Yasi. They have seen the worst of it, struggled through the restoration phase and are now looking super pristine once again.

Cyclone Yasi was a very powerful and destructive tropical cyclone. It hit Cardwell on 3 February, 2011. Yasi originated from a tropical low near Fiji. The system intensified to a Category 3 on 31 January 2011. Late 1 February a Category 4, then early on 2 February a Category 5.

Yasi crossed the coast between Innisfail and Cardwell with sustained winds of 215 km/h. Maximum 3-second gusts are estimated at 285 km/h. The eye crossed the coastline at Mission Beach just before 12:00 am AEST and passed over Tully soon after. It impacted towns as far inland as Mt Isa, which is 900 km from Townsville.

The storm caused an estimated US$3.6 billion in damage. An estimated AUD$800 million of that was crop loss. This would make it the costliest tropical cyclone to hit Australia on record.

Congrats Cardwell on the beautiful restoration you have done.

Friday 5 June 2015

Camping at Borumba Deer Park, Imbil Queensland

Borumba Deer Park - Campgrounds

Wonderful weekend away with friends and fabulous time was had by all. Started out a little bit windy and chilly on the Friday but a few hours later it passed and the weather was amazing for the rest of the weekend.

I've been to this park a few times over the years and never been disappointed. It is pretty as a picture and a very well kept.

Borumba Deer Park - Campfire

Campfires are allowed. Wood for sale on site at a reasonable price by the trolley load. Clean toilets and showers, even hot which was good as there were some chilly moments. There is kayaking if you're brave enough to face the icy but beautiful Yabba Creek. You cross Yabba Creek 5 times getting to this campground from Imbil as it snakes all the way along this road.

There is heaps of safe area for the kids to ride their push bikes and run around freely. Pets are allowed on leash only. They are quite strict about this. I didn't see it with my own eyes but I believe there is an off-leash area for puppy to let his/her hair down. It’s a big campground so there is no excuse for anyone to encroach on another. Heaps of birds and other wildlife, as well as cheeky deer’s that are happy to pose for photos. There is a kiosk on site and sells all the standard campground basics. 

The grounds are close to Borumba Lake and I am told the fishing is fabulous. The campground has boats for hire if you would like to take one for a spin around Borumba Lake and see what you can catch. The grounds are only a few minutes’ drive into the pretty town of Imbil where you will find a country pub, coffee shop and a couple of alternative type shops. The old railway line in Imbil doesn't run any longer but it is definitely worth popping your head in whilst you're in town, even if it is just for an nostalgic moment and a photo. I couldn't find the disused rail tunnel but I'm told it is not far out of town and it is easy to find. I just wasn't looking hard enough, apparently.

Caravans are welcome. Powered and unpowered sites are available. There are also onsite Cabins for $70 p/night. It’s all weather and 2WD accessible road into the grounds.

Only $13 p/night p/adult for tent or camper trailer camping. There is a camping fee for man’s best friend and they do charge a $50 Good Behaviour Bond but I have never heard of anyone not getting the bond back so don't worry.

Highly recommend this campground and I will definitely be going back.

Borumba Deer Park, Imbil Queensland
Borumba Deer Park - Entry

Borumba Deer Park Driveway
Borumba Deer Park - Amenities Block

Borumba Deer Park - Camp Kitchen
Borumba Deer Park - Campgrounds

Borumba Deer Park - Cabins
Borumba Deer Park - Campgrounds
Borumba Deer Park - Boat Hire

Borumba Deer Park - Dinner

Borumba Deer Park - Black Cockatoo
Borumba Deer Park - Brekkie

Borumba Deer Park - Yabba Creek

Borumba Deer Park - Yabba Creek
Borumba Deer Park - Yabba Creek

Imbil Township
Imbil Township

Imbil Township
Lake Borumba

Lake Borumba
Lake Borumba

Borumba Deer Park - Telephone

Borumba Deer Park - Natives