Saturday, September 27, 2014

Great Places To Visit - Dandenong Ranges, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Saturday morning the weather was B_E_A_Utiful! So......what to do on a lovely sunny Melbourne weekend. Grand final weekend actually, but we are not footy fans. Gasp, horror, i know, but it's true, we don't like football. So, we decided to take Miss Lily with us and go for a drive in the Dandenong ranges, find a nice little spot for a Devonshire Tea and soak up the beautiful views (if there were any).
Well we found just the spot. A Devonshire Tea and light lunch spot called "Viewpoint." And a lovely view it was. I enjoyed a toasted ham and cheese on multigrain, whilst Bernie enjoyed a Devonshire Tea.  Miss Lily of course enjoyed a snippet of my toastie.  We sat on the verandah, looking across the road at the lookout and beyond to the views of the valley and water below.  Very relaxing.  Warm, balmy spring day, gentle breeze, and no where else we had to be......great.

If you want to find this little spot, Viewpoint, we headed up Burwood Hwy through Upper Ferntree Gully, turned left at the Mt. Dandenong sign and kept going up. It's basically at the top. Afterwards we kept going in the same direction which I think was still called Mt. Dandenong Rd down to Monbulk.  Did a left turn into what became Canterbury Rd and headed for home.  I guess it depends where "home" is for you and how much time you want to spend sight seeing.  We certainly enjoyed our little break and will visit "Viewpoint" again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Nutritious, Delicous, Recipe - Vegetable Pasta

Things don't get much simpler than this lovely recipe.

Steam an assortment of your favourite veges to your desired doneness!  Cook a packet of pasta (your choice, I like gluten free). Mix the two together in a large bowl and add seasonings of your choice and a salad dressing if you want. To be healthy use an oil free dressing.  Enjoy!

Veges I used this time were: Shallots, carrots, celery, corn, peas, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage. Seasoned with Herbamare.  I didn't add any dressing whilst it was hot, just ate a plate full! May add dressing when it is cold as it will be dryer, or else I will put some in the microwave and warm it up again.

If like me, your man wants meat, just cook a small steak or a couple of lamb chops etc and put on the side of his plate. Then my man will happily eat this, and just pick out the veges he doesn't like. Saves me cooking two separate dinners.

Vegetable, Gluten/Egg free pasta.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Great Places To Visit- Great Ocean Road-Torquay-Victoria-Australia.

We picked up some friends on beautiful sunny Saturday morning and decided to go for a drive from Melbourne to Torquay for lunch.  Why not? The weather was stunning and the day was all ours.  So off to Torquay we went. Such a lovely drive. Enjoyed watching some young ones on the foreshore at Torquay skate boarding and another chap learning how to handle his wind surfing parachute.  There was a cool breeze near the water which gave him some challenges.

We found a lovely little cafe nearby, had some lunch and then a short stroll along the foreshore.  An empty park bench in the sun caught our eye and we sat and chatted there for awhile whilst watching the chap struggling with his parachute lines.  He wasn't one to quit.  He kept at it until he got what he wanted, a gentle float on the breeze down to the beach. Then he would carefully pick it all up and trudge back up the short hill and do it all again!

We wandered off and found a nice little spot for a coffee. After that we decided to drive home via Barwon Heads, just because we could.

Lovely little coastal towns, beautiful weather, great company = Great day out!

The Great Ocean Road is so much more than this though.  Torquay is just the beginning of it, but as we only had one day and we didn't want to be driving all day, we decided that Torquay was far enough for us. Such a pretty spot, and plenty of good places to eat and drink coffee.  Might have to do it again!.

It would appear that it can get very windy here!

Enjoying the sunshine and view.

Great Coffee and food!

Torquay Beach

Determination is he name!

Nearly got it.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Great Places To Visit - Melbourne Botanical Gardens - Shrine of Remembrance - Melbourne - Victoria - Australia

Hubby, Miss Lily and I spent a very pleasant sunny day in the Melbourne Botanical Gardens recently. As we wandered about enjoying the views we stumbled out onto St. Kilda Rd and found ourselves at the Shrine of Remembrance. Legacy were having their service there at the foot of the Shrine in the beautiful sunshine. Great views of the city from here as well.
Such a lovely way to spend some time in Melbourne. The Botanical Gardens were lovely even though there isn't much in flower at this time of year. Lots of people, families, dog clubs, walkers, runners and tourists were out enjoying the sunshine as well. There are a couple of spots where you can get a nibble and a coffee, if you don't mind waiting, and in this beautiful weather, we didn't mind.  Lovely way to spend some quality time together and get some exercise walking.
Botanical Gardens

Shrine of Remembrance.

Recipes- Vietnamese Coleslaw with BBQ Cutlets/ Mixed salad Greens with Avocado, Cherry Tomatoes & Balsamic Glaze & Cutlets.

This is a quick, tasty and healthy recipe. it can be made from scratch, but I'm going to give you the quick, simple version.
You will need 1 x pkt of Coles Coleslaw.  1 x bunch fresh Corriander, parsley and mint. 1 x bottle Vietnamese Dipping Sauce. ( The spring roll kind). 1 x bunch shallots. 9 x cutlets. 1 x lemon cut into quarters. 1 x pkt baby spinach leaves and baby rocket leaves. 1 x iceburg lettuce (or another you like).

Cook all cutlets on BBQ.
Place coleslaw into a bowl. Add finely chopped parsley, mint, and corriander. (To your liking. I like lots). Finely chop one spring onion and add. Sprinkle with Vietnamese Dipping Sauce. Mix well. Should be nice and glossy, not drowned. Add more if too dry.

Shred some lettuce leaves finely.

On your plate arrange in a circle the lettuce, top with spinach and rocket. On one half spoon on coleslaw mix. Arrange cooked cutlets on the other half. Serve garnished with more corriander and lemon wedges. Squeeze lemon over everything. The sourness of the lemon cuts through the sweetness of the Vietnamese dipping sauce making your tastebuds zing!

As there are only 2 of us we had 3 cutlets left over and some lettuce, rocket and spinach. So for my lunch the next day I did this:  make a mound of the baby spinach and baby rocket. Sprinkle chopped mint, corriander and parsley over. (again I like lots of each). Slice 1/2 an Avocado and arrange on top with 4 or 5 cherry tomatoes cut in half, then drizzle with Mazzetti Glaze (a reduced balsamic vinegar). Arrange your 3 x cold cutlets in a circle and garnish with corriander leaves. You can add a squeeze of lemon juice if you want, today I didn't just for something different. Yummy leftovers!

Arranged greens

Vietnamese Coleslaw

Vietnamese Coleslaw and BBQ Cutlets

 Lunch:Mixed Salad Greens with Avocado, Tomato and Balsamic Glaze, & BBQ Cutlets.

This is the balsamic glaze I love to use as a salad dressing.

Great Places To Visit - Canberra - War Memorial - ACT - Australia

Recently spent a couple of days in Canberra playing tourist.  The place that impressed me the most was the War Memorial. For starters it's the only place in Australia I reckon that doesn't charge you to go in, but does have donation boxes for you to place something in if you wish.  They also have free guided tours, which I highly recommend.  These are run by volunteers who happily escort you through the main areas and attractions with detailed information and history on what you are currently looking at.  Found their knowledge extensive and very interesting.  The little cafe within the memorial is also a great idea, as we spent 3 hours (including our tour) wandering about looking at everything and were definitely in need of a coffee!

The flight up from Melbourne was lovely and couldn't resist a couple of snaps with the phone out the window.  In fact I used the iphone for all my photos, it's so much easier to carry than the DSLR!

Highly recommend a visit to our Nations Captial. Don't forget the rest of the attractions whilst you are there also. I didn't take any pictures of Parliament House etc, but the old and new are both worth a visit. Left something for you to check out yourself.

Great Places To Visit - Doncaster East, Melbourne, Mullum Mullum Walking Track

Just because I'm currently in the city for awhile doesn't mean I have to "miss out" on my daily bush walks. Nearby to us i...