5 things…

Early morning on the Mooloola River, Mooloolaba Spit

Here we go with another 5 things that made me smile last week – although as always there will probably be more than 5, I never know until I start writing…

Cold mornings

I know I live in South East Queensland but we do get our share of cold mornings, in fact last week it was below 10C at 6am every morning. That meant the beanie got to come out and I double t-shirted. Too much information?

It did make for some fabulous morning colours though.

Blue Skies

Cold early mornings made way for spectacular blue days with temps – both in and out of the ocean – in the low 20s. Winter on the Sunshine Coast…why wouldn’t you?

Forgotten Cookies

These were a kitchen failure. It’s a Nigella recipe to use up some leftover egg whites. Essentially you heat the oven, pop them in, turn the oven off and the theory is next morning they’ll be “cooked”. Yeah, I think there were some user issues there as they were just like squidgy undercooked meringues. It did give me a laugh though…


A little bit of gold spied on lunchtime walks this week…

NRL Referees

The news was full this week of the fact that the NRL had appointed its first woman to act as the assistant referee for a weekend game. An absolute first but one, I’d like to point out, was made possible by yours truly who was if not the first then one of the first woman to get an active referees ticket back in the 1980’s. Apparently, they’d given out a couple of tickets to nuns for school football, but I was the first to actually use it and North Sydney was the association brave enough to stick me in the middle of a park with a whistle or a flag (and very ugly shorts and long socks). Just saying.

A whale of a time

Looking back to Mount Coolum

Sarah and I went whale watching with Whale One on Friday afternoon. Whale One has had a facelift since we last went out and is even more comfortable than it used to be.

Part of the fun of one of these trips is getting to motor up the river past all the mega rich homes, the yachts and the fisheries to where the river meets the ocean at the rock wall at Mooloolaba.

We walk to the rock wall each morning so it’s kind of cool seeing it from the ocean.

We walk out to this point each morning

There wasn’t any surface breaching action this time as we happened along a mumma whale with her calf not that far out to sea. The expert on board reckoned the calf would have been less than a month old and momma whale was still showing it the whaley ropes.

The pair of them must have circled the boat four times in the couple of hours that we were out there. A head would pop up and then a fin – the whole thing was such a privilege to watch. Nature at its most nurturing.

Because there was a calf involved the boat had to keep more of a distance than usual so there are no photos. In fact, I put the camera away and just watched the whaley show.

Looking back to Mooloolaba and the mouth of the river…pic by @sarahtracey243

There might or might not have been a sneaky glass of bubbles on the way back…

Mulled wine

There’s a pop-up bar on Mooloolaba Esplanade doing mulled wine and tunes from 4pm Thurs-Sun during winter. Don’t mind if I do.

Fan girl moment

Nigella not only liked but commented on one of my foodie posts over the weekend. Yes, I had a fan girl moment.

It was this pic of the Mooloolaba prawns we had for lunch on Saturday.

Speaking of seafood…

My healthy recipe of the week comes from Ella Risbridger’s, “Midnight Chicken“. It’s her “Stuck in a Bookshop Salmon & Sticky Rice” without the sticky rice and with broccolini instead.

The introduction tells the story of how she was hungry, it was raining and she was stuck in a bookshop because it was dark outside and she was quite suddenly and inexplicably scared – the sort of panic that comes from nowhere with anxiety.

I wasn’t stuck in a bookshop or anxious about anything, but I was very hungry when I made this the other night.

Anyways, the recipe…

Marinade some salmon fillets (this recipe is for 4 but we were 3) in 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons shaoxing wine (or dry sherry), 2 teaspoons honey and the juice of 1 lime. I also grated in some ginger.

The salmon only needs to be in this for about 20 minutes – which gives you time to chop your veg and maybe put some rice on. Even though I’m limiting my starchy carbs, my family isn’t.

To cook the salmon use a non-stick pan (if you have one) or a tablespoon of oil in your pan (if you don’t) and set it over medium-high heat. Take your salmon out of the marinade and fry them skin side down for about 4 minutes. Turn them and give them a couple of minutes on the other side. This should give you a medium-rare salmon. Don’t be alarmed at the colour of the skin – that’s the honey caramelising.

Serve with rice (if you’re not doing the no carbs at night thing) and green veg (we used broccolini the other night but Chinese leafy greens work really well) that you’ve stir-fried in a little sesame oil with finely diced chilli and some grated ginger.

Saturday night cuisine theme – Mexican

This week’s theme was Mexican.

To start we had some chicken wings with an avocado dipping sauce. Then came some fish tacos (which I’ll tell you about in tomorrow’s Excess Baggage post) and finally a flan that I got from Nigella’s Mexican chapter in the “Express” book. I didn’t try the flan, but apparently it was okay.

The tacos though, were seriously yum. We served them with a corn, chilli and coriander salsa, some lettuce and avocado, and a quick lime-pickled onion.

Okay, that was my week…how was yours?

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

23 thoughts

  1. Beautiful scenery photos, Jo, and your food photos make me hungry. Nigella, watch out 🙂 We’ve had a heat wave for three days now so I’m looking forward to more seasonal weather and lower humidity starting tomorrow. #lifethisweek

    1. Thanks Natalie… I don’t envy you the humidity – it starts for us usually in November but peaks in Feb & March. Here’s to some more sensible temps for you…

  2. That Mexican food looks delicious! If Nigella commented on a post of mine, I’d totally have a fangirl moment too!

    1. I’m not ashamed to say that there might have been a happy dance involved lol. Have a great week.

  3. As always, your sunrise pics make me wish I liked early mornings better, and your food pics make me wish I liked cooking better! Lovely reading your 5 things and congrats on the Nigella comment and like – I’m sure I heard you squealing from over here in WA!

    1. Too funny. I am hopeless at the other end of the day – which makes me a really boring person at parties lol

    1. Funnily enough last time we were out there we saw lots of whale acrobatics and again I put the camera down. Thanks for dropping by…

  4. So much colour in this post – from the skies to the sunrises to the seas and of course, the food. Those tacos look super delicious and now I have the book, I guess I should try the salmon too! Even by my standards the morning have been quite cold for Queensland but the days have warmed up beautifully!

  5. That is so cool about the “fan girl moment.” And your salmon and sticky rice has made me absolutely famished. The challenge is that I have already brushed my teeth, have my pjs on and am in bed. Can I resist the temptation??

    1. The salmon is sooooo good. Something about salmon tastes so indulgent – I think it’s all those omega thingies.

  6. Thought of you when I heard about the female ref, what do they know you were first and we know it!

  7. Wow I’m impressed with you being the first female ref!! How dare they forget to mention you were the first! I love all your beach shots in the mornings and a whale sighting would be a fabulous sight to see. If I was drinking alcohol I’d love a mulled wine 😊 I always enjoy your 5 things and have learnt not to count them! Woohoo with the Nigella comment too. Go you good thing!

  8. Love the ocean sunrise pics! And isn’t it great when someone you look up to likes and/or comments on posts! I love it when authors and musicians do that to mine! As always, your food posts make me hungry. Have a wonderful week ahead

    1. I’m such a fan girl. Now I just need Nigel Slater to comment…or Diana Henry…or Rick Stein…

  9. Jo, thank you for sharing the salmon recipe, I am a huge fan of salmon marinated and fried like this. I love the sound of your take on marinading salmon!

    SSG xxx

  10. Love your pre sunrise pics and they reminded me of the two occasions I drove over to Manly to arrive before sunrise in mid winter. Magical times and memories made: and the M2 was a breeze!! You so need to find out if you are the first (non Nun) NRL ref. I think that is fantastic!!

    Thank you for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is 30/51 Share Your Snaps #6. 29/7/19. Hope to see you there too. Denyse.

    1. Thanks Denyse…I really do need to find out. I remember when I was going for it they told me I was…

  11. Hi Jo, Your 5 things made me smile at least 5 times. I end up taking in a deep breath when appreciating your amazing photos! We are fortunate we can whale watch from our shores sometimes. I am sure you had a whale of a time:). I am not a fan of rice so I liked your alternative with broccolini instead. It is interesting how I may live across the planet from you, yet enjoy many of the same things (in a different hemisphere). A great post!

    1. Thanks. That’s what I love about this bloggy caper – how we get to meet and connect with people on the other side of the world.

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