5 things – Monday, June 1, 2020

A pinch and a punch for the first of the month. Does anyone else still say that?

It’s the official start of winter today, here in the southern hemisphere, and also the day where covid related restrictions have eased again. 

In Queensland while our borders are still shut to the rest of Australia, we can now travel anywhere within our state and even stay over. That of course means that I’m now busy working out where we can travel to for a long weekend. It’s truly ridiculous how restless I am. Anyways, let’s get into the weekly five:


Sunrises have been insane this week. There is a scientific reason for it, and it’s here.

I’ve also inhaled the new Netflix series Sweet Magnolias. It’s like a Hallmark Christmas movie – all the feels without the Christmas part. At the other end of the sweetness spectrum is Flack – on Foxtel. Set in London in a PR firm Anna Paquin’s self-destructive Robyn says she was drawn to PR because it makes the most of her two talents – lying and drinking. The show might be centred on Robyn, but all the best lines belong to her beautifully upper-class brittle side-kick Eve.

2. Day trips

I had some forced annual leave last week which came at exactly the right time for my mindset. We took a day drive – and soup and sandwiches – up to Cooroy and the Noosa National Park. I wrote about it here.

Then on Friday we drove into Kenilworth in the Mary Valley. The bakery out there is known for its pies and donuts and something called a 1kg donut challenge. My teeth and my arteries rattle at the thought, but plates hung around the shop tell a story of plenty of people who have taken on the challenge.

We bought a pie each and found a spot in the park to eat it.

3. Restaurants

Sarah’s birthday back in March coincided with the beginning of restaurant closures, so yesterday we finally had lunch at Il Vento, the restaurant we’d originally booked for her birthday. 

It was weird having the restaurant almost to ourselves – still just 10 diners permitted, although from today 20 people are permitted in – but it was lovely putting on a proper face and eating out.

4. Haircuts

Okay, I’m a week late with this, but I got a sizeable amount of my hair chopped and all the blonde taken out of it. The decision was made out of boredom and restlessness – call it what you will – and the astrologer in me would have warned against making radical changes to appearance while Venus is retrograde, but there you go.

It had, when wet and straight, reached down past my waist and is now at shoulder length. She also textured madly, ie thinned it out a heap, and for the first time in many years it’s easy to wash and when I put my fingers through it, they don’t catch on knots. 

It still feels weird and I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll keep it this length or this colour ie whether the blonde highlights will sneak back in, nor have I decided whether that makes me sensible and age-appropriate – both phrases that I tend to rebel against. There’s no denying that it’s much easier to manage, but…

Anyways, a really bad car selfie is below.

5. In the kitchen

The meat-free choice this week was Butter Chicken Cauliflower Without The Chicken. We’ve cooked this before, but this time around the ads on the website annoyed the living daylights out of me so I wrote it up for myself. The version I make is here.

Tray-bake Thursday, as Sarah is beginning to call it, was Nigella’s Indian-spiced Chicken Traybake. I’ll blog it later this week…maybe.

This week’s Saturday Kitchen destination was Burgundy, a region in France. We had, wait for it, Beef Burgundy, although it sounds so much better in French – Boeuf Bourguignon. However you say it, it has to be one of the unphotogenic dishes ever made… but tastes really good.

We also had these super simple French-style apple tarts with home-made vanilla ice cream.

French-style Apple Tarts

What you need

  • 2 sheets of store-bought butter puff pastry
  • 1 tablespoon of icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of apricot jam
  • 2 eating apples (we used pink ladies), cored and very thinly sliced

What you do with it

  • Preheat your oven to 200C 
  • Use a saucer to cut circles out of the puff pastry, place them on a lightly greased oven tray, prick them all over with a fork and then dust with icing sugar (I use a tea strainer for this part).
  • Warm the apricot jam until it’s thin enough to brush (a short burst in the microwave does the job).
  • Arrange the apple slices in a fanned circle on the pastry, brush them with the apricot jam, and pop it in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp at the edges. 

Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

28 thoughts

  1. June 1 (tomorrow for us) is the Meteorological Start of our summer. Apparently, our portion of Vancouver Island did not get this memo. I’m still wearing my cuddly hoody….and at least a wind breaker to go with that…oh, and long pants too!
    The pics of your delicious food did help to warm me up. Yum!!!

  2. Jo,
    Thank you for sharing the beauty and happiness in your world here on the blog. It’s been lovely reading and looking at your blog over the last few …. interesting …. months.

    SSG xxx

  3. As usual everything looks totally delish – I will have to check out the butter cauliflower! Love the new locks/look, I’m going for the chop next week and I can’t wait. My highlights are well overdue. Am yet to eat in a restaurant but have enjoyed the easing of restrictions to the extent of going out for coffee – such a novelty! Hope you have a wonderful week!

  4. Jo, it does feel a real treat to have your haircut, doesn’t it. Here’s to enjoying cosy winter nights and walks in cool fresh air that wake us up.

    1. It sure is, I have my roots done every 4 weeks and a decent trim every 2 months, but it was so long & the dreadlocks and knots were incredible (I have very thick and curly hair). Now I feel like a new woman.

  5. I always envy people with curly hair (mine’s dead straight) but I can also understand the pain of tangles and frizz etc etc. Your new length looks great and going to the hairdresser is such a luxury these days. I loved it when I went a couple of weeks ago for a freshen up. I haven’t eaten out yet, but I did have my first cup of coffee at a cafe last week – so life is slowly sliding back into normalcy here too.

  6. A hit and kick for being so quick – does that answer your question? Your hair looks great by the way and I’m sharing a car selfie in my post tomorrow so snap! Love all your food as usual and the colour of those flowers is amazing! But that sunrise is just too good. #lifethisweek

  7. Your sunrise pics are epic!!! How good are autumn sunrises and sunsets though?! Absolutely love them. Love the new hairdo but also, don’t ever try and look ‘sensible and age-appropriate’. Just do what you want. The meals look yummy! Extremely hearty which is just what this season calls for. Hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

  8. You take lovely photographs. Sunrise is such a pretty time of the day, which I love to enjoy with a nice up of tea or coffee. Also, that apple tart looks easy and delicious! – K

    1. Thanks…we walk at 6am each morning & have a coffee afterwards at the beach before coming home to log into work. It’s a lovely habit to be in.

  9. I am getting “itchy feet” too. Ready to travel. Soon!!! Your sunsets are gorgeous! Love to see the setting sun out over the water. I only have to travel about 3000 miles to see that! I am closer to the Atlantic than the Pacific, so I can see sunrises over the ocean, but not sunsets. I am bookmarking the no-chicken butter chicken. Looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.

    1. These are all sunrises – we’re on the East coast of Aus… and at this time of the year they’re amazing! The no chicken butter chicken is really worth trying.

    1. Thanks…I’m enjoying how easy it is to wash and care for but at the same time, am missing the wildness.

  10. As always, your photographs are lovely. That tart!! Those ruby red flowers. But most of all – the sunset. Will follow the link you provided to learn why they are especially vivid.

    Love the hair. I almost have all of my color grown out. Has taken just short of a year. Didn’t realize your hair was so long. I bet your head feels so much lighter. The color and cut are very pretty.

    1. Thanks…our sunrises are fabulous at this time of the year and I’m enjoying how much easier it is to look after my hair at the moment, but at the same time missing the wildness of how it was.

  11. Love the warmth and smileworthiness of your blog, your photos, your reads and all the thoughts you share Jo. You keep making me wish I was living at the Sunny Coast. That hibiscus is stunning – is it growing in your garden? And your new-look locks are looking great too.

  12. Gorgeous photos, they are making me hungry just looking at them. I need the Queensland borders open as I had big plans to visit my sister for her birthday in September. Hopefully things will settle before then.

  13. Oh how hard it is when you want to ‘get up and go’ and you can’t. It totally makes you re-think all kinds of things…but you got to go out for lunch. Happy birthday at a restaurant for Sarah. How much ‘lighter’ you must feel since the hair (chop) cut. Hope you like it. The air of uncertainty that is still hanging around is not good for us who like things certain…workplace changes must be hard to manage…hope your work continues and flourishes. Thank you for linking up today for Life This Week. Next week’s optional prompt is 23/51 Life Stories #2 8.6.2020 where I will be doing a part 2 on being a grandmother. Do link up any post, old or new it does not need to be on prompt. Looking forward to seeing you there, Denyse.

  14. Your hair looks good – that sounds like you had a LOT cut off. I just got a haircut too and can totally relate, after a cut and a colour, I do feel like a new woman. Funny how such a small thing can mean so much, especially at times like these. Loving your sunrises and hope that you end up planning a lovely weekend away!

  15. Beautiful sunrise and flower photos, Jo and your food looks so yummy. Good to see more movements allowed in your state. We’re still under emergency orders until June 30 where I live so I haven’t planned any travel yet.

Comments are closed.