Monday, 26 January 2009

Prawn picnic for Australia Day

We decided to indulge in seafood for Australia Day and headed down to Wellington Point for some top stuff from Bayside Seafood. Andrew Mirosch, Executive Chef at Restaurant Lurleen's, Sirromet, loves the seafood from this place and now I know why. Walk in and you can smell that deliciously fishy, salty aroma that comes only with good quality, fresh seafood.

For just $20 we had enough cleaned sand crabs and prawns for two big sambos each. The shop had a good range of different prawns and bugs but was low on fish as you would expect on a public holiday afternoon in a store that specialises in fresh seafood.

The store is well stocked with sauces to go with your seafood and I also grabbed a lemon and some drinks. The only thing missing was a salad selection, which would have been handy.

We grabbed loaf of bread to go with my picnic pack which included butter, a pepper grinder and a bottle of Sirromet's 820 Above Verdelho, a nice light wine to compliment the seafood.

Our plan was to enjoy a sea view at Wellington Point while we peeled prawns and shelled the crabs. Thanks to the local council, our plan quickly fell apart when we saw the very large no dogs allowed sign - not fair!

However we left the area to the large family groups and headed for a quiet spot, which we found without too much difficulty. We enjoyed a water (more mudflat as the tide was out) view with our trusty canine companion and listened to the Hottest 100 on Triple J.

I'm going to have a bash here at those who do not not control their dogs in public and are the reason why the majority of canine best friends and their owners are discriminated against. Not cool!

We spent the journey back home trying to get the perfect photo of the latest Australia Day gimmick - flags that attach to the roof of your car. In the fine Australian tradition, I understand they were give aways from bottle shops if you spent more than $30....

Find Bayside Seafood at 360 Main Road, Wellington Point. ph +61 7 3207 2530.
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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Envy, Cotton Tree, Sunshine Coast


Envy is a funky little cafe on Cotton Tree Parade at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast.

It's a favourite for locals because the food is consistently good, it delivers a decent feed for the price and the smoothies are hard to beat.


Thursday, 22 January 2009

Fishy business

I recently interviewed Andrew Mirosch for a story in Sirromet's quarterly Lifestylewine Magazine. Andrew, who is Executive Chef at Sirromet's Restaurant Lurleen's has an extensive background in commerical fishing and is well placed to comment on new laws rezoning Moreton Bay that will come into force in March.

Andrew is passionate about local produce and fresh seafood but he believes the local fishing industry will go into steep decline when the new laws are introduced.

Let's all hope not because there are few things better than a good feed of seafood straight from Moreton Bay.

If you want to find good local seafood there are a couple of places that Andrew recommends - Bayside Seafoods at Wellington Point, ph 3207 2530 and Rufus King Seafoods at Amity Point ph 3409 7224.

People have been telling me lately that Gambaros has some good seafood available and Sammies Girl is another source. I don't know if these outlets are stocking local produce.

I'm hoping to head down to the bay soon and try out Bayside Seafoods.

If you are lucky enough to come across a good supply of mud crabs, take a look at the Togninis site where they have blogged their Boxing Day lunch of Chilli Crab made to Andrew's recipe. A big success by all reports.

Enjoy!
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Monday, 19 January 2009

Stanthorpe Farmer's Market

The next Stanthorpe Farmer's Market will be held this Sunday 25 January. They are held outside the Stanthorpe Civic Centre on the second and fourth Sundays each month 9am to 1pm. There's a lot of product inside the centre as well, everything from cute bead spiders (yet they are cute) to olives and preserves.

When I visited the market I chatted to Dave Sutton from Sutton's Juice Factory, Cidery and Shed Cafe and Sandra Miller from Sandmill Fine Foods (do try her biscotti). Sandra (pictured right) also had some fine fresh produce to sell. Inside I picked up one of my favourite Granite Belt buys, an Oriental Dipping Sauce from Mt Stirling Olives. I love to use it as a marinade.

Dates for 2009 are February 8 and 22, March 8 and 22, April 12 (Easter) and 26, May 3 (Opera), 10 (Mother's Day), and 24 June 7 (Long weekend), 14 and 28.

The Farmer's Markets come to Brisbane at Brisbane's South Bank Markets, Little Stanley Street 10am to 3pm. These regional/seasonal markets are held four times a year to coincide with changing produce.

In season in summer are: Berries, Apples, Grapes, Nashis, Pears, Rockmelon, Stone Fruits plus Beans, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Capsicum, Cauliflower, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Cucumber, Eggplant, Figs, Herbs, Honey, Leeks, Lettuce, Onions, Parsley, Peas, Snow Peas, Sugar Snaps, Mushrooms, Pumpkin, Shallots, Silverbeet, Spinach, Squash, Sweet Corn, Tomatoes, Zucchini.

Update:
The next Granite Belt Markets at South Bank are on Sunday 15 March, 10am - 3pm.
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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

New club for foodies

Here’s a club sure to get foodie mouths watering. The new Taste Wine and Cooking Club is designed for those with a love for cooking who also want to learn and share cooking tips. Established by Jodie Macaulay, owner of popular Fortitude Valley cookware and homeware retailer Taste, the club offers a different cooking theme each month. Participants in groups of 10 to 20 will bring pre-made home-cooked meals featuring a unique ingredient and the recipe to share with their group. A guest expert in the style of cooking will attend each month to give an insight into their art and tips and feedback on each attendee's dish. The club commences in late January with membership available now. Annual membership is $45 which includes an apron, recipes, tasting notes and special offers from Taste and Purple Palate. Each banquet costs $10 to attend. Register online at www.taste-online.com.au/cookingclub.html The first one is on seafood - yum!


Sunday, 11 January 2009

Witchy Brew on Mount Tamborine



Well they've surely done it in style! Set high on the hill at the southern end of Gallery Walk at North Tamborine is the new Witches Chase cheese factory and MT Tamborine Brewery.

The wide stairs lead up to an open air style complex with a restaurant, the 120 seat Liquid Amber Bar & Grill, on the left and a space for the cheese factory on the right. Further into the complex is a bar area with a wide choice of MT Brewery beers. The best way to try the beers is $10 tasting which gives you four different beers to taste. I tried the St Bridget - which has the aroma of ripe plum and light caramel - Mt Hopfenweisse, Czech Mate and my favourite 0909 Cuvee Blonde - very light and soft.

We accompanied our beers with burgers from the restaurant which we ate at the outdoor tables. The chicken and avo burgers ($12) were great - crisp toasted bun, good slab of chicken, beetroot, tomato and lettuce, finished with an avocado puree. The steak sandwich ($14) actually came in another bun with all the trimmings, including a fried egg and tomato relish. The chips with both were hot and crisp. Not cheap, but good quality food.

The cheese shop has all the great Witches Chase cheeses plus yoghurt and ice cream. Do try the Tamenbert - it's yummy!

MT Tamborine Brewery, 165- 185 Long Rd Nth Tamborine (Southern end of Gallery Walk) +61 (7) 5545 2032 www.witcheschasecheese.com.au
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Friday, 9 January 2009

Easy to follow

I've had a request to allow followers on my blog -see the new tab on the left hand side. You can follow my blog publicly (your photo will show) or anonymously, and you can bail out at any time.
If you have your own blog, you'll get an update each time I post - neat hey! I know you are out there but I'd love to see some of my readers - be brave!

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Noosa Afloat

One of my more pleasant jobs this year was taking a cruise up the Noosa River for the Celebration of Australian Food and Wine - Noosa Style festival in May. It was tough cruising up that beautiful river eating food prepared by top chefs David Pugh of Restaurant II and Sunshine Coast local Matt Golinski, but someone had to do it. My task was to write a six page article for Selector, the magazine produced by Wine Selectors, which is Australia’s largest wine and food focused lifestyle magazine.

It recently published in the summer edition themed ‘Seafood & Semillon’ which includes Pete Evans’ sensational seafood menu, Maeve O’Meara’s Mediterranean, tasting Canberra on the Poacher’s Trail, plus recipes from Tobie Puttock, Peter Howard, Amanda Gale and Matt Golinski.

It's not hard to guess from my story that I really enjoyed the cruise and I hope you'll enjoy the article if you have the chance to read it. My thanks to David Pugh and Matt Golinski for their assistance in supplying recipes and generally being good blokes.

The next festival will be held on May 1, 2 and 3 and the Seafood Afloat tour is again being offered with David Pugh and Serge Dansereau in the 'kitchen'. Find out more at www.celebrationofaustralianfoodandwine.com.au

My thanks also to Noosa Springs for accommodation while I stayed in Noosa. www.noosasprings.com.au


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Extra ordinary ice cream

I've discovered a new love to add to my must have foodie fixes. The Palace Cinema at The Barracks is my new fav, especially because it has a Movenpick ice cream gallery outside. There's a reason why there are two tubs of maple and walnut ice cream instead of just one like all the other flavours - it's just totally delicious - I can't say more.

Movenpick is a franchise so you'll find them in lots of locations around town. Just do it!

Update: Love can be fleeting. I went back for another fix and the single scoop which cost me $4.95 was so measly it didn't go anywhere near fixing the itch. I'm over it - too expensive for what you get.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Lunch at Ikea

I'm on a bit of a post Christmas decorating theme, so today I headed for Ikea. Of course it was lunch time when we got there so I decided to try the cafe. Just like the cafe at Freedom Furniture, the prices were a most pleasant surprise- ham and salad wraps for $3.95. Banking on Ikea's Swedish heritage, I decided to try the gravad lax at $5.95. It was reasonable with a good amount of salmon, even if it was a little lacking in flavour. The coffee was the main disappointment. The bitter brew was produced by one flick of a switch on a large machine - no prizes for this one.

The total for lunch for two was $18.18 which included a bottle of water and a milk drink.

I'm not the only one who has noticed the good value. Entire extended families were seated at some of the large round tables (which even had tablecloths). Some diners even looked like they were enjoying a glass of wine with their 'Sunday Lunch'.

You find Ikea on the highway at Slacks Creek.
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Saturday, 3 January 2009

Cafe Freedom

Well known homewares chain, Freedom Furniture, has a great budget priced cafe hiding inside its Windsor store. While it's not the best food I have eaten, at the prices I'm certainly not complaining. All the rolls and wraps were priced around $6.50 and looked great in the cabinet. I ordered a turkey, cranberry, avocado and brie on turkish and it came quickly with a small salad on the side. My only complaint is that the roll was not turkish but more like the sugary type of bread you find at the big M. However it tasted ok and was filling. The small pasta side salad was surprisingly good with a well flavoured pesto dressing and appetising pasta, all for just $2. The coffee was Vittoria and cost $3.20. It all came to just $18.20 for two people for lunch. I can't think of a better value meal especially since the cafe attractive, clean and comfortable and there was a good supply of magazines to browse, even if they were a little out-of-date. The service was quick and pleasant and it was deliciously cool on a scorching Brisbane summer day.

Freedom also has cafes at their Carindale, Helensvale and Pacific Fair stores. While I can't vouch for other locations, the menu is likely to be similar.

Find the Windsor store on the corner of Lutwyche and Newmarket Roads p 3857 5544.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Olga & Agnes

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Next time you are in Stanthorpe, make sure you take the time to look around the town. There are some great places to stop and relax plus good food to take home.

Olga & Agnes is a fine food plus more emporium in the the High Street. It's packed full of local goodies including local salami, Sandmill Pesto andVal's Spice blends. The Greedy Me Gourmet jams including Maple and Apple, Chilli Onion and Nectarine and Fig Chutney are on my must try list. Plus there's a good supply of typical deli goods and some great cooking implements.

Kate and Jake, who run the place, are happy to make you breakfast or lunch or a hamper full of goodies to take on a picnic. Kate says they'll make anything from a sandwich to go upwards.

Don't miss the very cute little marzipan pigs - they travel well even without wings!

Oh, and the coffee is Campos - and very good.

Find it at 149 High Street, Stanthorpe. p 4681 2247

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