Sono, Portside, Hamilton.

Have the fish balls, try the miso cod and don’t miss the beef ishiyake or the seafood tempura batter platter – these were the recommendations that flowed in when I tweeted and announced on Facebook that a dinner at Sono was my night’s highlight!

I am a long term lover of Japanese food but my partner, K2 is not so sure about raw fish and strange sea creatures so it promised to be an interesting evening.


Elements at Montville, Sunshine Coast

There's something about hills of rolling green grass that make me want to burst into song.

Wait - am I having a 'Sound of Music' moment? Well perhaps, but my excitement could be excused when you look inside Elements at Montville, a quirky tea house perched on the top of the range in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.


In season this week - March 29

Brisbane Produce Market fresh produce report

Autumn is a great opportunity to sample some different fruits, such as quality figs and persimmons and new variety plums that are replacing the last of the white and yellow peaches and nectarines on the shelves.

Pears and apples are of excellent quality and are well priced. Granny Smith apples are tasting better and join varieties such as the waxy red Jonathon, soft red delicious and the sweet and crunchy royal gala.


Turkish Delight Cupcakes

 My reputation as a lover of cupcakes has spread and I was recently asked for my favourite cupcake recipe.

I always find it hard to pick a favourite because there are so many fabulous options out there and I want to bake and eat them all!

However this one, which incorporates my favourite sweet, Turkish Delight, into the cupcakes is a real winner. It was published in ABW, Quest Newspapers, March 23.  Thank you Belinda!

Here's the recipe

Turkish delight cupcakes

A really big texas (3/4 cup/180ml) cupcake pan is great for this recipe – it will make six – perfect for a dinner party.  If you use a smaller sized cupcake pan it will make nine. The rose pashmak is a great finishing touch but use it just before serving as it ‘wilts’ a bit.

I like the surprise of the chocolate and nuts inside the cupcake contrasted with the soft, chewy Turkish delight and the heavy texture of the cake.

The recipe is fairly simple to make but the effect is stunning. 

60 white eating chocolate, chopped roughly (could use white melts)
2 tablespoons rose water
½ cup (125ml) water
1/3 cup (45 g) pistachios
90 gm butter, softened
1 cup (220gm) firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2/3 cup (100gm) self raising flour
2 tablespoons plain flour

900g Turkish delight chopped coarsely
2/3 cup (90g) coarsely chopped pistachios
300g white eating chocolate, melted (could use melts)
Rose pashmak (persian candy floss)

  •  Preheat oven to 180c/160c fan forced.  Line 6 hole texas muffin pan with paper cases.
  • Stir chocolate, rose water and water in small saucepan over low heat until smooth.
  • Blend or process nuts until smooth
  • Beat butter, sugar and eggs in small bowl with electric mixer until combined. Stir in sifted flours, ground pistachios and warm chocolate mixture. Divide mixture among cases.
  • Bake cakes about 35 minutes
  • Turn cakes, top side up, onto wire rack to cool

To decorate

  • Cut a 3 cm deep hole in the centre of each cake, fill with chopped nuts. Drizzle with chocolate, replace lids.
  •  Decorate with pieces of Turkish delight and chopped nuts. 
  • Drizzle over melted chocolate.
  • Top with twirled strands of  rose pashmak  just before serving.



Fresh produce market update

Brisbane Market fresh produce report

Apples and pears are really starting to come into season currently and grapes are eating very well while banana prices continue to rise with shortages as a result of Cyclone Yasi.

Rain in North Queensland has affected the supply of papaws and some exotic fruits, while the price of bananas continues to rise after Cyclone Yasi.


Not making, but eating Whoopie - pies

As a die hard cupcake lover I've been resisting the new kid on the block - the whoopie pie!

Stories of it rivalling the popularity of cupcakes cut straight to my heart but when a courier from Cakes by JudyC  arrived at my door bearing two - well what's a girl to do!


Bretts Wharf to close in 2012

Bretts Wharf announced today it would be closing its doors January 26, 2012.

The land on which the iconic and much loved restaurant sits has been resumed by Brisbane City Council to make way for road improvements to Kingsford-Smith Drive.


St Patrick's Day cupcakes!

With a name like Kerry Heaney I can be excused for living it up a little on St Patrick's Day.

And if that means eating another cupcake or two, I'm up for the job.

It seems my penchant for cupcakes is becoming well known and I didn't even have to leave the house to enjoy these little beauties from Vanilla Pod at Ascot.

In season this week - March 15

Brisbane Produce Market report: 15 March 2011

Bananas are climbing in price as the predicted shortage created by Cyclone Yasi takes effect. However there are plenty of great value lunch box options to choose from, including sensational Williams pears, sugar plums and most red apples.

It’s the final weeks for stonefruit, with the creamier last season peaches and nectarines eating their best when still firm.


In season this week - March 9

Brisbane Produce Market fresh produce report -
Rockmelons are ugly on the outside, pale on the inside but the best they have been all season and are an affordable fruit, although seedless watermelons are still eating well and should fall in price in the days ahead.

There is still stonefruit on the shelves with peaches and nectarines to choose from but it is the end of the season with some varieties harder to find. Plums are outstanding, especially the sugar plum variety.


Lunch on Q starts today!

Calling all Brisbane Food Lovers! Fancy some Mooloolaba prawns, Bethonga pineapple, free range Mount Cotton chicken breast or North Queensland reef fish matched with fine Queensland wine?

Some of the state’s leading chefs will serve up farmed, fresh and fabulous Queensland produce as part of the two week Lunch on Q dining experience that begins today, Monday 7 March until 20 March.


Make perfect pancakes

I’m not at all religious unless there’s a religious festival that involves food fast approaching on the calendar – think Easter eggs and Christmas pudding.  Another deeply shallow moment – oh well!

This year Tuesday March 8 is Shrove Tuesday – WTF I hear you say?

All you really need to know it that it involves making and eating pancakes!


Granite Belt Wine Country: Foodies enjoy last of the summer wine

Granite Belt Wine Country: Foodies enjoy last of the summer wine: "Five food writers crossed the Great Dividing Range to work their way through more than a dozen Granite Belt menus and wine lists last weeken..."


In season this week - March 1

Brisbane Produce Market Report

Vegetable quality has improved this week with broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, beans and onions on the shelves, although prices remain firm.

Expect corn and capsicum to reduce in price. There are still plenty of good carrots to eat but make sure they are not stored for too long.

Meat buyers need to know

Choice Magazine recently released an article unveiling some scary supermarket practices in Australia.

Leaving aside the fruit and vegetable issues, it revealed the main tricks supermarkets use to keep meat for longer than they'd like you to believe. For example: