Food writing at Brisbane Writers Festival

If you're interested in food and writing then it naturally follows you'll be interested in this offering at the Brisbane Writers Festival (BWF) 201.

The BWF takes places from 7–11 September with a range of writer talks, readings, panel discussions and events. This year’s program features Mark Jensen, Head Chef at the Red Lantern restaurant in Sydney, and nutritionist and author of 'Frugavore', Arabella Forge, discussing the challenges of Urban Eating.

See the full program at BWF 2011 program.

The Buffalo Club degustation

You won't find any bovines at the Buffalo Club but you will discover some pretty impressive food, smart enough to wow an experienced group of food writers.


Dreaming of a Dark Caramel Chocolate Brownie?

Be still my beating heart! I’m excited just at the thought of a brownie that has hints of caramel.

The wicked people from Lindt have sent me this recipe to try and it’s going to take a lot of will power not to run out to the shops and make it immediately!


Hola to tapas in the Valley

I wish I could say I've been holidaying in Spain and that's why it's taken me so long to write about Pintxo's menu launch.  It was for the beginning of winter and now it's almost spring but better late than never!


Latest Tasty bits from bmag

Tasty bits in this week's bmag - Michael Moore's new 'Blood Sugar', inspiring recipes for diabetes; chocolate overload at Pannys Chocolate Factory at the the Ginger Factory, Yandina; Art of Wine dinners at Lyrebird Restaurant; and a lux cupcake couture getaway in Sydney. Enjoy!

Tonight I’m drinking – Smirnoff Espresso!

I do love a cocktail. It's the flashy way the bartender whips it up in a drama/panache combo and pours it deftly into my glass that captures my imagination.


Hey hey it's Harveys with a new look

A James Street favourite, Harveys in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley has had a revamp with a new long black bean-timber bar and a glass-enclosed air-conditioned area for dining in all seasons.

Sausage fest, Beak style

I'm not a huge fan of the sausage.  Usually I find them full of overly salted and spiced 'meat' which to me indicates a cover up for poor quality ingredients.


City meets country at Wednesday markets

You don't have to head to the Ekka to enjoy the fruits of a country life!

It might be a holiday in Brisbane tomorrow (August 17) for the Ekka but Reddacliff Place opposite the Casion in the heart of Brisbane town will still be buzzing with Jan Power’s Farmers Markets from 10am – 6pm.


I went to the Numinbah Valley and this is what I saw

Sometime between 1980 and 2010 the Natural Arch became Natural Bridge.

I'm not sure how an arch becomes a bridge but the sign was very clear - as were the plethora of other signs advising anything beyond the well beaten path is strictly outa limit.  I don't think the 'bridge' sees many footsteps.

That aside, the area was still as beautiful as I remember it from my childhood when we children would pile into the sweaty back seat of the car for a Sunday picnic with the extended family.

This time I was there with a new group of friends who, except for one, all shared similar memories of being captured for Sunday drives with their parents to picnic destinations.

The power of the rainforest as we walk down the leaf strewn path to the boulder-strewn creek below is all encompassing. When we reach the bottom and wander around the forest floor it's as though I am a child again but there's no dangling hot feet into the cool stream water. Too many signs forbidding that!

And the waterfall cascading from a bright hole into the iridescent green of the water was simply awesome. Do go and see it for yourself.

I went to the Numinbah Valley and saw hangliders and paragliders running off the side of a mountain. I saw the tall spikes of the Gold Coast bathed golden with morning sun and walked through an ancient caldera.

The Numinbah Valley is an area of the Scenic Rim of the Gold Coast hinterland in South East Queensland, with many rocky outcrops, waterfalls, rainforest walks and wonderful sweeping hinterland scenery. The valley is populated with small hamlets and farming communities.

To the east is the Springbrook plateau and you'll find Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park on the eastern side of the valley. To the west lies the Lamington Plateau and the Lamington National Park and south is the Tweed Valley.


Mushroom madness at The Ekka

You may think that going to the Ekka is a sign of madness itself but, for mushroom lovers, next Tuesday August 16, could be a must!


Crowing about Cockadoodle, Red Hill

Colourful and quirky is probably the best way to describe the exterior of Cockadoodle Cafe & Espresso Bar at Red Hill, Brisbane.

Locals will remember this corner site which almost touches busy Waterworks Road, as the home of the much loved Olivettos. But there's no reason to be upset by its replacement which was just perfect for a morning coffee.

The cafe was light, airy and warm on a sunny winter's day with plenty of space for comfortable dining. The menu offers all day breakfast, brunch and lunch but of course my eye spotted the cupcakes on display.

A quick chat revealed that the cute cupcakes were bought in but fresh from the oven delights would be replacing them very shortly.  Naturally I decided to try both with the fresh cupcake as a take home option.

Just as well I did or I might have been tempted by the French toast with ricotta, kiwi fruit, strawberries and maple syrup special.

My cupcake arrived and despite not being that day's bake, was certainly adequate in the cupcake stakes with a buttery taste nicely complemented by the icing.  The fresh from the oven model was a star of light vanilla cake with an Oreo inspired icing. Delish.

Cupcake 1

Cupcake fresh from the oven!

I'm guessing the unusual cafe name comes from the collection of roosters and colourful birds on display inside the cafe proper.

The menu is not complicated but offers plenty of variety and lots of home-made touches, such as baked beans, mayo and tomato relish, that I would be keen to try.

There's eggs lots of ways, omelettes, crepes, burgers, turkish 'yumbos' or wraps and salad. Light and tasty are probably the best words to describe the line up. Prices range from $6 to around $15 with a big breakfast priced at just under $18.

For those of you with kidlings in tow, half serves are available.

The coffee was good as well.

Cockadoodle opens at 7am and the kitchen closes at 2pm.

Bottom line: Good stop for lunch, breakfast and anything in between.

Cockadoodle, 5 Enoggera Terrace, Red Hill. Ph 3369 0610

Cockadoodle Cafe on Urbanspoon


Scrumptious morning tea from Vanilla Pod

When someone calls and says "Will you be home tomorrow morning, we'd like to deliver you morning tea?"  I can only say yes.

And when Angela arrived at my door with a box full of goodies the task of sorting out my office suddenly seemed so unimportant.


Chocolate lovers guide to Brisbane

It’s an itch that you just have to scratch, a hole in your stomach that can only be filled by one thing, that need for the sweet bliss of chocolate.

Ace breakfast at Kings, new at Tennyson

I would describe it as ace but that would be too twee, so instead I'll call Kings a hidden gem.

Hidden because unless you are a tennis fan or live in the Tennyson Reach Development you'd probably never know this cafe existed.


Looking for lunch? Hamptons Home Living crusted salt squid salad

I've been known to curse loudly when frustrated by not being able to find a park but on Saturday it turned into a bit of serindipity.