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Showing posts from 2011

Eat Xmas - Food tips for Christmas Day

Your favourite foodies share their top tips for a stress free Christmas Day. 
Simon Johnson Keep it simple, let the ingredients speak for themselves. Christmas is a time to celebrate family, good friends and great food. An antipasto platter can be prepared ahead to keep guests nibbling while you do a few last minute things in the kitchen. Keep lunch simple – great seafood is perfect for a hot Australian summer or a cold leg ham with a selection of condiments and a salad of greens. 
Maggie Beer Enjoy a glass or two of icy cold Sparkling Ruby Cabernet whilst preparing lunch – always good to get celebrations underway. Try to plan your menu well ahead of time and create platters to share. Involve family and guests in preparing the meal as this time of year is all about bringing loved ones together and nothing is more important than family, friends and food. Maggie Beer Absolute Essentials – the perfect addition to your kitchen or a great present this Christmas. 
Pete Evans My Christmas D…

Spring, Brisbane CBD

There's a sparkle about Spring, Brisbane's newest CBD restaurant, takeaway, cooking school, retail concept and wine store.

Harajuku Gyoza, Fortitude Valley

Who would have thought Brisbanites would be queueing around the block for dumplings?

But they are, even on a Tuesday night in the Valley's busy Brunswick Street where there is no shortage of options.

Last minute foodie Xmas gifts

Okay - you've stuffed up and suddenly realised it's nearly Christmas and you don't have a present for that very important foodie person in your life!

Here are some sanity savers-

Best view in Brisbane

It's the best view in Brisbane.

The one that you take visitors to see straight off the plane to give them a sense of Brisbane and it's surrounds.

Your top Christmas macaron flavour?

It's judging time for the Marche du Macaron competition

I've picked my five top flavours from the many inventive entries. Wow! You really thought of some great flavours.

I'm running a competition to help me pick the winner on my Facebook page
Please visit and leave your vote - ask your friends to do the same.

Here are my five top flavours

Red velvet w spiced brandy butter centreDark Choc Xmas pud w brandy creme centreGingerbreadCandy cane - green outer w r+w creme centreStollen - almond, rum, vanilla + spice
Voting is open on the flavours on Facebook until 5pm EST Tuesday December 20.

Where more than one person has suggested a flavour, the winner will be the first one to have emailed the flavour to me during the competition.

Christmas greetings!

Tis the season to be jolly, put on a silly costume and dance like no one is watching... so here it is!

Hope this gives you a Christmas laugh,


Visa onboard service for Bali - YES!

I'm a die hard Bali fan. Yes I know it's noisy and dirty and full of people who harass you in the street but I still love it.

Local's secret French patisserie revealed

You'll love this little French cafe in Cooroy, my friend Gail said. People drive there from Noosa just to eat their croissants.

And she was right! The croissants at Maison de Provence in Cooroy are everything a croissant should be - crisp, light, buttery and melt in the mouth. Not something for the diet conscious but if you like your pastries authentically good, it's a great place to visit.

It was too soon after breakfast for us to enjoy more than a coffee and light treat so the almond croissant and sugary biscuit were perfect.

There's also no doubt about the Frenchness of this place.  From the soft French accents behind the counter to the more strident tones in the kitchen, it's definitely genuine.  The menu keeps the theme going with offerings including Croque Monsieur, Escargots with baguette and Quiche Lorraine.

It's been a while since I've been to Cooroy and I was surprised by the changes in the town.  There's still traces of the sleepy little villag…

Oyster Festival on North Stradbroke Island

A dozen freshly shucked oysters for $11.  Yes that's what I found at the North Stradbroke Island Oyster Festival on Saturday.

Brisbane's CBD food revival

Brisbane’s CBD has burst back into the spotlight with a selection of diverse and eclectic eateries demanding attention and re-establishing its reputation as a dining hot spot.

Read all about it in my Brisbane Where magazine article in the November edition.

Win 40 macarons delivered to your door!

There's exciting news for macaron lovers.

You no longer have a leave home to find your favourite macarons - you can have them delivered to your door.

Ruby Cafe, Paddington

It's only been open a week but Ruby Cafe on Given Terrace has already found a following.

You'll find it on the bottom half of the terrace, almost directly opposite Montrachet.  Look for red awnings and tables with chairs on the foot path.  The site used to be home to a hairdresser.

Ultimate Foodies Xmas present - dinner with the best chefs in the world

Need to buy a present for your favourite foodie and money is no object? How about two seats at the Qantas Best Dinner in the World with the Best Chefs of the World  at next year's Noosa International Food & Wine Festival?

There's a stupendous line-up of global and Australian culinary stars for the second annual Qantas “Best Dinner in the World” event with seven illustrious chefs all drawn from the prestigious S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurant List. Each will each prepare one course of the degustation dinner, to be held at berardo’s restaurant & bar on Sunday 20 May.

Eat Xmas - How to cook a Christmas feast - free workshops

If you are a little daunted by the idea of cooking the Christmas feast or have the reputation as 'the one who burnt the turkey', take yourself along to Airport Village on December 10 and 11.

The Dayboro Deli Country Kitchen, Dayboro

Happenstance had us searching for a breakfast joint in Dayboro on our Sunday morning bike ride and we found The Dayboro Deli on its grand opening weekend.

This place oozes charm, a combo of semi-country setting with a bit of city sophistication, a welcome offering to Dayboro's main street.

Win a beaut bowl full of Lindor Balls

Imagine walking into a room and placing a beautiful white bowl filled with decadent Lindor Balls on the table.
I know what would happen in my house - bedlam as everyone rushed to be the first to dip in! Lindt have very kindly given me two bowls full of their wonderful Lindor Balls, with a couple of the gorgeous Lindt Teddies thrown in, to give away this week.

Eat Xmas - Dine out Xmas Day

Are you spending Christmas in the kitchen or will you be sitting down and letting someone else do the work?

Here's some dining out options for Brisbane and beyond -

Off the eaten track in the Sunshine Coast

Fast, fresh and simple recipes using mouth-watering local spanner crab, delicious raspberries, sweet pineapples and soothing olive leaf tea - expect all this and more in the second season of Off the Eaten Track, starts on at 7pm, Saturday December 3 on Channel 7.

Dello Mano, Newstead

You  haven't lived until you've bitten into a Dello Mano chocolate brownie - they take the world sublime to a whole new level.
Owners Deb and Bien Peralta are passionate about brownies and are always coming up with new flavours to try.  Their brownies are so popular they are the gift of choice for visiting dignitaries and are shipped all over the world to people who just can't get enough of their chocolate fix.

It's a family business and you'll often find Bien or one of his children behind the counter while Deb is out the back devising more brownie magic. 

There's also Dello Mano cakes and I can't imagine anything more sinfully delicious than one of their luxury chocolate brownies turned into a cake!  But there's more - chocolate souffle cakes, carrot cakes, apple and cinnamon cakes, and even a black forest cake.

Relax with a cake or cookie and enjoy with a smooth Di Bella coffee in their library nook. There's indoor and outdoor seating as well. …

Tasty bits from bmag Nov 29

Cook up a cool kids party at Milk, Ashgrove, discover the first Australian chocolate, find the tastes of Malta at Jan Power's Powerhouse Market, enjoy high tea for charity and pull in at another new South Bank dining option - Cove.

Cafeine, Coorparoo

I don't know the south side of Brisbane as well as I would like so I find it hard to discover those little coffee gems that you need to keep you going for the long haul.

Bretts Wharf Restaurant to stay!

The ever-exuberant Alastair McLeod was today literally jumping for joy with the news that the iconic Bretts Wharf Restaurant and River Room was now NOT closing, as had been previously thought.

Dinner in 30 - Potato, Bacon and Sage Agnolotti with burnt butter and sage sauce

I eat out a lot. Yes, I can feel your waves of sympathy, NOT.
So when I'm cooking at home I often want a fairly simple meal that's easy to make but still full flavoured and nutritionally sound - well,  fairly nutritionally sound.

I went to the Stones Corner Market and this is what I saw

The indomitable Jan Power has branched out yet again bringing a new market to the top end of Logan Road, where Old Cleveland Road joins, running down the street which is closed for the morning.

What is cold drip coffee?

Have you seen these things that look like something that's escaped from a chem lab lurking in trendy coffee shops?

Best barbecue steak

I make no apologies for being a meat eater.  My body functions best on protein and meat is a great source, besides I really like a thick, juicy steak - just thinking about it makes my mouth water.

Tanking about Off the Eaten Track

He might be short when it comes to the height stakes but he's very tall when it comes to spruking about local produce.

Yes, I'm talking about Brisbane's favourite television food chef Alastair McLeod, who is the executive chef at both Tank in the CBD and Bretts Wharf, Hamilton.

Kafe Krave, Windsor

Satisfy the urge is the mission statement for the newish Kafe Krave at Windsor.

Suited to a tea - High tea in Asia

Asia’s interest in tea waxes and wanes, but the latest revival has reinstated the humble cuppa’s fashion status.

High tea is on the up again in Asia.While this curious cultural phenomenon seldom goes out of style, venues are finding new and innovative ways to serve a cuppa, three tiers of food and in the process, capture a niche
market and increase patronage.

Read more from my story in the November edition of Tiger Tales

Fresh food bounce back post flood

In the wake of devastating fl oods, Brisbane bounced back with an annual food and wine show that was better than ever.

Here's an article I wrote for the November edition of Tiger Tales.

Sleeping around - Shangri-La, Sydney

I got very excited when I booked into the Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney's Rocks district.

It wasn't the fabulous harbour views, the close proximity to everything I wanted to to do or even drinking a Lady Peculiar cocktail at sunset overlooking the harbour.

No it was free wireless Internet! To me this means no problems with blogging and tweeting to my heart's content.

Stokehouse, South Bank

Eagerly awaited, Stokehouse is now open at Brisbane's South Bank with a design that takes full advantage of it's stunning river position.

Nestled almost under the Goodwill Bridge and just a spit from the water, Stokehouse has been designed by local architects Arkhefield and it shows.